Andrews County, TX.
Named for Richard Andrews!
Andrews County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. Its county seat is Andrews. Andrews is named for Richard Andrews, a soldier of the Texas Revolution. Andrews County was created August 21, 1876 from Bexar County and organized May 11, 1910.
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Adjacent counties are; Gaines County, Martin County, Midland County, Ector County, Winkler County, and Lea County, New Mexico.
Andrews County, Tx. History:
The county was formed from Bexar County on August 21, 1876. The county was named for Richard Andrews, a hero of the Texas Revolution who was killed at the battle of Concepción in 1835.
O. B. Holt first filed on county lands in 1886, although the huge Chicago Ranch, founded by Nelson Morris, purchased 228,000 acres in the southeastern corner in 1884. After the draughts of 1886 and 1887, Nelson Morris introduced windmills to draw ground water. Morris also introduced barbed wire drift fences to contain cattle.
In 1894 the Scharbauers purchased the Wells Ranch. A year later the Texas legislature passed the four-section law, which helped to end open-range ranching in Texas by encouraging the breakup up of great ranches for the benefit of homesteaders and small tract purchasers. In the early 1880s the building of the Texas and Pacific Railway through Midland, Midland County, the supply point of Andrews County, gave promise of future growth. The railroad promoted immigration and had millions of acres to offer settlers. But since there was plenty of land in West Texas with better access to transportation than Andrews County, the population grew slowly and was principally farmers and ranchers by 1910.
It was clear by 1920 that much of the county land was not suitable for farming. Cattle ranchers bought the abandoned lands of disappointed farmers to extend their ranges. Even land owned by the University of Texas, accounting for 29 percent of the total acreage, was mostly leased for grazing purposes. The 1920s also saw the beginning of oil production in Andrews County. On December 5, 1929, the gusher drilled in the Deep Rock Ogden No. 1 came in.
While one would expect excitement and preparations for a great boom were in the makings, prosperity did not come quickly. East Texas fields were in full production, and the 1929 crash had devastated the market. By 1931 oil was selling for as little as ten cents a barrel. But with the crude being low gravity and heavy in sulfur, it wouldn’t sell even at such low prices. In 1934, J. W. Tripplehorn bought up leases, began drilling, and encouraged Humble Oil Company (later Exxon Company, U.S.A.) to lease other lands and to build a pipeline. The oil industry did not really boom in Andrews County until the 1940s, when twenty-six new fields were discovered. Extravagant drilling efforts brought thousands of people to the area seeking jobs in the oilfields and service industries. Petroleum production continued to rise in Andrews County during the 1950s, but oil production fell off in the 1960s. Unemployment mounted, and county leaders called for some diversification of industry. Water flooding of old fields and the Arab oil embargo of 1973–74 stimulated oil production again in the 1970s
Most people in the county live in the town of Andrews. In the early 1990s cattle ranching continued to be the most important agricultural activity in the county, while sorghum, cotton, and corn were the most significant crops.
Other places in Andrews County:
The county contains many playa (dry) lakes, the two largest being Baird lake and Shafter Lake.
Major highways in Andrews County include; U.S. Highway 385, State Highway 115, and State Highway 176.
Most people in the county live in the town of Andrews, the county seat. Prairie Dog Town and the Oil Museum are two of the county’s most popular tourist attractions.