Perryton is located on Highway 83 in northern Ochiltree County.
Perryton was named after George M. Perry, an early county judge, who had been involved in the disastrous Enid, Ochiltree and Western railroad scheme. Perryton was founded in 1919 and designated the county seat. Most of the early settlers were former citizens of Gray, Oklahoma, and Ochiltree, Texas, who moved to the new Spearman branch of the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway. When Perryton was incorporated, the citizens adopted a mayor-council form of city government. Advertisements soon attracted farmers and related businesses, and by 1920 the community had a population of 2,000. Two leading businessmen, Charles E. Whippo and Fremont Mead, built modern water and electrical distribution plants, which they later sold to the city. Five grain elevators had been erected by 1925, and by 1930 the community’s population numbered over 2,500. Since Perryton was a designated mailing station between Amarillo and Wichita, Kansas, an airport was constructed near the city dump in 1932; it became known as the “Sewer-Side Airport.” In 1951 Perryton adopted a council-manager form of city government. In addition to its importance as an agribusiness center, the city received a further economic boost in the 1950s with the successful drilling of oil and gas reserves nearby. New buildings, including three schools, a fire station, a city hall, a police station, a county jail, and a library, were built at Perryton between 1957 and 1968. A hospital and a nursing home were also opened in 1968. In the mid-1980s Perryton’s industries included creameries, oilfield services and equipment manufacturing, a trailer manufacturer, farm-machinery distributors, and cattle feedlots. The yearly Ochiltree County Fair is an important local event. In 1907 remains of a buried Indian settlement were discovered eighteen miles southeast of Perryton, and archeological investigation began in 1919. The population of Perryton increased from 4,399 in 1950 to 7,774 in 2000, when it had 467 businesses. – Source: Handbook of Texas Online.
Perryton is the county seat of Ochiltree County, a beautiful little town with two good churches and a school building. A bond issue has recently been authorized of $175,000 for a new and commodious school building. It has three banks and the usual complement of commercial houses. – History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.
The Perryton, Texas, Story, 1975 by F. Stanley Crocchiola. The book is not available online. Check your local library or interlibrary loan.