Panhandle is the county seat of Carson County, Texas, United States. The population of the town was 2,452 at the 2010 census. Panhandle is part of the Amarillo metropolitan statistical area.
Panhandle derives its name from its central location in the Texas Panhandle. Originally named "Carson City", it was later changed to "Panhandle City".
In 1887, Panhandle obtained a post office, and in 1888 the town was planned as the terminus of the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway. At that time the town was surrounded by several large cattle ranches. The community soon acquired a bank, a mercantile store, a wagonyard, a school, a newspaper, and three saloons.
In 1888, Carson County was organized, and Panhandle became the county seat. J. C. Paul, an early settler of Carson County, described the Plains accordingly: "It was a beautiful smooth prairie as far as the eye could see, not a tree, not even a shrub knee high, to hide a jackrabbit, for miles in every direction. No fences, no roads, no houses, only a handful of people around Panhandle, the only settlement then in all that Plains country." The cattlemen were reconciled to the arrival of farmers because they produced needed forage crops, such as hay, and introduced more families with eligible young women for the cowboy bachelors of the cattle kingdom.
Temple Lea Houston, the eighth and last child of politician Sam Houston, built a home near Panhandle. In 1881, Houston was named district attorney for the 35th Judicial District, and was elected to the Texas Senate in 1884, two years before he met the minimum age requirement of 26.