King county, TXGenWeb history page

The following information was contributed by Mr. B A Narramore, postmaster, Guthrie, TX.


King County is located just below the High Plains of Texas. Created in 1876 from Bexar Territory and named for William King who fought with Travis in the Alamo and died there March 6, 1836. Permanent boundaries were established in 1891, at the time of its organization.

County seat-Guthrie. Named for a Mr. Guthrie that was a stock holder with the Louisville Land and Cattle Company, known as the 8"s Ranch that was later purchased by Burk Burnett and named the 6666's.

The first courthouse was built in 1891 or 1892. It was destroyed by a tornado on Easter Sunday, 1905. Citizens rebuilt the courthouse in the center of town and proclaimed it "absolutely fire proof". In February 1914 it burned to the ground. The one they built to take its place still stands and is being readied to serve as a Library and Museum. The new courthouse was built in 1982 and received Nationwide publicity for having "indoor plumbing".

King County is the second least populated county in the State, with a population of about 300 people.

6666 RANCH

The 6666 Ranch was started in 1900 when Burk Burnett bought the 8 Ranch from the Louisville Land and Cattle Company, later purchasing surrounding range land until he had built the ranch into the 208,000 empire.

The brand of 6666 began in 1867 when Burk acquired a small Denton County herd carrying it-even though romantics like to think it was won with a poker hand.


In 1983, the Pitchfork Ranch celebrated its centennial under the same group incorporating it in covered wagon days, a thing unique in ranching history.

In 1881, the Pitchfork brand, registered in the Republic of Texas, was purchased by Dan P Gardner and J S Godwin to be used on cattle grazed on land owned and leased by Sam Lazarus in King and Dickens counties.

Two years later Lazarus, Gardner and Eugene F Williams of St. Louis, a distant cousin of Gardner's formed the famous land and cattle Company. Another Eugene F. Williams, grandson of the founder, is company president today.

The ranch consists of 166,000 acres in Dickens and King Counties and grazing facilities in Wyoming and Kansas.

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