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  • Texas Small Town Sagas

    "Never tell a story because it is true:
    tell it because it is a good story." - John Pentland Mahaffy
    NEW
  • Bureaucratic Mutilations in Spanish Goliad or "Can You Hear Me Now?" by Mike Cox 4-3-14
  • A Fiddler’s Redemption by Clay Coppedge 3-1-14
  • Two Ranchhands Meet Judge Lynch by Mike Cox 9-25-13
  • "Skelped" by Mike Cox 8-29-13
  • Steamboat Races and Tragedies by Mike Cox 5-29-13
  • Austin Mystery Murders by Mike Cox 11-21-12
  • Big Wind From Winnetka a Mere Breeze Compared To the Big Blow In Beaumont by Frances Giles 11-9-12
  • Big Tex: Son of Santa by Mike Cox 10-24-12
  • The Fire in the State Capitol by Mike Cox 10-18-12
  • The Deadly Tower by Murray Montgomery 9-18-12
  • Three Tragedies by Bob Bowman 8-19-12
  • 1943 Secret Storm by Wanda Orton 6-17-12
  • Tex Thornton: King of the oilfield firefighters and rainmaker by Clay Coppedge 5-1-12
  • Browse Texas Sagas by Subjects:
  • Murders, Hangings, Gun Fights, Mysteries, Robberies
  • Hardship, War and Famine
  • Storms
  • Disasters and Adventure
  • Passion and Pathos
  • Romance
  • Buildings are People Too
  • This Ain't No Mayberry
  • Naming Texas Towns
  • Small Town Chronicles
    For Ghosts/Folk Tales, see:
  • Texas Ghosts, Haunted Places & More
  • Father Joseph Keller
  • The Tar and Feathering of Father Joseph M. Keller, Slaton, Texas, 1920's by James Villanueva 10-1-10
    On a Saturday night, March 4, 1922, in Slaton, what may have begun as a whisper, an aside, a comment, or just mindless chatter amongst neighbors, transformed the community...
  • Murder, Mysteries, Robberies, Hangings .....

  • Bureaucratic Mutilations in Spanish Goliad or "Can You Hear Me Now?" by Mike Cox 4-3-14
  • A Fiddler’s Redemption by Clay Coppedge 3-1-14
  • Two Ranchhands Meet Judge Lynch by Mike Cox 9-25-13
    In the late winter of 1896, two Waggoner Ranch cowboys took a notion that robbing banks would be less work – and definitely more profitable -- than wrangling cattle...
  • "Skelped" by Mike Cox 8-29-13
    Life on the Texas frontier sometimes made men out of boys and forced women into decidedly gritty, non-traditional roles.
  • Austin Mystery Murders by Mike Cox 11-21-12
    Only a village with a few hundred residents in 1841, Austin experienced at least a couple of homicides that year that by today’s standards read more like big-city whodunits.
  • Lawman's interview provides historical insight by Delbert Trew 9-25-12
  • The Deadly Tower by Murray Montgomery 9-18-12
    One of the saddest days in Texas history occurred August 1, 1966...
  • Tex Thornton: King of the oilfield firefighters and rainmaker by Clay Coppedge 5-1-12
  • Lizzie Hay and the Demise of the Lone Highwayman by Mike Cox 2-9-12
  • The Ghost of Thurber by Bob Hopkins 9-28-11
  • Drought and Skeleton by Mike Cox 9-22-11
    Skeleton in Brackettville...
  • Gallant Texas Ranger killed in Mexico by Murray Montgomery 8-12-11
  • The Murdered Sheriff by Bob Bowman 7-10-11
    Angelina County Sheriff William Reed (Bill) McMullen was one of the men who was killed during a feud between the Gilley and Windham families at Homer in the 1860s...
  • Science Hill by Bob Bowman 6-19-11
    Sitting atop a scenic hilltop in southwestern Henderson County, Science Hill lasted only a few decades, but its reputation as a center of education is well-remembered by descendants of its founders and builders. So is its violence in the early days of the Civil War...
  • Ernst Tinaja by Mike Cox 6-16-11
    A geologic feature in Big Bend National Park called Ernst Tinaja, a deep natural water hole dug out of the bedrock over the millenia by erosion—a place of beauty tainted by a history of death.
  • The Revenge of 'Devil John' McCoy by Murray Montgomery 6-3-11
    John McCoy, called “Devil John” because of his bravery and daring, wasn’t one to forgive and forget. One of his neighbors was killed and horribly mutilated. Suspicion rested upon a tribe of friendly Lipan Indians in the neighborhood...
  • George Washington’s Execution by Bob Bowman 12-26-10
    When the Texas prison system plugged in its electric chair in 1924, would you believe that George Washington was one of the first four men to be executed? Don’t laugh, it really happened...
  • Prairie Fire by Mike Cox 12-16-10
    A raging winter prairie fire. an arsonist, and post Civil War justice in Hunt County.
  • The Legend of Campbell’s Branch by Murray Montgomery 12-9-10
    If you leave Hallettsville traveling on FM 957 towards Breslau, you will cross over a small creek named West Campbell Branch – known as just plain “Campbell Branch” to most folks. Recently I came across a fascinating story, from 1944, about the legend of Campbell’s Branch...
  • The Murder of Dr. Sam Houston Adams; Slaton, Texas, 1930s by James Villanueva 11-1-10
    The murder of Dr. Sam Houston Adams is not a tragic tale. It’s not necessarily a gloomy story. Nor is it a hopeful story about overcoming hardships or tribulations. It’s not quite folklore either. No. For lack of a better description, it is simply - a love story.
  • RL Tudor Takes the Stand; Slaton, Texas 1932 by James Villanueva 12-1-10
    R.L. watched as his son was buried beneath a copper colored stone with the name, Woody, etched on it...
  • Smuggling Liquor by C. F. Eckhardt 9-4-10
    From 1919 until 1933 the United States was in the throes of one of the worst mistakes it has ever made—prohibition. Texas has the longest border with Mexico of any state. Mexico had no prohibition. Just across the Rio Grande was a very thirsty state...
  • Frontier justice followed crime increase by Delbert Trew 8-24-10
    Today's instant communication network, finger-printing methods and DNA testing of criminals is a long way from the crude identification methods of the old-time sheriff or town marshal...
  • A Hanging in Austin by Mike Cox 8-19-10
    Forty years ago, the late Edmunds Travis of Austin told me about a hanging he reluctantly covered for the Austin daily he edited in 1913...
  • Hanging a Dead Man by Bob Bowman 3-14-10
    George Hughes of Sherman may have been the only man in East Texas to be lynched while he was dead...
  • Law and order used to be so very different by Delbert Trew 3-3-10
    Law and order came slowly in the West, because it required decent citizens, fed up with crime and carousing, to finally stand up and put up the money to hire a sheriff or marshal...

  • “Death by Rope” by Bob and Doris Bowman 2-26-10
    The book explores 49 lynchings and legal hangings in East Texas between 1862 and 1942.
  • Dueling by Clay Coppedge 2-24-10
    The Huston-Johnston Duel in Feb. 5, 1837
  • Hazlewood Fight by Mike Cox 2-18-10
    Though several writers over the years have offered a version of the Hazlewood story, no one seems to have explained the old guns found that spring night 65 years after the battle. Nor has anything turned up indicating what happened to the vintage firearms beyond having been displayed for a time at a Breckenridge movie house.
  • A Very Personal Ghost and the Hanging on Sawyer Oak by C. F. Eckhardt
    I’ve come to the conclusion, over the years, that when it comes to ghosts there are two sorts of people—those who realize ghosts exist and those who don’t want to realize it. One of the sure ways to become one of the first variety is to see a ghost. However, even if you see a ghost, you may not realize at once what you’ve seen. I know. It happened to me...
  • John Roan Mystery by Mike Cox
    On Dec. 13, 1879, the Atlanta Constitution published a brief story that should have been big news in Texas, but somehow no editor in the Lone Star state picked up on the Georgia daily’s report. The story dealt with the purported solution of a 29-year-old mystery in Central Texas, the disappearance of one John Roan...
  • Baled in a Bale by Mike Cox
    Though most of the ginning is done by brainless machinery, the industry’s human element has developed a colorful folklore with a range of subsets. But no ginning story can top the occasional tale of a body in a bale.
  • A gunfight in Hemphill by Bob Bowman
    With deep roots in East Texas, John Wesley Hardin was our most famous outlaw and gunfighter, but many of his raids and shootings in the pineywoods have remained unchronicled. A little-known incident in which he won a gunfight with a Sabine County deputy sheriff at Hemphill...
