Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Dallam County and Hartley County, Texas
Home of XIT
Chamber of Commerce.
Dalhart was first platted in 1901 by W.J. Blair and Charles W. Thornton of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway. Their lines crossed the lines of the Fort Worth and Denver City line. The juncture was briefly known as Twist Junction. One of the railroad supervisors, J.H. Conlen made an old boxcar into a section house at this place. The small settlement later became known as Denrock, which was a merging of the two railroad names. The local newspaper was subsequently named the Denrock Sun, but the Post Office department opposed the name. At that time, the names of both counties were combined to form Delhart and so the name was assigned. The Dalhart Town company was formed on 11 June 1901 by Ora D. Atkinson and others. The town was incorporated on 6 May 1902 and as a city on 6 April 1904. On 21 February 1903, it was voted as the new Dallam County seat. The XIT Ranch and others, including the W.P. Soash Land Company helped the city to flourish.
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During the late 1800's, this was the world's largest ranch under fence with three million acres. A Chicago company was granted the land in exchange for the building of the state capitol. The ranch was 200 miles from north to south and 27 miles from east to west. The ranch had 3,000 miles of barbed wire fencing. Initially there were over 110,000 head of cattle. The XIT Ranch has now been divided into many smaller parcels, though some still have 100,000 acres or more.
Xit Rodeo and Reunion
A three day festival held the first Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in August each year.
The Rodeo & Reunion hosts the world's largest free barbecue, a great parade, nightly dances, a PRCA rodeo, amateur rodeo events, performances by well-known artists and much more. It began in 1936 and has continued since that time, getting better every year.
Dallam-Hartley Counties Historical Museum-
108 East 5th Street
Open Monday - Saturday
Many exhibits may be seen here including completely furnished rooms of a frontier home, clothing, firearms, antiques and Indian artifacts plus much more.
Empty Saddle Monument
This monument was inspired by Mrs. John Marsh when she requested a horse with an empty saddle be in the annual XIT Reunion parade in memory of her husband, a former XIT cowboy, who was traveling to Dalhart when he died. A local artist, Bobby Dycke, designed the monument, which was built in 1940, to be symbolic of all those who died in the settling of the area. It is located at the north end of the Highway 87 underpass at Dalhart.
Lake Rita Blanca State Park
1,668 acres are in this park including Lake Rita Blanca. Rita Blanca means Little White River and was named by the Spanish sheep herders during the 1800's.
Features of the park include: hiking, biking, horseback riding and more. Many forms of wildlife inhabit the park, including large numbers of migratory birds.
The XIT Museum
108 E. Fifth Street
Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
Visit many historical exhibits, farming and ranching displays and photos of both county histories. The museum has an art gallery which displays local and visiting artist's works.
More information on Dalhart.
Dalhart is situated in two counties, Dallam and Hartley, but it serves as the county seat of Dallam county.