United States / Canyon, TX

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The Canyon News. First city newspaper, the"Echo," was printed 1889. The "Stayer" (1896), later renamed "Randall County News," was predecessor of the "News." Clyde W. Warwick, editor 45 years, 1910-1955. Won awards for outstanding weekly 1942, 1950. Special Edition (1949) was rated nation's best. Troy Martin became editor 1960. (1968) #10

414 15th St., Canyon, TX, United States

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Civil War Veterans Reunion. Celebrated annually in Canyon 1900-1910, these reunions were a focal point of social life. Each summer several thousand people arrived by horseback, train, buckboard, and covered wagon. Here they pitched tents and built fires to cook meals. Members of the "Stonewall Jackson" Confederate Veterans Camp exchanged tales with many other veterans of both North and South. Politicians delivered patriotic speeches; families saw balloon ascensions, attended farm and garden shows and ball games as well as contests in bulldogging and bronco busting. #895

19th St. and 12th Ave., Canyon, TX, United States

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City of Canyon. Site surveyed Christmas Day, 1887, by L. G. Conner, who also donated land for numerous civic improvements. Named for the colorful Palo Duro Canyon, 12 miles east. Despite a harsh environment characterized by snow, sandstorms, and grasshopper plaques, pioneer citizens pushed ahead. The first school, with 6 students, was organized in 1889. First telephone line was built in 1896, using barbed wire fence posts as poles. Church services were held from early days, with all groups worshipping in the courthouse. Arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1898 also spurred town growth: In 1901, 1902, and 1908 Canyon is said to have shipped out more cattle than any other city in the world. Canyon incorporated 1906 at the urging of Jasper N. Haney, lawyer, who was elected first mayor. More strides were made when an electric power plant was built 1908. It first ran only in the evening, but later was on in the afternoon - for women to do the ironing. Canyon became an educational center in 1910 when West Texas State University was opened here. Since then, the two have advanced side by side. Canyon citizens initiated Buffalo Lake Conservation Project, dedicated 1939, and have contributed greatly to the development of the entire Panhandle region. (1968) #883

1600 3rd Ave., Canyon, TX, United States

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First Methodist Church of Canyon. Earliest religious service in Canyon was in 1889. Leaders were the Rev. Jerome Harelson and Isaac Mills, of Panhandle District, Methodist Church, the Rev. B. F. Jackson organized this (city's first) church in Oct. 1889. Members: Mrs. Crain, Mrs. M. M. McGee, Mrs. A. Roper, Miss Louie Roper, Mr. and Mrs. Nix Thompson and Miss Tennie Thompson. The Rev. Mr. Jackson preached to great throngs in Palo Duro Canyon, 1890; held first local funeral and first wedding, 1891. Original church building was erected under the first regular pastor, the Rev. T. F. Robeson, 1900. (1969) #1750

1818 4th Ave., Canyon, TX, United States

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First National Bank. Organized Jan. 5, 1900, by L. T. Lester, S. F. Sullenberger, and 19 others. First bank in region immediately south of Amarillo. Was vital factor in developing city and county. Was involved continuously with civic programs. Lester served as chairman of the committee to secure West Texas State University. Originally, called Stockman's National Bank, prospered on its reputation of friendliness and trust. Has been in four different buildings during its existance. Presidents included L. T. Lester, T. W. Reid, Roy Wright, W. C. Black, Levi Cole, and W. E. Adams. (1968) supplemental: First National Bank was acquired by Norwest in 1994 and merged with Wells Fargo in 1999. It is housed under the name of Wells Fargo. #1780

2111 4th Ave, Canyon, TX, United States

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Homesite of W. F. Heller, Pioneer Farmer. Native Texan, Civil War veteran (1861-65); settled here in 1887. Was first to farm area successfully. Was elected first clerk when county organized 1889. Also, helped organize first Sunday School, 1890. Married Susan Roberts, September 1897. Helped start West Texas State Normal College. (1968) #2547

