Search billions of records on Ancestry.com

Ochiltree County Towns

Source: The Handbook of Texas Online

PERRYTON, TEXAS
OCHILTREE, TEXAS
GROGAN, TEXAS
JINES, TEXAS
CRESSWELL, TEXAS
TWICHELL, TEXAS
BULER, TEXAS
NOTLA, TEXAS
FARNSWORTH, TEXAS
WAKA, TEXAS
HUNTOON, TEXAS
BOOKER, TEXAS

PERRYTON, TEXAS

Perryton is on U.S. Highway 83 in northern Ochiltree County. It was named after George M. Perry, an early county judge, who had been involved in the disastrous Enid, Ochiltree and Western railroad scheme. Perryton was founded in 1919 and designated the county seat. Most of the early settlers were former citizens of Gray, Oklahoma, and Ochiltree, Texas, who moved to the new Spearman branch of the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway.

When Perryton was incorporated, the citizens adopted a mayor-council form of city government. Advertisements soon attracted farmers and related businesses, and by 1920 the community had a population of 2,000. Two leading businessmen, Charles E. Whippo and Fremont Meat, built modern water and electrical distribution plants, which they later sold to the city.

Five grain elevators had been erected by 1925, and by 1930 the community's population numbered over 2,500. Since Perryton was a designated mailing station between Amarillo and Wichita, Kansas, an airport was constructed near the city dump in 1932; it became known as the "Sewer-Side Airport."

In 1951 Perryton adopted a council-manager form of city government. In addition to its importance as an agribusiness center, the city received a further economic boost in the 1950s with the successful drilling of oil and gas reserves nearby. New buildings, including three schools, a fire station, a city hall, a police station, a county jail, and a library, were built at Perryton between 1957 and 1968.

A hospital and a nursing home were also opened in 1968. In the mid-1980s Perryton's industries included creameries, oilfield services and equipment manufacturing, a trailer manufacturer, farm-machinery distributors, and cattle feedlots. The yearly Ochiltree County Fair is an important local event.

In 1907 remains of a buried Indian settlement were discovered eighteen miles southeast of Perryton, and archeological investigation began in 1919.

The population of Perryton increased from 4,399 in 1950 to 7,991 in 1984. In 1990 it was 7,607.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

F. Stanley [Stanley F. L. Crocchiola], The Perryton, Texas, Story (Nazareth, Texas, 1975). Wheatheart of the Plains: An Early History of Ochiltree County (Perryton, Texas: Ochiltree County Historical Survey Committee, 1969). H. Allen Anderson



OCHILTREE, TEXAS

Ochiltree, on State Highway 70 nine miles south of Perryton in central Ochiltree County, was established in 1885 and named for a Texas politician and Confederate officer, William B. Ochiltree. The post office opened in September 1886, and the town was elected county seat when the county was organized in 1889.

Population growth was sporadic, but by 1915 Ochiltree had a population of 500, a bank, a school, and two or three churches. It also had two newspapers, the Eagle Investigator and the Ochiltree News, and a community orchestra organized by the James Whippo family.

Chautauquas, movies, and automobile races also provided recreation. On September 23, 1909, the Enid, Ochiltree and Western Railroad Company began construction on a railroad to connect Ochiltree and Dalhart. The section from Dalhart to Dumas was graded, but only 13.7 miles of track were laid before the company failed.

The Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway came through the area in 1919 but missed Ochiltree by several miles. The same year, the town of Perryton was established on the railroad eight miles north of Ochiltree and was elected the new county seat.

The citizens of Ochiltree moved their homes and businesses to Perryton. After 1920 Ochiltree was an unorganized community. The post office was discontinued in September 1921.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Millie Jones Porter, Memory Cups of Panhandle Pioneers (Clarendon, Texas: Clarendon Press, 1945). Wheatheart of the Plains: An Early History of Ochiltree County (Perryton, Texas: Ochiltree County Historical Survey Committee, 1969). H. Allen Anderson



GROGAN, TEXAS

Grogan was centered around a school and a post office in northeastern Ochiltree County. Although there is some doubt as to its exact location, the community was probably on land settled before 1901 by Leona Grogan, who had moved with her parents, James Gaston and Caroline (Gober) Grogan, to Ochiltree County from Shackelford County and had homesteaded 160 acres of land north of the site of present Perryton, on the state line.

Leona Grogan taught school on her land in the 1901-02 school year, and in September 1903 a post office was established with Leona as postmistress. Known throughout the county for her progressive teaching methods, Miss Grogan taught at the Ochiltree community school and other schools in the area.

She married Henry Coffee in 1909. After living on her homestead for a time, they moved to Ochiltree and then to Perryton after the railroad came through the area.

