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JOHN DILLARD WHITE
I was born at Eagle Creed, Overton County, Tennessee, May 16, 1902. My mother died in 1907 and in the fall of 1909, Dad and Uncle John bought a half section of land about a mile southeast of Lockney. Dad worked for the Seven Brothers Grocery and Uncle John was to do the farming.
There was so much to remember of those early days: the ride across the open prairie from Plainview to Lockney that dark night in a two-horse hack. Dad trying to build a fire in the bachelor (laundry) stove with maize stalks, the windmills, fascinated me: I marveled at the flatness of the prairie and being able to see so far, but what I cannot remember is how eight of us lived in that little two-room house with a lean-to across the back that served as a kitchen-dining room.
I remember the first car, a Jackson chain-drive owned by Jess Wofford: of course, I remember Mr. Wofford, he had a huge bump or knot on the back of his head.
Our two—story frame school burned: we had to attend school in the various churches while the brick school was being built.
It was a frightening sight to see all of Lockney burn down; first one side, and sometime later the other.
The gummy, muddy streets, but there was little traffic on them: the horses and buggies were hitched in back of the stores. There was a board walk in the middle of the street to cross over on.
Yes, I remember the calaboose-a little square building about eight by eight just back of Seven Brothers’ store. It had small windows with bars but no glass.
Cattle! I never saw so many as the time seven thousand head passed our farm home. They were being driven from the Matador Ranch to the railroad in Plainview for shipment.
The most exciting time was when the Santa Fe Railroad extended its line from Plainview to Floydada, right by our house and through the middle of our farm. Everyone enjoyed watching the building this was in 1910.
The first money I ever earned was from picking cotton. I got a penny a pound. One fall I earned enough to buy my first suit of clothes with long pants-black, with a white pin-stripe.
When we moved to town, Earnest Waller was operating the electric power plant that had been built down by the railroad station and the Cooper place that we moved into had been wired. Uncle John put the switch on: I never saw such bright lights, Aunt Blanche yelled, ”Turn those things off, we can’t afford them!” But we did.
When old enough to work, I got a job driving a dray wagon for Charlie Gallager. I later worked for the Baker Mercantile driving the delivery jitney. I was a school drop out. After a few years I realized I was not making progress: I quit, went to Colorado, finished my high school, and after my four years at the University of Colorado, I spent the next forty years with the H.J. Heinz Company working in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Michigan. I am now retired ten years. But as I look back over life, some of my cherished memories were built when I lived in Lockney.
I married a Colorado girl; we have three children and three grandchildren.