Hockley County

Hockley County, Texas

Hockley County, Texas

The Hockley County Courthouse is located in levelland, Texas, the county seat. Photograph by Aualliso.
Hockley County, Texas

Hockley County, Texas

Map of Hockley County, Texas. Map Credit: Robert Plocheck.

Hockley County is in northwestern Texas, south of the Panhandle and on the Llano Estacado, bordered on the east by Lubbock County, on the south by Terry County, on the west by Cochran County, and on the north by Lamb County. The center of the county lies at approximately 33°36' north latitude and 102°21' west longitude, thirty miles west of Lubbock. The county, named for George W. Hockley, comprises 908 square miles of generally flat land that drains to numerous playas, the Yellow House River, and Yellow House Lake. Elevations range from 3,300 to 3,650 feet above sea level. Soils vary from clay loam to sandy loam, with most of the latter in the western and southern regions. Grasses include buffalo, grama, and mesquite. Yellow House Canyon cuts into the northern part of the county and is mostly grass-covered, although sand hills and gravel deposits occur. The canyon, once a tributary of the Brazos River, is one of the most salient landmarks on the South Plains; it takes its name from high, yellow bluffs near its head. The annual rainfall in Hockley County averages 16.6 inches; the temperature varies from average minimum of 24° F in January to an average maximum of 93° in July; the growing season lasts 196 days. The county's economy produces an average annual income of $71 million from agriculture, 70 percent of which comes from crops that include cotton, sorghums, wheat, soybeans, corn, hay, and sunflowers. The rest comes from cattle, hogs, and sheep. Irrigated land totals about 200,000 acres. In 1982 oil production in Hockley County totaled more than 39,000,000 barrels, worth $1,203,962,293. Petroleum processing, the manufacture of oilfield equipment, processing of vegetable oil, and cattle feeding are industries complementing the area's large oil production. Major roads are U.S. Highway 385 and State Highway 303 (north to south), and State Highway 114 (east to west).

In prehistoric times Folsom man hunted in the area. Spanish explorers ventured into or near Hockley County during the sixteenth century, and in the early eighteenth century the Comanches displaced the Apaches in the region. Much of the history of the area revolves around Yellow House Canyon. The Comanches, hunting buffalo and attacking enemies, watered at the springs in the canyon for decades before White men took an interest in the region; the canyon lay along a north-south trail between New Mexico and Mexico. In 1879 a squad of Texas Rangers led by Capt. George W. Arrington found Yellow House Canyon during a fierce blizzard. Without the help given them by John and Thomas L. Causey, who were hunting buffalo in the area, the soldiers might have starved. In 1881 the canyon lay on a mail route from Colorado City to Fort Sumner, New Mexico; by this time the Indians had been removed by the United States Army.

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John Leffler | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Currently Exists


Place type

Hockley County is classified as a County

Altitude Range

3300 ft – 3730 ft


Land area does not include water surface area, whereas total area does

  • Land Area: 908.4 mi²
  • Total Area: 908.6 mi²


January mean minimum: 26.1°F
July mean maximum: 91.6°F

Rainfall, 2019

19.8 inches

Population Count, 2019


Civilian Labor Count, 2019


Unemployment, 2019


Property Values, 2019

$2,905,611,158 USD

Per-Capita Income, 2019

$38,975 USD

Retail Sales, 2019

$244,214,086 USD

Wages, 2019

$151,602,820 USD

Hockley County

  • Hockley County
Place Type Population (Year/Source) Currently Exists
Town 883 (2021) Yes
Town 5 (2014) Yes
Town 6 (2014) Yes
Town 10 (2009) Yes
Town 11 (2009) Yes
Town 20 (2014) Yes
Town 20 (2009) Yes
Town 12,665 (2021) Yes
Town 20 (2014) Yes
Town 4 (2014) Yes
Town 50 (2009) Yes
Town 217 (2021) Yes
Town 30 (2009) Yes
Town 30 (2009) Yes
Town 418 (2021) Yes
Town 20 (2009) Yes
Town 433 (2021) Yes
Town 1,265 (2021) Yes
Town 73 (2021) Yes

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