Ochiltree, on State Highway 70 nine miles south of Perryton in central Ochiltree County, was established in 1885 and named for a Texas politician and Confederate officer, William B. Ochiltree. The post office opened in September 1886, and the town was elected county seat when the county was organized in 1889. Population growth was sporadic, but by 1915 Ochiltree had a population of 500, a bank, a school, and two or three churches. It also had two newspapers, the Eagle Investigator and the Ochiltree News, and a community orchestra organized by the James Whippo family. Chautauquas, movies, and automobile races also provided recreation. On September 23, 1909, the Enid, Ochiltree and Western Railroad Company began construction on a railroad to connect Ochiltree and Dalhart. The section from Dalhart to Dumas was graded, but only 13.7 miles of track were laid before the company failed. The Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway came through the area in 1919 but missed Ochiltree by several miles. The same year, the town of Perryton was established on the railroad eight miles north of Ochiltree and was elected the new county seat. The citizens of Ochiltree moved their homes and businesses to Perryton. After 1920 Ochiltree was an unorganized community. The post office was discontinued in September 1921.
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.
H. Allen Anderson | © Texas State Historical Association
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