~ West Texas Historical Association ~

On the Road with WTHA
Welcome to the West Texas Historical Association Web site. Many of our members are active throughout the southwest, love to travel and have great stories to tell. If you have a story and photos (up to 10) that you would like to share, please email us. The resolution of the images below have been reduced in order for the page to load faster.

Frontier Days, 2014
A few WTHAers attended this year's Frontier Days at Caprock Canyon State Park on April 10th. Photos and captions by Tai Kreidler.

Pictured below are: 1) Comanchero Canyons Museum exhibit at Caprock Canyon State Park Museum. 2) Jerry Leatherman talks to Henry Crawford at the Comanchero Canyons Museum exhibit at the Caprock Canyon State Park Museum Frontier Days. 3) Marisue Potts, Board member of the Comanchero Canyons Museum, visits with Ada Lester, Chair of the Wheeler County Historical Commission. 4) Henry Crawford, an active Buffalo Soldier re-enactor, is pictured by his display. 5) Ada Lester at her exhibit table promoting her upcoming Fort Elliott Buffalo Soldier commemoration scheduled for June 14th. and 6) Henry Crawford with a "Comanchero cart," one of the artifacts donated to the newly created Comanchero Canyons Museum of Quitaque which had been donated by Marisue Potts of Matador, Texas.


Visiting the Miami Courthouse, 2013
Holle Humphries of the Quanah Parker Trail Steering Committee of the Texas Plains Trail Region visited the stunningly refurbished courthouse of Miami, Texas, in Roberts County during a recent trip through the area. Judge Vernon H. Cook was a gracious tour guide and below are some of Holle's images from that tour.

Pictured below are: 1) Judge Vernon H. Cook explaining the restoration work done on the courthouse. 2) The Judge's bench. 3) The jury box. 4) View of the visitors seating. 5) Close up of the visitors' seating.


Opening of the Charles Goodnight Historical Center, 2013
The Charles Goodnight Historical Center kicked off its grand opening by holding a banquet on Friday, April 12, 2013, at the Charles Goodnight Historic House and Visitor's Center. The Center is located 12 miles east of Claude (approximately 40 miles east of Amarillo), on the south side of US Highway 287 in Goodnight, Texas. The Goodnight Center is a special project of the Armstrong County Museum in Claude, Texas. Visitors are encouraged to come see the restored home and grounds of Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight, take in the historical exhibits in the J. Evetts Haley Visitor Center, enjoy viewing the buffalo in an adjacent pasture, and browse the buffalo products of Buffalo Gold Company nearby. Then enjoy touring the Armstrong County Museum at 121 N. Trice St. in Claude to see even more of our Texas Panhandle heritage exhibited. The Museum schedule is 12-4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. For more information on the Goodnight Center or tours, call 806-944-5591 or toll free 855-881-6499 or email: goodnighthtc@gmail.com. For more detail, see the Museum website at armstrongcountymuseum.com.

Pictured below are: 1) View of the banquet hall where people were feasting on great BBQ-ed steaks and listening to great music. 2) Kay Henard showing attendees the specially published book on Charles Goodnight with text by B. Byron Price and photographs by Wyman Meinzer. 3) Monte Goodin of the Armstrong County Historical Commission with Holle Humphries of the Quanah Parker Trail project.  Both Goodin and Henard were recognized for their work in bringing about the successful restoration of the Goodnight house and for the construction and opening of the visistorís center. 4) Anne Christian of the commission seated with the special issue of the Texas Heritage Foundation magazine.

Medicine Mound in Quanah, Texas, Spring 2011
Tai Kreidler, Holle Humphries and Bill Neal recently visited the Downtown Medicine Mound Museum in Quanah, Texas. The Downtown Medicine Mound Preservation Group holds fundraising events in order to sustain the museum. Myna and John Potts have been instrumental in keeping the museum going for nearly 40 years.

Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge and the State Line Tribune in Farewell, Texas, November 2010
Last Tuesday Monte Monroe and I traveled and checked on various potential collections at the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge and the State Line Tribune in Farwell, Texas.

