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OCHILTREE, TEXAS

Former Ochiltree County Seat

Texas Ghost Town
Ochiltree County, Texas Panhandle
Highway 70 and FM 3045
8 miles S of Perryton

Population: 0

Ochiltree, Texas Area Hotels:
Perryton Hotels

Ochiltree Tx Townsite Cemetery
Ochiltree Cemetery
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009

History in a Pecan Shell

Named for a former Confederate officer and Texas politician, the town began 1885 and a post office opened in September of the following year. Three years later when the county was organized, Ochiltree was designated the county seat. By 1915 the population was a substantial 500 and the town had three churches, a school, bank and two newspapers.

In late 1909, the Enid, Ochiltree and Western Railroad attempted to connect Ochiltree with Dalhart, but the underfunded enterprise laid less than fourteen miles of track before bankruptcy. Ten years later the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway succeeded where the EOW failed, but they bypassed Ochiltree. The same year of 1919 saw the establishment of Perryton
- eight miles north. Perryton became the new county seat and in a story familiar to Panhandle residents, houses and businesses were moved to the new town, making Ochiltree a virtual ghost. When the post office closed its doors in 1921, it became official.

Ochiltree's rise and fall has an uncanny resemblance to the history of Emma, Texas. Both towns had healthy populations, both were county seats, both were bypassed by the railroad, both lost out to newly formed communities and both became ghosts.

The old Ochiltree cemetery remains - facing Highway 70.

Photographer's Note:
The Ochiltree is a nice, very well tended Cemetery. - Barclay Gibson

See
Ochiltree Townsite Historical Marker
Ochiltree Cemetery Historical Marker
1907 Ochiltree County Postal Map
Ochiltree Tx Townsite Cemetery
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
More Texas Cemeteries
Ochiltree Tx Townsite Historical Marker
Ochiltree Townsite Historical Marker on Hwy 70
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2009
Historical Marker Text

Ochiltree Townsite

(Bordering this Highway)
This county was created in 1876 and named for noted Texas jurist William Beck Ochiltree (1811-1867). In 1876 it was attached for judicial purposes to Clay and later to Wheeler County. In 1886 pioneers began to settle in dugouts here on the prairies near Wolf Creek, saying they lived "in Ochiltree." For convenience in making land and tax transactions, and establishing law and order, they organized the county in 1889, making their village the county seat. First elected officials were William J. Todd, county judge; Dave C. Kettell, sheriff and tax collector; George M. Perry, county clerk; Myrtle L. Daily, treasurer. In 1891 a 2-story courthouse was built (100 yards southeast) of lumber freighted from Dodge City, Kansas. This also served as church, schoolhouse, and social hall for the town. By 1903, Ochiltree had 600 people, churches, a high school, a newspaper, bank, flour mill, and other facilities.

In 1919, the Santa Fe Railway founded a new town between Ochiltree and Gray, Oklahoma, and induced people from both places to relocate by offering free lots. In 1919 steam engines and heavy equipment hauled the improvements from Ochiltree to the new site (8 miles north), called Perrytown, in honor of veteran county official George M. Perry.

(1976)
Historical Marker Text

Ochiltree Cemetery

In 1902, Jim McLarty and J. V. Stump fenced off 90 acres for a cemetery in the town of Ochiltree. Soon afterwards, Jim was thrown from his horse and killed, and at age 21 became the first person buried in the cemetery. In 1927 the county acquired the deed from Mr. J. M. Blasingame; in 1930 a cemetery association was formed. During the Depression of the 1930s an entry gate was built with help from the Works Progress Administration. Veterans of the Civil War and Spanish American wars, as well as World Wars I and II and the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, are among the citizens buried here.
(1997)
Ochiltree Lipscomb Roberts Hemphill Counties TX 1907 vintage Postal map
1907 Ochiltree County postal map showing Ochiltree
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
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