Channing, Texas

Channing, Texas

The The XIT Ranch office is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a popular landmark in Channing, the seat of Hartley County, Texas. Photograph by Billy Hathorn.

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.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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Place type

Channing is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Rivers)


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Channing by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
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