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Dallam County TX
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Dallam County Seat, Texas Panhandle

36°3'39"N 102°31'7"W (36.060856, -102.518656)

On US 54, 385, 87
31 miles SW of Stratford on US 54
30 miles N of Channing on US 385
66 miles N of Vega on US 385
70 miles NW of Amarillo US 87
ZIP code 79022
Area code 806
Population: 8,310 Est. (2019)
7,930 (2010) 7237 (2000) 6,246 (1990)

Book Hotel Here › Dalhart Hotels

Dalhart TX Bird's eye View
Dalhart bird's eye view, circa 1921
Photo courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

History in a Pecan Shell

Originally called Twist, Texas or Twist Junction - Dalhart also tried using Denrock - a combination of the names of the two railroads that crossed here (the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad and the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad).

After their choice was rejected by postal authorities, they came up with another combination - this time of the two counties - Dallam and Hartley. Other significant events are in this simplified timeline:

1901: Town platted when the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad crossed the tracks of the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad.
1902: Town Incorporated
1903: Dalhart replaced Texline as the Dallam County Seat
1906: Town gets water tower
1921: County library opens for business
1920s: Dalhart's recently restored La Rita Theater is opened
1936: XIT Ranch Reunion Association formed.

Dalhart, Texas Attractions

Dallam County Courthouse, Dalhart, Texas
Photo courtesy Erik Whetstone, April 2004
Dallam County Courthouses

  • Dallam/ Hartley Counties Museum: 108 East 5th Street

  • La Rita Theater: 311 Denrock Street

  • Lake Rita Blanca:
    FM 281 South - Rita Blanca Canyon and Lake
    According to Texas Park & Wildlife, "Lake Rita Blanca State Park is the second most important wintering area in the Texas Panhandle for migratory waterfowl using the central flyway, attracting from 40,000 to 100,000 geese alone to 150-acre Lake Rita Blanca. In addition, large numbers of neo-tropical, migratory birds pass through the park each spring and summer." Texas' northernmost state park has since been transferred to the city of Dalhart.

    Dalhart Tourist Information
    Dalhart Chamber of Commerce - 806-244-5646
    102 E. 7th Street

  • Dalhart Texas Denrock Avenue
    Denrock Avenue, north of the courthouse.
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, March 2008

    XIT Museum, Dalhart Texas
    XIT Museum on Fifth Street, across from the courthouse
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, March 2008
    More Texas Museums

    La Rita Theatre, Dalhart, Texas
    The restored La Rita Theatre
    Photo courtesy Wes Reeves
    More Texas Theatres

    Clock on courthouse ground, Dalhart Texas
    The clock on courthouse ground
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, 2008

    Dalhart, Texas Chronicles:

    The 1929 Train Wreck in Dalhart

    From "Area full of historical tidbits" by Delbert Trew

    One of my recent articles told that today's Dalhart was known at one time as Twist when the first railroad was constructed through the area. This statement generated an e-mail from Gerald Hook of Russellville, Ark., who is my "resident railroad expert."

    He sent an article from a 1929 railroad magazine that reported on Dec. 9, 1928, at 2:15 a.m. a northbound freight train moving at about 25 mph ran about one mile beyond Twist, a sidetrack where it was supposed to wait for a southbound passenger train to pass by. It seems the passenger trains always had right-of-way over freight trains. This created a terrible train wreck.

    Since this was before diesel engines, the steam boiler of the passenger train was ripped loose and came to rest on top of the cars of the freight train. The glowing fire-box of the boiler set fire to a railcar containing gasoline and eventually 10 railcars burned.

    Three railroad employees died in the crash and 45 other passengers were injured. Blame for the wreck was placed on the freight train crew. Seems no one noticed they had passed the sidetrack entrance at Twist. The conductor admitted he was "attending paperwork" and depended on the rear brakeman to keep watch on the train's progress.

    Where was Twist exactly? According to an October 1940 copy of the Official Railway Guide, Twist was an unmanned station at milepost 388.5, some 4.8 miles south of today's Dalhart on the old Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad. Thanks to Gerald for this information.

    © Delbert Trew
    "It's All Trew"

    Dalhart Caboose
    Dalhart Caboose
    Photo courtesy James Feagin, 2-2002


    Tex Thornton: King of the oilfield firefighters and rainmaker
    by Clay Coppedge

    The oil fields of the Texas Panhandle in the 1920s and ‘30s were a place where a man who knew how to use nitroglycerin could make a good living for himself. Ward A. “Tex” Thornton was such a man. He learned all about nitro when he went to work in 1913 for an Ohio company that manufactured torpedoes. He brought that knowledge along with a steady hand and no small degree of courage to the oil fields around Amarillo in 1920... more

    Dalhart, Texas Vintage Images

    Dalhart Texas - street scene
    Dalhart, Texas, 1910-1930
    Click on image to enlarge
    DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

    Dalhart Texas - Excursion crowd of land buyers
    Excursion Crowd of Land Buyers, Dalhart, Texas
    Click on image to enlarge
    Photo courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

    Dalhart TX FairDay Parade
    Dalhart Fair Day Parade, ca1912
    Photo courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

    Dalhart TX - City Hall and Fire 1910
    Dalhart City Hall and Fire Station
    Click on image to enlarge
    Photo circa 1910 courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

    Dalhart TX High School
    Dalhart High School
    Photo courtesy Dan Whatley Collection
    More Texas Schoolhouses

    Dalhart TX - Ice and Electric company Plant
    Dalhart Ice and Electric Company Plant
    Click on image to enlarge
    Photo courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

    Dalhart TX Presbyterian Church 1910
    Presbyterian Church, Dalhart, Texas 1910
    Photo courtesy Dan Whatley Collection
    More Texas Churches

    Dalhart TX - Stagecoach Robbery
    Memories of yesteryear in the west - Stagecoach Robbery
    Click on image to enlarge
    Photo courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

    Dalhart TX, Dallam County -Dalhart City View
    More Dalhart Old Photos

    Trans-Canadian Sanitarium in Dalhart, Texas
    The Trans-Canadian Sanitarium in Dalhart, Texas

    Postcard circa 1900 courtesy THC
    Dalhart, Texas main street, 1900s
    Dalhart main street

    Postcard circa 1900 courtesy THC

    Dallam County TX 1940s Map
    Dallam County 1940s map
    From Texas state map #4335
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Take a road trip
    See Texas Panhandle

    Dalhart, Texas Area Cities & Towns:
    Stratford | Vega | Amarillo

    Dallam County
    Sherman County
    Hartley County
    Moore County

    Book Hotel Here:
    Dalhart Hotels | More Hotels

    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact us.



























































































































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