Floyd, John, And Otto Studer

Floyd V. Studer, son of J. C. and Ella Studer, was a schoolboy in Canadian, Texas when he found the tooth of a prehistoric mastodon in the river banks near his family’s Anvil Park Ranch home. He was so excited at finding this curious object that he began a lifelong search for clues to the existence of occupants of the Panhandle before the time of written records.

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

In 1907, when he was fifteen, his history teacher at Canadian Academy took some boys exploring along the Canadian River in search of prehistoric sites and artifacts. They found on the cliffs pueblo ruins consisting of rock-slab walls and many indications of ancient inhabitants. Later this “Buried City” proved to be only a small part of a vast complex of prehistoric villages along the Canadian River Valley. Floyd studied the buried ruins, brought them to the attention of leading archeologists, and was active in the excavation of some of them. In 1925 he moved to Amarillo where he pursued a career in insurance and banking, but his avocation, archeology, brought him many honors and claimed much of his time and thought.

Surveying, mapping, photography and digging of the ruins became a lifetime pursuit and he became well-known as an expert on area history. He traveled by many means, including horseback, buckboard, and walking and wore put four automobiles covering remote parts of the Panhandle. Strapped to the floor of an airplane, he made early aerial photographs of prehistoric sites, including Alibates. His jour- nals recount a wealth of interesting experiences and even dangers, caused by blizzards, accidents far from help, and rattlesnakes in dust-laden caves. Floyd was instrumental in establishing the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum at Canyon.

In 1932 he was elected director of scientific research and for many years was curator of archeology. It was believed that the museum might not have had a history division if it had not been for Floyd Studer. At first Floyd tended to be more interested in the ruins of living quarters in the villages than in the flint quarries. But after the discovery of the Folsom archeological site in New Mexico, he began to realize the importance of the flint “factories.” He began to talk about his dream that someday there would be a national monument at Alibates, Faithfully he told and retold the significance of Alibates’ history.

Because of his great concern, Floyd addressed many groups on the subject of Alibates. In 1961 he spoke to the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, giving the history of the site and making a plea for assistance in persuading Congress to name it a national monument or a national park. The Alibates National Monument Committee was organized in Amarillo in 1962, and on August 31, 1965 Congress passed the bill authorizing national monument status for the Alibates area. The Alibates Library at the monument includes the complete collection of Floyd V. Studer papers and some of his personal books, John F. Studer, brother of Floyd V. Studer, was born November 23, 1896 at Canadian.

He was a veteran of WWI when he came to Pampa in 1923 to practice law. Due to the resignation of Charles C. Cook, he was appointed county attorney effective November 1, 1924. Later he was elected and held that office until 1930. H. Otto Studer, brother of Floyd V. and John F., was born November 27, 1898. He was also a veteran of WWI when he came to Pampa to join John as a lawyer. On November 30, 1027, H. Otto Studer married Annie Laura Sawyer, daughter of dentist Doctor A. R. Sawyer and his wife Emma. On June 12, 1926, John married Dolly Crutchfield of White Deer, their infant son, John, died on November 28, 1928.

The Pampa (first) city directory for 1929 shows John and Dolly Studer living at 629 N. Somerville, Otto and Annie Laura Studer living at 918 Mary Ellen, and the law office of John F. and H. Otto Studer at the First National Bank building (now Bank of America). Both John and Otto were members of Pampa Lions Club. Otto was president of Pampa Country Club in 1930 and later was vice-president and a member of the finance committee. On February 4, 1935, ~ five-year-old Barbara Ann Studer, daughter of Otto and Annie Laura Studer, died of influenza. She was a favorite of hundreds who knew her because of her sweet personality. With her younger brother, Stanley, she attended the Sunday school of the First Presbyterian Church.

Flower ladies at Barbara Ann1s funeral service included Mrs. P.O. Sanders, Mrs. Clarence Barrett, Mrs. Julian Barrett, Miss Margaret Buckler, Miss Virginia Faulkner, Mrs. John Sturgeon, Mrs. W. J. Smith, Mrs. C. B. Low, Mrs. Arthur Swan- son, Mrs. Bert Curry, Mrs. J. M. Lybrand, Mrs. M. C. Overton and Mrs. John Studer. About 1937, Otto moved to Austin to become chairman of the Texas Industrial Accident board. He was a friend of Texas Governor James V. Allred who appointed him to that position, and Otto was named honorary lieutenant colonel on the governor’s staff.

On September 1, 1943, Otto resigned from the accident board to enter private practice at Austin, but on October 30 he died in an Amarillo hospital, two days later

he was buried in Pampa’s Fairview Cemetery beside his daughter, Barbara Ann. At the time of Otto’s death, John, a lieutenant in the army, was stationed at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. By 1946 he had returned to his residence at 1220 Christine and his law office in the First National Bank building. Later his office was in the Rose building and then in the Combs-Worley building. He was again county attorney in 1949-1950. Dolly M. Studer, John’s wife, died on October 20, 1970 and was buried near members of the Crutchfield family at Fairview. John died of an apparent heart attack on September 1, 1974 in St. Vincent’s Hospital at Santa Fe, New Mexico.

He was buried beside his wife at Fairview. His survivors included one daughter, Mrs. Frankie Ann Fuller of Borger; one sister, Miss Lola Studer of Canadian; one brother, Oscar Studer of Rogers, Arkansas; and three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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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