Carson County Biographies -- 4
SANFORD, JAMES MCEUIN
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.