The original collection was located
just south of Spearman at Mr. Buchanan's homeplace.
J.B. Buchanan's passion for windmills
began at age three. That fascination manifested itself the day his
mother frantically clambered up the rough boards of the Currie Mill on
her Oklahoma ranch to retrieve her youngest son.
That was in 1909.
In 1998, at age 92, J.B. climbed his
last mill. At least it's the last one he admits to climbing -an 89 year
old habit is hard to break. (*see note)
J.B.'s passion became the town's pride
and joy when he decided to relocate the collection to a five acre plot
of land, donated by some local businessmen. "I'll miss them," he
said of the mechanical giants. "I've loved them all my life."
The move was a logical one.
Mr. Buchanan has been solely responsible for their care and maintenance
for more than thirty years. The landmarks will be carefully disassembled,
and one by one, the cluster that marked this flat Panhandle horizon will
become a priceless display on the edge of Spearman, Texas.
J.B.'s grandson, Roger, together with
some area promoters, began the Southwestern Pioneer Windmill Association.
This association is open to anyone who loves and appreciates the heritage
of windmills, no matter where they live.
*In the summer of 2000, very close
to J.B's 94th birthday, members of the Amalgamated Windmill Workers raised
a few windmills and J.B. had this photo taken as he climbed atop.
Many of the mills have been restored
and moved to their new locations at the J.B. Buchanan Windmill Park, as
the community gets ready to host the International Windmill Tradefair 2002.
There are currently 24 mills standing
throughout the city.
The newly completed Lighted Windmill
Walking Trail (below), was an $800,000.00 grant project by the Texas
Parks and Wildlife Department, the City of Spearman, the Spearman Independent
School District, and the Southwestern Pioneer Windmill Association..
The land was donated by Mr. Ralph Blodgett, former Spearman mayor and a
dedication was held on Friday, October 12, 2001.
Pictured are Mr. and Mrs. Ralph
Blodgett as State Representative Warren Chisum cuts the ribbon.
famous windmill collector JB Buchanan, died Monday. He was 96.
"He grew up loving and listening to windmills singing in the wind....clitter-clatter
of sucker rods going up and down," his grandson Roger Buchanan once said.
Buchanan started collecting
windmills in 1965, at age 59. The first windmill he put up in 1965
was an original wooden Eclipse he found crated at an old store in New Mexico.
Buchanan learned alot
about windmills while working for a well driller. "If it hadn't been
for the windmill, this country (the Panhandle) wouldn't have been settled
yet," Buchanan told the Globe News in 1990. "The played a more
important part in settling it here than the barbed wire fence or
the six-shooter because people couldn't have gotten by without the water."
Buchanan donated 14 windmills to the city of Spearman. In 1999, they
were moved from his farm to a public display on the edge of Spearman.
Since the donation, the Southwestern Pioneer Windmill Association was formed,
and the group has restored more than 30 vintage windmills.
Buchanan was a member
of the First United Methodist Church of Spearman, and a member of the Hansford
Lodge No. 1040 A.F. & A.M. He was past Worshipful Master and
a 50 year Mason. He also donated windmills to the Smithsonian Institution.
He was 1999 Spearman Citizen of the Year.
Survivors include his
wife, Ila Mae Buchanan of Spearman; son Burl Buchanan of Spearman; four
sisters, Louise Vaught of Amarillo, Edna Bassel of Amarillo, Helen Fisher
of Spearman, and Virginia Cates of Amarillo; granddaughter Jan Buchanan
of Amarillo; grandson Roger Buchanan of Spearman; and great-great nephew,
Bryce Jarvis of Spearman.
The family requests
memorials go to the Southwestern Pioneer Windmill Association, % PO Box
805, Spearman, Texas 79081. Service set for 2 P.M. at Hansford Cemetery
in Spearman, with the Rev. Ken Cole officiating.
(Amarillo Globe News
January 8, 2003)
January 21, 1999- Hansford County Windmill
Spearman, Texas and Hansford County celebrated "Windmill Day In Hansford
County" to mark the relocation of the J.B. Buchanan windmill collection
to its present location at the entrance to Spearman. The following pictures
tell a small part of the day's festivities.
Top: Mayor Burl Buchanan reads the proclamation honoring his father,
Belgian horses bring in the windmills
Roger, J.B. & Burl Buchanan (L-R)
Below: J.B. breaks ground for the collection.
Senator, Teel Bivins
awarding Roger and Burl
Buchanan, the flag that flew over the Texas State Capitol on Windmill
U.S. Congressman, Larry Combest, awarding Mr. J.B. Buchanan,
the flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
J.B. Buchanan Vintage
J.B. Buchanan's passion for windmills began at age three. That fascination
manifested itself the day his mother frantically clambered up the rough
boards of the Currie Windmill on her Oklahoma ranch to retrieve her youngest
That was in 1909.
In 1998, at age 92, J.B. climbed his last windmill. At least it's the
last one he admits to climbing - an 89-year-old habit is hard to break.
J.B.'s passion became the town's pride and joy when he decided to relocate
the windmills to a five acre plot of land, donated by some local businessmen.