15th Ave. & 8th St., Canyon, TX, United States

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Mary E. Hudspeth House. Built in 1909 by Thomas P. Turk, this home was originally located at 402 Palo Duro Street. After the establishment of West Texas University in 1910, it was moved here to serve as a residence for faculty and students. Mary E. Hudspeth (1874-1943), a member of the college faculty, rented rooms in the house at its original site. She continued to occupy it following its relocation for a total of 33 years, as renter and owner. A noted educator, Hudspeth served as chairman of the Modern Languages Department at West Texas State University. (1988) #3236

1905 4th Ave., Canyon, TX, United States

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First National Bank Building. In 1900, two years after the Santa Fe Railway extended its tracks from Amarillo to Canyon City, rancher and banker L.T. Lester established the Stockman's National bank; it became First National Bank of Canyon City in 1904. Lester commissioned St. louis architect R.G. Kirsch, designer of the Randall County courthouse, to design this showplace bank building. It was completed in 1909 and provided sace for the bank as well as other commercial enterprises. The bank moved out in 1951, and over the years other businesses occupied the space. The Neoclassical structure remains a commercial landmark. It features Doric colmuns and pilasters, a dentil course, and stone coping and window surrounds. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark-2005 #14757

15th St. at 4th Ave., Canyon, TX, United States

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Randall County World War I Memorial. #4190

4th Ave and 15th Street, Canyon, TX, United States

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Randall County Courthouse. In county created 1876, organized 1889. Built on eve of opening West Texas State University. Replaced 3-story frame courthouse in which first school in county was held; where cowboys wore off tin roof by holding dances on it. Recorded Texas Historical Landmark, 1965. #4189

4th Ave and 15th St, Canyon, TX, United States

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Canyon Fire Department. Prior to 1909, volunteers used buckets and homemade ladders to fight fires in Canyon and the surrounding area. The city addressed the need for fire protection by organizing a department and choosing 21 men for duty. The city also obtained a horse-drawn engine with two gasoline-driven pump motors from the Howe Engine Company. Soon, the apparatus was used in 1910 by fire fighters who stopped a blaze at the Victoria, Canyon's largest hotel. Although the hotel burned to the ground, First National Bank and other downtown buildings were saved. The new fire department serviced an immediate area of six hundred square miles, including grass-covered prariries, Palo Duro Canyon, the communities of Canyon, Happy and Umbarger, and nearby rural dwellings. It led to the establishment of Canyon's first system of water works, modernizing the community. Through the years, the department has successfully made adjustments to meet challenges of the area's growth. The establishment of grain elevators, feed yards, and Buffalo Lake Wildlife Refuge, and the passage of trains carrying hazardous materials through Canyon required additional training and equipment. In 1962, the department formed an emergency unit and in 1971, introduced a snorkel unit to fight fires at tall institutional buildings, like those of West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M University). In 1973, Canyon Annual Fire Control School opened, providing training to firefighters throughout the Texas Panhandle. Today, the Canyon Fire Department continues to offer personal protection for residents of this community and rural areas, as well as for thousands of visiting students, educators and tourists. (2009) #15864

301 16th Street, Canyon, TX, United States

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Panhandle-Plains Museum. In 1932 the State of Texas matched $25,000 of private funds to construct the original unit. Since 1935 the museum, through Works Progress Administration projects, has increased its archeological and paleontological materials beyond the facilities of the building. An allocation of $25,000 was used to construct and equip a basement addition designed by Rittenberry and Carder, Architects, to provide ten thousand square feet of additional floor space. The museum is located on the campus of the West Texas State College and is operated by the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society. #3930

2503 4th Ave., Canyon, TX, United States

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Presbyterian Church Building. Constructed in 1926 for Canyon's growing Presbyterian congregation, this church building is a fine example of classical revival architecture. After serving the Presbyterians for 48 years, it was purchased by the First United Pentecostal Church in 1974. Prominent features of the sanctuary include a 2-story portico with giant order Ionic columns, three entry doors capped with pedimented architraves, and arched elongated stained glass windows. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1990 #4114

