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PERICO, TEXAS. Perico is on U.S. Highway 87 twenty-five miles northwest of Dalhart and eleven miles southeast of Texline in western Dallam County. It was begun in 1888 as a shipping point on the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway for the Farwell Park line camp of the XIT Ranch, a quarter mile to the north, and was called Farwell after the camp. Several railroad section houses, a station built out of an old boxcar, and a water tower marked the site throughout the XIT's heyday. The population consisted of the section manager, Larry Kehoe, and his family, eight section hands, and the station agent, Alexander H. Jones. In 1905 George Findlay of the Capitol Syndicate asked the railroad to change the siding's name to Perico. In Spanish the name denotes a small kind of parrot, though its relevance to the town is unknown. During the early 1900s Perico grew as a result of the W. P. Soash Land Company's promotional campaigns. A post office was opened in November 1907. As the number of farms grew, the town became a center for supplies and education in the vicinity. The first school, a two-room concrete building, was replaced in 1924 by a larger complex, including a 200-seat auditorium, a teacherage, and a gymnasium. By 1931 the town had a number of businesses, including the T. W. Timmerman store, the Blotz-Henneman Grain Company elevator, and the Foxworth-Galbraith Lumber Company. In 1947 Perico reported a school, three businesses, and a population of thirty. In the 1960s the population was listed at forty. As highway improvement drew away the town's trade throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Perico began to decline. The post office had closed by 1970, the school was abandoned, and by the mid-1980s the town had only one operating business, a grain elevator, and two known residents.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:T. Lindsay Baker, Ghost Towns of Texas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986). Cordia Sloan Duke and Joe B. Frantz, 6,000 Miles of Fence: Life on the XIT Ranch of Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1961). David B. Gracy II, "Selling the Future: A Biography of William Pulver Soash," Panhandle-Plains Historical Review 50 (1977). Lillie Mae Hunter, The Book of Years: A History of Dallam and Hartley Counties (Hereford, Texas: Pioneer, 1969).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, H. Allen Anderson, "PERICO, TX," accessed November 17, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/htp07.
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