Born July 17, 1871,
Laura Vernon Hamner was an author, ranch historian, radio
commentator, educator, and public official from the Texas Panhandle
who was known informally in her later years as "Miss Amarillo", a
reference to her adopted city of Amarillo, Texas. In the early
1890s, while she assisted her father in his newspaper work in
Claude, she met Charles Goodnight and his wife, Mary Ann, in 1935. Six years after Goodnight's death, she wrote The No-Gun Man of
Texas, a novelized biography of the legendary cattleman.
For several years, Hamner
taught school while working as postmaster at Claude, Texas, from
1913 to 1921. She then moved to Amarillo and served as the
superintendent of Potter County schools from 1922 to 1938.
She devoted much of her
life to recording and sharing the history of the Texas Panhandle.
She became known for "prowling" the region, interviewing ranchers,
cowboys, and pioneers—and once boldly facing gunfire to meet with a
former outlaw. Hamner’s books are now regarded as invaluable sources
of Texas ranching history.
published Light ‘n Hitch, a collection of narratives and anecdotes
on the social customs and history of the High Plains in Texas,
The No-gun Man of Texas,
the story of Charles Goodnight 1835-1929 and
Short Grass & Longhorns. For
thirty years, she wrote several columns for the Amarillo Globe-News,
including "Talk to Teens" and "Panhandle Scrapbook." With her friend Phebe K. Warner, Hamner co-founded the association, Panhandle Pen
Women, in the 1920s.
Laura Vernon Hamner Died September 20, 1968.