Red River Valley
Features one of
Texas' famed regional collections of Indian artifiacts, tracing history
of early man along the Red River. Before Chisholm Trail days, when
thousands of cattle crossed Red River at nearby Doan's
Crossing, Vernon area was home to tribes
of Comanche, Kiowa, and Wichita. Mr. and Mrs. J. Henry Ray of Vernon
spent 30 years gathering artifacts, which they donated to Wilbarger
County, Oct. 14, 1963.
are a few mementos of Jack Teagarden and his career. Born Weldon Leo
in 1905 he entered a family of musicians. His father played cornet
and his mother played both organ and piano.
He played piano at five and trombone at seven. While waiting
for his arms to grow he occasionally played French horn.
He played duets with his mother at the local movie house to accompany
the silent films.
A piano - trombone duet is a rare treat and their performances
probably hastened the invention of "talkies."
In 1926 he went to New York and joined Doc Ross' Jazz Bandits.
This isn't important, but we like the name Jazz Bandits. Jazz Bandits
Jazz Bandits Jazz Bandits. His unique playing style and raspy vocals
made him unique as a musician and bandleader which he later became.
He died in New Orleans in 1964.
The museum has only a desk (a small secretary) that belonged to his
family, a trombone that may or may not be his, and a trophy he was
awarded by Esquire magazine in the 1940s.
Jazz enthusiasts, mostly from Europe, make a pilgrimage here, and
are disappointed by how little Vernon has on "The Big T." His sister
Norma died only a few years ago and was a jazz pianist who was
playing in San Francisco as late as 1995.
A Canadian documentary-maker has recorded a one-hour video on Jack's
life, which may be shown on PBS stations.
mural depicting life on the Waggoner Ranch
include Native American artifacts and an exhibit of the History of
the Waggoner Ranch. There is a beautiful mural (photo above)
depicting life on the Waggoner Ranch. A lot of space is given to a
There is an impressive collection of busts by the famed sculptress
Electra Waggoner Biggs. A biography of this fascinating woman
is available at the museum gift shop.