A Supplement To A Collection of Memories: A History of Armstrong County, 1876-1965 Page: 3
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of kindness through sickness and hardships. They
believed "to have a friend, you have to be one"
And this is truly so. Today their memory lives
on 'in the heart sof all who knew them, which
makes us thankful and grateful for parents like
J. H. Grimes
James Harvey Grimes was born Sept. 29,
1856 and Harriett Udora Grimes on June 7,
1864 in Murry County, Tennessee and attended
the same little school when they were growing
When he was twenty-one years of age, he
decided to leave Tennessee and come to Texas.
He said he didn't know why he wanted to go
West except that others were going and he
heard so much talk. He joined up with a party
bound for Texas. They camped the first night,
after reaching Texas in Dallas, then on to Waxa-
hachie where they decided to stay. Three years
later Mr. and Mrs. John Patton and their daugh-
ter Harriett Udora came to Waxahachie to live
and soon they were married on Jan. 6, 1881.
In 1885 they moved to Stevens County. Then
they went back to Tennessee on a visit which
lasted nine months. His mother was a widow;
his father having died when he was three years
old. His grandparents lived in Scotland and Mrs.
Grimes grandparents were still living in England.
When they came from Tennessee back to
Texas, they settled in Collin County. In an inter-
view written by Mrs. Leah Carver, a teacher in
the Amarillo school system at the age of 81,
Mr. Grimes says they enjoyed life there. The
camp meetings were held in arbors built by
the people living in the neighborhood on land
donated by some generous person. People came
from miles around and camped out for several
days at a time to enjoy these church services.
In 1889 Capt. Walter M. Warren was load-
ing his things in a car to ship to Washburn and
got Mr. Grimes to help him. When his things were
in the car, there was still room for more and Mr.
Warren said: "Jim, why don't you go, too?
There is room in the car for your things." He
and Mrs. Grimes loaded their things in and were
soon on their way to Washburn. They arrived at
Washburn on Dec. 3, 1889. At that time Wash-
burn was almost as large as Amarillo and larger
Mr. Warren had a house five miles south
of Washburn and in the yard was a dugout into
which they moved. At that time they had three
children, Maude, Mattie and John. They only
lived in this dugout about a year.
On the first day of April 1890, they filed
on a section of land and built a small one room
house sixteen feet square. It was sealed with
boxing boards and shingles were put on the roof,
but the floor wasn't put in for six months. Mrs.
Grimes would sweep the dirt floor and sprinkle
it with water to keep the dust down. The house
had one door and one window. The door fasten-
ed with a bar. Water for every purpose had to
be hauled several miles from a dirt tank as
there was no windmills near the first few years
they were on the Plains.
This section of land was north of the Har-
rell ranch. The Harrell ranch was part of the J.
J., and the J. J. ranch was a part of the J. A.
It was very lonely for women as neighbors were
few and miles apart.
Mr. Grimes had to go away from home to
find work and would sometimes be gone for a
week or two at a time. Mrs. Grimes was left
with small children with nothing in sight except
vast stretches of prairie.
Mr. Grimes says that on two occasions he
walked from his homestead to Claude, a distance
of twenty-two miles in one day, walking a dis-
tance of forty-four miles in one day.
From 1890 to 1900 many of the worst
blizzards on record hit the Panhandle. On Feb-
ruary 12, 1899 the thermometer went to twenty-
three degrees below zero. In 1892 and again in
1895 terrible blizzards came that resulted in the
loss of livestock and other damage.
When I left home at night and occasional-
ly in the day time, I would get lost easily. There
was often nothing in sight to mark the way.
At night my wife would put a light in the win-
dow or hang a lantern outside to guide me.
Sometimes I could not see the light and would
drive a distance and call, then drive on and
call again till she answered me. My wife would
always listen for my call or whistle, when I
was out at night and guide me to the house
when I got near. Another daughter Sallye was
born while they lived here.
Mr. Grimes cut posts for a living in the
Palo Duro Canyon. Mr. Judd Campbell, manager
of the J. J. ranch paid him $45 a mile to build
fences. They made a wooden track to pull the
posts out of the canyon. The track was 800 feet
long. A team was kept on the top to pull the
car out when it was loaded. When he worked by
himself he pulled the posts out with a team and
chain after he had carried them part of the
way on his shoulders. He took the posts to Ama-
rillo or Panhandle and sold them or traded them
for something they needed.
After the Llano Sunday School was organiz-
ed he was superintendent for several years.
In 1895, they moved to Claude where he
worked at the blacksmith trade. People would
come for miles around to get blacksmith work
done and buy groceries. Often whole families
would spend the night at their home.
They joined the Methodist church which
had already been organized and Mrs. Grimes
was a charter member of the Ladies Aid Society.
When the society was organized their preacher
was a single man. The women furnished a room
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Armstrong County Historical Society. A Supplement To A Collection of Memories: A History of Armstrong County, 1876-1965, book, ; Hereford, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth91049/m1/3/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .