Hansford County Obituaries
transcribed by Oneida Swickard Bynum
The Hansford County
Thursday, February 26, 2004
Erlis Elias Pittman
Spearman- Erlis Elias Pittman, 95, died February 23, 2004.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, February 27, 2004 at the First United Methodist Church in Spearman with Rev. Ken Cole and Frank Pittman officiating. Services will be conducted by Boxwell Brothers funeral Home of Spearman.
Erlis pittman was born June 18,1908 at the family farm south of Gray, OK. To Amcey Emmett and Grace Coward Pittman. He was the oldest of seven children and learned early in life the habit of rising early and working long hours. One of his first jobs was as a cowboy for Tab Ruth of Perryton. When he was fifteen, his mother, Grace, died in the flu epidemic of 1923.
Erlis left home at the age of eighteen to discover what was around the next bend. Erlis and a friend, George Garner, rode freight trains north and survived by working on harvest crews and playing cards and shooting pool. Erlis spent one winter with a logging crew in Wisconsin where his job was to haul the logs out of the forests using teams of horses.
In 1926, Erlis was living in Hansford county with his brother, Wendell, where they were partners in the farming and cattle business. Wendell would work for the neighbors to earn enough money for Erlis to do the farming. After a seven year courtship, Erlis and Ethel were married on May 21, 1933 and moved to the farm in Hansford County.
When Wendell returned from the war in 1944, Erlis and Ethel paid him his half of what the partnership was worth. Ethel worked side-by-side as a partner with Erlis in their farming and ranching business. They lived in the same house nine miles northwest of Morse for fifty-four years, until they moved to Spearman in 1994. Electricity came in the early 1950's and a telephone in 1960.
In 1957, Erlis became a partner with Jimmy Shiedknight in the Excel Chevrolet Company located in Spearman. They remained friends and partners in various businesses until Jimmy's death in September, 2003. Erlis said that he and Jimmy did not always agree, but they never had a cross word. O.C. Holt of Spearman and Carl Franks of Guymon were also treasured partners for many years.
Erlis served as director of the First State Bank in Spearman, was on the original board of directors of the Hansford Soil and Water Conservation District, was the director of the Perryton Equity for fifteen years, served three terms on the Morse school board, served several years on the Hansford County school board and was a member of the Hansford Appraisal District Board of Equalization. He was also active with the Boy Scouts and received the Silver Beaver Award.
Erlis was preceded in death by his wife, Ethel; his parents, A.E. Pittman and Grace Coward Pittman; two brothers, Wendell and Emmett; two sisters Ethel and Helen; and a grandson, Kip.
He is survived by two brothers, Waymon of Warden, WA and Leonard of Fritch; two sons and their wives, Frank and Lucy of Morse and Bill and Ginger of Spearman; six grandchildren, sixteen great-grandchildren and his friend and caregiver, Marilyn Anderson.
The family suggests memorials be to Hansford County Library.
( though not mentioned he is buried in Hansford Cemetery)
This page was last updated March 15, 2005.