Charles Goodnight remembered in namesake town - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Charles Goodnight remembered in namesake town

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Goodnight, TX - Charles Goodnight is known as the father of the Texas Panhandle, and arguably for good reason.  He was key in establishing the cattle trade in and beyond Texas, and those who knew him describe his kindness and generosity.

Goodnight is one of the most well-known figures in the history of western settlement.  he was a legendary trailblazer, rancher, and philanthropist who saved bison from extinction in the southern panhandle, and served as a Texas Ranger.

"He was almost a man before his time; he was involved in so much," says Joe B. Davis, President of the Former Texas Rangers Foundation.  "As a Texas Ranger, he was called to duty to serve and protect this area. And then afterward, he served twice."

This afternoon, former Texas Rangers and the great-great-great grandson of Comanche Chief Quanah parker paid tribute at Goodnight's grave with a memorial cross and a Comanche blessing.

Montie Goodin's father was raised by Goodnight from infancy - and she herself was born in the now 126 year-old Goodnight house.

"He was a man of outstanding intellect," says Goodin.  "One of Goodnight's statements that particularly explains him to me is that he said, 'A man must see with his mind as well as his eyes.' And I think that would describe the man that he was."

Montie shared the story of a friend who grew up as a child near Goodnight's ranch.  She said when Goodnight was an older man, they always helped him in and out of his buggy - and he always offered a quarter.

"And then she paused," Goodin remembers, "and she shook her finger, and she said, 'Now, Montie - I don't mean he flipped us a quarter like most men do when you do an errand for them ... he always offered it in the palm of his hand. He respected us."

If you'd like to learn more about Goodnight himself from the Texas State Historical Association, or learn more about the Texas Rangers or the historical center in Armstrong County, you'll find that at the links attached to this story.