White Deer Land Museum

First Resident Doctor Constructed Original Brunow Building

Pampa ‘s first resident doctor was Dr. Vittorio E. von Brunow, who was born at Charleston , South Carolina, on October 27, 1862. He was the son of Count Phillip von Brunow and Countess von Brunow. Count von Brunow was prominent in diplomatic circles in the service of Russia for many years. Count von Brunow’s family returned to their old home in East Russia in 1864.

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

Dr. von Brunow received his elementary education in Wittenberg , Saxony, and later studied in Austria and Russia . He was a graduate of the University of Vienna and the University of Warsaw , where he took a degree in 1887. This was followed by study in the medical clinics in Berlin , and at Kaln and Hamburg .

In 1892 he returned to America and took a very important part in medical research and the scientific development of therapeutics. His medical attainments were the result of exceptional training, ripened by a broad experience and constant study.

He practiced at New Orleans for a time, and later at St. Louis and in Chicago . He then went into Indian Territory, and after a short period of practice there, moved to Gainesville in 1900 and three years later came on to Pampa.

For nearly forty years he served the people in and around Pampa with ceaseless effort and intelligent application. His practice was along general lines since he felt that he could better serve his community this way.

Dr. Brunow (as he was known in Pampa ) liked hunting and fishing but his real hobby was in research work. He was also a philanthropist but only his closest friends knew of his many gifts and kindnesses.

He organized the Republican party in Gray County and he was its only chairman until the time of his death. He was a member of the Elks Club and the Kiwanis Club.

Dr. Brunow took a keen interest in current events and subscribed to numerous magazines and newspapers. He was one of the best informed men in the Panhandle and had a remarkable memory.

Dr. Brunow was married on February 25, 1937, to Mrs. Lonna D. Lan Franco at Pampa . He had four children by a previous marriage: Julia D. Wilson of Pampa , Edward of Freeport, Fred of Benton, Louisiana, and Gunther Harry Brunow (G.H.) of Port Arthur. Mrs. Lonna D. Brunow had a daughter, Vera Lee (Mrs. Bob Andis), who was adopted by Dr. Brunow.

Dr. Brunow died on May 7, 1941, and was buried in Fairview Cemetery . Mrs. Brunow, age 95, is living in Amarillo .

Dr. Brunow came from Gainesville to the Texas Panhandle in a surrey. Being German, he had probably heard of the Thut family who were German speaking Swiss, and he stayed at first in the Thut Hotel near Lefors.

Soon after arriving in Pampa (1903), Dr. Brunow had a white frame building constructed at 101 South Cuyler. The Brunow’s lived upstairs, and the lower floor was used as a doctor’s office, drug store, post office and telephone office.

The building at 101 South Cuyler was the third location of the Pampa post office which was moved from the Johnson Mercantile Building at 105 North Cuyler. Records in the National Archives show that Vittorio E. von Brunow was appointed the fourth postmaster of Pampa on October 23, 1903. However, people have always referred to Mrs. Brunow (Josye Lucille Barnes) as the postmistress.

Whenever a bag of mail was thrown from a train, some one brought it to the post office where people stood around and waited while the postmistress sorted the letters and other items and placed them in the 24 pigeon holes reserved for mail.

Mrs. Brunow also had the first telephone service in Pampa . There were 24 plugs which connected Pampa with Miami and Panhandle. Some ranchers in Roberts County ran a telephone line into Pampa where the “central” part of the service was in Dr. Brunow’s drugstore. The line was run on the fences, with wires over the gates and places where it could not be used on the fences. This caused some confusion as the cowboys would come by and staple the wire to the post, not knowing it was the telephone line.

In 1913, the post office was moved to 115 North Cuyler. Congressman John Stephens suggested that an election would be the best way for Democrats to select their postmasters, and this method was followed all over Texas that year. Claudine Barnes, sister of Mrs. Brunow, was elected postmistress by popular vote of the patrons. Her tenure began on June 27, 1914, and she served until January 1, 1922, as the fifth postmaster of Pampa .

In 1926, when Pampa was growing rapidly because of the oil boom, the white frame Brunow building was moved from 101 South Cuyler to 825 West Kingsmill. Dr. Brunow gave the house to his daughter, Mrs. Roy J. (Julia D.) “Dollie” Wilson . The Wilsons lived in the house until about 1942.

The house was bought by James W. Roden in 1950, and some of that family has owned it until recently. In the summer of 1991, Joey Roden, owner at that time, had begun to have the house razed when he was told of its historical significance. Recently he gave the building to June Thomas, who plans to have the house moved and restored.

The ground floor of the red brick Brunow Building built in 1926 was occupied by L.T. Hill department store until 1932. Levine’s department store occupied the lower floor and basement from 1934 until 1966.

The second story had apartments or offices. Dr. Brunow’s address was 108 East Foster, apartment 7 .

The red brick building burned on Christmas night in 1981. An electrical short was blamed for the blaze which was estimated to have caused close to $1 million in damage.

At the time of the fire, tenants of the Brunow Building on the Foster Street side were Pampa Travel Center , Joe Cree Agency, Billie’s Originals, Betty’s Botique and King’s Row Barber Shop. The Carousel Shoe Store was the only business with a Cuyler Street entrance.

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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