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Retro Rewind - Posted September 22, 2017 8:49 a.m.
Photo from Amarillo Public Library archives

Tuck Cornelius House

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Amarillo’s first doctor arrived in 1887. J.C. Cornelius hailed from Jacksboro, Texas, and decided to head west to find a climate that might benefit his sick wife. Joining the couple were their son, Hartwell Tucker “Tuck” Cornelius, and Tuck’s wife, Sallie. The family stopped for a few days in a new tent city called “Amarillo,” realized that the doctor’s services were needed, and decided to stay.

Eventually, Tuck Cornelius built his family a three-room house around his tent at 319 Parker St., using unplaned lumber brought by oxcart from Clarendon. It was in this house that Mayvi Amarillo Cornelius was born on July 18, 1888 – the first child born in Amarillo. J.C. Cornelius returned east soon after, but Tuck and Sallie decided to stay. He was named one of the city’s first commissioners, and in 1889 used logs to move his original house to the new Glidden and Sanborn addition. Located near the corner of Fourth and Fillmore, the Cornelius house was the oldest existing home in Amarillo until it was demolished in the mid-1900s. Tuck and his wife went on to have 10 children, including Rosalie and Rosalind, Amarillo’s first set of twins.

by Jason Boyett

Jason has written more than a dozen books and is the host and creator of “Hey Amarillo”, a local interview podcast. Visit and
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