The cattle industry played a significant role in the development of Texas, with cowboys driving cattle from Texas to railheads in Kansas during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Gray County, located in the Texas Panhandle, has a rich and diverse history dating back thousands of years. The earliest known inhabitants of the area were the Plains Indians, including the Comanche and Kiowa tribes, who roamed the grasslands and utilized the region's abundant wildlife for sustenance.

European settlement in Gray County began in the late 19th century, driven by the expansion of railroads and the cattle industry. The area became a popular destination for cattle ranchers, with the establishment of large ranches and the construction of stockyards and rail lines. The growth of the cattle industry played a significant role in shaping the county's early economy and attracting settlers to the region.

In 1876, Gray County was officially organized and named after Peter W. Gray, a prominent Texas lawyer and judge. The county seat, Pampa, was established in 1892 and experienced rapid growth due to the discovery of oil in the early 20th century. The oil boom created a surge in population and economic activity, bringing prosperity to the region.

Throughout the 20th century, Gray County continued to thrive due to its diverse economy, including agriculture, oil and gas, and manufacturing industries. The area's agricultural sector remained strong, with crops like wheat, sorghum, and cotton being cultivated. Additionally, manufacturing companies set up operations in the county, further contributing to its economic stability.

Today, Gray County is a thriving community with a mix of rural and urban areas. It continues to be a center for agriculture, oil and gas production, and manufacturing. The county's rich history is celebrated through various cultural events and museums, providing visitors with a glimpse into the area's past.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Gray County, Texas.

  • 1876: Gray County was officially organized and named after Peter W. Gray, a Texas lawyer.
  • 1887: The first post office in Gray County was established.
  • 1889: The town of Pampa was founded and became the county seat of Gray County.
  • 1902: The first railroad, Southern Kansas Railway, reached Pampa, leading to significant growth and development.
  • 1924: A significant oil discovery, the White Deer Oil Field, sparked an oil boom in Gray County.
  • 1934: The county experienced severe damage and loss of life due to a devastating tornado.
  • 1952: The Pantex Ordnance Plant, a major nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility, was established in Gray County.
  • 1965: Lake McClellan, a reservoir on the Red River, was completed and became a popular recreational area.
  • 1995: The historic Gray County Courthouse, built in 1929, was restored and designated as a Texas Historic Landmark.