BLOCK 1 - Main Street Tour Locate on map How many of us can still visualize the busy downtown of the Ranger of our childhood? Here, about to start a virtual tour of that eight- block area, hesitate a moment in front of the West Texas Clinic and Hospital on the corner of Main and Marston. Dr. P.M. Kuykendall, originally of Desdemona, purchased this two-year-old facility from a Dr. Barnett in late 1930. The yellow brick hospital was the scene of a mass emergency event that might have rivaled the many now popular TV series dealing with trauma. In November 1941 an incredible accident on Ranger Hill occurred, involving a Greyhound bus and tanker truck that filled the hospital to the rafters. The staff not only was pushed to the limits of their abilities, but others needing attention, such as a man bitten by a rattlesnake and a mother in labor, may have felt somewhat overlooked in the mass emergency. Old news stories document this traumatic time in the city's history. A pillar of the community for many years, Dr. Kuykendall took much interest in civic development. He was a powerhouse in the effort to build a new rodeo arena south of town and promote its annual run of officially-sanctioned Rodeo Cowboy Association events. The hospital he bought had offices on the ground floor just inside the main entry where he and usually a colleague saw patients.
In this effort to recall a Ranger that no longer exists, let us imagine the early 1950's. Most of the places were full as farmers and ranchers and their wives came to town both to peddle their farm products and to shop. Before we meander on foot down Main, let's turn and look behind us toward the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The building itself, originally white stucco and looking somewhat like a Spanish mission, has changed its facade to a red brick front.
Looking all the way back down Main toward the railroad tracks, as a place to turn around. Such unique uses of the location included penning rodeo calves at its base just before the parade. It stood there until it was knocked over by a big windstorm. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it was not to be raised again to its lofty position. End Tour