|MARY ANN "MOLLY" DYER GOODNIGHT|
Molly Goodnight (1839-1926) was the epitome of a rancher's wife during the early settlement of Texas. She would become known as "Mother of the Panhandle" and "Darling of the Plains."
Mary Ann Dyer married Charles Goodnight in 1870 at the age of 31. (Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving blazed the Goodnight-Loving trail to drive cattle north. The novel and series Lonesome Dove was based on Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving.)
|PALO DURO CANYON|
Charles and Molly spent a seven-year stint ranching in Pueblo, Colorado, before a number of unfavorable conditions resulted in their relocation to the Palo Duro Canyon near present day Amarillo. Molly considered Texas to be much more civilized than Colorado. She had been particularly disturbed when two men were found hanged to death on a nearby telegraph pole.
|LOCATION OF THE JA (John Adair) RANCH IN|
|HOME ON JA RANCH IN LATER YEARS|
Charles found a financial backer in John George Adair, a wealthy Irish landowner, and the two men and their wives started the JA Ranch in the Palo Duro Canyon. The Goodnights convinced the Adairs to select this location because of the plentiful grass for grazing, a steady water supply, and protection for the cattle during the winter by the canyon walls.
|EARLY DUGOUT ON JA RANCH|
Over the years, Molly earned the respect and admiration of the cattlemen for the compassion she showed them and the natural remedies she developed for wounds and fevers.
|COWBOYS ON JA RANCH|
As the Panhandle became more populated, Molly donated her time to various philanthropic efforts. In 1898, she and Charles helped establish Goodnight College through the donation of 340 acres.
"Mary Ann Dyer Goodnight- One who spent her whole life in the service of others."
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
Sweethearts of the West-Blog
My Facebook Page
very cool postReplyDelete
Molly sounds like a wonderful person who loved all living things. Although I write about western life, I think I probably would have gone crazy from the drudgery of every day life and the boredom. I don't know what I'd do without my trusty pen and notebook--and I imagine those things were hard to come by. I would have made pets of the chickens, too.
Wonderful post, as always!
What an interesting lady. Thanks so much for sharing it, Celia.ReplyDelete
Celia, thank you so much for this interesting story. I find this site the most informative of all that I visit. It never fails to meet its high standards. I always promise myself to read it every week but often get bogged down with things that relate to my own work and miss it. I'm glad there are archives to catch up when I have the time.ReplyDelete
I never knew any of this information. Heck, I didn't even know that Lonesome Dove was based on real people. Well, shoot, I just got some education today. Wonderful blog, Celia.ReplyDelete
What a great article. I knew nothing about Molly and am so pleased you included her. I'm sure you know, Celia, that Oliver Loving (Goodnight's partner) is burined in Weatherfod as is Bose Ikard, the man called Deke in LONESOME DOVE. There are no Loving descendants here, but there are still Ikards in the Parker County.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your comment and visit, Annette.ReplyDelete
Oh, you and me both, Cheryl. I would go mad very quickly. I thought she was incredibly brave to live there. And see? She was creative and found plenty to do...just not what I would have done, but she was very inventive. I guess she had to be.ReplyDelete
Thanks for visiting!
You're welcome, Anne, and thanks for stopping by.ReplyDelete
Linda--well, this is a busy blog--I don't know how we all keep coming up with so many entertaining posts. But there are tons of stories out there--history never runs out of tales.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your comment..you know it always means so much to me.
Sarah--See what you learn by coming to the Sweethearts? We're just loaded with new information just to entertain you.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment!
Caroline--I'd only just barely heard of Molly Goodnight--now I don't remember how I came up with her for this post.ReplyDelete
I did not know Oliver Loving was buried in Weatherford until you told me some time ago.
Texas State University here in San Marcos has a permanent display of all things Lonesome Dove--you should make a trip to SM one day and I'll take you up to the 7th floor of the library to see it all.
Fantastic article, Celia! One thing that struck me was once again, success came out of failure. Colorado didn't work out too well. But that didn't daunt Molly Goodnight at all, obviously, and she made the best of whatever she had to work with. Amazing lady. Thanks for taking the time to write this article.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Jacquie. I think that's the mark of a true pioneer--they made the best of what they had. Even my mother during the depression did this--same kind of spirit. I'm not sure I have this in me to survive as they did. Thank God for our pioneer ancestors.ReplyDelete