Tulia, the county seat of Swisher County, is on U.S. Highway 87 forty-nine miles south of Amarillo in the central part of the county. Its site was originally on the acreage of the Tule Ranch division of the JA Ranch. In 1887 a post office was established in James A. Parrish's dugout on Middle Tule Draw nine miles west of what is now the site of Tulia. Evidently the name Tule, after the nearby creek, had been selected for this post office, but at some point a clerk's error changed the name to Tulia. Parrish served as postmaster until 1889, when W. G. Conner took over and the post office was moved nine miles east to the homestead he had established in 1887. Also in 1889, a one-room schoolhouse was built; it doubled as a church. Eleven pupils attended school there that first year. Conner's section was chosen for the county seat when Swisher County was organized in 1890. He donated land for the courthouse, the school, and the city park, which is named after him, and ran a wagonyard in town. W. F. Wright began publication of the first newspaper, the Staked Plains Messenger, and by September a two-story frame courthouse had been constructed. Scott Thacker opened the first general store, and Mrs. S. E. Butts ran a boardinghouse. In 1897 the Methodists constructed the first church building.
Tulia at a Glance
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Tulia by the Numbers
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|4,473||2020||United States Census Bureau|
|4,688||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|4,967||2010||United States Census Bureau|
|5,117||2000||United States Census Bureau|
|4,703||1990||United States Census Bureau|
|5,033||1980||United States Census Bureau|
|5,294||1970||United States Census Bureau|
|4,410||1960||United States Census Bureau|
|3,222||1950||United States Census Bureau|
|2,055||1940||United States Census Bureau|
|2,202||1930||United States Census Bureau|
|1,189||1920||United States Census Bureau|
|1,216||1910||United States Census Bureau|