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Armstrong  County
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Charles Goodnight

"Hometown of Hud"

Texas Ghost Town
Armstrong County, Texas Panhandle

35° 2' 4" N, 101° 11' 11" W (35.034444, -101.186389)

Highway 287
14 miles SE of Claude the county seat
40 miles SE of Amarillo
NW of Clarendon
Population: 20 Est. (2019)
25 est. (2010, 2000, 1990)

Goodnight, Texas Area Hotels › Amarillo Hotels

Goodnight Texas sign
Goodnight sign
Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, 2006

Goodnight, Texas Topics:

  • History in a Pecan Shell › and photos
  • Goodnight Today
  • Goodnight Cemetery
  • Charles Goodnight Historical Marker
  • People
  • Forum
  • Goodnight 1900s Vintage Photos › next page
  • Goodnight Vintage Photos - "The Peden Home, Garden & Family" › next page
  • How legends are made: Charles Goodnight by Delbert Trew › next page

  • Goodnight College 1899 class photo , Texas
    The graduating class of Goodnight College 1900
    Photo courtesy Lance Ingham Sloan

    History in a Pecan Shell

    Named for famed cattleman Charles Goodnight, who settled here, the first building in town was reportedly Goodnight's ranchhouse, built in 1887.

    The Fort Worth and Denver City Railway soon came through and established a depot. The post office opened in 1888 and the former JA Ranch blacksmith opened a shop that same year.

    Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight, with the help of the Goodnight Baptist Church opened Goodnight College (1898 until 1917).

    Charles Goodnight died in 1929, but up until his death he was, for all intents and purposes, the town of Goodnight. His house and his buffalo herd remain.

    Goodnight had a population of 300 for the 1940 census. As Claude's star rose, Goodnight's declined. In 1963 the Paul Newman movie Hud was filmed in Goodnight and the post office closed six years later.

    Besides the Goodnight Ranch facilities, only two churches and the cemetery remain today.

    The population in 1990 was the same as the 1969 estimate - 25 persons.

    Herd of Buffallo, Good Night Ranch, Goodnight Texas
    Herd of Buffallo, Good Night Ranch, Goodnight Texas
    Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/

    1936 Texas Centennial Marker: Goodnight Community Center, SW corner of FM 294 and King Road

    Town of Goodnight

    Named in honor of Charles Goodnight, 1836-1929, noted scout, Indian fighter and trail blazer who established the first ranch in the Texas Panhandle in 1876 and is also known as the Burbank of the Range

    Goodnight Texas vintage photo
    Courtesy Lance Ingham Sloan, decendent of the Vaughan's of Goodnight and GGGG-nephew of Charles Goodnight)
    Goodnight 1900s Vintage Photos

    Goodnight TX - Abandoned Peden Home
    Photos courtesy Nancy Kelly
    Goodnight Vintage Photos -
    "The Peden Home, Garden & Family"

    Goodnight Texas residence
    Goodnight TX - Castle On The Plains
    Photo courtesy Lance Ingham Sloan, 2007

    Goodnight Cemetery, TExas
    Goodnight Cemetery
    Photo courtesy Marlee Goodnight Dickerson, October 2003
    More Texas Cemeteries

    Goodnight TX marker
    Charles and Mary Ann Dyer Goodnight Marker
    Photo courtesy Marlee Goodnight Dickerson, October 2003

    Goodnight TX - Charles  and Mary  Ann Dyer Goodnight marker
    Charles and Mary Ann Dyer Goodnight Marker
    Photo courtesy Marlee Goodnight Dickerson, October 2003

    Historical Marker - Hwy 287, E of Goodnight

    Charles Goodnight

    Illinois-born, came to Texas in 1845. At 19, on way to gold field, saw ranching possibilities, and started herd in Palo Pinto area. In the Civil War scouted for the frontier regiment in northwest Texas, New Mexico and Indian Territory. With Oliver Loving, pioneered Goodnight-Loving Trail across deserts and Indian lands, 1866. Established in 1876 the first Texas Panhandle ranch, in Palo Duro Canyon, longtime winter shelter of Plains Indians. Later with Irish partner, expanded into the great JA Ranch. Founded old Goodnight College.

    TX - Charles Goodnight historical marker
    Charles Goodnight Historical Marker On FM 52 in Oran
    Photo courtesy Curtis Carter


  • How Legends are Made: Charles Goodnight by Delbert Trew

  • Mary Ann Goodnight and the Texas State Bison Herd by Linda Kirkpatrick

  • Gentlemen's Agreement by Mike Cox
    Dutch Henry and Charles Goodnight

  • Uncle Dick's Toll Road by Clay Coppedge

  • Goodnight 1900s Vintage Photos

  • Goodnight Vintage Photos - "The Peden Home, Garden & Family"

  • Goodnight Texas by Ken Rudine

  • Goodnight, Texas Forum
  • Subject: Goodnight Texas

    In response to Nancy Kelly, Noble Sutton was my great-grandfather. His wife was named Ethel. They had several children including my granddad, Howard Sutton, who passed away five years ago. I am going to put my mother in contact with this forum so she can share some pictures. - Tonya Harden, Visalia, CA, November 07, 2017

