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Timeline: Young County 1519 – 1966

Early History

Spaniards begin exploring and claim the area known today as Texas.

Comanche migrate into Texas from Wyoming, then to Colorado. After they had acquired horses, they would become the most powerful Native American Tribe.
(Texas State Historical Association: “Comanche Indians” by Carol A. Lipscomb, October 9, 2020)

Spanish explorers Diego Ortiz Parrilla and Pedro Vial were the first to call attention to the area. In 1759 Parrilla crossed the northwest corner of what is now Young County enroute to the Taovaya Indian Village on Red River, and in 1789 Vial followed the Brazos River through the region while returning to Santa Fe from San Antonio.

Kiowa migrate from Montana to the area considered Indian Territory, which ranged from Kansas to as far south as Mexico., including Texas.
Kiowa and Comanche enter into a peace agreement with each other. After this point, many of the raids into Texas are composed of mixed bands of Kiowa and Comanche.

1800 - 1849

Charles Bernard, a Trader becomes acquainted with Indians in the area. When the reservation is established, he will open a store within it, taking skins and trinkets in trade for supplies.

Texas Independence from Mexico.

Peters Colony Land Grant Issued.

January 20, 1843 – Peters Colony Land Grant expanded to take in the area where Young County is located.

Texas annexed into the USA.

A trend in migration from the Ohio River Valley of the USA to North Texas begins. By this time, over 1700 colonists have been introduced into the area of Peter’s Colony.

1850 - 1859

July 7 – Fort Belknap established in the second line of frontier Forts by “G” and “I” companies of the 5th US Infantry, under the command of General William Goldsmith Belknap.
October – Fort Belknap location moved two miles south (down river) for a more adequate water supply.
November 3 – Gen. Persifer Smith, Commander of the 8th Military Department, issues order #91.

Captain Randolph B. Marcy completes his third exploration and mapping of Central and North Texas, including Young County area.

June 17 – Texas Legislature deeds land to Delaware Chief John Connor for his assistance.

Brazos River Indian Reservation established with an overall area of approx. 37,000 acres. The Comanche Reservation was situated 45 miles southwest of the Brazos Reserve on the Throckmorton-Shackleford County lines. Comanche lived on the upper reserve. On the Lower Reserve, located twelve miles south of Fort Belknap, and was populated by the diminishing tribes of Caddo, Anadarko, Waco, and Tonkawa Indian Tribes, totaling approx. 2000 natives. The federal government contracted with local Ranchers to provide 37 head of beef each week to reservation Indians.
March – Colonel Jesse Stem, Special Agent for Indians in Texas, and a companion with the last name Lepperman were murdered with arrows and wounds from a war hatchet where they were clubbed. The attack occurred between the Belknap Hills, and the area is now knowns as Stem’s Gap.
First school in Young County was in a small log house on the Brazos River Indian Reservation. 50 Indian pupils, 3 whites, Pete and Sul Ross, children of Indian Agent Ross. Ellis Combs was the teacher.
During the 1850s, some of the more prominent residents of Young County were: the Peveler family, Alan Johnson (Moses Johnson/Britt Johnson) George and Car Bragg, Harry Williams, William Dobb, John and Joseph Wheat, Roland Johnson, and J.A. Wolfork.

February 2 – Young County organized by the Texas State Legislature, an area of approximately 900 square miles in the Western Cross Timbers of the North Central Plains of Texas. James H. Swindells was appointed County Surveyor.
E.F. Abbott donated land for the creation of the town of Belknap, the county seat, and the town streets and bounds were laid out by Swindells.
August 19 – first County Court of Young County held, Judge Peter Harmonson presiding.

