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Retro Rewind - Posted January 26, 2018 9:23 a.m.
Photo from Amarillo Public Library archives

J. Evetts Haley

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A writer and scholar known for his work as a historian, rancher and activist, J. Evetts Haley graduated with a history degree in 1925 from West Texas Normal College at Canyon – now West Texas A&M University. Upon graduating, Haley became the field secretary for the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, which had been founded in 1921. Haley began traveling throughout the Panhandle in a Model T, interviewing some of the area’s ranchers and pioneers and asking for donations of historical materials. This undated photo was likely taken during this period.

Because of his efforts, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum gathered countless artifacts and historical documents. It opened in 1933 and eventually became the largest history museum in the state.

The historian went on to become the author of the critically acclaimed books “The XIT Ranch of Texas and the Early Days of the Llano Estacado” and the biographical “Charles Goodnight: Cowman and Plainsman”, as well as several other prominent titles. Haley later pursued ranching in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico and even ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1956 as a conservative Democrat. Haley died in 1995 at the age of 94 and is buried in Bell County, Texas.

by Jason Boyett

Jason has written more than a dozen books and is the host and creator of “Hey Amarillo”, a local interview podcast. Visit and
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