  • Subject: Goodnight, Texas

    Was glad to see your information about Goodnight, TX. My grandparents lived up the road from the cemetery for around 31 years – late 1940 or so to about 1971 - David Clarence Peden and my grandmother Annie. The house is gone now but we spent almost every Christmas and summer there. Down the White Deer highway lived the Sutton Family - and I cannot for the life of me remember Mr. Sutton’s name. He and his wife and one of their grandchildren are buried in the Goodnight cemetery. William Rufus Tyler and Verdie Tyler who lived across that highway to the west were frequent visitors to my grandparents house and likewise. I remember my brother and cousins going to the Tyler’s to watch the filming of HUD – or at least see if they could get a glimpse of the cast. Mr. and Mrs. Newberry ran the general store and post office just off of Hwy 287 over the train tracks. One of our favorite activities after dinner was to all walk down to the cemetery entrance and back – that was our entertainment! At the time there were two abandoned houses across the road at different intervals and as kids we would make up all sorts of ghost stories about those houses. Those were the good times! - Nancy Kelly, Denton, Texas, August 31, 2010

    I remember Mr. Sutton’s first name! Noble - Nancy Kelly, September 06, 2010

  • Subject: Goodnight, Texas

    Around 1950 or 1951 I was six years old an enrolled in the first grade at Goodnight school. My mother was hired to teach the 7th, 8th and 9th grades. I remember my first girlfriend, Becky, (she was an older woman). She was in the second grade and sat in front of me through 6th grade. I remember driving out to the canyon and seeing trunks and other discards left by wagons that had going through just forty or so years earlier. A lot of clothing and household effects were still in the trunks - just as they were packed all those years earlier. I remember riding hogs, calves, and catching turtles from a pond. I remember going to the funeral of an old man I remember as Mister Goodnight. I still question my memory as to who he really was but the whole county turned out. I remember getting hit in the back of the head with a base ball bat playing catcher at recess. No questions there. I so yearn for days like those again. I would like to hear from others from Goodnight of the same time. - D D Durbin, Corpus Christi, Texas, November 22, 2007, ASKDAL@aol.com , November 22, 2007

  • Subject: Goodnight Cemetery

    My grandfather, Henry Louis Hodgin, worked for Captain Goodnight as a ranch hand. The story is that Captain Goodnight sent him to school; I don't know for how long he worked for the Captain or any other information on that. I do know that my great grandfather, William Sterling Hodgin, is buried in the Goodnight Cemetery and was buried by Captain Goodnight. A marker is on the grave. In the registry for the cemetery, it only denotes that the father of Louis Hodgin was buried in the plot.

    I do have a photo of that grave, but my question is if there is any way that I could get information on this grave or the history of more of the ranch hands on the Goodnight ranch during the early 1900's? (I'm guessing here at a date, my grandfather was born in 1893.) Since my grandfather was half Cherokee, he was always very quiet about his heritage because he didn't want his children to be called "Half-breeds."

    My mother is now 85 years old and the oldest of her siblings. We are having a reunion at her brother's house outside of Post, Texas this summer. Her brother is the baby of the family at the age of 73. We've always been curious about the history of Goodnight because of this connection and the lack of information in the family. If anyone can be of any help to us in finding more sources on the history of Goodnight or the ranch hands please send it in. - Kay Strickland, kay_strcklnd@yahoo.com, Edgewood, Texas, July 02, 2007

  • Subject: Goodnight Texas

    Dear TE, I have attached a few more photographs of family from the glory days of Goodnight, Texas. Quite a few of them are buried in the Goodnight Cemetery. - Lance Ingham Sloan, (decendent of the Vaughan's of Goodnight) and (GGGG-nephew of Charles Goodnight), May 12, 2007

  • My name is Marlee Goodnight, now Marlee Dickerson. My family and I came through Goodnight, Texas and stopped at the lovely museum in Claude in 2003, what a wonderful trip... I have photos that turned out nicely. Charles Goodnight was my fathers great uncle. I will dig out those photos. When I was in Claude they had some lovely photos, the one I really liked and would love to have is the one with Charles and Mary sitting together on a white settee in front of the house.

    During my research last night I came across a website talking about a fundraiser for the homestead. Have your heard how it went? I would love to be able to come back, we were talking about going for the reunion this summer.

    Its funny but Goodnights seem to have the innovative spirit. Whenever I am confronted with a problem, I just decide to make it work, reinvent it, IE the chuckwagon. I think it is best summed up with we don’t like being told NO! you can't do it, that won't work. For me it’s a battle cry! - Marlee Goodnight Dickerson, Santa Rosa, California, February 18, 2007

  • I have in my possession some photos of residents from Goodnight, Texas including a class photo from Goodnight College 1899 - 1900. I have attached the photograph and one of my GGGrandparent's and their home in Goodnight. - Lance Ingham Sloan, Santa Rosa, California, February 09, 2007

  • TX - Armstrong  County 1907 postal map
    1907 postal map (Texas State map #2090) showing Goodnight
    in W Armstrong County

    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Take a road trip
    Texas Panhandle

    Goodnight, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Claude the county seat
    See Armstrong County

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