"I'll miss them," he said of the mechanical giants. "I've loved them
all my life."
The move was a logical one. Mr. Buchanan has been solely responsible
for their care and maintenance for more than thirty years. The landmarks
will be carefully disassembled, and one by one, the cluster that marked
this flat Panhandle horizon will become a priceless display on the edge
of Spearman, Texas.
J.B.'s grandson Roger, together with some area promoters, began the
Southwestern Pioneer Windmill Association. This association is open to
anyone who loves and appreciates the heritage of windmills, no matter where
J.B.'s son Burl, the mayor of Spearman, proclaimed January
21, 1999 as
"Windmill Day in Hansford
County." The day was set aside to honor J.B. and his gift to the county
and to raise the first windmill, a late 1800 Eclipse. The ceremony began
with the reading of the Windmill Proclamation. Members of the Texas Inter-Tribal
Indian Organization told of a legend of the Origin of the Wind Spirit and
asked for the blessings of the Four Winds. Then J.B., shovel in hand (right),
marked the spot where the century-old mill was to be raised by a team of
four Belgian draft horses. The emotion in the quivering voices of three
generations spread to the crowd of more than 200, including Hansford County's
school children, as they watched in reverence and awe.
Plans for a lighted windmill park are underway. The park, in addition
to the original collection, will be located at the Spearman High School
and will have at least two windmills. The project is a joint effort by
the Spearman Independent School District, the City of Spearman and the
Southwestern Pioneer Windmill Association. The fourteen windmills,
including Curries, Samsons, Umbrellas, Eclipses and Challenges, will be
adopted by local families to commemorate loved ones.
Two of the windmills, a Standard and an Eclipse, reside permanently
in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. A Samson windmill from
the collection is located at The Big Texan Steak ranch in Amarillo, Texas.
A large placard at this windmill invites tourists to visit the entire collection
in Spearman, just 90 miles to the North. The remaining windmills
in the collection will be scattered in key areas throughout the community,
with plans for the collection to grow.
Roger, J.B. & Burl Buchanan (L-R)
The Southwestern Pioneer Windmill Association invites everyone to view
this impressive collection.
Pioneer Windmill Association Vintage
This is a thumbnail of the 59
windmills erected in Spearman Click on each photo to see a
larger version with history and location included.
Photos and history by J.D. Wilbanks
# 1 N36* 11.242
8' Steel Eclipse
# 2 N36* 11.226
6' Currie # 3
8' Currie # 4
6' Butler # 5
8' Star # 6
10' OK # 7
10' Dempster # 8
10' Hummer # 9
6' Woodmanse # 10
W 101* 12.267
10' Eli # 11
W 101* 12.332
12' Dempster # 12
5' Star Zephyr # 14
8' Fairbury # 15
12' Challenge # 16
12' Monitor # 17
6' Samson # 18
10' Samson # 19
W101* 12. 314
10' Aermotor # 20
8' Woodmanse # 21
W101* 12. 115
8' Chandler # 22
8' Fairbury # 23
10' Dempster # 24
8' New Elgin # 25
10' Duplex # 26
10' Perkins # 27
8' Easy #28
6' Star Zephyr # 29
8' Star # 30
10.5' Original Star # 31
12' Eclipse # 32
8' Butler # 33
6' Monitor # 34
6' Aermotor # 35
36* N 11.845
6' Aermotor # 36
6' Baker # 37
8' Aermotor # 38
14' American West # 39
8' Aermotor # 40
8' Aermotor # 41
8' Aermotor # 42
8' Aermotor # 43
8' Aermotor # 44
8' Challenge # 45
10' Western # 46
10' Leader # 13
6' Clipper # 47
12' Aermotor # 48
5' Monitor Exhibit
Well Drilling Machine
18' Jacob Wind Plant
8' John Deere # 50
8' Wonder Elgin # 49
10' Star # 51
18' Railroad Eclipse #
8' Monitor # 53
8' Parish # 54
8' Baker # 55
5' Monitor # 56
10' Woodmanse # 57
10' Aermotor # 58
6' Samson # 59
20' Aermotor #60
6' David Bradley #61
12' Axtell Model C #62
Open Geared Aermotor #63
12' Standard by Axtell #64
8' Success Wooden Wheel #65
More to Come
This is the
SPWA's Memorial Fence located at the West end of the park. It has
an entrance road in and out from HWY 207 S. Provisions are made to
purchase tile/brick in honor or memory as a contribution to the SPWA.
Four bays have been completed and filled, with extensions built as needed.
In June of 2002, Spearman hosted
the International Windmill Tradefair. This map was created to show
a simple layout of the community and the windmills that had been erected
at that time. Since then, many more windmills have been restored
As you tour our lovely community,
you will enjoy many more mills throughout it that are not shown on this
map. We invite you to take your time to enjoy the history
and detail of our wonderful collection.
Hansford County Reporter-Statesman, PO Box 490, Spearman TX 79081, phone - 806-659-3434, fax - 806-398-9080, firstname.lastname@example.org