Buffalo hunter and Indian fighter, Billy Dixon, fought in the 1874 Battle of Adobe Walls with 28 other men and one woman. In 1883, Dixon built this log cabin about a mile away from the location of the battle. James and Robert Cator, who would build the Zulu Stockade on the Palo Duro Creek the following year, joined other hunters at Adobe Walls after being apprised that it had been attacked by around 1,000 braves. Dixon later became first sheriff of Hutchison County, and James Cator became the first county judge of Hansford County.
Early Hansford County settlers, Mr. and Mrs. J.I. Steele, motor through ranch lands, circa 1905. By the year 1900, there were 22 ranches and 16,000 cattle and 19 sheep. The rest of Hansford County was occupied by modest ranching operations, which cultivated farm crops along creek bottoms. By 1920, 220 farms and ranches had been established and over 30,000 acres were devoted to wheat production.
S.B. Hale, a pharmacist and judge, opened a drug store in 1909 in the original county seat of Hansford. When the railroad arrived at Spearman, many of Hansford’s building were put on skids and dragged to the new railhead. Judge Hale also built the first brick building on Spearman’s Main Street and moved his drug store there in 1919. This photo is of the Gibner and Odom Drug Store in Lindale where Dr. Gibner practiced from 1903 to 1906.
On April 15, 1935, the term “Dust Bowl” was coined. These grim days along with the effect of the Great Depression of the 1930s, caused more than 20% of local farmers to move off their land. Many of Spearman’s vacant lots were planted in wheat. By 1940, Hansford County lost about 100 farms, with the population decreasing from 3,550 to 2,780.
The Gibner family poses for the photographer in 1935. Identified in the front row, left to right, are H.C. Gibner, Dr. G.P. Gibner, Jerry Gibner, Bill Hiler, Gibner Hiler, Marvel Jo Gibner (girl with doll), Margaret (“Mrs. Pope”) Gibner, Verna Lee Gibner, and Mrs. Clay Gibner. Seen in the back row, from left to right, are Mrs. G.P. Gibner, Beatrice Gibner Hiler, Woody Gibner, Pope Gibner, and Clay Gibner.
Current First State Bank staff.