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 Albert Gibbs:
"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
William Henry's land, according to public record my wife and I researched
in the Loving
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 Titanofa:"
"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."
Chester's sections 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