Clyde Carruth And The Livestock Show

Clyde Carruth, born near Lelia Lake on February 1, 1904, was in such a hurry to start making history that he did not wait for the doctor to arrive. Only his mother, sister and brother were present when he discovered America. He says that he has been tired and hungry ever since.

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

Clyde ‘s family lived in a number of places and he attended several schools. When he was about seven years old, he started to school at Laketon. He went to the little red schoolhouse in Roberts County for three years and to the Bell school southwest of Pampa for three years. After his parents bought Section 52 (just north of the Jordan Unit) in 1919, he was in the eighth grade in the red brick schoolhouse at 309 North Cuyler when the school moved into the tan brick building at 126 West Francis.

For some time Clyde stayed on Section 52 by himself. He plowed with a riding plow drawn by four horses and ran a header and a bush binder and drove eight head of horses when cutting wheat. He was his father’s foreman — his father told him what to do and he was to get the men to do whatever his father required.

He played football when the boys wore their own clothes instead of uniforms and made their own shoulder pads. Their practice field was west of the red brick building where the tan brick building was constructed later. They played against Perryton and Miami — one of their strong competitors.

Clyde and his classmates thought that their teachers “hung the moon” and tried to do everything right. But on one April Fool’s Day they captured principal W.B. Irvin and took him to White Deer so that they could skip school.

Clyde graduated from Pampa High School in 1922 when there were 12 in the graduating class. Some of his classmates were Adelle Williams, Myrtle Mundy, Elsie and Vera Cobb, Eunice Barnard, Wade Duncan and John Williams.

Virginia Turcotte was a passenger on the bus Clyde rode to school. She declared, “One thing I’ll never do — I’ll never marry one of those Carruth boys.” But Clyde and Virginia began dating while they were in school and were married on December 24, 1925. They lived on the west half section of 173 which they bought in 1929 from B.F. Jackson.

In the summer of 1934 Clyde was appointed assistant to the county agent with the title Assistant in Cotton Adjustment. Two years later he had the opportunity to go into the extension service and went to A & M to take the required exam. The director said that he could not pass the exam — but his score was 96. During World War II he worked for the Federal Land Bank and was chairman of the ration board.

In 1958 Clyde had a heart attack and had to quit farming. He and Virginia moved into Pampa .

Clyde and Virginia Carruth had six children. A boy who was stillborn is buried at Miami. Eleanor, who married Charles Beard, lives in Houston, Barbara Jean, who married the Reverend West’s oldest son, lives in Houston. Yvonne, who is married to Foster Winegeart, lives in Pampa. John Lloyd died in Oklahoma City 12 days after his mother Virginia died on February 15, 1993. Dayne lives in Pampa .

On October 1, 1996, Clyde Carruth and Neva Weeks were married. At the same time Yvonne was married to Foster Winegeart.

Clyde Carruth is credited with originating the livestock show which occurs annually in Recreation Park . The show, which began as a county show about 1933, soon became a Gray-Roberts show. The first meetings were in an old barn where Carruth and other participants were very uncomfortable in freezing weather. Some buildings were moved in before the county constructed a building 70 feet wide and 100 feet long. Carruth did the planning and arranging for the building.

Bleachers were needed and the county advertised for bids which were too high for the county to afford. Carruth offered to build the bleachers and was given $5,000 for the construction. With much volunteer help, he supervised the construction of bleachers and 241 hog pens made of steel — and returned $1,300 to the county.

For a number of years the building was called the Top O’ Texas Rodeo and Horse Show Building. Carruth served as superindendent of the Top O’ Texas Livestock Show for 60 years.

At the show barn building on Monday night, February 3, 1975, a large crowd attended an awards dinner for junior exhibitors who had participated in a day of steer and barrow exhibition.

Carruth was at the microphone when Foster Whaley came to the platform and said, “Let me have that mike a little bit.” As Whaley spoke, the large sign “Clyde Carruth Livestock Pavilion” was brought in. Carruth said that he was the”most surprised guy” in town. He had been told that the sign was being repainted but not what was to be painted on it. Unknown to him, his children had been notified and were present for the occasion.

During the presentations, officials elaborated on the hundreds of hours of labor Carruth had donated to the show barn facility and his persistance in pursuing areas of improvement which updated the structure to an outstanding show facility.

Carruth received a standing ovation when Gray County Judge Don Cain announced that the name of the show barn would be officially changed to “Clyde Carruth Livestock Pavilion” on March 11, 1975. In accepting the honor, along with a plaque presented by the Chamber of Commerce and a Top O’ Texas Certification presented by Mayor R.D. Wilkerson, Carruth said, “I’ve been doing what I like to do, and I’ve had a lot of good people to come behind me to clear up the mistakes.”

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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