The City of Fritch was incorporated in 1959, under Chapter 1-20, Revised Civil Statutes of Texas, which is now found in the Local Government Code, Title 2. Organization of Municipal Government, Subtitle A. Types of Municipalities, Chapter 6. Type A General-Law Municipality.

According to the 2010 census Fritch has a population of 2,117.

The governing body of a Type A general law municipality is composed of the Mayor and five Council members.  Council member terms are for two years, unless they are fulfilling an unexpired term, which would be only until the end of that term.  Elections are held annually on an authorized uniform election date as set out in the Texas Election Code.

The City Council appoints a City Manager. This position serves as the administrative head of the City and is responsible for daily operations.

Fritch Texas lies predominately in Hutchinson county with a small portion in Moore county.  The town is colloquially known as "Fritch, America."

The community was founded in an area owned in part by three ranchers: J. M. Sanford, J. H. Johnson, and Roy B. Wright.  It was named for H. C. (Fred) Fritch of Chicago, a vice president of the Rock Island Railroad, who arranged for the purchase of the right-of-way in 1924.  After the line was opened, Fritch established a depot at his townsite and in 1933 he laid out the streets parallel with the railroad, which ran from northwest to southeast.  In the wake of the 1926 oil boom, five major gas companies located in the vicinity.  The growth of Fritch was slow during its first thirty years; in 1940 it had a store, a post office, and an estimated population of seventy-five.  However, the construction of Sanford Dam on the Canadian River prompted Fritch to incorporate in 1959.  By the time of the dam's completion in 1965 the city had a population of 2,800, two schools, six churches, a bank, and retirement homes. This growth was attributed mainly to the recreation areas at Lake Meredith, in addition to ranching, farming, and the oil and gas industry.

In the late 1960s, growth waned due to lagging oil and gas production.  The population was 1,778 in 1970.  In 1972 the Rock Island abandoned the line through Fritch.  However, the energy crisis of the early 1970s fostered increased oil and gas activities.  By 1980 Fritch had thirty-one businesses and a population of 2,299.  The Lake Meredith Aquarium and Wildlife Museum, opened in 1976, features wildlife exhibits and live fish specimens from the lake. The town is also known for its flatland irrigation system, which uses treated wastewater. The National Park Service headquarters for Lake Meredith National Recreation Area is located in Fritch, and the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, on the southeastern shore of Lake Meredith, is near Fritch in Potter County. (Texas State Historical Association)

 

With Fritch being located adjacent to the Lake Meredith National Recreation Area ample opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy outdoor activities including boating, fishing, camping, hiking, and seasonal hunting.  The town is also home to the Lake Meredith Historical Museum.

 

Fritch is located in the geographic center of the Texas Panhandle.  It is 30 miles north-northeast of Amarillo and 15 miles west of Borger in an area where the typically flat High Plains are broken up into canyons and draws by the Canadian River. The city itself sits on a flat piece of land surrounded by undulating terrain due to this phenomenon.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.2 square miles.  The city sits adjacent to Lake Meredith which is a main source of water for surrounding communities, though the city actually uses well water drawn from the Ogallala Aquifer for its municipal water supply.

 

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,235 people, 886 households, and 679 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,840.9 people per square mile. There were 961 housing units at an average density of 791.5 per square mile.

 

There were 886 households out of which 34.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.3% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.3% were non-families. 21.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52, and the average family size was 2.93.

 

In the city the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.6 males.

 

More recently, as of the 2010 census, the racial makeup of the city was 91.8% White, 0.2% African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.05% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.6% of the population.

 

The estimated median income for a household in the city in 2013 was $56,909 and the median income for a family was $71,606.  The estimated per capita income for the city in 2013 was $23,246.

 

The city of Fritch is primarily a bedroom community with the majority of citizens commuting to nearby Borger and Amarillo for work. Major employers in the area include Pantex, ConocoPhillips and Agrium, all located with a short distance of Fritch.  Due to its nature as a commuting town, Fritch differs from most small towns in the region which rely more on agriculture as their economic base.  Though there are several large ranches adjacent to the town, there is little to no farming due to the uneven topography and the town has no agriculture-related services to speak of.

 

The estimated median house or condo value in 2013 was $72,196 and in March 2016 the cost of living index in Fritch was 78.8 which is low based upon the U.S. average at 100.

HISTORY OF FRITCH (More Info)

Fritch, on State Highway 136 in southwestern Hutchinson County and partly in Moore County, was founded in an area owned in part by three ranchers: J. M. Sanford, J. H. Johnson, and Roy B. Wright. It was named for H. C. (Fred) Fritch of Chicago, a vice president of the Rock Island Railroad, who arranged for the purchase of the right-of-way in 1924. After the line was opened, Fritch established a depot at his townsite and in 1933 he laid out the streets parallel with the railroad, which ran from northwest to southeast. In the wake of the 1926 oil boom, five major gas companies located in the vicinity. The growth of Fritch was slow during its first thirty years; in 1940 it had a store, a post office, and an estimated population of seventy-five. However, the construction of Sanford Dam on the Canadian River prompted Fritch to incorporate in 1959. By the time of the dam's completion in 1965 the city had a population of 2,800, two schools, six churches, a bank, and retirement homes. This growth was attributed mainly to the recreation areas at Lake Meredith, in addition to ranching, farming, and the oil and gas industry.

In the late 1960s growth waned due to lagging oil and gas production. The population was 1,778 in 1970. In 1972 the Rock Island abandoned the line through Fritch. However, the energy crisis of the early 1970s fostered increased oil and gas activities. By 1980 Fritch had thirty-one businesses and a population of 2,299. The Lake Meredith Aquarium and Wildlife Museum, opened in 1976, features wildlife exhibits and live fish specimensfrom the lake. The town is also known for its flatland irrigation system, which uses treated sewer water. The National Park Service headquarters for Lake Meredith national Recreation Area is located in Fritch, and the Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument, on the southeastern shore of Lake Meredith, is near Fritch in Potter County. In 1990 the population of Fritch was 2,335, and in 2000 it dropped slightly to 2,235.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Hutchinson County Historical Commission, History of Hutchinson County, Texas (Dallas: Taylor, 1980).

H. Allen Anderson