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Carson County Biographies -- 4

SANFORD, JAMES MCEUIN (1864-1933)
STOCKING, JEROME DANIEL (1849-1918)
THUT, HENRY (1846-1926)
TYNG, GEORGE (ca. 1839-1906)
WHITTENBURG, JAMES ANDREW (1857-1936)

SANFORD, JAMES MCEUIN (1864-1933)

James McEuin (Mack) Sanford, rancher and Hutchinson County pioneer, one of ten children of John Thompson and Nancy Theodocia (Hay) Sanford, was born on September 26, 1864, in Burnet County, Texas. His parents had moved to Texas from Williamson County, Tennessee, a few years before. At the age of eighteen Sanford began working as a cowboy on a trail drive from South Texas to the Canadian border; then he worked at the old Bar X Ranch in the disputed Greer County. In 1883 he went to the Panhandle and worked two years for Frank Latchman's DBL ranch, twelve miles west of Adobe Walls. Afterward, he worked for the Hansford Land and Cattle Company and for the Turkey Track Ranch for ten years. During that time Sanford hunted wolves for bounty and earned ten dollars for each pelt taken. By 1895 he had built up his own cattle herd of 100 head.

He was the first to file under the provisions of the Four-Section Act, which allowed settlers living in semiarid regions to acquire large parcels of land to make stock ranching possible. He claimed land in Carson and Hutchinson counties. He built a dugout home and ranch headquarters on the first four sections in northern Carson County. Then he expanded his operations, often on borrowed money, and purchased several tracts of former Turkey Track land after that ranch broke up. By keeping his home herd intact and shipping steers to the Kansas markets, Sanford was able to net as much as $12,000 in profits. Eventually he owned over 2,000 head and expanded his Panhandle ranch holdings to some thirty sections.

Sanford helped organize Hutchinson County in 1901. The same year he married Garland S. Whiteside, daughter of Judge J. A. Whiteside. W. H. Ingerton, the first county judge issued their marriage license, the first in the county. Sanford formed a partnership with Lee Bivins the following year and handled steers until 1906. The Sanfords had a son and a daughter.

Sanford was among the Panhandle cattlemen who profited greatly from the oil boom of the 1920s. The region's third well, the Whittington-Sanford No. 1, was spudded on his land. As a result the town of Sanford was established, in 1927. On numerous occasions Sanford led Panhandle oil operators in battles both in Austin and Washington, D.C., for improved conditions. The drought of 1930 compelled him to seek additional pasturage, and he bought 25,000 acres near Wagon Mound, New Mexico. He died on August 24, 1933, and was buried in Llano Cemetery, Amarillo. His son, Harrison, took over management of the New Mexico ranch, while the properties in Carson and Hutchinson counties fell to his daughter, Effie, and her husband, Richard P. Coon. Sanford Dam, which forms Lake Meredith on the Canadian River, bears his name.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Hutchinson County Historical Commission, History of Hutchinson County, Texas (Dallas: Taylor, 1980). Jo Stewart Randel, ed., A Time to Purpose: A Chronicle of Carson County (4 vols., Hereford, Texas: Pioneer, 1966-72).

H. Allen Anderson



STOCKING, JEROME DANIEL (1849-1918)

Jerome Daniel Stocking, pioneer Panhandle physician, the youngest of the four children of Daniel C. and Mary (Hanna) Stocking, was born on December 24, 1849, in Lisbon, New York. In his early years he suffered from tuberculosis. After teaching for a while in Big Rapids, Michigan, he moved to Texas in search of a milder climate. He taught for a time in the Waco schools until his health improved, then decided to study medicine, returned to his home state, and enrolled in the Normal School at Potsdam, New York. He subsequently attended medical school at the University of Michigan, where he graduated with honors. He established his first practice in Dallas and later moved to Lawrence.

There he met Emma Angeline Hubbell, a schoolteacher, whom he married on October 3, 1878, in her hometown, Altona, Illinois. Two sons were born to them. In Dallas Stocking had become acquainted with Lewis H. Carhart, pastor of a church there. After Carhart established the Panhandle town of Clarendon in 1878, he invited Stocking to settle at the colony as the resident physician. At first the doctor was reluctant to move, but by 1885 his wife's frequent bouts with tuberculosis caused him to reconsider. A meeting with Charles Goodnight, who was representing the Panhandle Stock Association, plus an offer of a $1,500 annual bonus from Clarendon citizens, resulted in the family's move to "Saints' Roost" in June 1885.

