Estacado, Texas    Crosby County
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First County Seat of Crosby County

Cradle of Culture for the Texas Plains

ESTACADO in northwestern Crosby County, was founded in 1879 by a Quaker colony under the leadership of Paris Cox. The settlement was first named Marietta in honor of Cox´s wife but was renamed Estacado in 1886, when the county was organized. Estacado was the county seat from 1886 to 1890. It was the site of the first Anglo town on the South Plains. By 1893, the colony had disintegrated.
Paris Cox
Paris Cox, a young Quaker from Indiana came and surveyed the Plains for a suitable place to establish a Quaker colony. After consulting a group of buffalo hunters, Cox decided on an area about 20 miles west of the canyon. Cox purchased 812 sections of railroad land from the State of Texas. The town was first named Marietta in honor of Mary COX Paris´ wife. Marietta was already registered as a post office in the State of Texas. It was renamed Estacado when the post office was established Oct. 13, 1881. by seven families. Thanks to much hard work and a water well dug by Hank Smith, the colony initially thrived. Estacado, the first seat of justice on the Texas Plains, was founded in 1879, by a group of English Quakers under leadership of Paris COX. Estacado became county seat of Crosby Co. and 10 surrounding counties were attached to the county for judicial purposes when the seat of government was set up in 1886.

Settlers came in ox-drawn wagons, horse-back and buckboards. Those who were strong enough to weather the hardships and their progeny lived to see the glories of the Llano Estacado.

Persons serving as postmaster were: George W. SINGER (1884); W. P. FULLINGIM (1900); Charles HOLMES, and Wesley GRAHAM (1904) until postal service was transferred to Petersburg Oct. 15, 1918. Court was held in half dugouts or any shacks available prior to completion of the courthouse in 1887.

The town´s population grew to about 600. There was a Junior College, residents were Quakers and non-Quakers, merchants, farmers, lawyers, politicians and small ranchers. It was the center of life and civilization and was recognized as the cradle of culture on the Texas Plains.

The Quakers wanted to isolate their community, but with other settlers arriving, prairie fires, grasshoppers and droughts coming one after another, living was made difficult. Prospects looked bleak. Quaker daughters who were of age began marrying area cowboys .In 1888, Paris Cox died of cancer at the age of 40. After their leader´s early death, seven years of drought, a county land survey that left many of the original Quakers without title to the land they thought belonged to them and a heated long running dispute of the use of their school building by other faiths, the Society of Friends, as they called themselves, gave up and moved away. Many went south to Galveston County where they founded the town of Friendswood. Estacado became a ghost town. The Quakers elected Frank J. Brown their leader after the death of Paris Cox in 1888. After the loss of the county seat in 1891, the town began to disintegrate. The Quakers moved to Friendswood, Galveston Co, in 1893. Taken from the Rio Blanco Paper In 1886, J. W. Murray accepted the Quaker´s offer of land if he would move his newspaper to the town. Murray is remembered not only for his newspaper but for his mode of transportation; he preferred his high-wheeled bicycle called a velocipede, to a horse. In 1877, during peak years of the great buffalo slaughter, Paris Cox, a man who would leave his imprint on history in West Texas, made his way onto the Staked Plains with a party of buffalo hunters. when camping near the present site of Estacado (about 22 miles west of the Smiths) he became engrossed with the land an began investigating possibilities of organizing a settlement for his Quaker brethren. Cox had heard of the Smiths who had just settled at Mt. Blanco. He became acquainted with them and shared with them, his plans for the Quaker settlement. June 6, 1879, Cox agreed to pay Smith $3 per acre for breaking 23 acres of land for digging a well at $2 per foot in service footage and $5 per foot for the part that had to be walled at a designated location approximately 22 miles west of the Smiths´ Rock House. Fall 1879, Paris Cox and his family arrived in Crosby Co. with them came three families - the Hayworths, Stubbs and Sprays. From 1880 to 1890 settlers were primarily concerned with survival. The elements took their toil, some years leaving only enough crops to get the families by until the next season. Some moved on to new frontiers. Anson Cox - registered minutes of the Friends Church established in 1883 (it was called Estacado Monthly Meetings) School established 1882 in a dugout with 6 pupils taught by Miss Emma Hunt. 1881 Post office applied for under name of Maryetta and rejected as there was already a post office in Texas by that name. Name changed to Estacado. George Singer was appointed first postmaster Oct. 13, 1881. Post office was located in the general store. 1889 Central Plains Academy was created 2 yr. Junior college. County Seat 1886- George M. Swink County Judge, Paris Cox County and District Clerk, Thomas M. Lewis, Treasure; Felix Franklin, Sheriff and Tax Collector. Remained County Seat till 1891. Collapse several years of drought and poor crops, resurvey of land left several people without valid title to lands. Not as many opportunities for young Quakers. FM Rd. 1527

Link to: Photo tour around Estacado
Link to: Texas Handbook Online
Link to: Ghost Town
Link to: Christmas in Estacado
Link to: Wikipedia on Estacado

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