Transcript of Laura Vernon Hamner

This is Texas Originals. From Humanities Texas, for the advancement of heritage, culture, and education.

Known as "Miss Amarillo," Laura V. Hamner devoted much of her life to recording and sharing the history of the Texas Panhandle.

Hamner was born in 1871. She served as postmistress in the Panhandle town of Claude and then, for more than a decade, as superintendent of the Potter County schools.

Hamner turned to writing in her late fifties. She became known for "prowling" the Panhandle, interviewing ranchers, cowboys, and pioneers—and once boldly facing gunfire to meet with a former outlaw. She was moved by the natural beauty of the region, where, as she often said, "the skies are always blue."

Hamner wrote features for the Amarillo Globe-News for over thirty years, including a column for teenagers. She also had a weekly radio program on early Panhandle history.

Hamner's books remain invaluable chronicles of Texas ranching history. Her biography of legendary rancher Charles Goodnight—told in the form of a novel titled The No-Gun Man of Texas—was corrected and approved by Goodnight himself.

Hamner encouraged other writers through the organization she co-founded in 1919, the Panhandle Pen Women. She often hosted writers and publishers at her residence in Amarillo’s Herring Hotel.

Hamner died in 1968. "I love and trust these Westerners with all my heart," she once wrote. "The Panhandle is the grandest spot on earth."


More information about Laura Vernon Hamner and other Texas Originals is available at This program is produced by Houston Public Radio and Humanities Texas, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.