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December 2007

  • Wayside, Texas 12-29-07
    Dear TE, I was surfing the web and came across your magazine showing the Wayside School and it's surroundings. I was raised in Wayside. My mother and dad were Charles and Inabelle Kennedy. I was also related to the Stocketts and Fishers. Most of my family is buried at Wayside. I lived there from 1945 until leaving for college in 1963. My parents sold the farm in 1972. The school pictures bring back so many memories. I have done a lot of math and spelling on those blackboards. I was in school there from 1952 through 1958. After that I attended the 8th-12th grades in Happy, Texas Public Schools. I have been gone from the area since attending college at Texas Tech in 1963 but I do occasionally return to visit and to enjoy the Palo Dura Canyon north of Wayside where I spent most of my childhood roaming the canyons either on foot or horseback hunting and enjoying the outdoors. Oh, if life were only as simple now as it was then. We had things so good then. Thanks again for bringing back some wonderful memories. - Richard Kennedy, Lewis, Kansas, December 28, 2007
  • Tulia, Texas 12-24-07
    Subject: Swisher County Court House

    Thank you for the beautiful pictures of the Swisher County Court House. I lived in Tulia in the 50's while in the 5th and 6th grade and always had a fond remembrance of living there. The beautiful Court House in the town square, the drug stores with the cherry lime root beers, the brick streets downtown, the Swisher Creamery, ah yes, those were the days.

    In the 80's I was traveling from Dallas back to California and thought I would take a detour and travel through Tulia and see the house I used to live in and even have a root beer in the drug store on the town square. My first stop coming in from Silverton from the North was the town square.

    I looked at where the beautiful Court House once stood and could only whisper, "Oh my God, what had they done" It was GONE! The one thing of beauty in that dusty part of the world had been removed and in it's place was an ugly building void of character.

    I did not stay to see where I used to live nor did I even look for that drug store. I simply turned around and drove out of town not looking back.

    It is unimaginable that anybody with the sense to slip their shoes on in the morning could have destroyed that building.

    Once again, thanks for the pictures. - Joe Wilkerson, Riverside Ca., December 23, 2007

  • Desdemona, Texas
    Subject: WW II Japanese balloon bombs

    In regards to the inquiry about two Japanese balloon bombs landing in Desdemona in May 1945, I can provide the following. Two balloon bombs landed at Desdemona on March 23, 1945. Another balloon bomb landed in Woodson, Texas (approx. 75 miles NNW of Desdemona) the next day. None caused any damage. - Steve Allen Goen, Wichita Falls, December 23, 2007

  • Lake Wright Patman 12-13-07
    Subject: Fishing Lake Wright Patman
    As I recall from my childhood, Lake Wright Patman (as named on the official Texas state map, not Wright Patman Lake) was a much, much larger lake than the recent pictures of Ms. Sarah Reveley [suggest].

    This large and beautiful lake with multi thousands upon thousands of acre feet of fresh water on the Sulphur River, holds vast water reserves for the entire Ark-La-Tex area. The dam site and spillway are magnificent, too. Growing up within a stones throw of that mighty lake, my Dad and I fished there frequently with Uncle Frank Fed. Those two were "net" fishermen. Fishing from a boat with our nets, we must have harvested hundreds upon hundreds of pounds of fish over a 10 to 15 year period.

    A "Buffalo" they called it! The "Buffalo" was the most prominent fish harvested by net on the lake, in addition to Catfish (the prize), Bass, Grenal and a host of some "unwanted" and unmarketable fish. The "Buffalo" is a good "eating" fish for "po country folk". It's only negative is a highly unusual amount of very small, mi-nute bones that are often severed or missed in the "dressing" process. Thus, upon dining, very slow and cautious eating was advised or those small bones could be missed a second time.

    In December 1973, Lake Wright Patman replaced Lake Texarkana. This change was done by President Richard Nixon to honor the local Congressman, the Honorable Wright Patman.

    The lake now covers a great part of the Sulphur River bottoms, which was at one time the hideout, domain and stomping grounds of notorious and infamous NE Texas outlaw, Cullen Baker; which is a whole 'nother story. - "Ramblin' Ray, Conroe, Texas, December 12, 2007

  • Guadalupe Peak, and El Capitan 12-11-07
    Subject: The Mayor of Guadalupe Pass
    Dear TE, I am elated to find your magazine and your article on Guadalupe Pass. I was once called the Mayor of Guadalupe Pass. This may seem strange but it's true. I lived two miles South of Guadalupe Pass for several years. I also lived at Salt Flat, Texas and taught (other) young men to fly from the Salt Flat Intermediate Landing Field. I climbed to the top of Guadalupe Pass long before it became a National Park and I fell in love with the entire area. This was back in 1948 and it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. I flew by (and around?) El Capitan for many years en route from Midland to El Paso. My good friend Bertha Glover and her husband owned the Pine Spings Cafe.... Mrs.Glover received a letter one day from a lady in Fort Worth, addressed to "The Mayor at Guadalupe Pass." Mrs. Glover designated me to be the Official Mayor because she said she had that "authority." I did answer the letter as I figured a Mayor from Guadalupe Pass would. I have both of these letters in my files and will try to send them in when they are found. You are doing a superb service. There is a lot of lost Texas History and [only] a few of us Ol' timers still around. I might as well "fess up" - I was 86 years old in November this year. - Sincerely, David Finnell, Hurst, Texas, The Former Mayor of Guadalupe Peak, December 8, 2007

  • Coldwater City - Sherman County - Texas 12-6-07
    I enjoyed your article on Coldwater the former county seat of Sherman County, Texas. However I do need to make one correction. The original Court House was built of stone, not brick and it is not still standing. I'm not sure how long it did stand. I have a picture of the original court house, it is in our Sherman County Depot Museum. Thanks - Ann Wells, Depot Museum Board member, December 05, 2007

  • World War II 12-5-07
    Subject: Tragedy Over Weatherford
    Regarding this story: "Memorial Marker Sought To this day no memorial or marker stands to remember the lives of those brave men that flew on that mission so many years ago. Many of those who remember the crash have passed on as well." An historical marker has been established at the Weatherford Public Library, which is located in the general location above which the tragic collision took place. Perhaps you could update Mr. Hopkins' fine article. - Ann Hafften Weatherford, Texas, December 04, 2007
  • November 2007
  • Goforth, Texas 11-30-07
    I grew up on a farm in Buda (Hays Co. TX) less than two miles from Goforth. It was east-southeast of Buda, and had a cotton gin. Apparently, Goforth began its decline when the railroad went through Buda in 1881. We used to go to the ruins of the town in the 1950s and early 1960s and had picked up old newspapers and advertising (which our mother later discarded). We still have several old bills of lading from the Goforth Mercantile dating from the 1890s. Goforth had a post office, schools, at least one church and a cemetery or two. Unfortunately, someone purchased the property that the old stores sat upon in the late 1960s and burned everything. Evidence of the cotton gin is still visible on the county road there. One church still exists and the cemetery is still in use.

    My mother's family (Mitcheltree) was from Burnet Co. TX and my father's family (Thompson) was from the Caldwell Co.,TX area. - Clay Thompson, Lake St. Louis, MO., November 28, 2007

  • Star, Texas 11-27-07
    Dear TE, I found [your page on] Star, Texas, and I was impressed. My father was the Methodist Minister there from 1954 to 1956. His duties also included Center City, and Pear Valley Methodist Churches. We moved to Star from South Texas and my brother and I attended school in Star. During the time my father was minister there a new parsonage was built and an educational building that I still have pictures of. Back in 1987 I made a trip to Star and stopped at the one service station there and met James Clary who I went to school with and spent time on his parent's ranch. We caught up on a lot of old times and history. Again thank you for putting the history and commits about Star on the internet. - Bobby Barth, Friendswood, Texas, November 26, 2007

  • Goodnight, Texas 11-25-07
    Dear TE, Around 1950 or 1951 I was six years old an enrolled in the first grade at Goodnight school. My mother was hired to teach the 7th, 8th and 9th grades. I remember my first girlfriend, Becky, (she was an older woman). She was in the second grade and sat in front of me through 6th grade. I remember driving out to the canyon and seeing trunks and other discards left by wagons that had going through just forty or so years earlier. A lot of clothing and household effects were still in the trunks - just as they were packed all those years earlier. I remember riding hogs, calves, and catching turtles from a pond. I remember going to the funeral of an old man I remember as Mister Goodnight. I still question my memory as to who he really was but the whole county turned out. I remember getting hit in the back of the head with a base ball bat playing catcher at recess. No questions there. I so yearn for days like those again. I would like to hear from others from Goodnight of the same time. - D D Durbin, Corpus Christi, Texas, November 22, 2007, ASKDAL@aol.com , November 22, 2007

  • Los Angeles, Texas 11-21-07
    "And the band slept on..."
    "Dear TE, I was raised about 12 miles south of Los Angeles. I was reading your page and saw that a lady by the last name of Walton had posted a short article about the place and had spoke of a Dairy farm on their place that was run by nuns. I am pretty sure that the place she is speaking of was called the old Avant place. My father used to plow the nuns' field that they grew their feed on. During one of his plowing sessions he plowed up a very ornate brass bowl with a hole in one side. Us kids always said that it had been shot. I have this bowl now, it's brass and has "Made in India" stamped on the bottom. It was found over 50 years ago.

    We used to receive our mail in Los Angeles. The post office was in the General store. My father would always buy us a soda there to drink on the way home. The bridge just out of town running south was still an old wooden brige. Before Ruby's lounge there was a beer joint called the Los Angles Cafe. (Just a little west of where Ruby's was.) In the early 50's two of my uncles owned it - but not for very long. When my wife and I were in high school '65 - '67 we used to go dancing there on Saturday nights. There was always a large crowd and a live band. Jo Tymrak from Jourdanton, Texas and his kids would play. They were just children and as they got sleepy and fell asleep their mother would carry them out and put them in the car to sleep. The band got smaller but we still danced on. - Deacon Welton J. Fiedler, Jr., November 21, 2007

  • Los Angeles, Texas 11-21-07
    Dear TE, I was excited and glad to find you had included Los Angeles Texas. My recollections of the small but family-oriented town are vivid. I was a young girl in the early late 60's and early 70's and would go spend summers there with my aunt and uncle Cecil and Mattie Roth. My "Uncle Cecil" would take care of many of the rancher's cattle. I remember riding with him to do headcounts on the cattle at several ranches. I believe that today that's an obsolete activity. We rode horseback to do headcounts but I think that's now done by helicopter.

    I remember going to the only store/post office that was there. It was operated by a lady that I can only recall as being "Ms. Roberts." Sadly, I dont think that post office exists any more. I remember the post office boxes just being little cubby holes, no lock or key that I can remember, and I am assuming that was because there was such a "trust" of your neighbors back in those days. I can still hear the wood floors "creak and crack" as you would walk over them, it is a sound that is vivid in my memory. The high point of my day was getting on one of my uncle's horses...'Mona or Remona' and riding down the dirt road to the store to see Ms. Roberts and buy some candy.

    There were no air conditioners at my aunt and uncels house, which was torn down after their tragic death in a motor vehicle accident. I can remember laying in bed at night listening to the music from "Ruby's" dance hall. I can still hear Johnny Rodriquez and Charlie Pride from the juke box. "Is anybody going to San Antone"...was a favorite of the time. On rare occasions my aunt and uncle would actually go down to Ruby's at night for a 'cold one.' I remember watching the ranchers sit and talk about the happenings of the day.

    I remember driving in my uncle's old green Ford pick-up (which would be a Classic today) to visit their friends in Fowlerton and Millet. Those were the "good old days" which are gone forever, but exist like yesterday in my mind. I met interesting people during those days, simple people who genuinely cared about their neighbors.

    Just a few of my childhood memories of Los Angeles Texas:
    Drinking un-homogenized milk from the dairy cow that they had...and never got sick. Churning butter from the cream that was skimmed off the milk. Margarine holds no candle to that butter...sweet and tasty. Actually milking the cows and goats and learning to milk the udders was a art in itself. Unlike the 'machines' that milk the cows today, the art is lost. The goats and horses ran and grazed wild...no fences. My uncle could go out and with certain actions/sounds, call them back to the house and into their pens. I remember seeing the signs on the highway that warned drivers to watch for animals. That was before today's 'deer proof' fence, where the animals are corraled like prisoners.

    I still pass through there on occasion on my way to Corpus Christi. As we drive through, we always slow down to allow me to "soak up the smells and memories of such a wonderful time." - Sheila Arthur Taylor, November 20, 2007

  • Quanah, Texas 11-15-07
    Quanah: Bread Buttering, Cotton Ginning and Bop Dancing

    ...Upon arriving in Quanah I recall the culture shock of leaving a brand new high school in Tulsa and attending classes in an old two-story brick school. One with rickety stairs and old seats in the auditorium. Little did I know at that time how much I would eventually miss my times in Quanah... more
    - Darrell Gilliam, Tulsa, Oklahoma, October 18, 2007

  • Ireland, Texas 11-15-07
    I wanted to thank you for your AMAZING and INFORMATIVE website. I have been exploring ghost towns in Coryell County with the help of your site. I took some pictures of what was probably the railroad station of Ireland, Texas while on my explorations yesterday... Thank you again. - Megan Harris, September 16, 2007

  • Valentine, Texas 11-8-07
    Dear TE, I was born and raised in Van Horn, Texas but as a child my mother would visit the Barragan Family of Valentine. I especially remember two sisters who always welcomed us with such warm hospitality. My Mom's family knew a lot of people in Valentine. I believe the Barragans had a filling station and small store. Yes, growing up in a small town is very special. Thank you for the Valentine write up and yes, I will send my sweetheart's next Valentine stamped from Valentine of the great state of TEXAS.- Bertha DeAnda Rivas Harris, (daughter of Rogelio and Juanita Rivas), Tucson, Arizona, November 07, 2007

  • Tuleta, Texas 11-3-07
    Subject: Tuleta Texas 1909 New Bridge Picture
    Attached is a picture postcard copy of the New Medio Creek Bridge at Tuleta Texas. Writing on the back of the postcard is a message from one of the men pictured on the bridge to his sister. He states this is the new bridge they just built. Postcard dated May 1909. - Will Beauchamp, Taft, Texas (formerly of Tuleta), November 02, 2007

  • Union Valley, Texas 11-1-07
    Dear Editor, I read your story on Union Valley where it said the population was zero. However, at the time I was there, about ten years ago, there were still people living in the town. There may still be. It was not a large population, but still had a few. Nockenut is nothing but a cemetery now as is (I think) Mound Creek where John Wesley Hardin's wife Jane is buried. There is no longer a highway sign pointing the way to Mound Creek, Sweet Home in Guadalupe County or several other places. I guess that makes them officially ghosts. - Hilda Hilpert, October 31, 2007

  • Subject: Hedley, Texas 11-1-07

  • October 2007
  • Goldsmith, Texas 10-31-07
    Subject: Remembering Goldsmith
    Dear TE, WOW!! The article "Remembering Goldsmith by Billy Brown really brought back lots of old memories and I enjoyed it immensley.

