A history of Childress - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

A history of Childress

Childress, TX - The mayor of Childress describes Childress as a resilient city that has learned to adapt to a changing economic landscape and persevere during hard times.

Childress was was founded in 1887 and was named after George Childress who was one of the authors of the Texas Declaration of Independence.

The city made it's mark on Texas as a shipping hub for the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway, and it even drew in some big names.

"Walter P. Chrysler, the founder of Chrysler Motors Company actually was the foreman for the roundhouse here for the railroad. So that's our brush with greatness," said Mayor Brett Parr.

Childress's economy boomed from the railway's success for almost a century, but then the railway left town. "We have had and lost a lot of stuff here. The railroad was a big deal, and they pulled out in the 70's and took a lot of really good jobs and the economy was really hurt," said Parr.

The city was then forced to reinvent itself and find a way to stabilize their railway-dependent economy.

By the 1990's, they did just that. "We bid for a prison and got it. And frankly, it stabilized the economy here," said Parr.

Childress also became the home of a District TxDOT Office, which brought with it many jobs. As a crossroad of three major highways, Childress also transformed into a retail center in order to serve thousands of people who drive through town each day.

"We're trying to grow. We're in the middle of somewhere, not the middle of nowhere," said Parr. "Now some people may think that, but it's a good place to be. It's a good place to raise kids."

Parr said the small town atmosphere of Childress leaves a memorable mark for all those who pass through.
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