Geographic region of the state of Texas, named not for its vague resemblance to the shape of a pan handle, but for its proximity to the Panhandle of Indian Territory (later to be Oklahoma) which does, in fact, resemble a pan handle.
Configured by the Compromise of 1850, which resolved its contested borders, bounded on the west by the 103rd meridian, on the north by parallel 36°30' and on the east by the 100th meridian, connecting it to the greater portion of the state of Texas on the south.
The sweeping plains of the Panhandle were natural grazing lands for vast herds of buffalo, and were the prized hunting grounds of Plains Indians. Due to sectional disputes between the Union and the Confederacy, the Indians roamed free until after the Civil War's end in 1865. But in the early 1870s, white buffalo hunters began to enter the region. By 1875, the U. S. Army was successful in driving the Indians off the land and onto reservations.
In 1876, Texas legislature delineated twenty-six counties in the Panhandle and opened the ranges to settlement. Casimero Romero intiated ranching in the area with herds of sheep from western Canada, and Charles Goodnight introduced cattle with his herds from Colorado in the spring of 1876. Others soon followed and by 1880, the Panhandle had become synonymous with ranching.
Hostage: In April of 1879, while building his ruse to convince Jody Collins that he and Brother Bart are professional criminals, Bret Maverick claimed he and Brother Bart had collected $100,000 in ransom from kidnapping Lucky Blaire's son. Collins asked where the money was and Bret claimed they had invested in cattle in the Panhandle.
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