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WTAMU to Re-Create Historic Devil

July 18, 2017

CONTACT:    Tim Bynum, 806-651-2069, tbynum@wtamu.edu

COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

WTAMU to Re-Create Historic Devil’s Kitchen Photo to Benefit Amarillo Center


CANYON, Texas—When a five-member state commission charged with selecting a location for a proposed West Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College visited the Texas Panhandle area in June of 1917, local leaders entertained the group with a delicious barbecue at Devil’s Kitchen near the area now known as River Falls. A panoramic photograph captured the event, showing 87 men, many dressed in coats and ties, posing for the historic moment.

The West Texas A&M University FouDr. Walter Wendler and Tim Bynumndation and the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum will host a re-creation of the Devil’s Kitchen photograph to help establish a permanent endowment for the WTAMU Amarillo Center. Current Panhandle leadership, family legacies and supporters of the project will be featured in a photo to be taken Oct. 24 at the same site the original photo was taken in 1917.

Renovations are currently under way on the new stand-alone WTAMU Amarillo Center. The new facility represents WTAMU’s permanent presence in Amarillo for upper level and graduate classes 100 years after the 1917 attempt to bring an institution of higher education to the city. The Devil’s Kitchen photo of 1917 is of great historical significance and bears witness to yesterday’s leaders and their determination to bring an institution of higher education to Amarillo.

A few of the Panhandle leaders captured in the 1917 Devil’s Kitchen photograph included W.S.Rule, who promoted the oil industry in Amarillo; J. L. Pope, a businessman who helped establish the Tri-State Fair; A. D. Armstrong, city commissioner; Earl Cobb, president of Crystal Ice Company; J.W. Crudgington, one of the owners of the Amarillo Publishing Company; Albert Rollins, established Rollins and Wooley law firm and owner of City Pharmacy in Canyon; O.H. Nelson, cattle broker; Will A. Miller, former Amarillo mayor (1906-1908); Oscar Smith, Baptist clergyman; and Charles Goodnight, cattleman who established the JA Ranch.

Their dreams may have been dashed in 1917, but today’s leaders have the opportunity to follow the lead of Amarillo’s forefathers by supporting the WTAMU Amarillo Center and its efforts to enhance access to higher education for area residents while improving the quality of life for the Panhandle community. The Panhandle community has the opportunity to be part of Amarillo history by showing support of the WTAMU Amarillo Center and participating in the re-creation of the 1917 Devil’s Kitchen photo on Oct. 24. The levels of support for participation in the photo range from benefactor to supporter.

Devil’s Kitchen Benefactor - $10,000
This level reserves a spot in the photo for the donor and the donor’s immediate family.

• Devil’s Kitchen Patron - $7,500
This level allows the donor and his/her significant other to participate in the Devil’s Kitchen photo shoot.

• Devil’s Kitchen Friend - $5,000
This level secures a single spot in the photograph.

• Devil’s Kitchen Supporter - $2,500
Support WTAMU in the heart of Amarillo with a gift to benefit students in the new WTAMU Amarillo Center for generations to come.

For more information about participating in the Oct. 24 photo re-creation, please contact Tim Bynum, executive director of the WT Foundation, at 806-651-2069 or Lezlie Davis, director of Advancement Services, at 806-651-2066.



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