United States / Panhandle, TX

all or unphotographed
33rd Anniversary National Convention. The 33rd Anniversary National Convention, Men's Garden Clubs of America, meeting at Amarillo, June 14-17, 1965, formally recognized and paid tribute to the significance of Thomas Cree's little tree and to the memory of this heroic early gardener of these High Plains. #38

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railroad Depot. The 1920s oil boom brought increased business to this railroad town,and a new depot was built here in 1928. The structure exhibits elements of the Prairie School, Mission, and Tudor styles of architecture. Prominent features include bracketed overhangs, stepped parapets, and cast stone window surrounds. One of the last brick depots built on the company's western lines, it was last used for passenger service in 1971. It became City Hall in 1985. #228

200 South Main Street, Panhandle, TX, United States

Carson County. Created 1876. Organized 1888. Named for Samuel Price Carson, Secretary of State, Republic of Texas. A pioneer county in oil and gas development. Panhandle, county seat, promised main lines of 3 railroads, was by-passed for Amarillo, yet became one of the 4 historic towns in Texas Panhandle. #736

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

Callaghan Memorial Library. Named in honor of renowned pioneer family of Asbery A. Callaghan. Erected 1970 through bequest of local businessman H.J. "Friday" Hughes (1901-1968), son-in-law of Asbery Callaghan. In 1890 A.A. Callaghan came to Texas with his parents, the J.R. Callaghans. After his father's death, he took over the family general store and was elected to almost every public office in city. Served as deputy sheriff, county treasurer, county judge, school board member, director of First National Bank, and steward in Methodist Church. Won respect throughout region. #632

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

Texas Panhandle Pioneers - The Simms Brothers. Permanent citizens, forgers of local civilization. Walter Franklin (1869-1963), George Leonard (born 1875) and Dormer D. Simms (born 1884) moved to Texas in 1886 and to this county in the early 1900's. They arrived later than visiting hunters, soldiers and others who in the 1870's cleared this land of buffalo and hostile Indians, and started ranching. But unlike the early ranchers who ran cattle on state-owned range, these pioneers bought land and worked to pay for it. (To tide them over drouths, such settlers sold buffalo bones and earned bounties for wolf-scalps.) In the 1905-1906 winter, the Simms Brothers used mule-drawn plows and walked from Washburn (18 mi. SW) to Higgins (115.4 mi. NE), constructing a 4-furrow railway fireguard. John Sparks, an early local teacher and a Simms brother-in-law, worked with them and led the group in gospel singing at nightly campfires. Also in the crew were Jim Calhoun and John Sterling. Family land ownership was preserved. Years later, oil and industry brought great prosperity to this region. A fourth generation now lives on the land. Frank Simms married Minnie Pugh Williams; George married Alice Jane King; and Dormer married Gertrude Talbot. Descendants are leaders in Texas business. #4702

501 Elsie, Panhandle, TX, United States

Conway Community Church. Union church built 1912 by popular subscription. Only country church in this area in continuous use for more than 50 years. Serves great-grandchildren of the pioneers who contributed funds for its erection. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1966. #1045

405 Elsie Street, Panhandle, TX, United States

Conway Community Church. Residents of Conway, established 9 miles south of here in 1905, attended non-denominational services in a relocated schoolhouse until this union church building was completed in 1912. It became an important gathering place for the Conway Community and housed regular worship services until 1968. Membership in the congregation dwindled and the building fell into disrepair. Former church members and area volunteers devoted thousands of hours to restore this structure to its historic condition and relocate it here to the Square House Museum Complex in 1991. #1046

405 Elsie Street, Panhandle, TX, United States

First Rotary Drilling Rig Used in Texas Panhandle. In October 1923, W. T. Willis, J. E. Trigg, and H. D. Lewis, partners in one of Texas' largest drilling firms, broke ground at the S. B. Burnett 6666 Ranch with the first rotary drilling rig used in the Texas Panhandle. Success of this drilling method was a major event in this region. Drilling equipment included a $25,000 rotary rig; a 6-inch diameter drill pipe; a derrick; 3 steam boilers; 2 mud pumps; and other tools. Rotary rigs began to replace cable tool rigs on the Texas Gulf Coast about 1900, but the lack of a rotary drill bit capable of piercing rock delayed its use here. #1860

