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Texas County


The Texas County Courthouse is the historic courthouse serving Texas County, Oklahoma, located in the city of Guymon. The building is a four-story red brick structure; its fourth floor used to function as a jail but due to the new jail being built it is now used for storage. The courthouse was designed by Maurice Jaynes using classical styles and built by the Kriepke Construction Co., a prominent builder in Oklahoma, for $200,000. Opened in 1927, the courthouse received praise from local newspapers in its first decade and came to symbolize the success and growth of the Oklahoma Panhandle. On August 24, 1984, the courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places.


historic courthouse pic

Texas County was formed at Oklahoma statehood (16 November 1907) from the central one-third of "Old Beaver County". When the formation of the county was authorized by the Constitutional Convention of 1907, the county was so named because it was wholly included within the limits of the Texas Cession of 1850, whereby the ownership of the area was passed from the State of Texas to the United States Government. From 1850 to 1890, its lands were never attached to any state or territory, never surveyed, and never divided into townships and sections like the eastern counties were. From 1890 to 1907, it was part of Beaver County.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,049 square miles (5,310 km2), of which 2,041 square miles (5,290 km2) is land and 7.4 square miles (19 km2) (0.4%) is water. It is the second-largest county in Oklahoma by area. The county lies in the High Plains of the Great Plains physiographic region. It is generally flat, but has some rolling hills. It is drained by the North Canadian River, often called the Beaver River in this area. Tributaries of the river are Coldwater, Hackberry, Goff, Teepee, and Pony creeks.

Cattle raising was the most important economic activity before and after statehood. Farming rose in importance after the 1890s. Despite the occurrence of the Dust Bowl these two sectors have recovered and prospered. By 1990, Texas County led the state in producing grain sorghums, with 4.2 million bushels, or one-quarter of the state's harvest, and was the state's fourth-largest wheat-producing county, harvesting 10.3 million bushels. By 1997 it was the state's top producer of both hogs and cattle.Petroleum exploration began in 1922 and resulted in natural gas production from the Hugoton-Panhandle Field. The county remains the nation's largest producer of natural gas.

The Oklahoma Legislature created the Pan-Handle Agricultural Institute in 1909, offering secondary agricultural education for the Panhandle area. In 1921, the legislature changed the name to Panhandle Agricultural and Mechanical College and authorized the school to offer a two-year curriculum. In 1925, the State Board of Agriculture authorized upper division college courses, and in 1926, junior and senior level courses were added. The school name has been changed twice since then, to Oklahoma Panhandle State College of Agriculture and Applied Science (OPSU) in 1967 and to Oklahoma Panhandle State University in 1974.The school is in Goodwell.

Communities in Texas County consist of the cities of Guymon and Hooker, the towns of Goodwell, Hardesty, Optima, Texhoma, and Tyrone and the unincorporated communities of Adams, Baker, Eva, Four Corners, Hough, Mouser, and Muncy. - Click here to read more

County Statistic
1907 founded in
Guymon, OK Seat
22,081 Population /2013/
2,049sq/mi total area

What is County Government?

Counties are one of America's oldest forms of government, dating back to 1634 when the first county governments were established in Virginia. Ever since, county governments continue to evolve and adapt to changing responsibilities, environments and populations. Today, America's 3,069 county governments invest nearly $500 billion each year in local services and infrastructure and employ more than 3.3 million people. Most importantly, county governments are focused on the fundamental building blocks for healthy, safe, resilient and vibrant communities:

  • Maintain public records and coordinate elections
  • Support and maintain public infrastructure, transportation and economic development assets
  • Provide vital justice, law enforcement and public safety services
  • Protect the public's health and well-being, and
  • Implement a broad array of federal, state and local programs

No two counties are exactly the same. County governments are diverse in the ways we are structured and how we deliver services to our communities. The basic roles and responsibilities of our county governments are established by the states, including our legal, financial, program and policy authorities. Under "Dillon" rules, counties can only carry out duties and services specifically authorized by the state. Meanwhile, home rule or charter counties have more flexibility and authority.

In general, county governments are governed by a policy board of elected officials (often called county board, commission or council). Nationally, more than 19,300 individuals serve as elected county board members and elected executives. In addition, most counties also have a series of row officers or constitutional officers that are elected to serve, such as sheriffs, clerks, treasurers, auditors, public defenders, district attorneys and coroners.


With permission. Original Source Oklahoma State University, County Training Program


historic courthouse pic

Texas County was formed at Oklahoma statehood (16 November 1907) from the central one-third of "Old Beaver County". When the formation of the county was authorized by the Constitutional Convention of 1907, the county was so named because it was wholly included within the limits of the Texas Cession of 1850, whereby the ownership of the area was passed from the State of Texas to the United States Government. From 1850 to 1890, its lands were never attached to any state or territory, never surveyed, and never divided into townships and sections like the eastern counties were. From 1890 to 1907, it was part of Beaver County.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,049 square miles (5,310 km2), of which 2,041 square miles (5,290 km2) is land and 7.4 square miles (19 km2) (0.4%) is water. It is the second-largest county in Oklahoma by area. The county lies in the High Plains of the Great Plains physiographic region. It is generally flat, but has some rolling hills. It is drained by the North Canadian River, often called the Beaver River in this area. Tributaries of the river are Coldwater, Hackberry, Goff, Teepee, and Pony creeks.

Cattle raising was the most important economic activity before and after statehood. Farming rose in importance after the 1890s. Despite the occurrence of the Dust Bowl these two sectors have recovered and prospered. By 1990, Texas County led the state in producing grain sorghums, with 4.2 million bushels, or one-quarter of the state's harvest, and was the state's fourth-largest wheat-producing county, harvesting 10.3 million bushels. By 1997 it was the state's top producer of both hogs and cattle.Petroleum exploration began in 1922 and resulted in natural gas production from the Hugoton-Panhandle Field. The county remains the nation's largest producer of natural gas.

The Oklahoma Legislature created the Pan-Handle Agricultural Institute in 1909, offering secondary agricultural education for the Panhandle area. In 1921, the legislature changed the name to Panhandle Agricultural and Mechanical College and authorized the school to offer a two-year curriculum. In 1925, the State Board of Agriculture authorized upper division college courses, and in 1926, junior and senior level courses were added. The school name has been changed twice since then, to Oklahoma Panhandle State College of Agriculture and Applied Science (OPSU) in 1967 and to Oklahoma Panhandle State University in 1974.The school is in Goodwell.

Communities in Texas County consist of the cities of Guymon and Hooker, the towns of Goodwell, Hardesty, Optima, Texhoma, and Tyrone and the unincorporated communities of Adams, Baker, Eva, Four Corners, Hough, Mouser, and Muncy. - Click here to read more