J.B. Buchanan Vintage Windmill Collection


Spearman hosted the 2002 International Windmill Tradefair


The original collection was located just south of Spearman at Mr. Buchanan's homeplace.

J.B. Buchanan's passion for windmills began at age three.  That fascination manifested itself the day his mother frantically clambered up the rough boards of the Currie Mill on her Oklahoma ranch to retrieve her youngest son. 

That was in 1909.

In 1998, at age 92, J.B. climbed his last mill. At least it's the last one he admits to climbing -an 89 year old habit is hard to break.  (*see note)

J.B.'s passion became the town's pride and joy when he decided to relocate the collection to a five acre plot of land, donated by some local businessmen.  "I'll miss them," he said of the mechanical giants.  "I've loved them all my life."

The move was a logical one.  Mr. Buchanan has been solely responsible for their care and maintenance for more than thirty years.  The landmarks will be carefully disassembled, and one by one, the cluster that marked this flat Panhandle horizon will become a priceless display on the edge of Spearman, Texas.

J.B.'s grandson, Roger, together with some area promoters, began the Southwestern Pioneer Windmill Association.  This association is open to anyone who loves and appreciates the heritage of windmills, no matter where they live.


*In the summer of 2000, very close to J.B's 94th birthday, members of the Amalgamated Windmill Workers raised a few windmills and J.B. had this photo taken as he climbed atop.
Many of the mills have been restored and moved to their new locations at the J.B. Buchanan Windmill Park, as the community gets ready to host the International Windmill Tradefair 2002.
There are currently 24 mills standing throughout the city.
The newly completed Lighted Windmill Walking Trail (below),  was an $800,000.00 grant project by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the City of Spearman, the Spearman Independent School District, and the Southwestern Pioneer Windmill Association..  The land was donated by Mr. Ralph Blodgett, former Spearman mayor and a dedication was held on Friday, October 12, 2001.
Pictured are Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Blodgett as State Representative Warren Chisum cuts the ribbon.

windmill stuff for sale

Rites Set for collector of windmills....
SPEARMAN--World famous windmill collector JB Buchanan, died Monday.  He was 96.  "He grew up loving and listening to windmills singing in the wind....clitter-clatter of sucker rods going up and down," his grandson Roger Buchanan once said.
Buchanan started collecting windmills in 1965, at age 59.  The first windmill he put up in 1965 was an original wooden Eclipse he found crated at an old store in New Mexico. 
Buchanan learned alot about windmills while working for a well driller.  "If it hadn't been for the windmill, this country (the Panhandle) wouldn't have been settled yet,"  Buchanan told the Globe News in 1990.  "The played a more important part  in settling it here than the barbed wire fence or the six-shooter because people couldn't have gotten by without the water."  Buchanan donated 14 windmills to the city of Spearman.  In 1999, they were moved from his farm to a public display on the edge of Spearman.  Since the donation, the Southwestern Pioneer Windmill Association was formed, and the group has restored more than 30 vintage windmills.
Buchanan was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Spearman, and a member of the Hansford Lodge No. 1040 A.F. & A.M.  He was past Worshipful Master and a 50 year Mason.  He also donated windmills to the Smithsonian Institution.  He was 1999 Spearman Citizen of the Year.
Survivors include his wife, Ila Mae Buchanan of Spearman; son Burl Buchanan of Spearman; four sisters, Louise Vaught of Amarillo, Edna Bassel of Amarillo, Helen Fisher of Spearman, and Virginia Cates of  Amarillo; granddaughter Jan Buchanan of Amarillo; grandson Roger Buchanan of Spearman; and great-great nephew, Bryce Jarvis of Spearman.
The family requests memorials go to the Southwestern Pioneer Windmill Association, % PO Box 805, Spearman, Texas 79081.  Service set for 2 P.M. at Hansford Cemetery in Spearman, with the Rev. Ken Cole officiating.
(Amarillo Globe News January 8, 2003)