Texas Plains Trail Region

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


Photo by Rick Vanderpool

The so-called Beef Bonanza spread like wildfire across the plains during the 1880s, attracting European investors eager to profit from Western cattle. But sometimes drought and declining markets turned cattle booms into busts. After the Spur Ranch proved unprofitable, entrepreneur E. P. Swenson and associates bought the sprawling spread in 1907 to subdivide for sale to settlers. The speculators arranged rail connections in 1909, and the new town of Spur began to grow. The state even established a Texas Agricultural Experiment Station that pioneered many agricultural advances. Spur celebrated its centennial by dedicating the sculpture of a giant spur in Dyess Park. That cowboy symbol now sits beside the symbol of an Indian, a giant arrow protruding from the ground, marking Spur as a member of the Texas Plains Trail region’s Quanah Parker Trail. The Spur-Dickens County Museum boasts one of Chief Quanah's headdresses, along with other mementoes of pioneering and ranching eras. Just north of town, a 1936 granite historical marker recalls the 1870s supply camp called Anderson's Fort, which supplied Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie’s troops in their pursuit of Quanah Parker’s warriors.