in a Pecan Shell |
railroad (Fort Worth and Denver City) was coming through the Panhandle
in 1887 and merchants from Colorado City wanted to establish stores at a logical
stop. Since they needed voters to choose the county seat and most of the voters
were ranch hands of the LX Ranch, the promoters promised them each a residential
and business lot to vote for Oneida. Not surprisingly Oneida won and was
promptly renamed Amarillo.
The first houses in town were
actually painted yellow in honor of the new name and perhaps in guilt for mispronouncing
the Spanish word.
rancher named Sanborn bought land on the other side of the tracks because
of its elevation and convinced others to move their businesses there as well.
Actually, rains and the subsequent flooding did most of the convincing. This was
the beginning of Polk Street, the city's main commercial boulevard.
The city grew steadily, adding an Opera House in 1909 and a library in 1910.
Helium discoveries in the late 1920s and the establishment of an Army AirField,
led commercial growth until the depression arrived. Because the city was the focal
point of government programs during the depression, the city's infrastructure
benefited greatly from the Work Projects Administration. (See Thompson
grew 85% in the decade of 1950-1960, from 74,000 to 138,000. The population in
1980 was 149,000 and in 1990 it was 158,000. The 2000 Official Highway Map shows
the population to be 168,562.
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Location: 600 South Buchanan Street, Civic Center courtyard
for Arroyo Amarillo, nearby creek given its designation by Spaniards in
early days. In 1887, when the Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad was building
through this region, a group represented by J. T. Berry platted the town (1 Mi.
W.). The founders were merchants of Colorado
City (250 Mi. SE), establishing convenient trade facilities for their South
Plains customers. Later (Aug. 30) that year, Potter County was organized and
Amarillo was chosen county seat by 38 LX and 15 Frying Pan cowboys as electors.
In 1889 heavy rains and other inducements were factors influencing residents to
move to this new townsite addition promoted by J. F. Glidden and H. B. Sanborn,
owners of the Frying Pan Ranch (headquarters 16 Mi. W). In 1892 Glidden traded
his interest in the city for Sanborn's interest in the ranch. In the years 1892-1897,
Amarillo was the largest rural shipping point for cattle
in the nation. When a rail line to serve the South
Plains was proposed, Amarillo and Washburn
(15 Mi. SE) were rivals for the junction. Amarillo won, through efforts of city
developer Sanborn. When construction began in 1898, Amarillo's future was assured:
it was to be the commercial center of the Texas
Texas Historic Landmark (1970)
Landmarks / Attractions / Images
House : |
One of Amarillo's early and elegant homes (1914) at 1600 Polk
Street. Free tours on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, April to December. Advance
arrangements required. 806-374-5490.The
American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum
A hidden gem of Western art in the Texas
Panhandle. The moment you approach, you are greeted by the beautiful, larger-than-life
bronze statues of history-making American Quarter Horses Rugged Lark and Refrigerator.
Visitors can spend time reflecting outside at the newly renovated Wall of Honor
Plaza, honoring and memorializing the horses and people who’ve paved the way for
the American Quarter Horse. The Wall of Honor welcomes visitors to the Hall of
Fame from two unique perspectives. From the east, a light sculpture displays a
herd of running American Quarter Horses; from the west, granite bricks preserve
and pay tribute to the people and horses meaningful to generous donors. www.quarterhorsemuseum.com
Field Air and Space Museum :
A project of the Texas Aviation Historical
Society, Inc. For directions and information telephone 806-335-1812.Thompson
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Duro Canyon State Park Lake
Meredith National Recreational AreaMcClellan
50 miles east of Amarillo on McClellan Creek, Red River tributary
Travel & Tourists Information Texas
Travel Information Center on I-40 / U.S. 287 just east of Amarillo. Operated
by the Texas Department of Transportation.
Convention & Visitor Council
1000 S. Polk Street, Amarillo, Texas 79101
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Texas Polk Street Trolleys|
Photo courtesy texasoldphotos.com
Of the pioneer types who helped establish a standard for
Texas fiddle playing, Eck Robertson deserves the most credit. Robertson, who grew
up near Amarillo in the late 1800s came from a family of fiddlers...
Thornton: King of the oilfield firefighters and rainmaker
by Clay Coppedge
The oil fields of the Texas Panhandle in the 1920s
and ‘30s were a place where a man who knew how to use nitroglycerin could make
a good living for himself. Ward A. “Tex” Thornton was such a man. He learned all
about nitro when he went to work in 1913 for an Ohio company that manufactured
torpedoes. He brought that knowledge along with a steady hand and no small degree
of courage to the oil fields around Amarillo in 1920...
in thick of Dust Bowl by Delbert Trew
"Amarillo - The Story
Of A Western Town" by Paul H. Carlson is a must read for old-timers and those
who arrived later. Most who have lived in the Panhandle very long remember seeing
or hearing of our most notorious history, but few know the little details of how
and why the stories unfolded...
honoring mothers-in-law drew thousands by Delbert Trew
intended as a small local event to placate the offended, the celebration drew
national attention when Will Rogers mentioned the upcoming celebration on his
national radio show. Mothers-in-law from across the nation including first lady
Eleanor Roosevelt sent greetings of varied nature...
by Airmail by Mike Cox |
With five cents in postage and an additional
20 cents for special delivery, the envelope had left the Panhandle shortly before
8 a.m. that day. The plane carrying it and airmail landed in Kansas City, where
postal workers transferred the bag holding the letter to Bush to another plane.
That aircraft reached the Windy City at 9:30 p.m. From the airport, the letter
and others went by truck to the north side post office. When it arrived there,
a carrier drove it to Bush’s residence for delivery only 15 hours and 30 minnutes
after it left Amarillo. While that is snail-like compared with email, it was incredibly
fast for 1930, especially to the Bush brothers... more
Times at Amarillo High
by Mike Cox
When the seniors who would graduate from Amarillo High
School in 1942 showed up for their first day of classes, they and all their underclassmates
received an orange student handbook. The booklet ... included some things that
would seem totaly bizarre to 12th graders today, like dating dos and don’ts...
Came The Amarillan by
I love Amarillo ... I never met so many good lookin',
boot-wearin', city-shunnin', plain-talkin', fellas in my entire life as I did
a few weeks back when I visited The Fair And Totally Underrated City of Amarillo
In The County of Potter in the Republic of Texas...
| Subject: Canadian
are of the Canadian River valley traveling from Dumas,
Texas to Amarillo. You can see Amarillo on the far horizon (to the South).
The river has carved its way through the otherwise flat plains in a million different
channels. The road is U.S. 287/87 which is the main road from Texas
through the Panhandle to Denver and
other points North.
River today is often just a small stream thanks to the many dams on the river
and its tributaries in New Mexico, but even a short rainstorm can fill its banks.
The Canadian River
is now an important recreation area for off-roaders, hikers, and hunters. To the
east of these views, the river flows into Lake Meredith, which is an important
source of drinking water and recreation. - Tom
Jones, December 24, 2007
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