MAGENTA, TX

H. Allen Anderson

MAGENTA, TEXAS. Magenta, twenty miles northeast of Vega in northeastern Oldham County, was originally named Cheyenne after nearby Cheyenne Creek. The site was first owned by the Tascosa blacksmith Henry Kimball and was a temporary headquarters for the LIT Ranch. During the celebration of Tascosa's election as the Oldham county seat in 1880, William Dudley (Dud) Pannell, an LIT cowhand, was accidentally shot. His grave was the first in the Cheyenne Cemetery. The town was established in 1887, when the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway built through the LS Ranch and offered land and building sites to prospective settlers. The railroad built a hotel, opened stores, constructed cattle-loading pens, and on December 15, 1887, ran an excursion train to bring in potential settlers. The new town was designed to replace nearby Tascosa (three miles east), and was based on a townsite donated by LS general manager William McDole Lee, who did not want Tascosa to become county seat because it would raise his taxes. Bitter rivalry ensued, particularly after hack service was instituted between the two towns. When the new town applied for a post office, its name was changed to Magenta for the color of the red soil along the creek. Within a year the land boom subsided. Though the railroad kept an agent at Magenta for several years, the local population moved away, and only the depot and shipping pens remained. In later years a country store operated at the site, with a post office from 1931 to 1942, after which mail was routed through Channing. In 1947 Magenta reported a population of twenty. Only the cemetery remained in 1987.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
Arthur Hecht, comp., Postal History in the Texas Panhandle (Canyon, Texas: Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, 1960). John L. McCarty, Maverick Town: The Story of Old Tascosa (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1946; enlarged ed. 1968). Oldham County Historical Commission, Oldham County (Dallas: Taylor, 1981). Dulcie Sullivan, The LS Brand (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968).

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

Handbook of Texas Online, H. Allen Anderson, "MAGENTA, TX," accessed January 25, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvm05.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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