1319 5th Ave., Canyon, TX, United States

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Randall County. Formed from Young and Bexar territories. Created, August 21, 1876. Organized, July 27, 1889. Named in honor of Horace Randall, 1821-1864. A distinguished Confederate officer who fell in battle at the head of his brigade. Canyon, county seat. (1936) #4186

?, Canyon, TX, United States

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Randall County World War II Memorial. In memory of the men of Randall County, who gave their lives for their county in World War II. Benjamin F. Beason, Rex H. Blankenship, Howard C. Brewster, Daniel A. Butler, Jimmie Carr, Charles O. Cheyne, Carl L. Drummond, Jack D. Farley, Forrest M. Faulkner, George Guest, Henry B. Hales, Jack Hand, Benino Hernandez, Fairy Hill, Robert K. Hunt, Albert Ross Hunter, Howard C. Hutchison, William E. Lockhart, Harold S. Lowe, Cecil McCoy, Durward A. Meadows, Doyle E. Neff, Carrol T. O'Donald, Lucius G. Penick, Aubrey J. Prichard, James C. Shepherd, Leon Oscar Smith Jr., Wilbur P. Wofford and James J. Wright. Remember them ever with a grateful heart. #4191

19th St and 11th Ave., Canyon, TX, United States

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Randall County. Created 1876; named for Confederate General Horace Randall. Settled 1877 by rancher Leigh Dyer, brother-in-law of Charles Goodnight, man who brought first cattle to Panhandle. Organized in 1889. County seat: Canyon. Home of West Texas State University, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Palo Duro State Park, Buffalo Lake. (1965) #4187

US 60/87 N of Canyon, Canyon, TX, United States

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Clyde & Grace Warwick. Iowa natives Grace Winkleman (1890-1973) and Clyde Warwick (1885-1957) came to Canyon City in 1908 and 1910, respectively, marrying in 1911. Clyde was editor of the Canyon News for 45 years, receiving state and national awards. He was also a state representative and school board member, helped form the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, and was president of the Panhandle Press Association. Grace was in the first graduating class of West Texas Normal College, superintendent of Dimmitt Schools, and charter member of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society. She wrote many columns and articles for the news, and her book the Randall County Story (1969) remains a seminal work in local history. 175 years of Texas Independence * 1836-2011 #16920

1110 6th Ave., Canyon, TX, United States

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Sam Wood Cabin. Sam Wood cabin built in 1887 at Hog Town (now a ghost town). Wood, an Indian Scout, Union veteran of Civil War, buffalo hunter, was father of bride in first marriage recorded in the Panhandle, at Fort Elliott in 1877. Cabin housed (6) families during an Indian scare; in 1954 it was moved, restored. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1966. #4508

4th Ave and SH 217, Canyon, TX, United States

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Site of Conner Dugout. First home in Canyon, a half-dugout, with windows at ground level. Built on survey located Christmas Day, 1887, by L. G. Conner. Location of Canyon's first post office; birthplace of Mamie Conner, first white child born in county. 1889 election to organize the county was held here. (1966) #4760

9th Ave. and 16th Street, Canyon, TX, United States

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T-Anchor Ranch Headquarters. Built by Leigh R. Dyer, 1877, of logs cut from Palo Duro Canyon. Oldest surviving house in Texas Panhandle. Dyer did first Panhandle farming. Sold 1878, to Gunter, Summerfield and Munson. Became center of area ranching and development. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1967. #5174

4th Ave and SH 217, Canyon, TX, United States

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The Battle of Palo Duro Canyon, September 28, 1874.. One of the most significant battles of 1874-75 Indian campaign; columns of troops converging from five directions harassed Indians on the Panhandle Plains for over six months. The 4th Cavalry under Colonel Ronald S. Mackenzie, moving north from Fort Concho, tracked a large band of Indians to their secret canyon camp. Moving silently at dawn down a perilous path on the south rim, the first troops reached the floor of the canyon before the aroused camp fled. Some of the warriors took up positions on the canyon walls from which they fired on the troops, seeking to give their families time to escape. Realizing his tactical disadvantage, Mackenzie ordered the Indian camp and supplies burned and withdrew, taking along 1,400 captured horses (1,000 of which he later destroyed). The cavalry suffered no causalities in the fight and only four Indian dead were counted. Having lost half their horses as well as all their supplies and shelter, the Indians drifted back to their reservations at Fort Sill and Fort Reno. (1967) #5290

