Archer County was created by the Texas Legislature on January 22, 1858, and organized on July 27, 1880. The county was named for an early Texas patriot, Branch T. Archer (1790-1856).
The first and second settlers to establish homes in Archer County were Dr. R.O. Prideaux in 1875 and William Hutton in 1876, both in the Southeast section of the county.
Archer County is known as the short grass capital due to its short and strong grasses; while looking dead, a rain will bring it back green in a few hours. Archer County has many unique and first events, as follows:
1)It was the leading oil producer in 1925, and had the deepest well ever drilled in 1917, at a depth of 5004 feet.
2)The main space tracking station for the U.S. Navy is located West of town.
3)Having the first soils map made of any county in Texas (a private collection) prepared by Dr. A.H. Romer from Harvard after he tramped over its surface. He spent 50 continuous summers here (1923-1973). He brought fame to Archer County by finding, exhuming, preparing and placing my Permiam lizard fossils in all the major capitals of the world, as well as our own Archer County Museum.
4)Megargel had the first organized high school band in Texas.
5)Windthorst is home to a memorial grotto which is credited to the safe return of all its World War II servicemen. Windthorst is also a leading milk, hog and egg producer.
6)Scotland was set in the famed O Circle Ranch with over 75,000 acres.
7)Holliday (its name taken from a tree marked by the Texas-Sante Fe Expedition of 1841) is home to the Confederate States of America Stonewall Jackson Reunion Grounds.
8)Mankins was home to the famous Dudley Circus
9)Dundee had the world’s larges Karakul Sheep Ranch
10)Archer County has many ghost towns, such as Geraldine (population 8,000 in 1902), Luxemburg; Sunshine State, Texhoma City, Ferguson City, Gose City, Dad’s Corner, Tubeville, Green Flowers, Andrews, Anarene, Hausler City, Panther City, Coston, Bell Camp, Four Corners and West Fork.
Welcome to Archer County. We offer to you just as Geraldine did in 1902… “Come to the promised land and share our bounties.”
– contributed by Archer County Historian Jack Loftin.