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Parmer County is a county located in the southwestern Texas Panhandle on the high plains of the Llano Estacado in the state of Texas. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 10,269. The county seat is Farwell. The county was created in 1876 and later organized in 1907. It is named in honor of Martin Parmer, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and early judge.
Martin Parmer, an early legislator, judge, and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence
County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts
Parmer County is a county located in the US state of Texas. The seat of the county is Farwell. The county is named in honor of Martin Parmer, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and early judge. Parmer County is in the southwestern Texas Panhandle.
Handbook of Texas Online
In 1876 Parmer County was established by the Texas legislature from lands formerly assigned to the Bexar District. No settlement occurred in the county until 1882. In January of that year the Capitol Syndicate agreed to build a new state capitol in return for 3,000,000 acres of land in West Texas. Parmer County lay entirely within the lands granted to the Chicago syndicate for its huge XIT Ranch. For the rest of the century Parmer County remained unorganized and unpopulated, except for the XIT cowboys. The 1890 population of seven grew only to thirty-four by 1900, and ranching dominated the region. According to the United States agricultural census for 1900, the XIT (the only ranch in the area at the time) extended across 150,000 acres of Parmer County land. The census reported 13,675 cattle in the county that year; only 350 acres were considered to be "improved," and no crops were reported. While the area was solely devoted to cattle in 1900, developments that would reshape the area had already begun to occur. In 1898 the Pecos and Northern Texas Railway Company began construction of a ninety-five-mile branch line from Amarillo to the Texas-New Mexico border. On this line, which was eventually to run from Amarillo to the Santa Fe main line in Belen, New Mexico, grew several communities in Parmer County. Parmerton appeared in 1898 as a Capitol Syndicate townsite, while Black, Friona, and Bovina appeared the same year as switches and townsites on the line. Farwell, established in 1904 and surveyed in 1905, was founded by the syndicate as a central point from which the company could administer the sales of XIT lands. The appearance of Farwell led to the quick demise of Parmerton. In 1904 the Capitol Syndicate launched a campaign to sell the holdings of the XIT Ranch to land speculators, smaller ranchers, and farmers. Between 1904 and 1910 farmers slowly but steadily arrived to establish new operations, and by 1910 there were 161 farms and ranches in the county. About 7,000 acres was planted in corn, the county's most important crop, that year; another 2,000 acres was planted in wheat, and 4,900 acres was devoted to sorghum. By 1920 there were 212 farms and ranches in the county; about 15,000 acres was planted in sorghum that year, along with 1,300 acres of corn and 5,370 acres of wheat. Meanwhile, reflecting this early growth, the population of the county rose to 1,555 by 1910 and to 1,699 by 1920. During these early years of agricultural development, the citizens decided to organize the county and establish a local government. Accordingly, a petition for organization passed through the county in May of 1907. On May 7 an election to choose county officials and a county seat was held. Parmerton became the county seat, but in another election held in December 1907, the county's voters chose Farwell to become county seat in 1908 More at
Donald R. Abbe, "PARMER COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hcp04), accessed January 24, 2016. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 885 square miles (2,293 km2), of which, 882
square miles (2,283 km2) of it is land and 3 square miles (10 km2) of it (0.40%) is water.
Bordering counties are as follows: