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This week's Dirk West Cartoon

Special Section Print Version

Centennial Kick Off by Spotted The Lubbock Centennial Kick Off Celebration



The Texas Tech Administration Building in 1925 was a multi-story building on a flat expanse of land.

Lubbock gets Tech!
City selected on first vote;
residents go into ecstacy after hearing decision

1923 FORT WORTH, August 8 - Lubbock was unanimous choice of the Locating Board for the Texas Technological College on the first ballot at the five-hour session of the board here today. The decision was made following a six months study of the briefs of the 35 applicant towns and a three weeks tour of inspection of the territory. At 1:42 o'clock Wednesday afternoon one of the members of the board, whose name was not divulged, moved that a ballot be taken and his motion prevailed. The roll was then called and every member voted for Lubbock. The board has been in session practically continuous since Wednesday morning and during that time various other towns were discussed.

That was the message that set Lubbock, the Plains and West Texas on fire. And that is the message that is being carried in every newspaper in the United States, Canada and in many foreign countries today. For the Texas Technological College is no ordinary, one-horse institution. It is a state, a national and an internationally known institution already. It starts with the most brilliant promises and possibilities that have ever accompanied the founding of a like institution in America and the realization of those promises and possibilities are so closely tied and woven into the promise and possibilities of Lubbock that every sane thinking citizen has a right to stop and think upon the inestimatable importance of the events of the past 24 hours and wonder how Lubbock is going to measure up to the great future that is hers for the making.

To say the town went mad would be to put the matter to mildly. Old men and women, children and the hound pups of Lubbock, with one accord, went into a series of ecstacies. Horns were tooted, fire trucks thundered up and down the streets, automobiles honked, screetched, and scooted around with bells, tin cans and scrap iron dragging. The stores were closed by a proclamation written by a man that was not even a member of the city commission - and the proclamation was observed to the letter.

A dozen bon fires started in a dozen minutes. Plackards appeared as if by magic. In thirty minutes the sidewalks had overflowed into the streets and the uproar had spread into the residential sections of the city. In an hour delegations from nearby towns began pouring in to further swell the mass - for Lubbock Got the Texas Tech.

Members of the Texas Technological Locating Committee examine Lubbock as they search for a place to loacte a new university.

Freak stunts staged

Freak stunts were staged. Hat brims were torn off and the crowns worn Happy Hooligan style. A Texas Tech Glee Club was quickly organized with more enthusiasm than harmony. Candidates for "Freshman Class President" appeared and started lecturneering for election. The Rix Furniture Company changed its "Where Else Could They Put It" to "There Was No Where Else They Could Have Put It."

Lorenzo's band came over, Slaton's citizenship came up, Tahoka was represented. Littlefield, Idalou, Ralls, Shallowater, Brownfield, Big Spring - were all represented. Where they came from or how they got here no one knew but they were here when the band started playing the National Anthem of the West Texas Chamber of Commerce - "The Old Gray Mare."

Big stunt celebration

Telegrams of congratulations poured in from all over the state. Abilene was first with "The people of Abilene extend heartfelt congratulations to the people of Lubbock on their victory and predict for Texas Tech a glorious future. One hundred and fifty Abilene businessmen will visit you on August 24th to shake hands and help you celebrate."

Plainview was second with a telegram from Secretary Boswell to Secretary Keen that read "Congratulations old Boy." It was followed a few minutes later by an official telegram signed Board of City Development and Chamber of Commerce that read "Plainview takes its hat off to you and sincerely and heartily congratulates you on securing the Tech college. We want to help you make it the greatest institution in the state. It's a great victory for the Plains."

Sweetwater, Big Spring, Colorado, Post City, Vernon - oh, well, just all of the rest of towns in West Texas sent similar messages - always pledging to Lubbock and the Plains their fullest support and cooperation in making the Texas Tech the greatest institution in Texas.

Messages were received from Clifford Jones, J.E. Nunn, Mr. Carter and other members of the Board of Trustees congratulating Lubbock upon winning the location for the college and expressing pleasure at the decisions of the board. "The Committee made an excellent selection," said Mr. Nunn of Amarillo.

