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Palo Pinto County

Group of racoons near water

Palo Pinto County is the first true Wild West county west of the Metroplex, boasting large legacy ranches that have been in these families over 100 years. Visitors unfamiliar with this county will be blown away by Palo Pinto County’s tall mountains and deep rushing creeks and rivers. Elevations climb from 850 to 1,450 feet above sea level in the county, with annual rainfall above 30 inches.

Palo Pinto County boasts the Brazos River, the tall Palo Pinto Mountains, Possum Kingdom Lake and vast opportunities for recreation a little over an hour out of the Metroplex. You have to see the beauty of this county to believe it.

Many Native tribes made their name here through the years as did huge ranching concerns, Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight possibly the most famous ranchers from that time. There were six known different groups of Native Americans living along the Brazos River in the 1850s, living largely in peace with their Anglo ranching neighbors. As Anglo influxes grew, conflict grew alongside.

The Brazos Indian Reservation was founded in 1854, housing Delaware, Shawnee, Tonkawa, Wichita, and Caddo tribe members. Anglo settlers back then often attributed Indian attacks to reservation Natives, even though these attacks were often free-ranging Comanches or Kiowas off the reservations farther north in the Indian Territories. Extreme acts of violence from both sides litter the area’s oral and written histories.

The first (and current) county seat was established at Golconda, now called the city of Palo Pinto. The first courthouse was established in 1857 and cost $300. Just off the county square, Palo Pinto county history is showcased in one of the finest frontier museums in the state. Definitely worth a stop.

Strawn boasts Mary’s Café, world famous for their chicken-fried steak to all Texans everywhere. License plates from around the nation can be found in Mary’s parking lot, a center of society and friendship to many coming through (and living in) this great region.


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