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H. Allen Anderson

MCBRIDE, DAVID NICHOLS (1849–1928). David Nichols McBride, Panhandle rancher, was born on October 22, 1849, in Henry County, Illinois. In the 1870s he arrived at Fort Sill, Indian Territory, and made a living by trading in horses and other items with the Indians on the reservation. There, on July 2, 1876, he married Abigail Catherine Stringer, a native of Indiana who was teaching at the agency school. Seven children were subsequently born to them; one died at the age of two. The McBrides remained at Fort Sill until about 1881, when they moved to Henrietta, Clay County, Texas. There McBride began his trade as a blacksmith and surveyor. A few years later the family moved to Vernon in Wilbarger County, where McBride owned and operated a bull train. McBride first arrived at the townsite of Amarillo on September 17, 1887, eighteen days after the organization of Potter County. In 1888 he filed on what later became Olson Park, where his family resided for a time in a dugout. He maintained business interests in Vernon until 1890, when he helped survey the townsite of La Plata, first county seat of Deaf Smith County. After selling out his Amarillo claim, McBride farmed and plied his trade at La Plata, then for a short time at Canyon, in Randall County. In 1897 he filed on land near the Canadian River in northeastern Potter County. His choice tract, consisting of one section of "watered homestead" and three alternate "dry grazing" sections of school land, was located in the center of the old LX Ranch, then owned by the American Pastoral Company of London. Upon proof of three years' occupancy, McBride was issued a patent for this land in 1901. The homestead section cost $1.50 an acre and the grazing sections $1.00 an acre, with payments extending over a forty-year period at 3 percent interest. Here the McBrides developed their own cattle herd and grew their own vegetables by damming the creek and routing the water to a level garden spot.

In 1903 McBride constructed a two-room ranchhouse out of Alibates dolomite stones, which he quarried from the nearby canyon rim and mortared with lime burned in a kiln constructed at the site (see LIMEKILNS). The wood used in the ridge beams, door and window lintels, and corral came from old railroad bridge timbers salvaged from the Canadian. The roof was flat, and the floor was fashioned out of cement from masonry mortar. An icehouse, likewise built from railroad timbers, was used to store ice cut from the river during the winter. McBride maintained a residence in Amarillo in addition to his ranch, which he later turned over to his son Amos after his health declined. During his last years he moved to Needles, California, where he died on June 26, 1928. His body was brought back to Amarillo for burial in Llano Cemetery. Family heirs maintained ownership of the ranchhouse property in McBride Canyon, as it came to be called, until 1963. At that time they sold it to the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority, upon the construction of Lake Meredith. The house lay dilapidated and neglected until the early 1970s, when it was restored to its original condition by the National Park Service and the Potter County Historical Survey Committee, headed by Henry E. Hertner. The house is in a wooded spot next to an environmental study area and bears a state historical marker.

Amarillo Daily News, June 27, 1928, January 21, 1967. Maudie G. M. Rockwell, Interview by Kim E. Taylor and Claire R. Kuehn, June 8, 1972, Transcript, Research Center Interview Files, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas.

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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, "MCBRIDE, DAVID NICHOLS," accessed May 27, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmccv.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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