Childress, the county seat of Childress County, is at the junction of U.S. highways 287, 62, and 83, in the central part of the county. The town is named for George C. Childress, author of the Texas Declaration of Independence. It developed out of two separate townsites, Childress City and Henry, which were platted about four miles apart on land previously occupied by the OX Ranch. When Childress County was organized upon the arrival of the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway in February 1887, the two towns contested for the position of county seat. In the first election, held on April 11, 1887, Childress City, which already had three businesses, won the honor. A wooden courthouse was built under the supervision of Amos J. Fires, the "Dean of the Panhandle Lawyers." However, the Donley County Court (to which Childress County was attached for judicial purposes at the time) canvassed the election and declared it illegal. R. E. Montgomery, the railroad's right-of-way and townsite agent, had always favored Henry as the county seat because of the rougher terrain at Childress City, which he claimed would prevent the railroad from building a depot there. Significantly, he had also purchased half the property in Henry. After the court's action, Montgomery proposed that the railroad give those owning lots in Childress City lots in Henry. Furthermore, when Henry was chosen county seat in another election, the company offered to change the name of Henry to Childress. Fires and his associates agreed to this compromise, and the businesses and residences were moved to the new Childress by September 1887.
Childress at a Glance
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Childress by the Numbers
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|6,195||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|6,105||2010||Texas Demographic Center|
|6,778||2000||Texas Demographic Center|
|5,055||1990||Texas Demographic Center|
|5,817||1980||Texas Demographic Center|
|5,408||1970||Texas Demographic Center|
|6,399||1960||Texas Demographic Center|
|7,619||1950||Texas Demographic Center|
|6,434||1940||Texas Demographic Center|
|7,163||1930||Texas Demographic Center|
|5,003||1920||Texas Demographic Center|
|3,818||1910||Texas Demographic Center|
|692||1900||Texas Demographic Center|