White Deer Land Museum

Origin Of The “White Deer” Name

A small plaque at the White Deer Land Museum relates the legend from which the museum received its name.

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

In the days when Apaches, Comanches, Kiowa, and Kiowa-Apaches roamed this area, an Indian saw an albino deer drinking at a creek which became known to the Indians as “the creek of the white deer.”

Most of the 26 mile long creek, which flows northward to the Canadian River, is in eastern Hutchinson County.

Early Spanish explorers referred to the creek in their language: “El Rito del Venado Blanco.” (The Spanish name was anglicized by the early American traders and explorers and became “White Deer Creek”, its present name.)

In 1886, the insolvent Francklyn Land and Cattle Company was reorganized and called White Deer Lands because of the creek near which the company buildings were located.

Soon the company moved its headquarters to an experimental farm near the present town of White Deer which became known by the name of the company.

In 1892, the company moved its headquarters to the present city of Pampa and sometime thereafter changed its name to White Deer Land Company.

After the White Deer Land Company was liquidated in 1957, M.K. Brown bought its remaining assets which included the office building at 116 South Cuyler. Subsequently Brown donated the building, which had been built in 1916, to Gray County. Brown’s request was that the building should be used as a museum to preserve the history of this area.

On December 6, 1970, the White Deer Land Museum was dedicated for this purpose.

aper articles originally published in The Pampa Daily News of Pampa, Texas. The author is Eloise Lane, long time resident of Pampa. The first article was originally published September 7, 1988.

All articles are about the history of Pampa, Texas, Gray County, and the White Deer Land Museum.

Eloise Lane is the foremost keeper of Gray County history. She was a retired Pampa school teacher who wrote a monthly column for the Pampa News for 10 years. She called it “Museum Mementos”, and each story is kept in the archives of the White Deer Land Museum.

Eloise’s grandfather came to Texas before the turn of the century with the railroad, and later became Pampa’s first postmaster. The town then had 24 residents. Her father came here when Pampa was called Glasgow.

Eloise graduated from Pampa High School in 1932 and received a Bachelor of Music degree from Mary Hardin-Baylor University in Belton. Her first teaching job was in McLean, Texas. She taught there and one or two other small schools before coming back to Pampa to teach in 1944. Eloise retired, after a 41 year teaching career, in 1980.

Eloise was asked to write a pamphlet about Pampa’s first post office, and that began her writing hobby and close relationship with the White Deer Land Museum. She is the person called on in Gray County to answer all historical questions. She answers research mail for the museum and area residents. Eloise works tirelessly each month compiling documents and retrieving information to add to the accuracy of the county’s history.

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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