Ledrick and Walstads Move to Pampa in 1905

In 1905, the Ledrick and Walstad families, who were all related because of intermarriage, moved from their ranches in Roberts County to Pampa. They bought four entire blocks on East Francis Avenue, allowing a half block for each family.

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

They planted gardens and trees and built barns and corrals in addition to their homes. George Walstad and P. C. (Claude) Ledrick had homes in the 400 block; Lee Lee Ledrick and his widowed mother Jenny had homes in the 500 block and Marion Walstad, widowed mother of George, had her home in the 600 block. (Some of these houses are still standing in 2007.) The Lee Ledrick home at 505 East Kingsmill was the first solid brick home in Pampa and remains one of only two, the other being the home at 505 North Gray.

Both Lee and Claude (P. C.) Ledrick took part in Pampa’s growth. They became directors of the Gray County State Bank and served as school board trustees. Mrs. Lee Ledrick (Carrie Walstad), Mrs. P. C. Ledrick (Fannie White) and Mrs. George Walstad (Mary Ely) were charter members of El Progresso Club, organized in 1923 as the pioneer study club in Pampa. Lee and Carrie Ledrick, with two other couples, founded the First Christian Church in 1909.

Lee became a Life Elder and Carrie a deaconess. About 1928, the First Christian Church moved from its white framed building in the 200 block of North Ballard to a tan brick building at 508 East Kingsmill (now Bible Baptist Church). This was just across Kingsmill south of the Lee Ledrick home. Carrie died in 1937 and Lee in 1943. Cassie Ledrick(b. 1901), who was the oldest child of Lee and Carrie, attended C. I. A. (College of Industrial. Arts) at Denton. She taught school in Wyoming and in a one-room school house on the Canadian River before coming to Pampa to work in the post office (then in the White Deer Land Building).

She became Assistant Postmaster, retiring in 1959 when she moved to a house on part of the original Ledrick ranch. Her husband was H. Dude Balthrope, a sales- man for Pampa Motor Company and a member of a popular men’s quartet., H. L. Ledrick, son of Lee and Carrie, followed in the footstep of his parents by becoming an active deacon. He moved to the ranch in the 1940s but returned to Pampa to educate his children. His family lived in the old Sam Anderson house atL21-~ North Wynne. In later years he moved back to the ranch where he died in 1979 when his ranch house burned to the ground. His daughters, Mary Kneisley and Katy Wilde, continued to live on the ranch.

Mary has moved to to Pampa, but Katy is still at the ranch. Paul Claude Ledrick, son of Lee and Carrie, was always known as Mickey. After serving overseas in WW II, he returned to Pampa and became involved in politics. He managed the campaign of Ben Guill, who became a Republican member of Congress. Later Mickey joined the postal department in Washington and event- ially became Assistant Postmaster General, He returned to Texas to run the Eisenhower and Nixon campaigns and resigned after the election of John Tower as Senator.

Mickey came back to the ranch to operate a game and wildlife preserve across Chicken Creek from the original home site. His ranch house was also a refuge for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownies and Bluebirds who found it hard to believe that there are hills and trees and wildlife in the Panhandle.

Mickey died on January 14, 2000. George, Jr., Archie Lee, Louise and Jack Walstad, children of George, Sr., and Mary, were outstanding athletes in Pampa High School. In 1935, Pampans were excited to see a national newsreel of Archie Walstad competing in a match sprint race with the great Babe Didrickson. Archie won and later commented to his brother Jack, “Hell, I couldn’t let a woman beat me.”

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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