April 24 – Charles Neuhaus, Young County merchant, operated a bar and store in Belknap, states in his writings that Belknap consisted of 14 houses, two concrete, one frame, and the rest picket construction.
November 22 – Judge Nathaniel Burford held first District court in Belknap for the murder trial of W. Langford.
December – Jail is built in Belknap by Mr. Hopper. W.P. King was jailer and the first man hung was W. Langford for the charge of murder.
School started in one room of Fort Belknap. Henry Threlkeld and Posey Gorden were teachers.
December – Choctaw Tom and his party are ambushed while on a legally authorized hunting trip near Graford. 8 of seventeen Indians in the party were murdered in their beds, including Choctaw Tom’s wife and daughter.
1858-1861 John Butterfield establishes the Butterfield Overland Stage route with several waystations in Young County and a biweekly stop at Fort Belknap.

May 23 – A group of vigilantes under the command of John R. Baylor trespass on the reservation threatening to fire on troops if they interfere with them in regards to the Indians. They murder an elderly Indian male and scalp him and murder an elderly Indian woman working in her garden before leaving the reservation.
They retreat from Indian pursuit to the Marlin Ranch where a shootout ensues, two of Baylor’s party are killed.
July 30 –  Indians leave the reserve for Fort Sill, under the command of Indian Agent Colonel Leeper, and one company of US 5th Infantry.
William Youngblood murdered and scalped by Indians on the western border of Young County. Rangers under the command of Captain M.D. Tackett pursued and captured the renegades and returned Youngbloods scalp to be buried with the body.
September 14 – Edward Cornett murders Robert Simpson Neighbors in Belknap.

1860 - 1869

Tackett Mountain Fight – Reverend Pleasant Tackett and his three sons went to investigate a cow that had been shot with an arrow. While investigating the Indian’s campsite, eleven Indians attacked. Chief Pine–O-Channa was killed in the attack, Reverend Tackett had an arrow in the foot and his son Jim had an arrow in the forehead for five months before a surgeon was found who could remove it.
US Government Census report the population of Young County at 593.

Alf Lane, a brother-in-law of Charles Goodnight and a Ranger in Captain White’s Ranger Company was tortured and killed by Indians on the prairie west of Flag Springs, 10 miles north of Cement Mountains.

September  – Cox Mountain Fight. Captain Will Peveler, a Ranger, Sheriff H.S. Cox, Cole Duncan, Perry Harmonson, and George Hunter were in Lost Valley when they were attacked by 50 to 60 Indians. Cox was slain, Peveler wounded 16 times with an arrow through the throat and died 22 days later from blood poisoning.
October 13 – Elm Creek Raid – One of the largest raids ever conducted into Texas. Elizabeth Carter Fitzgerald and her granddaughters Mille and Lottie were taken, her daughter Susanna, and son Elijah were killed.
McCoy Murders – James McCoy and his son were hauling fence railing to a farm when they were overtaken and murdered by Kiowa and Comanche raiders.

April 10 – Young County is considered so unsafe that the court ordered county records be moved to a “safehouse” created in Flagg Spring (6 miles Northwest of Graham). County is dissolved.

Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving blaze the Goodnight-Loving Trail from Fort Belknap to Colorado.

Triple Massacre – In July of 1867, three cattlemen, (Proffitt, Johnson, and Carlton) were attacked while branding cattle. The three men had left their rifles in their slings on the horses, and the horses turned loose to graze. All three men were killed before reaching their horses to arm themselves. The Proffitt victim was the brother of John Proffitt.

Russell Ranch massacre – Mrs. Russell, an adult son, and her two daughters. Indians attacked the ranch, killed Mrs. Russell, the oldest daughter and carried off the youngest. The son was away on a hunting trip and escaped injury.

Edwin S. Graham, a speculator from Kentucky, began buying large amounts of land in the Young County are of the Peters Colony Grant, from the Texas Emigration and Land Company at the price of 50 cents an acre.
(1869) Captain A.B. Gant buys the Salt Works from Judge Bowers.

1870 - 1879

Edwin S. Graham acts as an agent of the Texas Land and Emigration Company and begins selling tracts. At this time, he owns approximately 125,000 acres in Young County.
US Government Census recorded the population of Young County as 135 Whites, and 4 Blacks.

