The first oil well in the United States was drilled in Texas in 1859. The discovery of oil transformed the economy of the state and helped to make Texas one of the wealthiest states in the nation.
Jones County is located in central Texas and has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Comanche and Kiowa. European exploration of the region began in the 16th century when Spanish explorers ventured into Texas. However, it was not until the mid-19th century that Jones County was established.

In the 1830s, during the Texas Revolution, settlers began to move into the area that would become Jones County. The region was originally part of Bexar County, but in 1858 it became its own county and was named after Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas. The county quickly grew with the establishment of farms, ranches, and small towns.

During the American Civil War, Jones County gained notoriety for its unique stance. While most of Texas sided with the Confederacy, Jones County declared itself neutral. This neutrality was mainly motivated by opposition to the Confederacy's conscription policies and the belief that the war was fought for the benefit of the wealthy planters. The county formed its own militia, known as the Jones County Union Guards, and resisted conscription efforts.

After the Civil War, the county experienced a period of growth and development. The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century helped spur economic growth in the area. The town of Anson, the county seat, became an important shipping point for agricultural products. Ranching and farming continued to be the primary industries in the county, with cotton becoming a major cash crop.

In the 20th century, the county continued to thrive, with the discovery of oil and gas deposits providing a boost to the local economy. Today, Jones County remains a vibrant community with a mix of agricultural, industrial, and service-based industries. The county is known for its rich history, scenic landscapes, and friendly communities.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Jones County, Texas.

  • 1858 - Jones County is formed from Bexar and Bosque Counties.
  • 1861-1865 - Jones County sends troops to fight in the American Civil War.
  • 1881 - The Texas Central Railway is built through Jones County, bringing economic growth.
  • 1890s - The county experiences an oil boom, attracting investors and workers.
  • 1928 - The construction of Fort Phantom Hill Dam begins, providing water and hydroelectric power.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression hits Jones County, causing economic hardships.
  • 1940s-1950s - Jones County experiences population decline and agricultural challenges.
  • 1990s-present - The county sees some economic recovery with the growth of wind energy production.