AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR / KCIT) – In the heart of North Heights is a park named after the man who built the neighborhood and made it what it is today.
This park is Bones Hooks Park. Bones Hooks is a pioneer and a man of many new features here in the high plains.
There is a mural in Canyon with four figures who made the High Plains what they are today.
One of these characters is Matthew Hooks, better known as “Bones”.
Hooks was born in Robertson County in 1867 to formerly enslaved parents. When he was nine, Hooks drove a feed wagon for Denton County Cattleman D. Steve Donald.
Hooks was one of the first black cowboys to work alongside whites as ranch workers.
“It was black cowboys like Bones Hooks who shaped what we are today. You played a huge role here in Amarillo, Texas, and Bones Hook’s legacy continues in our city today, ”said David McCoy Lovejoy, first vice president of the Amarillo NAACP office
An important contribution that Hooks worked on was the establishment of the North Heights subdivision in Amarillo.
Courtesy of the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum
North Heights Advisory Association executive committee member Melodie Graves said the neighborhood has become a vibrant community
“You look at Delvins, you look at Golden Gate, 18th Street Discount and Cafe. The Norths Heights area is growing as part of the Rezoning Committee. We’re working to bring more business to our community, ”said Graves.
Hook’s concern for young people led him to start the Dogie Club, an organization for disadvantaged black children. It gave boys the opportunity to camp and participate in organized sports. They planted trees on the property that would one day be renamed in honor of Hooks.
Courtesy of the Amarillo Public Library Archives
His generosity left him penniless towards the end of his life, but Hooks’ kindness was repaid when friends built a fund for his care when he fell ill.
“It shows a person’s power in what that one person can do with their vision and what they can change,” said Graves.
Hooks died in 1951 at the age of 84.
Hooks was also known for giving white flowers to the families of deceased pioneers.
It is said that he sent over 500 individual flowers in his life, including one to each of the 48 nations present at the United Nations Conference in San Francisco in 1945.
More from MyHighPlains.com: