Established in 1881 as Eagle Flats, Vernon is the county seat for Wilbarger County, which borders the Red River. The county was named for Josiah Wilbarger, a man famous both for being an early surveyor and as one of very few men to survive being scalped. Vernon is home to the headquarters of the huge W.T. Waggoner Ranch. It is a commercial center for rich farming, ranching and oil area with industries involved in agricultural supplies and processing, seed propagation, textiles, meat packing, cottonseed and alfalfa milling. About 15 miles north is Doans Crossing is one of the most famous historic cattle crossings on the Red River.
The city is home to Vernon Regional Junior College and the Santa Rosa Palomino Club, a precision equestrian riding club, which has been proclaimed by the Texas Legislature as Texas Ambassadors on Horseback.
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