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At the junction of US 60 and Hwys 70, 152, and 273, Pampa is the seat of Gray County. In 1888 a telegraph station on the Southern Kansas Railroad developed here, and was named Glasgow. Renamed Sutton a year later, a post office was established in 1892 and the town was named Pampa by George Tyng, manager of the White Deer Land Company.

The population in Pampa mushroomed from 12,895 in 1941 to 24,664 in 1960, a 100 percent increase. Pampa's community spirit was demonstrated in the opening of the modern, city-owned Coronado Inn in 1960. By 1967 the city had thirty-four industrial plants that produced petrochemical products, furniture, industrial machines, sheet-metal products, and heavy machinery.

Pampa continued to boom as a commercial center for the surrounding wheat-growing, cattle-raising, and oil-producing territory.

In 1990 the population of Pampa was 19,959, and in 1991 the city had 470 businesses.

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