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PARNELL, TEXAS (Hall County). Parnell, on State Highway 86 in central Hall County, was settled as early as 1872, when Jacob Fields traveled west to hunt buffalo. Fields built a dugout in the south bank of the Red River near what became known as Fields Crossing, later Bullard Canyon, and lived there with his family for several years. In 1901 a schoolhouse was built on land owned by G. E. Grubbs four miles southeast of Bullard Canyon and was known for a time as Greasy Neck. The town of Parnell, named for another early resident, S. H. Parnell, was platted in 1905 on a site northwest of the school. Jim Vardy and J. H. Whaley built a gin, and James A. Adams opened the first store, at which a post office was established in 1912 with Adams as postmaster. During the 1920s, when the Fort Worth and Denver Railway built its line west from Estelline to Plainview, a boom was anticipated for Parnell. By then the town had three stores, a hotel and cafe, two barber shops, two gins, a lumberyard, a garage, a church, and a brick schoolhouse and was accessible by a graded highway. The population was estimated at twenty-five in 1925 and 500 by 1929. The Great Depression, however, resulted in a general decline. The population was an estimated twenty-five by 1933 and seventy in 1939. By 1940 the school had been consolidated with that of Estelline, and the post office closed in 1971. By 1980 Parnell had only a church and community center and a store to the west on the highway. From 1970 to 1990 the population was estimated at forty-three.


Inez Baker, Yesterday in Hall County (Memphis, Texas, 1940). Virginia Browder, Hall County Heritage Trails, 1890–1980 (2 vols., Canyon, Texas: Staked Plains, 1982, 1983).

H. Allen Anderson


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

H. Allen Anderson, "PARNELL, TX (HALL COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 26, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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