John Chambers, Merchant

Gerlach Brothers Road Ranch & Store

Johnnie Chambers was born near Granville, Texas in 1860. After being orphaned young, he and his sister were raised by their grandparents. By the age of 14, he quit school and went to work as a cowboy in the wild Indian country that was then the Panhandle of Texas. He worked on cattle drives to Dodge, Kansas and ultimately was hired by Dave Hargrave in 1883 to work on the Springer Ranch near Canadian.

Later he went into business with Los Hayes opening a mercantile store on Main Street in Canadian. In 1892, John bought out Hayes and remained in business for 36 years. Shown at left is an early picture of the interior of the Chambers Store in Canadian.

John convinced Myrtle Winsett, sister to Elizabeth Johnson and Bragg Hoover, to marry him. They had two children, Frank in 1896 and Pauline in 1898. Frank married Gwen Jones, daughter of Tom Jones and they ultimately inherited the Allen portion of the Jones ranch. He joined the bank staff of the First National in Canadian when it began in 1921 with J.F. Johnson, President, H.S. Wilbur, cashier and A.V. McQuiddy as vice president.