As the first doctor to settle permanently in the Panhandle, Stocking opened a drugstore and did dental work in addition to his regular practice. His circuit, which he drove in a horse and buggy, covered a 150-mile radius from Clarendon. In 1887, after his wife's death, Stocking married Sarah Marie Ward, with whom he had nine children. He was one of the founders of Clarendon College and served for several years as president of its board of trustees. Two of his children later taught mathematics there. On August 18, 1918, Stocking collapsed and died from a cerebral hemorrhage moments after finishing a public address. He was buried in the community cemetery at Clarendon. His medicine bag, along with several tools and drugs that he used as a frontier physician, are in the permanent collection of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Willie Newbury Lewis, Between Sun and Sod (Clarendon, Texas: Clarendon Press, 1938; rev. ed., College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1976). Jo Stewart Randel, ed., A Time to Purpose: A Chronicle of Carson County (4 vols., Hereford, Texas: Pioneer, 1966-72).

H. Allen Anderson



THUT, HENRY (1846-1926)

Henry Thut, Panhandle settler, was born on May 18, 1846, in Leusberg, Switzerland. He was of an old established family whose castle had dominated the village for over four centuries. As a boy Henry was educated in the common schools, and, having lost his parents at a young age, he took a sailing ship to Australia, where he reportedly sought out land on which to settle. From there he worked his way to America, landed at San Francisco, and traveled overland to New York via St. Louis.

With dreams of eventually settling on American soil, Thut returned to Switzerland and in June 1880 married Anna Lang at her hometown, Rheinfelden. The newlyweds, accompanied by Anna's sister Emma, then immigrated to the Swiss colony near Frankfort, Kentucky, where they farmed for four years. Their two oldest children were born there. During that time the Thuts met B. B. Groom, manager of the Diamond F Ranch in Carson County. Groom offered Thut a job on the ranch, which he readily accepted. Thut arrived at the Panhandle in 1884 and befriended the ranch foreman, Perry LeFors, who helped him erect the first permanent home on the future townsite of Lefors.

Thut made his own furniture and freighted in lumber from Dodge City. When the house was completed he sent for his family and sister-in-law, who subsequently married LeFors. The Thuts were among the first to buy land from the newly reorganized White Deer Lands Trust in 1886. They planted fruit orchards, grew vegetables, and began their own herds of cattle and horses. The family soon grew with the addition of three sons. As a result, the Thuts built a larger frame house, which became a meeting place for cowboys and travelers passing that way. Their hospitality and excellent Swiss cooking became legendary.

When the Lefors post office was established in 1892, it was located in the Thut home, with Henry as postmaster. Thut was also one of the first three directors of Gray County's first school. After the county was organized in 1902, with Lefors as county seat, the family erected the Thut Hotel, a large, three-story hotel just outside of town. Thut also served as county treasurer from 1902 to 1918, and his family played a leading role in promoting the town and county. He died on December 14, 1926, while the town of Lefors was experiencing new life from recent Panhandle oil discoveries. His widow, Anna, leased the hotel and moved to Pampa to live with their daughter Annie, who had married C. V. P. Buckler. Anna Thut died in 1933. George, the oldest son, managed the ranch until his death in 1940; Charles served as Gray county clerk from 1925 to 1971; and Henry, Jr., operated a Studebaker automobile agency in Pampa.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Inez Blankenship, Sketch of the Life of Henry Thut, Sr. (MS, Interview Files, Research Center, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas, 1935). Laura V. Hamner, Light 'n Hitch (Dallas: American Guild, 1958). Elleta Nolte, For the Reason We Climb Mountains-Gray County, 1902-1982 (Pampa, Texas: Gray County Historical Commission, 1982). Lester Fields Sheffy, The Francklyn Land & Cattle Company (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963).

H. Allen Anderson



TYNG, GEORGE (ca. 1839-1906)

George Tyng, called the "father" of the Panhandle, was born about 1839 in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He was of Scottish ancestry. After his education at Dummer Academy and in Hanover, Germany, he spent several years in various business ventures in Cuba and South America. He then settled at Santa Barbara, California, where he married Elena Carillo Thompson in 1869. They had three sons. Tyng moved his family to Yuma, Arizona, in the early 1870s, and in 1874 he was appointed United States marshal in Arizona Territory. He served in that position until 1877, when he purchased the Arizona Sentinel in Yuma.

Three years later he sold the paper and moved to Mexico City, where he became managing director of the Tehuantepec Inter-Ocean railroad, which he had helped organize. While on a business trip to Florida, Tyng passed through Victoria, Texas, and around 1885 the family established a home, cattle ranch, and pecan orchard there. Through his friendship with Frederic de P. Foster, Tyng became manager of the newly reorganized White Deer Lands Trust in the Panhandle in 1886. The next year he moved the Diamond F Ranch headquarters to the vicinity of what is now White Deer.

