Bonaparte Wiess 11-23-07Early
River Boats of Southwest Louisiana 9-6-07Capt.
William E. Rogers: Beaumont Steamboatman 8-18-07Fostoria
Once Was Prosperous Sawmill Town 8-2-07Dr.
Edward Arrel Pye, A Texas Medical Hero 6-16-07
Whenever the virulent yellow
fever plague came to town, the townsmen who were cautious packed up their families
and belongings and fled elsewhere. Sometimes a town’s physician did not leave;
they stayed to treat their patients and occasionally died... Great-grandpa
wasn’t popular in the South 6-2-07
My great-grandpa Duncan Smith was about
as popular among his slave-holding neighbors as a skunk in church.Killer's
Trail of Thread 5-15-07
Some Alamo Heroes Fought Twice for Texas Sally
Scull: Texas' Pioneer "Bad Girl" 5-1-07Alamo
Notes on Our Texas Germanic Heritage 3-30-07Catherine
Magill Dorman: Confederate Heroine of Sabine Pass 2-1-07New
Braunfels, TX: Pearl of the Comal-Guadalupe Valley 1-1-07The
Last Voyage of the Hotspur 12-16-06The
1862 Hangings at Gainesville Texas 12-1-06
Deye Owings of Maryland, Kentucky and Texas 11-15-06 The
Conroe, Byspot and Northern: A Tram Railroad That Time Forgot 11-1-06Flight
from ghosts helps stomp some berry juice 10-16-06Some
Notes on the Civil War Jayhawkers of Confederate Louisiana 10-3-06Rev.
John August Tubbe 9-25-06
An Immigrant Farmer, Sawmiller, and Preacher
Transplants To East Texas
The Dutch Migration To Nederland, Texas, 1895-1915
Peninsula: Scene of Slaving, Smuggling, Filibustering and Farms 9-4-06Rev.
Vitalus Quinon: Early Catholic Church Builder of Southeast Texas 8-28-06Depression
was depressing, except brother's paddling 8-21-06Ghost
of Nicaragua Smith Still Haunts Graveyard 8-14-06
Case of Beaumont's Missing Marble Corpse 8-7-06First
Iron Smelting Attempt In Texas Ended In Ashes 7-30-06The
Big Thicket Bear Hunters Club of Kountze
"They Dream Of Killing the Bears"
Brief History of Pioneer Entertainment in Beaumont, Texas 7-17-06Jack
Cross Texas Killer 7-10-06The
Legend of the Olive Ghost Train 7-3-06
Hardin County, Texas 7-3-06
An Extinct Sawmill Town and the Olive-Sternenberg
Partnership That Built It The
Story of our Texas' German Pilgrims: or Death March to Comal County 6-26-06
"Of the first German Pilgrims to Texas in 1845... only one in four survived
the walk from Indianola to New Braunfels"The
Hanging Tree of Orange Texas 6-19-06
River Rat Boys 6-11-06
"He had just made his promise to me, and I
knew it was as good as gold. Pa's like that--he always said his word was his bond...."
Remember "The Lucky Stiffs" 6-5-06
"...The day before, the 309th
Infantry had jumped across the Roer River, making a lightning advance into the
weakly-defended Rhineland, but several of our 78th Division soldiers had died
during the onslaught..."Demise
of Reptilian 'Big Tooth' drew crowds 5-29-06
Eastland, Texas may have
had Ol' Rip, but Southeast Texas had 'Big Tooth.'
slave's death in 1889 attracted rare news coverage 5-22-06
1889, Beaumont Enterprise published an obituary about a Black centenarian, nicknamed
"Old Sock," in an age when Black obituaries were usually printed only in
manager paid big price by dismissing 'untouchable' 5-14-06
Legend of Ann Eliza's Grave 5-8-06
"It soon became a byword among
the Sabine River boatmen that no other grave ever received more attention than
that of Ann Eliza Pavell."
Island on Mermentau River, A Slave Ship's Inhumanity 5-1-06
It was the story of 200 starving African slaves abandoned on a marsh ridge on
Mermentau River, where they were left to die horrific deaths..."
Legend of the Headless Yankee Cannoneer of Sabine Pass 4-24-06
already foresee that some character will accuse me of stealing this yarn from
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, but I'm going to tell it anyway..." Seth
Carey's Escape from the Murderous Yocum Gang 4-15-06
"... 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."YOCUM'S
The Devil's Own Lodging House 4-5-06
"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."
begins April 2006
Theodore Block, Jr.
7/29/1920 - 12/15/2007
as "an old infantry dogface from the Battle of the Bulge," W.T. "Cannonball"
Block was born in Port
Neches and raised in Nederland,
Texas. He graduated from Chenier Radio College in Beaumont,
earning both a marine radio operator's license and a Broadcast or Radiotelephone
license. He operated an amateur radio station (and repair shop) from his home
until he enlisted in the Army in August of 1942. Assigned to Camp Wallace at Hitchcock,
he put his radio experience to work teaching radio operation and repair. When
Camp Wallace closed in 1943, he was transferred to the 78th Signal Co. of the
78th Inf Div. His unit crossed Belgium under fire, crossed the Rhine and after
intense mortar and artillery fire, saw the end of the war on German soil.
After surviving the war, Mr. Block returned to deal with the perils of SE
Texas - including a near-fatal boiler explosion at a tire plant and three hurricanes.
In 1964, he began night classes at Lamar University toward a degree in history.
He received his BA in late 1970 and his MA in January of 1974. His passion for
history was demonstrated when his advisor suggested that he stop his thesis with
the end of the Civil War. At that point it was already 300 pages in length.
1972 and 1995 Mr. Block published nine books and has several unpublished manuscripts.
He began writing East Texas and Louisiana history columns for the Port Arthur
News, and later the
Beaumont Enterprise. His column was also picked up by the Midcounty
Chronicle, DeQuincy News and the Cameron Pilot. His final article
was published Dec. 31, 2005, at his request.
April of 2003, Mr. Block became Sir Block. In a ceremony in Nederland, Texas he
was appointed Knight of the Royal Order of Orange-Nassau by order of Queen Beatrix
of the Netherlands.
His dedication to East Texas history and his inclusion
of Louisiana History is an inspiration. It proves that no one can beat a passionate
native-born historian for detail and research. Mr. Block has stated that he only
writes "for the dissemination of knowledge" and he has graciously allowed Texas
Escapes to republish his columns. We are proud to be able to share his wide-ranging
articles with a Texas-wide audience. The setting may be SE Texas, but the themes
and characters are truly "universal."
Mr. Block's website is www.wtblock.com