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1973 Time

Clay County was organized from Cooke County in 1857, but due to Indian raids, it was abandoned. The 12th Legislature of Texas authorized its reorganization in 1872. The first "Commissioners Court Minutes" of record was November 24, 1873.

On September 14, 1973, a time capsule was dedicated on the west side of the courthouse to commemorate Clay County's first hundred years. Residents from throughout Clay County placed letters, newspapers, and memorabilia in the capsule to be opened in 2023.

After inspecting the time capsule in May of 2023, it was determined to open it without fanfare to ensure the contents were not damaged, especially since the concrete holding the capsule had cracked.

Sadly, the sheet metal container had a hole rusted in the top and was half full of water. County staff were able to remove the contents and begin the salvage operation. Everything salvageable was dried, scanned to PDF, and saved online for public viewing.

The links on this page will take you to what we were able to save. 

Rawhide and Ruffles was a presentation by Clay County residents that depicted the history of Clay County.


We found many letters and documents that were written to those of us in 2023.  Some were to grandchildren and others were from the 1973 second grade class to the 2023 second grade class.

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There were several newspapers of the day in the capsule.  When the capsule was opened, most were melted together due to the water.  These are the ones that survived.

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Based on the fact that the concrete container for the time capsule was cracked, it was decided to open the capsule without fanfare to confirm that the contents were intact.  

Several courthouse staff members worked to recover what was salvageable and then scan the documents that you see on this page.


Stamps, coins, photos and other misc. items were recovered as well.

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