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Donley County Archives

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About Donley County

Donley County, in the eastern Panhandle just east of the Llano Estacado, is bordered on the north by Gray County, on the west by Armstrong County, on the east by Collingsworth County, and on the south by Briscoe and Hall counties.

It was named for Stockton P. Donley, a pioneer lawyer. Clarendon, the county seat, is near the center of the county, seventy miles southeast of Amarillo.

The county occupies 929 square miles of rolling prairie and broken rangeland. Its sandy clay, deep loam, and sandy loam support a variety of native grasses as well as cotton, grain sorghum, wheat, and corn.

The area that is now Donley County was part of the domain of the Plains Apaches until the eighteenth century, when Comanches and Kiowas entered the region. Several Spanish and American explorers came through the area; in 1787 Pedro Vial crossed the county, and in 1788 Santiago Fernández followed Vial's route.

The first group of settlers, Methodists from the New York area, moved into Donley County intending to set up a colony. The colonists were sponsored and led by Lewis Henry Carhart, a young Methodist minister, who purchased 343 sections of the newly formed Donley County and established his colony at the junction of Carrol Creek and the Salt Fork of the Red River.

By 1890, 1,056 people were living in Donley County, and the population increased to 2,756 by 1900. This growth can be attributed to the expansion of ranching, railroading, and, after 1890, farming.

By the 1980s Donley County had become an agricultural center based on both cattle raising and farming, with supplemental income from the college, the lake, and some small distribution companies. The county produces a small amount of natural gas.

The majority of the population lives in towns; local communities include Ashtola, Hedley, Howardwick, and Lelia Lake. Clarendon is the county's largest town and its seat of government, and supports the Saint's Roost Museum.

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Donley County Resources

Bibliography
Biographies
Cemeteries
Census Records
Churches
Clarendon College
County History
County Libraries
County Lookups
County Postcards
Creeks, Lakes, & Rivers
Historical Markers
Land Abstracts

Landmarks
Links
Maps
The Panhandle of Texas
Photographs
Postmasters & Post Offices
Queries
Ranches
S. S. Death Index
Texas Courthouses
Texas Historical Literature
Texas Prehistory
Towns

Hedley High School, Graduating Class - 1913/14

Donley County Rootsweb Resource Page
TXGenWeb Alphabetical Counties List
USGenWeb Special Projects

World War I Civilian Draft Registration

 

Obituaries
Indexed by town, including
Clarendon, Hedley, and Lelia Lake.

Donley County Obituaries - 2003

Source: Amarillo Globe-News

 

Citizens Cemetery Transcription
transcription submitted by Paula Hayworth
updates submitted by Billie Shaffer

Citizens Cemetery Tombstone Photos

 

Donley County Mailing List Surname Project

 

1880 Census Records for Donley County
~ submitted by Billie Shaffer ~

World War I and World War II
Texas Panhandle Casualties
and Missing in Action

World War I

World War II

Source: Amarillo Globe-News

NARA -- Access to Military Service and Pension Records

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the official repository for records of military personnel who have been discharged from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard.

Donley County Birth Records

1926

1927

1928

1929

1930

1931

1932

1933

1934

1935

1936

1937

1938

1939

1940

1941

1942

1943

1944

1945

1946

1947

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1953

1954

1955

1956

1957

1958

1959

1960

Donley County Marriage Records

1966

1967

1968

1969

1970

Donley County Death Records

1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975
1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987
1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998  

Texas Panhandle Ranches

Ranches.org is home for several
Texas panhandle ranches.
Included on the site, which is
maintained by rancher Jay O'Brien,
are
biographical sketches,
ranch histories, and information
about the
McLean Feedyard.

Ranches included are:
The Swamp--O'Brien Ranch,
the JA, The Circle,
and the
Exell Ranch.

Biographies include:
John G. O'Brien, G.W. O'Brien,
Will O'Brien, Exie Eagan O'Brien,
James Christopher Paul,
and
Howard Paul.

Donley County Family Genealogies

Rufus Rankin Reed Family
submitted by Anita (Tucker) Poole

Cherry Family
submitted by
Shelly Kay Eitniear-Cherry

Rampy Family
submitted by Donnas Admire

Freeman Family
submitted by Billie Harris Shaffer

Harris Family
submitted by Billie Harris Shaffer

Risley Family
submitted by Billie Harris Shaffer

If you would like to submit your Donley County Family Genealogy for inclusion on the page, please send it as an e-mail attachment to me at TimeTrvlrO@aol.com.

Plain text-only (.txt) formatting is preferred.

Your genealogy does not have to be exclusive to Donley County, but your family should have been residents of the county for a period of time.

Donley County Mailing List

Topics of genealogical and historical
significance to Donley County are discussed,
as well as queries of local interest.

To subscribe, send the command subscribe
(and nothing else) to
TXDONLEY-L-REQUEST@rootsweb.com.

Neighboring Counties

Donley County

HELLO - WELCOME!

My name is
LaRae Halsey-Brooks, and my daughter,
Eireann Brooks, and I are the County Co-Coordinators
for the Donley County TXGenWeb Project. 

If you would like to contribute your research findings 
or volunteer in another capacity 
for the Donley County TXGenWeb Project page, 
please let us know.

Thanks!
LaRae & Eireann

If you are interested in sponsoring a county
in the TXGenWeb Project,
or have questions regarding the TXGenWeb Project, 
please contact:

TXGenWeb State Coordinator -
Shirley Cullum
Asst State Coordinator - Christina Palmer
Asst State Coordinator - Carla Clifton

For more information, you may also visit 
the
Texas Counties page.

If you like what you've seen here, please cast your vote.
County of the Month
Thank you!

Thank you for your continued contributions 
to the Donley County TXGenWeb Project!

Billie Harris Shaffer

Donley County Co-Coordinators:
LaRae Halsey-Brooks & Eireann Brooks



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This page was last updated July 4, 2014.

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