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Columns

"TEXAS TALES"
by Mike Cox

Syndicated weekly in 11 newspapers
Email: texasmikecox@gmail.com
Mike Cox's Texas book review blog
Mike Cox
Mike Cox
Bio
"Texas Tales" focuses on little-known aspects of Texas history Cox runs across in his research and travels across the state. Old-time Texas Rangers used to say some men just need killing. Some stories just need telling, and that's what Cox likes to do.

Columns

  • Diamond in a Gizzard 7-20-17
  • Hand-tooled Holsters Tell Stories 7-12-17
  • Frontier Travel 6-29-17
  • The Death of Judge Roy Bean 6-22-17
  • Sebastopol House 6-15-17
  • Camping in Boerne 6-8-17
  • Empty Grave by the Old Oak Tree 6-1-17
  • The Horse Thief's Prayer 5-25-17
  • Chaparral 5-18-17
  • Quail 5-11-17
  • Chicken and Dumplings 5-4-17
  • Dixie Pig 4-27-17
  • Taylor's Submarine Armor 4-20-17
  • MacPhelan Reese and the Rayburn Library 4-13-17
  • Hutto Hippo 4-6-17
  • Roxton 3-30-17
  • 1910: Texas Editors Look Back 3-23-17
  • The Case of Minnie Stacey 3-16-17
  • Grube - One of Texas' least-known ghost towns 3-9-17
  • The Life of Riley 3-2-17
  • Gunfight in King County 2-23-17
  • Jersey Lilly and Judge Roy Bean 2-15-17
  • A Texas Potpourri 2-9-17
  • The Coffee that Won the West" 2-2-17
  • Skeletons in Old Fort McKavett 1-26-17
  • Snowfall in Galveston 1-18-17
  • The Night Smoky's Hair Turned White 1-11-17
  • Texas Icons Cowboy Boots 1-4-17
  • A poacher & two lawmen in the Thicket 12-29-16
  • News from interesting to stale to interesting again 12-21-16
  • Christmas Stories 12-15-16
  • San Jacinto vets and Brown County 12-7-16
  • Sunday School vs Cockfight 12-1-16
  • Thanksgiving Claims of Texas and Others 11-22-16
  • Early Hunting 11-16-16
  • Campaign Friends & Enemies 11-9-16
  • Airborne after 52 years on the road 11-3-16
  • Ghost of Halloween Past 10-27-16
  • Old Three Toe 10-20-16
  • Texas Rancher Charles Schreiner 10-12-16
  • Pardner Jones Gunman of Hollywood 10-6-16
  • Protecting the Capitol from tourists 9-28-16
  • Roping a Locomotive 9-21-16
  • Not all ghosts are dead 9-15-16
  • Thermopylae 9-7-16
  • Charlie Hamby 9-1-16
  • Hogg's Prank 8-25-16
  • A Swedish family in Texas 8-3-16
  • Deer Antlers 7-27-16
  • A True Story of Texas Vengeance 7-21-16
  • Disjointed Stories of the Civil War 7-14-16
  • Texas at Gettysburg 7-6-16
  • "Sam Houston slept here" 6-29-16
  • Vollie's Ride 6-23-16
  • Horned toads part of every Texas boy's life 6-15-16
  • The California of Texas 6-9-16
  • Galveston Firsts 6-2-16
  • The Triumphs of Rough and Ready 5-26-16
  • Love Letter from an Outlaw 5-19-16
  • Old Rebels' Plight 5-12-16
  • Shuffle off to Buffalo 5-6-16
  • Big Bend National Park and Robert M. Wagstaff 4-27-16
  • The McAdams Story 4-20-16
  • Bell County Postwar Secrets - Part 2: Attack on Camp Hood 4-14-16
  • Bell County Postwar Secrets - Part 1 4-7-16
  • Ranger Cookies 3-31-16
  • Fishing in Navarro County 3-24-16
  • Shoot-out in Gatesville 1894 3-17-16
  • The 40-minute de facto president 3-11-16
  • Frontier Bravery 3-3-16
  • Lost Letter Describes Pre-Statehood Texas 2-26-16
  • The Transplanted Texan, the Grizzly, and the XXX Ranch 2-18-16
  • The Newspaper Tree 2-11-16
  • When a Hanging Goes Wrong 2-4-16
  • The three-hour Texas Ranger 1-28-16
  • Fort Worth's opening night fire 1-21-16
  • Nimitz Hotel 1-14-15
  • Rules, rules, rules 1-7-16
  • Wild West Auld Lang Syne 12-30-15
  • Stars Falling on the Texas Panhandle 12-23-15
  • Indian Incidents in West Texas 12-16-15
  • Nearly forgotten Big Bend Legend 12-10-15
  • Texas Born, Texas Bread 12-3-15
  • Talking Texas Turkey 11-23-15
  • Life along Jim Ned Creek 11-19-15
  • Drowned Towns of Bell County 11-12-15
  • High Seas Adventures 11-6-15
  • "Brown-eyed Lee" 10-29-15
  • The Other Big Tex 10-22-15
  • La Grange’s Chicken Ranch 10-15-15
  • A Lost Letter from an Old Ranger turned Representative 10-8-15
  • Academic Poker 10-1-15
  • Mike Cox's Autumn Sampler 9-24-15
  • Another Bill Smith lost to History 9-17-15
  • Born in a Wagon Yard, the Buck Started There 9-10-15
    Frank Buck

