Kirkland, on U.S. Highway 287 in southeastern Childress County, was probably named after J. C. Kirkland, an early settler. It was originally in Hardeman County, seven miles northeast of the present site, on a stage line from Wichita Falls to Mobeetie. A stagecoach and relay station was established there in the early 1880s, and soon the community had an inn for travelers, a general store, and two saloons. When the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway came through in 1887, the residents moved the town into Childress County to the new line. The new townsite was platted by John Quincy Adams, a local homesteader, on whose land the tracks were laid. As more farmers arrived, Kirkland flourished, and by 1890 it had a mercantile store, a post office, and cattle shipping pens. The panic of 1893 temporarily retarded the town's growth, but by 1900 it was prospering once more. The Furr's Grocery and Cafeteria corporations had their beginning at Kirkland when Crone W. Furr opened his first mercantile store in 1905. Billed as the "Biggest Little City in Texas," Kirkland by the 1920s had three churches, a three-room school, and several businesses, including three grocery stores, two lumber yards, two barber shops, five filling stations, three hardware stores, and a bank. The population was 500 in 1940. Modern farming methods and improved transportation resulted in a gradual decline for Kirkland after that time, however. In 1958 its school district was consolidated with that of Childress. By 1980 only two churches and one general store remained, although three grain elevators attested to the town's role as a wheat-shipping point. Kirkland reported a population of 100 in 1984. In 1990 it was 102. The population remained the same in 2000.
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