Franklin Carl Tate Jr.

May 5, 1958


            If you have a moment let us look back a few years over the last part of the roaring 20’s.  There is not too much we can learn about the state of government or about the world’s problems.  I have talked to a few of these people that lived back there in that age, known as the good old days.  They remember most about their school, towns and where they were then.  They were on the move looking for a better job. 

            We find this condition even around Big Spring because oil had just been found.  First a little town of Chalk sprang up.  Then another town called Ross City a little to the west and another named Forsan. 

            There was a big ranch owned by W.R. Settles.  As the oil was discovered on his ranch and people came from every which way.  Mr.  Settles knew the need of a school and set aside 10 acres of land for it.  The land was in the southwest corner of the ranch on the San Angelo Highway.  In 1926 the school was built.  It was a two room school building with  two teachers.  The school was named after the creek which ran near by.  It was Panther draw.  The school grew a little until 1929 and 30 when it had its biggest enrollment.  The school had a student in every grade and had a total of about 30 students if they were all present.  The school had its hard times which was just about all the time.  Sometimes the teachers went without pay for a while.  They were always paid in the end.  The boys of the school carried the wood in, and built the fire everyday.  The boys had another job too.  Since the only way to get to school was by horse back or walk.  Those boys were just about like some of today.  They love to miss class.  No one will ever know how many times they missed trying to catch the horses.

            These two teachers have already been forgotten, but what they taught will never be forgotten.  We owe a lot of thanks to these teachers who helped train 30 of the best citizens you can find.

            Let us take a little walk north on the highway which never saw payment.  This is only about a half mile until we come to the little town of Drumright.  It has two stations, two stores and one boarding house.  This town grew over night.  It started in 1929 and was just about gone in 1935.  This was one of the nicer towns that sprung up.  They never had a killing.  This town was said to have a bootlegger.  There was a place called Dad’s place.  There was something always funny about this place.  Dad ran it and wouldn’t tell anyone his real name.  Boy, he had the best 7 ups in that town.  No one ever got drunk from beer but many a person did from Dad’s 7 up.  The work fell off and the town went down as fast as it was built. 

            Let us go on north on the highway about three miles and we found a town called Midway.  It had three stations and a store.  This didn’t turn into much of a town.  Today you can find an old stone station still standing.  You know when the moon is in full and at night you can still see cars pull up and stop.  I just hope they have more luck buying gasoline than I did. 

1.  Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Overton

2.  Mrs. W.J. White

3.  Mr. Frank Tate