White Deer Land Museum

Kingsmills Visit Pampa In 1902

In 1902 Lord Rosebery, principal bondholder of White Deer Lands, sent Andrew Kingsmill, his London banker, to Texas. Kingsmill was instructed to find out whether there was any possibility of making land sales and also to expend money as he deemed fit in connection with buildings in the town of Pampa.

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

During their visit, Kingsmill and his wife joined a group for a picnic somewhere on White Deer Creek. Pictures made of the group were taken to England to be developed and then returned to Pampa .

The group included George Tyng, manager of White Deer Lands; Charles A. Tignor and Will T. Wilks, who worked for the land company, and J.T. “Tom” Crawford, Jr., the first sheriff of Gray County.

Tyng’s good friend, Jesse Wynne, with his wife, the former Minna Davies, and their daughters, Mary Alice and Minna Beryl, were also at the picnic. Wynne was the first man to buy land from the White Deer Land Company, in 1900, before it was divided, and at this time the Wynne family was living on their ranch four miles southeast of the town of White Deer.

In later years Alice Wynne married James Riley Crawford, younger brother of the sheriff, and Beryl Wynne married De Lea Vicars, at one time president of Pampa ‘s First National Bank.

In October Kingsmill went to Fort Worth to begin negotiations with S.B. (Burk) Burnett, owner of the 6666 (Four Sixes) ranch in Motley County . Burnett was interested in purchasing the Dixon Creek Pasture from White Deer Lands.

At Fort Worth Burnett signed a contract to purchase the pasture which consisted of all of Block 5 and three westerly tiers of Block 4, I & G N Survey. The area of 168 square miles, or 107,520 acres, was sold for $2.65 an acre — a total of $284,928.00.

This sale, completed in 1903, was the first big sale made by White Deer Lands. The money was paid to the New York and Texas Land Company, Ltd., holders of the first lien on the land. If the land had been retained by the White Deer Land Company, it would have brought a fortune to the bondholders.

On returning to Pampa from Fort Worth , Kingsmill bought for Lord Rosebery, at $5.00 an acre, a section of land on which he had a water well drilled. The land, about seven miles southwest of Pampa , was to be held in trust by Foster & Cuyler of New York . The town of Kingsmill , named for the Kingsmill family, was later located on this land.

While the Kingsmills were in Pampa , Mrs. Kingsmill turned the first shovel of sod preparatory to the construction of a school building on land reserved by the White Deer Land Company for that purpose. Subsequently a one-room building was constructed at present 513 East Francis.

From New York, on the return trip to England, Mrs. Kingsmill sent an American flag to be flown from the flagpole on top of the belfrey.

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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