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County
Dickens
Region
Panhandle Plains
Population
2010 Census - 286
2000 Census - 322
Nearby
Towns
Dickens, Texas
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Dickens Texas History:
Dickens originated as a supply point for dugout line camps used by cowboys from the Spur, Pitchfork, and Matador Ranches. In 1886, J. H. Edwards set up a camp in the area. In 1889, Charles O'Neal and J. A. Askins set up camps near the springs east of the present townsite where a park is now located. A settlement developed around the camps. In 1892, the Dickens post office was established, and town lots were sold 0.5 miles east of the original settlement. That same year, Dickens replaced Espuela as the Dickens County seat. The town thrived as a supply point for area ranchers and farmers. The population reached a high of 500 by 1927. IN the 1880s, the town remained a marketing center for the surrounding ranches, which include the Pitchfork and Four Sixes. Dickens is located eight miles below the Caprock of the Llano Estacado at the intersection of U.S. 82/SH 114 and SH 70, 66 miles east of Lubbock, 25 miles east of Crosbyton, 59 miles east of Floydada, 65 miles south of Quitaque and Caprock Canyons State Park, 28 miles south of Matador, 59 miles southwest of Paducah, 63 miles west of Benjamin, 31 miles west of Guthrie, 59 miles northwest of Aspermont, 35 miles northwest of Jayton, 71 miles north of Snyder, 36 miles north of Clairemont, and 62 miles northeast of Post, Texas.
 
Texas Plains Trail Region:
The 52-county Texas Plains Trail Region includes the Texas Panhandle and Plains. It stretches from the Texas towns of Big Spring and Colorado City in the southern portion of the region, to Muleshoe and the New Mexico state border in the west, to Quanah and Knox City in the east, and to the top of the Texas Panhandle, from Dalhart in the west to Lipscomb in the east. The Texas Plains Trail Region organization is a nonprofit heritage tourism organization affiliated with the Texas Historical Commission. TPTR acts as an economic development initiative that helps Texas communities to promote their historic and cultural resources, and increase tourism to their areas. The organization helps promote travel to heritage destinations and historic sites. A name repeatedly mentioned in the history of West Texas is Cynthia Ann Parker, a young child captured during a raid on Fort Parker. She grew up among the Comanches, married Comanche chief Peta Nocona, and had three children, Pecos, Quanah and Prairie Flower. In 1860, a party of Texas Rangers led by Sul Ross, a future governor of Texas, rescued her and her infant daughter Prairie Flower; Charles Goodnight participated in this raid. Her son Quanah became famous as the last great war chief of the Comanche. One of TPTR’s most visible recent projects is the Quanah Parker Trail. When the project is completed, giant Quanah Parker arrow markers will have been installed in all 52 counties in the Texas Plains Trail Region. Some counties will have more than one installation. The arrows were created and donated by New Home, Texas, artist Charles Smith. As of early 2014, over 70 arrows had been installed in almost 50 counties. Each arrow will have a plaque giving pertinent historical information. (806) 747-1997. P.O. Box 88, Lubbock, Texas 79408. Email   Texas Plains Trail Map
 
Historic Dickens Springs, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“At one time, water covered this area. Sandstone, the prominent rock around this site, is porous, causing exposed strata at canyon rims to form a natural drainage outlet for upland aquifers, making possible the existence of these springs. Situated at the head of a canyon ravine immediately below the Upper Prairie Region of the Rolling Plains, the ancient springs have been a favored human habitat since the earliest human occupation in this region. Many nomadic tribes have used the site, leaving behind a wealth of archeological evidence. John A. Askins and his family settled near these springs in late 1883, and it became known to pioneers as Askins Springs. A traveling real estate developer called Dr. M. S. Crow arrived here in 1891 and was a driving force in the organization of the town of Dickens about a half-mile west of the Askins land. In 1891 he gave a speech proclaiming his intent to give ten acres around "Crow Springs," as he called them, to the town of Dickens. The new city park became known as Dickens Springs. Generations of Dickens citizens and tourists, attracted by the rugged and colorful scenery and the unique collection of plants, have visited this site for picnics and social gatherings. In 1978 the departments of Anthropology and of Park Management at Texas Tech University made an intensive survey of the land surrounding Dickens Springs. Though many artifacts were lost to souvenir hunters, the university workers uncovered a variety of ancient tools, rarely of local origin. In the 21st century, Dickens Springs continues to provide water and beauty to the area for modern visitors as it did for the nomadic peoples of the past.”
  
Dickens County Courthouse, 1893:
The stone courthouse was designed in Romanesque revival style by E.L. Aiken. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The 2010 Dickens County census was 2,444. (806) 623-5532. 509 Montgomery Street, Dickens, Texas 79229. Email 
 
Dickens’ County Jail, 1909:
The jail was built by master stonemason Pat Cornett at a cost of $7,500 in a style matching the courthouse. The downstairs originally housed the sheriff’s living quarters; cells and the trap door for the hanging rope were located upstairs. Very few jail escapes occurred. Probably the most interesting escape occurred when three upstairs prisoners escaped by loosening a 2 x 6 roof board. The next morning the jailer was feeding prisoners and noticed a wine bottle lying on the floor. Apparently the men had escaped on the roof of the jail, climbed down the radio tower , caught a ride to a bootlegger, made their purchases, then returned and broke back into jail where they proceeded to drink the wine. Sheriff Bill Arthur was murdered by prisoners; a plaque honoring him is located in front of the courthouse. Today the downstairs houses the sheriff’s office and two women’s cells, and the upstairs houses 4 men’s cells.
 
Dickens County Museum:
The museum features exhibits depicting the history of Dickens and the county, including the original courthouse cupola, pioneer household items, clothing, furniture, reading materials and photographs, an office area with antique office equipment, antique farm and ranching implements, and a barn containing horse and cattle implements. Open Fri, 1pm-4pm. (806) 623-5566. The museum is located in a former hardware store at 609 Montgomery Street.
 
Senior Citizens Center:
The center provides activities and senior services and programs for seniors. 511 Montgomery Street, Dickens, Texas 79229. (806) 623-5520.