National Register Listing in
Loving County, Texas

Texas is known for its love of football, and the state has produced many great football players, including legends like Tom Landry, Earl Campbell, and Vince Young.
Loving County is located in the state of Texas and is the smallest county in terms of population in the entire United States. It was established in 1887 and named after Oliver Loving, a well-known cattle rancher. The county's history is deeply rooted in the cattle industry, with ranching playing a significant role in its early days.

Despite this, the county faced numerous challenges throughout its history. In the early 20th century, droughts and a decline in the cattle industry severely impacted the economy of Loving County, leading many residents to leave in search of better opportunities elsewhere. This resulted in a rapid decrease in population, a trend that continued over the years.

In the 1920s, the discovery of oil in the Permian Basin changed the fortunes of Loving County once again. The oil boom led to a temporary increase in population and economic activity, with oil drilling becoming a major industry in the county. However, as oil production fluctuated and technology advanced, the number of oil wells decreased, and the population started to decline once again.

Presently, Loving County remains sparsely populated, with only a few hundred residents. Oil and gas production remain the main sources of revenue for the county, although the population has steadily declined over the years. The county's unique history, marked by the rise and fall of industries such as ranching and oil drilling, reflects the challenges and resilience of its residents in the face of changing economic circumstances.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Loving County, Texas.

  • 1931: Loving County is established and named after Oliver Loving, an early Texas cattle rancher.
  • 1935: Loving County experiences an oil boom, leading to an increase in population.
  • 1957: The population of Loving County reaches its peak at around 600 residents.
  • 1970: The population declines to around 120 residents, marking a significant decrease.
  • 1984: Loving County becomes the least populated county in the United States with only 67 residents.
  • 2000: The population of Loving County increases slightly to 67 residents.
  • 2010: Loving County experiences a population boom due to oil discoveries, with the population reaching 82 residents.