The Town Of Pampa Was Incorporated In 1912

On April 14, 1902, when Roberts County Commissioners approved the plat for the original town of Pampa , only a few people were living at the railroad station. An early newspaper reported that Pampa boasted a population of not more than 15 when Dr. V.E. von Brunow came in 1903. For a geography project in the fall of 1905, Freddie Hobart counted 52 residents.

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

Pampa was primarily a shipping point for cattle until about 1906 when ranchers began moving into Pampa so that their children could attend school. During the school year 1905-06, enrollment increased from six to 43.

At a time when the speed limit for autos was 12 miles per hour and hitching racks were erected at public expense, the town of Pampa was incorporated on February 17, 1912.

Application for incorporation of the town of Pampa was addressed to the Hon. R.E. Williams, county judge of Gray County on January 25, 1912 by more than 20 citizens. The sheriff J.S. Denson was given notice January 30, 1912 to post notices of election, which he did the following day. His return shows that he posted copies of the notices at the livery stable (near 100 South Gillespie), the post office 115 North Cuyler ) and the schoolhouse (309 North Cuyler).

The petition for incorporation was signed by L.L. Garton, J.T. Crawford, Jr., D.D. Simms, J.M. Smith, L.C. McMurtry, F.W. Johnson, Frank Latham, A.L. Lard, A.A. Tiemann, W.R. Beydler, R.E. Southwood, J.L. Quinn, Harvey Haynes, J.C. Rider, 0.A. Barrett, J.H. Skaggs, W.P. Davis, W.T Wilks, A.E. Barrett, A.E. Davis, J.B. Baird, J.R. Brown, A.A. Holland, H.R. Kees, T.H. Lane, W.G. Dunivan, and T.R. Grady.

The election was held at the schoolhouse February 17, 1912 with the ballots marked “Corporation” and “No Corporation.” J.R. Brown was the presiding officer, assisted by Oscar Cousins, J.W. Talley, C.P. Buckler and S.S. Thomas.

The result was a six-vote majority for incorporation the vote being 34 for and 28 against. Six ballots were mutilated. The vote was recorded by C.L. Upham, county clerk.

Minutes of Pampa as an incorporated town reveal how infant institutions grew here, with mounting responsibilities and taxes. The first city election was held March 5, 1912 J.N. Duncan was elected the first mayor, with J.R. Brown, S.S. Thomas, J.T. Crawford, C.P. Ledrick and O.A. Barrett as aldermen. These men qualified before C.P. Buckler as notary public March 16, 1912 and met at the White Deer Land Building at 4:30 p.m. Mr. Brown was made secretary. Mr Thomas and Mr. Barrett were asked to purchase a table and six chairs for the mayor’s office — thus the public expenses began. Record books were bought March 29, 1912. Minutes of early council meetings include these entries:

April 15, 1912 – C.L. Thomas proposed to furnish the town with water, but the council thought a well could be put down by public subscription. O.A. Barrett was made street commisioner.

April 25, 1912 – A garbage ordinance was passed and a dump ground established. At one time the dump ground was located in present Central Park .)

May 6, 1912 – A contract to sink the water well, toward which the public had contributed, was let to C.L. Thomas for 90 cents a foot plus equipment.

June 3, 1912 – A deed to Albert Square (location of the city hall) from the White Deer Land Company was accepted.

October 21, 1912 – The mayor was authorized to “have six panels of hitch racks each 16 feet long erected on Albert Square near the town well.” Martin Lassiter was allowed to sell town water from the well at 25 cents a tank for general distribution.

October 22, 1915 – C.C. Cook was appointed to draw an ordinance regulating speed of autos and requiring them to keep rear and front lights burning after sundown. The speed limit was set at 12 miles per hour.

Incorporated first under the state classification of towns and villages, the “town” of Pampa by a vote of the aldermen adopted the classification of ”city” on June 23, 1919. At that time, according to city records, Pampa had 860 inhabitants. The city administration at that time was composed of Mayor I.S. Jameson and Aldermen Dave Osborne, Sam Thomas, W.R Beydler, Joe Smith and Ivan Bridges, with the latter acting as secretary.

June 23, 1919 – The commissioners directed that it be called officially “The City of Pampa.”

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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