Panhandle, Texas facts for kids

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Panhandle, Texas
Welcome sign in Panhandle
Welcome sign in Panhandle
Motto: People of Pride & Purpose
Location of Panhandle, Texas
Location of Panhandle, Texas
Carson County Panhandle.svg
Country United States
State Texas
County Carson
 • Total 2.1 sq mi (5.5 km2)
 • Land 2.1 sq mi (5.5 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 3,458 ft (1,054 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,452
 • Density 1,154/sq mi (445.7/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 79068
Area code(s) 806
FIPS code 48-54960
GNIS feature ID 1364746

Panhandle is the county seat of Carson County, Texas, United States. The population of the town was 2,452 at the 2010 census. Panhandle is part of the Amarillo, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Temple Houston historical marker IMG 0637
Temple Lea Houston historical marker at Square House Museum

Panhandle derives its name from its central location in the Texas Panhandle. Originally named "Carson City", it was later changed to "Panhandle City".

In 1887, Panhandle obtained a post office, and in 1888 the town was planned as the terminus of the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway. At that time the town was surrounded by several large cattle ranches. The community soon acquired a bank, a mercantile store, a wagonyard, a school, a newspaper, and three saloons.

In 1888, Carson County was organized, and Panhandle became the county seat. J. C. Paul, an early settler of Carson County, described the Plains accordingly: "It was a beautiful smooth prairie as far as the eye could see, not a tree, not even a shrub knee high, to hide a jackrabbit, for miles in every direction. No fences, no roads, no houses, only a handful of people around Panhandle, the only settlement then in all that Plains country." The cattlemen were reconciled to the arrival of farmers because they produced needed forage crops, such as hay, and introduced more families with eligible young women for the cowboy bachelors of the cattle kingdom.

Temple Lea Houston, the eighth and last child of politician Sam Houston, built a home near Panhandle. In 1881, Houston was named district attorney for the 35th Judicial District, and was elected to the Texas Senate in 1884, two years before he met the minimum age requirement of 26. Houston was known for favoring legislation popular with frontiersmen.

Panhandle was scandalized in 1897 after George E. Morrison, a preacher at the Methodist Episcopal Church, poisoned his wife Minnie with a strychnine-laced apple so that he could marry his mistress Miss Annie Whittlesey of Topeka, Kansas. Morrison was sentenced to die in the gallows at Vernon in Wilbarger County, Texas, his last words being: "Jesus, Lover of My Soul".

In 1909, Panhandle voted to incorporate with a mayor-council government.

The population grew in the 1920s when Panhandle became the center of a natural gas field.

A new county courthouse was completed in 1950.

Panhandle continued to thrive in the 1980s as a regional marketing and shipping center for cattle, wheat, and petroleum products.

The Carson County Square House Museum is located inside the oldest house in Panhandle, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 521
1920 638 22.5%
1930 2,035 219.0%
1940 978 −51.9%
1950 1,406 43.8%
1960 1,958 39.3%
1970 2,141 9.3%
1980 2,226 4.0%
1990 2,353 5.7%
2000 2,589 10.0%
2010 2,452 −5.3%
Est. 2015 2,341 −4.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
Panhandle, Texas, City Hall IMG 0646
Panhandle City Hall is located in the old Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Depot, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,589 people, 945 households, and 719 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,216.6 people per square mile (469.3/km²). There were 1,014 housing units at an average density of 476.5 per square mile (183.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 93.16% White, 0.66% African American, 0.77% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 3.86% from other races, and 1.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.96% of the population.

There were 945 households out of which 38.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.0% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.9% were non-families. 22.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the town, the population was spread out with 29.4% under the age of 18, 5.9% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $41,686, and the median income for a family was $50,735. Males had a median income of $38,155 versus $25,329 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,640. About 4.0% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.1% of those under age 18 and 11.4% of those age 65 or over.

Geography and climate

Panhandle is located slightly south of the center of Carson County. U.S. Route 60 passes through the town, leading northeast 27 miles (43 km) to Pampa and southwest the same distance to Amarillo. Texas State Highway 207 crosses US 60 in Panhandle and passes through the center of town; it leads north 23 miles (37 km) to Borger and south 9 miles (14 km) to Interstate 40 at Conway.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Panhandle has a total area of 2.1 square miles (5.5 km2), all of it land.


According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Panhandle has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.

Panhandle, Texas, downtown IMG 0645
Brick streets in Panhandle
Panhandle, TX, High School sign IMG 0632
Panhandle High School sign

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