Dunkle family and the Ranger, Texas Oil Boom

Dunkle family and the Ranger, Texas Oil Boom - Stories


Sons of Civil War Vet

  • Farmington Township, Clarion County, Pennsylvania

George Washington and John Wesley Dunkle were the 4th and 5th children of Civil War vet Preston Fitzgerald Dunkle and his wife Rachel Barr.

1870 US Census

  • Farmington, Clarion, Pennsylvania

Family of Preston F. Dunkle and Rachel Barr Dunkle in 1870:

Preston Dunkle - 35 years old

Rachel Dunkle - 28 years old

Henry Dunkle - 11 years old

Alice Dunkle - 5 years old

Martha Dunkle - 3 years old

George Dunkle - 1 year old

John Dunkle - 1 year old

Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Farmington, Clarion, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1326; Page: 446; Image: 210.

1880 US Census

  • Mill Creek, Clarion, Pennsylvania

Family of Preston F. Dunkle and Rachel Barr Dunkle in 1880:

Preston - 49 years old

Rachel - 35 years old

Mary A. - 15 years old

Martha - 13 years old

George W. - 10 years old

John W. - 10 years old

Frank M. - 4 years old

Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Mill Creek, Clarion, Pennsylvania; Roll: T9_1118; Family History Film: 1255118; Page: 415.2000; Enumeration District: 84; Image: 0223.

John W. Dunkle Marries

  • Maryville, New York

In 1897, John married Marjorie Rae Buzard (known as Rae) in New York state.  She was the daughter of Isaac Henry Buzard and Mary Gordon Buzard.  Rae was born 21 January 1878 in Kossuth, Clarion County, Pennsylvania and died 15 January 1967 in Ranger, Eastland County, Texas.

Because John and Rae married in New York instead of Pennsylvania, I wonder if Rae's father did not approve of the match.  According to MapQuest, the distance between Kossuth, PA and Mayville, NY is 82 miles.  My research shows that John and Rae's daughter Leone was born a year to the month after her parents marriage.

1900 US Census

  • Rockland, Venango, Pennsylvania

I am unable to find John Dunkle in the 1900 Census.  I did locate his wife, Marjorie Rae Buzard, and 2 daughters living as boarders in the family of Elmer E Hessler.

Mrs. John Dunkle - 22 years old

Leone Dunkle - 2 years old

Mabelle Dunkle - 4/12 years old

Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Rockland, Venango, Pennsylvania; Roll: T623 1491; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 164

1910 US Census

  • Kern County, California

Family of John W. Dunkle and M. Rae Buzard Dunkle in 1910:

John W. - 40 years old (occupation: Tool Dresser on oil wells)

Rae M. - 32 years old

Leone M. - 12 years old

Mabelle R. - 10 years old

Ralph D. - 7 years old

Winnifred R. - 5 years old

Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Township 16, Kern, California; Roll: T624_78; Page: 17A; Enumeration District: 235; Image: 1458


1920 US Census

  • Ranger, Eastland County, Texas

Family of John W. Dunkle and M. Rae Buzard Dunkle in 1920:

John W. - 49 years old (occupation: Driller in oil field_

Rae - 40 years old (occupation: Real Estate)

Mabelle - 20 years old

Ralph - 17 years old

Winifred - 14 years old

Source Citation: Year: 1920;Census Place: Ranger, Eastland, Texas; Roll: T625_1797; Page: 27B; Enumeration District: 104; Image: 74

The Handbook of Texas Online's Ranger entry - lots of great info on the history of Ranger, Texas


  • Ranger, Eastland County, Texas

Article by John Dunkle's daughter Leone Dunkle O'Donnell

Mabelle's future husband

  • Ranger, Eastland County, Texas

By 1920, the gas and oil industry brought a young Oklahoman man named Rolla Byron Winn Gordon to Ranger.  Two years later, in September 1922, RW Gordon married John Dunkle's daughter Mabelle.  RW and Mabelle's children:

  • June Marjorie (born 29 June 1923 - died 5 March 2006)
  • Winnifred Ester (born 4 January 1925 - died 1 May 1999)
  • Byron Winn (born 13 August 1926 - died 13 Mar 1995)
  • Vera Rae (born 4 June 1928 - died 6 April 1991 )

RW and Mabelle remained married until her death on 31 October1977.  RW passed away two years later on 12 December 1979.

John Wesley Dunkle dies

  • Ranger, Eastland County, Texas

John was survived by his wife Rae, daughters Leone, Mabelle, and Winnifred, son Ralph, and several grandchildren.  His granddaughter Winnifred Gordon Derr (Mabelle's 2nd daughter) named her eldest son John (born 1948) after her grandfather Dunkle.

Rae later remarried Homer Hodges.  She is buried between her two husbands in the family plot in Ranger, Texas.

    Well done. Thanks Marsha Horton great granddaughter of John Dunkle.