  • How 19th Century Geographers Saw Texas 9-3-15
  • Museums of the Future May Want Your Utility Bill 8-27-15
  • Cowboy Tree 8-20-15
  • Palo Duro's Enduring Pageant 8-13-15
  • Padre Island Considered Atomic Test Site 8-6-15
  • Spare Change for O. Henry 7-30-15
  • Billy Dixon's Long Shot Analized 7-23-15
  • Texas Rangers' Honey Forage Costs Them Dearly 7-16-15
  • Killer Mosquitos of Green Lake 7-9-15
  • The not-so-aptly named steamship War Mystery 7-3-15
  • Port Aransas 1919 Storm 6-25-15
  • Bad Luck Creek 6-18-15
  • El Muerto 6-11-15
    The headless horseman in South Texas.

  • Gulf U-boats - Ft. Clark Cavalry Tidbits from WWII 6-4-15
  • Lost Sword 5-28-15
  • Kate Dorman of Sabine's Catfish Hotel 5-21-15
  • The Brothers Baylor 5-14-15
  • Ft. Concho Chilled Fish Mystery or Issac and His Earlier Storm 5-6-15
  • Buffalo Hunter 4-30-15
  • Campground Rules of the 19th Century 4-23-15
  • Early Railroad Trip from San Antonio to El Paso 4-16-15
  • Chief Bead Eye 4-9-15
  • They Were Revolutionaries Before Texas 4-2-15
  • How an Underweight Underdog became The Mighty Atom 3-26-15
  • Narrow Escape from Fort Bend 3-19-15
  • Two Alamos 3-12-15
  • O. Henry's Stone Didn't Roll Far 3-5-15
  • Walking among the dead - Richard Andis and Concordia Cemetery, El Paso, Texas 2-26-15
  • Radio Days 2-19-15
  • Texas "Mail Call" Inspired by a Civil War Letter 2-12-15
  • The Iron Mule 2-5-15
  • Skinny Dipping at Trinity Bay 1-29-15
  • Confederate Reunion at Camp Ben McCulloch 1-22-15
  • Texas vs New Mexico: The Nickname Bowl 1-15-15
    Outlaws in Texas & New Mexico
  • Elephant Execution in Witchita Falls 1-8-15
  • New Geography 12-31-14
    Remapping the Lone Star State
  • Celebrating New Years in 19th Century Texas 12-23-14
  • Hard Times on the Medina 12-18-14
  • A History of the "Other " Dublin 12-11-14
  • Sunday, Nov. 24, 1963 12-4-14
  • Somervell County's Moonshine Past 11-19-14
  • Meteors over Texas 11-13-14
  • Sunday Drives 11-6-14
  • Houdini in Texas 10-30-14
  • Fort Clark Barely Misses Being Start of Civil War 10-23-14
  • Auditor-Be-Gone 10-16-14
  • El Paso's Austin High School 1943 Yearbook 10-9-14
  • Naked Lawyers in Paris, Texas 10-2-14
  • Memories of Little Walnut Creek 9-25-14
  • Ham 9-18-14
  • Old Stone Fort 9-11-14
  • The 1939 Martin County Explosion 9-6-14
  • James Garner, Poker and Life 8-28-14
  • Ghost Turkey and Hitchhiking Spirits 8-20-14
  • Sunken Treasure and the Wreck of the Steamer New York 8-15-14
  • The Cool of the Evening 8-7-14
  • Cowboy Boots 7-31-14
  • Austin as Texas’ Capital 7-24-14
  • Range Wisdom 7-16-14
  • Space Rangers Rode a New Frontier 7-10-14
  • Fishing in Port Isabel 7-3-14
  • The Vanishing of Marine Sulphur Queen 6-26-14
  • Mutiny, Murder and a Gallows Confession 6-19-14
  • The Battle of Walker Creek 6-12-14
  • Nearly a Second Alamo: First Shots of the Mexican War 6-5-14
  • Amusing Newspaper Blurbs from the Past 5-29-14
  • Robbed By Rube or Standing and Delivering West of the Colorado 5-21-14
  • Texas Ranger Dan W. Roberts 5-15-14
  • The Maligned Mesquite Gets Some Respect 5-7-14
  • Elvis Slept Here 4-30-14
  • Tiger Hunt in Mills County 4-22-14
  • Lost Letters from Travis' Saddlebags Spark Outrage 4-16-14
  • Trans-Texas Travels and Circling Mules in Austin 4-9-14
  • Bureaucratic Mutilations in Spanish Goliad or "Can You Hear Me Now?" 4-3-14
  • Wichita Falls Flim Flam Man and His Monument 3-27-14