    My family worked and lived in the Goldsmith area for years. My Mom & Dad moved to an oil field camp West of Goldsmith close to the Cole's Ranch and I lived there for 6 years. We moved into Odessa and still lived in a camp where I attended school. My older brother attended elementary school in Goldsmith. I always went to Goldsmith on the weekends to stay with my grandparents and go to the skating rink! I had many friends there and in Notrees.

    My grandparents came through Goldsmith in the 30's and I remember them talking about the tents. They lived in the Phillips camp for several years (around 1942) and later moved into Goldsmith and opened a small cafe next to the movie theater. The cafe was so busy they expanded and built a new one next to the variety store at the other end of town. (John's Cafe) I have many memories of working there washing dishes, standing on an apple crate and later getting to go up front and waitress. The oilfield hands came in on a daily basis and were very "good" tippers. They came for Lillie's (my grandmother) homemade pies and delicious home cooked food!! In the late 50's the cafe burned out and they never reopened. - Thanks again, Deanna Bolen Haynie, October 30, 2007

  • Kingsbury, Texas 10-27-07
    Homage to Ray, Mama Ray and the Gut-stuffing Meals in Kingsbury

    Dear TE, Heading to San Antonio from my hometown of Dallas, I began to think about driving through San Marcos, the city of my alma mater (now Texas State University). One of my fondest memories back in the late 70's and early 80's was a monthly trip to Kingsbury for a Mexican food at Ray's Cafe. It would usually be a carload or two of college guys heading to our culinary Mecca for a gut-stuffing meal. I will assure anyone who cares that this was the best TexMex restaurant in the world. Ray's Cafe was run by an elderly couple and I think the man was named Ray. I think his wife, who we called Mama Ray ran the place. This was home-made peasant food at it's best. I have since eaten my way across France and Italy and would consider [the food at] Ray's Cafe worldclass. Ray would usually come out after a few beers and sing a song or two with his guitar. He had written a little ditty about Kingsbury but never seemed to get past the first verse. Anyway, I assume this place is long gone but wished to pay it the necessary homage it deserved. - Steve Davis, Dallas, October 26, 2007

  • Ranger, Texas 10-25-07
    Subject: The Theatre in Ranger

    "I was delighted to see the photos of Ranger in the October issue of TE. I wanted to share with you some information about the picture of the old theater. It was originally called the Lone Star and later became the Columbia. Its speciality was the Western. The old movie house has sat empty for years, but I understand that the local historical society has cleaned the inside up and has accumulated seats for the building in the future hope of making it a workable theater again. The roof is missing and that is the financial imperative for full restoration. Who knows? Maybe someday there will be a theater again in Ranger. - Billy Smith, October 21, 2007

  • Sugarloaf Bridge of Milam County 10-23-07
    Dear TE, I have visited your [magazine] on a number of occasions... I recently viewed your article on the Bryant Station Bridge... I discovered another metal truss bridge... that crossed the Little River in Milam County, approximately 40 miles from the Bryant Station location... - Joe Williams, Houston, October 07, 2007

  • Golden, Texas 10-21-07
    Subject: Golden Gas Station Jam Session

    About 20 years ago I was taking a shortcut to a relative's weekend retreat in East Texas. It was a Saturday evening just after sunset and I was coming into the town of Golden. I came around the corner and there was an old gas station. The pumps instantly caught my eye because they were so old I knew that they could not be in operation. At that point I noticed a group of men standing there with musical instruments. There were three or four elderly gentlemen on guitars and a young Mexican farm worker on a stand-up snare drum. The men had their cigarettes resting on top of the gas pumps while they play country music. I stayed there for about 45 minutes for some of the most entertaining moments of my life! - Dennis Christy, Irving, Texas, October 20, 2007

  • Pasadena, Texas 10-21-07
    Free Hospital Ice Cream, but no Free Movie Passes

    - Robert Farmer, Pasadena, Texas, October 17, 2007

  • Santo, Texas 10-14-07
    Dear TE, I read your profile and information on Santo, Texas. There is reference that the town was once named Cresco and this is correct. It further states that the town was renamed because the name Cresco was too similar to a town named Cosco and such confusion nearly caused an accident on the T&P Railroad when a telegrapher inadvertently keyed the wrong place for an on-coming train, but no reference could be found by your staff to a town named Cosco.

    Actually, the conflict of names was with the town of Cisco, which is about 50 miles west of Santo and it too lies on the Texas and Pacific railroad. You might like to change your profile to reflect this. All other information seems correct. - Glen Taylor (born and raised in Santo), October 13, 2007

  • Barstow, Texas 10-13-07
    Subject: Barstow: Shocked and Saddened

    My husband and I visited Barstow in September of 2007. We had read about the history of this unique little place but words cannot match the sorrow we felt when we were actually present [to see] the isolation. We had purchased some "mystery acreage" and this visit was to discover just what was what. This can't be America, to let a town die is sad beyond belief. We spoke with "Jo" who had some connection with the water co-op and she explained that the town did not even qualify for any grants because they did not have a business that charged sales tax. I guess I am to believe if you do not have some sort of tax base you do not deserve any assistance to do anything. We are surrendering our property, because of the limited water supply, being told by more than one person that wells were 4,000 to 5,000 ft deep and didn't produce potable water. We would have to purchase all water but that too was not available because the "town" could not increase their request for more from Pecos. [It was] mind altering. [We] did not think a place like this existed, what could have gone wrong? There were not alot of wells working, but I was told the drilling now was for natural gas. Will this product have any influence on the outcome of this situation? Hope somebody comes to the rescue of Barstow. - Norm & JoAnn Deckant, Tampa, Florida, October 8, 2007

  • Hedley, Texas 10-13-07
    Dear TE, I am in the process of writing a history of Hedley. Attached are a few photos I have recently acquired. If anyone has historical information about Hedley's early years, they can contact me. pkspier@valornet.com - Kathy Spier, Hedley, Texas, September 23, 2007

  • Denison, Texas 10-12-07
    Subject: Denison High School Razed - 9/27/07
    Old Denison high school being razed following several months of legal fights... - Mike Price, September 26, 2007

  • Mozelle, Texas 10-12-07
    I attended school in Mozelle Texas and had recently gone back to visit. I had been there a few years ago and my husband and I were able to walk up the building and look in the windows. This time I was shocked to see it's being torn down. Now the Mozelle as we knew it will be all but gone. - Misty Johnson, October 10, 2007

  • Ding Dong, Texas 10-7-07
    Ding Dong Signage or Lasers in Ding Dong

    Dear TE, I live in the Temple/Belton/Killeen area and am fairly near to Ding Dong. I decided to go out there to take some photos, but I could not find the country store or at least the sign contributed by Stephen Danesi. I drove on 1-95 South from Killeen and found *A* country store at this intersection with 777. The volunteer fire department was behind the which apeared to be closed. I asked someone who worked at a mechanic's shop there about Ding Dong, and he replied "You're in it." When I asked about the country store they said there was one about 6 miles south over the Lampassas river or 8 miles north to Killeen. They didn't know about the Ding Dong country store I was looking for or if the one in their same lot was the one I was searching for. I asked if there was any signs that said Ding Dong on the highway or anywhere in town and they said there used to be one by the Lampasas river but people keep stealing them, and the only other evidence of the town being named Ding Dong was the fact it was printed on the fire trucks (however the trucks were out of sight).

    If anyone has any current information on how to get to the country store that has a sign proclaiming Ding Dong, I'd really appreciate it. Or a physical address if possible. By the way, anyone traveling out there beware, when I passed the Marksdale / 777 exit before I went over the Lampassas river there was a State Trooper shooting laser! Killeen PD and the State troopers that patrol Killeen don't even have Laser, yet apparently it's in Ding Dong, so slow down on 195 South! - Jered Morgan, Temple/Belton/ Killeen Area, September 30, 2007

  • Salt Gap, Texas 10-7-07
    Subject: The Old Salt Gap Store in the 1930's
    Submitted by Barbara Jackson from the memory of her father John Wesley Little who was born Jan. 31,1930. His grandparents William Foris Tillery and Matty Pearl Davis ran the Salt Gap Store, from about 1935-1938? The post office was attached to the store and they had living quarters in the rear of the store. Grand Dad was the post master, they also had two gas pumps, one regular and one ethel as well as a small ice house. I went with him on many occasions to get the blocks of ice, which he hauled in a trailer pulled by an old Buick car. We went to Brady,Tx to get the ice. The cotton gin was across the road from the store. They also had a bulk oil tank. The picture I'm sending has written on the back, me(my aunt Dorothy) Daddy, my Great Grandfather, and a drug salesman, name unknown. My Grandmother, Laverne showed me this picture many times of the Old Salt Gap Store. Thank You, Barbara Jackson, Canyon Lake, Tx, September 30, 2007

  • Subject: San Jancinto School 10-1-07
    Dear TE, In your online articile about San Jancinto School [one of the photos shows it] as being in Swisher County. You may want to check the county lines as I was always under the impression it was in Briscoe County. My family lived in and around Vigo Park from approx. 1963 - 1971. When we first moved there I was in the 4th grade and there was talk (although I am not sure how serious) about transferring me to the two room school house since it was closer, however, my parents opted to keep me in the Tulia Public Schools 23 1/2 miles away. To my knowledge none of the Swisher County kids attended the school. As I remember it was just attended by those in Briscoe County. Dallas Culwell's kids (Terry, Gene, Collene and Denise) attended the school and then transferred to school in Silverton. Their Swisher County cousins attended the Tulia Schools. The school burned while we lived in the area, but I don't remember if the school closed prior to the fire or as a result of the fire. As I remember, the last teachers were a huband and wife who lived in a house adjacent to the school. - Patti Stephens Mason, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, September 29, 2007
  • September 2007
  • Whitewright, Texas 9-23-07
    Subject: Impersonation of a Bricklayer
    About Whitewright High School Gym and Lab

    Dear TE, I attended and graduated from Whitewright High School. I used to live nearby. I am writing after reading (the first of many) your website has for WHS.

    The gym information and picture caught my eye. As well the "City and School" connection to building it. The crew was a WPA crew, if I remember correctly. Also, there was a man on the construction crew who did not know how to lay brick, but said he did! This caused two things to happen. One is he lost his job. The other is that after catching the errors, the crew placed one huge block/brick upon another, not staggering it as usual! This is on the face of the building. This story was told to me when I found a man and son at dusk looking for the blocks and errors with a flashlight to point them out. The error was fixed also by placing a "half block" or brick in the front of the building or elsewhere.

    The Lab building was always shut whenever I went to school there. It was said to be a museum, a site dedicated to the old College days. I used to see a reunion there about every year, on Sundays. One day after I was grown I passed and recognized this gathering at the building as the suppossed "reunion." Everyone, as usual, was dressed in suits and "to the "nines." I also swear I recognized one of the people as being the famous "Higgins" character on the television show, "Magnum P.I." Now you may understand why I'd like my name witheld. I am pretty sure it was he, as I used to watch that show and read a bit about it. Seeing pictures of him (don't remember his real name) I also remembered that in one episode he played his "twin brother" from Texas. I wondered at the [difficulty of] swapping an English Brogue (mum was a Scot ) to a Texas drawl! - NWBR, Somewhere in Texas, September 22, 2007

  • Denison, Texas 9-21-07
    Subject: Remembering the Old Denison High School

    I am Louise McLaughlin, a mixed media artist. I am so sorry the community of Denison lost their battle to save the Old Denison High School. As an artist, I would like to make a tribute to the people who went to DHS. I want to honor the memory and events from the century-old DHS. I am looking for historical information and pictures to form into a memorial, an artistic representation of the history of DHS and the people and events that help make Denison a great place to call home. If anyone can contribute images or information on the school, they can connect me at: weezycake@yahoo.com Thank You, Louise McLaughlin, September 19, 2007

  • Ridge, Texas 9-21-07
    Dear TE, My family also helped settle Ridge. There are a lot of Johnstons in Holly Cemetery. Like Jason, I remember spending weeks there during the summer, walking down that red dusty road to Mr. Hagar's store to get a root beer out of the coke box to the right of the front door. We also used to go "explore" the old school which was right behind my grandparents house. Back in the early 70's, my grandmother still had no running water, so my grandfather used to go to the "good well" for drinking water every day. The outhouse was always full of daddy long legs and taking a bath in a wash tub was an experience. Up until right before his death, my grandfather Henry E. Johnston was the caretaker at Holly Cemetery. - Mike Johnston, Lake Charles, Louisiana, September 21, 2007

  • Ruidosa, Texas 9-21-07
    Dear TE, My grandmother "Reyes Negrete" was born in Ruidosa on April 12,1898, her parents were Sebastian DeAnda & Reyes Ochoa (maiden). They later moved to Van Horn, but I'm not sure of the year. Thanks for the pictures and information on the town. - Ben Negrete, September 21, 2007

  • Little Hope, Texas 9-9-07
    Sir, Just a comment about your article on the Church and the Murphy Graveyard there in Little Hope, Texas. The cemetery mentioned was actually the "New Murphy" cemetery. This land was donated to the church for a location to build the new church, and also for a new cemetery. This land was given by my G-Grandfather William Patrick Murphy. The "Old Murphy" cemetery was on land near the dam site of the old Stinson pond that was sold off to new comers to the area such as the Blundell's and the Burnett's. The "Old Murphy" cemetery was never used again for public use and was lost forever with the building of the Quitman-Gilmer highway, 154 in the early 1940's. I believe that the plots were graded away in the area on the north side of 154, just east of the dam for the state easement rights. I personally know of about 6-8 Murphy family members that were buried there. It is also thought to have other members of families living in the area such as the Daniel family, one of the other early pioneers to this area. The first of family to be buried in the Old Murphy Cemetery was in 1876 and the last was William Patrick's Mother, Charlotte in December of 1913. She was buried beside her husband, William Murphy, who was buried abt. August of 1880. William, Charlotte and their first 3 children, James L., Mary Emily, and Nancy Elizabeth came to Wood Co. Texas from Fayette Co. Tenn. in the late summer or fall of 1851. William grew the usual crops of the area, corn and peaches, but also went on to build one of the first syrup mills in the area. The Murphy land remained in the family for many generations from 1851 until 2005 when the last of the Wood Co. family succumbed.
    - B. Murphy, September 09, 2007

  • Kingsbury, Texas 9-8-07
    Dear TE, I was born in Seguin, where I now live, but I was rasied in Kingsbury. I love Kingsbury. It's small but it's also quiet and there's no loud music. You know everybody and you can walk down the street and nothing will happen to you. Only if you walk by the cemetery then you might see the ghost of an old man driving his old timey car and you have to watch out for big spiders when crossing the road. I was told the tree in front of the old post office was once used as a hanging tree.