  • Susan's Indians by Mike Cox
    Early one morning, Rebecca and her niece, Susan Jane Ayres, happened to be on the porch of the Duncan cabin when startled by an Indian woman who stuck her head up from a place of concealment in a nearby draw ...
  • Pistol Packing Mamma by Bob Bowman
    One of the most popular songs in the U.S. during the mid-1940s was “Pistol Packing Mama.” But few know that the song came from East Texas... Cherokee County Sheriff Bill Brunt was killed in a shootout with bootlegger Red Creel near Rusk in 1939...
  • A Gruesome Prophecy Tattooed on a Soldier’s Breast
  • Treasury Raid by Mike Cox
    When the bell atop the First Baptist Church started clanging about 9 o’clock that Sunday night, it was not a call to worship. It was June 11, 1865. A full moon hung over Austin, a city of some 4,000 residents.

  • Doak Good by Clay Coppedge
    Good was involved in a fabled but implausible shootout with another rambunctious pioneer of the day, Gabe Henson.
  • Garrett Murder by C. F. Eckhardt
    One of the many unsolved mysteries of the West.
  • White Buffalo by Mike Cox
    "A group of buffalo hunters had gotten drunk and were working on getting drunker. As the Webb boys got the story, the recently departed fellow had killed in a man while arguing over cards..."
  • Murder at a school by Bob Bowman
    During the evening of March 12, 1926, as students and parents watched a play at Center Point school in Trinity County...
  • Hardin's Shotgun by Mike Cox
    John Wesley Hardin's shotgun used by him to kill the Sheriff of DeWitt County, the most notorious of the men who had served in the State Police of the early 1870s...
  • Longhorn Branded Murder 1889 by Murray Montgomery
    To the cowboys who rode the range in West Texas during the [1890s] there was one longhorn steer that was always an object of dread. He was a big, white fellow with “Murder 1889” branded in huge letters on his left side. His appearance among their herds brought a chill of terror to the superstitious...
  • Hanging preceded death of a town by Delbert Trew
    Chipita Rodriquez died on Friday, Nov. 13th, 1863. She is believed to be the only woman ever legally hanged by the state of Texas. Though guilty by circumstantial evidence only, her death seemed to place a curse on the town of San Patricio, Texas, as it signaled the beginning of the end of the small settlement...
  • Bud Newman, part II by Mike Cox
    About 11 p.m. on June 9, 1898 at a point called Coleman Switch about four miles west of Santa Anna, Newman and three other masked men descended on a Santa Fe passenger train...
  • Bud Newman Gang by Mike Cox
    Bud Newman didn’t amount to much as an outlaw, but not for lack of grit...
  • Ben's Pistol by Mike Cox
    Whatever became of Ben Thompson’s six-shooter?
    Thompson, a British-born former Texas Ranger and soldier of fortune with a penchant for booze and gambling, made quite a reputation as city marshal of Austin in the early 1880s. His life ended violently in San Antonio on the night of March 11, 1884 when someone gunned him down along with former outlaw-turned-lawman King Fisher of Uvalde...
  • Santa Robber by Mike Cox
    Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” stands as an enduring classic, but truth being stranger than fiction, Texas can claim one of the nation’s more bizarre real-life holiday tales – a story of a Santa Claus gone bad...
  • The Mystery of Lady Bountiful by Bob Bowman
    November 22 will mark the 85th anniversary of an East Texas murder that created a still-lingering mystery and put a timber baroness in a pauper’s grave.
  • The Bones in the Courthouse Crawlspace by Johnny Stucco
    What the exterminator saw...
  • “Witch’s Gate” by Johnny Stucco
    In Cold Blood: Clay County, Texas 1975
    A needless killing for a fortune that wasn’t there.
  • Tragedy in South Texas: Reading Black - Unionist, George Washington - Wall Confederate by Linda Kirkpatrick
    The northern end of South Texas is still considered by many as a remote, desolate area that could only be home to rattlesnakes, horned toads, scorpions and occasionally an outlaw...
  • Sullivan Mike Cox
    Ex-Ranger W.S.J. Sullivan, and the hanging of condemned preacher Morrison, the last man ever legally hanged in Wilbarger County.
  • Horrell-Higgins Feud in Lampasas County by Clay Coppedge
  • Bloody Christmas by C. F. Eckhardt
    The Murder of LaSalle County Sheriff Charles B. McKinney
  • Looking for Hangings by Bob Bowman
    Before the electric chair gave Texas an alternative way of punishing murderers and the like, Texas counties had the local authority to hang criminals...
  • John Ringo by Mike Cox
    "It didn't play out quite like a scene from "Gunsmoke," but two of the Old West's more notorious characters faced each other in Austin's red light district in 1881..."
  • "No Gallows" by Bob Bowman
    The names of some East Texas towns can be downright confusing. And much of the confusion arises from mispronunciations which, during the passage of time, have become actual names.
  • Belle Starr The Bandit Queen by Maggie Van Ostrand
    "I regard myself as a woman who has seen much of life," said Belle Star to The Fort Smith Elevator in 1888, a year before she died...
  • Shootout at Shafter
    Ranger Meets His End on New Years Day 1940
    Story and photos courtesy of William G. Howell
  • Yoakum's Soda-Pop War by Murray Montgomery
    It seems that people will often fight over some mighty ridiculous things. I remember a while back seeing a story, in the Hallettsville paper from well over 100 years ago, where a fellow shot and killed his partner just for playing the wrong domino. People in the old days took things pretty seriously, to say the least...
  • The 1862 Hangings at Gainesville Texas by W.T. Block
    Certainly one of the worst atrocities of the Civil War occurred in Gainesville, Texas in Oct. 1862, when 40 men, suspected of Union sympathies, were hanged...
  • The Night the Posse Chased Santa by Maggie Van Ostrand
    December 23 will mark the 79th anniversary of the bloody melodrama which was about to take place in the town of Cisco in West Central Texas, on the day before Christmas Eve 1927. I know about it because of an article written at the time by the great Texas columnist, Boyce House. He should know. He was there...
  • O. Henry and the Shoal Creek Treasure by C. F. Eckhardt
    "...While Santa Anna was trying to put down the Texas rebellion of 1836, two high-ranking Mexican officers-one was, so the story goes, the paymaster, the other a high-ranking general-decided to steal the entire payroll for the Mexican Army in Texas. ...In the meantime, two of the common soldiers hatched a plan of their own. Why enrich the paymaster? Why not kill him-and the other five soldiers-and have the fortune to themselves?..."
  • The Worst Feud by Bob Bowman
    The deadliest feud happened in East Texas between 1840 and 1844. The Regulator and Moderators War was the first and largest American feud in numbers of participants and fatalities.
  • William Marsh Rice by Archie P. McDonald
    Everyone loves a murder mystery, especially if the murder happened a long time ago and did not involve someone they know. The story of William Marsh Rice's demise is such a case...
  • The Case of Beaumont's Missing Marble Corpse by W. T. Block, Jr. ("Cannonball's Tales")
    It was July of 1901 in Beaumont, and the frenzy of oil excitement rushed on unabated... In the midst of all the oil madness, there emerged one of the strangest tales ever to unfold in the "sawdust city," the case of Beaumont's missing corpse that had turned to stone...
  • The Gunfight that Killed Helena by C. F. Eckhardt
    "The Colonel's son has been gunned down, in cold blood or so the story implies..."
  • Murder of Local Doctor During Reconstruction by Murray Montgomery
    After the Civil War ended, folks in Texas and throughout the South underwent a phase in time known as "Reconstruction." During this period, the states that had previously been part of the Confederacy were now subject to military rule as well as, occupation by Union troops...
  • Seth Carey's Escape from the Murderous Yocum Gang by W. T. Block
    Just another fly caught up in Yocum's web of murder and intrigue, Carey not only survived his slated assassination and dismemberment in Yocum's alligator slough, but he lived instead to finger the gang and account for its destruction.
  • A criminal or a saint? You never know by Delbert Trew
    "Route 66 certainly endured its share of crime in its heyday."
  • Yocum's Inn: The Devil's Own Lodging by W T Block Jr.
    "A gentleman's life...held no attraction for Squire Yocum, a man who literally was nursed almost from the cradle on murder and rapine, and for many years Yocum's Inn was actually a den of robbers and killers..."
  • Hardin Shootings at Albuquerque by Charley Eckhardt
  • Book Burning by Mike Cox
    “'Where they have burned books,' German poet Johann Heinrich Heine wrote in the 19th century, 'they will end in burning human beings.'
    Indeed, Texans have done both...."
  • Freeny Hanging by Mike Cox
    "... No matter White’s official status, most folks remembered him as the sheriff who hanged a tenant farmer named George Freeny for killing his son-in-law..."
  • Poisoned Supper by Bob Bowman
    A tragic, unthinkable incident in the spring of 1847, frequently associated with the Regulator-Moderator War, remains after 157 years one of East Texas’ worst mass murders -- if it was murder.
  • PRAIRIE DELL, Tranquil setting belies past by Clay Coppedge 9-24-04
    The principle set for the sequel to the movie "Texas Chainsaw Massacre."
  • Poison Doc by Mike Cox
    Herman Webster Mudgett, America’s first serial killer
  • How Bonnie and Clyde Were Caught by Bob Bowman
  • Rockledge, A Panhandle Ghost Community by Delbert Trew
    Two murders and a bank robbery
  • Murder at Camp Swift 1942 - The Tragic Death of Little Lucy Maynard by John Troesser
  • Camp Bowie by Mike Cox
    On the night of May 5, 1837, two officers of the Republic of Texas' army lay asleep in their tent at Camp Bowie. Only one of them would wake up.
  • McDade Hanging by Mike Cox
    While not quite on the level of "A Christmas Carol," "The Miracle on 42nd Street," or "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," the story of the McDade Christmas clean up has become one of Texas' more frequently told Yuletide tales.
  • A Famous Murder by Bob Bowman
    80th anniversary of one of East Texas' most famous mysteries
  • Range King by Mike Cox ("Texas Tales" column)
    "It can't atone for his murder, or even the apparent contempt of those who buried him, but at least James W. King lies in a beautiful cemetery."
  • Pearl by Mike Cox ("Texas Tales" column)
    Pearl was tried and convicted in Brown County. The jury's finding in regard to his punishment was easily written on a single piece of paper: Death by hanging.
  • Looking for Old Murders by Bob Bowman
    Between the 1860s and 1940s, East Texas produced some of the strangest murders in Texas.
  • Cranfill - by Mike Cox
    For about the last quarter of the 19th century, and the first two decades of the 20th century, being a "wet" or a "dry" defined a Texan politically much more accurately than being Democrat or Republican. Both sides of the issue passionately believed they were in the right. Often, they were willing to fight over their belief, sometimes to the death.
  • The Barrymore Shooting by Bob Bowman
    Someone asked John Barrymore, the patriarch of America's famous family of thespians, what he thought about Texas. In his deep, resonant voice, Barrymore replied: "Texas is a no man's land where sudden death lurks in every bistro." He had good reason for feeling that way.
  • The Bank Robbery (Dalton Gang, 1894) by Bob Bowman
  • Bill Longley Does Not Get Along Well With Others. A Visit to the Giddings City Cemetery
  • The Day Doc Newton Robbed Bonnie Parker's Bank - He could've been charged with disturbing one hundred years of solitude
  • The Double Murder in Granger, 1934
  • The Tall Texan : The Story of Ben Kilpatrick by Arthur Soule
  • The Last Full-sized Train Robbery in Texas by Brewster Hudspeth
  • The Double Hanging at Bellville in 1896
  • The Infamous East Texas Sewing Needle Jailbreak
  • The Day Eastland Texas Hanged Santa Claus
    "....And to think that it happened on Mulberry Street!"
  • Diamond Bessie: The Trial of the (19th) Century
  • Watt Moorman, a central figure in the Regulator-Moderator War, was shot to death by Bob Bowman
  • Gunfight at the Lampasas Saloon - Historical Marker
  • The Killing of General J. J. Byrne Historical Marker 10-3-11
  • Shoot-Out on Jones Street, Castro County, Dimmitt, Texas - Historical Marker 7-23-10
  • Hardship, War and Famine

    Browse World War II Chronicles (A series)
    Browse World War I Chronicles (A series)


  • Indian Stories by Mike Cox
    Unlike most states of the Union or those of the Confederacy, Texas fought two wars during the Civil War. One war, of course, was the bloody struggle against the North... The second war was primarily one of self-defense against hostile Indian tribes...
  • Where are you Benny Goodenberger? by Perry Peary
    Mark Davis was in the Merchant Marine and was assigned to serving on oil and gasoline tankers coming up the east coast from New Jersey to Texas. In May of 1942, he was on the SS Virginia coming out of New Orleans when a German submarine, the U-507 torpedoed the ship....
