Anthony Wayne Van Leer was a direct descendant of General "Mad" Anthony Wayne of Revolutionary War fame. Oral history that is not found in many history books abounds in our family about this era and about General Wayne's family.
In 1899, my father, Anthony Wayne Van Leer, moved to Dickens County from Coleman in Coleman County, TX, a youth of 19, with his parents, Mr, and Mrs. Issac Gilford Van Leer and his two sisters, Irene and Mabel.
As a young man, he worked for the Spur Cattle Company, which later became the Spur Ranch. He also had his own wagon freight business between Quanah and Dickens, Hobbs and Plainview. Later he owned and operated a successful ranch west of Spur until 1927, when, due to the economic conditions of the time, he moved to McAdoo and went into farming.
Anthony Wayne married Eula McAteer, one of the 12 children of W.L. McAteer, in 1913. My mother was an accomplished rag time pianist. She taught privately in Dickens for some time. They had three children: Anthony Wayne, Jr., who made a career in the Air Force and now lives in Yucca Valley, California; Mabel Doris and Nella Frances who currently live in Lubbock.
When my parents retired from farming in 1965, they moved to Floydada, where they were living at time of their deaths.
The happiest memories of my life are the times spent in Dickens County, especially when my parents owned and lived on a ranch west of Spur. I have very fond memories of our ranch horses and of branding days.
....by Doris Van Leer Branaman
(corrections have been made to this biography by family member Neal Crausbay)
Source: Dickens County History...its Land and People © Dickens Historical Commission; Printer: Craftsman Inc. Lubbock, Texas 1986
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