    I now live in Seguin but I still make it back to Kingsbury because my grandma lives there. She's 75 and she has lived there the last 27 years. She told me she will die in Kingsbury and doesn't want to move to the city. I remember when my grandpa was alive he would take me outside with him to watch him weld or we might look for fossils and arrowheads from along ago. I remember walking through the pasture, just walking with my grandpa. My grandma taught me that when you get a thorn in your foot to put a piece of bacon on it and in the morning the thorn would be out. To this day I use that remedy for my five kids. My grandma has also taught me that when you are out of food, that it's okay, someone will bring you some since He is up above watching over us. My grandma is poor but if somebody needs anything, she is right there to help. - Brandy G., Seguin, September 07, 2007

  • Doole, Texas 9-5-07
    ... Farming and ranching was the occupation of choice for the majority of Doole, East Gansel and Stacy, Texas residents. Life was good until a drought hit during the late 1950’s. Can you imagine - no measurable amount of rain for 7 years? Most of the farmers moved to other locations. Many were forced to find new occupations in order to survive. This is the primary reason Doole, Texas became a “ghost town”. A treasured way of life was lost in the 1950’s and early 1960’s and a large portion of McCulloch County is now used for hunting only... more - Lanelle Crumley, September 3, 2007

  • Odell, Texas 9-4-07
    Dear TE, This is in response to your Odell page in your [magazine]. I reside in Odell with my grandparents in the old Tallent-Starr House on CR 102 West. The old post office is now a recording studio for the bands around the area and there is a now a stage for them to perform on during Odell Days. I thought that it was so cool to see my hometown on a website and be able to say that I have lived in an actual "ghost town." My house is one of the originals built in 1908 for the Starr's daughter who was getting married. It has since been added on to although we don't know the exact date of these additions. The old train tracks went right across our driveway and the old cotton gin, which is now a private residence, is not too far. The [railroad trestle] across the river is still standing, although time has taken its toll on it. Although I have and continue to [walk] on it, I'm still kind of cautious because it's starting to collapse in some places. Other than a few rotten boards it's in relatively good condition. - Hannah Clark, Odell, Texas, September 03, 2007

  • Taylor, Texas 9-2-07
    Subject: Blazilmar Hotel story

    Dear TE, My grandparents (Paul and Eureka Ferguson) managed the Blazilmar hotel in Taylor, Texas, in the late 1950s and I spent several summers there. I well remember James the elevator man and even helped as his special assistant sometimes when he was busy with some chore my grandmother thought up. He taught me how to ease the lever down to stop exactly even with the floor so the guest doesn't trip.

    Your reminiscence page brought back such a flood of old memories it makes me eager to write an article for your magazine. Meanwhile, [here is] my 2004 short story, set in 1958 at the Blazilmar. "Waiting for Elvis" is fiction, but based on actual events. It won second place in the Denver Woman's Press Club ---- In-House Writer's Contest in 2005! - Shere Chamness, August 22, 2007
  • August 2007
  • Fort Davis, Texas 8-31-07
    Dear TE, Just a note to correct a misstatement by one of your correspondents on the Ft. Davis page. C. F. Eckhardt wrote on June 3, 2006, that Texas has the only county in the country named after the Confederate president, Jefferson Davis. This is actually an error. There is a Jeff Davis County in Georgia (where else?!); the town of Hazelhurst is the county seat (it's in Southeast Georgia).

    I ran across Texas Escapes more or less by chance (I was searching for the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering website at the time), and I immediately bookmarked your production. It is a wonderful resource for those who are interested in Texas, its people, its geography, and its history. I am not a Texas native, but two of our four daughters are--and they are quite proud of that fact. My wife and I spent three quite enjoyable years in Austin while I earned my Ph.D. in English at the University of Texas ("Hook 'Em, Horns!"). I look back on my days in Texas as among the best three years of my life. (I'm now a retired college English professor.)

    Thank your for the effort you have put into making Texas Escapes such a good [magazine]. - Cordially, Rick Thurman, (Dr. William R. Thurman, Jr.),Thomaston, Georgia, August 28, 2007

  • Dido, Texas 8-30-07
    The Smith Family Chronicles: Two Routes from Virginia and A Reunion in Texas
    Dear TE, I descend from Phereby Turner & John Smith. John Smith's will was dated in 1805 Anson County NC. I have traced [the family] back to Sir William Harris who married Alyce Smythe/Smith, the sister of Sir Thomas Smythe who was the Treasurer of the Virgina company and was appointed by the King to settled Jamestown after the first two failed attempts. He was also Ambassador to Russia, Governor of the East India Company, and held other other notable positions. His father [also] Sir Thomas Smythe, was wealthy enough to donate sums to Queen Elizabeth I so that England could arm against and defeat the Spanish Armada. I believe this is the reason my Smith got the abundant land grants from the King of England. England owed them a debt for helping save the country. The Smiths that migrated westward were so prominent and respected that other families gave their children the first name of Smith. Texas' Smith County had many Smiths settle there.

    In Texas the name Throckmorton is both a county and city as well as the name of a street in downtown Fort Worth. Sir Throckmorton was a protégé of Sir Thomas Smythe in England in the 1500's. Prior to changing the name from Smythe to Smith they were Carringtons. The Carringtons were an order of the Knights Templar who escaped England. When the Templars were rounded up, they returned as Smythe's. Between the years 1750 and 1790 in Anson Co NC the name John Smith is mentioned most often in local land transactions. The Smiths came out of VA in two directions. One South through NC and SC with the children going westward through GA, MS, AL, and Texas. The other went directly westward through KY, TN, AL and connected in the 1800's with the families who had taken the southern route. My research shows these families started in VA together and 400 years later met at Dido and the surrounding area where I live today. The census records from 1850 to the present and the family wills prior to those dates confirm this. The burial plots at Dido have the families together in the 1800's as they were in the 1600's. Much of this is in history books and others [are family histories]. I have cousins all over the country who are assisting me but the more I have become involved in this, the larger the story grows. The Dido cemetery will link to Davy Crockett, Thomas Jefferson, Lyndon B Johnson, George Washington and others. The Smith Family descendants buried at Dido go back to the founding of this country. - Bob Thomas, Saginaw, Texas, August 29, 2007

  • Star, Texas 8-29-07
    Dear TE, I was a teacher in Star, Texas in the 1970's and the first woman to coach basketball there. We lived on the old Jim Soul's place before some of the diversion terraces where put in. One July 4th, there came a heavy rain out toward Goldthwaite and Center. It had rained about 6 inches and all the water came down the creek at one time. We raced to the creek from the house to pull the irrigation pipe. The chain broke on the release and I had to dive into the pool of water to release the water from the tube. I got it just in time. As I climbed out of the water to the upper bank, fifteen feet of water was making its way to where I had just been. The water came up to the top of the banks and blocked the crossing for several hours.

  • Another time I was driving the old pick-up to school and it rained so much that the Slaughter Branch was up. I was caught at the high water but my husband brought up our horse and took me across the flooded branch on that horse (with me dressed all in pink). When we got to the other side, a neighbor, who was the school board president happened to be driving by on the "main" road and he took me to school. I have about a million stories to tell about Star, the people who lived there and the wildlife (rattlesnakes, deer, wild turkey, and bobcats). Thanks for the opportunity to remember that happy and carefree time. - Jerry Harris, June 12, 2007

  • Talpa, Texas 8-25-07
    Dear TE, I was born in a hospital in Ballinger, but my parents lived on a ranch about 5 miles southwest of Talpa. I lived in Talpa in the mid to late 70s and my son attended Talpa-Centennial schools until junior high when we moved. I never had to worry about drugs or theft and everyone knew everyone. I moved back from San Angelo to Talpa in 2003 to care for my ailing parents and am presently ranching and raising my oldest grandson. He will attend Panther Creek schools this fall and frankly I feel he'll get more attention and thus be exposed to a better education than in a larger school system.

    Yes, Talpa is small, and it is still shrinking, but there are new families moving in every year. Immanuel Baptist Church is still having services after all these years, and someone is planning to open a feed store soon. I never looked back when I moved in 2003 and am proud to be from this small community. By the way, I am a fourth generation rancher/farmer with one of my places acquired by my great-grandfather around 1879. I am right where I am supposed to be and where I want to be. - Carol Brookshier-Jones, Talpa, Texas,
    August 23, 2007

  • Subject: Prada Marfa 8-25-07
    Dear TE,I recently went on a family vacation to Fort Davis, Texas. My kids and I could not believe our eyes when we saw the Prada Marfa store! It so surprised us that I slammed the brakes and turned around and took a picture. I am happy to find out it was art. - Graciela Tercero, August 23, 2007

  • Roxana, Texas 8-24-07
    Dear TE, I just finished reading the article about Roxana, Texas, which was very interesting to me. My father, Charlie Clay Dykes, worked for Skelly Oil Company for many years, and during that time, he purchased the old Roxana post office. I was a small child at the time, and there were only two or three other buildings around the area. We eventually moved the house to Skellytown and added other rooms around the original post office. The old house is still standing even though my father has passed away, and Ann Dykes (mother) has moved into a nursing home. I remember playing our in the back yard one day, and happened onto some old boxes from the post office, and had no idea what they were at the time. Some of my fondest memories of childhood are growing up in the area of the old Roxana Post Office.
    - Tawanna (Dykes) Sinclair, August 23, 2007

  • Damon, Texas 8-23-07
    Damon used to be known as Damon's Mound - a salt dome. This dome was visible as you approached it on this prairie. Now there are so many trees lining the highway you cannot see the mound shape like you could when I was last there 40 years ago. - Ken Rudine, July 23, 2007

  • Bandera, Texas
    Subject: Update on photo of Ezra Chipman
    Dear TE, I am the one who submitted the photo of my ancestor Ezra. I have a fantastic update for you and a huge ThankYou for posting our photos. Because of you and your magazine, I was contacted by a person who believed we could be related. Well, it turns out that we are! Her name is Shirley, and lives here in Texas and her great-grandfather and my own were both brothers. One produced Shirley's family, the other brother produced mine. But it's not only finding each other that is so amazing. It's not just the fact that we have traced our bloodline way back to England almost 600 years back but that furthermore, we have found that one family in our "tree" actually made the voyage to America on the Mayflower and landed on Plymouth Rock! Now that is the mind blower!

    We are in the process of documenting the 3 undocumented generations of our family down to the latest babies born. As you can imagine, this will be quite a chore as our family branches out tremendously. I have to thank Texas Escapes because if wasn't for you posting the photo, my new found cousin Shirley would have never called me! And if it wasn't for one little girl who survived the first winter at Plymouth when her parents died, I would not be emailing you at this moment. I will keep you informed as things develop. May God Bless you and all the people of Bandera, Texas.- Elijio M. Martinez, Ozona, August 13, 2007

  • Dido, Texas
    Subject: Dido Cemetery
    Dear TE, I am a retired Finance Director and now do part time consulting and serve as an expert witness for law firms nationally. Most of my time is spent doing genealogy. Both my mother and fathers lines document to the Royal families of Europe. While tracing the migration on my fathers side I found that a Hankins (my grandmother was Mary Jane Hankins) was buried at Dido cemetery. I live in Saginaw Texas which is 15 minutes from there. I went there Thursday afternoon and was totally stunned. Not only were there 5 Hankins graves, there were many surnames that connect to my family on both sides that document back to Jamestown Society ancestors as well as Halifax North Carolina founders and a heavy dose of names out of Isle of Wight Virginia and other Virginia counties. Here are at least three confirmed burial sites of Blue Blood (now Blue Bones I guess) but with what I am finding it could be one of the largest [groupings] in one cemetery in Texas. I was back out there today for four hours and it will take weeks to catalog exact positions of all the grave sites that are linked. This was another colony as they moved west and I have traced these carefully. I need additional help with this as the other genealogist and family members are scattered over the country. It seems these families (MY families) were close in their migrations, seldom marrying outside the inner circle. - Bob Thomas, Saginaw, Texas, August 18, 2007

  • Subject: Crockett Descendants 8-22-07
    ... Yes, Elizabeth Gose Crockett (and we have photos) is my great, great grandmother... more - Melissa (Lisa) Jemison Roberts, , August 14, 2007

  • Subject: No Stangers in Drop, Texas
    My name is Chelsey Cox, and I live in Drop, Texas. Seeing as Drop is no longer a ‘town’ per se, I did most of my growing up in Justin. I can remember the always unique cookouts the firehouse would have and the Justin Fun Days we used to have every year. The best thing about Justin is that everyone is family and every one knows everyone else. We can sit down in Mom’s Café and the waitress already knows what we want to drink, everyone knows the names of our 5-6 police officers who are always glad to help. Justin is a small family-oriented town, a place like every other place used to be.

    Throughout my childhood the whole community would swim at "Drop Slab" in the summer and today on the last Monday night of every month, everyone in Drop will cook up their favorite dish and meet at the old schoolhouse for dinner. Everyone knows everyone else and are willing enough to help whenever possible. I love living in Drop because it's small, there are no strangers, and the traditions of over 100 yrs are still practiced today. - Chelsey Cox, Drop, Texas, August 17, 2007

  • Prada Marfa Update 8-16-07

  • Mineral Wells, Texas 8-15-07
    Subject: Floating at the Baker Hotel Cloud Room

  • Subject: Salado and Benoit Circa 1910 8-15-07
    Dear TE, A web search for Benoit, Texas, led me to your excellent site. My father, Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Rampy was born and reared in Salado. He wrote a detailed account of those years (1898-1916) in a book titled "Choice and Chance." I have posted it (PDF), including many photos, on the web at: http://www.upamerica.org/family/trrbook.htm. I believe those of your readers who are familiar with Salado would find the first of the three sections to be a good account of how things were on a Central Texas farm a hundred years ago.

    The town of Benoit was featured in an incident recounted in my father's book (above). He relates a tale of travel from his home to that tiny village in Runnels County by train in 1910: A RAILROAD ADVENTURE
    Thanks for the great job you are doing to preserve our precious past. - Gordon Rampy, Warrenton, Virginia, August 11, 2007

  • Roaring Springs, Texas 8-13-07
    Subject: Witching Water in Roaring Springs
    Dear TE, My grandfather, Rolla Chester "R.C" Ireton and his wife Lillie lived in Roaring Springs from 1920 to 1925. Son Merion Frank was born February 16, 1922. Rolla operated the blacksmith shop, garage and light plant furnishing power to the barbershop, general store run by his father, Frank Austin Ireton, and the hotel and a few other business places. The light plant consisted of a Model "T" Ford engine and generator in the garage and blacksmith shop which ran the machinery during and the electric generator at night until about ten o'clock .Rolla was a dowser being able to find water with a willow branch and in 1924 a rancher who could not find water on his ranch offered him five hundred dollars to dig a well on his place he accepted and took another man out and located place to dig and about twenty five feet down where they found a nice stream of good water and was producing water fifty years later. In 1925 they moved to Whitedeer. - Mark William Ireton, Portland Oregon, August 11, 2007

  • Subject: Ghost town: Tankersley VS Knickerbocker
    Dear TE, Your, tethered to the ranch, ghost town-busting reporter here reporting for service again. Visited your wonderful site again to check on updates. Saw updated photos of the Knickerbockers churches, thanks. But I noticed you still have us in the “Ghost Town” category. I will try one more time to convince you that we are not dead! This time by comparison. Check out your listing for Tankersley. It’s only 6 miles north of Knickerbocker. You have Tankersley in the regular city category. Tankersley does not exist anymore! It has not been even a village for fifty years. There nothing there that has any civic relationship to the lonely one or two ranchers near by. [A] ranch office is there but that’s it. There’s a State owned sign that says “Tankersley” but I or anyone else would be hard pressed to point out where the town is.

