Tom and Evelyn Linebery

Thomas David Linebery was born May 21, 1910 in Brown County, Texas to James William Linebery (1865-1941) and Mary Annie Watkins Linebery (1879-1954). He moved to Midland, Texas in 1929 where one of his early jobs was being an elevator operator of the Petroleum Building. While in Midland, he met and later married Evelyn Catherine Scarborough. Evelyn was the daughter of William Francis Scarborough (1868-1939) and Kara Elizabeth Wyman (1866-1937). They were married in the fall of 1933.

William Francis was one of the sons of George Washington Scarborough and Mary Elizabeth Rutland. When they first came to Texas, the family settled near Waco in the 1870s. Before 1900, they moved to West Texas. William Francis settled there and became a successful cattleman. He expanded the ranch operation into New Mexico. Another son, George Adolphus was a well known lawman in Texas and New Mexico. He is known for having been involved in many famous cases including the shootout in which John Selman, the man who shot and killed former outlaw John Wesley Hardin, was killed. Another son was Lee Rutland, also well known. Lee Rutland was a Baptist minister who was closely associated with the establishment and growth during the early days of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he served as President for over thirty years.

Several years after Tom and Evelyn were married, her father William Francis died in 1939, and the couple took over management of the family ranches in Texas and Lea County, New Mexico, known by the name of the Frying Pan Ranch the brand of which is a circle with a line extending off to the right, resembling an old cook pan. The acreage was vast in 1939, perhaps as much as 45,000 acres but the ranch operation was deeply in debt. Tom and Evelyn worked for many years to keep the operation running and retired the debt some eleven years later. The ranch had begun as a Hereford ranch but gradually became successful as a Charolais operation.

Along the way, the Lineberys became as well known for their philanthropy as well as being successful ranchers. They were also active in civic organizations. They formed the Scarborough-Linebery Foundation and other charitable organization known as the Paragon Foundation.

Organizations that were beneficiaries of their foundations included Lea County’s College of the Southwest and its Scarborough Memorial Library, the West of the Pecos Rodeo, the West of the Pecos Museum, 4-H groups, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, East Texas Baptist University, San Angelo’s Baptist Memorial Hospital, the Ranching Heritage Center at Texas Tech University, Midland Memorial Hospital, Winkler County Historical Home and Park and many others.

Evelyn attended college at Wayland Baptist, Simmons (now Hardin-Simmons University) and Texas Tech University. One of their possibly lesser known charitable grants was the Linebery Six White Horse Endowment designed to permanently fund the costs to maintain the ceremonial horses that are symbolic of Hardin-Simmons University.

After Tom’s death on March 31, 2001, he was buried in Fairview Cemetery, Midland, Texas. Evelyn followed him in death on April 14, 2001 and was interred near him in the family plot. Their memory and their generosity lives on.

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