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Pampa, Texas
—  City  —
Location of Pampa, Texas
Coordinates: 35°32′35″N 100°57′53″W / 35.54306°N 100.96472°W / 35.54306; -100.96472
Country United States
State Texas
County Gray
 - Total 8.7 sq mi (22.6 km2)
 - Land 8.7 sq mi (22.6 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 3,238 ft (987 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 17,887
 - Density 2,050.0/sq mi (791.5/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 79065-79066
Area code(s) 806
FIPS code 48-54912[1]
GNIS feature ID 1364740[2]
Model chapel in White Deer Museum
Ironing in the kitchen, ca. 1900, White Deer Museum

Pampa is a city in Gray County, Texas, United States. The population was 17,887 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Gray County.[3]

Pampa is the principal city of the Pampa Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Gray and Roberts counties.

Each July, Pampa hosts the Top 'O Texas Rodeo, which brings competitors from a multi-state area to Gray County.

The White Deer Land Company Museum, which contains ranching exhibits, is located in downtown Pampa.[4]



Pampa is located at 35°32′35″N 100°57′53″W / 35.54306°N 100.96472°W / 35.54306; -100.96472 (35.543005, -100.964744).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.7 square miles (22.6 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 17,887 people, 7,387 households, and 5,074 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,050.0 people per square mile (791.1/km²). There were 8,785 housing units at an average density of 1,006.8/sq mi (388.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.69% White, 3.85% African American, 1.07% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 8.22% from other races, and 2.73% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.72% of the population.

There were 7,387 households out of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,213, and the median income for a family was $39,810. Males had a median income of $32,717 versus $20,492 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,791. About 12.1% of families and 14.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.7% of those under age 18 and 9.4% of those age 65 or over.


The City of Pampa is served by the Pampa Independent School District. The school district administers four elementary schools (Austin, Lamar, Travis and Wilson) as well as one junior high, one high school, and one non-traditional school.

The City of Pampa is also served by the Pampa Center branch of the Clarendon College.


The Lovett Memorial Library was built on the entire east half of the 100 block of North Houston Street. The building was dedicated on 18 January 1955.

In 1985 the Harrington Foundation of Amarillo paid for the computerization of library records, joining the library for the first time into a consortium with most of the public libraries in the Panhandle.

By the mid-1990s Lovett Library was showing its age, and it was furthermore not compliant with the Americans for Disabilities Act. In October 1995 it was announced that Mrs. Ruth Ann Holland has left $500,000 to the Library Foundation in her will. In 1996 the Lovett Library Foundation' which managed the Holland bequest and several other substantial bequests, announced that a plan was being made to extensive renovate the old building. In January 1998 the library staff along with all books and much equipment moved from the Houston Street facility to the old B. M. Baker school on the south side, where the library was set up in the cafeteria and classroom annex in the south part of the school complex.

This freed the old building on Houston Street for renovation. The children's area was moved to the second floor; a bridge was built between the second floor facility and other children's rooms in the south part of the building; an elevator was installed; new shelves, lighting, and ceiling tiles were installed; and the building was made completely ADA compliant. In June 2003 it was announced that R. L. Franklin, prominent rancher of Pampa, would donate two statues to the library to honor the 50th anniversary of the opening of the building in January 1955. One statue, by Don Ray of Channing, represents a seated woman reading to a child; this is erected in front of the library. Another statue representing a Pioneer Woman was by David Frech of New York; this was placed in the library's Reading Garden. Both statues were dedicated to four local women, including the donor's mother, each of whom had a long involvement with the library. The statues were dedicated on 9 January 2005, and at one of the dedicatory events the author Elmer Kelton was the guest speaker.


In 1888 the Santa Fe Railroad was constructed through the area where Pampa would be established. A rail station and telegraph office was built, and the townsite was laid out by George Tyng, manager of the White Deer Lands ranch. The town was first called Glascow, then Sutton, and then the name was changed to Pampa after the grasslands of South America at Mr. Tyng's suggestion. T.D. Hobart sold plots of land for the town only to people who agreed to settle there and develop the land, and Pampa soon became a center for agriculture. Gas and oil were discovered in the Texas Panhandle in 1916. Pampa prospered greatly in the resulting oil boom, and the Gray County seat was moved there from Lefors in 1928.[6]

1995 tornado

On June 8, 1995, a tornado hit the industrial section of Pampa, destroying or damaging about 250 businesses. It resulted in $30 million in damage and was the costliest and the most destructive tornado on record for this town. It had a three-mile path and was two hundred yards wide. At its peak, it packed winds between 207–260 miles per hour, and was rated an F4 on the Fujita Scale. Out of all the videos taken of this tornado, the most famous came from a local sheriff who used his dashboard camera to videotape the twister. At one point in the video, the tornado lifted and hurled a van and couple of flattened pick-up trucks into the air.

Notable residents

  • James H. Ayres (born 1937 and a 1955 graduate of Pampa High School) was a United States Air Force lieutenant colonel whose plane disappeared on January 3, 1971, over Laos. His remains were detected through mitochondrial DNA, according to Larry Greer, spokesman for The Pentagon's POW/MIA Office. His funeral was held on August 10, 2007, thirty-six years after his death. Ayres was also a graduate of Texas Tech. His widow, Brenda Ayres, lives in Dallas.[7]
  • Michelle Bourgeois, originally from Pampa.
  • Joe B. Bowers, Sr. (1871–1935), a rancher, oilman, and Gray County assessor was the wealthiest man in Gray County at the time after oil was discovered on his ranch in 1927. A native of Bell County in central Texas, he first settled in Roberts County. He was married to the former Lizzie Martin (1873-1930).[8]
  • C.E. "Doc" Cornutt (born 1949), president of Dallas-based Argent Property Company, is a 1967 graduate of Pampa High School.
  • Gerald J. Ford, most recently the Chairman of the Trustees of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and former Chairman and CEO of the once NYSE publicly-traded company Liberte Investors, and former Chairman and CEO of the California-based Golden State Bancorp (sold to Citigroup in 2002 for $6.1 billion), is a graduate of Pampa High School and Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the campus of SMU in Dallas honors Pampa's Gerald Ford after he donated over $20 million of the estimated $42 million to build the on-campus stadium that replaced venerable old Ownby Field.
  • Woody Guthrie, the songwriter, moved to Pampa with his father Charles Guthrie and attended high school there briefly. He purchased his first guitar in Pampa and painted the Harris Drug Store sign complete with his signature, which was sandblasted away in 1977.
  • T. Boone Pickens, chairman of the private equity firm BP Capital Management, and former CEO of Mesa Petroleum, currently lives on his ranch north of Pampa.
  • Ryan Rivera, Co-Leader of The Next Level [Nx^] went 92-0 in 4 seasons of Resistance: Fall Of Man. Winners of the Winter and Summer Seasons On His Playstation Network Id is r921822r.
  • William Watkins (born 1953), CEO of the publicly-traded Seagate Technologies, is a 1971 graduate of Pampa High School.


External links



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