Graham, TX


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Graham is a city in north central Texas. It is the county seat of Young County, and as of the 2010 Census had a population of 8,903.
The site was first settled in 1871 by brothers Gustavus A. and Edwin S. Graham, primary shareholders in the Texas Emigration and Land Company of Louisville, Kentucky. The brothers moved to Texas after the Civil War, and after buying 125,000 acres (510 km2) in then-vast Young County, helped to revitalize the area, the population of which had become badly depleted during the war. The Grahams purchased a local saltworks in 1872, and after new families started to arrive, began promoting the sale of homesites. A post office opened in 1873, and after Young County reorganized the following year, Graham became the county seat. The town's newspaper, known as the Leader and still in existence today, was first printed in 1876, the same year that the first temporary courthouse was built. Other businesses from these early years included a gristmill, sawmill, cotton gin, a brick kiln, two hotels, and several stores.
On February 15, 1877 the city was the site of the organizational meeting of the group that became the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, created to police ranching and put a stop to cattle rustling. Founding officers included pioneer ranchers James C. Loving (son of Oliver Loving), Col. C.L. (Kit) Carter, and C.C. Slaughter. A three-story limestone courthouse was built in 1884, and it was destroyed by fire in the early 1930s. The 1884 structure's east door still stands on the courthouse square. From 1879-1896, Graham was the seat of a Federal District Court overseen by Dr. J.E. Ryus; his jurisdiction extended over all of Texas north and west to New Mexico. By 1900, Graham had incorporated as a town, and railroad service began in 1903 when the Chicago, Rock Island and Texas line arrived from Fort Worth. The town's population grew slowly until 1917, when oil was discovered nearby; the population tripled from 878 in 1900 to 2,544 in 1920. By 1966, Graham had seventeen churches, seven schools, a hospital, a radio station, two libraries, three parks, and two newspapers. The population peaked at 9,170 in 1980 and has since gradually declined; it was 8,716 at the 2000 census and 8,518 by the July 2007 estimate.