SH 217 at Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Canyon, TX, United States

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The Charles Goodnight Memorial Trail. The highway from this museum to the Palo Duro State Park (12 miles east) approximates course used by Charles Goodnight, outstanding Texas cowman and trail blazer, when he trailed 1600 cattle from Colorado to found first ranch on the staked plains of Texas in 1876. He entered precipitous Palo Duro Canyon by way of old Comanche Indian trail; drove thousands of buffalo from what is now park area; established his home ranch a few miles farther down canyon. Goodnight was born in Illinois, March 5, 1836. At age of 9 he rode bareback to Texas behind covered wagon driven by his parents; he hunted with Caddo Indians beyond the frontier at 14; guided Texas Rangers fighting Comanche and Kiowas at 25; blazed cattle trails about 2,000 miles long with Oliver Loving at 30. In partnership with John G. Adair, he expanded his original Palo Duro ranch into the giant JA and other holdings of more than a million acres and 100,000 cattle. He preserved the buffalo, founded a college, encouraged the settlement of the plains and led in a long fight for law and order. This foremost plainsman died March 12, 1929; and is buried at Goodnight, Texas. (1968) #5302

East 4th Ave., Canyon, TX, United States

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Georgia O'Keeffe in Canyon. Renowned artist Georgia Totto O'Keeffe (1887-1986) was born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin to Francis and Ida (Totto) O'Keeffe. The family moved to Virginia, where O'Keeffe and her siblings attended school. She studied art at various schools before enrolling in the Art Institute of Chicago and later the Art Students League in New York City. She then worked as a commercial artist before attending classes at the University of Virginia. In order to gain teaching experience, she taught art in Amarillo between 1912 and 1914. The Texas Panhandle attracted her as an artist because of "the openness. The dry landscape. The beauty of that wild world." In 1914, O'Keeffe returned to the East, studying at Columbia University in New York, and teaching in Virginia and South Carolina. At Columbia University, she met Arthur Wesley Dow, who greatly altered her vision of art. Influenced by east Asian painters and the British Arts and Crafts movement, he inspired her to approach painting in a more abstract manner. O'Keeffe returned to Texas in 1916 as a faculty member at West Texas State Normal College, now West Texas A&M University, where she held classes in Old Main. Inspired by the landscape, particularly Palo Duro Canyon, she began incorporating themes from nature in her work, moving away from Representationalism. O'Keeffe showed many of her Texas pieces at Alfred Stieglitz's New York City gallery in 1917. The following year, she moved to New York and in 1924 married Stieglitz, a noted photographer. Both artists produced large bodies of acclaimed work. Following Stieglitz's death in 1946, O'Keeffe moved to New Mexico, where she continued to explore her creative vision and unique style, shaped in part by her Canyon years. Today, she remains a major influence in American Art. #15364

2501 4th Ave., Canyon, TX, United States

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The CCC in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. #16005

12 miles east of Canyon on TX 217, Canyon, TX, United States

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Dreamland Cemetery. Originally named Canyon City Cemetery, this burial ground has served the nearby community since early in Canyon's history. In 1891, S.W. Kelley deeded property to Randall County for cemetery use. That same year, the first burials occurred, for William E. McElroy and for Jerry Adams, an African American cowboy who died during a cattle drive. The Civic Improvement League changed the cemetery's name to Dreamland in 1901, and additional acreage was added to the property in 1932 and 1963. Many early pioneers of Randall County, who were mostly farmers and ranchers, are buried here. A number of noted county figures are also interred, including L.G. Conner, the founder of the Canyon City (now Canyon) and prominent financier L.T. Lester. Other prominent early Randall County residents buried here include Judge Burney Slack, E.D. Harrell, John and Margaret Knight, C.R. Burrow and Clyde Warwick. More recent burials include J.A. Hill and J.P. Cornette, West Texas A&M Presidents; Hattie Anderson, Panhandle Plains Historical Museum founder; Margaret Harper, creator of the Palo Duro Canyon outdoor drama "Texas"; and musician Buddy Knox. Others represented here include veterans of conflicts dating to the Civil War. Randall County maintained the property until 1957, transferring operations to concerned citizens who formed the Dreamland Cemetery Association. Today, the association continues to care for the historic Dreamland Cemetery, which still serves the residents of Randall County and remains as a testament to the early settlers of Canyon. Historic Texas Cemetery-2007 #14212

