Tyng, George (ca. 1839–1906)

By: H. Allen Anderson

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: August 1, 1995

Font size: A / A reset

George Tyng, called the "father" of the Panhandle, was born about 1839 in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He was of Scottish ancestry. After his education at Dummer Academy and in Hanover, Germany, he spent several years in various business ventures in Cuba and South America. He then settled at Santa Barbara, California, where he married Elena Carillo Thompson in 1869. They had three sons. Tyng moved his family to Yuma, Arizona, in the early 1870s, and in 1874 he was appointed United States marshal in Arizona Territory. He served in that position until 1877, when he purchased the Arizona Sentinel in Yuma. Three years later he sold the paper and moved to Mexico City, where he became managing director of the Tehuantepec Inter-Ocean railroad, which he had helped organize. While on a business trip to Florida, Tyng passed through Victoria, Texas, and around 1885 the family established a home, cattle ranch, and pecan orchard there. Through his friendship with Frederic de P. Foster, Tyng became manager of the newly reorganized White Deer Lands Trust (see FRANCKLYN LAND AND CATTLE COMPANY) in the Panhandle in 1886. The next year he moved the Diamond F Ranch headquarters to the vicinity of what is now White Deer. He encouraged the use of wells, windmills, and fences, and promoted farm settlement. Under Tyng's management the Diamond F shipped large numbers of high-grade cattle between 1888 and 1903. Tyng suggested the name Pampa, after the pampas of Argentina, for the new company-headquarters town in 1902 and constructed the first frame building there. Soon afterward he resigned. Tyng held mining interests in Mexico, Honduras, Arizona, and Canada. With his sons Francis and Charles, he established a lead and silver mining operation in American Fork Canyon near Alta, Utah, in 1902. Their efforts paid off in 1904, when new veins of silver and lead carbonate were discovered. On January 19, 1906, Tyng was killed when an avalanche of snow crushed his office building near the mine shaft. He was buried on Kalamazoo Flat near the mine.

Laurence P. James, "George Tyng's Last Enterprise: A Prominent Texan and a Rich Mine in Utah," Journal of the West 8 (July 1969). J. C. Paul, "Early Days in Carson County, Texas," Panhandle-Plains Historical Review 5 (1932). Millie Jones Porter, Memory Cups of Panhandle Pioneers (Clarendon, Texas: Clarendon Press, 1945). Lester Fields Sheffy, The Francklyn Land & Cattle Company (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963).


  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Ranchers and Cattlemen

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

H. Allen Anderson, “Tyng, George,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 21, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/tyng-george.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 1, 1995