Armstrong County, Texas
Armstrong County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,901. Its county seat is Claude. The county was formed in 1876 and later organized in 1890. It was named for one of several Texas pioneer families named Armstrong.
The Armstrong County Courthouse in Claude
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|• Total||914 sq mi (2,370 km2)|
|• Land||909 sq mi (2,350 km2)|
|• Water||4.7 sq mi (12 km2) 0.5%%|
|• Density||2.1/sq mi (0.8/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Tom Blasingame, the oldest cowboy in the history of the American West, lived in Armstrong County and worked for 73 years in ranching, mostly on the JA Ranch. Ranch historian Laura Vernon Hamner interviewed many "old-timers" in Armstrong County during the last decade of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century in preparation for her later writings on the Texas Panhandle.
Paleo-Indians first inhabitants as far back as 10,000 BC. Apachean cultures roamed the county until Comanche dominated around 1700. The Comanches were defeated by the United States Army in the Red River War of 1874. Later tribes include Kiowa and Cheyenne.
County established and growthEdit
Charles Goodnight and John George Adair established ranching in the county. In 1876, Goodnight brought a herd of 1,600 cattle into the Palo Duro Canyon. The JA Ranch encompassed over a million acres (4,000 km²), including Armstrong County and five adjoining counties. The county land use was primarily ranch-related, even after the trickling in of homesteaders, for the remainder of the 19th century.
Landowner Robert E. Montgomery platted the town of Washburn, named after railroad executive D.W. Washburn.
At the beginning of the 20th century, ranching began to share the land with cotton and wheat crops, although ranching remained the leading industry. The Great Depression had a severe effect on the county's economy, and recovery took years. Ranches still occupied about 68% of the land in the county in 2005.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 914 square miles (2,370 km2), of which 909 square miles (2,350 km2) are land and 4.7 square miles (12 km2) (0.5%) are covered by water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, 2,148 people, 802 households, and 612 families resided in the county. The population density was 2 people per square mile (1/km²). The 920 housing units averaged 1 per square mile (0/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.44% White, 0.28% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 2.79% from other races, and 0.84% from two or more races. About 5.40% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 802 households, 33.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.20% were married couples living together, 6.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.60% were non-families. About 21.40% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the county, the population was distributed as 26.00% under the age of 18, 6.10% from 18 to 24, 24.80% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 19.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $38,194, and for a family was $43,894. Males had a median income of $30,114 versus $21,786 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,151. About 7.90% of families and 10.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.80% of those under age 18 and 11.60% of those age 65 or over.
The Claude Independent School District serves almost all of Armstrong County.
Three school districts headquartered in surrounding counties, Clarendon Consolidated Independent School District, Groom Independent School District, and Happy Independent School District, include small unincorporated portions of Armstrong County.
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