“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Miami in Roberts County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)


(One mile east)

Parnell Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen Lowrey, August 1, 2020
1. Parnell Marker

Roberts County was created on August 21, 1876, by the Texas Legislature, but remained unorganized, as in that year it had only one settler. Its 1880 population was 32. After the Santa Fe Railroad was built across this area in 1887, settlement increased. A January 1889 election to organize the county was invalidated by fraudulent voting. However, the disqualified officers opened a courthouse in a vacant store in Miami (20 miles southeast), the county seat according to the contested election, and placed the records in a heavy safe. The legally elected authorities later obtained the records by hiring a gunman to impersonate a landowner and to capture the safe when it was opened.

Hauled to the legal county seat near this site, the safe was set on blocks and a 2-story frame courthouse was built around it. First known as Bennett and then as Oran, the town was renamed Parnell when the U.S. Post Office opened in March 1890. Parnell had a few businesses, about 12 residences, a school, and a saloon. Guests rode 25 to 30 miles to attend dances in the courthouse. Those attending court in Parnell had to camp out, as the hotel was small.
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Miami became county seat in 1898, and Parnell was abandoned. (1973; 1986)
Erected 1973 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 3948.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 35° 53.77′ N, 100° 49.131′ W. Marker is in Miami, Texas, in Roberts County. Marker is on Ranch Road 283, 2.2 miles east of Highway 70, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Miami TX 79059, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 18 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Miami Cemetery (approx. 17.4 miles away); Quanah Parker Trail (approx. 17.4 miles away); Colonel O. M. Roberts (approx. 17.4 miles away); Roberts County Courthouse (approx. 17.4 miles away); Miami Railroad Depot (approx. 17.4 miles away).
Parnell Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen Lowrey, August 1, 2020
2. Parnell Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on August 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 2, 2020, by Allen Lowrey of Amarillo, Texas. This page has been viewed 141 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 2, 2020, by Allen Lowrey of Amarillo, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 25, 2024