He encouraged the use of wells, windmills, and fences, and promoted farm settlement. Under Tyng's management the Diamond F shipped large numbers of high-grade cattle between 1888 and 1903. Tyng suggested the name Pampa, after the pampas of Argentina, for the new company-headquarters town in 1902 and constructed the first frame building there. Soon afterward he resigned. Tyng held mining interests in Mexico, Honduras, Arizona, and Canada. With his sons Francis and Charles, he established a lead and silver mining operation in American Fork Canyon near Alta, Utah, in 1902. Their efforts paid off in 1904, when new veins of silver and lead carbonate were discovered. On January 19, 1906, Tyng was killed when an avalanche of snow crushed his office building near the mine shaft. He was buried on Kalamazoo Flat near the mine.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Laurence P. James, "George Tyng's Last Enterprise: A Prominent Texan and a Rich Mine in Utah," Journal of the West 8 (July 1969). J. C. Paul, "Early Days in Carson County, Texas," Panhandle-Plains Historical Review 5 (1932). Millie Jones Porter, Memory Cups of Panhandle Pioneers (Clarendon, Texas: Clarendon Press, 1945). Lester Fields Sheffy, The Francklyn Land & Cattle Company (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963).

H. Allen Anderson



WHITTENBURG, JAMES ANDREW (1857-1936)

James Andrew Whittenburg, cattleman, the son of George and Sarah (Jarvis) Whittenburg, was born on May 7, 1857, in Chillicothe, Missouri. After the Civil War Whittenburg's imagination was fired by reports of the cattle trade, and at the age of twelve he devised plans to join his older brothers in Texas. When his mother sent him out for wood one morning, he caught a freight train that took him as far as the Indian Territory. After selling various trinkets for meals, lodging, and passage on the Red River ferry to Texas, he spent the next five years working with his brothers on Ben Slaughter's ranch in Parker County.

In four years he had his own herd of twenty head. When he arrived back at his home at age seventeen, he walked in the door carrying a load of wood. After attending school for a year, he returned to Texas and went to work for John Proffitt at Fort Belknap, in Young County. During the next four years Whittenburg made several drives over the Western Trail to Dodge City; on one drive he suffered from heatstroke, which affected his eyes and left him almost blind for the rest of his life. Nevertheless, by 1878 Whittenburg owned over 100 cattle. At that time he filed on eighty acres of land in Young County.

There he met Tennessee Ann (Tennie) Parham, whom he married on July 3, 1879. They had three children, one of whom died in infancy. The Whittenburgs lived and ran their cattle for a time in Lamar County. However, a severe drought compelled them to parlay their holdings into a larger spread in Wilbarger County. After purchasing a wagon and team, the couple peddled groceries and supplies, bought at Doan's Crossing, to the Comanches and other tribes in western Oklahoma. They soon won a reputation among the Indians as shrewd traders, and husband and wife took turns standing, shotgun in hand, on night guard over the team and supplies. During one venture the Comanche chief Big Bow became impressed with their son George's blond hair and offered from seventy-five to a hundred horses for the boy, promising to make him a chief.

In 1887 Whittenburg filed claim on land in Roberts County near Miami. Here he carried the mail from Miami to the Adobe Walls post office, then run by William (Billy) Dixon. George became one of Olive King Dixon's five pupils at Garden Creek School. Whittenburg was instrumental in the organization of Roberts County and served as a commissioner. When Oklahoma was opened for settlement in 1889, he grazed cattle in Kay County and for four years carried mail on a star route. Whittenburg continued his operations in Oklahoma until 1898, when he filed on four sections of land in the center of Hutchinson County. Panhandle, in Carson County, was the family's banking and supply center until 1901, when the townsite of Plemons was platted on land donated from the Whittenburg homestead section.

Because of his father's failing eyesight, George took charge of the physical labor and growing management responsibilities of the Whittenburgs' MM Ranch, which accumulated 25,000 acres and over 3,000 cattle by 1920. In 1924 oil was discovered on the Whittenburg holdings. After the death of his wife in 1927, Whittenburg moved to Amarillo and rented rooms at the Amarillo Hotel. On October 19, 1936, Whittenburg died of injuries he received when the car in which he was riding collided with a freight train in Amarillo. He was buried in the Dreamland Cemetery in Canyon. The family's MM Cattle Company, headed by Roy Robert Whittenburg, still operated the ranch in Hutchinson County in 1986. One of his grandsons, S. B. Whittenburg, founded the Amarillo Times, which he merged with the Globe-News after buying an interest in the company in 1951.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Amarillo Daily News, October 20, 1936. Garland H. Bell, "Willis P. Hedgecoke," in Amarillo Genealogical Society, Texas Panhandle Forefathers, comp. Barbara C. Spray (Dallas: National ShareGraphics, 1983). Hutchinson County Historical Commission, History of Hutchinson County, Texas (Dallas: Taylor, 1980). John L. McCarty, Adobe Walls Bride (San Antonio: Naylor, 1955). Thomas Thompson, North of Palo Duro (Canyon, Texas: Staked Plains, 1984). Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.

H. Allen Anderson

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