Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Dickens County, Texas
Dickens is named after Dickens County. The site of Dickens served as a supply point fordugout line camps used by cowboys from the Spur, Pitchfork, andMatador ranches. In 1886 J. H. Edwards set up a camp in thevicinity and was followed by Charles O'Neal and J. A. Askins, whosettled in the area in 1889. As others began moving in, a settlementdeveloped near the springs east of the present townsite, and after theUnited States Postal Department located a post office there in 1892,the settlement officially became known as Dickens. On February17, 1892, town lots were sold a half mile west of the previoussettlement, and during the year Dickens replaced Espuela as thecounty seat. By 1893 Dickens had a school building, a wagonyard,a blacksmith shop, a saloon, a barbershop, a hotel, and two stores.
The town continued to thrive during the early 1900s; the populationincreased from 176 in 1900 to its maximum of 500 by 1927. Thenumber of businesses in Dickens remained relatively stable attwenty-five during the 1930s and 1940s. In the 1950s, however, thetown lost thirteen of its businesses as well as its school, which wastorn down after the district was parceled out to Patton Springs, Spur,and McAdoo. The population, which had been slowly decreasingsince the 1940 census, dropped to a low of 259 in 1975 butincreased again to 409 in 1980, despite a reduction in the number ofbusinesses. Dickens had nine businesses in 1980. The townremained a marketing center for the surrounding ranches, whichinclude the Pitchfork and Four Sixes. The Dickens CountyMuseum is located in the county courthouse. The nearby CrotonBreaks region offers travelers a scenic view of colorful canyons,buttes, and creeks. In 1990 the population was 322.
Fred Arrington, A History of Dickens County:Ranches and Rolling Plains (Quanah, Texas: Nortex, 1971).
Kathleen E. and Clifton R. St. Clair, eds., Little Towns of Texas (Jacksonville, Texas: Jayroe Graphic Arts, 1982).
"DICKENS, TX." The Handbook of Texas Online.
Return to Index
The settling of Dickens
The founding of Dickens
Dickens City Government Dickens is the County Seat of Dickens County.
Dickens Community News This Dickens County, Texas GenWeb Project website has information on Dickens, Texas and other Texas communities, as well as much genealogical information on the area.