Once a trading post, popular with hunters, cowboys, and gamblers, now a near ghost town. This is some of the history of the oldest town in the Panhandle, Mobeetie, Texas.

How it Started

In 1874, buffalo hunters made their way from Kansas to Sweetwater Creek, about two miles south of where Mobeetie stands today, forming a camp they called Hidetown near Fort Elliot, one of Texas’ last frontier forts.

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Hidetown grew into a large settlement, taking the name Sweetwater City, and eventually Mobeetie, the native name for the town which means ‘buffalo dung’.

It became the commercial center for much of the panhandle, expanding with stables, wagon yards, blacksmith, drugstore, barbershop, hotels, saloons and more. The first courthouse in the Texas Panhandle was even built there in 1880, becoming the judicial center of the Thirty-fifth District by 1881.

By 1886, the town had around 300 people and around 400 by 1890.

Unfortunately, much of the town was destroyed during a tornado that swept through the area on May 1, 1898.

The buildings that were destroyed in the storm were never rebuilt, and many residents eventually left Mobeetie, finding a new place to call home. By 1900 the town had shrunk to a population of around 128 people, being taken over by agricultural focuses.

Over the next century, their population fluctuated up to 250 and back down to their low count of only around 100 residents today.

The town is now made up of a bank, post office, diner, an elementary school formed from three other towns close to Mobeetie, and the old county jail that has been converted into a museum.

Considered the “Mother City” of the Panhandle, Mobeetie is located 20 miles east of Pampa, Texas on State Highway 152 in northwest Wheeler County.

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