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Texas Plains Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Childress


EASTERN GATEWAY TO THE PANHANDLE

Childress, located in the southeastern corner of the Texas panhandle, owes much of its existence to another Plains community known as “Henry”. In the late 1800s, Henry lost its battle for Childress county seat to the nearby community of Childress City, but its defeat was mitigated by accusations of election fraud, thus the results were invalidated. With a personal financial interest in mind, Fort Worth & Denver City Railway agent R. E. Montgomery negotiated a settlement regarding the election controversy, convincing the railroad company to grant land lots it owned in Henry to citizens of Childress City then build a depot in Henry. At the conclusion of a follow up county seat election (fraud free), Montgomery then managed to negotiate a name change for Henry to “Childress”. By the fall of 1887, almost all of the citizens and businesses of Childress City had relocated to the “new” Childress or, as a few residents may have continued to call it, the “Old Henry”.

Today, the city of Childress serves as a regional hub for economic activity. Home to the Childress Veterans Memorial and the Childress County Heritage Museum, this “city on the plains” has mounted a major effort to preserve its historic downtown, including the restoration of the Art Deco style Palace Theater, and its efforts have earned Childress a place as a Texas Main Street city.


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