    Tankersley is a Ghost town not Knickerbocker!

    Again, Knickerbocker has a community center, a post office, two churches, a Volunteer Fire Department, warm homes with warm bodies inside them on either side of the highway and down our side streets. Kids are playing in yards, people gather to visit and exchange the latest juicy gossip at the post office. We have yearly church festivals and secular picnics. I think we could even produce a town mayor when he’s sober, our spiritual deacon and a village idiot or two.

    So, I am on my knees, I beg you, I implore you to put Knickerbocker in the regular town category and out of the ghost town category. - Sincerely, Drew Sykes, Sec/Tres, Knickerbocker Community Center, Knickerbocker Ranch, August 06, 2007

  • Grapeland, Texas 8-1-07
    Subject: The Beautiful People of Grapeland

    I am not from Grapeland, but visited when my step-mother was laid to rest on Tuesday, July 31, 2007. I traveled 3 hours to attend the service. I was not looking forward to this because we had already had 4 funerals this year, one of which was my son. I came to Grapeland, expecting a small town and not a lot of friendly people. What I found was a huge and wonderful surprise. When we lined up to take my step-mother to her final resting spot, I saw cars moving to the side of the road and stopping, I saw the people in some of the cars bowing their heads. I was so moved by this I was in tears. They were paying respects to a person they didn't even know. They had shown the ultimate respect to my step-mother - more than I could have ever wished for. I did not get the same respect for my son when he passed. I want to let everyone in Grapeland know that I will always call Grapeland my second home. My father is there still and I can understand why they lived so far away... Grapeland is God's Country. It is Texas' finest. The people are so nice you want to call them family and hug them tightly. I have never seen a more beautiful place because of the people. Thank you Grapeland, for respecting my family. I hold you near to my heart always. I will be back to visit as soon as I can! - Irene Weedman, LaMarque, Texas, August 01, 2007
  • July 2007
  • Linden, Texas 7-17-07
    Info Sought in Fatal Linden, Texas Car Accident
    In 1954 my family and I were traveling through Linden to a new job my Dad had. My parents were, Leanord & Francis Loucks. In the front seat with my Dad, and Mom, was my younger baby sister (I believe 6 weeks). My older brother (I believe 5 yrs) was in the backseat. I was two years old at the time of the accident. A couple of men who were drinking ran head-on into our car, killing my mother. I have had different stories about what happend to my Dad. Each of us children were adopted into different families. I was adopted to Bonnie and Jimmy Hall of Linden, Texas, both now deceased.

    If anyone has any information on the accident, or knows anything pertaining to this incident, please contact me. - Patricia Smith, Dallas, Texas, doubleeagleantique@sbcglobal.net, July 15, 2007

  • Girvin, Texas 7-17-07
    Dear TE, I just found your website and I was so happy to see that you had a page on Girvin, Texas. My mother, Midred Helmers was postmaster for Girvin for thirty three and ½ years and she was the reason that Girvin was moved from the old site on the railroad to where it is now located on Hwy 67. She and my father, Arno Helmers moved Girvin in 1956 when Hwy 67 was becoming the road to travel. They purchased the old railroad depot in Girvin and moved it for our family to live in and for the Girvin Store and Post Office. After what seemed like a long time, the depot was moved and remodeled for our family of Mildred, Arno, big brother Stanley, big sister, Janice, myself, Arna and little brother, Johnny.

    Growing up in Girvin was probably the best place in the world. We met new people everyday and had our wonderful neighbors from the ranches nearby, the Rio Pecos Power Plant, McCamey and Imperial. If we saw great travelers, they came from Fort Stockton (only 35 miles away) and my parents took in many weary travelers that broke down on the road or who were just tired from driving. The Girvin Social Club was my mom’s great love. She loved to visit with everyone and to tell them about the wonderful town of Girvin. When they moved to the highway, she leased the land from the ranch owner for one dollar a year and had a fifty year lease. Being from Girvin and always thinking of it as my home town, I again want to say Thank You. My mom passed away seven years ago tomorrow and this just brought up lots of fond memories of my childhood. - Arna Helmers McCorkle, Fort Stockton, July 16, 2007

  • Brazos Point, Texas 7-17-07
    Subject: "The Old Man's Place"

    My brother H.L. Stephenson and his wife Denise first took me to Brazos Point back in 1970. We all called it "The old mans place," for the old farmer who lived there. He ran a campground right on the river called Braden's Camp. It was just to the left as you passed over the bridge head'n toward Walnut Springs.

    For three dollars you could camp all week (and probably not see anyone else). When I reached driving age it was a favorite destination of mine. I would take friends and camp all weekend or longer. Sometimes I'd take a date for a picnic there. It never failed. Everyone loved the old bridge, the river, and the old man's camp. I have slept under the bridge on a sand bar and made coffee from Brazos river water. I camped with friends and loved ones, some of whom are now gone or I have lost touch with. My best dog Buzzard loved it also. I could say to her "Wanna go to the river?" and she'd start danc'n. When we got there she'd run and play for hours, trying to bite us on the rear as we jumped in the water. I remember her plum tuckered out with a sunburn on the tip of her nose laying by the campfire.

    We'd go every weekend during the summers, and sometimes we'd camp in winter. Buzzard and I went the most, just the two of us. Brazos Point has changed, the old man has passed on and his camp is no more. A new, ugly bridge has been built right beside the original. Buzzard has been gone for about 15 years now. I have my memory and lots of pictures and a rock that I carried up from the river floor when my wife and I were dating. It is in the shape of a triangle and must weigh well over 100lbs. It's right out the back door of my house for the last 25 years. I can place my hand on it and I'm almost there. - Don W. Stevenson, July 16, 2007

  • Talpa, Texas 7-16-07
    Dear TE, I spent the first nineteen years of my life in Talpa. My great grandfather, James Miller Brown, came to Coleman Co. around the turn of the 20th Century. My mother was born in Talpa. My dad A. N. Hudgins ran the Sinclair station that is shown in the above picture and when hwy 67 was straightened out he moved to the highway. This place later became the Talpa Post Office.

    My wife's dad O. S. Sikes ran the grocery store (also pictured) for many years. He came to Talpa from Fisk, Texas and went to work for Ralph Edens in the Red and White grocery store on the east side of the main street.

    In my opinion growing up in Talpa in the 1950's was the best of times. We were not saturated with the Korean War and congress was not having hearings on everything that came along. The president was respected whether he was a Democrat or Republican. I grew up around many colorful people listening to their wonderful stories. I regret that time and space doesn't allow me to tell them. - Roger Hudgins, Forsan, Texas, July 15, 2007

  • Port Aransas, Texas 7-15-07
    Dear TE, In looking at your great site, I came across the [page] on Port Aransas, Texas. Since I was a small child my parents made it a point for to take us to Port Aransas for two weeks during our yearly summer vacation. I am now 73 years old and up until about 5 or 6 years ago I had made it a point to enjoy a few days at Port Aransas nearly every year.

    As a child the feeling of joy and elation never failed to come over me at the first sight of the rolling waves at the beach. That feeling has stayed with me all these years. My dad was an avid fisherman and we lived on a dry land farm near Ballinger, Texas. He and my mother had five kids of their own and raised two other's who had lost their parents. However, by the time that I came along the only other child left at home was my brother who was just older than me. We enjoyed the fishing and romping on the beach and in those rolling waves.

    On one occasion, my oldest sister joined us on our trip. She was about 25 and was very confident of her svelte figure. She came out with a chartreuse green strapless bathing suit and joined me in the surf for fun. The waves were strong that day and we were playing in the roughest of them. An unusually big wave came over us and when my sister came out of it she was topless. I can still recall the look of pure horror on her face and since the wave was gone-by, there was no water to plunge herself into until the next wave came along. Needless to add, I laughed until I hurt.

    Over the years this treasured vacation spot has changed so much... more - Rosemary Bradley Davis, San Angelo, Texas, July 14, 2007

  • Crews, Texas 7-15-07
    Subject: Crews School

    Dear Texas Escapes, I was raised about 16 miles from Crews, Texas and attended school at Crews until it closed about 1949.... more - Rosemary B. Davis, San Angelo, Texas, July 12, 2007

  • Bandera, Texas 7-6-07
    Subject: Bandera Hangings

    Dear TE, I recently discovered your article on the Bandera Hanging Tree. William Martin Sawyer is my ggg-grandfather, and I have visited the mass grave located on what is now called "The Hanging Tree Ranch" just outside
    Bandera. As a result of a Sawyer reunion in Weir, Texas, I have been contacted by another Sawyer genealogist who spurred my interest in the family again, especially since we attended the funeral of my grandmother's 101-year-old sister Leona (Sawyer) Hobbs a couple of weeks ago in San Angelo.

    Jason Sawyer's comments at the end of your article were a ray of sunshine after years of fruitless research. Attached is a photo I took of the tombstone in the 90s. Online forums such as the one you provide are GREAT resources for us genealogists, and anything we can do to "advertise" our kin helps others. - Ralph D. Ellis, Austin Texas, June 29, 2007

  • Woman Hollering Creek 7-6-07
    Another Version of the Colorful Name
    I have contributed stories and photos for Mackay and Falfurrias in the past. I came across your coverage about Woman Hollering Creek and since I live about three miles from the source of this creek, I'd like to add some additional information, and the attached photo. (See photo above)

    I have lived in Universal City, just outside the front gate to Randolph Air Force Base, for over 45 years. I take my grandchildren fishing on the small ponds / lakes just south of the base golf course. These ponds are the source of Woman Hollering Creek. A map found on page 137 of Rand McNally's San Antonio and Vicinity shows its source, although the small ponds are not shown. The ponds shown on the map are within the golf course; although the creek's source ponds are outside the golf course boundaries. The attached picture shows Woman Hollering Creek as it flows southeast from its source ponds toward FM 1518 and further down where it crosses under I-10. Woman Hollering Creek empties into Martinez Creek just northeast of St Hedwig.

    As I understand it, Webster's Handy College Dictionary defines "holler" as the verb/noun "yell". I would not confuse "hollering" with "weeping" as the legend of La Llorona implies. The legend of Woman Hollering Creek is totally different. The old folks in the Universal City area have told me that the woman "hollering" was actually a pioneer woman who went to the creek to either get water or to wash clothes and was attacked by indians, thus she "hollered" or yelled for help. A friend whose family owned a ranch for many years on Lower Seguin Rd, about 1/2 mile from the creek's source, vouched for the story several years ago. I passed the legend on to my grandchildren as we netted minnows at the source of the creek. - Sincerely, Ruben R. Hernandez, Universal City, June 28, 2007

  • Peacock, Texas 7-5-07
    Subject: Peacock Naming

    I have often wondered if Peacock, Texas was named for my family. As a child my family would frequently visit Throckmorton and (I believe) Peacock. My father's side of the family all lived in that general area. My maiden name is Peacock and my father was Kenneth Don Peacock. His father was Braxton Bragg Peacock. I understand there is a reunion planned for the high school there on July 13th thru the 15th, 2007. I hope that someone has information as to the town and its naming. - Jamie Peacock Lambert, July 05, 2007

  • Tankersley, Texas 7-2-07
    Subject: Tankersley School
    Dear TE, I attended school at Tankersley for the last couple of years that it was open. I remember Mrs. Rhine as one of the two teachers there. I was recently there but could not find the school so I would guess it was torn down. I lived at Lake Nasworthy and my two sisters and I had to ride a bus through San Angelo to Tankersley. When I was in the 5th or 6th grade there, I aquired an old Indian motorcycle and would ride to school by cutting through the ranches. I would arrive before the school bus to fire up the old wood burning heaters in both classrooms, sweep the hall, and do other chores in return for a free lunch. We had propane heaters also but the ceilings were so high that it would take forever to warm up on propane heaters. After lunch and at recess our big sport was baseball and we had just enough players to make up one team. One day we all loaded on the bus to play another small school but their team consisted of all boys and ours was at least half girls. We lost but had a great time playing and singing on the bus. On rainy days we entertained ourselves in our classroom with a game of eraser tag or hangman. The opening day of deer season would just about close the school as both boys and girls had gone hunting. When the school did close we were all transfiered into San Angelo's Robert E. Lee and things were never the same. My time at Tankersley school was the very best education as the teacher had time to give personal attention to problems. The days of the one or two room schools are long over and the innocence lost forever. By going to such a large school I quickly learned how to fight to defend myself and deal with the modern world. If anyone has any pictures or information on the Tankersley school [please consider sharing it]. - Rick Carthen, Coleman Texas, June 27, 2007

  • Langtry, Texas 7-2-07
    Dear TE, I stumbled upon your magazine and found it interesting. My family has roots in Langtry, Texas and my grandparents worked on the Hamilton Ranch in Pumpville, Texas in the 1920's. My grandparents owned and operated a Texaco gas station on Hwy. 90 W with six motel rooms in the 1930's-1940's. The family moved to Del Rio, Texas in approximately 1947 but granddad still ran the gas station while grandma and kids attended school and ran another business in Del Rio.

    The Langtry schoolhouse is now closed and the children now attend classes in Comstock, which is about 28 miles east of Langtry. The Schoolhouse is now named "Vashti Skiles Community Center" after my great-aunt, who taught school there for many years. The Community Center is used for many things now, such as The Water Board meetings, monthly town meetings, Bible Study, birthday parties, funeral services and an annual "Old Settlers' Reunion" held in each April. The average attendance for this reunion is about 130 people who travel from all over to attend the weekend festivities and visit with family and old friends.

    I believe there are [currently] only 14-15 residents of Langtry but there are a lot of visitors daily and people in the surrounding area drive to Langtry for their mail, to visit friends and attend a church service every other weekend at the Baptist Church. The last I heard, a visiting pastor or lay leader came to perform the service from Comstock. I have attended several services there with my family over the last several years. - Daina Skiles Schwartz, San Angelo, Texas, June 27, 2007
  • June 2007
  • Subject: Jasper and Newton 6-25-07
    Dear TE, I was reading your article about Jasper and Newton Counties in Texas. I am from Jasper County, Indiana. We also have a Newton County on our western border in Indiana. Our county seat of Rensselaer was originally called Newton before a name change in the 1860's. Newton County and Jasper County were part of a large land area in Indiana, and in the 1830's it was divided into Jasper, Newton and Benton Counties.

    Responding to your inquiry about the history of the men Jasper and Newton, and how the honoring of the two came about, I would like to share the following. It gives quite a story on how they handled themselves in the Revolutionary War, and how they came to be honored by the naming of the numerous counties. The following is paraphrased from "A History of Warren, Benton, Jasper and Newton Counties, in Indiana" published in 1883:

    As you know, the two were part of the group of soldiers called "Marion's Men." The story states that Sergeant Newton was a compatriot of Jasper and the two were often involved in "deeds of daring". One of these occasions is described in a story that states that the two were visiting Jasper's brother, who had decided to remain loyal to the British. Jasper and his brother were still family and on good terms, so Jasper decided to secretly visit him in the British encampment. If caught, the two would surely be shot.

    While on this secret visit to Jasper's brother, the men learned that some American patriots were being transferred to Savannah. These prisoners had deserted from the British and their fate would surely be death. Jasper was moved by the fact that the wife and children of one of the prisoners was accompanying the group. Jasper and Newton decided to ambush the British soldiers and free the patriots before the detachment reached Savannah.

    Just before arriving at Savannah, the group stopped to rest and Jasper and Newton attacked, killing two guards and running off the remaining of British soldiers. The patriots were freed. The two men were deemed heroes and their names have been listed on adjacent Counties in many States in honor of their achievements.

    The story behind the two has always intrigued me as well. I know of many people who have wondered about the many twin counties almost always found side by side, and at least one of the towns in those counties being named for Jasper or Newton. By the way, coincidentally or not, we have a Marion Township in our County, which is the site of our county seat, Rensselaer (formerly Newton), and to the west of Marion Township is Newton Township.

    I hope this information sheds a little more light on the subject.
    - Michael G. Kingman, R.L.S.
    Jasper County [Indiana] Land Surveying Services,
    May 26, 2007

  • Shep, Texas 6-25-07
    Subject: Drive-up Wedding 1906

    Thanks for recording the brief history of Shep, Texas. My brother and I made a visit to the site recently to see the place where our grandparents were married in 1906. Francis E. Vest and Fannie L. Gilbert were married sitting in a buggy while the preacher stood on the front porch. Our mother Opal Vest was born a year later in 1907. We had a nice visit with a lady who lives across the street from the Church Of Christ. There is also a community building in Shep. We would like to hear from any Vest Family descendants or someone who knows more about Shep and Blackwell. Thanks again. - Jim D. Northcutt & Doyle Bowman, June 24, 2007

  • Raisin, Texas 6-23-07
    Attached is a photo of FREDERICH'S DANCE HALL in RAISIN, TEXAS circa 1890 from a collection of old photographs that belonged to my great grandmother, Dora Kobitz of the Cross K Ranch that resided on the Victoria County shore of Coleto Creek. Our family, the Kobitz family, lived on a large ranch that bordered Coleto Creek on the Victoria County side. Most of this property was taken when the Coleto Resovoir was built in the late 1960's. but there is still a small parcel about midway between Raisin and Coletoville. My Grandfather, Preston Charles Kobitz, was the last born male in the Kobitz family, and the last to live in the old ranch house. In the late 1980's he wrote his remembrances of life in Raisin/Coletoville during the early 1900's; The following passage is taken from those writings: ... more - Frank Richard Brown, June 22, 2007

  • Boca Chica, Texas 6-21-07
    Subject: BOCA CHICA..... "What did you say?"

    In October 1960, I was completing the last two weeks of the Texas Highway Patrol Academy in Austin. As was the norm, academy officials posted on the bulletin board the name of towns or TxHwyPtl stations where the new hires would be stationed to begin work. As each new trainee eagerly observed where he would be sent, I was tip toeing to look over the other men's shoulders. Disappointingly aghast, I could see they were preparing to send me to live at BOCA CHICA, or even Pampa as an alternate, for my first work assignment. All other trainees experienced that same posted shock.

    At first glance, after completing those six months of very hard and rigorous basic training, my response was to tell them to "Take This Job And Shove It." But as time passed better judgment kicked in. I decided to just let it play out.

    At the time, I had never even heard of Boca Chica and honestly, panhandle Pampa wasn't a desirable place for this East Texas piney woods country boy to live either. So, we all languished in agony and pity for one another, trying to figure it all out and console each other a bit.

    After letting our group moan, suffer and wallow in sorrow and humility for several days, we found out that the list was bogus. It was just another last minute attempt by academy officials to disappoint, harass, intimidate, belittle, and discourage the soon to be newly appointed Texas highway patrolmen. That wasn't an uncommon ploy, among other things, used by TxDPS during the 1950's, '60's and '70's. We all later agreed it was just another attempt to test our mettle. We all soon were once again heads up, chest out and highly proud to have overcome the disappointment and finished the academy.

    A short few weeks thereafter I moved my little family to Crosby, Texas, in east Harris County as my first work assignment. There I spent a good part of my career. - Ray Maxie - Texas Escape's aka "Ramblin' Ray"
    , June 21, 2007

  • Cisco, Texas 6-18-07
    Subject: The Dam, and Cisco's zoo

    Dear Texas Escapes, For some reason, I was using Google Earth to look for Lake Cisco, having in my mind memories of times many years ago. The late 1920's and early 1930's to be exact. I remembered that dam -- reputed to be the largest hollow-core dam in the country at the time. And that tremendously large swimming area. There was a very tall slide on the east side of the area, probably fifty feet in height. But you didn't slide down it by yourself, there were small cars which fitted into the slide and you sat in the cars. I remember that there was a warning written on the side of the slide: "Look out for the cars." However, my spelling wasn't that good at the time -- I was six -- and I thought it said, Look out for the bears!!!" I didn't do much swimming -- I was too busy watching for those carnivorous monsters.

    But the crowning event of the day was a visit to the zoo. My Aunt Fannie Bess was escorting her daughter and us three nephews through the zoo when a very unhappy monkey escaped from its cage and began making threatening advances toward us. Aunt F.B. was kept quite busy trying to hide us all behind her and ward off the monkey with an umbrella at the same time.

    I know that the answer to the question by that person about whether the zoo was destroyed by the 1920 tornado is a definite "No".

    Now I have a question. I could not make out the dam's location using Google Earth. It appears that the road which once went across the dam now passes to the east of the former swimming area/zoo. Is that correct? Just a bit of curiosity in an old coot who is beginning to live in his memories. - Charles Porter, May 29, 2007

  • Mineral, Texas 6-18-07
    I grew up in Mineral. The story [of the naming] was that settlers were passing through in a wagon train and that one of the kids was sick. They stopped and gave the child a drink from a well or spring, and the water cured the kid of his ailment. Supposedly he had some kind of stomach worm. There was arsenic in the water and this is what cured the child.

    There were a large amount of sheep dipping vats. There is one that is covered up on the old Bast place where county roads meet just south of Mineral. This is what brought it first to be a mineral spa and people came there from all over. My mother and Audrey Fudge are two of the old timers who still live there. Mrs. Fudge was a Wolfe originaly and her family ran the Mineral Store. My mother moved there in 1942-44 and has lived on the same hill since then. She is now 81. There are a lot of old Mineral stories. My family and what is left of them were original settlers and my grandfather who died about 1928 owned a confectionary and a barber shop there. Mrs. Grady DuBose who is in the Georgewest / Oakville area, is a cousin to my father. There are lots of stories about Halloween when they would put someone's wagon up on a house. During the war, they turned a touring car with dates over on one of the roads out there. Many of the paved roads were once dirt and there are places where I rode a bicycle as a kid that are now fenced off and some of the old roads are even gone. I can remember going all over the Yoward ranch. They originally owned the Mineral Mercantile. - Dale DuBose, Kingsville, Texas, June 18, 2007

  • Lawn, Texas 6-18-07
    Subject: Jim Ned Remembered in California

    I am the daughter of one Nelson Irvin Mixon, born at Jim Ned Creek on February 18, 1892. The name Jim Ned still lives in memory, even as far away as California. I had never before thought of looking the name up on the 'net and was pleased to find there information new to me. I'd never heard that the name of the town was derived from that of an Indian chief. Thanks for you good work in keeping alive the history of Texas. - Dolly Mixon Hei, Shafter, California, June 17, 2007

  • Odell Texas 6-15-07
    Dear Texas Escapes, Thank you for the inclusion of Odell (Wilbarger County) in your features. I was born there and my Dad worked for the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. We lived in the concrete “bunk houses” built for railroad employees that lie just west of the 3-way cross roads. Dad moved with the railroad jobs but we returned there in the mid-fifties and re-built the house that lies [near] between the Primitive Baptist Church.

    I can attest to the existence of the five churches and report that my youthful employment included mowing the lawns of all of them and the small patch beside the old post office; a task that netted me 50 cents. The much larger church grounds could bring me as much as $5 for several hours labor. All five churches remained active until the early 1970’s with only the 1890 Baptist and the Primitive Baptist holding services today.

    Your photo of the Odell School is primarily the gymnasium built by the WPA in the 1930’s. The flagstone staircase banisters at the entry once held a brass plaque reporting this fact. The plaque has since been scavenged by a souvenir hunter. The main school building was even older and sat to the north of the gym. In the 1950’s the single-story structure was added between the two and while the north face of the gym building was opened for construction there came a heavy rain that caused the hardwood flooring of the basketball court on that end to warp severely. This became an important strategy in our game plan during my school years.

    The post office building was once an ice house and the walls are lined with cork for insulation. Today it is used as a sound recording studio by a local resident. Mrs. Cooper ran the small grocery from my earliest memory until just a few years ago. The walls of the store were filled with collections of wallet size “School Days” photos of the children who frequented her store from the community and the school. I personally achieved a priceless baseball card collection by trading her empty pop bottles found along the roadside.

    A reunion called Odell Days is held each year on the last Saturday in April. It features live bands, barbeque, arts & crafts, a car show, and lots of fellowship while serving as a fundraiser for the town’s volunteer fire department. I invite you to check www.odell.coyotedream.com for photos of this event and a pencil drawing depicting Odell (circa 1914).

    If by chance you photographed a small concrete cubicle structure about 200 yards east of Cooper Grocery but did not use it for lack of identification; that is the ancient jail. In the mid-1960’s it was the abode of an eccentric and transient man known only as “Andy” who did odd jobs around the town. - Billy Gilbert, Denton, Texas, June 12, 2007

  • Kent, Texas 6-15-07
    Subject: The Boyds of Kent

    My father and his 12 brothers and sisters were raised in Kent, Texas. My father's name is Claude C. Boyd. He was born in Kent and lived there many years. When my father returned from the service during WWII, he became the teacher of the school that is pictured on the Kent page. He taught all subjects and all grades together. Among the students were several of his own brothers and sisters including Howard, Richard, Joy, Jolly and Jerry Boyd. My father taught there until the Kent and Van Horn school districts were consolidated. He worked with the Van Horn Chamber of Commerce to make this merger happen. He then drove the bus to get the students to school in Van Horn and was asked to teach there as well. Each year The Body Family Reunion takes place the last full weekend of June. Kent increases its population from its traditional 60 to about 120+. during this time. The Boyd brothers and sisters and their children converge on this little dot on the map every year to reminisce and spend time together. We camp or we sleep in the little red house down the road which by the way, my father helped to build. Some of us stay in Van Horn but we all meet in Kent. That place for us is a major attraction and a place where we find our roots. We listen and tell stories about the past and talk about our futures. Time always seems to stand still here in Kent yet time marches on for everyone else. - Anese Boyd Forsyth, (Daughter to Claude and Frances Boyd), June 14, 2007

  • Tokio, Texas 6-13-07
    The Marble Champ of Tokio, Texas
    Dear TE, I was born in 1933 and I started to school in Tokio in 1939. We then moved to Wellman and in 1942, we moved back to Tokio. We lived about 2 miles east of town. I went to school there for 2 more years ( 1942 and 1943 ) and then my parents transferred me to Plains in January of 1944. Tokio consolidated with Brownfield. Grades 1 through 8 went to Tokio and grades 9 through 12 went to Brownfield. I don't know why the [historical marker] is not right, but I know what I am telling you is correct.

    When I went to school at Tokio, marbles was popular game for kids to play. I am bragging, but I was the BEST marble player around. So much for that. Ha Ha. I see where my cousin LeRoyce has sent you a message. He is absolutely correct in his statements. He told about one person riding a horse to school. The name of the person was Roland Pair. He and his brother James would also bring an old donkey to school for people to ride. If you pulled on the hair of the donkey, he would buck. It's real hard to ride a donkey when he bucks, but it was fun. THOSE WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS. - G.W. Brantley, Buckscratc@aol.com, June 12, 2007

  • A Photograph of My Great Grandfather's Saloon in Shiner, Texas 6-12-07
    I am really enjoying your website. I thought you might enjoy seeing this photo of my "Opa" Schramm's saloon circa early 1900's. A little about myself. I am an engineer whose hobby is cooking. There's a little bit of the food anthropologist in me and I've had the pleasure or helping Robb Walsh on his last two cookbooks, Legends of Texas Barbecue and The Tex-Mex Cookbook. This year, we're taking advantage of my wife's hiatus from working to do more exploration of my roots in German central Texas and are looking forward to eating a lot of stew and fried chicken. - Best regards, Jay (and Irene) Francis, April 22, 2007

  • Silver Valley, Texas 6-12-07
    Dear Texas Escapes, My father, Rex Buck, was born in this home at Silver Valley, Texas in 1928. Unfortunately, this home burned down in the late 1990's. His father, Oscar Buck, came to Coleman County from Arkadelphia AR as a young man about the turn of the century. My grandfather was active in politics as Chair of the Coleman County Democratic Party, farmed parcels of north-central Coleman County, owned and ran the store at Echo and sold insurance from an office above the Owl Drug store in Coleman until his retirement in the late 1940's. Thank you for your informative [magazine] and the smiles it brings. - David Buck, June 11, 2007

  • India, Texas 6-11-07
    Subject: Remembering India
    Dear Texas Escapes, I lived at India from 1931 thru 1937 on the Alfred Jefferson Moyers home place. Annis Wiles Collins Witherspoon Moyers, Wife of Alfred Jefferson Moyers Jr. was my g-grandmother who died in 1931. Her husband died in October of 1903. They had 14 children-4 boys & 10 girls. When she died there was a need for someone to move into the homeplace and take over the farming. My grandparents, Billy & Ola Moyers Wilcher moved in with their four boys and three 3 girls. My mother and oldest Uncle- Moyers Wilcher worked in Dallas. James (the youngest) and I went half a year to the India school run by a man and his wife. I don't recall their names. I moved with my mother to Ft.Worth after the 8th grade.

    Mr.Eagle ran the General Store at India. There was a cotton gin and a watertower where people filled their water wagons for family use. Papa and the boys raised cotton, big gardens, feed for the animals, and sheep for the wool. Cows were strictly for milk and butter, and we had horses, pigs and chickens. There was a family at India that had a peach orchard and another that had a big berry patch and in season you could go and buy their produce, picked or pick it yourself. I used to go with Papa. Papa knew a farmer at Cedar Hill and at Christmas he'd let Papa cut down a tree. Down in back of the big pasture there were Mustang grapevines growing on tall trees-they must have been there for years because the vines were as big around as a man's arm. They had formed swings & seats. It was really fun to play down there. Mama would make grape juice and jelly, can peaches and make preserves, put up berries for pies & jam. Of course vegetables were canned and we had a potato hill for both sweet & irish potatoes. We always looked forward to the 1st.norther and the 1st.hog killin' of the season. The smoke house was replenished-Papa made really good sausage-Mama made sacks for it out of un bleached muslin just the size to fit on the stuffer. There was also a cream seperator that seperated milk and cream so Mama could churn and make butter.

