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Childress is named for George Campbell Childress, the author of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Its county seat is Childress.  Apaches occupied the area from about 1600 to about 1700, when the more warlike Comanches entered the region to begin a rule of the Panhandle and South Plains of Texas until they were crushed by the United States Army in the Red River War of 1874. As the Comanches retreated to reservations in Indian Territory during 1875 and 1876, buffalo hunters spread across the area. By the late 1870s the buffalo herds were exterminated and ranchers entered the local picture. The Texas legislature formed Childress County in 1876.


Farms began to be established in the Childress County in the 1880s after the Fort Worth and Denver City extended its tracks into the area. This railroad began construction of its line from Fort Worth to the Texas-New Mexico border in 1881 and crossed into Childress County in April 1887. Organization of the county soon followed.

A move to organize the county began even as the rails were being laid across it. A lively competition for the role of county seat developed between two townsites: Childress City, favored by most of the county residents, and Henry, the site favored by the railroad. In an election held in April 1887, county residents chose Childress City as their county seat, but soon changed their minds to accommodate demands and threats leveled by the railroad company. The Fort Worth and Denver City threatened not to stop in Childress City unless the election results were reversed, and sweetened its demand by offering lot owners in Childress City equal lots in Henry, the railroad's town. Using these tactics the FW&DC was able to force a new election in July 1887, and in the second election Henry became the county seat; its name was changed to Childress. The old Childress City disappeared as all its buildings were moved to the new town.

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Surrounding Counties

Colingsworth County (north)
Harmon County, Oklahoma (northeast)
Hardeman County (east)
Cottle County (south)
Hall County (west)

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