Amarillo is the fourteenth most populous city in the state of Texas and is the largest city in the Texas Panhandle. The population was 190,695 at the 2010 census.
During April 1887, J.I. Berry established a site for a town after he chose a well-watered section along the way of the Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad, which had begun building across the Texas Panhandle. On August 30 1887, Berry’s town site won the county seat election and was established in Potter County. The settlement originally was called Oneida; it would later change its name to Amarillo, which probably derives from yellow wildflowers that were plentiful during the spring and summer.
Amarillo is considered the regional economic center for the Texas Panhandle as well as Eastern New Mexico and the Oklahoma Panhandle. The meat packing industry is a major employer in Amarillo; about one-quarter of the United States’ beef supply is processed in the area. Petroleum extraction is also a major industry. The city’s largest employer in 2005 is Tyson Foods, with 3,700 employees. The Amarillo Independent School District is next with 3,659 employees.
West Texas A&M University features a full slate of NCAA Division II teams; however, Amarillo College is one of the few community colleges in Texas without an athletic program. From 1968 to 1996, Amarillo hosted the annual National Women’s Invitational Tournament (NWIT).