King County Courthouse in Guthrie
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Guthrie is a census-designated place in King County in the U.S. state of Texas. It lies at the junction of U.S. Routes 82 and 83 ninety-six miles east of Lubbock, and serves as the principal headquarters of the Four Sixes Ranch. It is the seat of King County, and as of the 2010 Census the population was 160.
Guthrie is located at (33.621341, -100.8322).
Guthrie's history begins in 1883, when the Louisville Land and Cattle Company in Louisville, Kentucky purchased several hundred acres in what later became King County. Named after Louisville Land and Cattle stockholder W.H. Guthrie, the community's townsite was platted in 1891 by A.C. Thackitt, who had built Guthrie's first residence. When King County was organized that same year, Louisville Land and Cattle proposed the platting of a company townsite, to be named Ashville, to serve as the county's seat. Thackitt strongly opposed this proposition and led a charge to bring the seat to Guthrie instead. Thackitt's hotly contested campaign ultimately proved successful, and he not only succeeded in making Guthrie the county seat but was also elected to serve as King County's first county judge. Late in 1891, the Guthrie post office opened to the public.
The next year, Thackitt and a man by the name of Charlie Bradford brought in lumber from the neighboring community of Seymour and constructed Guthrie's first school; a small, one-room building. A larger school followed in 1895, though the lone teacher continued to depend upon schools in Seymour and Benjamin for curriculum. Proprietor John Gibson began to keep a stock of school books at his Guthrie general store in 1897, decreasing the school's dependence upon other districts.
In 1904, Guthrie claimed 101 residents and though hurt by the effects of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, remained stable through to the mid-twentieth century, with the 1950 Census reporting the same number of 101 residents as 46 years before. In 1959, schools in nearby Dumont were consolidated with Guthrie's schools and by 1963 the population had more than doubled to 210.
The mid to late 1960s brought an end to Guthrie's growth, however; the population had fallen to 125 by 1970. It increased to 140 in 1980 and 160 in 1990, a figure it maintained through to the 2010 Census. Being a company town, very few homes in Guthrie are privately owned; most residents live in housing provided by the 6666 (Four Sixes) or Pitchfork ranches, or the school district.
Author Mitch Cullin graduated from Guthrie School in 1986, and while the setting of his early writings was often the town of Claude in Armstrong County, Cullin has admitted in interviews that his novels Whompyjawed and Branches are really based on Guthrie.
- Guthrie School
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Guthrie, Texas
- 6666 Ranch
- Pitchfork Ranch
- Private Airport 6TE6