We met Jude Smith the Director of the refuge and examined files that chronicled the early origins of the park. While we were there we ran into long-time Bailey County historian and good friend Sammi Simpson of Muleshoe and she took time to show us her virtual online tour of the Trail of Living Water that extends across the plains from the northwest to the southeast. This historic route includes old Native American and Anglo-Texan and US Cavalry trails that follows the various draws from Clovis to Lubbock.

Later that day in Farwell, we met with Rob Pompa, Publisher and Editor of the State Line Tribune, and Will Anderson who also works at the press. They have some of the earliest issues of the paper. They were recently found and will do much to fill the void left from the inadvertent destruction of the pre-1930s editions. They also filled us in on the local history and lore.

During our time in Farwell we were able to see the original obelisk that had marked US 84 as part of the Ozark Trail.  In the attached photos you will see Will Anderson and Monte amid the broken pieces. Citizens of Farwell funded the construction of a new obelisk that now sits near the county courthouse.  

For Coronado fans we ran into a news article published from the September 23, 2010 State Line Tribune that highlights the long time collecting efforts of Jim Bob Swafford of Parmer County. He apparently has found Spanish artifacts that date back to the 16th century that may have been part of the Coronado story. These artifacts might give further support to the argument that Coronado made his eastward crossing of the Llano Estacado via Running Water draw to Plainview and then southward toward Blanco Canyon. Will Anderson invited us back for another visit where we meet and talk with Swafford.  

Cheers,  Tai

A Visit to Copper Breaks State Park, Spring 2010

Right: This iconic image of a Texas Longhorn in a field of bluebonnets was taken by Holle Humphries for the Texas Plains Trail. "Whitney the Longhorn" is a member of the state herd from from Copper Breaks State Park.

Beavers in the park

When we were visiting the Copper Breaks State Park museum/headquarters, in the gift shop I found a book about one species of animals that seemed distinctly out-of-place, and so I held it aloft and exclaimed, "You've got to be kidding me!

Believe it or not, Texas Parks & Wildlife ranger Carl Hopper informed me, yes, indeed, Virginia, there are such creatures as beaver that live in the stream north of Copper Breaks State Park's lake!

When the rains flood the stream, and the beaver are washed downstream, they get a little consternated, he said, and start hard at work trying to "improve" the manmade dam that forms the lake!

The rangers have to recapture them and move them back upstream, before they get too much "improving" done!

I asked if they were native to the are, or were transplanted "imports" (like the gray squirrels brought by human beings to the formerly treeless plains of Lubbock).

No, said Carl, they were original natives to the area (the beaver -- not the squirrels!).

I was totally amazed to learn that beaver make their homes in the semi-arid environs of West Texas!

Tai [Kreidler] said that actually, in the early part of the country's history, before depredation by the likes of the fur trapping industry, beaver were plentiful and lived every where throughout the US.

Imagine that. 

~Holle Humphries

Unfortunately there were no beavers photographed that day. However, Holle managed to take some fabulous pictures of icons of Texas. Below are some of Holle's images from the trip. More of Holle's images can be found on the Texas Plains Trail website on this web page.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Ranger Carl Hopper with Whitey the Longhorn. Taken by Holle Humphries for the Texas Plains Trail.

"Cody the Longhorn" grazing in a field of bluebonnets, taken by Holle Humphries for the Texas Plains Trail (TPT).

"Whitney" and "Spot" the Longhorns. Image taken by Holle Humphries for the Texas Plains Trail (TPT).

Visitor Center for Copper Breaks State Park. Image taken by Holle Humphries for the Texas Plains Trail (TPT).

"Redbone the Longhorn" makes a striking contrast to his environment. Taken by Holle Humphries for the Texas Plains Trail (TPT).

"Tex, Whitney and Spot the Longhorns" take a respite in a beautiful setting. They are all members of the state herd from from Copper Breaks State Park. Taken by Holle Humphries for the Texas Plains Trail (TPT).

"Whitney the Longhorn" showing off her side profile. Image taken by Holle Humphries for the Texas Plains Trail (TPT)

P.O. 41041
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, Texas

(806) 742-9076; wthayb@ttu.edu

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