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Mitchell County Library

Introduction

Mitchell County is located in the prairie of west central Texas, bounded on the east by Nolan County, on the south by Sterling and Coke counties, on the west by Howard County, and on the north by Scurry County Colorado City, the largest town, is in the northeastern part of the county, roughly 229 miles west of Fort Worth. Communities in Mitchell County include the county seat, Colorado City, Loraine, Westbrook and Buford.

The area was named for Asa and Eli Mitchell, prominent participants in the Texas Revolution. The Missouri Pacific Railroad runs east to west across the county, through Colorado City. The 1800s was a period of settlement in the region with the coming of the railroad. In the early 1880s the Texas and Pacific Railway was built through the county to Colorado City, and by 1881, the day the first train arrived, the town's population had reached 300. By 1882 four railroad stations had been established in the county. The railroad led to an instant boom in Colorado City; between 1881 and 1885 the town grew rapidly in population and prosperity.

In 1881 the Colorado Courant, a weekly paper, began publication. Ranches were established in different parts of the county. Within a four-year period Colorado City emerged as a major shipping center to rival Dodge City and Abilene as a cattle town. By 1884 it had several saloons and beer parlors, scores of general stores, lawyers, doctors, and a population of about 3,000.

By 1900 Colorado City had lost its prominence as a cattle town, and the previous commercial importance of Mitchell County had passed. Ranching remained at the center of the local economy, but farmers were beginning to establish themselves in the area. Cotton and sorghum dominated the economy up until the Great Depression. These two crops are still the main source of agricultural revenue in the area and ranching remains a major industry in the area.

Historical, Current, and Future Roles of the Library

Historically the library has played the following roles in the community: life-long learning, free and equal access to information and a community meeting place. The library currently plays those roles in addition to providing educational and recreational materials, current topics and titles and free public computer access. In the future the library would like to be a source for local history and genealogy, formal education support center and a career and workforce development.

Existing Programs

The library has a number of existing programs. These include: regular story time for pre-school aged children, Summer Reading Program, regular art displays, Summer Reading Program for teens, exam proctoring, and Interlibrary Loan.

Identified Needs

The following were identified as community needs: no after school child care, no public day care only in-home, shortage of moderately priced homes and a need for more industry and jobs. An outdated city infrastructure hinders new housing development and industry attraction.

Identified needs of the library include: more children’s programs, nursing home outreach, community outreach and GED classes.

Identified Assets

The following were identified as community assets: a number of civic organizations in town, a local radio station, newspaper, cable company, an active chamber of commerce, a hospital and senior citizens’ center. As the county seat, Colorado City attracts many people from the surrounding community. The Scott-Majors House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is in Colorado City.

Thank You Statement

The library would like to thank the Mitchell County Commissioners Court for the opportunity to participate in the University of North Texas PEARL project. Without their approval and support we would not be able to offer the new children’s program described in our Outreach Plan. The Library Director would like to thank all the staff and Library Board for their hard work, dedication, and support for this project. The library would also like to thank the Robert & Ruby Priddy Charitable Trust for funding this project.

Location

Mitchell County Public Library
340 Oak Street Colorado City, TX 79512-6213
United States
32° 23' 21.5376" N, 100° 52' 5.8512" W
AttachmentSize
mitchell_county_library.pdf336.06 KB
Keywords: 
Summer Reading Program, Regular art displays, Exam proctoring, Interlibrary Loan

Location

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