January – Britt Johnson killed by Indians.
Edwin S. and Gustavas A. Graham move to Young County.
Town of Graham is established.
April 16 – Rock Creek Fight where 12 Cattlemen were attacked near the Young/Palo Pinto County line. A gunfight ensued lasting all day. Eight of the twelve cattlemen were killed, and all their horses and cattle taken.
May 18 – Warren wagon train massacre. Seven wagon teamsters killed by Kiowa Indians. The Indians had observed Gen. Sherman pass by on a tour of Indian attack sites.
July 5 – The First Civilian Trial of Native Americans for the charge of murder in the Warren wagon train massacre begins at Fort Richardson.
June – Graham Brothers buy the Salt Works from A.B. Gant.
July 8 – Satanta and Aido-Etee are sentenced to death for murder. Death to be carried out by hanging.
August 7 – Texas Governor Edmund J. Davis commutes the sentence for Satanta and Aido-Etee to life imprisonment for fear of an Indian uprising.

January 1 – Graham Brothers and A.B. Gant laid out the streets of present-day Graham, Texas.
Spring – Willard and Henry Dillard, were attacked by a party of 30 Comanche warriors while riding in a freight wagon between Fort Griffin and Fort Belknap. The brothers dismounted, firing a repeating rifle as the ran for brush and cover. After several close quarter encounters, they escaped. Troops from fort Griffin later found the brothers had killed eleven warriors and five horses.
June 15 – Charlie Rivers, one of the first cattlemen of Young County was camped near Rock Creek with eleven men after a round up. Indians attacked the camp which had fifty horses within, and rivers was killed trying to prevent their theft.
Texas Fever strikes Texas cattle.
Winter of 1872 kills large numbers of cattle in Texas.

Financial Panic of 1873 crashes market and prices for cattle plummet.
August 19 – Satanta and Aido-Etee were released “Set at Liberty by Governor Davis upon recommendation of the President of the United States. (Ulysses S. Grant)”
Gustavas Graham brings his family to Graham, where they live in log cabins.
First home of imported lumber built by the Mosleys. Home was later converted into a boarding house and eventually became the Commerce Hotel. Located where Moody Brothers Motor Company was later built.

Summer – Missionary Reverend Pleasant Tackett organizes a Methodist Church.
First School in Graham opened at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jasper Manlove. It was located where the Graham National bank now stands.
July 10 – Loving Ranch attack – J.C. Loving and Ira Coop were searching for cattle and horses on Loving Ranch when they were attacked. One cowboy killed and one horse taken, several Indians killed or wounded.
July 12 – Loving and two others were riding at Cox Mountain when they were charged by over 150 Indians. They managed to escape into the thick growth on Cox Mountain.
November – The land formerly known as the Brazos River Indian Reservation is opened for pre-emption and settlement.
Mail delivery comes to Graham from Weatherford via stagecoach.
Young County reorganized.
10 registered brands in Young County. J.C. Tackett, G.A. Graham, S.M. Glasco, William Mills, Arrena George, R.E. Byrd, Joseph Ferguson, J.C. Whittenburg, Reverend Pleasant Tackett, J.S. Timmons, and N.J. Timmons.
November 3 –  Election held to decide if County Seat would remain in Belknap or moved to Graham. Graham won with 101 votes, the center of the county as yet undeveloped 24, and Belknap 4.

J.B. Shock opens first telegraph office in Young County in Graham.
The Community of Jean established by W.H. Farmer and John Casey.