Compounding the confusion concerning the Grogan community's location, one Perry A. Grogan (probably no relation to Leona) moved in 1901 to Ochiltree County and established a ranch and homestead on four sections of land northwest of Ochiltree in the central part of the county.

A combination school and church was erected and was much used by area farmers and ranchers. A late blizzard in March 1907 killed 700 cattle, after which Perry Grogan sold his claim and moved his family to Amarillo. The community of Grogan continued with some ten residents, and its post office remained in operation until November 1915.

With the construction of the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway and the rise of Perryton, the Grogan townsite, along with that of Ochiltree, was eventually abandoned.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Ed Ellsworth Bartholomew, 800 Texas Ghost Towns (Fort Davis, Texas: Frontier, 1971). Wheatheart of the Plains: An Early History of Ochiltree County (Perryton, Texas: Ochiltree County Historical Survey Committee, 1969). H. Allen Anderson



JINES, TEXAS

Jines, in southern Ochiltree County, was named for the brothers Alfred M. and Sherman Jines. Originally from Illinois, the Jines brothers had already enjoyed success as ranchers and real estate promoters in western Kansas and Sherman County, Texas.

In 1894 the brothers bought choice land on Wolf Creek south of Ochiltree and soon built up their cattle herds. Seeking to start a new town, they established a post office in December 1895, with Sherman as first postmaster. From 1896 to 1901 A. M. Jines served as Ochiltree county sheriff.

The brothers' plans suffered a setback when severe weather in the winter of 1902-03 temporarily depleted their livestock herds. Although the brothers eventually recovered financially, their townsite failed to develop, and in November 1905 the post office was discontinued.

A. M. Jines then opened a real estate office in Ochiltree, and both brothers continued ranching and banking successfully. After Perryton was founded in 1919, the Jines family made it their home and center of operations.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

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



CRESSWELL, TEXAS

Cresswell was on Wolf Creek about two miles west of the Ochiltree County Cemetery in central Ochiltree County. The town was founded in 1887 by brothers Gus, John, and Edward P. Klapp, and named for Henry Whiteside Cresswell, on whose Bar CC range the site was located.

Richard S. Cutter and his sons brought in lumber from Dodge City and elsewhere to construct several frame buildings and to open a lumberyard there. Cutter also began the first Sunday school in the area. John Klapp served as the town doctor, and his brother Ed opened a general store.

In addition, Ed and his wife, Hannah, planted a cherry orchard and built a greenhouse for vegetables. A post office was established at the Klapp store in November 1888. Cresswell was in the running against Ochiltree to become county seat in 1889, but began to decline after railroads came to the area.

By January 1897 its post office had been discontinued. Some of the buildings constructed by the Cutters were moved to Ochiltree or sold for ranchhouses, and Cresswell was abandoned.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Pauline D. and R. L. Robertson, Cowman's Country: Fifty Frontier Ranches in the Texas Panhandle, 1876-1887 (Amarillo: Paramount, 1981). Wheatheart of the Plains: An Early History of Ochiltree County (Perryton, Texas: Ochiltree County Historical Survey Committee, 1969). H. Allen Anderson



TWICHELL, TEXAS

Twichell, on State Highway 15 in northern Ochiltree County, was founded as a stop on the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway in 1919. It was named after Ginery Twichell, president of the railroad.

In 1940 Twichell had a store, a school, and twenty-five residents. By 1960 it had a store, a grain elevator, and fifty residents. Only the elevator and railroad depot remained in 1980, when Twichell listed twenty-two residents.

Mail was received from Perryton, five miles to the southwest, and students were bused to school there. The Perryton-Ochiltree County Airport was nearby. In 1990 twenty-two residents were still reported.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

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



BULER, TEXAS

Buler, on State Highway 70 in south central Ochiltree County, was named for Davis H. Buller, who owned and operated a store there for several years.

A local post office was established in June 1922 with Buller as postmaster, but it was discontinued at the advent of rural mail delivery from Perryton in November 1924.

In 1940 Buler reported a population of twenty-five, but by 1950 its store had ceased operation, depriving the community of its center.

In the 1980s a grain elevator stood about two miles south of the townsite at the intersection of State Highway 70 and Farm Road 281.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

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



NOTLA, TEXAS

Notla, on Farm Road 281 in the southeast corner of Ochiltree County, began in 1906, when Bud Westerfield and Frank L. Hamilton purchased land in that vicinity. That fall Westerfield and his family built a house, a barn, and a camphouse for transients.

Since the site was on the freight route between Canadian and the ranching area around Ochiltree, it was originally dubbed Half-Way.