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

First Tree. First tree on the Texas High Plains, set in front of dugout home by Thomas Cree, 1888. Good luck symbols of settlers throughout drouth, blizzard and heat. Cree's bois d'arc tree died in the 1970s. County residents planted a new tree here in 1990 as a memorial to the area's early pioneers. #1878

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

The Square House. The Niedringhaus brothers of St. Louis sent lumber by ox-cart from Dodge City and built this square house on their "N Bar N" Ranch here in Carson County in the mid-1880s. In 1887 a railroad official occupied the pioneer cottage while the Southern Kansas Railway was being extended from Kiowa, Kansas, to Panhandle City. This was later the home of some distinguished settlers: pioneer banker and treasurer of Southern Kansas Railway Company, James Christopher Paul; rancher-judge J. L. Harrison; innkeeper James B. Wilks; and Sheriff Oscar L. Thorp. The oldest house in town, it was purchased in 1965 and restored as the Carson County Museum. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1966 #5023

501 Elsie, Panhandle, TX, United States

Texas Panhandle Pioneers - John F. Weatherlys Family. Among first landowners in area. In 1898 started ranch 25 miles to the north. Ran country store, post office, phone exchange. Moved 1915 to Panhandle. The 1924 discovery of oil on their ranch led to the founding of Borger. They gave land to every church and school, and for a park, there. Weatherly (b. 1865, Tenn.) was a church, civic, Masonic leader; one of organizers of Hutchinson County. He died in 1944. His wife, Maggie Marie Deahl Weatherly (b. 1875, W.Va.), built Weatherly Hall at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth; educates missionaries and others; endows churches and Girl Scout work. #2780

501 Elsie, Panhandle, TX, United States

Panhandle. In 1880s, capital of Panhandle area. Settled when slaughter of buffalo sent Indians to live on reservations. Terminus of Santa Fe Railway, 1887. Here immigrant trains brought colonists, who plowed old Indian range into wheat fields and civilization. Settlers banked here, saw the dentist, got supplies, lumber, mail, windmills, fencing. Was made county seat when Carson County was organized in 1888. Nearby is site of first oil well in area, drilled 1921. Also nearby, Pantex Farms of Texas Technological University, on site of World War II Ordnance Plant. #3926

117 South Main, Panhandle, TX, United States

Pioneer Dugout. In the 1874-1888 era the High Plains (a sea of grass) had no native timber, stone, or adobe building materials. Homes were dugouts, or, if settlers' wagons went some 300 miles for lumber, half-dugouts. Dugouts were warm in winter, cool in summer. Some were carpeted and cloth-lined. Some had an extra room, for the schoolteacher or other guests. The cooking and heating stoves burned buffalo chips, cow chips. This exact replica of a Carson County half-dugout was donated by Opal Purvines to honor her parents, the John F. Weatherlys, and other pioneer families. #4028

501 Elsie, Panhandle, TX, United States

Temple Lea Houston (August 12, 1860-August 15, 1905). (August 12, 1860 - August 15, 1905) Born in the Texas Governor's Mansion, the eighth and last child of Sam Houston (1793-1863) and his wife Margaret; educated at Baylor University, Texas A&M, and in a law office, Temple Houston came in 1881 to this region as district attorney for the 35th Judicial District. He married Laura Cross of Mobeetie, 1882. Tall and handsome, he resembled his father-- a fact cited when he ran for the Texas Senate in 1884. He won, and was seated before reaching legal age for the office. While serving in the Senate, he built a home near "Panhandle City." During his two terms, he became a leader in spite of his youth, advancing legislation favorable to frontiersmen in this area. When a new capitol was dedicated in Austin in 1888, he made the major speech, taking pride that lands in the Panhandle had paid for the magnificent building. Amid the ovations of that day were pleas that he run for Governor or United States Congressman, but he declined. About 1893 he moved to Oklahoma and gained added fame as a lawyer and orator. Thus the fledgling of "The Raven" became a legend in his own time. He was the father of two daughters and three sons. The Oklahoma Historical Society has honored him by placing a marker at his grave in Woodward. #5220

501 Elsie, Panhandle, TX, United States

Subjects
Carson County. Formed from Young and Bexar territories; created August 21, 1876, organized June 29, 1888. Named in honor of Samuel P. Carson 1798-1840, statesman of the United States and the Republic of Texas. Wheat, oil and gas contribute to its wealth. Panhandle, county seat. #737

