White Deer Land Museum

Wiley And Katie Vincent Occupied The Pioneer Cottage In 1903

Wiley Powell Vincent and his wife, the former Mary Catherine “Katie” Crawford, came from Vernon , Texas , and arrived at Lefors on October 18, 1902, the day the first courthouse of Gray County was dedicated. With them came Eli Vincent and his wife, the former Georgia Crawford, Wiley and Eli were brothers and Katie and Georgia were sisters.

Photo of Eloise Lane

Eloise Lane

He lived in a dugout until a house, consisting of a central hall with two rooms on each side, could be built. When the house was finally finished in 1893, Rider sent for his wife and son. He met them at Clarendon and they rode in a hack to their new home.

The Vincent families arrived at Lefors on a beautiful day when the leaves on the big cottonwood trees were just beginning to turn yellow, gold and bronze. They camped near the creek on the Henry B. Lovett ranch.

At the celebration following the dedication of the courthouse, the Vincents met Jesse and Minna Wynne and their daughters, Alice and Beryl. Wiley was asked to come to the Wynne ranch in Carson County to help feed cattle. For several months the Wiley Vincents lived in the N Bar N ranch house southeast of White Deer. At that time cowboys in the area thought that the ranch house was haunted.

The Eli Vincents bought a house at 109 South Cuyler in Pampa . A short time later they sold this house to Jesse Wynne and moved elsewhere. The Eli Vincents had three children: Scott, Lois (Mrs. Charles T. Boone) and Thomas.

In 1903 the Wiley Vincents moved to Pampa . At first they lived in a little house built by Jesse Wynne and then in a small house owned by the Johnson Mercantile Company. Most of the early houses were very small because it was difficult to obtain lumber and any kind of a house was a luxury. Many of the first settlers had to live in dugouts for some time before they could build houses.

Later in 1903, Wiley and Katie moved to the Pioneer Cottage which Wiley had helped to build. The cottage was originally located in the 501 block of East Browning ( Central Baptist Church parking lot).

Once, on the lawn in front of the cottage, Wiley “baby-sat” children of women who were attending a meeting inside the house with Katie. After the meeting was over, Wiley served watermelon to all of those present.

After living in the Pioneer Cottage for several years, the Wiley Vincents moved to a farm which they owned. In 1914 they bought a large white house, which had been built in 1907, from Henry Lippold and moved back to Pampa .

This house, located north of the railroad tracks at 303 East Atchison, faced south, so residents and visitors spent a great deal of time watching the trains from the front porch.

Many relatives and friends visited the Vincent family, which by now included Katie’s father, J.T. Crawford, Sr. Many discussions and friendly arguments took place in the house and on the front porch, and often the sound of laughter could be heard. In the summertime Katie always kept a pitcher of lemonade on the front porch to quench the thirst of any persons present.

Some Pampans remember the lightning rods on the house, a hitching post in front of the house and a huge cholla (walking cane) catcus that displayed beautiful magenta blossoms when it bloomed.

Wiley died in 1922. Katie, who lived to be almost 100 years old, died in 1978. After her death the house at 303 East Atchison was moved two miles west of Pampa just south of Highway 60. The present Social Security Administration office, using the address 125 South Gillespie, was built where the Vincent house formerly stood.

Wiley and Katie Vincent had four children:Clifton Eli, who married Edna Bertha Carr; Jack (R.C.), who married Flora Williams; Joe Tyler, who married Eloise Van Kirk; and Kathryn, who married N. Dudley Steele.

About the time Cliff Vincent and Edna Carr were married on June 24, 1919, her father, Mayor E.S. Carr, bought the Pioneer Cottage and gave it to his daughter and son-in-law as a wedding present.

In 1963 Cliff and Edna Carr Vincent gave the Pioneer Cottage to the Pampa Genealogical and Historical Society.

Some time later the Pioneer Cottage was moved to its present location on the north side of the intersection of Starkweather and Yeager Streets. As one of the few original buildings in Pampa , it is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. A historical marker in front of the cottage was dedicated on December 6, 1970.

Information was primarily obtained from articles written by Kathryn Vincent Steele for Gray County Heritage).

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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