White Deer Land Museum


Hoover, located on valley range land 12 miles northeast of Pampa, began as a switch station on the Southern Kansas (Santa Fe) Railroad when it was constructed across Gray County in 1887.

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

The town, laid out by surveyor A.H. Doucette in 1908, was named for judge H.E. Hoover of Canadian.

Previously, in 1886, Harvey Edgar Hoover and his brother-in-law, J.F. Johnson, operated a store in Kiowa, Kansas. The store supplied 180 wagons delivering materials and goods to the railroad builders pushing across Indian Territory .

Eager to participate in the Panhandle development, Hoover led an 18-wagon caravan of young Missouri bachelors into Lipscomb County where he set up a store by keeping his stock in a wagon while he lived in a tent. When winter froze him out, he went to Higgins and operated a store in a boxcar on a sidetrack. In 1888 he went to his native Tennessee where he studied law at Lebanon and was admitted to the bar.

He returned to Higgins where he taught school, served as postmaster and practiced law before opening a law office at Canadian. One of Hoover ‘s clients was the Southern Kansas Railroad for whom he won many lawsuits far and wide.

Some early settlers in the Hoover area were Matthew Lewis, Willie Christopher, J.W. Gordon, W.T. Hollis, Lester Beebe, H.F. Barnhart, W.D. Benton, Oscar Cousins, and G.E. McCrate, operator for the railroad. Charles Tignor bought land in 1917 and J.R. Spearman came in 1923.

Ranches included those of W.R. Campbell, W.D. Stockstill, Emmett LeFors, Dell Wilson, J.W. Lewis and T.D. Hobart, who established ranch headquarters near Hoover.

J.C. Farrington, another early settler, had two sons and eight daughters. Mittie Farrington married Charles Tignor; Ida Farrington married Lee Banks; Belva Farrington married W.D. Stockstill and Leta Farrington married Joe Lewis.

Farrington donated one acre of land for the Farrington School (Gray County District XVI), which began in 1912 and closed in 1943. Marie Farrington Johnson, daughter of J.C. Farrington’s son, Guy, taught at the school during its last year of existence.

The post office at Hoover was established on January 31, 1910 with Joseph L. Heare as postmaster. He was followed on July 25 by E. Drewry McClain who served until the post office was closed on February 15, 1914. The post office was reestablished on January 9, 1915 with John M. Daugherty as postmaster. Joe Wittie Massengale became postmaster on August 10, 1941 and served until the post office was discontinued on May 12, 1972.

In 1915 John Marvin Daugherty, who had come to Pampa as superintendent of schools in 1910, bought five acres of townsite in Hoover for $50. He built a general store called the Hoover Mercantile, a combination service station, grocery, drug and hardware store.

Daugherty bought 320 acres in Roberts County and started the Farmer’s Co-op to sell gasoline and kerosene to local farmers. He kept the store open on Sundays and after hours for the convenience of the people. He helped with Boy Scout Troop 22, which was active until WW II.

The village of Hoover lost its leading citizen when Daugherty died in 1941 as the result of a fatal automobile accident.

Hoover ‘s first church services, which were interdenominational, were held in the depot until a school building was erected in 1919. The school building then became the meeting place for church services.

Since the school was a part of the Pampa Independent School District , Daugherty insisted that the building should be constructed of brick to preclude any possibility of consolidation with Pampa . Only seven students attended the first year and the peak enrollment was only 15. Although the building could not be moved, students were transferred to Pampa after the 1933-34 term. The building is now owned by the Daugherty family who use it for storage.

Joe Massengale, who came to the Hoover area in 1922, first worked on farms and then in the mercantile store. He bought the store in 1941 and constructed the present building in 1947.

The store was a gathering place for obtaining many articles of groceries, clothing and hardware. It was also a place to swap information on crops and local news and to leave messages.

Hoover reached its peak of growth in the early 1930s when an estimated “90 to 100” people lived in the area. A pipe line and loading rack for crude oil was established as the result of oil discoveries near Lefors.

Massengale claimed that Hoover shipped thousands of head of livestock against only hundreds from Pampa . The terrain of Red Deer Creek aided ranchers who drove their cattle along the narrow passageways of the canyon to the shipping yard.

People often drove from Pampa to buy stamps at the Hoover post office (located in the store) to avoid long waiting lines. During the Christmas season people came from Pampa so that they would not have to stand in line to mail packages. When the post office closed in 1972, Massengale bought the boxes to keep for his granddaughter.

According to Massengale, there was a time when the thriving rural area of Hoover had a depot and at least six passenger trains came through daily and stopped for boarding. At some time the depot was moved to Higgins and later destroyed in the tornado of April 1947.

The Pampa Army Air Force Base (1942-1945) had a landing field on W.R. Campbell’s ranch. At one time a plane crashed on the neighboring Gordon land. The Campbell and Gordon families were neighbors in Cook County before they came to the Panhandle.

A newspaper clipping, dated January 31, 1952, tells of Hoover ‘s “sweating out” Hobart No. 1 gas well test which had begun in June. The well did come in but was in production for only five or six years.

In 1954 a giant concrete elevator was built at Hoover . Although it was damaged by a tornado in 1982, it was repaired and is still in use. An old wooden elevator covered with sheet iron, which had been built about 1924, was destroyed by fire in 1956.

Hoover no longer ships thousands of head of livestock because large trucks have replaced the railroad cars.

After Massengale died in 1986, his wife, the former Juanita Montgomery, moved to Pampa . Now Tom Lively and his wife are the only residents at Hoover . They live in the house formerly occupied by the Massengales. Lively owns the store where people still come to buy various items and to exchange information. He also manages the elevator which is still important to wheat farmers.

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.

Closed Accordian Default Hidden

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

error: Content is protected !!