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Montague Co. Coordinator:
Jeff Kemp
TXGenWeb State Coordinator:
Shirley Cullum
Assist State Coordinators:
Carla Clifton & Jane Keppler
 
 
The state legislature established the county on Christmas Eve in 1857. The following year, on August 2, 1858, the county was formally organized with its present boundaries carved from Cooke County. The new county was named for Daniel Montague, surveyor of the Fannin Land District and veteran of the Mexican War. Only three villages existed in the county at the time, and none of them was near the geographic center of the county. So an uninhabited area at the appropriate location was identified as the county seat and also named in honor of Daniel Montague. At the time the area of Montague County had less than 1,000 residents. A slight majority of these inhabitants had immigrated from the upper South, primarily Tennessee but also from Kentucky and Arkansas. A substantial number arrived from north of the Mason-Dixon line, mostly farmers from Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. As a result of this immigration pattern, the county did not reproduce the slaveholding plantation society that characterized the state. This in part explains the position Montague County took when voters rejected secession 86 to 50 in 1861. The 849 residents, including thirty-four slaves, may have been more concerned with preserving their lives than the union.

If Texas joined the Confederacy, federal troops would withdraw from the Red River area. Government soldiers provided the only protection from Indian raids, and their removal would leave the underpopulated county exposed to attacks from Indians who far outnumbered them. The next fifteen years confirmed their fears, as Indian raids forced farmers to abandon their homes. In 1863, for example, an Indian attack wiped out the community of Illinois Bend. The end of the Civil War did not resolve the problem. Bands of Comanche and Wichita Indians continued to harass the county until the mid-1870s. As a result of these raids, in 1870 only 890 residents had settled in the county. During the first few years of the 1870s, however, an organized effort successfully drove the Indians from the county, allowing the governor in 1878 to pronounce that Montague County was no longer a frontier county. As the number of Indian raids decreased, the number of settlers increased. By the early 1880s the population was 11,000. The abundance of grasslands had attracted cattlemen as early as the late 1860s. In the fall of 1867 Montague County was the last Texas county crossed by the Chisholm Trail before it entered Indian Territory. For the next twenty-five years county residents concentrated their efforts on cattle raising, as a result farms produced forage for livestock and food rather than cultivating a cash crop.
(info from: http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hcm16)

Surrounding Counties:

Marshall Co. OK Cotton Co, OK Jefferson Co. OK Love Co. OK Palo Pinto Co. TX
Clay Co. TX Cooke Co. TX Grayson Co. TX Jack Co. TX Wise Co. TX
Dallas Co. TX Denton Co. TX Collin Co. TX Parker Co, TX Tarrant Co. TX
         
   
 
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