I’m taking part in the A-Z April Blog Challenge.
Join me every day (except Sundays) throughout April for the next letter in the alphabet! Something different on each Letter of the alphabet!
As you drive into southeastern Briscoe County on State Highway 86 to Quitaque, you pass a sign that reads “Welcome to Quitaque, (kitty quay.) You will find other folks who pronounce it “kit-ta-kway.” But no matter how you pronounce it, you are coming into a small town of 432 and a piece of history.
The first settler in the area was the Comanchero trader José Piedad Tafoya, who operated a trading post on the site from 1865 to 1867, trading dry goods and ammunition to the Comanches for rustled livestock.
In 1877, George Baker drove a herd of about 2,000 cattle to the Quitaque area, where he headquartered the Lazy F Ranch. Charles Goodnight bought the Lazy F in 1880 and introduced the name Quitaque, which he believed was the Indian word for “end of the trail.” According to another legend the name was derived from two buttes in the area that resembled piles of horse manure, the real meaning of the Indian word. Another story is that the name was taken from the Quitaca Indians, whose name was translated by white settlers as “whatever one steals.” The Quitaque Ranch covered parts of Briscoe, Floyd, and Hall counties.
In 1882 a post office was established at ranch headquarters on Quitaque Creek in what is now Floyd County. By 1890 the town reported forty residents. When Briscoe County was organized in 1892 the post office was moved to the current location of Quitaque, and the townsite was surveyed and platted. Settlers had moved into the area by 1890.
In 1891 A. R. Jago built a store there and the first cotton crop was harvested. A school was opened southwest of Quitaque in 1894 and moved to the townsite in 1902. In 1907, the Twilla Hotel, a local landmark, opened. By 1914 the town reported seventy-five residents, a bank, and three general stores. In the 1920’s Amos Persons, president of the First National Bank of Quitaque, succeeded in getting the Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway branch line routed through the town. In 1927 Quitaque was incorporated with P. P. Rumph as mayor, and on November 20, 1928, the first train arrived.
A post office was established in 1882 and eight years later the town had forty residents. When Briscoe County was organized the townsite was platted. A school was opened in 1894 and moved to Quitaque in 1902. In 1907 the Twilla Hotel, a local landmark, opened.
A visit to Quitaque is a step back in history and a look at a small quaint Texas town very rich in Texas history.
Places to visit
Caprock Canyons State Park
Caprock Canyons State Park was opened in 1982. It consists of 15,313.6 acres (including the Trailway, a 64.25-mile Rail-to-Trail conversion. This acquisition added recreational adventure, stretching from the western terminus at South Plains up on top of the caprock escarpment to the eastern terminus of Estelline in the Red River Valley. This multiuse trail (hike, bike, and equestrian) opened in 1993, stretches from the park through Floyd, Briscoe, and Hall counties, crossing 46 bridges and running through Clarity Tunnel, one of the last active railroad tunnels in Texas. History was made on Aug. 19, 2014 at Caprock Canyons State Park as cow #120 took the first steps to lead the Texas State Bison Herd into their new range within the park. The herd now has over 10,000 acres to roam. This legendary bison herd was started by famed cattleman Charles Goodnight and his wife Mary Ann in 1878. It is one of the five foundation herds credited with saving this magnificent animal from extinction.
Comanchero Canyons Museum is the place view research and artifacts and replicas depicting the history of the canyons and land surrounding them located in Briscoe, Floyd, Hall, Motley and Swisher counties prior to the 20th century.
- Beth Williams wrote a song entitled “Quitaque.” Purchase the CD or download of song here. For more information and song lyrics see Beth Williams’ web site.
- Voted “One of the Ten Hardest Working Communities in Texas” in 2005 and in 2006 by Texas Department of Agriculture
- The dark starry nights make Quitaque a favorite place for astronomers with their telescopes.
- Do we have more nicknames per capita than any other city in Texas? (Check out the list at the Valley Farm Store.)
- Quitaque (kit-ta-kway) is one of the most mispronounced city names in the USA.
- The walls of our city park and cemetery were built by the WPA (Work Projects Administration) 1938 – 1940.
- Part of the old Ozark Trail
- Home of the official Texas state bison herd.
- The area was Indian country to the Comanche, Plains Apache, Cheyenne and Kwahadi tribes.
- One of the many hunting areas of Quanah Parker, the last major chief of the Comanche Indians.
- Just ten miles west of Turkey, Texas, home of Bob Wills “The King of Country Western Swing.”
- Town motto is “If You Come” we know you will enjoy your stay.
- First city in the United States to have a totally wireless telephone system. It was installed by GTE in 1991, but two years later we reverted back to wire.