26500 S. US Hwy 87, Canyon, TX, United States

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West Texas State University. James E. Ferguson, Governor Board of Regents Sam Sparks, President; A. C. Goeth, Vice-pres.; W. J. Grawford, J. S. Kendall, Robt. J. Egjhardt, A. B. Martin. R. B. Cousins, President. Endress & Walkin, Architects Gross Construction Co. Contractors. (1966) #5762

4th Ave & 23rd St, Canyon, TX, United States

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First Baptist Church. Organized Dec. 21, 1890, with seven charter members: Mr. and Mrs. L. G. Conner, a Mr. and Mrs. Ingram, Mr. and Mrs. L. J. Pirtle, Mrs. F. M. Pope. First pastor was The Rev. Whatley. Congregation built Canyon's first church edifice, 1899. Present structure, begun in 1929, was finished after national Depression of the 1930s. First Baptist Church organized and built Latin-American mission; initiated Bible Chair at West Texas State University; erected activity building, High Plains Assembly Grounds. Many W.T.S.U. faculty members have been active leaders in this church. (1970) #1602

1717 4th Ave., Canyon, TX, United States

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Randall County World War II Memorial. #15164

?, Canyon, TX, United States

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Smith Building (Palace Hotel). J. Frank Smith constructed this commercial building in 1906, the year Canyon was incorporated as a town. Elected to the first city board of alderman, Smith operated a land company on the second floor. The ground floor was initially occupied by the Canyon Mercantile & Hardware Store. S. B. McClure opened the Palace Hotel at this location in 1912. A cafe, first operated by P. D. Casey, later shared the first floor. Despite several changes in ownership, the Palace Hotel remained in operation until 1960. (1980) #4954

420 15th Street, Canyon, TX, United States

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L. T. Lester Home. Built 1904; mantel pieces for 4 fireplaces, 2 marble lavatories bought in Kansas City, Mo. Site of political, social, church gatherings. Lester - buffalo hunter and cattleman - settled here, 1889; opened first bank, 1900. Active in civic affairs, he helped bring West Texas State University here, 1910. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1967 #2983

310 8th St, Canyon, TX, United States

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C.R. Burrow House. #15779

1110 5th Avenue, Canyon, TX, United States

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Col. John I. Gregg 1872 Battle Site. The decade after 1865 was a time of transition for the U.S. Many citizens moved west, coming into conflict with Native American tribes living on the Great Plains. Settlers demanded the U.S. Army provide their protection. The Army responded by conducting campaigns against the Southern Plains Indians. In 1872, one such campaign included troops of the Eighth Cavalry commanded by Colonel John I. Gregg, who departed from New Mexico into West Texas to locate Native American raiders. On August 16, his troops skirmished here with Kiowas, killing or injuring twelve while suffering one wounded. This and the Red River War (1874-75) led to the subjugation of Plains Indians and their confinement to reservations. (2006) #13664

Hunsley Rd, US Hwy 60, Canyon, TX, United States

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Buffalo Courts. A unique community venture at West Texas State Teachers College during the Great Depression produced an architectural landmark. The project began in 1933 and used student labor, community donations, and state and federal funding. Limestone, petrified wood and other rock was quarried in Texas and New Mexico. The complex included a fieldhouse, athletic dormitories, an outdoor swimming pool, stone walls and stadium bleachers. Much of the facility was later razed; only the two-story recreation hall completed in 1941 remains standing. The facility has a petrified wood exterior, large stone fireplaces and staircase, and a second-story hardwood dance floor. In the 1980s, the alumni association moved its headquarters here. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2007 #13952

