Evidence exists of ancient people roaming the Panhandle Plains as early as 6000 B.C., and archaeological remains show the presence of the Anasazi people more than a thousand years ago; more recently, the county was home to Apache and Comanche tribes until the mid-1870s; but the modern history of the town of Andrews and Andrews County began in the mid-1800s. Like most towns in this region, Andrews relied on the cattle trade through the end of the 1800s and until oil was discovered in the 1920s. Both industries continue to be important to the area today.
Both county and city are named for the same man, Richard Andrews. He was the first soldier to die in the Texas Revolution. Wounded in Gonzales on October 2, 1835, he died 26 days later at the battle of Concepcion.
According to the Handbook of Texas, 1908 is the year things got started around a nucleus of just a school and a general store. The entire population was less than 100 at that time and few of them lived in the city proper.
Shafter Lake was Andrews rival to become county seat, but Andrews won and Shafter Lake is now a ghost town. Growth was slow and things stayed quiet until oil was discovered in 1929. That year saw oil discoveries all over West Texas but the strikes were modest compared to other counties.
The City of Andrews was incorporated on February 2, 1937 and is the only incorporated municipality in Andrews County. The City of Andrews continues to be a progressive, forward-thinking community and the county seat for Andrews County.
The early years were very busy ones for the city fathers. Decisions and actions were taken that affect the present community government and services.
A good water supply was one of the keys to Andrews' future. In 1957 the city shared costs with the school district and the County of Andrews in employing E. L. Reed, a consulting geologist out of Midland, to do the exploration work for a water supply. The end result of his study was the University of Texas water field located northeast of the city. The city currently has a storage capacity of 5 million gallons of water.
Andrews has emerged from a small ranching center of a few hundred people to an active community with over 10,000 population.
Courtesy Andrews County Heritage Committee, 1978