Amos Claycomb’s July 1909 Diary

In January 1909 Amos recorded in his diary that his father had bought land for him in Texas.  Now in July 1909, he has returned to his family home in Sycamore, Illinois after graduating from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.  At the end of the month he is traveling to Texas to see his land near Wildorado, just west of Amarillo.

Thursday, July 1, 1909
Got home from Chicago about noon and hoed corn all the p.m  Drove to Genoa in a machine tonight with Murphy, Maynard and Morgan.

09 ledger 0701

Friday, July 2, 1909
Hoed corn all day.  Attended Blue Lodge tonight.

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Saturday, July 3, 1909
Picked cherries for a while this morning.  Called on Hazel Mc. tonight.

Sunday, July 4, 1909
Went over to DeKalb with Tip Collis this p.m. and saw DeKalb beat the colored Illinois Giants by score of 10 – 2 in a rotten game.

Monday, July 5, 1909
Went up town both this morning and afternoon.  Was out to the Electric Park to a dance for a short time tonight.

Tuesday, July 6, 1909
Father, Ferd Rompf and I came into Chicago at noon and at 6 p.m. Rompf and I left on the Santa Fe for Amarillo Texas.  We are on the private car of the Reed and Allen Land Co.

Wednesday, July 7, 1909
Rode today thru Missouri and Kansas where there were bad flood on accounts of heavy rains. Left Kansas City about noon.

Thursday, July 8, 1909
Rode thru Oklahoma and the northern part of Texas today.
Reached Amarillo about five o’clock.  Staid at the Elmhirst Hotel. Pouring rain all night.

Friday, July 9, 1909
Hung around Amarillo all day trying to get acquainted.  Played a few games of billiards tonight at the “Owls.”

Saturday, July 10, 1909
Came out to Wildorado at 1 p.m. and reached here about 2:30.  Drove four miles west to get a man to dig a well on our section.

Sunday, July 11, 1909
Ferd and I drove out to our section this p.m. and looked over our wheat – 90 acres – and 40 acres of corn which does not amount to much because of the dry weather this Spring.  Came back to town and then drove 3 1\2 miles E. to look at a half section which I am thinking of buying.

Monday, July 12, 1909
Rode out to the section this p.m. to fix a plow.

09 ledger 0712

Tuesday, July 13, 1909
Plowed corn all day.  Shot a couple of prairie dogs during the noon hour.

Wednesday, July 14, 1909
Plowed corn all day.

Thursday, July 15, 1909
It rained last night so we staid at home today.

Friday, July 16, 1909
Drove out in the country today looking for a header for our wheat.  Went to Bush and north and east of that place.

Saturday, July 17, 1909
Nothing doing today.  Man started to sink a well on our land today.

09 ledger 0717

Sunday, July 18, 1909
Staid around town all day.  Played tennis for a while tonight.

Monday, July 19, 1909
Walked out to our land today with Rompf but caught a ride back.
Played tennis after supper.

Tuesday, July 20, 1909
Nothing doing.

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Wednesday, July 21, 1909

Thursday, July 22, 1909
Drove out to Gray’s ranch this a.m. with Ferd and watched the cow-boys cut certain cattle out of a bunch which they intend to brand.

Friday, July 23, 1909
Walked out to the Gray ranch this a.m. with Ferd.  I staid there for dinner and worked from one p.m. till 7:30.  There were two cow-boys on horses who roped the calves and dragged them up to the fire and then there were two to follow each of these to throw and hold the calves while they were being branded and marked.  This was my job.  Walked home after supper.  Gray boys from Chicago arrived while we were working.  One is a Phi Delt.

1909 postcard photo from texas

Postcard he sent to his father a few days later. Amos is on the right holding the calf’s leg.

He also had a copy of this photo with the note on the back, “Gray Ranch – 20,000 acres – Wildorado, Texas.”

1909 postcard message from texas

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Saturday, July 24, 1909

Hung around the house all day and took it easy trying to recover from yesterday’s work.

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The area around Wildorado and Amarillo was developed by the railroads and the cattle ranches.  The Frying Pan Ranch and The XIT Ranch are among the better known ranches. The Frying Pan Ranch originally had 95 sections of land purchased by Joseph Glidden and Henry Sanborn.  Glidden, from the DeKalb Illinois area was responsible for the introduction of barbed wire to the cattle ranches.   Glidden’s son-in-law, Mr. William H. Bush, eventually owned the Frying Pan Ranch.  He gave part of the ranch along the railroad for the establishment of a town nearby – Bushland was named for him.

Sunday, July 25, 1909
Nothing doing.  It rained here fairly hard tonight.

Monday, July 26, 1909
Played tennis tonight with Moreland, Brewer and Rompf.

Tuesday, July 27, 1909
Drove into Amarillo this a.m. with Nicholson.  Went [with] Monning, a Phi Delt who lives here, after dinner, and went out to the auto races with him.  Went calling at the Booer residence with the Gray boys tonight and met Miss Booer and Miss Anderson.  We all then went out to Glenwood Park and danced.

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Wednesday, July 28, 1909
Did a little business around town this a.m.  Ate dinner with Monning at his home and then went out to the races with him.
Went out to Glenwood Park tonight with the Gray boys, Masten and Hallahan.

Thursday, July 29, 1909
Came back to Wildorado today on the one p.m. train.

Friday, July 30, 1909
Helped stack our wheat today after it was cut with the header.  We finished our 90 acres tonight after having been on it for 3 days.  Staid over to Mr. Paine’s tonight.

Saturday, July 31, 1909
Helped Mr. Paine stack oats for a couple of hours this a.m.
As his stuff was so light that he could stack it himself, I walked back to town.  Did the 5 1\2 miles in less than 1 1\2 hours and the last 3 miles in just 40 minutes.  Played ball this p.m. and tennis tonight.

09 ledger 0731


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