Rolla J. Sailor, Sr. And His Arrowhead Collection

On February 28, 1906, T.D. Hobart, manager of the White Deer Land Company, wrote to O.E. Sailor, Prohibition, Missouri:

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

“In making this sale to you, it is with the distinct understanding that you will occupy and improve the above described land within eight months from date hereof. It is also agreed that you will fence said land with a substantial fence of not less than three strands of barb wire before being allowed to turn loose livestock of any kind therein.

It is also further agreed that a strip of land thirty feet in width off the west and south lines of said land is to be reserved for a public road by the Grantors.”

Later that year, Oscar Sailor with his widowed mother and two younger brothers moved to Pampa . For the move they used three immigrant railroad cars — one for livestock, one for household goods and one for implements and supplies. They settled on a farm southeast of Pampa .

Rolla, one of Oscar’s younger brothers, was about 15 years old when he came to Pampa . He liked to tell how J.C. Rider of the livery stable tried to impress newcomers about the Panhandle winds. Rider told them that the wind did not really blow until the chain on his log stood straight out.

In 1911 Rolla had a short career as a chauffer for Dr. Walter Purviance, who was then in the real estate business. Rolla met the Fort Worth and Denver trains at Clarendon and drove prospective settlers to Pampa to view land for sale. Rolla’s 1911 Overland , one of the few automobiles in Pampa at that time, offered a much quicker journey for potential buyers than a horse and carriage. Rolla laughed heartily when he told of the visitors, shock as they viewed the barren spaces and wide open country of the Panhandle.

(Once an eight-year old boy asked his father, “Dad, are we in a desert? There aren’t any trees!”)

In 1914 Rolla purchased a farm one mile west of Pampa and lived there until his retirement in the mid-1930s. He married Phoebe Taylor on December 22, 1918. At the age of 23, Phoebe died of complications after the birth of their son Warren. A casulty of World War II, Warren also died at the age of 23 while he was serving in the Naval Air Corps.

In 1923 Rolla married Mabel Hukill and they were the parents of Irene Sailor Shearer and Rolla J. Sailor, Jr.

At the age of 86, Rolla J. Sailor, Sr. died on August 19, 1977, and was buried in the family plot in Fairview Cemetery with his mother who had also died at the age of 86.

As a boy in Missouri , Rolla, Sr. began his hobby of collecting Indian relics. After his retirement from farming this hobby became a full time occupation. He searched actively for arrowheads and artifacts in Oregon , Wyoming , Missouri and Texas . Fort Elliot near Mobeetie was an excellent source for many of his artistically designed displays.

An agreement between Rolla Sailor, Sr. and M.K. Brown was fulfilled with the placing of the arrowhead collection in the White Deer Land Museum . This is considered one of the finest arrowhead collections in the Southwest.

A casette tape giving information about the arrowheads and artifacts was made for the White Deer Land Museum by William J. Ragsdale, Sr.

Many of the artifacts are dart points or spear points and are not arrowheads at all. The Indian did not have the bow in early days; the bow did not come into use in America until sometime between the time of Christ and A.D. 500. Before that time all points were actually spear points or dart points. The spear was hand held and was thrust and the dart was thrown with the aid of a throwing stick.

Only the smaller points — up to one or one and a half inches in length — are arrowheads. The medium sized points are dart points and the larger points are spear points.

Many frames of large points from different states and several frames of smaller arrowheads mostly from Gray County hang on the east wall of the arrowhead room. Also there are several strange shaped objects —-hide scrappers knives and awls.

In the middle of the case on the north wall there is a tray of bullets found at Fort Elliott and there are many axe heads mostly from Missouri . Near the case a small axe with a wooden handle has been restored to show how handles were attached by the Indians. They used wet rawhide to tie the head to the shaft. When the rawhide dried, the axe head was very tightly held but in damp weather the axe head became loose.

The best bows of the Indians had layers of sinew which were held with glue as were the feathers in the arrows. All of this began to get soft in wet weather. It is easy to understand why Indians did not want to fight in the rain when their tools of war fell apart.

Cases on the west wall hold several large spear points. Also there are knives and other objects, such as smoking pipes found in graves and a small mortar and pestle (mano and metate) used for grinding seeds. Above the cases are frames with small points from Texas and larger points from Missouri and Arkansas . A frame labeled “Pre-4000, B.C.” contains perhaps the oldest points in the arrowhead room.

On the south wall are frames of many small Texas arrowheads and a painting of Rolla J. Sailor, Sr.

(This tape in the arrowhead room of the White Deer Land Museum was made by William J. Ragsdale, Sr.)

Welcome to the arrowhead room of the White Deer Land Museum !

Most of the artifacts in this room were collected by Rolla J. Sailor, an early Gray County pioneer. Mr. Sailor’s painting is hanging on the south wall of this room. He started collecting arrowheads as a small boy in Missouri and after moving to Gray County early this century he continued his hobby.

Many of the artifacts are dart points or spear points and are not arrowheads at all. The Indian did not have the bow in early days — in fact the bow came into use in America sometime between the time of Christ and A.D. 500. Before that time all points were actually spear points or dart points. The spear was hand held and was thrust and the dart was thrown with the aid of a throwing stick. Only the smaller points are arrowheads –those up to one or one and a half inches in length.

In general the medium size points are dart points and the larger points are spear points.

If you will look at the east wall, the one with the Indian blanket, you will see many frames of larger points from several different states and several frames of smaller arrowheads mostly from Gray County.

Also there are several strange shaped objects. These are tools such as hide scrapers, knives and awls. When hunting artifacts most people can easily recognize arrowheads, but many tools are overlooked due to their strange shapes. The next time you are out hunting arrowheads you may be able to find some scrapers or other tools as well as arrowheads.

