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A Museum of History and Art in historic Lipscomb, Texas
Map 13310 Highway 305 · P.O. Box 5
Lipscomb, Texas 79056
806-852-2123
staff@wolfcreekheritagemuseum.org
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August 30, 2009

WOLF CREEK HERITAGE MUSEUM NOTES
by Virginia Scott

MUSEUM HAPPENINGS

Oh, how delightful a time we had last week. The group of museum volunteers, Dorothy Schoenhals, Mildred Becker, Georgia Couch, Ann Wright , Fern McGee, LaVaun Kraft, Lovella Theissen,and me were picked up in the longest white limousine driven by Harold Haines. We were driven to our first stop in Darrouzett to the Last Buffalo to tour and look at a display of a saddle of one of lipscomb county ranchers. From Darrouzett went journeyed to Beaver , OK. Needless to say, everyone in town was buzzing with the strange group of ladies in the limousine and we were tracked from each stop. I am writing an article for the newspapers and our website on all the details with photos . The purpose of the trip to Beaver was to visit the Jones and Plummer museum . We toured the museum and discussed and compared practices. Their museum is similiar to ours in their goal is to preserve the history of their county. It was interesting and educational in seeing how they displayed their history and the items we have in common. The museum is worth the trip . Their hours are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 1pm to 4pm. We had a very productive field day. Our thanks to Harold Haines for being a great guide and driver and to the Beaver County Historical Commission for opening the museum for us. Julie you were great and very knowledgable.

We have scheduled our Training session for the new Lipscomb County History book for Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 10 am. I still need volunteers for the committee from the Booker and Higgins area . I also need one more from Darrouzett. The committee will be the organizers and recruiters for the book, we will not write the book. The Bell company that we are working with have a great system that organizing the content and materials to allow our families to write their stories. So please join us in this effort to bring our history up to date . Call me at the museum for more information or to volunteer.

We are still interested in developing an exhibit of the art of Dord Fitz and his students. If you have a piece of art from Mr. Fitz or one of his students please contact us. A lot of lipscomb county artist took lessons from Mr. Fitz and we would like to have a show that gives tribute to his contribution to the area art world. The exhibit will be developed once we have enough art pieces available.

HISTORICAL MUSINGS

We received a request for information on a Percy Lee Gassaway believed to have been born in Lipscomb County in 1911 and was a congressmen. Our research located a Percy Lee Gassaway, born in Waco, Texas on August 30, 1885 to Rev. B.F. and Elizabeth Scoggins Gassaway. A circuit rider for the Southern Methodist Church, Rev. Gassaway moved his family in the 1890s to Fort Sill, where he served as a missionary to the Kiowa and Comanche Indians. A few years later the Gassaway family returned to Texas and purchased the Sinclair Ranch in Lipscomb County. A young Percy married Laura Weaver, and they had a daughter. Following a divorce, Gassaway traveled in the West and lived for a time in Mexico. Upon his return to the U.S., he married Linnie Weeks, and the couple had two sons and a daughter. This marriage also ended in divorce.

In 1915, Gassaway moved to Coalgate, OK where , George Trice, an eminent Oklahoma lawyer, took an interest in the young man and encourage him to study law. He was admitted to the bar in 1918. During this time he married Loreta Rogers, but she soon died. In 1920, he married Lillian Fooshee. The couple had two daughters and a son and lived on a ranch near Coalgate.

He ran for office and serviced as county attorney, and district judge prior to running for Congress. Unsuccessful in 1928 but victorious in 1934. Dubbed the "Cowboy Congressman" for his typical attire of high-heeled boots and black, ten-gallon sombrero, he was a popular media figure. When he was elected, he rode a horse to the capitol's steps. Although he fathered fourteen children, seven of whom survived, the congressman was, a staunch supporter of birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger. He was defeated for renomination in 1936 and returned to his ranch. On May 15, 1937, he died of a heart attack. He is buried in the Coalgate Cemetery. (source: the Oklahoma Historical Society online library)

He was a New Deal Democrat and repeatedly assailed Sen. Huey P. Long, Jr. and Father Charles E. Coughlin for their oppostition to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The request for information on a Percy , Jr. is an example of how facts get rearranged in geneology research. We are still researching for the Sinclair Ranch and will continue researching the Gassaway Family looking for Percy,Jr.

I leave you with one of Congressmen Gassaway's observations :"whenever 'crackpot preachers' combined politics and religion trouble usually followed."


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