E. E. Polly, 1st County Judge

Gerlach Brothers Road Ranch & Store

E.E. Polly came to the Panhandle in 1873 from Kansas. He had served in the cavalry during the Civil War and continued in a career with the Army after the war. He served as a hospital steward then druggist in Kansas. He learned about medicine which was more than useful when he came to the Panhandle and he became known to the Indians as a “medicine man”.

Polly’s first wife, Elizabeth, had passed away during a cholera epidemic at Ft. Hays in 1867. In the early 1870s, with his second wife, Kate, the family established a home site (dugout) at the headwaters of Morgan Creek (shown on the right).

The Pollys left Morgan Creek to establish a stage station along the Military Trail on Commission Creek, south of present day Higgins in 1875. By 1884, Mr. Polly and his family returned to Morgan Creek and ranched with his son-in-law, Dave Hargrave. He helped organize Hemphill County and was elected County Judge in 1887, a position he served until 1890. During his administration, the court house and jail were built. He also owned a drug store during this period. Mr. Polly continued in public service until his death in 1905. His wife Kate had preceded him in death in 1899.