    I wouldn't take anything for having grown up in that period and being that close with my grandparents and knowing all my grand-aunts and uncles.There's nothing like family! - Peggy H. Nelson, June 11, 2007

  • Kerrick, Texas 6-11-07
    Dear Texas Escapes, I live in Kerrick and have for over 50 yrs. My husband was born here 75 yr ago. We are farmers when the weather cooporates. Allen Boren my father-in-law came to Kerrick area in 1927 as a cowboy and worked for the Perkins Ranch first as a hand then got a camp down on the Beaver River called North Camp where he married Allene Lowery and a son William Allen was born. My husband. They then moved to East Camp, the closest to Kerrick and 2 more boys were born. After awhile Allen became ranch foreman and they moved to Headquarters and a daughter was born. Allene was cook and also did all the canning for the men, the little boys washed dishes or helped. Several years later Allen had the chance to buy a section of land four miles W of Kerrick. Allene took over the post office and store in town. They lived in the basement and another son was born. During the war the store was a thriving business. The weather was good that year and the milo crop paid off the land. That's not likely to happen nowadays. Besides farming other land was bought and some pasture and cows were run. The kids all went to college at WT in Canyon. Bill left school in 3 years to run the ranch in Colorado the family had bought and that is where I met and married him. We still farm the home place. Our daughter is a teacher in Abernathy and our son is Dean of Wayland Baptist University in Amarillo.

    We are now called the oldtimers here and unfortunately very few kids have come back to live here. Our population is down to about 21 now. I guess when all us oldtimers are gone it truly will be a ghost town. Our house is on the N side of the school building and next door is the oldest house in Kerrick, the Whatly house. There are five of us ladies that are the same age, so we celebrate a birthday together every year . As this will be the 74th one to celebrate, ghosthood is getting closer. One neighbor Virgie Matthews is the official town historian. At age 95 she is as sharp as ever and can answer all questions. Virgie was born here in a dugout along with 9 siblings (5 boys 5 girls). Her father then built the biggest house in Kerrick (I wonder why). Her father was a pony trader to the Indians in Oklahoma and could speak and sing the language. A character for sure. His boys ranged in height from 6' to 6'5". - Pat Boren, Kerrick, Texas, June 10, 2007

  • Kerrick, Texas 6-11-07
    Dear Texas Escapes, My name is Kenneth R. Scott and I grew up in Kerrick, Texas in the 50s and 60's. I graduated from Stratford High School in 1964. The grain elevator was owned by Cone Donelson (possibly others) the entire time my family lived there beginning in 1951 as far as I know. My father, Robert Wilson Scott owned Kerrick Farm Supply (formerly Kerrick Co-op until he purchased it sometime in the '50s, I believe) but he sold it when he retired about 1990 and he and my mother then moved to Kerrville. The post office building shown in the photo on the site was Pete Eden's grocery store and post office. The post office didn't close until the '70s or '80s as the Edens did build a building south of my dad's farm supply store in the early 60s and moved the store and post office into it. Daddy sold his store when he and my mother moved to Kerrville and it was first called The Younger James Brothers Mercantile. It has been owned by several people since then but is now vacant. I'm not sure what the current population is but it is far from a ghost town. Here are some pics taken in 2005, the last time I was there. - Kenneth R. Scott , June 09, 2007

  • Port Aransas, Texas 6-8-07
    Dear TE, This may not be important but it left quite an impression on me. I visited Port Aransas years ago and drove onto the ferry that takes your car across the channel. There were dolphins jumping on both sides of the front of the ferry and it made a stunning view. It would make a great photo. I tell this to all my friends and apologize that I have no photos to share. I just couldn't help but remember that when I came across your information on Port Aransas. Anyway, just a little side note. By the way, just by luck I came across your magazine. My jaw dropped when I found it and can't believe the fantastic information. Good job!!! - Beverly Santos, June 07, 2007

  • Fincastle, Texas 6-7-07
    Subject: Fincastle and Tindels
    Dear TE, The Tindels, my anscestors organized and platted Fincastle, Texas. Their history is one of sadness as a result of the Civil War. They were forced off their land at the end of the war and went to Missouri. The Jayhawkers then ran them out of Missouri and they returned to Henderson County. By then they were landless sharecroppers. I understand the Tindels once owned the Otis home and some are now buried in Pioneer Cemetary in Henderson County. My mother, Leasy Jo, was a Tindel and the greatest mom in the world. My cousin has done a fantastic amount of work on our ancestory and I am just getting started. Any information concerning distant relatives or historical facts would be sincerely appreciated. - Walt Chapman, May 31, 2007

  • Andice, Texas 6-7-07
    Subject: The Tucker Brothers of Andice
    3 Soldiers, 3 Sailors, an Airman and a Marine

    Dear TE, I was born in Andice Sept. 27, 1925. My mother was Elizabeth (Lizzy) Tucker. She operated the Andice switchboard Telephone Co. during the late 20's and most of the 30's. My mother had 8 boys and 1 girl. All of the boys served in the military, beginning in early 1943 when I went into the Navy. I stayed for 30 years, retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer. I saw combat in WWII on the battleship USS California, combat on the USS Butner during the Korean War and in Vietnam I ran boats in all of the rivers in Vietnam. I had three brothers in the Army, three in the Navy, one in the Air Force, and one in the Marines.We all were eduicated in the red school house of Andice. It was a wonderful place to raise a family.

    I will find some old pictures of Andice taken in the 20's and 30's, and some of my large and wonderful family. During the Depression we lived off what my mother made at the switchboard, which was across the road from our house, and what my family made working the fields around Andice. We had 3 milk cows we kept in a barn next door and just south of the Dolehonss grocery store. Each morning we would turn them out to graze the bar ditches south of town.. Today I have my sister and five brothers still living here in central Texas. After a poverty filled beginning, we all were very successful in life. I have many stories I could tell about my life in the Navy. We have lived in many states where ever my Navy duties called and my wife and children have lived in Japan (six years) and Iceland (two years). - Howard A Tucker, CWO USN-ret, Georgetown, Texas, June 06, 2007

  • Barnhart, Texas 6-7-07
    Did you know that Barnhart was the world's biggest livestock place to take your animals on the train? If you go down there you will see the water tank that used to give water to the steam engines. I got all of this from my grandma. She was there. - Lauren Miles, June 01, 2007

    In Everyone We Trust
  • Pontotoc, Texas 6-2-07
    Back in the Summer of 2001, my family and I were on a trip and stopped in Pontotoc. We had recently moved to San Angelo and were in route to Austin. In that part of Texas, there are few towns between the cities so when we saw a sign for Pontotoc, we decided to stop and find a store. The town looked just like the pictures you have posted and to our surprise, there actually was a little store, so to speak.

    Having 3 small children, invariably somebody had to go to the bathroom and everybody wanted a drink. We went into the store but found nobody there. Assuming somebody would show up, we waited for about10 minutes but nobody appeared. I happened to notice that on the counter there was a note pad where people had put their names and what they had purchased. After 10 minutes alone in the store, we decided to write down what we were purchasing, we noted how much each item cost (guessed if the price was not on the item) and left a suitable amount of money to cover the tab. We merrily left the store realizing what a unique town Pontotoc is. Over the next couple of years while we lived in San Angelo, every time we drove through Pontotoc, my wife and I would laugh about our experience at the Pontotoc store. - Grant Nichols, San Antonio, June 01, 2007
  • May/April/March 2007
  • Candelaria, Texas 5-29-07
    Dear TE, Even though I was born in Alpine, Texas in 1952, we lived occasionally across the river from Candelaria in San Antonio Del Bravo. While Dad was working on a ranch outside Alpine, Mom would send me to school in Candelaria for the week and I would stay with an aunt across the river. That did not work out too well because I would just simply swim across and walk back "home." Later we permanently moved back to the U.S. and went to elementary school in Van Horn. To this day when I see images of Candelaria and the the Big Bend Country, they bring back memories of a time that was just pure innocence and care free. I now live in Austin but visit every now and then. Thanks for your magazine! - Oscar Olivas, Austin, TX, May 26, 2007

  • Goodnight, Texas 5-28-07
    Dear TE, I have attached a few more photographs of family from the glory days of Goodnight, Texas. Quite a few of them are buried in the Goodnight Cemetery. - Lance Ingham Sloan, (decendent of the Vaughan's of Goodnight) and (GGGG-nephew of Charles Goodnight), May 12, 2007

  • Belton, Texas 5-26-07
    Subject: Remembering an old schoolhouse in Belton

    Dear TE, I don't have a photo, but I remember the old Tyler Schoolhouse in Belton, Texas on North Main Street. I attended Tyler from first grade (1951) through sixth. The memories are many! Ms. Lucille Morgan was the principal and she had a paddle which read: "The Board of Education." I remember at least twice being introduced to the "board" for talking too much. A teacher named Ms. Corneilison used to say that everytime my elbow would bend my mouth would fly open! I remember the lines at lunch time and how one day a speaker came to tell us that we should chew our milk. !? We always enjoyed our fire drills, since we got to slide down the big fire escape! I use to pick pretty flag flowers on my way to school to give them to a favorite teacher. The days spent in that old school are forever engraved in my memory. I don't recall when it was torn down, but I still miss seeing it. I also went to a one room schoolhouse in Belton on South Main Street in 1950. The sweet teacher's name was Mrs. W.A. Means and I can still remember the smells of all our sack lunches and the teacher's kindness. - Anna Jane Davis, (Anna Thomas), Belton, Texas, May 25, 2007

  • Nazareth 5-25-07
    My early childhood years were spent at Nazareth. We lived on a farm owned by Howard Scoggins of Dimmitt, and one of my greatest childhood memories is the many times I helped my father irrigate. I also learned to drive during those early years. I could not see over the steering wheel, but my father thought it was important that we learn how to maneuver a vehicle. My first experience with driving involved driving the car into the nearest tree, but those early experiences would prove to be very beneficial when a short time later, our mother was seriously burned and my brother and I drove her to the hospital in Dimmitt. That was the morning of November 30, 1962. Our house exploded due to a gas leak, and 27 days later, my mother died. We left Nazareth forever then, but I still remember the wonderful teachers at Nazareth school. My favorites were Sister Bernadine Terese and Celestine Marie, and of course, I remember my childhood love, Craig Clemens. He probably did not even know I existed, but his name is forever in my memory. One incident that really stands out in my memory is the morning I took my pet badger to school on the bus. The badger got loose in the classroom and my parents had to pick me up after school. Oddly, my badger disappeared that night and I never saw it again. There was also a period of time when I decided I did not want to go to school, so my mom would literally drag me onto the bus and frequently, I would arrive at school with bloody knees. I never have figured out why I didn't want to go, because I loved school and was a very good student when I was there. The one thing I am forever grateful for is that the teachers at Nazareth not only taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, but they also taught manners-something that is rarely seen in today's society. Although I spent only four years in Nazareth schools, those were the best four years of my life, and I still have the letters that my classmates sent to me after my mother died and I left Nazareth. They are very dear to me. - Kathy Darlene Throne Daniel, Bedford, Texas, May 25, 2007

  • Progreso, Texas 5-25-07
    I travel the Military Highway (281) weekly and I saw some of the other histories you had of small towns. I thought the attached photos would be helpful. Thanks for you time. - A.D. Garza, April 05, 2007

  • Phillips and Borger 5-24-07
    Dear TE, Our family was from Borger, Texas, and my dad's brother, Sydney Wilson Bennett, worked in nearby Phillips at the refinery. I was born in Borger in 1948 and left for Wyoming in 1953. My aunt "Frankie" and uncle Wilson would babysit me and my sister at their company home in Phillips. We spent many, many a happy time there in the early years of our lives.

    About 30 years ago, I took my wife to see Borger and Phillips. We had our first child with us, and we parked our travel trailer across from my aunt and uncle's house in a friendly neighbor's driveway. I took my wife on a "tour" of Phillips and Borger, and we left a few days later, following a tornado. I just did not want to sit through another Panhandle tornado!

    I only learned of the demise of Phillips today! My aunt and uncle moved away when he retired from Phillips, to relocate in Bowie. Both are now deceased. I can't imagine Phillips having been leveled. - Jim Pixley, Corona, California, May 24, 2007

  • Ding Dong, Dime Box and Oatmeal 5-24-07
    Here are some pictures I took a couple of years ago. I thought maybe you could add them to your website. I am originally from Galveston, Texas but now live just up the road in Texas City. Thank You, Stephen Danesi, May 23, 2007

  • Double Mountain, Texas 5-24-07
    Dear TE, My name is William meadows. I am a professor at Missouri State University in Springfield. I am about to publish a work on Kiowa Indian geography and place names and am trying to locate a clear picture of Double Mountain (the actual mountain) and permission to use it in my book. Do you know of anyone that might be able to assist me with this? If any one has some clear photos at 300 dpi (or even 600), I would appreciate them and would be happy to credit them for the photos. I would like to have something within the next 4 months, but I am flexible. Thank you so much. - William Meadows, Missouri State University, WilliamMeadows@MissouriState.edu, February 09, 2007

  • Blackwell, Texas 5-16-07
    This is a picture of a A baptism ceremony at Hannah's Crossing near Blackwell, TX in Nolan County. We found the picture in my husband's parent's (Rufus Benjamin & Myrtle Lucille Noble) pictures, there is not a date on the picture. I so wish it had been given the care it deserved. Rufus Benjamin (Ben) was born & raised in Blackwell. In 1973, he & Lucille returned to Blackwell with their youngest son. They lived there until 1993. - Iva Noble, May 16, 2007

  • Best, Texas 5-16-07
    Photos of Texon Oilfield - Brian R. Jack, Fort Worth TX

  • Glazier and Higgins Tornado of April, 1947 5-14-07
    Dear Texas Escapes, The recent pictures of the Greenburg, Kansas tornado brought back memories of the tornado that hit Hemphill County back in 1947. I was 12 years old on April 9, 1947 when I witnessed the tornado that hit Higgins and Glazier. It was just southwest of the airport at Canadian, Texas, where my father Thomas L. McCurdy was the airport manager. The tornado was so large that there were five or six smaller twisters circling the main column. The tornado was so close that the air seemed to be all sucked up. It was such weird feeling. The main tornado lifted as it crossed the South Canadian River but went back on the ground after reaching the north side. We were so frightened by it, that we talked about it for hours after it had passed. The next morning someone was banging on the door at the airport. The man who ran the paper at Canadian was saying that Glazierwas wiped out. My dad flew the photographer over the area and took the original pictures of the devastation. After returning to the airport, my dad flew back to Glazier and landed on the highway to pick up two of the injured and bring them back to the Canadian hospital. He remained in that plane for the next two days flying people from Higgins and Glazier because the highway from Canadian to Higgins was impassable. All the barbed wire and telephone/ telegraph lines were twisted together and wove back and forth on the highway for many miles. Cars couldn't drive over it because of the barbed wire, so Dad's airplane was the main lifeline between Canadian and the other two towns. On the second day the Army flew in with stretcher planes and helped. Dad’s plane was a Stinson Voyager with a stretcher in it. He could carry one in the stretcher and one in the back seat. I don’t know how many trips he made but I know he was in the airplane for two solid days. The local gasoline dealer brought kerosene smuge pots to the airport and lined both sides of the runaway. They did the same in Glazier and Higgins and he flew all night long to bring the injured to Canadian. The basements of the Baptist and Methodist churches were filled with injured people after the hospital had run out of room. The high school gym was also used. Even though I was only twelve at the time, my memories of that event remain vivid. - Otto W. (Bill) McCurdy, Houston Texas, May 14, 2007

  • Millsap, Texas 5-10-07
    Recently I decided to photograph the small town of Millsap TX... Millsap is a very small town consisting of a few buildings and a convenient store. A very old post office has been preserved in Millsap which I am sending you a photo of... more - Lance Carthen

  • Golden, Texas 5-7-07
    Dear TE, It was exciting to see Golden Texas [in your magazine], especially in light of the fact that the first picture shown is the building where I was born, or so I've been told. Evidently, after the bank closed down, it was turned into an apartment and I was born there in March of 1941. My parents divorced when I was 12, but my father, Alvis Galusha, is buried there in Golden Cemetery.

