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The Reverent, the Irreverent and the Irrelevant

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Geography -
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  • People
    From larger than life Texans to local personalities
  • Texas Ghosts
    Haunted towns, hotels, depots...
  • Small Town Sagas
    Romance, passion, murders, robberies, hangings, disasters, adventures, war ...
  • Texas Courthouses
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    The companies, depots...
  • Rooms with a Past
    Texas hotels before 1950
  • WWII
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    Food Capitals, traditions...
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    Excerpts from vintage newspapers
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  • Books Excerpts & Reviews
  • Sample New / Popular Features
    Anna Martin
  • Anna Martin, Frontier Banker by Michael Barr 1-15-17
  • San Jacinto vets and Brown County by Mike Cox 12-7-16
  • Billy the Kid's Texas vacation by Clay Coppedge 12-3-16
    A few true facts, untrue facts, distortions, fictions and outright lies about Billy the Kid in Texas
  • Fair Park

    Dallas - Fair Park by Clint Skinner 1-13-17
    44 attractions

    Pinta trail
  • The Pinta Trail by Michael Barr 12-1-16
  • Blowout
  • A History of Halloween Pranks by Michael Barr 10-30-16
  • The Big Bang at Blowout by Michael Barr 9-15-16
  • Goat King
  • A Swedish family in Texas by Mike Cox 8-3-16
  • Adolph Stieler - The Goat King by Michael Barr 7-1-16
  • From Boom Town to Baytown by Wanda Orton 7-1-16
  • Alfred Giles
  • Alfred Giles, Texas Architect by Michael Barr 6-1-16
  • Galveston Firsts by Mike Cox 6-2-16
  • W.D. Smithers and the Ways of the Border by Clay Coppedge 6-4-16
  • Another Time, Another Place by Barbara Duvall Wesolek 6-16-16
  • Fort Worth fire
  • Bell County Postwar Secrets - Part 1 by Mike Cox 4-7-16
  • Bell County Postwar Secrets - Part 2: Attack on Camp Hood 4-14-16
  • The Endless Search for Texas Cannon by Murray Montgomery 4-6-16
  • Fort Worth's opening night fire by Mike Cox 1-21-16
  • Lavaca County Jail
  • The Old Lavaca County Jail by Debra Fawcett 1-19-16
  • Will Rogers in Kerrville by Michael Barr 12-19-15
  • Texas Born, Texas Bread by Mike Cox 12-3-15
  • Nagasaki Bombardier by Wanda Orton 8-9-15
  • Sarah Bernhardt's Texas Tent by Michael Barr 7-6-15
  • The Phillips Collection - A series:
    (Consisting of Doc Holliday, Big Nose Kate, Wyatt Earp, Josephine Earp, Mattie Earp, the Clanton's, Johnny Behan, John Clum, Jesse James, the Younger Brothers, the Masterson family, and many more.)
  • Elijah Cox
  • El Muerto by Mike Cox 7-11-15
    The headless horseman in South Texas.
  • Elijah Cox - Fighting Indians on the Texas Frontier by Murray Montgomery 2-2-15
  • The Coalsons: Frontier Family Target of Multiple Indian Attacks by Mike Patterson 1-9-15
  • Crash at Crush
  • The Crash at Crush by John Troesser
    The Crash at Crush, and why it never became an annual event.
  • Booger Red - ugliest man living or dead by Murray Montgomery 12-15-14
    One of the greatest horsemen and bronc riders this country has ever known.
  • Buffalo Soldiers by Jeffery Robenalt 12-2-14
    In nearly thirty years of dedicated and arduous service, Buffalo Soldiers won the grudging respect of even the most prejudiced of their white officers. The black cavalrymen and infantrymen were awarded nine Medals of Honor for meritorious valor in combat and countless other awards and commendations for distinguished service. More importantly, Buffalo Soldiers were a credit to the African-American race.
  • Thurber, Texas by Clay Coppedge 11-1-14
  • It's that time again in Gonzales - Come & Take It by Murray Montgomery 10-2-14
  • Caracara
  • Caracara by John Troesser 10-3-14
  • Yellow Rose
  • The Yellow Rose of Texas by Barbara Duvall Wesolek 9-8-14
  • So, Just What is a Centennial Marker Anyway by Barclay Gibson 9-1-14
  • Trip #94
  • Tag Along with Barclay on Texas Photography Trip #94 by Barclay Gibson 8-1-14
  • The Conclusion to my “Tag Along with Barclay on Texas Photography Trip #94 Story” by Barclay Gibson 9-1-14
  • Adios
  • Adios, Pastor by Barbara Duvall Wesolek 8-1-14
  • The Vanishing of Marine Sulphur Queen by Mike Cox 6-26-14
  • Nearly a Second Alamo: First Shots of the Mexican War by Mike Cox 6-5-14
  • Texas Tornadoes: The Lone Star State’s Deadliest Twisters Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson 6-1-14