Now going to the north wall we see many axe heads in the case. These are mostly from Missouri. In the middle of the case there is a tray of bullets found at Fort Elliott near Mobeetie. Above the case are several objects also from Fort Elliott. You will also see a small axe with a wooden handle. This has been restored recently to show how the handles were attached by the Indians.

They used wet rawhide to tie the head to the shaft. When the rawhide dried out the axe head was very tightly held. This worked very well in dry weather but didn’t work as well in damp weather. This was one reason the Indians hated to fight in the rain. Their axe heads would loosen up.

Their best bows had layers of sinew which were held with glue as were the feathers on the arrows. All that began to get soft and when their tools of war began to fall apart, you can easily understand why the Indians preferred to fight in dry weather.

Going to the west wall, we find several fairly large points. Most of these are spear points. Some are knives and other tools and there are several other objects — smoking pipes, these found in graves. There is a small mortar and pestle which the Indians called Mulki hoite and Mulchi kada. Above the cases we find several small points from Texas and larger points from Missouri and some from Arkansas. Among these cases are some of the older points in the entire exhibit. If you will notice one labeled “Pre-4,000, B.C.” — that frame contains perhaps then oldest points in this entire room.

Now coming along to the south wall, near Mr. Sailor’s painting, you will notice many small Texas arrowheads.

We hope you have enjoyed your visit to the White Deer Land Museum. Tell your friends. Thank you!

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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Articles 61-80
  • Pampa News Begins
  • First Denominational Church
  • 2nd Office Of WD Lands
  • J.N. Duncan Arrives
  • Nels Walberg Sells…
  • Dormer Simms
  • Fourth Of July Celebrations
  • Pampa's First Cars
  • Pampa In 1907-08
  • J.S. Wynne Family Arrives
  • Gray Count State Bank
  • Baptist Church Organized
  • Joe & Lizzie Bowers
  • Threatened By Prairie Fire
  • Library Began In 1907
  • J.R. Henry
  • Sir Gordan & Lady Cunard
  • Three Vicars Brothers
  • Dodd Grain And Produce
  • December 29, 1991
Articles 81-100
  • D.C. Davis Family
  • Long Christmas Celebration
  • First Christian Church
  • Facts About Pampa
  • Buster Brown
  • The Last Hanging
  • Bones Hooks
  • The "Red Brick" Is No More
  • The Purviances Family
  • The Dr. E. von Brunow Park
  • Boards Of 1rst Headquarters.
  • Mary Jane Purvis
  • Cook - Adams Addition
  • Nativity Scenes
  • Clyde Carruth
  • The Mine Tragedies
  • Additions To Pampa
  • Third Family In Pampa
  • Frank Dittmeyer
  • Bricklayer Indian Jim
Articles 101-120
  • A.A. Tiemann
  • First Movies And Lights
  • Pampa Incorporated
  • Mark And Sara Fletcher
  • Annie Baker Daniels
  • Pampa's Business District
  • Birthday Tea Of 1919
  • Former Pampa Minister
  • John Mack Patton
  • The First Brass Band
  • Early Graduating Class
  • "How We Met"
  • F.P. Greever Is Assassinated
  • George Tyng's Father
  • L.H. & Lula Greene
  • John & Lena McKamy
  • Robert & Mary Yeager
  • "Dear Old PHS"
  • Supt. Believed In People
  • William A. & Ruth Green
Articles 121-140
  • Origin Of The "White Deer" Name
  • The Log House On White Deer Creek
  • Obtaining The Land
  • The Lands Organized
  • Cattle Brands Tell Story
  • Ghosts And All
  • Southern Kansas Railroad
  • Fire Guard Dam
  • When The Railroad Came
  • The Sutton RR Station
  • Post Office At Pampa
  • The Bell Family
  • J.C. Short
  • Pampa 1892-1902
  • Pampa Laid Out In 1902
  • Crystal Palace Founded
  • Gray County Organization
  • Organization - Continued
Articles 141-160
  • Origin Of The "White Deer" Name
  • The Log House On White Deer Creek
  • Obtaining The Land
  • The Lands Organized
  • Cattle Brands Tell Story
  • Ghosts And All
  • Southern Kansas Railroad
  • Fire Guard Dam
  • When The Railroad Came
  • The Sutton RR Station
  • Post Office At Pampa
  • The Bell Family
  • J.C. Short
  • Pampa 1892-1902
  • Pampa Laid Out In 1902
  • Crystal Palace Founded
  • Gray County Organization
  • Organization - Continued
Articles 161-180
  • Origin Of The "White Deer" Name
  • The Log House On White Deer Creek
  • Obtaining The Land
  • The Lands Organized
  • Cattle Brands Tell Story
  • Ghosts And All
  • Southern Kansas Railroad
  • Fire Guard Dam
  • When The Railroad Came
  • The Sutton RR Station
  • Post Office At Pampa
  • The Bell Family
  • J.C. Short
  • Pampa 1892-1902
  • Pampa Laid Out In 1902
  • Crystal Palace Founded
  • Gray County Organization
  • Organization - Continued
Articles 181-200
  • Origin Of The "White Deer" Name
  • The Log House On White Deer Creek
  • Obtaining The Land
  • The Lands Organized
  • Cattle Brands Tell Story
  • Ghosts And All
  • Southern Kansas Railroad
  • Fire Guard Dam
  • When The Railroad Came
  • The Sutton RR Station
  • Post Office At Pampa
  • The Bell Family
  • J.C. Short
  • Pampa 1892-1902
  • Pampa Laid Out In 1902
  • Crystal Palace Founded
  • Gray County Organization
  • Organization - Continued