In 1941, while on a visit to Dalhart during the XIT Rodeo and Reunion, author, J. Frank Dobie made the comment "You ought to make this exhibit permanent." Dobie was speaking about a temporary exhibit organized each year during XIT. The exhibit material was on loan from past cowboys and area historians. Discussions concerning the establishment of a Dalhart museum began about this time. In 1963 the Dallam Historical Survey Committee was organized and began placing medallions on historical structures, collecting information on historical sites and developing a historical museum.
In July 1966 the XIT City Museum was established and shared space with the Rita Blanca Lake Café. Unfortunately the museum closed in December 1967.
In the spring of 1974, Mrs. Marie Reynolds, Dalhart High School Librarian organized a group of interested citizens and formed the Dallam-Hartley Counties Historical Association. The association then formed the XIT Museum and was offered a building by Mr. H. Coon. In 1975 the association moved into the old Chrysler building which was constructed in 1929 as an automobile dealership. Over the years several businesses occupied the building and for a short time it housed a USO for black soldiers.
The museum opened its doors to the public on August 7, 1975 during the XIT Reunion. In 1980 the museum expanded with the construction of an annex for additional exhibit space. In 1995, a major fund raiser was held to allow for the purchase of a nearby building which was then connected to the museum.
Today the XIT Museum houses numerous permanent and temporary exhibits that tell the story of both Dallam and Hartley Counties. Research materials and education programs are also part of the "museum experience" found inside the XIT Museum.
The mission of the XIT Museum is to preserve and teach the history of the Dallam and Hartley counties and the XIT Ranch.