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.
Schleicher County, located in West Central Texas, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Before the arrival of European settlers, the region was inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Lipan Apache and Comanche tribes.

In the mid-19th century, German immigrants began migrating to the area, including Captain Gustav Schleicher, a surveyor and politician who played a significant role in the development of the county. The county was officially established in 1887 and was named in honor of Captain Schleicher. The founding of Eldorado, the county seat, soon followed.

The economy of Schleicher County was initially based on agriculture, with cotton being the main cash crop. The arrival of the railroad in the early 20th century brought further economic growth and improved transportation in the area. However, the Great Depression greatly affected the county, causing a decline in population and economic activity.

In the mid-20th century, the oil industry became a major player in Schleicher County's economy. The discovery of oil in the Permian Basin brought new jobs and prosperity to the region. Today, Schleicher County remains an agricultural and oil-producing area, with an economy that is also dependent on hunting, ranching, and tourism.

Throughout its history, Schleicher County has witnessed significant changes, from the arrival of settlers and the establishment of the county seat to economic booms and busts. The county's rich heritage is preserved in its museums, historical sites, and the stories of its residents, offering a glimpse into the captivating history of this Texas county.

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

  • 1880 - Schleicher County is established and named after Gustav Schleicher, a Texas legislator and Confederate colonel.
  • 1882 - Eldorado becomes the county seat.
  • Late 1880s - Ranching becomes the dominant industry in the county.
  • 1890s - Schleicher County experiences population growth with settlers drawn to the area's fertile land.
  • 1920s - The oil boom leads to increased economic activity in the county.
  • Mid-1930s - The Great Depression causes a decline in the county's population and economy.
  • 1940s - Schleicher County supports the war effort during World War II.
  • 1950s - The introduction of irrigation further boosts agriculture in the county.
  • 1970s - The county's population experiences steady growth.
  • 2000s - The county's economy remains mainly dependent on ranching and agriculture.