Library Clerk is Interested in Gray County History

(The museum appreciates John Mead’s contributions to Museum Mementos.)

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

John A. Mead, Lovett Library clerk, was born in Pampa in 1940. His paternal grandfather was Judge J. A. Mead of Miami, a long-time Roberts County Judge who was known for his collection of curios in the Roberts County courthouse. His maternal grandfather was T. A. Landers, who published the “McLean News” from 1921 to 1946. John graduated from Pampa High School in 1958, and then left Pampa for many years.

He returned to Pampa and has been working as a clerk at Lovett Library since 1995. While living in California some years ago, John became interested in genealogy and spent some time researching his own family. While he has been working at the library he has tried to gather records on the history of Gray County and its people. The records that John has collected fall into various categories. For example, the library now has lists of people buried in most of the cemeteries of Gray County. With the help of many people in Alanreed, Lefors and McLean, John typed lists of people buried in the cemeteries of these towns.

The former manager of Fairview Cemetery in Pampa furnished lists of people of people buried in that cemetery, and John 1s hopeful that the library will receive a list of those buried in Memory Gardens Cemetery. From various sources the library has also received lists of people buried in the cemeteries of Miami, Shamrock, Mobeetie, Canadian and Clarendon. Lovett Library also has census records for Gray County. The records from 1880 to 1930 are on microfilm rolls from the National Archives. Also John has downloaded copies of the complete Gray County census pages for the 1910, 1920, and 1930 censuses and put them into binders.

John has typed partial transcriptions for the 1900 and 1910 censuses, and has typed surname indexes for the 1910 and the 1920 censuses. Recently the library bought a CD that contains an every-name index for the 1930 Gray County census. Several years ago the Friends of the Pampa Library and the “Pampa News” micro- filmed ~the issues of the “Pampa News” back to 1925, as well as several other Pampa papers such as the 9’ampa Daily Spokesman, “and the Pampa News” has con- tinued to microfilm issues of the paper. The library also has on microfilm an almost complete run of the “McLean News” from 1909 to the present, as well as in- complete microfilm holdings of newspapers from Miami, Canadian and Wheeler.

Fran these microfilmed newspapers John can obtain obituaries and other articles about individuals. John has collected many obituaries for peoples buried in McLean, Alanreed and Lefors and put them into scrapbooks. From the newspapers John has made collections of articles on various topics of Gray County history and put them into scrapbooks. So far he has collected articles on World War I, the Gray County oil boom of 1925-1930 and its effects on the town of Pampa, the special editions of the “Pampa News” which have appeared from 1952 to 1992, and the Pampa Army Air Field from 1942 to 1945.

John is now working on extracting articles on the home front in Pampa during World War II. John has worked on several other types of data on Gray County history. The library has bought a microfilm roll containing the World War I draft registration records for the county, and John has indexed these records. He has also indexed the records of original grantees and patentees of land in Gray County from the Texas General Land Office in Austin. Lovett Library has still other resources on Gray County history, including city directories from 1929 to the present, Pampa High School annuals from the 1950s on, and several Gray County history books. The library also has public Internet computers on which many genealogical sites and databases may be consulted. Among these:. are the Texas Death Records database for deaths from 1964 to 1998 and the Social Security Death Index.

Also useful is the Heritage Quest database of census material and index variable from the Texas State Library’s Texshare databases. John invites those interested in their Gray County ancestors to contact him at the Library’s e-mail address (/library@pampa.com/) or to drop by the library when it is convenient. Perhaps he may help find a census record, an obituary, or some other type of record on their relatives.

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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