Perryton (in Ochiltree County) was a leading wheat producer, and in 1947 it held the title “Wheatheart of the Nation.” ("Wheatheart of the Plains” is also used.) An annual beauty contest in the 1950s selected a “Miss Wheatheart.” It’s like “sweetheart,” one supposes.
Perryton, Texas On-Line
Perryton is located in the oil and gas fields of the Northeast Texas Panhandle in Ochiltree County. With strong ties to the land and its people, Perryton is known as the “Wheatheart of the Nation.”
Perryton Ochiltree Chamber of Commerce
Did You Know...
Perryton is the northernmost county seat in Texas, located in beautiful Ochiltree County “Wheatheart of the Nation” a title held since 1947 when we were the leading wheat producing county in the nation.
Handbook of Texas Online
PERRYTON, TEXAS. Perryton is on U.S. Highway 83 in northern Ochiltree County. It 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.qv 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.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: F. Stanley [Stanley F. L. Crocchiola], The Perryton, Texas, Story (Nazareth, Texas, 1975). Wheatheart of the Plains: An Early History of Ochiltree County (Perryton, Texas: Ochiltree County Historical Survey Committee, 1969).
27 August 1951, East Liverpool (OH) Review, pg. 10, col. 3:
A “WHEATHEART”. The title of “Wheatheart of the Nation, 1951”, was bestowed on Betty Renick, 18, at the 32nd annual birthday celebration of Perryton, Kan. (sic) She wins a trip to Havana.
26 August 1954, Dallas Morning News, part 1, pg. 5:
Miss Fayteen Peeples, “The Wheatheart of the Nation,” is undoubtedly one of the prettiest little farm girls who ever came to Dallas. But her long list of abilities proves she’s got more than a pretty face and figure.
Fayteen, an 18-year-old honey-blonde, was named the nation’s “wheatheart” at Perryton, Ochiltree County, last Saturday.
7 September 1955, Dallas Morning News, part 1, pg. 2:
Charlotte Vitz, 15, of Dumas, Moore County, recently chosen Miss Wheatheart 1955, visited in Dallas Tuesday on her way to Miami Beach, Fla., where she will spend five days. She won over 18 girls from four states at Perryton, Ochiltree County, the “heart of the wheat growing country.”
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Friday, September 14, 2007 • Permalink