  • Sarah by Mike Cox
    Few Texas women ever saw any worse than Sarah Creath McSherry Hibbens Stinnett Howard. A woman with true grit, the way she came by her long name is one of Texas' more gripping tales. Born around 1812....
  • Barbecue Bust by Mike Cox
    With more than 20,000 chanting anti-war protestors headed downtown from UT, the governor decided he was hungry for barbecue...
  • Upshur County Chronicles - George Lester remembers Union Grove
    Helmet-less Football, Bone-chilling Movies, Short Boxing Careers and Why Teachers Should Be Demanding
  • Wends in Texas by Raoul Hashimoto
    The Brides Wore Black: A look at Texas' most unique immigrant group
  • Private and Corporal York: Lee County Cousins killed in the Great War. Giddings City Cemetery
  • Kaiser's Burnout and Other Big Thicket Adventures by Archie P. McDonald
  • Lonesomeness redefined: Indian Hot Springs (Hudspeth, County), "Fort Unworthy" and Victorio's Secret
  • 1943
  • 1943 Secret Storm by Wanda Orton 6-17-12
    In the summer of ’43, German U-boats prowled the Gulf of Mexico, too close for comfort for Texas coastlanders...
  • Texas Storms
  • Big Wind From Winnetka a Mere Breeze Compared To the Big Blow In Beaumont by Frances Giles 11-9-12
    No one could have imagined the terrible destruction that was about to wreak havoc on the lower Louisiana coast in June 1957 when a hurricane named Audrey roared in with a vengeance.
  • Storms, railroads shape area history by Delbert Trew 3-6-12
    Long before the town of Spearman was born, the settlement of Hansford became the county seat with the winning votes for the election swung by “the use of a three-seated hack and liberal doses of Dodge City tarantula juice.” Their new frame courthouse was nearing completion in 1891 when a cyclone struck...
  • Storm Racing by Mike Cox 3-1-12
    In 1900 it had not occurred to anyone that pursuing a tornado would someday be considered an adventure sport. Back then, people let storms do the chasing and took to their cellars when they heard a roaring wind.
  • The Chilled Catfish of Concho County by Mike Cox
    In 1885 a giant thunderstorm pounded West Texas about fifty miles above San Angelo, dropping hail the size of ostrich eggs. Leaving spheres of ice piled in three foot drifts, the barrage from above killed thousands of cattle. Hail-chilled runoff from the intense supercell well beyond the horizon had put the Concho on the rise and claimed several lives.
  • What happened to Charles Francis Coghlan by Mike Cox
    His story is either one of the most incredible tales ever told, pure legend or a mixture of fact and fiction.
  • The Secret Hurricane by Mike Cox
    The Secret Hurricane of 1943
  • Cisco Twister by Mike Cox
    In Cisco’s Oakwood Cemetery, five graves bear the same last name and the same date of death – April 28, 1893. That was the day a killer tornado struck the then prosperous Eastland County railroad town...
  • Galveston 1900 by Mike Cox
  • The Galveston Storm by Archie P. McDonald, PhD
    The hurricane that struck Galveston on September 8, 1900, still reigns as the worst natural disaster in United States history because an estimated 10,000 people lost their lives.
  • Hurricane 1900 Cartoon by Roger T. Moore
  • Indianola A poem by Jeff McLemore published in 1904.
  • Indianola "Queen city of the West" turned ghost town, devastated by storms
  • The Story of Indianola by Maggie Van Ostrand
  • Indianola Remnants by Mike Cox
  • Central Texas Flood by Mike Cox
    The first day it started raining, people took it as good news...
  • The Longest Train Ride by C. F. Eckhardt
    "Train #1 of the Gulf & Interstate Railroad, which left Beaumont, Texas, at 7:00 AM on September 8, 1900, to make the run to Port Bolivar, about 85 miles away by modern highway, arrived at Port Bolivar at 11:10 AM, September 24, 1903—three years, sixteen days, and ten minutes late. Some of the original passengers were still aboard..."
  • Higgins Tornado of April, 1947
  • Rockspring 1927 Tornado
  • Balinese Room Cashiered
    The Texas Rangers finally succeeded in eliminating gambling at Galveston’s famed Balinese Room in 1957, but it took a Category 2 hurricane to cashier the old casino-on-a-pier once and for all. Coming ashore on Galveston Island in the predawn hours of Sept. 13, Hurricane Ike...