102 N 25th St, Canyon, TX, United States

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Shaw-Keiser House. Travis Shaw (1875-1946) was a local banker and civic leader who later served as secretary and business manager of West Texas State Normal College. He commissioned the Dallas firm of Lang and Witchell to design a one-story Craftsman style brick residence, and Canyon contractors Gillcoat & Skinner built it in 1908-09. C.O. Keiser (1868-1928), land developer, newspaper owner, banker and entrepreneur, bought the house in 1911 and enlarged it, adding a second story with additional Craftsman details by master carpenter Norris Root of the local firm of Root and Wragge. The house features gallery porches, a pyramidal roof, low-pitched cross gables and exposed rafter tails. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2007 Marker is property of the state of Texas #13993

1214 5th St, Canyon, TX, United States

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Randall County World War II Memorial. #14782

?, Canyon, TX, United States

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Company F, 2nd Battalion, 142nd Infantry, 36th Division, Texas National Guard. The 36th Division of the U.S. Army served with distinction in World War II. When mobilized, Company F of the Division's 142nd Infantry consisted primarily of Randall County soldiers, including ten sets of brothers, as well as a father and son. The unit deployed for Italy in 1943 and was among those landing at Salerno. The men actively served in the European theater of operation, spending 400 days in combat, participating in two assault landings and receiving seven campaign streamers. During the war, eight local men lost their lives and two received the Distinguished Service Cross. From 1951 to 1968, when it disbanded, the company trained at a National Guard Armory at this site. (2005) #15505

?, Canyon, TX, United States

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Los Ciboleros (New Mexican Buffalo Hunters). For centuries Pueblo Indians of present New Mexico trekked to the plains to hunt buffalo to supplement from the Spanish in the 17th century, the annual trips were made more easily and with greater success. By the 19th Century, the Ciboleros (from "Cibolo" -- Spanish for buffalo) became very important, providing food for the growing New Mexican population and hides for the rich Santa Fe-Chihuahua trade. Cibolero expeditions often included as many as 150 people. The daring cazadores (hunters), picturesque in leather jackets and flat straw hats, rode into the herds armed only with lances, killing 8 to 25 bison each in one foray, and depending on the speed, agility, and skill of their horses for safety. Others, including occasional women and children, cut meat into strips for drying and cured the hides for tanning. With their carts laden with fruits of the hunt, the Ciboleros returned to New Mexico and a hero's welcome. The Plains Indians, protecting their hunting grounds, maintained constant warfare against the Ciboleros throughout the 19th century, but the colorful lancers survived until Anglo-American hunters decimated the great buffalo herds in the late 1870s. #3125

SH 217 East of Canyon, Canyon, TX, United States

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Francisco Vasquez de Coronado on the Texas Plains. On April 22, 1540, Francisco Vasquez De Coronado (1510-54) set out from Culiacan (in present Sinaloa, Mexico) with an expedition of 1500 men to search for seven golden cities reported far to the north. Coronado entered the present United States in Arizona and proceeded northeast to the Rio Grande pueblos in New Mexico where he spent the winter of 1540-41. On April 23, 1541, Coronado left the Rio Grande, traveling eastward to seek the Golden City of Quivira. A native guide called "El Turco" led the Conquistadores aimlessly across the arid plains in an attempt to get them lost. On May 29, 1541, with supplies depleted, Coronado entered Palo Duro Canyon, where wild fruit and water abounded. While in the canyon, Coronado discovered the guide's betrayal. On June 2, Coronado selected 30 men and started northward in quest of Quivira. The rest of the expedition, under command of Tristan De Arellano, remained in the canyon for 2 weeks before returning to the Rio Grande. According to legend, Fray Juan De Padilla conducted a feast of Thanksgiving for the group while in Palo Duro Canyon. In 1542, after failing to find the Seven Cities of Gold, Coronado returned to Mexico a broken man. (1973) #2048

