What Was At Pampa in 1902?

(In 1902 the streets and avenues of Pampa probably existed only on paper. They appear on this map to show approximate locations as they would be defined in 2002.)

The small village of Pampa was known mainly as a shipping point for cattle until about 1906 when ranchers began moving in to Pampa so that their children could attend school and the White Deer Land Company began to promote the sale of its land for agricultural purposes. The town of Pampa was not incorporated until 1912 when its citizens voted for “Corporation” on February 17 and the first city election was held on March 5.

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

  1. The location of the half dugout for the family of Thomas H. Lane, section foreman and station agent, has been described as “by the underpass” and “in the middle of Cuyler Street.” The room over the top, built before the; post office was established in 1892, burned before 1902, but the dugout still existed in 1908 when M. K. Brown noted that it was being searched for whiskey bottles that had been thrown in by cowboys.
  2. The location of the boxcar depot is not known — here it is shown at the location of the first depot, constructed in 1905. In February 1888 the boxcar depot was the only structure at Pampa that resembled a building.
  3. The railroad company moved the section house from Kansas in 1888 and it was located at 315 W, -Atchison where trees are still standing in the space east of The Pampa News building. Later it was moved to present 936-938 S. Hobart where it housed Perry Antiques Unique in 1970. It is believed to be the only existing structure that was at Pampa in 1902. At some time the railway company built shacks on its right-of-way for its workers – but the location, number and length of time used are not known.
  4. Soon after Emily Case came in 1889, her husband, Sam Case (also a section foreman) built a small house of foot lumber probably near 219 E. Tyng where some of the family lived later.
  5. In the fall of 1891, George Tyng began construction of the boarding house of White Deer Lands at 116 W. Atchison near the gazebo in McCarley Park. Sam and Emily Case were employed to manage the boarding house. The first tree planted in Pampa, a Chinese elm brought from four miles east of town, still stands in its original planted position at the northeast corner of McCarley Park. Some people think that a portion of the boarding house (later Holland Hotel and then the first Schneider Hotel) still exists at 1410 W. Alcock, and there is a similar structure adjacent to the east side of 2108 W. Alcock.
  6. The company house of White Deer Lands (considered it~ first office at Pampa) was built at the same time as the boarding house. It was located at 318 W. Atchison catty-cornered from The Pampa News building, (See p. 17 in M. K. Brown Memoirs and Legacy for his recollection of Pampa when he came in April, 1903.)
  7. In 1896 George Tyng mentioned the home of Thomas Lane (which was at 221 E. Atchison).
  8. The first home of Charles T. McCarty, who came in 1897 as a pumper for the railroad, was a dugout at 123 E. Atchison – parking lot for post office vehicles.
  9. The Johnson Mercantile Company store at 105 N. Cuyler was probably built soon after J. F. Johnson of Canadian bought the first commercial lots on May 24, 1902. This building was the second location of the Pampa post office.
  10. While Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Kingsmill visited the White Deer Lands in the fall of 1902, she turned over the first shovel of dirt for the first schoolhouse at 513 E. Francis. Presumably it was built soon afterward because an early account states that it was not used for a year because there were no pupils)and the first school year was 1903-04.
  11. John Thomas “Tom” Crawford, who came to Gray County in 1892 on a cattle drive, became the first sheriff when the county was organized in 1902. His sisters, Georgia. (Mrs. Eli Vincent) and Mary Catherine “Katie” (Mrs. Wiley Vincent) came to the Lefors area on October 18, 1902 – the day the first courthouse was dedicated. Katie and Wiley went to Carson County to work for J. S. Wynne before they came to Pampa in 1903 to live in the pioneer cottage. Presumably Georgia and Eli lived with Tom at 109 S. Cuyler in the house that Wynne bought in 1907.
  12. The community well (Lot 4 of Block 12 on Tyng’s map) might have been there in 1902. The part above ground is still visible across the alley west of Lovett Memorial Library.
  13. The livery stable run by George Thut in 1902 (mentioned by Katie Vincent) was probably the stable shown in Block 6 on George Tyng’s map of early lots sold in Pampa. 14 – A house in Block 12 was possibly built by J. L. Stroope in 1902. It was sold to J. C. Rider in 1903. 15 – J. F. Meers, who lived in Pampa from 1901 until 1906, possibly had a house in Block 13. * * *

(Excerpts from letters of George Tyng to Frederic Foster) 11/28/96 – The (boarding) house is occupied by the family of S. C. Case, a section foreman of the railroad, who keep house as rent and furnish six meals for $1.00 to me or your employees, and meals and lodging to business visitors at $0.25 each. The family owns a small house on the railroad station grounds.

5/26/98-TheSouthern Kansas Railway Company is now having unloaded here at Pampa, a steam engine, boiler and derrick for putting in a well and pumping station. 7/2/00 – The Southern Kansas Railway Company has put in a second well at Pampa where it maintains a steam pump and the largest storage tank on the line. It also has there its largest and best section house and one of its best stock yards with every facility for rapid dispatch of large herds. ( As late as 1906, cattle from the north were walking up present Cuyler Street to the stock yards.) Tom Lane, section foreman at Pampa since the railway first got there, whose former house burned, has built on your land near the edge of the railway station grounds a very tidy and well painted cottage of four rooms and a lean-to. June 1901 – In addition to your buildings at Pampa, the Railway now has there two wells, steam pump, am unusually large steel reservoir, boiler house, small station, small house for the pumper, tool house, large section house with fenced yard and planted trees. 12/24/1901 – Three stores, lumberyard, livery stable and (of course) a saloon are waiting to jump into Pampa as soon as permitted. * **

In 1936 Katie Vincent gave this description of Pampa in 1902: “The town of Pampa was made up of the old Schneider Hotel and the section house, a place for the section hands. There was the Johnson Mercantile Co., the only store in Pampa with the Post Office combined. There was the livery stable run by George Thut and a boxcar depot. There were two company houses, one occupied by George Tyng (board- ing house) and one for men who worked for White Deer Lands.” * * *

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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