Tuesday, December 26, 2000
I lived most of my life in a town on the Southeast edge of
Dallas called Balch Springs. Do you know where the name came
from? Everyone always calls it Belching Waters. Thanks, Tracy
Dear Tracy, According to the Handbook of Texas, in 1870, Balch
Springs was named for landowner John Balch, who found
the three springs, one of which was never dry. The perennial
spring was kept cleaned and bricked up and became a gathering
place for families in the area to fill their buckets and talk.
Hope this helps! -Texpert
December 26, 2000
Where is Hanley,Texas?
Dear Gary, I'm not sure about Hanlet, but Henly, Texas, is
on US 290 abot 30 miles west of Austin. The small ranching
communty serves as the gateway to Pedernales Falls State Park.
Thanks for asking! -Texpert
November 13, 2000
We manage the Lone Star Internet web site at http://www.lone-star.net.
We have received several requests asking us where the "Lone
Star" association with Texas came from. I realize the
flag has but one "lone" star, but was wondering if there were
any other reasons Texas is the "Lone Star State" or possibly
reasons the flag has only one star. Thanks in advance for
your help! Ken Biggs, President, Lone Star Internet, Inc.
Ken, When I lead folks through the Capitol in Austin, I ask
them this same question. Only a few natives know that, when
Texas fought and won our independence, we has no official
help from any other nation. Almost entirely volunteers, our
army was all alone in our struggle for freedom. That fierce
spirit of independence continues today. -Texpert
October 24, 2000
My grandfather helped re-build the Ft Davis historic site
outside of Marfa. I did some reading and know that it was
originally a buffalo soldier post and that not much action
really happened there. But out of curiosity (and a report
due a few weeks), can you give me some info on the rate of
attrition/casualties due to Apache (or other Indian) activities?
Granted, the heat and landscape probably did some damage,
too. Thanks for your help, Jason
My own great-grandfather was a blacksmith at Fort Davis in
the 1870s. Try writing the the superintendent at the fort:
http://www.nps.gov/foda/| They've got extensive records and
can probably help you find more info. --Texpert
My daughter needs to know why Texas is called the land of
contrast. She needs the answer for a school project tomorrow.
Because of her incredibly diverse geography, varied culture,
unique history, and always-changing weather, Texas earned
the nickname " Land of Contrast" back in the 1960s. Other
titles include "The Friendship State," "The Wildflower State,"
and, currently, "A Whole Other Country." - Texpert
understand that I am considered a foreigner since I am from
Missouri, but actually Missouri and Texas are more linked
than you might know. Do you know what Texas city was once
the capital of Missouri? Rebecca S
Marshall, Texas, was the capital of Missouri in the final
days of the Civil War. -- Texpert
Webmaster's Note: See Marshall
("All Things Historical" Column, 8-13-00), and
What happened to "Mims Chapel," located in Cass/Marion Counties.
Where was its actual location? Does it still exist? I can't
find it. - Angela
Handbook of Texas reports that Mims Chapel, also known
as Mims, fifteen miles northeast of Carthage off Farm Road
1186 in northeastern Panola County, was probably first settled
after the Civil War and grew up around a church of the same
| name. After World War II, many of the residents moved away,
and by the mid-1960s only a church and a few scattered houses
remained in the area. In the early 1990s Mims Chapel was a
dispersed rural community. I couldn't find Mims on any maps!
info on Mabank, Texas ?
Woo, Mabank, in southeastern Kaufman County, got its name
from two landowners, Mason and Eubank, who lured the railroad
to their area around 1900. Tourism from nearby Cedar Creek
Reservoir is an important souce of income for its residents.
Is there a town in Texas called "Lollipop" ? Thanks, Lynn
Dear Lynn, Not that I could find, but the Gulf Oil building
in downtown Houston formerly displayed a giant revolving neon
version of its orange logo. Locals called it the "lollipop."
Texpert: As a child, my father worked for "the phone company"
in downtown Fort Worth and I was always fascinated by the
old Flatiron building on the corner of 9th and Houston. I
now work for the same company in the same building that he
used to and pass by the Flatiron everyday. It still fascinates
me and I continue to question it's history and style of architecture.
I tried the Fort Worth convention/visitor's web site but could
find nothing about historic buildings on that site. Any information
or reference books that tell of the Flatiron history and style
would be greatly appreciated. I am especially curious about
the lion heads that circle the top of the first floor. Were
they designed to be rain spouts for water drainage? It's been
over a month since we've seen rain here, so I've never had
a chance to observe this theory. - Ms. P. J. Harbruck
Harbruck, From the New Handbook of Texas: The Flatiron
Building in Fort Worth, designed by Sanguinet and Staatsqv
in 1907, was one of the earliest skyscrapers in the Southwest,
and at the time of its construction was one of the tallest
buildings in North Texas. The 2,755 square-foot seven-story
reinforced concrete and steel structure, the first of its
kind in Fort Worth, was erected as a professional office building
for Bacon Saunders, pioneer of medicine in Texas and dean
of Fort Worth Medical College. It is situated at the corner
of Ninth and Houston streets. The wedge-shaped site dictated
the building's unusual triangular plan, similar to the famed
Flatiron Building designed by Daniel Burnham in New York in
1902, from which it derived its name. The building's composition,
a two-story base and a five-story body capped by a large cornice
with sixteen terra-cotta lions' heads, echoed Chicago architect
Louis Sullivan's practice of dividing high-rise structures
into a base, shaft, and crown. The ornamentation, which is
vaguely Sullivanesque, also suggests links with the contemporary
Chicago School. The building became a state historical landmark
in 1969 and was listed on the National Register of Historic
Places in 1971; it is the only flatiron building in Texas
and one of five on the National Register. Let's pray for rain
to test those lions' heads! Hope this helps. - Texpert
am interested in the history of the West Indies Co. It is
my understanding that it was a rice mill of sorts in El Campo
TX. I have searched all over the web and seem unable to find
anything on it.
It's now known as Hancock Rice. For more info, here's a view
of the company's historical mural: http://www.wcnet.net/elcampo/muralsof.htm
Ask another! - Texpert
in Gregg and Harrison counties -- Is this area "tropical,"
"sub-tropical," "semi-arid," "arid," etc.? Am having a running
arguement with someone. know it sounds insignificant, but
I would really like to know. Can you cite me a source on the
Internet to bone up on the area? THANKS!!!! - C
"Tropical" refers to how far from the equator we are. Everyplace
between 23.5 and 35 degrees north latitude is "subtropical."
Thus, all of Texas except the upper Panhandle is subtropical.
"Arid" is all about rainfall--or lack of it. With nearly 45
inches of annual precipitation, Northeast Texas is considered
humid. In Austin, we're subhumid (20"-40"/yr); West Texas
is semiarid (10"-20"/yr). If you get 10 inches or less, you're
arid. For more info on Texas' climate, try http://www.met.tamu.edu/met/osc/osc.html
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