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In the summer of 1890, Thomas Braidfoot claimed land that would become the city of Silverton, naming the town for the reflections of nearby lakes. Beating out the communities of Linguish and Tarlton, Silverton was elected as the county seat of Briscoe County. The agriculture-based community was hit by a major tornado in 1957, but rebuilt and saw its highest population in 1964 of 1,164 residents.