County Seat: Dickens • County Population: 2,444
County Judge: Lesa Arnold
- Precinct 1: Dennis Wyatt
- Precinct 2: Ricky West
- Precinct 3: Charlie Morris
- Precinct 4: Sheldon Parson
The Dickens County Courthouse was built in 1893 in a Romanesque Revival style as designed by E.L. Aiken. An addition was completed in 1936 followed by several remodeling projects, one as late as 1970.
Organized in 1891, Dickens County was reportedly named after a victim of the Alamo, but historians have been unable to find records of a “J. Dickens.” However, documents did reveal a James R. Demkins and a James R. Dimpkins, so the resulting Dickens was likely a combination or variance of the two names.
A historic, big-ranch county, Dickens sits on the Rolling Plains of West Texas just below the Cap Rock. The community’s original ranches included Spur (Swenson), Matador and Pitchfork. While the other two have been divided into smaller properties, the Pitchfork remains intact. The county has maintained its rural lifestyle, with many families residing on farms and ranches scattered across the landscape.
Spur, the largest town in the county, is home to several of the area’s primary employers including South Plains Electric Cooperative, Cap Rock Telephone Cooperative, Spur ISD, and Dickens County Correctional Center, to name a few.
The history behind the county seat of Dickens is referenced in the Dickens Springs Historical Marker text as detailed in the following excerpt:
John A. Askins and his family settled near these springs in late 1883, and it became known to pioneers as Askins Springs. A traveling real estate developer called Dr. M. S. Crow arrived here in 1891 and was a driving force in the organization of the town of Dickens about a half-mile west of the Askins land. In 1891 he gave a speech proclaiming his intent to give ten acres around “Crow Springs,” as he called them, to the town of Dickens. The new city park became known as Dickens Springs. Generations of Dickens citizens and tourists, attracted by the rugged and colorful scenery and the unique collection of plants, have visited this site for picnics and social gatherings…In the 21st century, Dickens Springs continues to provide water and beauty to the area for modern visitors as it did for the nomadic peoples of the past.