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Ochiltree County Creeks & Lakes

Source: The Handbook of Texas Online

BARTON CREEK
KIOWA CREEK
NORTHRUP CREEK
GILHULA CREEK
CHIQUITA CREEK
WOLF CREEK
LAKE FRYER
GIBSON CREEK
FIRST CREEK
PICKETT RANCH CREEK
PAT'S CREEK

BARTON CREEK

Barton Creek rises at the edge of timber brakes in southeastern Ochiltree County (at 36°05' N, 100°35' W) and flows south for eight miles to its mouth on the Canadian River, in northeastern Roberts County (at 35°59' N, 100°34' W).

The stream was formerly part of Henry Cresswell's Bar CC property and was probably named by him for his neighbors, the Barton brothers.

The terrain is flat to rolling with local escarpments. The soil, mostly thick, fine, sandy loam, supports hardwood forest, brush, and grasses.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Wheatheart of the Plains: An Early History of Ochiltree County (Perryton, Texas: Ochiltree County Historical Survey Committee, 1969).



KIOWA CREEK

Kiowa Creek rises southwest of Huntoon in northeastern Ochiltree County (at 36°25' N, 100°41' W) and runs northeast for nine miles into Lipscomb County, then continues for another eight miles through Darrouzett into Beaver County, Oklahoma, where it drains into the Beaver River (at 36°46' N, 99°54' W).

During its course the stream is fed by several tributaries. It traverses a low-lying area surfaced with loose sand that supports scrub brush and grasses.

Kiowa Creek was named for the Indian tribe that once roamed this area.

It was part of the Bar CC and Seven K ranch ranges.

The Jones and Plummer Trail crossed its upper portion in eastern Ochiltree County.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Wheatheart of the Plains: An Early History of Ochiltree County (Perryton, Texas: Ochiltree County Historical Survey Committee, 1969).



NORTHRUP CREEK

Northrup (or Northrun) Creek rises (at 36°06' N, 100°47' W) just north of Farm Road 281 in southern Ochiltree County and runs northeast for eleven miles to its mouth (at 36°13' N, 100°38' W) on Wolf Creek, just downstream from Lake Fryer.

The local terrain is flat to gently sloping and surfaced by loose sand that supports scrub brush and grasses.

The Jones and Plummer Trail crossed the upper waters of the stream, which was once part of the Bar CC ranges.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Wheatheart of the Plains: An Early History of Ochiltree County (Perryton, Texas: Ochiltree County Historical Survey Committee, 1969).



GILHULA CREEK

Gilhula (Gilaloo) Creek rises in eastern Ochiltree County (at 36°19' N, 100°38' W) and runs southeast for twelve miles to join Wolf Creek in western Lipscomb County (at 36°14' N, 100°28' W).

It traverses flat to rolling terrain with local escarpments and mostly deep, fine, sandy loam soils that support hardwood forests, brush, and grasses.

The area was at one time used by Pueblo Indians.

In early settlement days, before its springs dried up, the creek was a favorite location for swimming, fishing, and baptizing.

The name Gilhula is probably of Indian origin.

The stream was once on the Seven K Ranch.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Gunnar Brune,
Springs of Texas, Vol. 1 (Fort Worth: Branch-Smith, 1981). Wheatheart of the Plains: An Early History of Ochiltree County (Perryton, Texas: Ochiltree County Historical Survey Committee, 1969).



CHIQUITA CREEK

Chiquita Creek rises in northwestern Ochiltree County (at 36°24' N, 100°59' W) and runs north for seven miles into Texas County, Oklahoma, to its mouth on Huckleberry Creek (at 36°38' N, 101°00' W), a short distance above the point where their waters drain into the North Canadian River.

It rises in a barren area with shallow depressions surfaced by variable soils that support grasses and runs into flat to rolling terrain with local escarpments surfaced by deep, fine, sandy loam that supports brush, grasses, and limited hardwood forest.

A trail, thought to be part of the Tascosa-Dodge or a cutoff in flood periods to the Jones and Plummer Trail, ran along the eastern edge of the creek and on northeastward.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Wheatheart of the Plains: An Early History of Ochiltree County (Perryton, Texas: Ochiltree County Historical Survey Committee, 1969).



WOLF CREEK

Wolf Creek rises at the junction of its main and south forks in central Ochiltree County (at 36°18' N, 100°56' W) and flows east seventy miles across Lipscomb County, Texas, and central Ellis and northwestern Woodward counties, Oklahoma, to its mouth on the Canadian River (at 36°35' N, 99°30' W).

The surrounding terrain is typically flat with local escarpments. Brush and grasses grow in the mostly deep, fine sandy loam along its banks.

