132. Channing, Hartley County

This was another one of those tiny little courthouses that seemed as if it had been ordered out the the Sears Catalog about a hundred years ago and assembled on site. Of course, county concerns and creature comforts had been catered to over the years, but it was still a little, generic building with neither pretensions nor ability to be anything more. I guess not everywhere can aspire to be a great hall of government, but I am a bit disappointed because I always hope for something more. It ultimately serves its purpose so I should let it alone to do its job. Besides, it lives here. I’m just a tourist.

As you can see, Quanah, once again, was my homeboy. And he brought me to a small piece of history. When the previous Capitol building burned down, three million acres of land in the Panhandle was traded to a New Yorker to build the new (and current) State Capitol. He, in turn, gathered a bunch of investors and that land because the XIT Ranch, one of the most important concerns, both financially and politically in the state. Though it only operated for about 30 years (the land was eventually sold off to bit by bit to new settlers), the size and scope of it (it covered more than ten counties) has resonated in the cowboy legend. Channing was one of its most important shipping centers and the seat was moved here from Hartley through the efforts of the Ranch. And this is the General Post, where the business of the Ranch was conducted, preserved up to the present day. Good place for a cache, no?

May I also give swag kudos? The 4-H geocaching coins in the cache were quite cool. I cannot recommend them more highly. While I left some of my own in there, I most certainly traded up this time. Hopefully you can all forgive me my transgression, but I don’t think you guys (or girls [I don’t want to be gender assumptive]) will mind this one. No matter how you feel about it, I got back on the road again, heading east, winding up in…

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