County Seat: Andrews • County Population: 14,786
County Judge: Richard H. Dolgener
- Barney Fowler
- Brad Young
- Hiram Hubert
- Jim Waldrop
Organized in 1910, Andrews County was named for Richard Andrews, the first man to die in the Texas Revolution, killed in 1835 in the Battle of Concepcion.
The inaugural county capitol, a frame courthouse erected in 1911, offered a cupola and countryside view.
In his book, “The Texas Courthouse Revisited,” June Rayfield Welch offers a storied glimpse into the selection of the county seat. Logically speaking, Shafter Lake was the initial choice. However, a local named R.M. Means set out to prove Andrews was the best choice.
Shafter Lake’s promoters had given away lots, and one explanation offered for Means’ energetic opposition was that his wagon broke down on the way to Shafter Lake, and arriving late he was refused a free lot…Using Shafter Lake tactics, Means gave lots in Andrews to cowhands, qualifying them as property-owning voters and friends of Andrews. After Andrews won, Means donated land for the courthouse square.
Oil activity spurred a population bounce in the 1950s, making Andrews the fastest-growing town in 1956. As told by Welch, neighborhood schools built for first-graders were named Bo Peep, Peter Pan, Jack Horner, Jack and Jill and Cinderella.
Andrews, located in the geographic center of the oil-rich Permian Basin, has continued to build to accommodate explosive growth in the oil industry. Andrews produced its 2 billionth barrel in 1980, and its 3 billionth barrel in 2012.
As part of Andrews County’s Centennial Celebration in 2010, history buffs, area students, and members of the community gathered in May for the unearthing of two time capsules in front of the Andrews County Courthouse. The first capsule was buried in 1960, and the second in 1985.
Items from 1960 included catalogues, coins, Jubilee Bells buttons, telegrams, letters, photos, and fashions of the day, to name a few.
The second capsule dated 1985 included 45 items as listed by the Time Capsule Ceremony Committee. The capsule housed newspaper clippings, financial statements, Camp Fire Boys & Girls patches, coins, photos, lapel pins, business cards, fishing and hunting licenses, and a letter from President Ronald Reagan, among other items. Andrews County buried another time capsule, to be opened 25 years later.