13310 Highway 305 · P.O. Box 5
Lipscomb, Texas 79056
October 18, 2009
WOLF CREEK HERITAGE MUSEUM NOTES
by Virginia Scott
CORRECTION TO LAST WEEKS COLUMN: Lets get the apologies out to the way. My historical musing last week was about the lyman wagontrain massacre and my source was the day by day article published by the Texas State Historical commission. The article placed the massacre in Palo Duro Canyon. Not so. At the time I typed it I knew something didn't feel right but I went ahead. Thank goodness our local historian caught the mistake. This massacre occurred south of Canadian not Canyon. Sorry I will trust my gut next time.
The week has been a good one. The sun came out finally and the weather was wonderful for Saturday Fall Foliage. Sunday alittle windy. We had nice traffic through the museum on both days. It is always nice when we open on special days and people come to enjoy our exhibits. Thanks for dropping by.
Last Thursday I attended the Texas Plains Trail meeting in Floyada. The drive down was beautiful I took Hwy 70 down after attending a meeting in Perryton (I will share its purpose later when our plotting is done, stay tuned for fun ). The scenery of the trees and canyons all the way to Floyada is beautiful. Floyada is our pumpkin capitol so if you still need your pumpkin the trip is great and they have lots. I returned on Hwy 207 to Panhandle then Hwy 60 to home via 305. Our foliage from Miami to Lipscomb is fun of color. So if you did not get out last weekend, please do so. Our leaves from Canadian to Perryton through Lake Fryer are great.
This week, Georgia and I traveled to Canyon for a workshop on exhibit development. Report that will come next week.
In 1967, Jerry Sinise was farm editor for the Amarillo Globe News and he wrote an article on Roland Wheat and his registered bulls. In the article, Mr. Sinise interviewed Roland's aunt, Mrs. Dora Wathen. She was the owner and manager of the Higgins Hotel. She related to Sinese that if a band of renegade Indians had not been hungry, Roland might never been born.
Roland and His aunt related the story about his grandfather, Alfred M. Wheat, who was a buffalo hunter. He roamed the Panhandle about 1857, later drove a freight wagon from Ft. Griffin to Dodge City, Kansas. During this time, Wheat's father, James Washington Wheat, was kidnapped by renegades when he was about 2 years old. After a time (the article does not state how long he was held captive), James was returned to the Wheat family in exchange for two sacks of flour. Roland stated that "They returned him to my grandmother dressed in beads and moccasins, looking more Indian than white".
His father grew to manhood and bought land around Higgins and Lipscomb in the early 1900's and ran cattle. He also owned A.M. Wheat & Son in Higgins, a mercantile business which sold drygoods and groceries between 1910 and 1920. He also operated a saloon at Grand, OK then Indian Territory. Grand's post office was discontinued in 1943, and moved to Gage.
Roland described his father's working habits as: "My father basically was a cowman, and when he tired of doing what else he was doing, he'd return to raising cattle."
Roland graduated from Higgins High School and entered the army and then the Air Force. He served as a B17 pilot in Europe. He made 30 combat missions in 100 days. He returned home and began operating his ranch in 1945 after purchasing it from his brothers. He purchased his first prize bull in 1954. Roland retired and moved to Florida in the late 1990's.
Roland's military history is displayed in our multiplex and his and his bomber's mission diaries are available to interested parties at the museum.
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