Holliday is on U.S. highways 277 and 82, ten miles southwest of Wichita Falls in north central Archer County. It was near an old buffalo road and on the route of the Texan Santa Fe expedition. In 1841 John Holliday, a member of the expedition, carved his name and the date on a tree. Settlers later found the name on the tree and gave it to the nearby creek, then to their town. By 1889 there was enough of a community to organize a Methodist church at Holliday, which already had a stage stop. In 1890 the Wichita Valley Railway built through the area, the post office was opened, and the town was platted by George P. Meade. The population was estimated at twenty-five in 1892, when a Professor Rinehart began teaching at a district school established there. The first water well in Holliday was drilled in May 1892, and on June 23 land was donated for a cemetery. The first grave was marked June 3. By 1896 the population had reached an estimated 100, and two more Protestant churches had formed. Holliday now had a two-story hotel, a livery stable and a blacksmith shop, two general stores, a store offering furniture and groceries, a physician, and a justice. Other early businesses included a grain mill and elevator, a real estate office, and a confectionery. In 1900 or 1901 a tornado demolished the school and reportedly blew the twenty students in class a mile away into a low place in the land, all unhurt. About this time the Lake Wichita Irrigation and Water Company was buying land along Holliday Creek to make Lake Wichita, now about five miles east of town, which eventually provided irrigation for the land around it. After the severe winter of 1905, two of the largest rail shipments ever made from Archer County-2,400 cowhides in 1906 and forty carloads of steers in 1907-were shipped from Holliday. The drought in 1911 was so bad that many settlers left the area, and the nearby colony of Geraldine failed.

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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Holliday by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
1,792 2019 Texas Demographic Center
1,758 2010 Texas Demographic Center
1,632 2000 Texas Demographic Center
1,475 1990 Texas Demographic Center