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Armstrong County, Texas facts for kids

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Armstrong County
The Armstrong County Courthouse in Claude
The Armstrong County Courthouse in Claude
Map of Texas highlighting Armstrong County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 610: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
Country  United States
State  Texas
Founded 1890
Seat Claude
Largest city Claude
 • Total 914 sq mi (2,370 km2)
 • Land 909 sq mi (2,350 km2)
 • Water 4.7 sq mi (12 km2)  0.5%%
 • Total 1,901
 • Density 2.1/sq mi (0.8/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 13th

Armstrong County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 1,901. Its county seat is Claude. The county was formed in 1876 and later organized in 1890. It was named for one of several Texas pioneer families named Armstrong.

Armstrong County is included in the Amarillo metropolitan area.


Native Americans

Paleo-Indians first inhabitants as far back as 10,000 BC. Apachean cultures roamed the county until Comanche dominated around 1700. The Comanches were defeated by the United States Army in the Red River War of 1874. Later tribes include Kiowa, Cheyenne.

County established and growth

Armstrong County was formed from Bexar County in 1876, and organized in 1890, with Claude as the county seat.

Charles Goodnight and John George Adair established ranching in the county. In 1876 Goodnight brought a herd of 1,600 cattle into the Palo Duro Canyon. The JA Ranch encompassed over a million acres (4,000 km²), including Armstrong County and five adjoining counties. The county land use was primarily ranch-related, even after the trickling in of homesteaders, for the remainder of the 19th century.

In 1887 the JA Ranch split up, giving way to a terminus for the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway. The first town from the ranch was Goodnight.

Landowner Robert E. Montgomery platted the town of Washburn, named after railroad executive D.W. Washburn.

The next year, railroad lines turned Washburn into a boom town. In the same year, Armstrong City was renamed Claude in honor of railroad engineer Claude Ayers.

In 1890, the two towns competed for County Seat, with Claude winning. Many scenes of the 1963 Paul Newman film Hud were filmed at Goodnight and Claude.

At the beginning of the 20th century, ranching began to share the land with cotton and wheat crops, although ranching remained the leading industry. The Great Depression had a severe effect on the county’s economy, and recovery took years. Ranches still occupied about 68 percent of the land in the county in 2005.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 914 square miles (2,370 km2), of which 909 square miles (2,350 km2) is land and 4.7 square miles (12 km2) (0.5%) is water.

Major highways

  • US 287.svg U.S. Highway 287
  • Texas 207.svg State Highway 207

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 31
1890 944 2,945.2%
1900 1,205 27.6%
1910 2,682 122.6%
1920 2,816 5.0%
1930 3,329 18.2%
1940 2,495 −25.1%
1950 2,215 −11.2%
1960 1,966 −11.2%
1970 1,895 −3.6%
1980 1,994 5.2%
1990 2,021 1.4%
2000 2,148 6.3%
2010 1,901 −11.5%
2019 (est.) 1,887 −0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1850–2010 2010–2014

As of the census of 2000, 2,148 people, 802 households, and 612 families resided in the county. The population density was 2 people per square mile (1/km2). The 920 housing units averaged 1 per square mile (0/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.44% White, 0.28% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 2.79% from other races, and 0.84% from two or more races. About 5.40% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 802 households, 33.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.20% were married couples living together, 6.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.60% were non-families. About 21.40% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county, the population was distributed as 26.00% under the age of 18, 6.10% from 18 to 24, 24.80% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 19.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,194, and for a family was $43,894. Males had a median income of $30,114 versus $21,786 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,151. About 7.90% of families and 10.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.80% of those under age 18 and 11.60% of those age 65 or over.



Unincorporated communities


The Claude Independent School District serves almost all of Armstrong County.

Three school districts headquartered in surrounding counties, Clarendon Consolidated Independent School District, Groom Independent School District, and Happy Independent School District, include small unincorporated portions of Armstrong County.

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