While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


H. Allen Anderson

ARCHAMBEAU, ERNEST R. (1891–1987). Ernest R. Archambeau, amateur historian, was born on December 25, 1891, in Perry, Missouri. He arrived in the Texas Panhandle in 1914 as a student at West Texas State Normal College (now West Texas State University), where he received his bachelor's degree in economics. During World War I he served in France for fifteen months. He also attended Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, and the University of Montpellier in France. He married Zerah McReynolds in 1920, and they had one son. In 1926 Archambeau moved permanently to Amarillo, where he pursued a long career in the insurance business.

His interest in Panhandle history began when he interviewed José (Chencho) Romero, the adopted son of Tascosa pioneer Casimero Romero. Historical research remained his chief hobby, and over the years he made many noteworthy contributions to the field. He traced Josiah Gregg's Fort Smith-Santa Fe Trail through the Panhandle, including the area where Amarillo was later founded; his location of the wagon ruts on the property of the new Palo Duro High School led to the placement of a granite monument there and the founding of the school's annual Pioneer Day. Archambeau also became an authority on the region's railroad lines. Many of his findings were published in the Panhandle-Plains Historical Review and other history journals. He often spoke at meetings and once was invited to address the British Historical Society in London.

Archambeau was an active member of Polk Street United Methodist Church in Amarillo, where he taught Sunday school for fifty years. He was a member of the American Legion, the American Red Cross, Friends of the Library, the Westerners Club, and the Potter County Historical Society. He was on the Cerebral Palsy board and United Way board. He was a president and district governor of the American Business Club and president of the Knife and Fork Club. He was president of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society in 1959–60 and served on its publications committee for several years. Throughout his life Archambeau spent much time and energy promoting Amarillo and the Panhandle. Just before his death he was involved in the "Faces of Amarillo" television spots for the city's centennial. He died on March 3, 1987, and was buried in Llano Cemetery.

Amarillo Daily News, March 4, 5, 1987. Amarillo Globe-Times, March 3, 1987. Ernest R. Archambeau Papers, Research Center, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, H. Allen Anderson, "ARCHAMBEAU, ERNEST R.," accessed July 09, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/far34.

Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...