White Deer Land Museum

White Deer Lands Organized In 1886

A map in the White Deer Land Museum at Pampa shows the area of White Deer Lands which organized in 1886 from the insolvent Francklyn Land and Cattle Company.

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

This area of 631,000 acres had been described as a big pasture of miles and miles of grasslands. In1886, there was only one windmill, which was located about two miles north of Groom. The country was watered by running creeks and deep lakes. Since there were no plowed fields to absorb the water as it fell, these lakes furnished water year round for the cattle.

An inventory (1886) of the Francklyn Land and Cattle Company lists tanks on these lakes: Head of McClellan Creek – No. 1, No. 2, No. 3; Bear Lake; Duck Lake; Green Lake; Chain Lake; South Horse Pasture; Twin Lakes; Mustang Lake; Wild or Crazy Horse Lake; East Side Lake; Way Side Lake; Combination Lake; West Side Lake and Sullivan Lake.

Dams were listed as Tallahone (wild turkey), Red Deer No. 1, Fire Guard, Indian Creek, Red Deer No. 2, McClellan, Buffalo, Bone Fork, Lone Wolf, Capitan and Reynold’s Creek.

George Tyng, first manager of White Deer Lands, divided the land into 18 pastures, some of which were White Deer Pasture, Dixon Creek Pasture, Buffalo Pasture and Red Deer Pasture.

The British bondholders of the new company decided to sell the cattle and then to lease or sell the land. On July 28, 1887, Alfred M. Sully of New York signed an agreement to purchase all Francklyn cattle. At that time Sully was the owner of the Clarendon Cattle Company with headquarters in the town of Clarendon.

The cattle were estimated to number 6,038 head; the sum total of the purchase price was $72,812.

The map at the museum is marked to show some of the sales of White Deer Lands. The first big sale was to Samuel Burk Burnett, owner of the 6666 (Four Sixes) Ranch. In October 1902, at Fort Worth, Burnett signed a contract to purchase the Dixon Creek Pasture in Carson and Hutchinson Counties. This pasture consisted of all of Block 5 and three westerly tiers of Block 4 (I. & G.N. surveys).

This area of 107,520 acres 168 square miles, sold for $2.65 an acre. The total price was $284,928.

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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