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Texas Plains Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Knox City


Knox City Downtown

ORIENT ON THE PRAIRIE

Knox City, located along the rolling plains in a region known as Knox Prairie and named in honor of Henry Knox, George Washington’s secretary of war in his first cabinet of 1793, missed its appointment as Knox County seat by a little more than a decade. The county, organized in the 1880s, had already selected nearby Benjamin long before Knox City arose in the first few years of the 1900s, established in anticipation of the arrival of the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railway. In fact, the community was first known as “Orient”, receiving a name change and its first cotton gin by 1905. Knox City developed in service to the railroad but agribusiness soon dominated the small economy through the first half of the 20th century. In 1965, Texas established its first seed-testing plant here.

Today, Knox City continues to facilitate the business of agriculture as well as petroleum. A drive through town will provide an entertaining tour of unique artworks including several murals, a block-long catalogue of Texas ranch brands as well as a posse of cowboys against a backdrop of stars and stripes, and a collection of tractors reimagined as fanciful sculptures.   


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