City of Wellington, Texas
Wellington, the county seat of Collingsworth County, is on U.S. Highway 83 in the south central part of the county. When Collingsworth County was organized in September 1890, Pearl City, two miles to the north of Wellington, was expected to be chosen county seat. However, land promoters from Childress County favored Wellington over Pearl City. They persuaded J. John Drew and Henry J. Nesper, manager and foreman, respectively, of the Rocking Chair Ranch in the northeastern part of the county, to urge the Rocking Chair cowboys to vote for Wellington. In addition, they offered the voters in the county five town lots each if they would choose Wellington. Wellington won the election by a vote of fifty-six to thirty-two. The legislature validated the election, despite the fact that Wellington had not received the two-thirds majority necessary for a county seat to be located more than five miles from the center of the county. The townsite of Wellington was the product of three promoters: E. T. O'Neil, John S. McConnell, and John W. Swearingen. They named it for the duke of Wellington because a relative of the earl of Aberdeen, who was one of the Rocking Chair's owners, had been with the duke at Waterloo. The first permanent building was a saloon moved by A. F. Swafford from Pearl City in 1891. A post office, with Mrs. Carrie Barton as postmistress, was granted at the same time. Mail was delivered by hack from Memphis. Two general merchandise stores were established. J. W. Koons taught the first school on the second floor of one of the stores. In 1893 a permanent county courthouse was completed. It was built of bricks baked at a kiln on Buck Creek, seven miles west of town near the homesite of the county's first resident, I. N. Bowers, who had settled there in 1876. By 1893 Wellington had five businesses, including O'Neil's two-story hotel, a church, and a separate schoolhouse. In 1898 Swafford's saloon was closed when the county voted dry.
Wellington at a Glance
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Wellington by the Numbers
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|1,896||2020||United States Census Bureau|
|2,044||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|2,189||2010||United States Census Bureau|
|2,275||2000||United States Census Bureau|
|2,456||1990||United States Census Bureau|
|3,043||1980||United States Census Bureau|
|2,884||1970||United States Census Bureau|
|3,137||1960||United States Census Bureau|
|3,676||1950||United States Census Bureau|
|3,308||1940||United States Census Bureau|
|3,570||1930||United States Census Bureau|
|1,968||1920||United States Census Bureau|
|576||1910||United States Census Bureau|