  • Tom Mix: Don't Mess with the Myth 3-19-14
  • San Antonio's Blue Book 3-12-14
  • Travis' List 3-6-14
  • Grandpa and Grandma Lindig 2-27-14
  • The Final Day 2-20-14
  • Lover’s Leap 2-14-14
  • Myrtle Springs Cemetery Tales 2-5-14
  • Hot Air Verses 1-29-14
  • Alien “Airship” at Aurora 1-23-14
  • Bastrop County's (Post-) Revolutionary Rooster 1-15-14
  • The Blinding of "Stovepipe" Johnson 1-9-14
  • Rocks Covered Texas 1-4-14
  • Rabbit Drive 12-30-13
  • Ghost of Cookies Past 12-18-13 (Published 12-16-14)
  • Blue and Gray Reunion 12-11-13
  • Regency Bridge 12-6-13
  • Taking John Wesley Hardin's Advice 11-27-14
  • Weird Names 11-7-13
  • The Haunted Asylum of Wichita Falls 10-30-13
  • The Days of Big Ranches 10-23-13
  • Dr. Smythe's Journal Continues 10-16-13
  • Dr. Smythe's "Secret" Journal 10-9-13
  • News from the Republic of Texas 10-3-13
  • Two Ranchhands Meet Judge Lynch 9-25-13
  • Grandma Barnett Pioneer Woman 9-18-13
  • The Makers 9-12-13
  • The Galveston Storm Made Personal: the Unpublished Letter of Billie Love 9-5-13
  • "Skelped" 8-29-13
  • Cabeza de Vaca, M.D. 8-21-13
  • West Texas Black Bear Kills an East Texas Man Named Brown 8-15-13
  • “Dr. J.B. Cranfill’s Chronicle: A Story of Life in Texas” 8-7-13
  • Journalist Describes Physical Texas in 1910 8-1-13
  • Frontier Times 7-27-13
  • "Here's the money, but I'm not Bill Thompson." 7-17-13
  • Gentlemen's Agreement 7-10-13
  • Ice War in Ballinger, Or Ice Cream in the Time of Smallpox 6-26-13
  • The Time Lampasas was Liberated 6-20-13
  • OTS (not to be confused with OST) 6-12-13
  • A Campfire Tale 6-5-13
  • Steamboat Races and Tragedies 5-29-13
  • Confederate Compassion 5-23-13
  • Stolen Bounty 5-15-13
  • When Borden (County) Was Bone Dry 5-8-13
  • Aransas Abattoir 5-1-13
  • Rafting Cotton from Bastrop to Matagorda 4-25-13
  • Smiths at San Jacinto 4-18-13
  • The Oil Camp Boarding House - Hearty Food - Dainty Waitresses and No Tipping 4-10-13
  • Getting the Most Fun from "The Only Hanging for 50 Miles Around." 4-4-13
  • A Stagecoach Named Houston 3-28-13
  • Sucker Day 3-20-13
  • Sarah’s Story 3-13-13
  • Women Bandits Hijack Cotton in Civil War Texas 3-7-13
  • Rubus Trivialis is Not a Rural Contestant on Jeopardy 2-27-13
  • Katemcy 2-20-13
  • Dodging the (Confederate) Draft Through Postal Service 2-13-13
  • Love on the Frontier 2-6-13
  • Slow Times at Amarillo High 1-31-13
  • Dr. Blair's Mobile Pharmacy 1-24-13
  • Three Brothers Well Suited for Early Texas 1-16-13
  • The Great Texas / British TV Hoax of 1953 1-10-13
  • Wichita Falls Falls for Flim Flam Brit 1-2-13
  • Geographic Humor 12-27-12
  • Crockett's Grandson Died a Bully 12-19-12
  • Judge Vs Marshal in Old Mobeetie 12-12-12
  • Dying Doctor Bequeaths a Library 12-6-12
  • Railroad in the Red, and Brazilian Bats 11-29-12
  • Austin Mystery Murders 11-21-12
  • "Dear Papa's 'Rules'" or Give Pease a Chance 11-13-12
  • Birthday Cake with 111 Candles washed down with "Good" whiskey 10-7-12
  • Mrs. Dach's Weight Reduction Regimen: It's Easy, It's Effective, It's Fatal. 10-31-12
  • Big Tex: Son of Santa 10-24-12
  • The Fire in the State Capitol 10-18-12
  • Highway's History is Personal 10-11-12
  • Typing in Tyler, The Business School Model in East Texas 10-4-12
  • Wind and Water (or lack of it) 9-27-12
  • Boy Captive becomes Department Store Draw 9-20-12
  • Mosquitoes and Camp Bowie 9-13-12
