The Museum Houses Boards From 1st Headquarters

In 1910, Harry Byers Price, a banker and rancher in Reading , Kansas , bought 33 sections of land from the White Deer Land Company and an additional 11 sections in the summer of 1911, making a total of 44 sections. H.B., who had a good eye for land, mapped out the land and made his bid of $6.00 an acre to T.D. Hobart, manager of the land company from 1903 to 1924. Hobart , referring to the land company, said emphatically, “They won’t take it!”

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

H.B. was vacationing in Colorado when he was notified that the land company had accepted his bid. He took possession in 1911 and sent his son, Willis Davidson Price Sr. to Hutchinson County to oversee the ranch.

The purchase included the old headquarters of the White Deer Lands — a log house on White Deer Creek built in the early 1880s by Harrison Groom. After W.D. Price Sr. and Margaret Chatterton were married on October 15, 1915 at Reading , Kansas , they lived in a two-room frame house next to the old log house headquarters. W.D. Sr. acquired land to the west on his own and in 1928 he built Breezy Point, headquarters for the Flying W Ranch.

About 1925 W.D. Sr. built a house at 521 North Somerville so that the Price children could attend school in Pampa . W.D. Price Jr. (known as Buddy) was born in that house on April 30, 1928. His sisters were Mary, Martha, Harriett and Margaret.

Buddy often left from the back door of the Price home at 521 North Somerville and walked only a few steps to enter the back door of the C.P. Buckler home at 410 West Buckler. Frequently M.K. Brown was there to play the piano while the people present sang for hours.

Buddy’s first job was doing yard work for Mrs. Buckler for which he was paid $.25 an hour at first and later $.50 an hour. He also did yard work at 423 North Somerville for Mrs. A.B. McAfee who kept teachers, including Madge Rusk and Florence Jones.

Ida Ruth Taylor spent many hours at the Price home while visiting her best friend, Buddy’s younger sister Margaret. Ida Ruth, born December 29, 1929, was the youngest child of Homer B. Sr. and Edna Young Taylor. Her paternal grandparents were William and Ida Wilkes Taylor who came to Pampa in 1912. Her maternal grandparents were Edgar Feodore and Dulcie Faulkner Young who came to Pampa in 1907 when there were only 75 buildings in town and the only water well was just west of Lovett Memorial Library where the foundation is still standing.

Both Buddy and Ida Ruth attended school in Pampa and graduated from Pampa High School . Buddy attended Texas Tech University and Ida Ruth attended West Texas State University .

Buddy and Ida Ruth were married on July 7, 1951, and moved to the Flying W Ranch headquarters on White Deer Creek. Their children are Mary, Jane and Willis III. When Mary was old enough to go to school, the family moved to 1806 Fir in Pampa . After Mary obtained her driver’s license and could drive Jane, Willis and herself to school, the family moved back to the ranch where all of them loved to live.

Buddy and Ida Ruth, who loved trees and flowers, have made their home a beautiful place enjoyed by all of their family. They receive inspiration from the scenic view of the lovely Texas Panhandle sunrises and the even lovelier sunsets.

Many people travel regularly on Price Road which begins on the west side of Pampa at SH 60 and leads north and west to the Flying W Ranch. The first seven miles of Price Road is also FM 282 which turns east to intersect SH 70 and continue on to Miami .

The old log house on White Deer Creek was washed away when the creek rose after a heavy rain in the 1930s. All that remained of the first White Deer Lands headquarters were a few boards and part of a grayish adobe wall about two or three feet high. W.D. Price Sr. treasured the boards and stored them for safekeeping.

In January 1986, Buddy and Ida Ruth gave the boards to the White Deer Land Museum where they are on display. It seems appropriate that the boards from the first headquarters building of the White Deer Land Company are housed in the last company headquarters building which is now the White Deer Land Museum .

References:

“The Log House on White Deer Creek” – booklet at White Deer Land Museum . Gray County Heritage – Price: F795, F796, F797; Taylor : F983, F981; Young: F1125. Focus – Autumn 1988, p. 34-” Gray County Memories” by Edna Young Taylor . Focus – Winter 1991-1992, p. 28 – “Pampan (Ida Ruth Price.) Raises Herbs for Food and Beauty” by Darlene Birkes.

Over 200 Articles, written by Eloise Lane, were published in the Pampa News. These articles may be accessed by clicking on each section below. A list of articles will be revealed that are linked to a page containing the text of the article.

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