a Pecan Shell
His first name
remains unknown, but itís agreed by most parties that the community
was named after a man with the last name of Whitt. First settled in
the 1870s, it had an excellent location for growth being between Weatherford
A post office didnít open until 1877 but in the early 1880s, The Parker
Institute (a Methodist High School) opened. The estimated population
was reported at 150.
The town had two gristmills and a cotton gin as well as three churches
and a weekly newspaper. By 1900 the number of residents had increased
But without a railroad, the townís growth was curtailed and a slow
decline set in. Further hit by the Great Depression, the town lost
more residents and by 1950 the population was down to 90. It has since
declined to a mere 38 Ė as reported in the 2000 census.
(FM 2891, 1 block N of town square)
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, April 2015
In January 1880
the elders of the Christian Church at Whitt purchased five acres of
land at this site to build a community school. The Whitt Seminary
opened in 1881 in a two-story rock building. By 1885 Whitt was a thriving
community of about 400 inhabitants with a number of businesses and
a sincere interest in quality education. Seminary enrollment was between
175 and 200 students who came from local and surrounding communities
and from as far away as the Oklahoma Territory.
The Seminary educated elementary through high school students and
included an academic department, a music department, and a commercial
school. Music courses offered included piano, organ, guitar, violin,
and voice. Other courses included bookkeeping, commercial law, writing,
spelling, typing, trigonometry, history, English literature, astronomy,
chemistry, and Latin.
The Whitt Seminary served the community from 1881 until about 1900.
The facility continued to be used as a Christian church until 1937,
and then served as a site for community functions, family reunions,
and annual Whitt homecomings. The original five acres, Whitt Seminary
building and tabernacle were deeded to the Whitt Cemetery Association
The town of Whitt
was officially established in 1877, but permanent settlement in this
area had been taking place since about 1855. Originally a farming
community, Whitt became a stagecoach stop for people traveling betweenWeatherford
and Jacksboro. It later developed
into a regional education center with the presence of two colleges,
Whitt Seminary and Parker Institute, which operated here between 1881
Between 1876 and 1879, Oscar Grantham donated land to the community
for burial purposes. The graveyard has served as a community burial
ground since at least 1879. The oldest marked burial, that of Margaret
A. Gipson, dates to that year, but the presence of more than 100 unmarked
graves suggests that the cemetery was active prior to that time. J.N.
and M.L. Johnston made additional land donations over the years to
enlarge the cemetery. Now over eight acres in size, the cemetery has
more than 1,000 graves. Among those buried here are pioneer settlers
and veterans of the Civil War, Spanish
American War, World War
I and II,
Korea, and Vietnam. Since 1990, the graveyard has been maintained
by a cemetery association. It is an important cultural resource in
As little town's go
its name sure fit,
we hate to say
but the dust it bit,
it used to be
then it up and quit,
now it just aint
we've lost our Whitt!
November 17, 2014
I have enjoyed looking through your site, and spent a good deal of
my morning checking out the cities you have posted. There are lots
of great photos and information you've included.
In looking at Whitt, which is close to me, I noticed that you did
not have a photo of the church. I decided to run over this morning
and get one for you.
This was built in 1881 as the Whitt Seminary and used as the local
school until about 1900. The roof has been redone and there is now
a handicap ramp. It is still used, to some degree for community gatherings.
- Curtis Carter, November 09, 2014
Photo courtesy Curtis Carter, November 2014
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