White Deer Land Museum

Post Office At Pampa

On May 16, 1892, George Tyng wrote from Pampa to Frederic Foster in New York City: “Am circulating a petition for establishment of a post office here which makes a good means for expression of news, upon the desirability of organizing Gray County.”

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

On June 17, 1892, Tyng wrote: “To procure the establishment here at Pampa of a post office, permanent railway, telegraph and express agency would cost, I think, not over $26.00 a month.”

On September 18, 1892, Tyng wrote that extra outlay during the next six weeks would include $10.00 monthly subvention to the post office at Pampa .

(Tyng went to his home at Victoria, Texas, for the ninth birthday, on September 27, of his son Francis. He then went to New York and to the Honduras Rosario Mine at San Juancito , Honduras . His letters suggest that he did not return to Pampa until the spring of 1893.)

The petition of citizens interested in establishing a post office at Pampa was forwarded to the Post Office Department in Washington, D.C., on September 22, 1892.

A location paper in the National Archives states that the proposed post office at Pampa was to be situated in the southeast quarter of Section 102, Block 3, I.& G.N.R.R. land grant, in the County of Gray, State of Texas.

It was to be on route No. 32004 from Mulvane , Kansas , to Panhandle, Texas , on which the mail was carried seven times per week on each day.

The nearest post office, on one side, was Miami in Roberts County , a distance of 22 miles to the northeast. The nearest post office, on the other side, was White Deer in Carson County , a distance of 14 miles to the southwest. The other nearest post office was Parnell in Roberts County , a distance of 18 miles by the most direct road to the north.

The nearest most prominent river was the Canadian; the nearest creek was Red Deer . The post office was 22 miles from the Canadian, on the south side of it and near the head of Red Deer , on the south side of it.

The nearest railroad was the Southern Kansas Railway of Texas ; the post office was to be on the north side of the railway, 200 feet from the track. The name of the railway station was Pampa .

There were 24 inhabitants at Pampa , and the post office was to supply a population of 43 and new settlers coming.

E.E. Carhart, postmaster at Panhandle, certified the location paper with his signature.

The National Archives gives October 29, 1892, as the date of establishment of the post office at Pampa with Thomas Lane as postmaster. His certificate of appointment is in the post office room at the White Deer Land Museum .

Emma Lane told her family that a room had been built over the dugout in which the T.H. Lane family lived. This room was used for the first post office, depot, waiting room and telegraph office.

Trains did not usually stop at the Pampa depot unless special arrangements were made. Any mail for the post office was placed in a bag to be tossed out a window as a train passed by the station.

Since Tom Lane was often away from Pampa because of his work as a section foreman for the railroad, Emma served as substitute. She placed stamps, money orders and other things which might be needed on a table. People would wait on themselves and leave money for payment in a cigar box. Emma said that she was never short a penny.

In 1926, T.H. Lane wrote to J. Evetts Haley, Sr., who was collecting area history: “I kept the post office at  Pampa , and when I took a notion to leave, I did so but left the post office open. The cowboys who came in for the mail looked through what was there, found theirs and took it. If they wanted stamps, they took them and left the money and I never lost a thing. The post office inspector raised a ‘kick’ but everything was straight. I asked him what he would do under the circumstances and he just laughed. You could not do that now, because they would carry off the post office itself if it was not staked down.”

Post offices previously established in the area of Gray County were Eldridge (Alanreed) on March 20, 1886; Crossland on July 21, 1888 (discontinued December 2, 1889 with mail going to Eldridge); Boydston on April 18, 1891 (established in Donley County but changed on December 11, 1902, to Gray County because of a new survey) and Lefors on October 12, 1892.

Note: The Spanish word pampas meaning “plains” comes from a Quechua Indian word meaning “space” or “a flat surface.”)

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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