City of Dalhart, Texas

City of Dalhart, Texas

City of Dalhart, county seat of Dallam County. Photograph by Billy Hathorn.
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Map of Dallam County

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Map of Hartley County

Dalhart, the county seat of Dallam County, straddles the border of Dallam and Hartley counties in the northwest corner of the Texas Panhandle. The original settlement was platted early in 1901 by W. J. Blair and Charles W. Thornton when the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway built west from Liberal, Kansas, and crossed the Fort Worth and Denver City line. The site of the crossing was known for a time as Twist Junction. J. H. Conlen supervised the laying of the Rock Island tracks and made an old boxcar into a section house on the site. Later the settlement was named Denrock, a combination of the names of the two railroads; in 1901 Robert B. Edgell named his new newspaper the Denrock Sun. But when postal authorities objected, the town adopted the name Dalhart, combining the first syllables of the names of the two counties in which it is located. On June 11, 1901, Ora D. Atkinson and other promoters incorporated the Dalhart Town Company, and the first and only sale of lots was held on July 20. Dalhart was incorporated as a town on May 6, 1902, and as a city on April 6, 1904. It replaced Texline as Dallam county seat, as a result of an election on February 21, 1903. From that time on, Dalhart quickly grew as a shipping center for the XIT Ranch and other area ranches. The activities of the W. P. Soash Land Company also contributed significantly to Dalhart's progress. C. E. Williams, a noted well driller, built the town's first water tower in 1906. Previously, it had been necessary to buy water at twenty cents a barrel from barrels lining the railroad tracks.

By 1912 Dalhart had a population of 3,500. The two railroad lines, which erected machine shops, roundhouses, and a lever control tower, contributed to the town's prosperity, and Dalhart played a major role in establishing the Enid, Ochiltree and Western and other small railways. In addition, it had three banks, a flour mill, a large grain elevator, a planing mill, a modern utilities system, a hospital, an ice plant, several hotels and churches, and a high school athletic program serving an ever-expanding agricultural area. When oil companies began drilling in the Panhandle, Dalhart was among the first towns to sell oil leases. The Dallam County Public Library, the first county library in Texas, opened for circulation in January 1921. Dalhart's population was further increased with the development of its East Heights addition in 1928.

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H. Allen Anderson | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

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

Belongs to

Dalhart is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Dalhart is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Denrock)
  • (Twist)


Latitude: 36.05800850
Longitude: -102.51232000

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Dalhart by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
8,447 2020 United States Census Bureau
8,244 2019 Texas Demographic Center
7,930 2010 United States Census Bureau
7,237 2000 United States Census Bureau
6,246 1990 United States Census Bureau
6,854 1980 United States Census Bureau
5,705 1970 United States Census Bureau
5,160 1960 United States Census Bureau
5,918 1950 United States Census Bureau
4,682 1940 United States Census Bureau
4,691 1930 United States Census Bureau
2,676 1920 United States Census Bureau
2,580 1910 United States Census Bureau