  • The Naming of Devils River 9-6-12
  • Anecdotes on Antidotes, Early Stop Smoking Claims 8-30-12
  • Hoxie's Moxie 8-23-12
  • Jamming at the Rice Hotel 8-16-12
  • Survival in Kerr County 8-9-12
  • Ghost Town without a Trace 8-2-12
  • Lincoln Slept Here? 7-26-12
  • Captain Hamer's Barber 7-19-12
  • "The Indians are coming! The Indians are coming!" 7-11-12
  • "Ten-Gallon Hats / Pint-Sized Brains"
    Otis P. Driftwood recalls Nacogdoches
    7-4-12
  • In Quercus Veritas 6-27-12
  • The Forgotten Indian Traveler 6-21-12
  • Killer Skunks and the Myth of the Texas Desert 6-14-12
  • Veteran Recounts Battle of Adobe Walls 6-7-12
  • Found Horns and Lost Gold 5-30-12
  • Hunting (and Fishing) for the Truth 5-24-12
  • Making Change in Ma Ferguson's Texas 5-16-12
  • Fredericksburg in the Roaring Twenties 5-10-12
  • One Man Two Graves 5-3-12
  • The State of Jefferson 4-25-12
  • Dog Drinks Water - Saves Town 4-19-12
  • John Wesley Hardin Slept Here 4-12-12
  • Volney Erskine Howard 4-5-12
  • Blackie the Bear 3-28-12
  • David E. Lawhon, Texas Ranger/Pioneer Publisher 3-22-12
  • The Poison Spring 3-15-12
  • Texas Navy vs The Press 3-8-12
  • Storm Racing 3-1-12
  • Amarillo by Airmail 2-23-12
  • Sam Houston's Duel 2-19-12
  • Indian Jim 2-13-12
  • Lizzie Hay and the Demise of the Lone Highwayman 2-9-12
  • Booker, Texas 1-26-12
  • The Belle of Marble Falls and the Bear King 1-19-12
  • Savoy Male and Female College 1-11-12
  • The Shooting in Donley County 1-6-12
  • The New Year’s Shooting 12-28-11
  • What Became of Felipe Frais? 12-22-11
  • Steamship Concho 12-14-11
  • Pinto Beans 12-7-11
  • Life in Frontier Texas 11-30-11
  • The Old Bugle in Fort Stockton 11-23-11
  • The Pitchfork Kid 11-17-11
  • Poetic Justice 11-10-11
  • Royalty for a Day 11-3-11
  • Haunted House in Mason County 10-26-11
  • Dirigible Over Texas, U.S.S. Shenandoah 10-20-11
  • Widows by Death 10-13-11
  • "Rangering" in Hamilton County 10-6-11
  • Flora’s Tree 9-29-11
  • Drought and Skeleton 9-22-11
  • America's Third Largest Fire 9-15-11
  • Harvey Hughes’ Short Literary Career 9-8-11
  • The White Wing Hotel 9-1-11
  • The Beer Train 8-25-11
  • Alpine’s Holland Hotel 8-18-11
  • Davy Crockett's Fiddle 8-11-11
  • The Man under the Black Fedora 8-4-11
  • Memories of What Might Have Been 7-28-11
  • The State Capitol Dome 7-21-11
  • Texas Gold Rush 7-14-11
  • Remembering J. Evetts Haley 7-7-11
  • Lizzie Crosson had true grit 6-30-11
  • Horned Toads 6-23-11
  • Ernst Tinaja 6-16-11
  • The Wonderful Boy 6-9-11
  • J. Frank Dobie 6-1-11
  • Lampasas County’s Longmeadow Cemetery 5-26-11
  • Telecommunication of the not-so-distant past 5-19-11
  • Star is Born 5-12-11
  • Common Sense Justice in Marlin 5-5-11
  • Carnie Philosophy 4-28-11
  • Sleeper's Song 4-21-11
  • Rawhides: Business in Wild and Woolly Tee Pee City 4-14-11
  • Lubbock Ghost Stories 4-7-11
  • The Boy With Two Tombstones
    Or Iraan's “Little Boy Lost.”
    3-30-11
  • Palo Duro Gold Rush 3-18-11
  • Fishing in Port Aransas 3-10-11
  • Pronghorn Antelope 3-3-11
  • Old Trail Drivers 2-24-11
  • A Story of Two Veterans: They Didn't Take the War Personally 2-17-11
  • Davy Crockett Won 2-10-11
  • Wild Bill the Driller 2-3-11
  • The Sword in the Tree 1-27-11
  • Comanche Raids in Coryell County 1-27-11
  • Old Rangers and Sam Houston's Grave 1-13-11
  • A Piece of Texas’ Past 1-6-11


