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PERRYTON, TX

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 Mead, 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 7,774 in 2000, when it had 467 businesses.

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

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

H. Allen Anderson, "PERRYTON, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hfp03), accessed July 31, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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