Ranching and Farming in Hale County - Hale Center, Hale County, Texas
Directions: from Hale Center, take I-27 South about .5 miles to road side marker
Marker #: 5189004179
Year Dedicated: 1985
Size, type: 27" x 42"
Last reported condition: None; Good
Ranching and Farming in Hale County - Pioneer ranchers began to settle Hale County in the early 1880s. Land was plentiful and cheap, but life was hard. Many settlers lived in dugouts. Supplies were freighted from Colorado City until the railroad reached Amarillo. Cattle roamed the free grazing land until round-up time, when they were separated according to brands. Ranchers earned extra income by selling buffalo bones for fertilizer, working on the railroad, or hiring out to larger ranches. Many worked at the Circle Ranch of Col. C. C. Slaughter, which covered land in four counties. Other significant ranches included the Callahan, Barton, and Norfleet ranches. When the public land was gone and free grazing ended, the larger ranches were divided into smaller tracts. The transition from ranching to farming was difficult. By the early 20th century, wheat farming and dairy production began to replace ranching operations. The Dust Bowl and Depression of the 1930s brought new hardships. Soon after World War II, however, a high percentage of the cultivated acreage in Hale County was under irrigation. This allowed for crop diversification with high yields of grain sorghum, corn, soybeans, wheat, vegetables, and livestock production. Cotton has become the leading cash crop. 1985
Decimal degrees:  N 34.048441   W -101.853535
Degrees, minutes: N 34 02.906   W 0101 51.212
UTM: Zone 14, Easting 236591, Northing 3771201
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