HISTORY OF TULIA
Tulia, the county seat of Swisher County, is on U.S. Highway 87 forty-nine miles south of Amarillo in the central part of the county. Its site was originally on the acreage of the Tule Ranch division of the JA Ranch. In 1889, a one-room schoolhouse was built; it doubled as a church. Eleven pupils attended school there that first year. Years later, on November 13, 1909, the official incorporation of Tulia, Texas took place.
Though the practices have changed over time, Tulia has remained a center for farming and agribusiness activities. In the mid-1980s local industrial plants manufactured products such as clothing and farm implements, and there were four large cattle-feeding enterprises nearby. Today, within the vicinity of Tulia, cattle-feeding enterprises, several farm implement manufacturers and repair businesses, and numerous cotton gins and grain elevators can still be found.
Additionally, being big on tradition, the annual Swisher County Picnic and Ranch Rodeo in late July is still a favorite past-time of locals and out-of-towners. Festivities take place throughout the week on the Courthouse square, complete with food vendors, games, and music. Whether it is hearing the stories of an elderly neighbor who tells of growing up on the farm or noting the nationally recognized artists from the small town of Tulia like the Otwell Twins, David and Roger, of Lawarence Welk Fame, and the paintings that keep the Southwest alive thru the art of the late Kenneth Wyatt, one can see that Tulia is a place with a strong heritage.
H. Allen Anderson, "TULIA, TX," Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 28, 2012. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.