White Deer Land Museum

C.P. Buckler Came In 1905

While T.D. Hobart was in London in 1904, he was asked to find employment for two young clients of a lawyer who handled affairs of White Deer Lands.

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

The two young Englishmen, Cecil Payne Buckler and his cousin Maurice Buckler, sailed from Liverpool in March, 1905. Following Hobart ‘s suggestions, they traveled three weeks in the new land, from New York to Washington , D.C. , south to New Orleans then north to Fort Worth and beyond. On March 22, they saw Pampa as a settlement of fewer than 50 people scattered around a boxcar depot on a siding of the Santa Fe Railroad.

They went to work at outdoor jobs such as building fences, surveying, building tanks, etc. at $18 a month and board. One of the first fences to be mended was a picket fence that shaded the four-room white wooden headquarters building (318 W. Atchison ) near the boxcar depot.

Soon Hobart learned that C.P. could operate a typewriter and take shorthand,so “Sis” was moved into the office to take care of the considerable correspondence that had accumulated.

On May 8, 1905, Hobart wrote to George Tyng at American Fork, Utah , “I have two more Englishmen here, as Brown calls them. I tell people who seem to know so much more about my business than I do, that Brown was sent over to watch me and that the last contingent came over to watch Brown.”

Maurice decided that there was no future in digging postholes and soon went back to England .

Before C.P. left England , he had begun to keep a daily one-line diary, and he continued this practice in Texas . One of sixty-four small booklets contained an entry, “Worked on well; in office all evening,” which suggested that he wore more than one hat for the land company.

A notation in 1906 listed these expenses: $19 for a new suit, $3 for a shirt, $2 for socks and ties, $5 sent to younger brother.”

Two entries, “Went to LeFors, brought Miss Annie up,” and “Took Annie to LeFors,” foretold that “Annie” was to play an important part in his life.

Anna Maria Elizabeth Thut and Cecil Victor Payne Buckler were united in the first marriage ceremony ever performed at Lefors, the first county seat of Gray County . The ceremony, performed by the Reverend J.W. Whatley, took place on Sunday, May 2, 1909, in the home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Thut, Sr.

Mava LeFors, daughter of Perry LeFors, was the bridesmaid and Montagu K. Brown was the groomsman. Mrs. J.C. Rider provided music for the occasion which was attended by only immediate relatives and friends.

The young couple moved into a little house located at present 402 West Francis. Several years later they bought land two blocks farther north and they bought bricks to stack on the plot of ground. While they were waiting for money sufficient to build their new home, the Bucklers lived in an apartment back of the First National Bank building. Buckler and his friends made a tennis court on the land where the new home was to be built.

In 1915 the Bucklers moved into the newly built house at 410 West Buckler (corner of Somerville and Buckler). At that time the house was “in the country.” The Bucklers had cows and alfalfa fields and were sometimes visited by coyotes which Annie killed with her gun. An excellent shot, she could hit a 50-cent piece when it was thrown in the air. She could ride as well as her brothers (George, Henry, Jr., Charlie) and always used a side saddle.

While the new house was being built, Annie went to the home of her parents at Lefors and returned with several lilac bushes which she planted in front of her new home. Over the years, she divided the bushes, placing the sprigs along the driveway and sidewalks and around the yard until the lot seemed to be almost filled with hedges of lilacs. She gave lilac sprigs to other residents and many of the older lilac bushes throughout Pampa came from the bushes Annie brought from Lefors.

In 1914 both C.P. Buckler and M.K. Brown became naturalized citizens of the United States . They became co-managers of the White Deer Land Company in 1924 when T.D. Hobart resigned to manage the JA ranch for Cornelia Adair. After Brown retired in 1935, Buckler remained as sole agent for the company until it was liquidated in 1957.

C.P. and Annie Buckler were ardent supporters of church, school and cultural institutions in the Panhandle. They worked together in St. Matthews Episcopal Church where she served in the Guild and he was Senior Warden. Before the first building of the church was constructed, services were held in the dining room of the Buckler home.

It is believed that Annie was a member of Pampa ‘s “Ladies’ Library Club” formed in 1907 (two years before her marriage). In 1923 she became a charter member of El Progresso Club, Pampa ‘s first federated club. She was president of the Board when Pampa established a public library in 1932. The Lovett Memorial Library, dedicated in 1955, was one of her dreams come true.

Annie Thut Buckler died on Christmas Day in 1957. C.P. Buckler’s interests included industries, railroad lines, museums, libraries and art galleries. As a trustee for the Pampa Independent School District , he sometimes used personal funds for temporary buildings. He was active in the Fairview Cemetery Association, Rotary Club, Masonic Lodge, Gray County Selective Service Board, Pampa Country Club, First National Bank, Security Federal Savings and Loan Association, Panhandle-Plains Historical Society in Canyon and the Carson County Square House Museum in Panhandle. In 1959 he was selected to be Pampa’s “Man of the Year.”

C.P. Buckler died on December 27, 1967.

C.P. and Annie Buckler were the parents of Margaret (Mrs. Russel G. Allen), Marjorie (Mrs. Ben H. Guill) and Anne (Mrs. Aubrey C. Green). Margaret and Anne are deceased. Marjorie and Ben Guill now live in the Buckler house where lilacs blooming in the springtime give delight to all who pass by.

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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