    My cousins and my brother and I used to explore when I was a kid and I remember the railroad well even though we weren't supposed to be that far away from my grandparent's land. We would sit and watch the train go by and the engineers would throw us chewing gum. Being a city girl, visiting my grandparents every summer in the country was always the highlight of my year. This has really brought back memories. I still go back occasionally to the cemetery and love to go into the main store there where pictures of my grandparents are on display as well as some other relatives. I was so astonished the first time I saw the pictures, but thrilled.

    I have passed this website on to my brother and my children who will probably be extremely interested in preserving these momentos. So thank you very much for the effort and research you have conducted. - Connie (Galusha) Lattoz, Baytown, Texas

  • Westminister, Texas 5-4-07
    Subject: Recollections of "days-gone-by"
    Dear TE, Prior to 1928 my mother, Ruby Lee McFerrin (Hall) worked in the 1st National Bank in Westminister. The head of the bank was Mr. Procter. After the bank closed my grandfather, Claude McFerrin, moved his grocery store from the other side of the square to the bank building. He continued to operate the store until the early 1950's. He sold the store to his brother-in-law Francis Sellars and wife Jennie.

    In the 1920's Westminister was a thriving community. On the east side of the square there was a general merchandise store on the 1st floor. The barbershop was in the same building as the general merchandise store and also served as a meeting place for local musicians. Next to the barbershop Rob McCarley had a grocery store. The entire 2nd floor was one big open room that served as a basketball court. My uncle, Choice McFerrin loved to play basketball there. On the west side of the bank was a café that did not fare well. On the other side of the bank was a drug store with a licensed pharmacist. On the west side of the square was a casket sales store, next to that was the post office, and on the corner was Griffin's Store. The post master was Mr. John Easton. The next post master was named Griffin.

    During this time period there were 3 different churches in Westminister. They were Church of Christ, Baptist, and Methodist. The Methodist's had a brush arbor that was used by all the different churches during the summer revival meetings. - Cary W. Hall, San Antonio, TX

  • Neches, Texas 5-4-07
    Subject: Colorful Days of Old Neches
    ... During the early '30's, a fire broke out across the tracks from what is now downtown Neches. Neches used to be twice as large, but the fire burned half the town... more - Roxanna Posey, Canton, TX

  • Saratoga, Texas 5-4-07
    Subject: Bragg Light Misnomer

    Dear TE, I have lived in Saratoga, Texas my entire my life (36 years) and grew up a quarter of a mile from the end of Bragg Road. Everyone who grew up in Saratoga knows [the local mysterious light] it as Bragg Light, not the ghost light, ghost road light, nothing with the name ghost or Saratoga even mentioned in the name. The light is there and it's not swamp gas as other people try to say because there aren't any swamps around Bragg Road. My granddad was born in 1897 and was raised in Saratoga and always talked about the light. So does my dad, who has spent his entire life here (since 1934). People try to write articles about the road and light, that are not from the area and they get so much wrong about it. Just like it is known that oil was discovered in Saratoga way before Beaumont, but because it wasn't a boom it's not recognized as that. I just wish someone could write a completely accurate article on the Bragg light so it is known that it is there and what it is. My Dad tells me the story of the headless man looking for his head is something that someone from out of town made up and that people that descended from Saratoga never heard of it until they talked to people from other areas. I apologize if it sounds like I'm "going off" on this subject but as someone who has lived here all my life it's irritating to hear people talk and write about things that they don't completely know about. I have a magazine from years ago that featured Bragg Road and was fairly accurate on the article because they did a lot of research from the people around here before it was published. - Thomas Tomlinson, Saratoga, Texas, May 03, 2007

  • Desdemona, Texas 5-3-07
    Subject: Desdemona Old Photos
    Dear Texas Escapes, I don't know if this is true or not, but have heard my aunts and my grandmother talking on many occasions. One of the stories was that when the first oil well was being drilled out in front of the family farmhouse they suddenly stopped drilling. The man in charge went to town to inform the company that it was a dry well. Supposedly, my grandfather told the crew remaining that if they would keep on drilling and hit 'pay dirt' he would buy each of them a new pair of cowboy boots. They started back to drilling and a few minutes later oil started shooting up over the top of the derrick. A gusher!

    That may be true, but it may also be another Texas tall tale.

    What I do know for sure is that my grandfather Duke was at one time known as Texas' youngest millionaire. A few years later he had no money left and was a pauper at the time of his death. - John Keith, April 24, 2007

  • Justiceburg, Texas 4-27-07
    I'm a Scot with a Texan girlfriend. On a recent road trip, we happened to pass through the outskirts (such as they are) of Justiceburg. Here are some photos to use on your site... Great site, by the way. Thanks, Ewan Macdonald, April 13, 2007

  • Subject: Lost Carvings of Santa Anna 4-27-07
    ...Some time after 1946, mining work to extract Silica Sand began again at the eastern end of the west mountain and over the ensuing years, many, mostly little known artifacts were destroyed or lost, likely forever.

    I am referring to relief carvings in the limestone caprock all of which appeared to be quite old. They have to have been destroyed by the mining operation unless by some chance they were preserved. I will describe the carvings below:... more - Capt. Joe England USMC (Retired), Victoria, B.C., Canada

  • Subject: Texas City Explosion 4-27-07
    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

  • Galveston, Texas 4-27-07
    Subject: Galveston's All Day Indoor Outings

    My dad worked at Todds Drydock on Pelican Island. He would have to catch the ferry at 22nd street to ride over to Pelican Island since the Pelican Island bridge wasn't built till the 1950's. On Saturdays my mother would give me and my sister fifty cents apiece to ride the State Theater (on 21st and Post Office Streets). We lived at 53rd and Q 1/2. We could pay admission, buy a bag of popcorn, a Coca-Cola and even candy. We'd stay all day watching cartoons, serials. and cowboy shows. Back in the late 1940's and 1950's you didn't have to worry about your safety. When we'd return from our all-day outing we would still have ten cents left over. - Margie Bennett Hill, Galveston, April 09, 2007

  • Subject: Loving West Texas 4-22-07
    Dear TE, I am a native West Texan. I was born in Kermit but never knew how it got it's name until I came across your magazine. All our married life my Louisiana husband has said it was named after a certain frog. I was glad to be able to tell him who Kermit is really named after. I told him to shove the frog.

    Dad worked in the oil field, of course, and I lived in Kermit, Andrews and Midland. My Aunt Helen lived in Lamesa. I was shocked to run into someone a few years ago that lived in Patricia! I had been through that place many times but never thought anyone really lived there.

    When I was still in school, Dad had hurt his back in the oil field and we moved to California. It was a shock to say the least. I might as well have been dropped on another planet and [the Californians] didn't know what to make of me either. My dad's parents were Okies and getting up in years. It was decided we would move close to them. Moving to Oklahoma isn't something a Texan takes lightly, but I was glad to go! I tell people I was incarcerated during those years!

    When I was ready to leave home the first place I thought of was Midland. My momma said that was too far away, so being a good daughter I moved to the DFW area but I still want to go back. Two things keep me from it: Getting my husband to agree (he thinks you ought to have trees) and finding a way to make a living.

    I would love to move back. When anyone tries to speak ill of the best place on this planet, I quickly let them know they are wrong. - Carolyn Barrett, Flower Mound, April 20, 2007

  • Chatfield, Texas 4-20-07
    Dear TE, I have a little more information about Chatfield. That very old plantation house in Chatfield is Hodge Oaks and it was built by my Great, great great grandfather, Captain Robert Hodge. He had the title of Captain because he owned three river boats in Kentucky before he settled in Chatfield. He was also a Captain in the Civil War. The pasture next door was not to my family’s knowledge, a battleground, although, it did house an extensive spread of slave quarters, smoke houses, gardens, etc. Just down the road before you get into Chatfield, there is a historical site where I believe a calvary patrol was camped at the end of the Civil War. Captain Hodge’s picture still hangs in Pioneer Village in Corsicana and there is a re-enactment held there every year. Thank you - Kathleen Hodge, April 19, 2007

  • Trickham, Texas 4-20-07
    These are photos of the former town of Trickham, Coleman Co, Texas. My GG grandfather lived and worked around here in the late 1800's. Photos include the historical signs (painted on rocks) and graves of early victims of a Comanche ambush. - Bruce D. White,
    April 12, 2007

  • Desdemona, Texas 4-20-07
    Dear TE, I recently drove to Desdemona after visiting a friend who attends Baylor. I had once played a character named "Desdemona" in a play, so when I saw signs for a town of the same name, I jumped at it! I saw no businesses, but I saw some cute little houses, and I took a picture of the town marker sign. I really enjoyed the detour! Cute Little Town! - Kim Carter, April 19, 2007

  • Pumpville, Texas 4-13-07
    Dear TE, What a great magazine you have produced. Very enjoyable. I do not remember much about Pumpville except it had a store and one gas pump but in 1936, when I was 12 years old, my father contracted to build a ranch house just outside of Pumpville,TX. It was for a family by the name of Cam Longley and was to be on their ranch. My father hauled most of the materials by truck from San Antonio and most of the workers also came from S.A. We literally set up camp on the site and lived through the summer under a "cedar arbor" and in tents. I imagine it was hard on my parents but it was a great adventure for me as I had my own rifle and shot a lot of jackrabbits and a javelina hog. We fed our dogs from these animals so they were not wasted. Many times I was allowed to ride out on horseback to be with and try to help the ranch cowboys. What a thrill. It was hard times during those years and my family was glad to have the job since many had no job at all. I recently ran across a contract from my father's papers: It is a simple one page contract to build the house for the Longleys and outlined the payoff: $35 per week (to work 7 days a week) and a $810.00 profit paid at the completion. These were the "good old days". Thanks for allowing me these old memories and it would be exciting if after all these 70 years some descendant from the Longley family was around and could add to my recollections. Thanks again. - B.L.Craighead, San Antonio, April 12, 2007

  • Palestine,Texas 4-13-07
    Subject: It is wonderful town!
    I was reading all the wonderful stories on my hometown of Palestine, Texas and it made me glad to be from a small town. It was great place to grow up and still is to this day. When I travel my mind often return to Palestine. I am now forty years old and I still get lump in my throat when at dusk the light come on Ave A all the way to the Anderson County Courthouse on top of the hill as it stand there in all it beauty. - Rodney Paul Smith Palestine,TX, April 12, 2007

  • Whon, Texas 4-13-07
    My family were pioneer settlers of Brown and Coleman Counties. This includes the Simmons and Fiveash families. My Great-grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Simmons II owned one of the original general stores in Whon and his brother, George Washington Simmons had a large farm south of Whon. I made a visit on 11 April 2007 to explore and record the area of my ancestry. What I found was a major change from the [2001] entry on Texas Escapes.... more - Bruce D. White, Austin, Texas, April 11, 2007

  • Giddings, Texas 4-12-07
    Subject: Giddings Post Office Mural
    (Encounter with muralist Otis Dozier) - Don L. Spivey, Giddings, Texas, March 10, 2007

  • Falfurrias, Texas 4-12-07
    Subject: Falfurrias, Texas 1940
    This is a postcard that my Grandparents, Frederico and Lena Guerra, shared with me. They grew up in Falfurrias, Texas back in the 30's. This is a postcard taken of Main Street in Fal. Thank you, Lisa Lozano, April 10, 2007

  • Dialville, Texas 4-12-07
    As a child, I grew up in Jacksonville. We enjoyed going to Diaville to go swimming, in what we thought then, was a great swimming pool. As I look back I believe it was a lake the owners had enclosed with a wooden entrance where we paid admission. There was a tall tower with a trolley we held on to & "flew" through the air the distance of the pool to deep water. It was quite exciting! Then we had to pull the handlebar back with a rope! There was also a cabin up in the woods close to the swimming pool that the Girl Scouts would go to spend several days on a camping adventure! These are my memories of Diaville. - Adelaide Brewer Bennett, April 09, 2007

  • Toyah, Texas Train Wreck 4-10-07
    This is a photo of Texas & Pacific locomotive #638. I was told that this engine was in a head-on collision near Toyah on New Year's Day 1947 and that several of the crew members shown in this photo were killed in the crash. more - John Scott, Greenville, Texas, April 10, 2007

  • Brenham, Texas 4-10-07
    Subject: Brenham's Yellow Fever Cemetery

    Dear TE, Glad to find your magazine. We did not think anyone knew of or cared about the Old Yellow Fever Cemetery in Brenham. My great grandfather’s (Bolling Eldridge) first wife, Kate Hurley Eldridge, is buried there along with a few other Eldridges and Hurleys. We first found the cemetery in 2005 on our honeymoon. We cleaned up our area, and even cleaned the tombstones to read the beautiful inscriptions/dedications on them. They had such an eloquence and respect in speech back then. If anyone has relatives buried there and would like to somehow get a plan together to keep the cemetery kept up, PLEASE let us know. (mbusch55@sbcglobal.net) It would be a shame to let it deteriate any further.

    I was informed by Mrs. Stavena that the Masons were going to help keep the cemetery up. They have a clean-up day I think the weekend of April 14, 07. Thanks again for posting info on the cemetery on Texas Escapes. - Mark and Dawn Buschardt, Dallas, Texas, February 10, 2007

  • Kingsbury, Texas 4-10-07
    Dear TE, Several years ago I visited the village of Kingsbury, Texas and was quite impressed with the history of the town. I remember having a wonderful conversation with a lady in the Post Office and she was kind enough to give me a written history of the town. That was my first time to hear the story about the town being named for William Kingsbury, a railroad engineer. Since that day so many years ago now, I have gone on to research and publish a history of the Kingsbury family.

    I discovered that the town of Kingsbury derives its name from Dr. William Greely Kingsbury. Dr. Kingsbury worked as a dentist and purchased a large ranch in Boerne, Texas which he named (appropriately) the Molar Ranch. Dr. Kingsbury was not involved with the railroad, but he did a wonderful job promoting Texas to the British Isles and apparently was very instrumental in bringing many new settlers to the area.