Evidences of pre-Columbian Indian habitation on Wolf Creek were discovered with the excavations of the "Buried City" in Ochiltree County. The Coronado expedition is thought to have come by the stream on its way to Quiviraqv in 1541, and Juan de Oñate's expedition reportedly camped there in 1601.

Hide hunters from Dodge City frequented the stream during the height of the great buffalo slaughter of the 1870s.

Some of the Panhandle's first Anglo pioneers, including Charles Dietrich, Ed Jones, Joseph Plummer, Dee Eubanks, Tom Connell, and the Barton brothers, settled along its banks.

Among the early ranching outfits that established their headquarters on or near Wolf Creek were the Cresswell (Bar CC), Seven K, and Box T. Lipscomb was founded near the stream in 1887.

The Wolf Creek Dam and Lake, which were washed away by floodwaters in 1947, were replaced by Lake Fryer in eastern Ochiltree County.



LAKE FRYER

Lake Fryer, originally known as Wolf Creek Lake, was formed by the construction of an earthen dam on Wolf Creek in eastern Ochiltree County (at 31°46' N, 95°42' W). After the county purchased the site, construction on the dam was begun in 1938 by the Panhandle Water Conservation Authority.

M. P. Exline was project manager, and Richard Marsh was chief engineer. About 200 people were employed, and funds were obtained from several federal government sources, including the Public Works and Works Progress administrations.

Twice during construction the rising creek threatened the partially built fill, but work crews were able to prevent any damage. The dam was completed by the late summer of 1940. During the next few years Wolf Creek Lake was used primarily for soil conservation, flood control, and recreation.

In 1947 a flash flood washed away the dam, but during the 1950s congressman Walter Rogers secured a deed to the county from the federal government in order to rebuild. After a bond election to obtain local funds, the dam was rebuilt in 1957, with M. J. Wolfrum as project engineer.

The reservoir was named Lake Fryer after James T. Fryer, an area pioneer rancher. During the 1980s the lake and the surrounding park were owned and operated by Ochiltree County and included a Girl Scout camp and other recreational facilities.

Abundant evidence of occupation by prehistoric people near Lake Fryer has been unearthed in a buried Pueblo city.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Gunnar Brune,
Springs of Texas, Vol. 1 (Fort Worth: Branch-Smith, 1981). Wheatheart of the Plains: An Early History of Ochiltree County (Perryton, Texas: Ochiltree County Historical Survey Committee, 1969).



GIBSON CREEK

Gibson Creek rises in southeastern Ochiltree County (at 36°05' N, 100°39' W) and runs northeast for ten miles to join Wolf Creek in western Lipscomb County (at 36°12' N, 100°32' W).

It traverses flat to rolling terrain with local escarpments, surfaced by deep, fine, sandy loams that support hardwood forests, brush, and grasses.

The great Panhandle drift fence crossed the upper portion of the creek, which once was part of the Bar CC and Seven K Ranch ranges.



FIRST CREEK

First Creek rises a mile from the Ochiltree-Lipscomb county line in southeastern Ochiltree County (at 36°21' N, 100°34' W) and runs southeast for eight miles to its mouth on Wolf Creek in Lipscomb County (at 36°15' N, 100°27' W).

The stream was on the route of the Jones and Plummer Trail and on the range of the Seven K Ranch.

First Creek traverses flat to rolling terrain with some local escarpments, surfaced by thick, fine sandy loam that supports mesquite brush and grasses.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Pauline D. and R. L. Robertson,
Cowman's Country: Fifty Frontier Ranches in the Texas Panhandle, 1876-1887 (Amarillo: Paramount, 1981).



PICKETT RANCH CREEK

Pickett Ranch Creek rises (at 36°06' N, 100°43' W) at the edge of the breaks in southern Ochiltree County and runs south for eight miles to its mouth (at 35°59' N, 100°43' W) on the Canadian River, in north central Roberts County.

The terrain is flat to rolling with local escarpments.

Brush and grasses grow in the mostly deep, fine, sandy loams along the banks of the creek.

The stream was once part of Henry W. (Hank) Cresswell's Bar CC ranges.



PAT'S CREEK

Pat's Creek rises in southwestern Ochiltree County (at 36°04' N, 101°03' W).

Two branches, Pat's Creek (formerly known as Walker Creek) and the East Fork of Pat's Creek, flow together and then join the Canadian River (at 35°57' N, 100°58' W) to the south.

Most of the creek, including its two forks, lies within Roberts County.

The distance from the source of each fork to the confluence with the Canadian is about six miles.

The creek flows through flat to rolling terrain where sandy loams support brush and grasses.

The area was once part of Henry Cresswell's Bar CC Ranch range.

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This page was last updated January 9, 2014.