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|Ranchers appeared in Carson County in
the early 1880s. The JA Ranch of Charles Goodnight and
John G. Adair and the Turkey Track Ranch both grazed large ranges in Carson County by 1880. In 1882 Charles G.
Francklyn purchased 637,440 acres of railroad lands in Gray, Carson, Hutchinson, and Roberts counties, 281,000
of them in Carson County. The newly formed Francklyn Land and Cattle Company, with B. B. Groom as manager, attempted
to ranch and farm on a large scale, but failed. The lands of the Francklyn Company were sold to the White Deer
Lands Trust of British bondholders in 1886 and 1887.
|In the later 1880s the railroads reached
Carson County. By 1886 the Southern Kansas Railway, a subsidiary of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, had built
from Kiowa, Kansas, to the Texas-Indian Territory border. The Southern Kansas of Texas Railway was formed to extend
the line into Texas.
Panhandle City, a temporary railhead,
was founded in 1887 in anticipation of the railroad line, which finally reached the town in 1888. The town grew,
and its occupants hoped that another rail line, the Fort Worth and Denver City, which was building from Fort Worth
across the Panhandle to Colorado, would pass through their city. As it happened, the Fort Worth and Denver City
missed Panhandle City by fourteen miles to the south, just touching the southwestern corner of the county. In 1889
the two lines were finally linked by a fourteen-mile span between Panhandle City and Washburn, a station on the
Fort Worth and Denver City.
By 1890 Carson
County had a rail network, and its first town, soon known simply as Panhandle. Water had to be brought to
Panhandle by railroad from the area of Miami in Roberts County, then carried in barrels on wagons to homesteads.
This problem hindered development until it was found that abundant underground water could be pumped to the surface
by windmills. That discovery, together with the selling
of White Deer lands to small ranchers and farmers in 1902, greatly increased the area's attractiveness. During
the next thirty years a modern agricultural economy emerged, based on the production of livestock, wheat, corn,
and grain sorghum.
Carson County is named for Samuel Price Carson, the first secretary of state of
the Republic of Texas. Its county seat is Panhandle
Cities and towns
Texas Ghost Town - Conway
Carson County, Texas Panhandle
Interstate 40 (Old Route 66) & Hwy 207
12 miles E of Amarillo
Population: 25 est. (2000) 50 (1990)
This town along the Choctaw Route of the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway actually began before the arrival
of the railroad. The Lone Star school, established in 1892 for the children of ranchers is said to be the first
in the Panhandle region. The Fisher Brothers, Delzell and P. H., platted the town in 1905 and the one-room
schoolhouse was moved there. The town was named in honor of a former county commissioner (H. B. Conway).
A post office was granted in 1903 and moved into a store run by Edward S. Carr in 1907. After a consolidation
with the Panhandle ISD, Conway's old brick school building was used as a community center.
The population was a mere 25 in 1925, but by 1939 it had risen to 125. The Handbook of Texas reports Conway
had a population of 175 in 1969 but only 50 people in 1970. No explanation is given for the drastic change.
The post office was closed in 1976.
Index of Heirloom Recipes
Dec 2009: Harris - Matheson Wedding; Obits for HESTER, WALKER ,WILSON; Crime News Items
Jan 2009: Death Record of Frank Burgin; Early Recipes
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