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1854
The area is first survyed by the Texas Emigration and Land Company
1856
Mable Gilbert (1797-1870) patented 155-1/2 acres in Wichita County south of Gilbert Creek, where it emties in to the Red River.
1857
Gilbert moves his family to Wichita County, becoming the first Anglo family to settle here.
1858
The Texas Legislature creates Wichita Count. Since it is unsettled, and governmental jurisdiction is given to Clay County
1858
Because of Indian raids in the area, Gilbert moves his family to Montague County. The next year he moves back to Wichita County, then in 1862 back to Montague due to the loss of troop proetection during the Civil Warr. In 1867 he moves back to Wichita County. In 1870, whil on a trip to Gainesville, Gilbert is stricken with pneumonia and dies. The family moves to Gainesville.
1871
The Waggoner Ranch, of Wise County, first grazes cattle on "free grass" in Wichita County. In 1873, the Waggoner Ranch headquarters are moved to Wichita County. This ranch continues to be the largest ranch in Wichita and Wilbarger Counties.
1874
Samuel Burk Burnett begins to graze his cattle in Wichita County, attracted by the "free grasslands". Cattle would remain the dominat industry in the county until the mid-1880's.
1876
John A. Scott's heirs plat out the original townsite of Wichita Falls,
1877
The Bantas Ranch is established on Beaver Creek
1878
Bullard and Cables esablish Toksana, a stage stand and post office in the northern part of the county.
1879
J.H. Barwise moves his family to Wichita County, settling in what would become Wichita Falls, the city's first resident.

J.G. Hardin and J.P. Hawkins settled near present day Burkburnett. A small community developed and was known as Nesterville. This came from the term the cowboys used for farmers moving into the area - nesters.

1882
The citizens of Wichita County petition to separate from Clay County and establish their own county government. Also this year, the railroad reaches Wichita Falls, opening the door for new settlers and a way to move goods to other markets. This marks the change from the dominance of cattle to farming and other buisness operations.

A post office was established at Hardin's store in Nesterville, and the town's name was changed to Gilbert, in honor of the area's first settler, Mabel Gilbert.

1883
Wichita Falls is elected as the county seat.
1888
A post office was establised on land developed by D.C. and A.J. Kolp, who had come to Wichita County for Iowa. The town as platted by D.C. Kolp. The post office was named Iowa Park, and from this the new town received its name.
1902
A small community had developed on the western edge of the county, mostly employees of the Waggoner Ranch. The community had been referred to as Waggoner, for the ranch, and Beaver or Beaver Switch, which the railroad had designated for the depot and rail switch located there. This led to confusion because there was another city in Texas called Waggoner and one in nearby Oklahoma called Beaver. The citizens petitioned the unoffical mayor to change the name, and Electra was chosen in honor of the sister of W.T. Waggoner, Electra Waggoner.
1906
Kemp and Kell, the industrial visionaries of Wichita Falls, saw a need for a rail line from Wichita Falls to the farms of Oklahoma. In buying land for the railroad, they purchased the land of current day Burkburnett from Samuel Burk Burnett, who was moving his ranching operations to west Texas. In 1907, city lots were sold and the town was named Burkburnett by Samuel Burke Burnett, an honor given to him for purchasing the first town losts in the city.
1911
Oil was struck in Wichita County, near Electra, as well as in Petrolia, nearby in Clay County. This was to mark the beginning of the oil boom in the county. In 1917, oil was discovered in Burkburnett. This was at the beginning of World War I, and oil was in high demand. Burkburnett became a boomtown overnight, with hundreds of wildcatters and others looking for quick riches poured into the area staking claims and purchasing leases to find "black gold".





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