Lackey Family History



In 1914, George Washington Lackey, Ray’s dad, made a deal to purchase five sections of rangeland east of Plains in Yoakum County. He paid $13,500. for the five sections of land. They first settled on the northernmost section, which was adjacent to the south side of the road from Plains to Brownfield, five miles east of Plains. They constructed a half dugout dwelling on this section, but were unable to drill deep enough to get water, so they moved to section 503, where they were able to get water. The well was dug with a rotary drill powered by a mule walking in a circle. The well was 165 feet deep. Unknown to them, most of the five sections had water sufficient to provide irrigation in later years at a depth of 185 feet.

Ray and his younger sister, Mary, attended school at the Glen Park School, a one room school located on the South East corner of the Lackey home section for an unknown length of time. He continued his schooling in Plains through his junior year in high school. He rode a horse to school and was the janitor for the school, building a fire when necessary in the five fireplaces, and cleaning the classrooms after school each day. He attended the college training school (West Texas State Teacher’s College) in Canyon, TX his senior year and graduated from there.

George Washington Lackey took out a mortgage, which is recorded in the Yoakum County records, dated about 1919 for the amount of $450. to Higginbotham-Bartlett Lumber Company of Post, Texas for materials to construct a five room house on section 503. This is the house Ray and Hazel would move into, with Ray’s mother, Mary Francis, in 1936 when they returned to Yoakum County from Canyon.

They lived in Plains area until after George Washington Lackey’s death April 12, 1924. Ray and his mother, Mary Frances, then moved to Canyon, Texas where Mary ran a boarding house for college boys. Ray finished high school in Canyon and then entered college and attended West Texas State Teacher’s College for two years.

They moved back to Plains in 1935 and rented the Cadenhead house on 13th street. They stayed only four or five months and Ray and Hazel and their son Donald Ray moved to the five-room house on the Lackey farm to live with Ray’s mother. Mary Frances built a new four- room house in Plains in 1938 and moved into town.

Ray farmed and Hazel taught public school music at the Plains Grade School. Ray also measured land with a chain for the U.S. Soil Conservation Service about 1938-39. Section 503 only had 40 acres in cultivation, so in 1938, Ray bought his first tractor, a used 1937 Minneapolis Moline (Twin City) Model J. He “broke out” 20 more acres on the South East corner of the section and planted cane on it.
In 1939, after being unable to make a living on the farm, he decided to announce his candidacy for the county clerk’s office. He could “electioneer” during his traveling around to measure land, and must have done a good job as he was elected. He soon was able to scrape together enough used lumber and a loan to build a house in town, so in 1940, the Light Lumber Company of Plains contracted to build a new four-room house. “Red Whisenant was the carpenter. The cost of the house and ¾ block of land cost $2200.  They moved into the new house at the corner of 12th and Ferrell Avenue in late 1940. He bought a 1941 Nash “600” coupe car which was a dealer’s demonstrator for $1195. His salary as the new county clerk was $5200. per year. They felt rich!

Ray undertook the task of converting the Yoakum County records from hand-written books to typewritten records soon after taking office as county clerk. He hired several women to convert the records by typing them on manual typewriters and assembling the pages into ledgers. The project took several months and resulted in a set of easy to read records for the county that were a great improvement over the hand-written records.

In 1944, District Judge Reed appointed Ray as County Auditor where he served until 1950. The family moved to Brownfield in January 1951 after he became involved in West Texas Motors. Donald Ray graduated from Plains and his brother, George, finished his junior and senior high years in Brownfield.

Ray died from a stroke August 10, 1988 and is buried in the Plains Cemetery.

by Donald Ray Lackey
This page was last updated on 05/27/2016