Channing, the seat of Hartley County, is located on the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway in the southeastern part of the county. Of all the Panhandle towns associated with the XIT Ranch, only Channing can truly claim that it developed directly from that enterprise. It derived its original name, Rivers, from George Channing Rivers, paymaster of the railroad when it built through the county in the spring of 1888. Since the name Rivers duplicated that of another Texas town, the name was changed to Channing later that year. At the time that Willis D. Twichell platted its business district in 1891, Channing was general headquarters of the XIT. Albert G. Boyce, the ranch's general manager and a prominent early citizen, built the first house in the town. Boyce's "Poor Farm," the Rita Blanca Division headquarters, was less than two miles south of town. When Tascosa was abandoned, several of its businesses were moved to Channing. By 1900 Channing had two lumberyards, two general stores, a school, and a grocery store, which also housed the post office. Although the town initially had several saloons, these were later voted out. Two elections, one in November 1896 and the other in May 1903, were required for Channing to replace Hartley as county seat. The original frame courthouse was moved to Channing on wheels by a group of XIT cowboys and was transformed into a hotel when the brick courthouse was built in 1906. Two years later, the local women's club established a public library, one of the earliest in the Panhandle.
Channing at a Glance
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Channing by the Numbers
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|281||2020||United States Census Bureau|
|337||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|363||2010||United States Census Bureau|
|356||2000||United States Census Bureau|
|277||1990||United States Census Bureau|
|304||1980||United States Census Bureau|
|336||1970||United States Census Bureau|
|390||1960||United States Census Bureau|
|300||1950||United States Census Bureau|
|475||1940||United States Census Bureau|
|500||1930||United States Census Bureau|
|475||1920||United States Census Bureau|
|204||1900||United States Census Bureau|