Manuscripts/Mixed Material ["Bones"]
Bones learned to read and write from Bob, young brother of Steve Donald. At night he studied the lessons that the white boy was privileged to learn in the schoolroom.
As young Bones grew to manhood, he learned, also, that, no matter how [expert?] he might be in any work, he was barred from certain positions by his color. Picking out an occupation in which he thought that there would not be so much competition with white men, he became a “bronco-buster”. At the age of fifteen he was an expert at breaking the wildest horses. In later years he broke horses for the JA, Rowe and many other large ranches in the Panhandle, to which he came “when he was [grown?]".
Bones is perhaps the only person for whom a train has waited while he rode a horse. When his bronco-busting days were over, he became a railway porter. One day when the Santa Fe train upon which he made his run stopped at [Tampa?], it remained long enough for him to ride an outlaw horse that no one else had been able to “top”.
When he was thirty-five, Bones left the plains to go to East Texas and bring back Indiana Crenshaw as his wife. A short time later, Adeline Grundy, a friend who came to the Panhandle with her, was killed by a random shot fired from the guns of drunken cowboys, as they passed the honeymoon cabin of Bones and his bride, to scare the Negroes, who as a race were not welcome in the region at that time.
When his first wife died after a happy married life of twenty-one years, Bones “tried one of them new models, but it didn't work”. When he left the second wife, he gave as alimony his equity in a business building that he was “paying out”.
Although Bones has not accumulated much of this world's goods for himself, he has been instrumental in obtaining various things, material and immaterial, for others of his race in Amarillo. Through his efforts North Heights, exclusive Negro addition to the city, was established in 1926.
In the Heights is located Bones Park, named in honor of the pioneer Negro. In the park the base of native stone is all that has been completed of an equestrian statue planned as a tribute to the champion bronco-buster.