West of the teeming cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, lies the area known as Young County. Spanish Conquistadors explored this region. The Comanche and Kiowa Native American tribes laid claim to this land and were intent on seeing that the line of Anglo settlement did not push any farther west. In response, the US Army built a fort in 1851 on the Brazos River and named it Fort Belknap. The fort offered military protection and the area around Belknap began to fill up with more and more settlers and Young County was established in 1856. Two of the most famous incidents in Texas frontier history took place in Young County: the Elm Creek Raid and the Warren Wagon Train Raid.
Fort Belknap became the hub of a network of roads. The most famous of these was the Butterfield Overland Mail route which ran from St. Louis, Missouri to San Francisco. Towns began to spring up in Young County, including Graham in 1872, Olney in 1880, and Newcastle in 1908. Graham became the county seat. Cattle ranching became the mainstay of the early Young County economy and railroads came to the area during the first decade of the twentieth century. About the same time, oil began to reshape the county’s economy.
Today Young County combines the best of two worlds. It has all of the conveniences of modern America along with the charm and beauty of rural Texas. Throw in numerous concerts, tours, rodeos, art festivals and activities on the restored downtown square, and it’s easy to see why life in this unique place is so exciting and fulfilling.
Find out for yourself, come see us in Young County: Where the best of the Old West lives on in the New West.