In 1916 Hamilton, who was part owner of the Alton Grocery Company of Enid, Oklahoma, moved his family out to the land he had bought a decade earlier. There he farmed and later opened a store and filling station.

In 1920, when the Hamiltons applied for a post office, the name Notla was chosen as a reversed spelling of the Alton company. Established initially at the Hamiltons' house, the post office was shortly afterward moved to the store. By that time several families had moved into the vicinity to farm.

The Hamiltons continued to operate the store until February 1944, when they sold their farm and moved back to Enid. The post office was discontinued in October of that year, but the store remained in business until about 1950.

From 1940 to 1990 Notla reported a population of twenty.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

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



FARNSWORTH, TEXAS

Farnsworth, on State Highway 15 ten miles southwest of Perryton in west central Ochiltree County, was established in 1919 when the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway arrived.

Ranchers had begun settling this area in the early 1880s, and by 1900 had established a school and community called Olds. A post office was established at the site in 1905 and initially named Nogal, but in November 1906 the name was changed to Rogerstown.

The present post office dates from 1920 and was named for H. W. Farnsworth, director of the railroad. Population estimates have fluctuated between a low of twenty, first recorded in 1925, and a high of 200 in 1949.

In 1947 Farnsworth had five businesses, two churches, and two schools.

In 1984 the community had six businesses and an estimated population of 149, which was still the population figure reported in 1990.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

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



WAKA, TEXAS

Waka, on State Highway 15 twenty-two miles southwest of Perryton in west central Ochiltree County, was settled in 1885 by German immigrants and was first called Wawaka. A post office was located in the home of the founder, J. N. Stump, from 1901 to 1919.

In the latter year Burnside, a stop on the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway three miles north of Wawaka, was laid off as a townsite and shipping point for area farmers. In order to be on the railroad, residents of Wawaka (including the Stump family) moved their post office to the Burnside site.

By 1921 the Burnside community had been renamed Waka.
However, the post office did not officially assume the new name until 1927.

The population was 200 in 1930 and 150 by 1947, when the community had three businesses, two churches, and a school.

In 1980 and 1990 Waka had a population of 145 and four businesses.
Many of the Stump family's descendants still reside in the vicinity.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Kathleen E. and Clifton R. St. Clair, eds., Little Towns of Texas (Jacksonville, Texas: Jayroe Graphic Arts, 1982). Wheatheart of the Plains: An Early History of Ochiltree County (Perryton, Texas: Ochiltree County Historical Survey Committee, 1969). Claudia Hazlewood



HUNTOON, TEXAS

Huntoon, on State Highway 15 in northeastern Ochiltree County, was laid out in 1919 on the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway and named for Joel M. Huntoon, a former director of the railway.

A general store and a grain elevator were built in 1927, but by 1933 the store had closed.

A post office operated in Huntoon from 1921 until the 1930s.

In 1948 the school was discontinued, when Booker, five miles east, absorbed part of the school district.

In 1984 and 1990 Huntoon had a population of twenty-one and no businesses.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

A History of Lipscomb County, Texas, 1876-1976 (Lipscomb, Texas: Lipscomb County Historical Survey Committee, 1976). Texas Almanac, 1984-85. H. Allen Anderson



BOOKER, TEXAS

Booker, at the intersection of State highways 15 and 23, in northwestern Lipscomb County, originated seven miles to the northwest in 1909 as La Kemp, Oklahoma.

The town, including the post office, was moved piecemeal from Oklahoma to Texas in 1919, when the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway was extended from Shattuck, Oklahoma, to Spearman, Texas. The new townsite was platted in August 1917 by Thomas C. Spearman and named for B. F. Booker, a civil engineer with the line.

By 1920 the town had grain elevators, cattle-shipping pens, a bank, a school, three churches, and a population of 600. By 1929 modern utilities had been installed. Due to the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, Booker's population decreased from 495 in 1930 to 386 in 1940.

But by 1949 agricultural recovery, new farming techniques, and oil exploration had caused the population to increase to 1,500.

In 1984 the town had 1,219 residents and fifty-two businesses. In addition to its farm and ranch economy, after 1956 Booker greatly benefited from local oil and gas production. A new sewage plant was completed in 1966, and a new hospital and clinic were built in 1973. The town is incorporated.

In 1990 it had a population of 1,236 and reached into Ochiltree County.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Mrs. Lowell Bowdle and Mrs. Mason Lemons, eds., Dimensions of Progress: Fiftieth Anniversary of Booker, Texas, 1919-1969 (1969). A History of Lipscomb County, Texas, 1876-1976 (Lipscomb, Texas: Lipscomb County Historical Survey Committee, 1976).

H. Allen Anderson

Back

This page was last updated January 9, 2014.