The first White settlers arrived on the South Plains in 1879. They settled in the area of what is now the Lubbock and Crosby County line.
That small settlement existed many years, becoming the origin of farming on the South Plains. In the years that followed, the cattle industry expanded until the discovery of shallow waters made the land too valuable for grazing cattle.
Ranchers sold their land at 25-times what they paid for it. Farmers took over and cut open the land to plant cotton, grain, and other crops.
In 1902, there were only four bales of cotton produced in the entire county. That number grew to 100,000 by 1932 and today, Lubbock County produces between two million and three million bales of cotton annually. In fact, this area is the largest, contiguous cotton-growing region in the world.
Over at Texas Tech, the International Textile Center in the College of Ag-Sciences is working to make better use of that cotton, and other natural fibers.