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The Arrington Ranch house is the center of a lot of history. Captain George Washington Arrington, a Texas Ranger, built the house. Here is a little bit about the history and life of Captain George Washington Arrington.
1844 George Washington (Cap) Arrington, lawman and rancher, was born John C. Orrick, Jr., in Greensboro, Alabama, the son of John and Mariah (Arrington) Orrick. In 1861, at the age of sixteen, he enlisted in the Confederate Army, often doing undercover work as a spy. After murdering a black businessman at his hometown in June 1867, he made a brief trip to Central America before moving to Texas in 1870. At that time he adopted the name George Washington Arrington to break with his troubled past. He worked for the Houston and Texas Central Railway in Houston and later took a job at a commission house in Galveston. In 1874 he farmed briefly in Collin County; he was subsequently hired to help trail a cattle herd to Brown County.
Arrington Enlists in the Texas Rangers
Arrington was in Brown County in 1875 when he enlisted in Company E of the newly organized Frontier Battalion of Texas Rangers. After two years of service, Arrington was promoted to captain of company C because of his successful accomplishments of tracking down fugitives and outlaws. In July 1878 he was ordered to Fort Griffin to restore peace in the wake of vigilante activities. During the summer of 1879 Arringtons company was moved to the Panhandle to investigate depredations at area ranches. In September 1879, after moving around the state for a few years, Arrington established Camp Roberts, the first ranger camp in the Panhandle, east of the site of present Crosbyton. Because of his rank and achievements, he received the nickname "Cap."
Panhandle Ranching Opportunities
After over five years of experience, Arrington resigned from the rangers in the summer of 1882 to take advantage of Panhandle ranching opportunities. After helping area ranchers break up a major rustling ring, he was elected sheriff of Wheeler County and the fourteen counties attached to it. About that time he met Sarah (Sallie) Burnette, who had come to visit her sister Jane (Mrs. Henry L.) Eubank at the Connell-Eubank ranch. George and Sallie were married in her hometown, Westboro, Missouri, on October 18, 1882. The Arringtons became the parents of three sons and six daughters; the first son died in infancy.
Rocking Chair Ranch
Arrington served as county sheriff until 1890. In 1893, he was appointed manager of Rocking Chair Ranch. In that position Arrington made considerable improvements by shipping cattle, paying off accounts due, and interviewing prospective buyers. He remained manager until December 1896, when the Continental Land and Cattle Company bought the Rocking Chair lands. Arrington resumed management of his own ranch after 1896 and became more involved in the civic affairs of Canadian, where the family lived for seven years in the former home of Cape Willingham so the older children could attend school. Later the Arringtons built a new house at the ranch and helped establish a rural school in the vicinity. The house was ordered from the Van Tein catalog, delivered by railroad, moved in pieces by wagon the last ten miles, and set up on the prairie in 1919.
In his last years he suffered from arthritis and made frequent train trips to Mineral Wells for the hot baths. On one of these trips in 1923 he was stricken with a heart attack. He was taken to his home in Canadian, where he died on March 31. He was buried in the cemetery at Mobeetie. Sallie Arrington remained active in the Canadian WCTU and First Baptist Church, of which she was a charter member, until her death on June 1, 1945.