City of Crosbyton
In 1901, Julian Bassett, general manager and part owner of the C.B. Livestock Company, marked an “X” on the ground with the heel of his boot near the center of a 90,000 acre ranch. He told his four partners, the Coonleys of Chicago, “This will be Crosbyton!” The location was near the West Texas Caprock in Crosby County. The town site was actually laid out seven years later and the first lots were sold in February 1908.
Since its beginnings on the ranch, Crosbyton has regularly re-shaped and re-imagined itself. It actively campaigned to become the County Seat in 1910. The current courthouse was built in 1914.
In 1910 the people of Crosbyton voted to back Julian Bassett with money and land on a proposal to build 40 miles of standard track and to buy cars and engines to serve the community. Track was laid into Crosbyton and on April 13 1911, the first train set out carrying passengers of the Crosbyton South Plains Railroad.
In 1938, the City of Crosbyton began construction on its home owned light and power plant. It served the city’s electrical needs for many years. Public dreams led to a swimming pool and the Crosby County Pioneer Memorial Museum complex in the 1950’s.
Such forward thinking also was behind the establishment of a reservoir located on White River south of the city. Crosbyton joined with Spur, Post, and Ralls in making applications to the Texas Water Development board, securing land, and passing a bond for the construction of a dam. The dam was completed in 1963; and in 1966 four communities were tied into the system.
In the 1970’s land was secured for a sanitary land fill, an industrial park, and the Crosbyton Municipal Airport. Solar energy came to Crosbyton in 1976 when the U.S. Department of Energy signed a $2.5 million contract with Texas Tech for the study and construction of a solar dish on the site 2 1/2 miles south of Crosbyton.
In the 1980’s the County Library was moved from the basement of the Courthouse to a new facility on the square. The limestone building was a community funded project. Crosbyton also rallied to help the community hospital retire some of its debt and remain an important part of the community.
Rural areas experienced a dramatic population change in the 1990’s. The Prairie Ladies, a non-profit organization, rallied the citizens to save the downtown buildings. Today, those rescued buildings offer shopkeepers a unique heritage, a picturesque downtown. Old buildings continue to reveal the past from cryptic messages written on walls to beautiful windows uncovered.
The new century saw the insurgence of wind energy companies into Crosby County. The wind fields still in development provide tax revenue for the county and for local schools. The wind turbines are changing the skyline. And Crosbyton, Crosbyton continues to re-imagine itself for this century.