QUITAQUE, TEXAS. Quitaque is on State Highway 86 in southeastern Briscoe County. 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 1920s 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. By 1940 the town had affiliated schools, three churches, thirty-four businesses, and a population of 763. In 1961 Quitaque reported 586 residents and thirty-three businesses. In 1985 it had two city parks, a community center, and a fire station. Numerous Russian pines had been planted by citizens throughout the town as part of a state beautification program, and a City Homecoming Celebration was held every three years. In 1988 Quitaque had an estimated population of 700 and eleven businesses. In 1990 the population was 513. The population dropped to 432 in 2000.
Briscoe County Historical Survey Committee, Footprints of Time in Briscoe County (Dallas: Taylor, 1976). F. Stanley, Story of the Texas Panhandle Railroads (Borger, Texas: Hess, 1976).