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Collingsworth County, located in the Texas panhandle, has a rich history dating back to the late 19th century. Here are 7 interesting facts about this unique county's past:

1. Origin of the Name - The county is named after James Collinsworth, a delegate to the convention that declared Texas's independence from Mexico in 1836. However, due to a clerical error, his last name was misspelled as "Collingsworth" on the county's founding document, and the error has never been corrected.

2. Historic Ranching - The county's main industry for much of its history was ranching, with large cattle drives passing through on their way to markets in Kansas and beyond. The famous XIT Ranch, once the largest in the world, included portions of Collingsworth County.

3. World War II History - During World War II, a prisoner of war camp was located in the county, housing German soldiers captured in North Africa. The prisoners were put to work on local farms and allowed to attend church and cultural events.

4. Political History - In 1910, a young farmer from Collingsworth County named James Ferguson was elected governor of Texas. He would later be impeached and removed from office, only to be elected again in 1924.

5. Historical Markers - The county is home to numerous historical markers, including one honoring the first woman elected as a county judge in Texas, and another marking the location of the first integrated school in the state.

6. Tornadoes - Like much of the Great Plains, Collingsworth County is highly susceptible to tornadoes. In fact, a tornado that struck the county in 1947 was one of the deadliest in Texas history, killing 81 people and injuring hundreds more.

7. Ghost Towns - The county is home to several ghost towns, including Quail, a once-thriving community that was abandoned in the early 20th century after a series of crop failures and droughts.

From its early days as a center of ranching and agriculture to its more recent history as a site of wartime prisoner camps and political intrigue, Collingsworth County has a fascinating and diverse past. Exploring its rich history can provide valuable insights into the evolution of Texas and the American West.

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