Attracted by the fertile soil of the Brazos River valley, settlers came to the area in 1855. A legislative act in 1856 formed Palo Pinto County and specified that the county seat, to be named Golconda, be located within five miles of the center of the county. In 1857 the community's name was changed to Palo Pinto. The first courthouse was built in 1857at a cost of $300; a two-story jail was erected in 1858. During the 1870s, Palo Pinto became established as a ranching center. The original courthouse was replaced by a native sandstone building in 1881. The town was on the Fort Griffin-Weatherford stage line, which crossed the Brazos River at Oaks Crossing. A ferry on the Brazos was replaced by a bridge in 1895. Palo Pinto was the county seat and only town in the county in 1880, but that year it was bypassed by the Texas and Pacific Railway. In 1940 a new courthouse replaced the 1881 structure.