Quitaque, TX.

As you drive into our little town, you pass a sign that reads “Welcome to Quitaque, (“kitty quay.)” You will find other folks who pronounce it “kit-ta-kway.” We are located on Texas Highway 86 just 45 miles east of Tulia, Texas (Tulia is on Interstate 27 between Amarillo and Lubbock), and 56 miles west of Childress, Texas (Childress is on US Highway 287 between Fort Worth and Amarillo).

Our rural community is a business center for the Quitaque valley with restaurants, a variety of bed and baths, a grocery store, a bank, a gift shop, a hardware store, churches, a newspaper, a farm store, mechanic shops, and several other businesses. We serve as the entrance to Caprock Canyons State Park, with its 1.8 million dollar visitors center which was completed in 2007. We also have the Caprock Canyons Trailway Park going through our community, which is a hiking, biking and horse riding trail replacing 60 miles of the old railway from South Plains to Estelline.

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.

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 town site 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 town site in 1902. In 1907 the Twilla Hotel 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.