he Vandalc Collection of Zexaa
E. W. WINKLER
EARL VANDALE was born in Roane County, West Virginia,
studied law at the University of West Virginia, 1902-190o3,
taught in the rural schools of that state from 1900 to 1908,
and has been in the employ of gas and oil companies since 1910
-first in West Virginia, then in Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas.
He moved to Dallas in 1922 and has been located in Amarillo
To the question, "What got him interested in the history of
Texas?" he replied, "It was the story of the Alamo and such
works as Gregg's Commerce of the Prairies and Kendall's Santa
Fe Expedition." He is an inveterate reader and has a tenacious
In his reading and collecting he followed the westward move-
ment of the frontier. When he reached Amarillo in 1925, he
found himself among many of the early settlers in that region.
He was fascinated by the story of the transformation of the
hunting ground of the Panhandle to cattle range, and from
cattle range to wheat fields dotted with oil and gas wells, and
crisscrossed by railroads and pipe lines. He began to trace the
history of this development, but he found that little had been
written and that no collection of the materials needed for writ-
ing it was in existence. He gathered what had been printed.
He encouraged the writing of reminiscences. He enlisted others
in this work. He co-operated with the Panhandle Plains Histor-
ical Society, of which J. Evetts Haley was then secretary.
While conditions have greatly changed and several good col-
lections of Texas and southwestern history are now located there,
the man from Central Texas is still inclined to appraise the
historical resources of that region pretty much as Mr. Vandale
found them. Amarillo is nearer the capital cities of three other
states than it is to Austin-540 miles away.
Mr. Haley tells this story. On one of his trips to Arizona in
search of data on the life of Jeff Milton, he put up at a tourist
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/. Accessed May 25, 2013.