SH 217 4 mi East of Canyon, Canyon, TX, United States

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The Old JA Ranch. In 1876, veteran Texas cattleman, Charles Goodnight entered Palo Duro Canyon by way of an old Comanche Indian trail near here, to establish the first ranch in this area. In 1877, Goodnight in partnership with Englishman John Adair moved farther down the canyon to lay out headquarters of the JA Ranch. This pioneer venture became one of the greatest cattle operations in the world, taking in more than a million acres of land and grazing 101,023 head of cattle. Goodnight had became acquainted with the Palo Duro as a scout and guide for Texas Rangers during the Civil War. He knew that the canyon, fenced in by the overhanging caprock, was an ideal spot for a ranch: it furnished water and shelter in the winter and the adjacent plains provided ideal grazing in the summer. Upper division of this ranch (the park area) was reserved for the purebred, of JA herd. The vast lower end of the JA was ranged by longhorns - gradually being improved by better blood. In 1887 the Goodnight-Adair partnership was ended. Adair retained the JA which, in the hands of his heirs, is still one of the great ranches of Texas. (1968) #5388

Off SH 217 in Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Canyon, TX, United States

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Umbarger. Umbarger In 1895, Civil War Veteran and farmer S.G. Umbarger established a wagon yard and sheds for travelers passing through this area. The area became known as Umbarger when the Pecos Valley Railroad, built in 1898, named a rail switch after him. By 1902, the community had a post office; in 1904, later citizens established a public school district. German-Catholic families, brought to the area by Pius Friemel, established St. Mary's Church, or Marienkirche, in 1908. During World War II, Italian prisoners of war were held in nearby Hereford. A group of them, trained in old world techniques, carved religious figures and painted the interior of the parish church, which remains a community center. (1968, 2003) #5591

US 60, Buffalo Lake Rd, Canyon, TX, United States

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Site of an Early Barbed Wire Fence in the Panhandle. In the latter 1880s, when fencing was needed in the treeless Texas Panhandle, the solution proved to be barbed wire. Joseph F. Glidden of Illinois devised and by 1876 was manufacturing (with I. L. Ellwood) the first really practical barbed wire on the market. H. B. Sanborn was sent to Texas as their agent, and remained to become a builder of the Panhandle. Wanting free access to water and grass, ranchers at first resisted fencing. Cowboys disliked it, as fewer range riders were needed on fenced lands. The old-timers grew bitter, because of blocked trails -- herds had to be hauled rather than driven to market. Yet, newcomers wanted fencing, in oder to have use of land purchased for ranching. Merchants and city-builders wanted fences, to assure settlement. The T-Anchor, owned by Jot Gunter and William B. Munson, real estate investors of Grayson County, built a line fence on this site in 1881, enclosing a 240,000-acre horse pasture. Also, built in this area, by popular subscription, was a "drift" fence to hold cattle back from wandering south in blue northers and blizzards. Barbed wire gradually came into general use. It saved the cattle industry, because improvements in breeding and feeding were possible on fenced ranges. (1968) #4921

SH 217, about one mi East of Courthouse, Canyon, TX, United States

C. stuart johnston historical marker
C. Stuart Johnston. Born in Belhaven, North Carolina on Dec. 31, 1900, Claud Stuart Johnston began teaching in Oklahoma after graduating from the University of North Carolina. Field work for the University of Oklahoma prepared Johnston for the Earth Science Chair at West Texas State Teachers College, where from 1934-39, he also taught courses, secured Federal Relief Program funding for projects, and supervised programs with his wife, Margaret (Counts). Materials they collected formed the core of the paleontology collection at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum. Johnston returned to Oklahoma to finish a doctoral degree, but puzzlingly left for Boston, Massachusetts, where he died weeks later on July 24, 1939. #16473

26500 S. US Highway 87, Canyon, TX, United States

Subjects
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Site of Wagon Yard. Ranchman's headquarters in town; slept in bedroll in his wagon or in room above the office. Cooked over campfire in yard. Overnight charges: .10 cents a horse; .50 cents a man. Feed and coal were sold, water was free. Hands were hired, horses doctored here. Yard existed about 1890 to 1921. (1966) #4910

1705 5th Ave., Canyon, TX, United States