Parker County, in north central Texas, is bounded on the north by Jack and Wise counties, on the east by Tarrant County, on the south by Hood and Johnson counties, and on the west by Palo Pinto County. The county's center point is at 32°40' north latitude and 97°40' west longitude. Weatherford, the county seat, is thirty miles west of Fort Worth. The county was named for Isaac Parker. It covers 902 square miles of undulating to hilly land; elevations range from 700 to 1,200 feet above sea level. The county's gently rolling plains, situated mostly in the Rolling Timbers vegetation region, are covered by tall grasses, mesquite, and oak. Elm, walnut, and pecan trees are common along streams and valleys. The sandy loams found in the Cross Timbers part of the county are drained by the Brazos River; the eastern and central parts of the county are within the Grand Prairie region and are drained by the upper tributaries of the Trinity River. Lakes Weatherford and Mineral Wells provide recreational facilities as well as municipal water. Temperatures range from an average high of 96° F in July to an average low of 34° in January, and rainfall averages slightly more than thirty-two inches a year. The average growing season lasts 225 days. In 1982, 74 percent of Parker County was in farms or ranches, with about 12 percent of the farmland under cultivation. About 74 percent of the county's agricultural income that year derived from livestock and livestock products; dairy products were an important component of the local economy. Hay, oats, wheat, peanuts, sorghum, watermelons, and peaches were also grown in the area. Mineral resources included natural gas, sand, gravel, bituminous coal, and limited amounts of oil. In 1982, almost 32,601,000,000 cubic feet of gas-well gas, almost 307,000,000 cubic feet of casinghead gas, and about 140,000 barrels of oil were produced in the county. In the 1980s the county's transportation network included Interstate Highway 20 (east to west), U.S. Highway 180 (east to west), and State Highway 171, which ran south from Weatherford. The county was also served by the Missouri Pacific Railroad and by the Weatherford, Mineral Wells and Northwestern Railway.
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