January 1- The Graham Hotel opened, and was located on the northwest corner of the square. Destroyed in the 1878 fire and rebuilt west of the original site facing north of Fourth Street. In front of this location the Texas Cattle Raisers Association was founded. Became the Dolman House on Sept 8, 1881.
February 21 – Sheriff Kirk ARRIVED IN Belknap with a warrant to arrest a desperado named Buffalo Bill, who had escaped Clay County. Bill recognized Kirk and both went for their guns, killing each other.
April – Newly appointed County Commissioners order a county courthouse to be built on land deeded by G.A. Graham at the corner of Third and Oak Streets in Graham.
Pecans become one of the first products exported from Young County.
August 16 – Graham Leader established and publishes its first newspaper. Major J.W. Graves, first owner.
W.l. and F.T Donnell moved to Young County as ranchers.
November 11 – The Graham Leader reports the population of Young County as 3,000.

Graham Academy School erected between third and fourth Streets in Graham.
The True Community started by George Terrell.
Donnell brothers begin construction of a mill on the Clear fork. Two floods within one year would wash away the structure both times.
April 9 – Young County Masonic Lodge number 485 established.
February 15-16 – Texas Cattle Raisers Association founded on Fourth Street at Dolman Hotel by Col. C.C. Slaughter, Colonel L.C. (Kit) Carter, and James C. Loving.

March – Major fire destroys the west side of Graham Square.
October 8 –  Graham Brothers donate land at third and Cherry for Methodist Church.
October 11 – Satanta commits suicide by jumping out the third story window of the hospital at Huntsville Prison.
November 8 – First District Court held after reorganization of Young County held in the home of A.B. Kindle., Judge A.J. Hood presiding.

County Jail located at Fourth and Echo Street in Graham is built.
The town of Olney is established.
US Congress passes a bill creating federal Courts in Dallas, Waco, ad Graham.
Swine election held to determine if swine would have to be confined to pens or allowed to wander.
Donnell Brothers and government engineer Jack Vernon begin third construction of mill with bottom floor made of concrete.
August 4 – First Federal Court held in Young County Judge A.P. McCormick presiding.
Roxana College built on the northeast corner of Oak and Fifth in Graham.

1880 - 1889

Barbed-wire introduced in Texas in during the 1880s and would bring about the end of open range ranching in Texas.

Mrs. Browns’ School for Young Ladies opened 8 miles north of Graham. Four years later it would be renamed Brown Hill School.
August 18 – Presbyterian Church of Eliasville organized.
September 6 – Governor O.M. Roberts called for an election to determine the location for a University of Texas. The ticket was under three headings: 1) Location of the entire university, 2) location of university without the medical department, 3) where to locate the medical department. Cities under consideration for the location of the entire university were Austin, Waco, Albany, Williams Ranch, Matagorda, and Graham.

Second County Courthouse erected in Commerce Park in Graham. N.J. Rosenberg was chief stone mason. A barb wire fence was erected around the courthouse square to keep horses off courthouse grass.

First Commercial oil well drilled on Fish Creek by the McCormacks.

Hughes Brother tried for robbery of Texas and Pacific Train in Palo Pinto. The brothers were found guilty, then the sentence was set aside, a new trial granted and they were found not guilty at the second trial.
Deputy Ed Johnson arrests George Marlow and the Marlow brothers for horse theft.
December 17 – Johnson proceeded to Marlow ranch to arrest Boon Marlow for murder out of Vernon. A gunfight ensues, known as the bloodiest gun battle in the history of the west. Sheriff Wallace and Deputy Collier later die from wounds sustained in fight.

January 14 – Marlow brothers escape from jail by cutting a hole in the wall with a knife.
January 17 – 40-member mob attempt to lynch the Marlows but are unable to get them out of the jail.
January 19 – A mob from Graham attempt to ambush Marlows as they are being transported from Graham to Fort Richardson. George and Charlie escape by cutting off the ankles of their dead brothers to escape shackles.
John W Groves donates 2 acres of land for a town that would later become known as Olney.
March  – The two surviving Marlow Brothers acquitted of theft charges

Graham brothers put down a mine east of Gratex Refinery and find gold.
Arrest warrant filed for mob that attacked Marlows.

