Although I have now lived outside of Pampa, Texas for the majority of the last four years (coming back only for summers), there is still this swelling sensation of pride that I feel in my heart when I get to speak about my sweet, rural town sitting in the Great Plains of the Texas Panhandle. Having been born and raised here, I have been a part of this community for the majority of my life, and I can say that I’m quite familiar with it. It is a town where “the oil flows, the cotton grows, and the wind blows.” In terms of the 12 Commonwealth Assets, it isn’t hard to see my town’s connection with Wildlife & the Natural World, Soil & Mineral Cycle, and Renewable Energy. We are enveloped with the beauty of wildflowers and critters local to the area, decorated with fields of cotton and pumps for oil, and surrounded by the blinking red lights in the hearts of wind turbines.
Nevertheless, I wanted to challenge myself and focus on another area of the 12 Key Assets of Commonwealth that may not be so explicitly seen. As such, I decided to take some time to learn a little bit about the history of Pampa, Texas. First off, the name of this town actually has quite an interesting story. It was originally named Glasgow and then Sutton, but was changed to Pampa after Tyng, the manager of White Deer Land Company, submitted the name. He said the grassy plains resembled the prairies of Argentina, called las pampas. The word “pampas” actually means “plains.”
If one drives through Pampa, they will more than likely come across Hobart Street, the road that cuts through the center of town and actually offers two lanes as opposed to the majority of other roads that provide one lane for each direction. This street was actually named after T.D. Hobart who was nicknamed “The Father of Pampa.” As a citizen who greatly cared about the future of this small town, Hobart sold land only to settlers who intended to remain there. It was also stipulated in the contracts for the plots of land that improvements were to be made on the land.
Although these are two tidbits within the surprisingly rich history of Pampa, Texas, I found myself marveling at the hidden life and personality of this town that so many do not know. I hope that I continue to learn more about this town and how it came to be the green and gold glory it is today.