There's a lot of talk about how Amarillo has changed over the past several years. The city is expanding. It seems like everywhere you look there is something new being built. It can be exciting. However, remembering where you come from is always a good exercise—for instance, when Amarillo had more cattle than people.

It's Not Just A Joke. Amarillo Used To Have More Cattle Than People.

It's a joke we've all heard at one point in time about almost every rural town in the Texas panhandle. The population is a small handful of people compared to an insane number of cattle. When you look back at Amarillo's history, though, it was true. At one point there were more cows in Yellow City than people who like a good steak.

To find this information, you've got to go back to the year 1893.

Amarillo - A Town On The Move In 1893

Amarillo was settled in 1887. Shortly after, the town was experiencing growth and by 1890 the Amarillo Hotel had been built, and businesses and homes were popping up along Polk. I'm sure it was an exciting time to be in Yellow City.

According to legend, in 1893, the real population boom was of the bovine persuasion. Amarillo was set up as a cattle shipping center and business was good in the Texas panhandle. It was so good that cattle outnumbered people.

The story goes that the population of Amarillo in 1893 was recorded as "between 500-600 humans, and 50,000 head of cattle". It's hilarious to think about, and it isn't that hard to believe. The area was still being settled at that time, and it was being settled by a lot of people working cattle. We had massive ranches in the Texas panhandle.

Fortunately for us, the cows never got together to form a political party and decide the future of the city themselves. Now, we have over 200,000 people and no exact count that we can find on the number of cows.

Downtown Amarillo Over The Years

Downtown Amarillo has seen an incredible metamorphosis. Take a look at the photos below to see just how much it's changed--you won't believe the difference.

Gallery Credit: Sarah Clark

Look at How Amarillo's Old Route 66 Motels Looked Then & Now

The heyday of the Mother Road may be long gone, but would you believe that there's still plenty of the old motels where many a weary American family rested their heads during their interstate travels?

You won't believe some of these are still standing, much less still alive and (wait for it..) kickin'!

Gallery Credit: Sarah Clark

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