It's more than a greeting.....it's our way of life.
DICKENS, at one time headquarters for a cattle empire all its own, is still cattle country. It was the supply point for the Espuela Land and Cattle Company; the old Spur Ranch that passed out of existence several years ago. It was also headquarters for the Pitchfork Land and Cattle Company.
DICKENS is centrally located in DICKENS COUNTY, eight miles below the escarpment of the Llano Estacado (below the Caprock). It was a ranch supply point for an area where the first settlements were dugouts used as cowboy line camps for the Spur, Pitchfork, and Matador Ranches. In 1886 there was a camp near the present townsite and by 1889 Dickens was settled. The town became the county seat shortly after the county was organized and by 1893 had a post office, wagon yard, hotel, courthouse, saloon, blacksmith shop and a barber shop. The school was in a dugout on the courthouse square. Preaching was also held in the dugout.
In 1890 the county had a population of 195 and most of the people lived in and around Dickens. Soon after 1900, Dickens had a population of 600, the most it has ever had. There was a decline before World War II but when the boys came back home the town took a new growth with the building of new homes and businesses. This lasted for a few years with another downward surge following. In 1964 the town was voted wet and a new upward surge began with a population of 430. Highway 82 runs through the center of Dickens and has helped the town's businesses do well. As of 1997 the town shows another decline with population around 325.
DICKENS has a beautiful rustic setting against the base of red cedar hills that gives a cozy mountainous atmosphere. The people of Dickens are warm and friendly and move at a little slower pace.
Ya'll come to see us!
Dickens County Historical Commission
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