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Briscoe County is a small county located in the Texas Panhandle region. The county was established in 1876 and is named after Andrew Briscoe, who was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Here are seven interesting facts about the history of Briscoe County:

1. The first courthouse of Briscoe County was a dugout. In 1892, the county commissioners decided to build a courthouse, but they did not have enough funds to do so. A local rancher, W.T. Wellington, offered to provide the materials if the county would build a dugout. The commissioners accepted the offer, and the county's first courthouse was a dugout located in the town of Silverton.

2. Briscoe County was once the home of the oldest tree in Texas. The tree was a baobab tree that was brought to Texas from Africa in the 1800s. The tree stood in the town of Quitaque for more than a hundred years before it finally died in the 2010s.

3. The county has a rich Native American history. The area was once home to several Native American tribes, including the Comanche and the Kiowa. The town of Silverton is named after a Kiowa chief.

4. The first recorded tornado in Texas history occurred in Briscoe County. On May 11, 1898, a tornado hit the town of Whiteflat, killing two people and destroying several buildings.

5. The county was a major location for cattle drives in the late 1800s. Ranchers would drive their cattle through Briscoe County to get them to market in the east. The town of Silverton even had a cattle trail named after it, the Silverton Trail.

6. Briscoe County was once a popular hideout for outlaws. In the 1800s, the county was a lawless frontier where outlaws could easily hide from the law. The most notorious of these outlaws was Sam Bass, who operated in the area in the late 1800s.

7. The county was also home to one of the largest cattle ranches in the world. The JA Ranch, which was established in the 1870s by Charles Goodnight and John Adair, covered over a million acres of land and had over 100,000 head of cattle at its peak. Today, the ranch is a national historic site and is open to the public for tours.

In conclusion, Briscoe County has a rich and interesting history that is worth exploring. From its Native American roots to its lawless frontier days, the county has seen it all. Whether you are interested in cattle drives, outlaws, or tornadoes, Briscoe County has something to offer.

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