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Frontier Texas is a history museum, gift shop and the official visitor center for Abilene and the Texas Forts Trail Region. Now Showing "Blood & Treasure on the Frontier"

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This month in Texas history

Date: May 20, 1885

On this day, Harrold, a railroad town in east central Wilbarger County, was officially platted. The settlement had been known as Cottonwood in the early 1880s, when it had a stage station and a store near China Creek. In 1884 the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway, building from the east, reached the area. The community was renamed to honor promoter Ephraim Harrold, who owned the nearby Bar-X Ranch. As the western terminus for the railroad, Harrold became an overnight boomtown. Prospective settlers were offered train rides from Wichita Falls and were welcomed to the town by a brass band. Within a year some 1,500 people had arrived. The spirited frontier town's numerous businesses included sixteen saloons. The boom days abruptly ended, however, when the railroad reached Vernon. Harrold remained a railroad shipping point and agricultural center with a population of several hundred.

Explore this exhibit: A Wild Land

13,000 Years of cultures smashed by the forces of this region

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