Pampa Was Laid Out in 1902 – Updated

(Most of this article was printed in Museum Memento #17 on January 8, 1990.)

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

When the British bondholders of the White Deer Lands were ready to implement George Tyng’s recommendation to establish a town at Pampa, Frederic Foster sent his assistant, Rusell Benedict, from New York to Texas. Frederic de Peyster Foster and Cornelius C. Cuyler, New York lawyers, were trustees for the bond- holders because at that time it was illegal for aliens to own land in Texas. Benedict and Tyng spent a month traveling over the White Deer Lands and deciding how the streets of Pampa should be laid out and where land should be reserved for the intended courthouse, schools and other purposes. Back in the New York office, Benedict worked out a detailed plat of the town site of Pampa. He sent the plat to Tyng, requesting him to get James L. Gray of Panhandle to make a survey of the site.

Gray certified his survey in February.1902, and it was approved, filed and recorded in Roberts County on April 14, 1902. (Gray County was attached to Roberts County on that date.)

The town was laid out parallel to the railroad; therefore streets run northwest to southeast and avenues run northeast to southwest. However, streets are known as north to south and east to west,. The original site of 38 blocks was bounded by Atchison on the south, Wynne on the east, Browning on the north and West on the west. From West Street going east, streets are named: Gray – for Peter W. Gray, prominent Texas legislator Somerville – for David Somerville, manager of the Matadors who were leasing from White Deer Lands Frost – for an official in the New York law office attending to White Deer Lands Russell – for Russell Benedict, assistant to Foster in the New York office Cuyler (Main Street) – for Cornelius C. Cuyler, trustee for White Deer Lands Ballard – for an official in the New York office Gillespie – for an early cattleman (? J. L. Gillespie of Carson County) Houston- for Sam Houston, Texas hero Starkweather – for the superintendent of the Southern Kansas Railroad Wynne – for J. S. Wynne, early pioneer who was a good friend of George Tyng From the railroad going north, avenues are named: Atchison – for a founder of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company Foster – for Frederic de Peyster Foster, trustee for White Deer Lands Kingsmill – for Andrew Kingsmill, London banker who represented the bondholders of White Deer Lands Francis – for Francis Tyng, youngest of the three sons of George Tyng Browning – for District Judge, J. N. Browning Street numbers begin at the intersection of Cuyler Street and Foster Avenue with even numbers on the right and uneven numbers on the left,

The first sale of town lots in Pampa was to Thomas Lane by contract No. 1 for two lots at a cost of $60 on May 24, 1902. Lane, who had previously built a house at this location, had asked to buy the land, but the company did not want to sell lots until it had decided to establish a town. The second transaction involved the sale of 12 business lots on 25 foot frontage to the Johnson Mercantile Company of Canadian at $125. In an envelope postmarked June 2, 1937, at Victoria, Texas, Dr. George McAlpine Tyng, middle son of George Tyng, sent a map to J.S. Wynne with this notation:

“To Mr. J.S. Wynne from Geo. McA. Tyng: This map shows the first lots sold in Pampa, TX. and the red ink writing is that of George Tyng, my father.”

On May 21, 1970. Wynne’s daughter, Beryl Wynne (Mrs. De Lea) Vicars, donated the map to the White Deer Land Museum.

The map shows: Block 3 – Lots 1, 2, 3, 4 – White Deer Lands Block 5 – Lots 7, 8 – Crawford Block 6 – Lots 13, 14, 15, 16 – stable Lot 17 – Whatley Lots 23, 24 – Thomas Lane Block 12 – Lot 1 and part of Lot 2 -. Stroope Lot 4 – well Lots 11, 12 – Kingsmill Block 13 – Lots 1, 2 – Stroope Lots 19, 20 – Meers Block 15 – Lots 13 through 24 – Johnson Mercantile Company Block 16 – Lots 20 through 24 – White Deer Lands Block 22 – Reserved (for courthouse) Block 29 – Reserved (for school) Albert Square (present location of Pampa’s city hall and fire station) was named for Albert de Peyster Foster, brother of Frederic.

The intended use for the reserved spaces south of Block 3 and of Albert Square is not known.

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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