In the late 19th century, Texas became known for its cattle drives, in which cowboys would move herds of cattle from Texas to railheads in Kansas and other northern states. The cattle drives were dangerous and difficult work, but they played a key role in the development of the American cattle industry.
Potter County, Texas has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s. The county was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Comanche and Kiowa, who used the land for hunting and gathering. In the mid-19th century, European settlers began to arrive, attracted by the fertile soil and opportunities for ranching.

In 1876, Potter County was officially established and named after Robert Potter, a lawyer and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. The county's first town, Amarillo, was founded soon after and quickly became the county seat. Initially, Amarillo served as a cattle shipping point and a center for trade, attracting businesses and settlers from surrounding areas.

The early 20th century brought significant development to Potter County. The discovery of oil in nearby areas in the 1920s led to a boom in the county, with oil companies setting up operations and bringing wealth and jobs to the region. This growth and prosperity continued throughout the 20th century, with Amarillo becoming a major economic and cultural hub in the Texas Panhandle.

Today, Potter County continues to thrive as a vibrant community. Its economy is diversified, with significant contributions from industries such as healthcare, education, agriculture, and tourism. The county boasts numerous parks, museums, and attractions, making it an attractive destination for visitors. With its rich history and ongoing growth, Potter County remains a significant contributor to the heritage and economy of Texas.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Potter County, Texas.

  • Potter County is formed on August 21, 1876
  • In 1886, Amarillo becomes the county seat of Potter County
  • The first courthouse in Potter County is built in 1887
  • The first oil well is drilled in Potter County in 1921
  • Potter County experiences significant growth during the oil boom of the 1920s
  • Palo Duro Canyon State Park is established in Potter County in 1934
  • In 1951, the Pantex Plant is established in Potter County, becoming a key facility for the assembly and disassembly of nuclear weapons
  • The Tri-State Fair & Rodeo, held annually in Potter County, celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2021