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Gray County TX
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Gray County Seat, Texas Panhandle

3532'35"N 10057'53"W (35.543005, -100.964744)

US 60, Hwy 70, 152, 273
24 miles N of I-40 (Old Route 66)
29 miles SE of Borger
40 miles SW of Miami
46 miles SW of Canadian
62 miles S of Perryton
54 miles NE of Amarillo
ZIP codes 79065-79066
Area code 806
Population: 17,068 Est. (2019)
17,994 (2010) 17,887 (2000) 19,959 (1990)

Book Hotel Here › Pampa Hotels

Road to Pampa Texas
The road to Pampa
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, January 2006

Pampa was named by the manager of the White Deer Land Company. According to sources - he had visited Argentina and the grassly landscape of the Panhandle reminded him of the Argentine Pampas.

History in a Pecan Shell

1887: city started by being designated a stop on the Southern Kansas Railway known as Glasgow
1892: post office granted
1902: townsite was platted and Gray County was organized
1910: population reaches 400
1912: Pampa incorporates
1926: oil discovered
1928: Pampa becomes county seat over Lefors
1931: population over 10,000
1932: Fort Worth and Denver Railroad lays tracks through Pampa
1935: April 14, 1935 - Famous Dust Storm of "Black Sunday"
1942: Pampa Army Air Field opens east of town
1945: Pampa Army Air Field closes east of town

Historical Marker: 1 Albert Square, Pampa (faces Courthouse Square on Kingsmill).


In 1888 a telegraph station on the Southern Kansas Railroad developed here, and was named Glasgow. Renamed Sutton a year later, a post office was established in 1892 and the town was named Pampa by George Tyng (d. 1906), manager of the White Deer Land Company. Surveyor A. H. Doucette (1884-1964) laid out the town in 1902. The first school opened in 1903 and the first church was organized in 1906. J. N. Duncan (1858-1941) became Pampa's first mayor in 1912. Following a 1920s oil boom, the county seat was moved here from Lefors in 1928.

Pampa, Texas Landmarks / Attractions:

Gray County Courthouse, Pampa Texas
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2007
Gray County Courthouse

  • Gray County Courthouse

  • Freedom Museum USA -
    600 North Hobart Street. 806-669-6066. Donations.

  • White Deer Land Museum -
    116 S. Cuyler Street

  • Pampa Hotels - Book Here

  • Pampa TX city hall

    The Pampa City Hall, 1930
    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
    200 W. Foster Avenue
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2007

    Historical Marker: 200 W. Foster Avenue

    Pampa City Hall

    Construction of this and other major downtown buildings in Pampa came as a result of the Texas Panhandle Oil Boom of the late 1920s and early 1930s. Designed by architect William R. Kaufman to complement the Gray County Courthouse, which he also designed, the City Hall was completed in December 1930. The beaux arts style building features triumphal arch entrances with classical detailing and pilaster elements around the perimeter.
    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1987

    Pampa TX post office

    The 1934 Pampa Post Office Building
    120 E. Foster
    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2007
    More Texas Post Offices

    Historical Marker: 120 E. Foster

    1934 Pampa Post Office Building

    A post office was established here in 1892, and in 1902 the town of Pampa was formally platted. Following the discovery of oil in the area in 1926 Pampa experienced a population boom which created a need for a larger post office. Built in 1933-34 by the Works Progress Administration, this structure exhibits Spanish Renaissance Revival architectural influences in its elongated rounded windows, tile roof, arcaded loggia, and decorative modillions and stone work.
    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1992

    Historical Marker: 201 East Foster Ave

    First Methodist Church of Pampa

    Five charter members established the First Methodist Church in 1906, the first denomination organized in Pampa. In 1908 a one-room white church with a steeple was built. This church site was purchased in 1924, and a new sanctuary was completed in 1928. Additional buildings and land were acquired as the congregation grew and renovations to the structures were made. The church provides many educational and worship activities for its members and supports the community with several outreach programs. The First Methodist Church has served the area for more than 90 years.


