A History of Lipscomb County Page: 39
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Tarbox has always advocated strict law enforcement
but says officers are not the only deterrent to
"You've got to have good people before you can
have good law enforcement. After the arrests are
made, your juries assess the verdict of guilty or not
guilty and name the number of years the person
will have to serve in prison. We have fewer murders,
rapes and robberies if these guilty persons are
punished. We must have good men on our grand
juries and juries if we are to have crime-free counties.
In Lipscomb County, we have had the help of
good men," the judge said.
Tarbox said the new Texas Code of Criminal
Procedure "was meant for a good purpose, but it is
probably easier now for persons to commit crimes."
He added that prosecution is very difficult unless a
person is caught committing a criminal act, especially
if he is wise enough to say nothing until consulting
with an attorney.
Judge Tarbox has lived in Lipscomb County
since 1923, moving here from nearby Ellis County,
Okla., where he was born Nov. 29, 1908. He lives on
a ranch 5 miles east of Lipscomb with his wife,
Amarillo Globe-News, June 6, 1966.
McDonald's Story of the Flood on Camp Creek
(From the Panhandle Interstate, Vol. I, No. 6, 7, and 8, we find a story of the McDonald family.)
J. H. McDonald, a Scotsman, and his wife, Anna,
a native of Scotland, and their children came to
Lipscomb County from Chicago in a covered wagon
and settled on Camp Creek in the Spring of 1885.
They built a sod house near the bank of Camp
Creek and in the fall, Mr. McDonald harvested a
good corn crop on 35 acres he had "broke out" that
Mr. McDonald hauled freight from Dodge City
for the large ranches in the area that winter. On
the evening of April 23, 1886, that Spring, he had
just finished plowing and planting 40 acres of
ground and "the farmer's heart was cheerful, for
all nature seemed to be smiling on his labors. A joyous
whistle arose from his lips as he unhitched his
team and drove to the house. We will now let him
tell his own story."
"I noticed in the south-east awhile before I quit
work, a small funnel-shaped cloud at no great distance
off. I knew that it was a water-spout, but I
had no fears of it as it was so small. It hung in the
heavens for a time, and before reaching the house I
noticed it spread out a little, and was of a white
color. I fed my team in the corral and left them. I
went into the house and in a short time supper was
ready and we sat down to the table. The rain began
to fall and hail-stones to pelt the door. The dirt
walls and roof deadened the sound of the falling
hail and rain, and I had no idea of the amount that
was falling. There were present at my house six
men, Mrs. Curry and her little child, my wife and
six children. I thought of my horses being penned
up in the corral and the hail pelting them. I protected
myself, and went to the corral. I found the
hail was falling heavy and rapidly, and so much
that it was a struggle for me to stand up against it.
I had considerable trouble to get the horses out of
the corral, as they had to face the storm to get to
the gate. I got them out and went to the house. I
heard a fearful roaring up the creek, and I saw
something coming down the valley. I got close to it,
as it was now only a short distance away, and jammed
my foot into it, and found it to be hail and ice
that the water had gathered up as it was rushing
down the valley. It was piled at least eleven feet
high. The hail seemed to form a dam to the water
and was pushed along before it. I saw that we
would soon be cut off from the hills, and I rushed
back to the house and told everyone that we must
get out of that.
"I gathered up two of the children, my wife had
the youngest in her arms, and the three eldest had
hold of each other's hands. Mrs. Curry had her own
child. We opened the door and the men, four of
them, the other two had gone, proceeded us out of
the door. We were no sooner out than I saw we
were cut off from the hills, and I again got the
women and children back into the house. I saw no
more of the men as they disappeared in the storm
and darkness. It was now pitch dark, and the roar
of waters and rolling of the thunder drowned every
other noise. To be heard a person had to shriek at
the top of his voice. I closed the door after us to
keep out the flood and ice, and braced myself
against it. My wife and children got upon the beds
to keep out of the water which was now two or
three feet deep. Mrs. Curry got upon the table.
"The door of the house was so placed that the current
down the valley sweeped against it and had I
left it, the force of the water would have filled the
house with ice and hail as it was piling it up much
higher than the water reached. For several days
after the flood great piles of hail could be seen that
had been piled up far above water mark. For at
least an hour and a half I braced against the door
until the water came up to my neck. The screams of
the women and children, calling for me to come and
save them, arose above the storm and I could see by
Here’s what’s next.
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Lipscomb County Historical Survey Committee. A History of Lipscomb County, book, Date Unknown; Lipscomb, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46830/m1/43/: accessed January 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .