Welcome to
Christian County

" B "

From Tent to Mansion
     The lives of Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Brumley are a true western romance with a Hortatio Alger twist. Not only did Brumley achieve success and wealth after starting in poverty, but along the way he created a need market to help others succeed during the years when Deaf Smith County was evolving from range land to a diversified farming empire.
     George W. Brumley was born in Christian County, Mo., on March 9, 1882. Mary Caroline Rozelle was born July 21, 1883, in Taney County, Mo.
     When young George Brumley rode into Protem, Mo., one day in 1900, he noticed a pretty young girl who quite evidently needed help in mounting her horse - side-saddle, of course. He offered his hand as a step and boosted her lightly to her steed. They met again when his brother, James, married her sister, Agnes. He rode horseback 50 miles once a month to see her during the year's courtship. On Oct. 20, 1901, they drove to the preacher's home and were married in a simple ceremony.
     Their lives were full of pioneering before they finally arrived in Deaf Smith County. Loading their few possessions in a covered wagon, they headed west in 1903. Their seven-day trip took them to Choska Bottom in the Creek Nation of Oklahoma. A month later they drove another seven days to Ponca City, traveling with a seven-wagon train. The lived in a tent while Brumley worked for farmers and ranchers during two years in that area. Their two oldest children, Bonnie and Lucille, were born during that time. When a railroad doctor had to perform an emergency appendectomy on Mrs. Brumley in their frontier home, he decided it was time to return to "civilization" so they returned to Springfield, Missouri, where he worked in a grocery store for $5 a week plus rooms in the store. He bought a confectionery store which he operated until the doctor advised him to return to the west for his wife's health.
     With their two children and 350 pounds of baggage they boarded a train for San Jon, N. M. in 1906. He filed on 160 acres of land and built a dug-out for their home. For a living he cut posts; for recreation he killed rattlesnakes. With a neighbor as partner he operated a sorghum mill, providing some 4,000 gallons of molasses to supplement the frugal diet of their families and neighbors. Mrs. Brumley churned fresh butter, which the enterprising Brumley sold in town.
     Times were hard in 1909; so Brumley hired a neighbor girl to stay with his wife and children while he came to Hereford to seek work. He went to work for the City of Hereford, hauling gravel to fill the wagon ruts in the muddy streets of the board-walk town. He saw an opportunity to supplement his small earnings by feeding slop he gathered from local hotels at night to a pen of hogs near the dug-out where he lived on the banks of the Tierra Blanca.
     About every two months Brumley made a trip to take money and supplies to his family until he moved them to Hereford in 1912. For seven years he bought fruit by the car load from the Pecos Valley and other places and peddled it in Hereford.
     Finally about 1920 Brumley launched a venture destined to make him "hog kings" of the Panhandle. A fried, Henry Wilkinson of the First State Bank, suggested that Brumley make a market for hogs.
     "I'd like to, but I just don't have the money," Brumley replied.
     "You make the market, and we'll furnish the money," the banker assured him.
     In answer to his advertisement that he would buy any kind of hogs, farmers brought pigs by wagon from Tucumcari, Plainview, Clovis, and many other surrounding towns. Brumley hog trains moved regularly from Hereford headed for California. Many a young man got his first trip to California, as care taker for one of those hog trains. Soon Brumley was handling a million dollars worth of hogs a year - $18,000,000 worth during the early 1920'2.
     During the latter part of that decade he went into the automobile business, selling his first car from Brumley Chevrolet in 1926. He sold that business to Luther Hough in 1937. He also owned filling stations in Hereford and Dimmitt.
     Brumley bought a ranch 20 miles west of Hereford on Harrison Highway in 1937. He sold his filling stations and devoted himself to his hog and ranch interests for the rest of his life. A son, Homer, was in partnership with his father in the hog business. Roger, another son, bought a partnership in the ranch. They have continued in those enterprises since their father's death on September 29, 1959 - when he suffered a heart attack while helping at the ranch.
     The Brumleys celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at their spacious stone home at 109 N. Texas Ave. in the rapidly-growing western section of Hereford. Homer Brumley now makes his home there with his mother; his son, David, and his family live on the Brumley ranch home developed by Homer and Elizabeth Montfort Brumley before her death. Davis and Home continue as partners in the hog business.
     B. E. (Bonnie) Brumley was married to Alma Knox, and they lived on a Deaf Smith County farm east of Hereford for many years as he worked independently and with his father in farming, ranching, and livestock pursuits. In 1946 he established a slaughter plant and feed yards east of town. When he moved to Lubbock, that business was sold to his son-in-law, E. D. (Britch) Hopson, who had married Naomi Brumley.
     Lucille Brumley married Louie Olson, and they have farmed in this county throughout their married life. Both their children, George L. Olson and Mrs. G. W. Duncan have successful farm families in this county.
     Roger Brumley was married to Novell Throckmorton. They have lived in Hereford continuously, rearing two daughters and a son, while Roger continues in the ranch business started by his father.
     Goldia is Mrs. John O. Baker, whose husband is a physician. Grace was married to George Robertson, and they are making their home in Amarillo. Virgil, the youngest Brumley daughter, married Early Joiner, who was a veterinarian. He is deceased, and she lived at Lubbock.
(A History of Deaf Smith County, by Bessie Patterson, 1964 ; transcribed by Vicki Bryan)



Return to

Christian County


Genealogy Trails

Copyright © Genealogy Trails
All data on this website is Copyright by Genealogy Trails with full rights reserved for original submitters.