    More columns: 2003 to 2010
    >

    A weekly column - Since July, 2003

  • Mayhem at Mount Carmel by Mike Cox
    Excerpt from "Time of the Rangers from 1900 to the Pesent"

    The morning of February 28, 1993... A Texas National Guard helicopter had been shot down and numerous federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents killed and wounded while attempting to serve a search warrant at David Koresh’s Branch Davidian ranch...

    Mike Cox

    Mike Cox, an elected member of the Texas Institute of Letters, is the author of 30 Texas-related, non-fiction books as well as numerous magazine articles. Author of a best-selling two-volume narrative history of the Texas Rangers, "The Texas Rangers: Wearing the Cinco Peso, 1821-1900" and “Time of the Rangers: The Texas Rangers 1900 to Present,” Cox in September 2010 received the A.C. Greene Award for lifetime achievement as a writer.

    A former award-winning journalist for the Austin American-Statesman and other Texas newspapers, Cox spent more than 15 years as spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, handling media interviews at the scene of some of the biggest news events in recent Texas history.

    He retired as communications manager for the Texas Department of Transportation in 2007, but retired from retirement in 2010 to join the communications division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. He left state service in March 2015 and now fully devotes his time to writing, editing/consulting and public speaking. When he's not hunting or fishing, that is.

    October 2016


    A popular professional speaker, Cox is available to talk to associations, chambers of commerce and other groups about Texas history and other topics. For more information, or to suggest story ideas or to comment on stories, feel free to contact him at texasmikecox@gmail.com
    Books by Mike Cox - Order Here


    COLUMNS:

  • Mike Cox - "Texas Tales"
  • Clay Coppedge - "Letters from Central Texas"
  • Murray Montgomery - "Lone Star Diary"
  • Wanda Orton - "Wandering"
  • Michael Barr - "Hindsights"
  • Maggie Van Ostrand - "A Balloon in Cactus"
  • Jase Graves' "Quips and Salsa"
  • David Knape - "Once Upon A Line" Poems
  • Roger Todd Moore - "Moore Texas" Cartoons
  • John Troesser
    More columns
  • More Things Historical:

  • "A Glimpse of Texas Past" by Jeffery Robenalt
  • "Bob Bowman's East Texas" by Bob Bowman
  • "All Things Historical" by Archie P. McDonald & Bob Bowman
  • "Cannonball's Tales" by W. T. Block Jr.
  • "It's All Trew" by Delbert Trew
  • "Charley Eckhardt's Texas" by C. F. Eckhardt
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