December  – Graham Mining Company opened. John True employed to sink shafts on west side of Twin Mountain.

The US Supreme Court reviews the Case of State of Texas vs. Logan. Logan is one of the ambushers of the Marlow brothers and was tried and convicted of murder. He appeals and is found guilty of conspiracy, but cleared of murder. Fined 5,000 and sentenced to 10 years in prison

Second Methodist Church constructed at third and Cherry.

Federal Court moved from Graham to Abilene. Last federal docket heard in March.

1900 - 1999

The Community of Murray was established, but was called Chandler Chapel for awhile because Street Chandler deeded the land for a church.

The little community of Orth is established on the Wichita Falls & Southern Railway line.
September 21 – Newcastle established due to Coal deposits that had been found as early as 1856. Town was platted and lots sold because of the Railroads interest in coal mining.
Belknap Coal Company organized. Five shafts were sunk during the ten-year period of operation with shaft #2 being the most profitable. At its heyday, it employed 60 workers.

The City of Olney Incorporated. Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad built to Olney.
Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad has a spur to Olney.

Gulf Texas and Western Railway comes to Olney.

The Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad bought the Wichita Falls and Southern.
Olney Enterprise Established

March 2 – Election held to determine if Graham remained County Seat or Newcastle. Graham won 1262 vs. 1090 for Newcastle.

April  – Oilman C.F. Colcord, who had driven through Young County and thought it looked geologically promising for oil secured drilling rights to 8,000 acres and then drilled the famous Lindy Lou #1 on the B.F. Scott property

Young County finally declared clear of ticks causing Texas Fever in Cattle.

March 1 – The Kemp Brothers purchase the Wichita Falls and Southern and extend it through Graham and Breckenridge in 1921.
July 4 – McCluskey #1 and #2, drilled by Panhandle Refining Company, become high producing wells and demonstrate the value of oilfields in Young County.
December 16 –  The City of South Bend was created.

Third and present Methodist Church building constructed.
Second Young County Jail erected on Second Street.

Friday April 13 – First oil Well comes in in Olney.

Swastika Pool oil deposit discovered near Olney.

New schools were erected in Jean, Hufstuttle and Proffitt. One room added to school in Shearer.

Oil Deposits found near South Bend and the oil boom starts.

July 13 – Braniff opens airplane service to Graham. Over 40 planes fly in and out before the terminal was closed a year later.
June 25 – Stovall Hot Well drilled. Depth 4,250 feet oil and gas blew, creating 8,00 barrels of oil with a gas volume of 12,000,000 cubic feet. The crew was unprepared for such a well and water began to flow at a temperature of 130 degrees. The well settled down to 8 barrels of oil and 2,400 barrels of hot water.

September  – Graham Flying Club organized.

Third County Courthouse erected.
Stovall Hot Wells opened.
September 9 – Syrup has become a major crop in Young County and Newcastle hosts the first Syrup Show in Texas. At that time there were 14 syrup mills in Young County.

Graham High School built on Calaveras St.

Rock Island Railroad buys the Gulf, Texas and Western Railroad.
May 29 – The Superior Hereford Association formed in Young County.

Morris-Sheppard Dam opened.
Jim Guerin begins building bleachers part time. Would later found Southern Bleacher Co.
World War II – Attack on Pearl Harbor

September 28 – Rock Island discontinues rail service to Young County.

August 25 – Charles Hipp organized the Possum Kingdom Rodeo of Graham with Buster Edwards, Zearl Williamson, J.M. Graham, Henry Bryson, Gils Boatman, and Eugene Marchman. The rodeo grounds located on the Jacksboro Highway could house 600 horses. One year later Hipp would purchase six white stallions to carry the six flags of Texas in the rodeo. Hipp rode a red and white tail and mane colored horse.

Olney struck by a F4 Tornado – 2 killed, 75 injured. The town was placed under martial law for two days. Almost completely rebuilt in less than a year.

Graham Magnetics Founded