McElroy, Mr and Mrs Erving 1972-06-01

From SWC Oral History Collection
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Erving McElroy, over 90 years old, discusses his ranching days in West Texas, his experiences as a stonecutter, and his operation of Lubbock’s first movie theater, the Lyric, in the early 1900s. Mrs. McElroy closes with comments on her husband’s independent thinking.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Mr. and Mrs. Erving McElroy

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: June 01, 1972

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: David Murrah

Length: 1 hour 10 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Photograph taken in Miller, South Dakota, in 1884 discussed, Indian troubles in Nebraska and the Dakotas described, Incident involving new rifles before the massacre at Wounded Knee (December 1890), Joined uncle in ranching business in Texas (1899), Explains uncle’s purchase of Terry County ranch, Reveals acquaintance with Slaughter family, Attended Roswell Military School (1900-1901), Trail drive to Oklahoma in 1901 recalled, Cites reasons for not using the railroad, Incident when nearly drowned crossing the Pecos River, Mrs. McElroy relates incident when he lost a borrowed watch, Worked in sandstone and limestone quarries as a stonecutter, Clock made with limestone case discussed.

Tape 1, Side 2: Established the first movie theater in Lubbock (1911), First movie—"The Fall of Troy", Also had a stage for live productions, Difficulties in booking and delivery of the movies, Recalls admission prices charged, Also leased a theater in Ralls and the Lindsey in, Lubbock for a time, Hiring piano players for the show, Acquaintances with other area pioneers mentioned, Norton J. Smith characterized, Knew Frank Wheelock family, Rollie Martin mentioned, Reasons for Lubbock’s rapid growth discussed, Financial interests since retiring from the movie business, Describes photograph of early Lubbock, Stonecutting tools discussed, Had a part in the establishment of Lubbock Power and Light, Anecdote about personal contribution to the establishment of Texas Tech, Additional remarks on operation of the picture show.

Tape 2, Side 1: Owned first movie theater in Lubbock, Lyric Theater, Describes eight-foot electric sign purchased, W. S. Posey’s offer of bank financing recalled, Types of projecting machines used, Story of pigeons turned loose in show, Acquaintance with the Lindsey theater family mentioned, Sale of stock in the theater, Comments by Mrs. McElroy on her husband’s independent thinking.

Tape 2, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1884-1912

Bulk Dates: 1899-1912

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


Thank you for your interest in this oral history interview. Our oral history collection is available to patrons in the Southwest Collection's Reading Room, located on the campus of Texas Tech University. For reading room hours, visit our website. Please contact Reference Staff at least one week prior to your visit to ensure the oral history you are interested in will be available. Due to copyright issues, duplications of our oral histories can only be made for family members. If an oral history transcript has been made available online, the link will be provided on this page. More information on accessing our oral histories is located here. Preferred citation style can be found here.