  • Terrible Memories of Hurricane Carla by Murray Montgomery
    The story was from the Associated Press (AP) wire service and it was titled: "15-Year-Old Boy Describes Loss Of Family In Storm." And what triggered the bad memory for me was; I knew that boy...
  • Hurricane Carla by N. Ray Maxie
    She was ferocious, deadly and destructive; a Category 5 hurricane at one time, with 175 MPH winds. She slowly came ashore September 11, 1961
  • The 1886 Hurricane at Sabine Pass 8-24-10
    Historical marker
  • Disasters and Adventure
  • Steamboat Races and Tragedies by Mike Cox 5-29-13
  • Big Tex: Son of Santa by Mike Cox 10-24-12
  • The Fire in the State Capitol by Mike Cox 10-18-12
  • America's Third Largest Fire by Mike Cox 9-15-11
    John Cross had the day off that afternoon, March 21, 1916... About a mile from downtown Paris, a thriving North Texas city of 12,000-plus, Cross heard the Central Station fire bell...
  • Area full of historical tidbits by Delbert Trew 6-22-10
    The 1929 train wreck in Twist, Texas
  • Texas’ 10 Worst Disasters by Mike Cox 1-14-10
    A look at the most dire disasters in the state’s history – a list that contains one disaster that happened long before Texas was settled – shows that the worst disasters are the ones that come without warning...
  • New London School Explosion by Archie McDonald
  • New London School Explosion by Archie McDonald
  • A Tragedy's Museum by Bob Bowman
  • Steamship Texas Ranger by Mike Cox
    In the summer of 1875, a nameless storm off the lower Texas coast battered a vessel with a famous name. She was the Texas Ranger, a coastwise steamboat.
  • Old West fires often impossible to tame by Delbert Trew
  • The Texas Flood of 1935 by Edward Aquifer
    Vintage photos courtesy of TxDoT
  • Locomotive Boiler Explosion
    Smithville Blast of 1911 Kills 9, Injures 12
  • The Emporia Mystery by Bob Bowman
    In the early 1900s, an explosion and fire spread throughout the old Emporia sawmill in south Angelina County. An estimated 30 sawmill workers, most of them black, are believed to have perished in the conflagration...
  • Texas City 1914 by Mike Cox
    "A small town with a big name, Texas City hosted an Army camp. Not that it amounted to a strategic location - it had not yet become a petrochemical port -- but with Mexico embroiled in a bloody revolution, the military had moved more troops into Texas in anticipation of trouble..."
  • Slocum by Sandy Fiedler
    Slocum's Great Tornado of April 24, 1929
  • Deadly Explosion in the Oilfield by N. Ray Maxie
    The Day J. B. Taylor was killed
    This is a post World War II story...
  • Humble Fire by Mike Cox
    "...Hudson's enthusiasm for the oil business changed abruptly on July 23, 1905. That evening, a thunderstorm triggered a bolt of lightning that ignited the oil in one of the large tanks Hudson had helped build. Sending billows of thick, black smoke high in the sky, the fire spread quickly..."
  • The Eagle Befriends the Stork by John Troesser
    Port Arthur's legend of F. B. Wright, A Hurricane Story
  • Friendship, Texas - Now under Lake Granger
    "The rain started at 6 p.m. on September 10, 1921 and continued until 6 a.m. on September 11th. Although no official measure was mentioned - it was estimated that 50 inches of rain fell...."
  • Hollywood Soot by Audrey A. Herbrich
    The fire in La Granger.
    "The north wind—unusually strong this March—carried the voices from those gathered below to me, and I could hear their whispers and gasps. And it wasn’t the ablaze Botts Title Company that trumped the conversation, or the equally ablaze China Inn Restaurant, Bertie’s Barbershop, or the income tax lawyer’s office. No, it was the Cozy Theater, slotted between Bertie’s on the left and the JC Penney catalog store on the right."