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

Finch-Lord-Nelson and the Founding of Panhandle City. Cattle firm that had brought first Herefords to region-- Lue Finch, W. H. Lord, O. H. Nelson-- in 1887 promoted Panhandle City, as railroad line approached. They sent in ten cowboys to stake claims around city, which prospered as county seat. The Finch-Lord-Nelson firm (which included John A. Finch after 1887) left descendants to continue pioneering. Of their 1887 employees, J. E. Southwood and W. D. Jolly also remained. This little red barn is a replica symbolic of frontier structures built by Finch-Lord-Nelson for the 1887 claimsmen. #1595

501 Elsie, Panhandle, TX, United States

Gulf Burnett No. 2 (Carson County Oil Discovery Well). The Panhandle's first oil well, Gulf Burnett No. 2, was struck by the Gulf Production Company on May 2, 1921, on the 6666 Ranch of S. B. Burnett. The prediction of oil in this area by U.S. geologists in 1904 and the discovery of natural gas nearby in 1918 induced Amarillo businessmen to finance Burnett No. 2. Though the first oil was of poor quality, major oil discoveries in the nearby Borger and South Pampa fields in 1926 spurred a regional oil boom and established the Panhandle as one of Texas' richest petroleum areas. Carson County has produced 150 million barrels of oil since 1921. #2304

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

John A. Holmes. (1886-1929) Born in Mississippi; received law degree from University of Texas. Became county attorney of Roberts County. Elected district attorney of 31st Judicial District in 1922. In 1928, appointed district attorney of 84th District by Governor of Texas to relentlessly prosecute criminals who infested oil fields during Borger's boom years. Often threatened by gangsters, he was shot to death by gunmen at his home in Borger. #2765

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

Methodism in Panhandle. The town of Panhandle became an important stronghold for Methodism in this part of Texas in the late 19th century. The county's first congregation was the Northern Methodist, established in 1889. It was attended by residents of all faiths. A Southern Methodist congregation was organized in 1903, and both churches served as community gathering places. The two congregations merged in 1919 and eventually became the First United Methodist Church of Panhandle. Methodists in Panhandle have maintained a strong community involvement. #3352

600 Main Street, Panhandle, TX, United States

Old County Bookmobile, First "Inside Service" Bookmobile in Texas. In use 1938-1957. Based at the county library on this site. A bright red, visible for miles, this first bookmobile in Texas was called "The Library Bus." It stopped at ranches, schools, oil camps; circulated 2,000 books a month; served in era of sparse settlement, World War II growth and later industrialization. There were private and rental libraries in early Texas; the Republic had a National Library, but most county libraries were founded or instigated by local citizens- -as was this pioneer bookmobile. Texas still has 51 bookmobiles in other counties. #3714

501 Elsie, Panhandle, TX, United States

Oldest Bank in the Texas Panhandle. Second commercial bank opened in the Panhandle of Texas. Oldest in continuous service. Founded by James Christopher Paul, pupil of Sam Houston's son, lawyer Temple Houston. Early settlers throughout the High Plains area were among the first depositors. On May 6, 1927, during great oil boom, Judge Paul and associates opened a second bank, the First National. On December 31, 1942, the two merged. Many present accounts are held by heirs of early depositors. A son of Judge Paul still serves on the Board of Directors. #3839

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

Panhandle Cemetery. The oldest documented graves in this cemetery date to 1889, three years after the founding of Carson City (later renamed Panhandle), the first town in the county. Among those buried here are Civil War veterans and area pioneer families. Gravestone designs range from simple to elaborate, and the cemetery also contains many unmarked graves. The Panhandle Cemetery has also served people in surrounding communities. Additional land acquisitions have increased the size of the graveyard over the years, and a small chapel was built in 1965. #3927

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

Panhandle Herald. Published since 1887. Oldest newspaper in the Texas Panhandle, second oldest business in the area. Founded by H.H. Brookes. Principal owner 1926-58, David M. Warren, oil man, banker, a Regent of the University of Texas. Don and Norene Peoples owners at 75th Anniversary. In Memoriam - David M. Warren (1894-1958) by Mrs. David M. Warren, David M. Warren, Jr., Randolph J. Warren. #3928

319 Main Street, Panhandle, TX, United States

Farm and Ranch Building Gift of Olive Pendleton Finch and Orville Henry Finch (born Jan. 28, 1880; son of John A. Finch, nephew of Lue Finch), banker, rancher, Christian philanthropist. In memory of townsite founders and cowboys who staked claims for the city. (1968) #14176

