The History of Amarillo’s First Laundry Service
Amarillo has a ton of history we love to learn about and a lot of businesses that have stood the test of time. Some haven't.
Not long ago, one of Amarillo's somewhat historic buildings caught fire again. The business was a longstanding business in Amarillo. The business in question is Panhandle Laundry. It was the first of its kind in Amarillo when it opened its doors.
Panhandle Laundry and Dry Cleaning was founded in Amarillo in 1907 by George Lindsey. George Lindsey moved to Amarillo from Sherman, Texas in 1906. Lindsey had worked as a bookkeeper for Sherman Steam Laundry. Seeing how much business they received from Amarillo, Lindsey decided that Amarillo needed its own laundry. He and other associates from Sherman came to Amarillo and started Panhandle Laundry and Dry Cleaning. Lindsey worked mostly as a bookkeeper, but he would jump in and help where needed whether it be as a bookkeeper, errand boy, manager, or wherever he was needed. O.H. Hargett who came to Amarillo with Lindsey to open the business was in charge of the production part of the company. Lindsey lived and worked in Amarillo at Panhandle Laundry until his death in 1934. After his death, Clay Thorton took over the management of Panhandle Laundry. Thorton has worked as a bookkeeper for Panhandle Laundry since 1921.
In the early days, a horse and wagon served as their delivery transportation. They also mixed their own laundry soap.
Panhandle Laundry celebrated 100 years in 2007, but unfortunately, the once boisterous business is no longer open and the building sits empty at 201 S. Pierce.
Unfortunately, on May 22, 2019, the Amarillo Fire Department was sent to 201 S. Piece on an explosion. The fire started outdoors and spread into the building. The fire was through the roof and smoke engulfed the entire building. It took AFD 3 hours to get put the fire out. The fire was ruled undetermined. The fire took 8 units and 26 firefighters to get under control.
Fast forward to Wednesday, November 9, 2022, the Amarillo Fire Department was called out to a structure fire at 9:31 PM at 201 S. Pierce. The fire was located in the vacant Panhandle Laundry and Dry Cleaning Building. The two-story building was filled with heavy smoke. Firefighters could not locate the fire when they first entered the building. They were finally able to locate the fire and put it out. The Fire Marshall is still investigating the incident. They will make the second time a fire has been put out in this building. The destruction of the first fire created multiple hazards for firefighters this time. AFD did not disclose what could have caused this fire.
A once huge successful business and the building now sits empty and destroyed by fire.
The Abandoned Herring Hotel in Amarillo, Texas
Check Out These 27 'Then & Now' Photos Of A Toxic Ghost Town
Amarillo Cursed Buildings - 715 S. Polk