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New Amarillo becomes Potter county seat

May
20
1893

On this day in 1893, the second incarnation of the town of Amarillo was selected as the seat of Potter County. The first Amarillo was established by J. T. Berry in April 1887. He chose a well-watered site along the right-of-way of the Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad, which had begun building across the Panhandle. On August 30, 1887, Berry's townsite was elected seat of Potter County. The railroad arrived shortly after the county election, and Amarillo boomed as a cattle-marketing center. Although Berry's cowtown seemed to be well established, Henry B. Sanborn, part owner of the Frying Pan Ranch, argued that Berry's site was on low ground that would flood during rainstorms. Sanborn and his partner, Joseph F. Glidden, began buying land to the east to move Amarillo out of its "mudhole." The depot and courthouse initially remained at the old site, since the law decreed that they could not be moved until five years after the 1887 election, but the second county-seat election in 1893 officially transferred the title to Sanborn's town.

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