  • The Volunteer Fire Departments of Sunray and Dumas -
    The Shamrock Oil refinery explosion in the late 1950's
  • Circuit Board Fragments on Pine Needles
    The American Spirit, Observations
    by Gary E. McKee
    A volunteers account of the search for space shuttle debris in East Texas
  • Scurry County: Fire on the Square
  • Ben Ficklin, Texas
    "The short history of Ben Ficklin has many of the elements that other counties have built legends upon. A county seat rivalry, a rowdy frontier fort, friendship beyond the grave and a disaster that killed many of the inhabitants..... "
  • Night of the Iguana x 11,315 
    Ol' Rip, The Entombed Horned Toad of Eastland County
  • 1854 Steamer Wreck Cartoon by Roger T. Moore 6-4-13

    Texas Storms
  • Passion and Pathos

  • Pansy by Mike Cox
    Though her looks could have given her a shot at Hollywood, Pansy opted for the circus world. She and her husband had a trapeze act in a traveling show. They drew big crowds and made good money. All that changed in a moment. ...
  • The White Lady of Rio Frio by Linda Kirkpatrick
    A ghost that haunts the banks of the Frio River. A true story of love and murder in the early 1900’s.
  • Leaping Lovers
    Knowing their love can never be, the young couple stare at the swirling river far below. One last kiss, and then, holding hands, they leap off the cliff, united forever in death - and legend.
    Texas has at least four landmarks known as Lover's Leaps
  • Robert and Harriet Potter by Archie P. McDonald
    "There ain¹t no good in men"
  • Waxahachie's Courthouse Grotesques Or
    The Star-crossed Romance of Harry and Mabel

    A Stone-cold Love Story - A local legend involving courthouse carvings known state-wide.
    The Legend from Three Sources
  • Woman Hollering Creek
  • The Photographer and His Sculptor Daughter:
    William and Waldine Tauch
  • "Please Don't Kill Brownie!" and The Naked Man of Honey Island
  • The Most Photographed Statue in Ballinger
  • Romance

  • Lillian by George Lester
    Probably every boy has had a crush a girl who didn't even know he was alive. It happened to me.
  • Romance at Spunky Flat or Little Schoolhouse in the Cotton Field
  • The Tailor and the Hideaway Bride: The man who kept his wife in stitches
  • The Espersons - The "Mr. and Mrs. Esperson Buildings".
  • Schulenburg's Heartbreak Hotel
  • This Ain't No Mayberry

  • Top 10 Worst Slogans for Small Towns
  • Buildings are People Too

  • The Bathhouse that Wouldn't Die
    Reader's comment : I enjoyed your piece on the Luling Bathhouse. I had no idea all that history was there. - Chandra Beal, author or "Splash Across Texas"
  • Hotel Wars in Seguin - Two hotels in one town, the rivalry of building them and the little girl who loved them both. No, it's not a Shirley Temple movie script.
  • Rooms With a Past (A series) - Texas hotels built before 1950.
  • Texas Salmagundi

  • Find Two Willies and a Max in Hall of Fame, at Tracks by Bill Bradfield
  • SMALL TOWN CHRONICLES
    Human Interest within the City Limits

  • Anahuac
  • Beaumont
  • Bellville
  • Big Spring
  • Bigfoot
  • Bonham
  • Crystal City
  • Fayetteville
  • Goliad
  • Gonzales
  • Granger
  • Los Ebanos
  • Nacogdoches
  • Pittsburg
  • San Augustine
  • Sanderson
  • Schulenburg
  • Seguin
  • Snyder
  • Naming Texas Towns
  • Texas on a First-name Basis
    Of the roughly 2,000 town names on the official state map, over 400 of them are first names.
  • Why did they name it that? by Archie P. McDonald
  • A Geography Lesson by Bob Bowman
  • New Geography - Place name tweaking of several Counties and County Seats by Mike Cox
  • Despite odd names all over Lone Star State, 'Top 10' of the U.S. are commonplace here by Bill Bradfield
  • The Naming of Names
  • Jasper and Newton Counties, Beyond the Sabine
  • Twin Towns by Mike Cox
  • Texas Forum
  • Subject: Texas City Explosion
    Dear TE, I attended 1st grade in Galveston at the Rosenberg school on 10th Street. One morning about 9:00 the whole school shook. We had a fire drill and had to go outside. Mama had made me a nice Easter dress and while we waited outside it became spattered with oil. We went back into the school and classes were dismissed for the day. I had to walk to 7th street where we lived and I found Mama in the bathroom washing clothes on a scrub board, In the afternoon we stood on the porch and looked towards Texas City where the sky was red and glowing. We lived close to St. Marys hospital where the emergency people were bringing in the injured from Texas City in the back of trucks. Later we found out [about the] explosion. That's all I remember about that terrible day. - Margie Bennett Hill, Manvel, Texas, April 09, 2007
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