Oneida

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Promotion: Nearby Map of Potter County

Amarillo, commercial center of the Texas Panhandle, is in southern Potter County and extends into Randall County. When the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway began building across the Panhandle in 1887, a group of Colorado City merchants chose the site to establish stores. In April 1887 J. T. Berry arrived from Abilene to plat the new town. He chose a well-watered section of school land, located along the FW&DC right-of-way in Potter County, which contained a large playa known as Amarillo, or Wild Horse, Lake.

Berry and the Colorado City merchants sought to make their new townsite the Potter county seat and the region's main trade center. Since most of the qualified voters were LX Ranch employees, Berry enlisted the ranchers' support by promising each cowhand a business lot and residence lot in the new town if it should be chosen county seat. On August 30, 1887, Berry's townsite was elected for that honor. The settlement was originally called Oneida but was by majority consent renamed Amarillo after the nearby lake and creek. These natural features had been named by New Mexican traders and pastores, probably for the yellow soil along the creek banks or the yellow wildflowers that were abundant during the spring and summer. Charles F. Rudolph, editor of the Tascosa Pioneer, blamed the FW&DC employees for ignoring the word's Spanish pronunciation; in 1888 he prophetically stated, "Never again will it be Ah-mah-ree-yoh." Most of the town's first houses were painted yellow in commemoration of the name change.

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H. Allen Anderson | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Oneida is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists

No

Place type

Oneida is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Amarillo)

Has Post Office

No

Is Incorporated

No