    Tornado Accounts by Marlene Bradford:
  • Vaughn/Bynum (Hill County) Tornado - 1959 7-18-14
  • Cedar Hill (Dallas County) Tornado - 1856 6-3-14
  • Avinger (Cass County) Tornadoes - 1885 and 1921 6-1-14
  • Quanah Parker
  • Quanah Parker by Jeffery Robenalt 4-1-14
    Quanah Parker was a major player in both the Comanche war of resistance against white encroachment of the Comancheria and in the tribe’s eventual acclimation to reservation life. Nomadic warrior of the plains, war chief of the Quahadi band, cattle rancher, man of business, and friend to American Presidents; it could truly be said that Quanah was a man of two worlds.
  • Lone Star
  • The Lone Star and Charles Zanco by Wanda Orton 5-23-14
  • An Unexpected Encounter With A Texas Bad Man by John Germann 5-14-14
  • The Maligned Mesquite Gets Some Respect by Mike Cox 5-7-14
  • The First State Fair of Texas by Clay Coppedge 2-17-14
  • Lover’s Leap by Mike Cox 2-14-14
  • recollection
  • Recollections of a Road Trip to West Texas by Ana Astri-O’Reilly 2-14-14
  • Frontier Battalion
  • The Texas Frontier Battalion by Jeffery Robenalt 2-1-14
    In 1874, Governor Richard Coke and the Texas Legislature decided to deal with the growing threats of the Indians and the outlaws along the western frontier by organizing a battalion of Texas Rangers. The Frontier Battalion was the first permanent force of Texas Rangers and would serve the state for the next twenty-five years.
  • Texas Cattle Drives
  • The Era of the Texas Cattle Drives by Jeffery Robenalt 1-2-14
    Though the era of the great cattle drives spanned only twenty years, from the end of the Civil War until the coming of the railroads to Texas eliminated the need to trail cattle, the era left an indelible impression on the American psyche that has continued over the generations.
  • Rabbit Drive by Mike Cox 12-30-13
  • Ill Fated Nolan Expedition by Clay Coppedge 12-4-13
  • Reconstruction
  • Reconstruction in Civil War Texas by Jeffery Robenalt 12-1-13
    The aftermath of the Civil War left much uncertainty in the minds of Texans. Their economy was in ruins, their money was worthless, and they were faced with drastic changes to their basic way of life. Reconstruction was a long and burdensome process that affected the social, political, and economic lives of all Texans.
  • Annexation
  • The Struggle for Annexation by Jeffery Robenalt 11-1-13
    In light of all that the two countries shared, Texans were convinced the United States would be eager to annex the Republic of Texas as a new state. They were shocked and disappointed when President Andrew Jackson not only failed to seek annexation of the Republic but also refused to extend recognition to the new government.
  • Juan Seguin
  • Juan Seguin: A foreigner in his native land by Clay Coppedge 10-2-13
    How many Texians could say they were at the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto? Juan Seguin could. Or how many Texian veterans of those battles would soon after the war be branded a traitor?
  • Land policy
  • Land Policy and Foreign Settlement in the Republic of Texas by Jeffery Robenalt 10-1-13
    The Republic of Texas emerged from the Revolution buried in debt and with practically no assets except for its vigorous population and vast, unsettled public lands, but with an end to Mexican immigration barriers, a rising tide of new settlers would soon pour into the Lone Star Republic to assist in the task of building a new nation.
  • Freedman's
  • Dallas' Emanuel Cemetery 10-1-13
  • Dallas' Freedman's Cemetery 8-23-13
  • Dallas' Greenwood Cemetery 7-13-13
  • Greenwood
    Battle of Neches
  • The Battle of the Neches by Jeffery Robenalt 9-1-13
    In the brief but glorious history of the Republic of Texas, the Battle of the Neches has been described as second in importance only to the Battle of San Jacinto as the most decisive conflict ever fought on Texas soil.
  • Wooster Common School No. 38
  • Wooster Common School No. 38, Harris County by Trevia Wooster Beverly 9-1-13
  • Lamar
  • Mirabeau Lamar's Buffalo 8-11-13
    Excerpt from "Seat of Empire: The Embattled Birth of Austin, Texas" by Jeffrey Stuart Kerr
  • Capitals
  • The Capitals of Texas by Jeffery Robenalt 8-1-13
    During the unrest and confusion of pre-Revolution Texas and the establishment of a new and independent republic, the capital of the Republic of Texas shifted locations several times, from San Felipe de Austin, the capital of Stephen F. Austin's original colony to the present-day capital city of Austin, a town created for the sole purpose of serving as the Republic's seat of government.
  • Republic
  • The Birth of a Republic by Jeffery Robenalt 7-1-13
    The military phase of the Texas Revolution began on October 2, 1835, with the Battle of Gonzales, but a meeting of Texas delegates known as the Consultation was the true beginning of the political struggle.
  • Connie Hagar
  • Connie Hagar and Roger Tory Peterson by Ken Rudine 7-1-13
    The Connie Hagar Sanctuary site was chosen as the first named stop on the Central Coast portion of the Great Texas Birding Trail.
  • Williams Ranch
  • Steel Dust by Clay Coppedge 6-16-13
    Old timers believed the Steelduster is a separate breed but the horses can trace back to single horse named Steel Dust.
  • Williams Ranch by Barclay Gibson 6-3-13
    Guadalupe Mountains National Park
    Culberson County
  • Cavalry
  • Cavalry of the West by Jeffery Robenalt 6-1-13
    Late in the fall of 1863, Union forces under the control of General Nathaniel Banks occupied the lower Rio Grande valley and sealed off the border between Texas and the French-dominated Empire of Mexico to disrupt the flow of Southern cotton to Europe. It would be left to John “Rip” Ford and his Calvary of the West to drive the Union out and restore the flow of the Confederate’s lifeblood.
  • Bull Durham
    Ghost Sign "Materializes" in Goliad
  • Discovery of the Bull Durham Wall Advertisement
    in Goliad, Texas

