Charles Goodnight Historical Center to Transfer Ownership to Texas Historical Commission

The operation of the Charles Goodnight Historical Center will be transferred from the Armstrong County Museum Inc. to the Texas Historical Commission (THC).

“We welcome the challenge to build on the legacy of this important institution and continue its work,” said Mark Wolfe, THC Executive Director. "The Center helps preserve the important and compelling history of the Texas Panhandle and the role agriculture played in its growth. We look forward to maintaining a unique and significant site for heritage travelers and history lovers to enjoy."

THC staff will work with the museum to complete a transfer agreement, which will identify a date for the formal transfer of operations.

This site is the newest addition to the 31 sites under the management of the THC, and the first property that the agency will operate in the Panhandle region. For more information about these sites, visit

About the Charles Goodnight Historical Center

The Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight Ranch House is one of the few remaining early ranch headquarters in the Texas Panhandle. It now serves as home to the Charles Goodnight Historical Center.

Charles Goodnight came to Texas from Illinois as a boy in 1845. During his youth, he held various jobs, from farming to racing horses, and in the 1850s, he began running cattle and freighting cotton. In 1876, he established the first cattle ranch in the vast Texas Panhandle, which became the internationally known JA Ranch. Involved in the preservation of the area's native buffalo, he also bred the first herd of cattalo by crossing buffalo with range cattle. Goodnight's life and career was critical to the development of "cattle culture" across the West and Southwest.