Clifford Jones of Spur, wired, "Please accept for your citizenship my warmest congratulations and my assurance that it will be a labor of love to assist in creating in your progressively splendid community one of the greatest education institutions of the South."

Governor Pat M. Neff signed the bill which created Texas Technological College in Lubbock in 1923.

Spirit of good will

Such a spirit of good will, of cooperation and fellowship can hardly be realized as has been shown by everyone of the contending towns. The standing of the locating board, the efficiency of their plan of operation and reputation of the individual members that composed the board and the open and above board campaign that has been waged by every West Texas town for this college are matters that have been commented upon most favorably before and are deserving of the highest praise.

There is great satisfaction, said Mr. Slaton in speaking of the result of the great race, "In knowing that although the other 36 towns of West Texas are disappointed in losing the college, not one of them - so far as we know or have heard - hold the least bit of hard feeling toward Lubbock on account of our good fortune or in any way has criticized the tactics used in "getting the college." The fight all over West Texas has been clean, above board and worthy of citizenship of this great West Texas section and these facts only make it more necessary that Lubbock shall accept the college with a sense of responsibility and an appreciation of the obligations that go with it. We have a great section to serve and a section made up of the highest type of people. Lubbock must guard well the trust that has been placed in her in the location of this college with us and fulfill the obligations that go with it.

Fifteen minutes after the announcement came over the phone from the Star-Telegram office that Lubbock had the college, the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce and a half dozen of the leaders of Lubbock were gathered in the Chamber of Commerce offices discussing the problems presented by the location of the college. How to best express the appreciation of the city to the surrounding towns who have so faithfully and effectively labored in the interest of Lubbock and the Plains as the location for the Tech College, how to express to the State of Texas our appreciation of the responsibilities that go with the school and how to prevent the possibility of things getting entirely out of control.

The one thing stressed was that the college did not complete Lubbock but rather that it was merely the beginning of what the city and section must do to be worthy of its location: "We have been working," said Jed Rix, former president of the Chamber of Commerce and a man who works for Rix Furniture Company only when there is nothing to be done for the general good of the South Plains, "But we have just gotten started. Lubbock has her opportunity presented to her in the form of a million dollar educational institution and that million dollars is just a starter. Now it is just put up to Lubbock and the Plains section to make good with this opportunity. It will take work. It will take time and money and sweat, and co-operative effort and a spirit of progress that cannot and will not become discouraged with a little dry spell, a sandstorm or some other passing inconvenience.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram, Fort Worth Record and Dallas News each carry a three column, ten inch card of thanks to the people of Texas thanking them for the great honor that has been given Lubbock and the South Plains and pledging our work that we will fulfill the obligation that goes with that honor with credit to the state, to the Honorable Locating Board and the rest of West Texas.

The word of Lubbock has been pledged, verbally, through the brief, through the state press, and in the great celebration held on the court lawn Wednesday night and it is up to Lubbock to not only fulfill that obligation and that promise - but to overflow a dozen times the broadest pledges we have ever made. And there is only one way that that can be done and that is through a combined, united co-operation on the part of every individual citizen in Lubbock and the Plains section. If there is a man in the city or the section that is not ready and willing to show that spirit of service and co-operation - now is the best time that he can leave and it is a moral obligation of every working citizen to tell him so whenever he shows the slightest inclination to bow his neck or lay down on his job.

The college was located Wednesday. The celebration started forthwith immediately - if not sooner. It lasted until the wee small hours of this morning and the spirit is still here. But let's get back down to business. It will be several months before the appropriation is available. Several more months before the college is open. There will be little change in the volume of business to be done in Lubbock for the next year or so. Few salaries will be automatically raised as a result of the location of the college. The old alarm clock will go off just as discordantly and you will hate to get out of bed just as badly. So, as a city, let's buckle down to business - and don't let our enthusiasm run away with our good judgment and try to remake the world in a day.

The A-J Remembers The Most Important People in Lubbock's History

SPECIAL SECTIONS: 1909-1933 / 1934-1958 / 1959-1983 / 1984-PRESENT | PRINT VERSION