great grandfather, William Henry Gibbs, moved to the Winkler/Loving County area
in May 1909. The following is an excerpt from the autobiography of his son, Chester
"Most of our land was in Winkler County, and every
one was supposed to go to a little settlement east about 7 miles to organize the
County and establish the Co. seat, on a certain date. This little settlement was
called Kermit, and it had been cut up into town lots and there were quite a few
people already located there, a store, and a couple lawyers, and they were starting
a school house, and had a spot for the court house. There was a crowd over there
the day the county was organized, and they were circulating a petition to have
a mail route come out from Pyote
and to get a post office. Father, always keen to grasp an opportunity, he wrote
out his own petition to have this mail route extended to his store, and he made
application to the post master at Pyote
to be named post master at his store. In due time this star mail route was established,
and Father was appointed post master for his post office, known as Theodore, and
the county seat was Kermit.
This was twice per week mail service. So Father had to now build a post office
in one corner of his store. There was not much money in a post master ship, but
Father knew people would come twice per week to get their mail, and while there
would buy something. And it sure helped his sales."
Taken from "Napahoe
Titanofa; (Picture Man)" by Chester A. Gibbs, 1885-1964 (Spelling unedited)
The little settlement of "Theodore," named after Theodore Roosevelt, consisted
only of the family home, the farm buildings and the general store/post office.
William Henry's land, according to public record my wife and I researched
in the Loving and Winkler County Courthouses, consisted of Section 18 of Block
27 and Sections 24 and 15 of Block 28 of the Public School Land. All these sections
are in the northwestern corner of Winkler and the northeastern edge of Loving
Counties, which would put the town of Wink southeast of Theodore, not vice-versa
as in the Winkler County history quoted above.
Of William Henry's three
sections, one had to be designated as his "home section" where his family made
their home and the major improvements to the land. We suspect this was Section
18 of Block 27 in Winkler County. Once more quoting from Chester Gibbs's "Napahoe
"I was sure they all knew who I was, but there were only a few that I knew. One
young fellow in particular had been at Father's place quite often. He said he
owned the section joining Father's home section on the north, and his section
was between two of my sections. His was a railroad section, and the W people had
had a tank and windmill on it for several years."
were 8 and 9 of Block 27, and 11 and 23 of Block 28, again according to Winkler
and Loving County records. Section 18, Block 27 is the only one of William Henry's
that is bounded on the north with land having Chester's sections on either side,
but that land consists of two sections, not one: Sec. 12 of Block 28, and the
adjacent Sec. 7 of Block 27. We suspect, but so far haven't had the opportunity
to research, that both these sections belonged to Chester's friend referred to
above. He was Roy Oates, the son of the resident manager of the W Ranch.
We love visiting Texas and can't wait to resume our research. We will keep you
updated if we find more.
- Jack and Mary Helen Allen
July 29, 2004