in a Pecan Shell
Like many of the small towns along highway 287, Harrold was born with
the arrival of the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway in 1884. Previously
the community had been known as Cottonwood. The town was renamed
after local rancher Ephraim Harrold. Harrold (the town) became the
western terminus for the railroad and prospered as a result. The town
was granted a post office in 1885. Promotion was vibrant and within
a year the town had 1,500 new citizens - making it a boom town and
acquiring the reputation that came along with it. At one time the
town boasted (quietly) that it had 16 saloons.
But nothing lasts and when the railroad extended to Vernon,
Harrold shrank back into a typical railroad shipping point town of
several hundred citizens. A second (minor) boom occured in 1924 when
oil was discovered just outside of town.
The population of Harrold actually increased during the Great Depression
- from 349 in 1929 to 375 by WWII.
The population remained there into the 1950s and started a decline
as people left for larger cities. It has since grown back - returning
to 320 people for the 2000 census.
Photo Courtesy Ken
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