    The Governor of Texas recognized the wonderful efforts of Dr. Kingsbury by naming the town of Kingsbury, Texas in his honor. I have this history recorded in the book I published Kingsbury Hall: The Genealogy of a Family. - Ken Kingsbury, Dallas, Texas, February 14

  • Jacksonville, Texas 4-6-07
    Subject: Crown Cafe
    Dear TE, ... I live with my family in Jacksonville, Texas. ... The photos are of a Cafe my great-grandparents (Joseph Bailey Warren and Oleta Sides Warren) used to own and run during the early to mid 50's. The name was the Crown Cafe and it was open 24 hours a day. The Crown was said to have had the best chicken-fried steaks in town. The builiding was torn down a few years ago but for many years you could still see the painted "Open 24 hours" sign on the window that my great-grandfather had put there so many years before. I would love to hear any stories that any of your readers might supply.... more - Justin Hunt, Jacksonville, Texas, January 13, 2007

  • Tell, Texas 4-5-07
    Dear TE, For years my father-in-law has held he was born in Tell, Texas in 1925. His daughter, my wife, is a traveling nurse. She took a position at Medical City of Dallas in January. Last week [my wife and I]took a road trip to the Panhandle to visit Tell. It is in Childress County about 10 miles south of the town of Childress. I noticed Tell does not appear on your list of Panhandle towns. Unfortunately we arrived in town after the post office had closed (operating hours are 8:00 AM til noon). There was no one available to get information on the town. Attached are photos of the post office and telephone exchange building [to share with your readers].
    - Tony Hool, Dallas, Texas, April 02, 2007

  • Havana, Texas 4-4-07
    Dear TE, I was surfing the net and happened upon your [magazine]. My heart skipped several beats and at the same time I felt an overwhelming sadness. I cried upon reading the story on Havana, Texas. My ancestor (many generations distant) is Jose Matias Tijerina. I have been researching how my family arrived in Texas from Spain. I had known that my family had been given a land grant from the crown, but I kept running into roadblocks. I have even seen where this 6,500-acre grant appeared on the Texas map (beginning at the Rio Grande). I would like to ask if anyone would know if in fact Jose Matias Tijerina is buried in Havana, Texas, so that I may continue my search. I would like to thank you and your wife for publishing this information to show how rich in history Texas is. May we never forget that all of us had a beginning - no matter how small we were when we started.
    Respectfully, Diana Tijerina-Pittman, April 03, 2007

  • Ridge, Texas 4-4-07
    Dear TE, My family helped settle Ridge, Texas in the mid 1800's. My great grandparents, great uncle and other members of my family are buried at the Holly cemetery just down the road from Ridge. If you go there you will also find graves of Confederate soldiers. We still have lots of land there. The gas station you have pictured was owned by a man with the last name of Hagar. Me and my grandfather used to go there quite often. The church you have pictured and the old school is where my grandpa went when he was young. If you go inside, there is still, or used to be, a chalkboard on the wall. I pretty much grew up there on the weekends all my life. - Jason Elledge, Pearland, Texas, February 14, 2007

  • Hitchcock Naval Air Station 4-3-07
    I was really intrigued with the Hitchcock Naval Air Station article by William Holmes having just recently read its Historical Marker in the 'Why Stop?' book. I dismissed the idea that it should go on the 'Must See Wish List' because the Marker stated that 'after hurricane damage in 1961 the blimp hangar was razed.' The hangar, yes. But not the massive door hangers.

    Anyway, I immediately knew what the structures were because similar blimps hangars were built on the Oregon coast near Tillamook in WWII, now housing the Tillamook Air Museum. In the closeup picture you can see the huge concrete door hangars on the end of the hangar. I'd bet each door weighed more than a blimp did. It must be the last blimp hangar left as it is now billed as the largest wooden structure in the world. Nearby are two pillars just like the ones pictured by Mr Holmes, where four bare concrete door hangars are still standing. When you realize that these are just the door hangers, the hangar itself was truly massive. Google Earth has excellent aerial pictures of the Hitchcock pillars which show up well because of the long shadows they project in the afternoon sun. Hitchock Naval Air Station is now on [my] 'Must See Wish List.' Thanks again. - Barclay Gibson, April 02, 2007

  • Star, Texas 4-2-07
    I was surprised but happy to find a site about Star, Texas. My fathers’ family is from there and my father and grandparents and probably great grandparent are buried there. My aunt recently contacted me and sent me some old photos of my families connection to Star, here they are... - Nancy F. Payne, Carbondale, CO, January 16, 2007

  • Bosque County 4-2-07
    Dear TE, I found your [magazine] by surfing Texas & Texas History one day not too long back and immediately got lost in the reflections of the past. It is now a "Favorite" page in my computer and I am enjoying all the work you put into Texas Escapes.

    I am no different than most other Texans. I am curious as to what is said about where we grew up, went to school, where our parents, relatives, or in-laws lived, etc.

    I grew up in Weatherford so I was thrilled with the information you have. That put me close to Mineral Wells and its famous "ghost guest" of the Baker Hotel. Most of the stories I knew but a few I had never heard. Being in Mineral Wells also put me close to one of the most famous Ghost Towns in the U.S., namely Thurber. Needless to say I have enjoyed your content about each.

    However, that brings me to the subject of Bosque County. There are tons of little towns & communities in the county including the ghost town of Eulogy. Around Meridian lived a lot of Johnsons, Earls, Ganns, all of which still do. My wife, Lyda Kay (Widdle) Harris went to school in Meridian for two or three years and her mother, Lyda Belle (Widdle Golightly) Earl, also went to school in Meridian and are related to many of the Johnsons & Earls. My mother, Nettie Gertrude (Harris) Gann and her brother Virgil went to school in Merdian but they also went to school at a little school called Union Hill which was located between Morgan & Koppral. My side of the family in Meridian consisted of Ganns and yes, Johnsons as well.

    I certainly rememeber the college that was there with its tall and stately architecture. [It was] located right behind the elementary school about one block. Although the college itself ceased operation the building continued to be used for some time. I remember it being used for was a baseball Summer Camp in the mid 1960's. I want to say it was called Boy's State Baseball Camp. I remember how big the rooms in the college seemed and I can still hear the echos from within.

    My wife and I have many relatives buried in the Meridian Cemetery on the hill. We go there when we go visit and have taken photos of our relative's grave sites as well as the cemetery in general. If any one knows or has any additional information on Union Hill, it would be interesting to see it in future issues of Texas Escapes.

    Please keep publishing your outstanding history lessons on and about Texas. After all, we probably won't find much of any of this in a Texas History book. Thank You. Rod Harris, April 01, 2007

  • The Hitchcock Naval Air Station 4-1-07
    I was in anti-aircraft artillery at Camp Wallace from '42 to '43. I taught radio operating and maintenance in the schools there. I often had to take radio operators out on 2 week bivouac and for gunnery practice at the beach. We were often down at Galveston's Stewart Beach firing 40 and 90 mm (3 1/2" barrel) AA guns, and .30 and .50 cal AA machine guns. Also firing bazookas, throwing grenades, running infiltration courses under machine gun fire, etc. I had to take basic infantry training for 8 weeks twice, since the Infantry would not accept my AA training. I was transferred to 78th Infantry in Dec '43 while on Tenn 2nd Army manuevers and spent, much of '44 and all of '45 in England, France and Germany.

    I also remember large pecan orchards there. During the 1950s weekly delivery trucks used to pass through my town of Nederland with the motto: "Nuts to you from the Hitchcock Pecan Company." - W.T. Block, Nederland, Texas, March 31, 2007

  • Hitchcock, Texas 3-31-07
    Dear TE, Outside Hitchcock are the remains of a blimp air base used in World War II when blimps patrolled the Gulf coast for German submarines... Click here. - William Holmes, Arlington, Texas, February 28, 2007

  • Goodnight, Texas 3-31-07
    Dear TE, I have in my possession some photos of residents from Goodnight, Texas including a class photo from Goodnight College 1899 - 1900. I have attached the photograph and one of my GGGrandparent's and their home in Goodnight... Click here -
    Lance Ingham Sloan, Santa Rosa, California, February 09, 2007

  • Gibtown, Texas 3-30-07
    Photos submitted by Elwin Jensen, March 10, 2007

  • Tokio, Texas 3-30-07
    Subject: Tokio Schooling
    Dear TE, The Tokio school was not shut down in 1941 (as stated in the historical marker). There are a lot of people that went to school at Tokio during that time frame (30s - 40s). In fact one of them rode a horse to school part of the time and tied it in the outhouse... more - LeRoyce, Gorman, Texas, March 26, 2007

  • Texline, Texas 3-30-07
    Subject: Marooned in Texline

    When I was sixteen (from the big town of Palestine, Texas) my mother sent me to a summer camp in Colorado. I remember on the bus trip that about noon we stopped to have lunch at the cafe in Texline. As we enjoyed our meal the bus driver [returned to] the bus and when I was in the restroom washing my hands, the driver left without me.

    Being stuck in Texline, I wondered what to do and where to go. A very nice lady at the cafe had heard the route the bus driver was taking and called the Dallam County Sheriff's Department to notify the New Mexico Highway Patrol to stop the bus so it could return to the Texline cafe and rescue the one it had gone off and left. I don't know if I was hurt that no one noticed that I was not the bus or that I missed the bus because I had wanted to wash my hands... - Rodney Paul Smith, Palestine, Texas, March 06, 2007

  • Fincastle, Texas 3-30-07
    Last Fall, while touring Scotland, we drove through Fincastle. What a beautiful area. My grandfather, John Robert Parmer was born in Fincastle, Texas. His grandmother was a Tindel, who was very active in the community and donated land for a church and cemetery, according to legend. I hope to find and visit the Texas Fincastle when we drive to Henderson County. Family records show that Mary Jane Tindell died in Henderson County, Texas in 1880. Her husband was Zachariah Wesley Parmer who died in 1870 and is also buried in Henderson County. I can only assume near Fincastle. They both came to Texas from Alabama in about 1851. My grandfather, John Robert Parmer was born in 1883. At some point around 1900 the family moved to Desdemona, Texas. My grandfather changed the spelling of our surname prior to 1920 (I think). - Robert Palmer, Houston,Texas, March 03, 2007

  • Leon Valley, Texas 3-30-07
    Dear TE, I attended Leon Valley Elementary School in the early 1950's and remember when the village was composed of only a few stores, a school and a blinking traffic light. The original school was a three or four room wooden structure with open hallways running through the building. Other buildings had been added by the time I was enrolled. There was a large arbor with a roof of dried palm branches in the center of the campus that was a favorite place for students to hang out. The nearby stores had stone facades. The only business I clearly remember was on the corner across from the school and operated as a variety store. - William Thomas Deneke, Decatur, Georgia, March 04, 2007

  • Campbellton, Texas 3-30-07
    Dear Texas Escapes, First let me say, "Good Job"!!! I really enjoy your website!!! Next, I am writing to give you a little extra info on this little town in Texas, Campbellton. In 1833, my great great great grandfather, Thomas Henesey, came to Texas from Ireland. He was granted a Spanish Land Grant in the McGloin & McMullen Colony in the area of Campbellton, in fact, if you look on a plat map of the county you will see the town of Campbellton was completely inside his land and his name is still on the records today. The story goes that due to the Texas War for Independence he was unable to claim his land grant around and encompassing Campbellton so he petitioned the government of Texas for another land grant after the war which is validated per letters I found in the Texas State Archives. My grandfather had settled in the Powers Colony after the war. It was not until 1853 that his petition for a headright land grant was finalized and he was awarded his land but in Calhoun County, where his name is also on the county plat map. Sad thing is that by the time the process was finished and it was granted to him he was deceased. His death took place around 1850 as best I can tell from documents and records. His younger brother, Walter Henesey, came with him from Ireland but died in the War for Independence from Mexico. My great great great grandfather only had one child, a son, Thomas Hennesey, from which my lineage springs. I have been amazed at what I have learned about my family in my research in the last five years. It has been so very exciting. Thanks again for all your hard work. Warmest Regards, Angela Warren Orlando, February 18, 2007

  • Flomot, Texas 3-20-07
    Dear TE, I have lots of memories of Flomot, I grew up in Quitaque and Flomot and still have family living and working in both towns. My great aunt and uncle own one of the gins there in town as well as an insurance agency. My grandfather was born (1921) and raised there as well as his two sisters. My grandfather has passed away. My great grand parents settled there and we still have a family farm house and cemetery. I went most of my school days at the consolidated school of Valley. I can still see the hazy air of ginnin’ season vividly, but I rarely get to see that site any more. Anyway I am not sure of the year, but I can tell you that my great grandmother was also born there about 1898 or 1899. I can tell you for certain I concur with the other [readers which have made comments], if there is heaven it is there. The hustle and bustle of raising my children in the fast-paced world we live in has made me realize that my life then was indeed simple. It was most pleasurable, but lots of hard work. While I never missed school due to the cotton being harvested (cus we had strippers), I did my fair share of choppin’ cotton, troppin’ cotton, and pickin’ and shellin’ peas, beans, gathering eggs, milkin’ cows, all the things that helped keep a family going in our corner of the world. My children only get small doses of that, now that farming is not a matter of survival any more. Yes I miss it, and I don’t miss it. I like my cell phone, my speedy little car, a Walmart a couple of miles down the road. But I also like the wide open spaces, the smell of Spring coming, and the ever-present chewing gum and bottle of pop my great Uncle always had ready for my sister, my cousins and me anytime we went to the gin, or just anywhere we happened to be with him. - Trisha Appleby, Beaumont, Texas, February 21, 2007

  • Fairy, Texas 3-30-07
    Dear TE, Thanks for making your information available to interested folks. The web is too often my only connection with Mother Texas, and I appreciate it.

    The James side of my family (my mother's side) had a connection with Fairy, Texas. Many of the younger children were born near Evant on the family farm, and attended elementary school there. When it came time for them to go to high school, they had a choice of Hamilton or Fairy. My mother, Ruth (James) Clemmer, chose Hamilton, for that's where my dad (Charley Wayne Clemmer) was born and lived. She graduated from Hamilton High School. My uncle A. E. James Jr. and my aunt Cleda James chose Fairy, and both graduated from Fairy High School. Mother was born in 1922, between A. E. and Cleda, so this must have been in the mid- to late 'thirties.

    I visit Texas too infrequently, as most of the family is now deceased, but I was in Kerrville (my birthplace) just last month. That prompted me to gather information for the monthly newsletter of a traditional music organization to which I belong, and it was during a little research for an article that I found Texas Escapes. I'll work Fairy into a piece one of these times, and perhaps I will visit next time I come.
    - Ken Clemmer, Phoenix, Arizona, February 14, 2007

  • Eulogy, Texas 3-29-07
    Subject: Old Eulogy, Texas Pictures...
    - Paula Mc Michael Athey, March 12, 2007

  • Strawn, Texas 3-28-07
    Dear TE, I understand that my great-grandfather was Stephen Strawn who founded [Strawn, Texas]... more - Stephen Strawn, Humboldt County, California, March 22, 2007

  • Caradan, Texas 3-28-07
    ...I am sending the photo of a church bulding that my dad built there in 1932. I understand that this building was, at some time later on, sold to a farmer and was moved to a location several miles north of Caradan and that was used for storage of feed for cattle... - Jimmy Reed, Pflugerville, Texas, March 22, 2007

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