    Pampa Texas bank eagle
    Pampa Bank Eagle
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2007
    See Eagle Eyes of Texas

    Schneider Hotel, Pampa , Texas
    The former Schneider Hotel is now in use as a retirement hotel. On the National Register of Historic Places.
    Photo courtesy Sharon Thomas, July 2006
    More Rooms with a Past

    Historical Marker: Beginning in Pampa, take SH 152 about 11 miles east to intersection of SH 152 and FM 1474. (marker is on SE corner). The marker is for the site of the former Pampa Army Air Field.

    Site of Pampa Army Air Force Base
    In the early 1940s Pampa Mayor Fred Thompson and a delegation from the city's Chamber of Commerce traveled to Washington, D.C. to promote this area as a possible site for a military base. Attracted by the terrain, climactic history, available land and community response, Army officials chose this site for the establishment of an installation to train pilots and support personnel for World War II.

    Construction of the Pampa Army Air Force Base began in June 1942, under the direction of the Tulsa, Oklahoma office of the Corps of Engineers. Overseeing the initial stages of the operation was Col. Norman B. Olsen. Temporary offices were set up in the Rose Motor Company and Culberson-Smalling buildings in town. Col. Daniel S. Campbell became the commanding officer in September 1942, and within two months the first planes and aviation cadets had arrived.

    The Pampa Army Air Force Base closed September 30, 1945, after just three years of operation. During that time 6,292 aviation cadets and 3,500 mechanics were trained. The base's safety record was one of the best in the U.S. Training Command during World War II. Despite a brief history, the base had a dramatic impact on the development of the Pampa area.

    Pampa Field, Texas
    Pamper Field, Texas
    Postcard courtesy rootsweb.com/%7Etxpstcrd/

    Pampa Chronicles

  • A Scary Thing: Dust Storm in the Texas Panhandle, April 1935 Ola Covey. As told to Louise George

  • People

  • Indian Jim by Mike Cox ("Texas Tales" Column)

    Barely 50 years after the U.S. Cavalry drove the last hostile Indians out of the Panhandle an Indian from New York made page-one news in Pampa and across the nation.

  • Woody Guthrie and the End of the World by Clay Coppedge

    "The end of the world, as Guthrie perceived it that day [April 14, 1935] , came in the form of one of the worst dust storms in American history. The storm had its origins in the Dakotas where a high-pressure system was challenged by a hard-charging cold front from Yukon country. The wind howled like a hammer and picked up tons of Dakota dirt and propelled it southward, where many more tons of dirt, exposed by the plow to the wind, was carried south, toward Oklahoma and Texas."... more

  • Historical Marker: 320 S. Cuyler St.

    Woody Guthrie

    American folk musician Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie (1912-1967) moved to Pampa from his native Oklahoma at age 17. Here he learned to play the guitar and joined with other musicians to perform for area events. Guthrie briefly attended Pampa High School and, from 1930 until 1935, worked as a soda jerk at this site, home of the former Harris Drug Store. He also spent much time reading books in the Pampa city library, preparing him for his most productive years as a poet-lyricist and folk balladeer during the 1940s and early 1950s. He left Pampa for California in 1937 and in 1940 went to New York City, where he was recognized for his writings and performances. He died there in 1967.

    Music CD

    1936 Centennial Marker: Located just east of Highway 70 at turn off to Lake McClellan, but before entering park, about 17 miles south of Pampa.

    Indian Battlefield

    In this vicinity Lieutenant Frank D. Baldwin, commanding two companies of United States troops, attacked a large band of Indians and rescued two white girl captives, November 8, 1874.

    Historical Marker: Highway 70, 6 miles S of Pampa.

    Red River Expedition of 1852

    Randolph B. Marcy, U.S. Fifth Infantry Captain, and George B. McClellan led a company into the Texas panhandle in 1852 to determine the locations of the headwaters of the Red River. That summer the team discovered two main branches of the Upper Red River that intersect the 100th Meridan. The North Branch is southeast of Pampa. Earlier treaties used the Red River as a boundary, but it was unclear which fork was meant when first defined. In 1896, the South Branch was determined to be the main stream and the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma.
    (1984, 1996)

    Pampa Area Lakes

  • Greenbelt Reservoir
  • McClellan Reservoir
  • Meredith Reservoir
  • Pampa Hotels

  • Take a road trip

    Texas Panhandle

    Old Route 66

    Pampa, Texas Nearby Cities & Towns:
    See Gray County

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