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

Santa Fe Railway, Terminus of. #14282

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

First Baptist Church. #14874

701 Main, Panhandle, TX, United States

Wheatherlys, John F.. #14735

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

No. 2 Burnett (Oil Disc. Well). #15100

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

Cree, Thomas, Homesite. #15630

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

6666 Dixon Creek Ranch. Takes name from creek where noted buffalo hunter and scout Billy Dixon established first dugout home on High Plains, 1874. Ranch founded, 1882, by Francklyn Land and Cattle Co., English firm backed by Cunard Steamship Co. Fenced, 1884, with barbed wire hauled here from railroad at Dodge City; posts were of Palo Duro Canyon cedars. Purchased in 1903 by S. Burk Burnett (1849-1922), trail driver, rancher; an organizer and for 45 years on executive board, Texas Cattle Raisers Association. Host during 1905 wolf hunt to U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. (1965) (Ranch not open to public.) #42

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

Subjects
Purvines Ranch Home. Built 1906-08 in land of lumber scarcity by Carroll and Kate Purvines, (from Illinois) of cement blocks they made by hand, using local sand. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1964 #20

501 Elsie, Panhandle, TX, United States

Last Great Panhandle Cattle Drive to Montana. Each spring and summer after 1880, many Texas herds went up the trail to Northern states for fattening. For the cowboys, trail drives meant hard work. They had to turn stampedes, ford rivers and quicksand streams, and fight Indians and cattle thieves. They endured hunger, thirst, and other physical hardships. The Last Great Texas Panhandle Drive was organized here at N Bar N (N-N) Headquarters. Ranch manager was J.L. Harrison; trail boss, T.L. (Tom) Coffee. 100 cowboys drove 10 herds, each with 2500 cattle, or a total of 25,000 beeves, to Montana from April to September 1892. The cattle belonged to Niedringhaus Brothers, German tinsmiths of St. Louis, who put into ranching a fortune made in enamel granite household wares. From 1882 to 1886, N Bar N leased range in Carson and neighboring counties from the Francklyn Land & Cattle Company, a British syndicate backed by Cunard Steamship Line. Afterward this range belonged to White Deer Land Company. The N Bar N outfit left here because White Deer Land Company wanted the range cleared of large herds. By 1907 the 650,000 acres of its land was offered for sale to small ranchers and farmers. It was fenced and the steam plow introduced to turn the rich, grassy sod. #3043

501 Elsie, Panhandle, TX, United States

Terminus of the Santa Fe Railroad-Panhandle, Texas. Originally "Carson City", town name was changed 1887 when this site appeared to be the future metropolis of the Panhandle: it was to be at the junction of Santa Fe (under name "Southern Kansas") and Fort Worth & Denver City Railroads. Plans changed, however, and the F.W. & D.C. took a route 16 mi. south, bypassing Panhandle. (Amarillo was soon founded on the F.W. & D.C.) Even so, Panhandle became a major shipping center. During great ranching era and again in 1926 oil boom, it moved more freight than any other town on Santa Fe line except Chicago. #3929

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

Thomas Cree Homesite. After serving as a teamster in the Civil War (1861-65), Thadium (Thomas) B. Cree worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. In 1888 he and his wife came to the High Plains. They acquired this land and, with no trees for lumber, they built a dugout home. Cree traveled 35 miles at his wife's request to find a sapling and planted it here. He watered it from a nearby lake that he dug from a buffalo wallow. The tree never grew but lived many years despite blizzard, heat, and drought. Gov. John Connally dedicated an historical marker in 1963 to the first tree in the Panhandle. #5467

?, Panhandle, TX, United States

Texan Hotel. Texan Hotel During the height of Carson County's oil boom in the 1920s, the major oil field supply houses headquartered in Panhandle, and lodging was in great demand. In 1926, Clark B. (d. 1946) and Margaret (d. 1967) Downs opened the Downs Hotel to help meet this need. It was renamed the Texan Hotel when the property was conveyed to J. H. Paul (d. 1960) in 1932. Later owners converted the Texan Hotel to apartments but continued to make a few rooms available for guests after World War II. By the early 21st century, the Texan was the only hotel built in Panhandle during the oil boom years that remained in operation. (2002) #12767

117 E. Broadway, Panhandle, TX, United States