    by Patsy Light
    5-16-13
  • Last President of the Republic by Murray Montgomery 5-13-13
  • An Essential Reading List of Texas History Compiled by Dr. Kirk Bane 5-2-13
  • Aransas Abattoir Mike Cox 5-1-13
    Rockport used to be a coastal cow town, a place where hooves and horns drove the local economy, not fishing and tourism.
  • Dissention
  • Dissention and the Draft in Civil War Texas by Jeffery Robenalt 5-1-13
    Not all Texans were in agreement about secession and the Civil War and many more were opposed to the Confederate Conscription Act. Historians estimate that nearly 30 percent of the Texas population had Unionist sentiments, though the great majority, like Sam Houston and James Throckmorton, remained loyal to Texas. However, as events would bear out, many dissenters paid a heavy price for expressing their doubt of the Southern cause and their opposition to the draft.
  • book
  • Writing the Story of Texas 4-23-13
    Edited by Patrick L. Cox and Kenneth E. Hendrickson Jr. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2013.

    Review by Dr. Kirk Bane
  • Rafting Cotton from Bastrop to Matagorda by Mike Cox 4-25-13
    Hard to imagine Bastrop as an inland port, but during the 1840s and continuing through the Civil War, Central Texans saw the Colorado River not so much as a source of drinking water or place to fish as a transportation artery connecting them with the Gulf of Mexico.
  • A Sailor's Story: Kamikaze Attacks on the U.S.S. Sandoval by Lois Wauson 4-20-13
    "Then all of a sudden one of the planes veers toward us in a straight line and before we knew what happened, it hit us."
  • The Oil Camp Boarding House - Hearty Food - Dainty Waitresses and No Tipping by Mike Cox 4-10-13
    The best cook in West Texas’s storied Yates Field
  • Pat Garrett Clay Coppedge 4-9-13
    Because he killed Billy the Kid in New Mexico, Pat Garrett’s name is more associated with that state than it is with Texas but Garrett drifted in and out of the Lone Star State for most of his life.
  • Getting the Most Fun from "The Only Hanging for 50 Miles Around." by Mike Cox 4-4-13
    The tale of one Sam Walker, told in the Shiner Gazette on Jan. 12, 1898 and rediscovered by Austin history buff Sloan Rodgers, is likely fiction disguised as news, but that surely didn’t lessen the pleasure of reading it.
  • War on Gulf Coast
    The Civil War in Texas
  • War on the Texas Gulf Coast by Jeffery Robenalt 4-2-13
    In light of the North's vast naval superiority, one of the most remarkable feats of the American Civil War was the Texans tenacious defense of their Gulf Coast ports. From Sabine Pass in the north to Brownsville in the south, the Texans bent now and then but they refused to break.
  • Civil War
  • Civil War in the Southwest by Jeffery Robenalt 3-3-13
  • Women Bandits Hijack Cotton in Civil War Texas by Mike Cox 3-7-13
  • Surviving
    World War II
    George Olsson Short
    (1920-2003)
    Chapter Three

    Surviving WWII, and Arriving Home
    How his soldier brother became his savior and how he managed to get home to a post-war Texas life
    3-15-13
    World War II
    Chapter Two
    From Hitting Homers to Hitting the Hun
    and a Face-off with Gen. Patton

    A Personal Account of the Battle at Remagen Bridge
    10-6-12
    Zola
    Chapter One
    My Father Zola
    Baseball, Love and a Love of Baseball
    Meridian
  • Meridian State Park by Sam Fenstermacher 2-28-13
  • Mrs. A.P. Borden
  • Mrs. A.P. Borden by John Polk 2-4-13
    "I spent many hours with Mrs. Borden and Theo O’Neal as a 10 year old boy." Here is the complete story.
  • Secession
  • Secession: Texas leaves the Union by Jeffery Robenalt 2-1-13
    After the election of Abraham Lincoln in November 1860, events moved swiftly toward secession. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union and other states in the old south quickly followed suit, but in Texas newly elected Governor Sam Houston stubbornly refused to call a convention to even discuss the issue.
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