Unlocking The Mystery: Why Is The Oklahoma Panhandle Not A Part Of Texas?
In recent years, people have become curious about the stretch of land that makes up Oklahoma's panhandle. One question that seems to come up quite a bit is why it belongs to Oklahoma and isn't just a part of Texas. It's a fair question, I think, and the answer is a little complicated.
Why Would Texas Give Up The Oklahoma Panhandle
There's a lot that goes into the Oklahoma panhandle being formed. It actually used to be a part of Texas before Texas decided to join the US. When that happened, the Lone Star State had to give up a little bit of land. That's because it stretched north of a certain parallel that acted as a boundary for slave-owning states. That set the southern border.
Then came the creation of Kansas, which used a different parallel as a boundary. This set the stage for an awkward stretch of land that nobody had an immediate claim to. While it had some fun official names, it was best known as "No Man's Land."
The Wild Days Of No Man's Land
Before it became a part of Oklahoma, that stretch of land was home to all kinds of people. You had indigenous tribes, outlaws, ranchers and farmers, and those who were looking to start a new life.
One of the more infamous spots was Beer City. I bet you can guess how it got its name. If you were looking for a good time, you could find it in No Man's Land. You could find a lot more too.
Eventually, it would become a part of Oklahoma. It's where the highest point in the Sooner State resides, Black Mesa. The westernmost border touches four other states, and there's even a city that's on Mountain Time. Looking at you, Kenton.
Why Doesn't It Just Become A Part Of Texas Again
This is a question that pops up from time to time, and there are even Change.org petitions to try and reunite the Oklahoma panhandle with its "home."
It's doubtful that it would ever happen. I don't think the Okies living north of the Texas panhandle want to be Texans. If they did, they'd just go south. I also don't think the suits in Austin are too interested in getting a stretch of land that's famous for being where the Dust Bowl did some of its dirtiest dirty work.
It's not heavily populated, and there just isn't much going on. That's not a bad thing, but it's definitely not something you want to start a whole political melodrama over. It is a great place for a quiet road trip and checking out ghost towns.
Check Out These Photos Of Ghost Towns On The High Plains
Gallery Credit: Charlie Hardin