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MAGENTA, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Oldham County, Texas Panhandle
About 20 Miles NE of Vega
About 3 Miles E of Tascosa
Population: 0

Area Hotel Here > Amarillo Hotels

The Colorful History of Magenta, Texas

In Memory of “Dud” Parnell

Originally named Cheyenne after the creek of the same name, the land had been owned by a man named Henry Kimball. Kimball was the blacksmith for the town of Tascosa - barely three miles east of Cheyenne.

Cheyenne was also served as the temporary headquarters of the LIT Ranch (See George Littlefield).

In 1880, during the celebration of Tascosa being chosen as the Oldham County Seat, LIT ranch cowboy William Dudley (Dud) Pannell was accidentally shot and killed. This won him the dubious distinction of being the first person interred in the Cheyenne cemetery.

Things really started moving in 1887 when the railroad arrived. The Fort Worth and Denver City Railway offered plots of land if only people would come and claim them. A hotel was constructed and cattle pens were built (perhaps for the overflow of hotel guests).

On December 15, 1887, a special excursion train arrived, bringing potential settlers. It was not recorded if anyone was shot – accidentally or intentionally.

LS Ranch manager William McDole Lee, who had donated land to the railroad, wanted Cheyenne to eclipse Tascosa so he could get a break on taxes. When a taxi service started operation from the depot in Cheyeene to Tascosa, the simmering rivalry between the towns peaked.

When the upstart town submitted the name for a post office, they chose the colorful name of Magenta – for the color of the banks alongside the creek. It was a word that few people had heard West of the Mississippi and one that postal authorities in Washington may have had to look up.

Perhaps the rivalry discouraged prospective residents who just wanted free land and didn’t want to get involved in Mr. Lee’s tax squabbles. Whatever the reason, the “land boom” (if there was one) had fizzled within a year.

Residents moved away although the railroad still maintained a presence. Soon only the shipping pens and depot were left and the magenta banks of Cheyenne Creek were only admired by the lone agent.

Years later, enough people had gathered to justify the opening of a store. After WWII twenty people were reported living in the vicinity, but they too, moved on, leaving only the small cemetery and the grave of the hapless cowboy “Dud” Parnell.
Magenta TX cancelled postmark  info
Magenta TX cancelled postmark
Cancelled cover with Magenta, Texas postmark
Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection
Oldham County map showing Magenta
Modification of Texas General Land Office 1907 postal map

Magenta, Texas Area Towns:
Tascosa
Vega
Route 66 in Texas
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