Click Here

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

September 11, 2014. JAY MOORE'S ABILENE HISTORY IN PLAIN SIGHT' EXPLAINS WHAT DEFINES CITY. Abilene High history teacher Jay Moore's new book, "Abilene History in Plain Sight," is a companion to the popular DVD series he produced about historical people and places in Abilene. Moore will talk about the book at 7 p.m. Thursday at The Grace Museum at a book release event co-sponsored by the museum and the publisher, Abilene Christian University Press. Abilene Reporter-News (TX) - Sunday, September 7, 2014

September 13, 2014. 'LAST TRAIN TO EL PASO' SIGNING IN SILVER CITY. Fort Worth author Jerry Lobdill will discuss and sign copies of his book "Last Train to El Paso" at 2 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Silver City Museum, 312 Broadway in Silver City. Published by Cross Timbers Press, the book is billed as a history of the mysterious unsolved murder of New Mexico cattle baron Thomas Lyons, a prominent leader in Silver City. Lyons was murdered not long after he arrived at the Union Depot in El Paso on May 17, 1917. Lobdill contends that the case, one of the most sensational crimes in El Paso history, resulted in a gross miscarriage of justice. Information: 575-538-5921.

September 18, 2014. DREW BULLARD PRESENTS ON 40 YEARS OF THE SCURRY COUNTY MUSEUM. The Scurry County Museum's 3rd Thursday presenter happens this Thursday, September 18th, at 6:00 pm at the Scurry County Museum. Drew Bullard will talk about 40 years of the Scurry County Museum. If you have not heard Mr. Bullard's presentations you are in for a real treat because he has an entertaining blend of facts, humor, and though provoking questions. Mr. Bullard has been involved with the museum since the earliest days and will be a great presenter. This is one presentation not to miss! This event is free and open to the public complete with refreshments. See you at the museum! For more information call 325.573.6107.

September 21, 2014. HEART OF TEXAS HISTORIANS & STORYTELLERS CONFERENCE. HOT Events Center, 805 San Angelo Hwy. 87, Brady, TX 76825, Presentations by Dr. Justin Murphy, Howard Payne University, and Dr. Thomas Hatfield, University of Texas, Austin, who will highlight the WWII Legacy of Douglas MacArthur and Earl Rudder. No Admission Charge--Donations Appreciated. For more information email<>

September 22-27, 2014. 14TH ANNUAL WEST TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL (Sept. 22-27). Book enthusiasts come together the week of Sept. 22-27 for the 14th annual West Texas Book Festival that celebrates Texan authors, including New York Times best-selling author Deborah Crombie, Abilene area's Glenn Dromgoole, Tiffany Fink and Jay Moore. Events are located at the Abilene Public Library, 202 Cedar St., Abilene, TX 79601 and the Abilene Civic Center at 1100 N. Sixth St., Abilene, TX 79601. Most events are open and free to the public, but tickets must be purchased for some events. For information, go to Daily Herald (TX) - Tuesday, August 26, 2014.

September 27, 2014. FEDERICO VILLALBA TEXAS HISTORICAL MARKER UNVEILING sponsored by the Brewster County Historical Commission at the Terlingua Cemetery where Federico Villalba, a noteworthy Big Bend pioneer, is buried. The unveiling will feature brief remarks from Texas State Representatives Poncho Nevárez and Jason Villalba; Travis Roberts, Chairman of the Brewster County Historical Commission; Lonn Taylor, Historian; Juan Manuel Casas, Author; and Mark Wolfe, Executive Director of the Texas Historical Commission. 5:00 p.m. CST FM 170 & Terlingua Ghost Town Road, Terlingua, Texas 79852. For more information email Travis Roberts at<>.

September 27, 2014. TEXAS RANGER HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM CELEBRATES 50 YEARS. Saturday, September 27th in John Knox Center at the Museum: 5:30 - Round Up: Mix and mingle and view our new exhibit, Texas Roots: The Art of Lee Herring; 6:30 - Dinner Bell Rings: Prime rib and fixin's served by On the Spot Catering; 6:45 - Presentations by Texas Rangers including Major Frank Malinak and Retired Chief Kirby Dendy; 7:30 - Dance 'til the Cows Come Home: Real. Texas. Music. by the Chris Low. Individual tickets are $75 and table sponsorships are $750. Table sponsorships include six tickets and a Texas Ranger as a table guest. For hotel accommodations, please contact the Holiday Inn in Bellmead at (254) 799-9997. To reserve tickets, please call (254) 750-8631. Seating is limited. Please RSVP by September 19th.

September 30, 2014. SOUTHWEST BOOK AWARD NOMINATIONS ACCEPTED up to September 30. The Border Regional Library Association is asking for nominations for its 44th annual Southwest Books Awards competition. Open to publishers and individuals, the competition recognizes outstanding books which reflect or interpret the Southwest in any genre. Original video and audio materials also are eligible to compete. To be eligible, entries must: 1) Be about the Southwest, defined as West Texas , New Mexico, Arizona and northern Mexico; 2) Appear in book or non-print format for the first time between Aug. 1, 2013, and July 31, 2014; 3) Be of high quality. Information: Claudia Rivers, 747-6725,; or Lisa Weber, 747-5039,, El Paso Times (TX) - Sunday, August 31, 2014.

September 30, 2014. TEXAS PBS ONLINE BOOK FEATURES ONLINE DISCUSSION OF TEXAS WOMEN on the Cattle Trails with experts Joyce Roach and Dr. Carolina Castillo Crimm. The presentation gives readers the chance to interact online with authors and other experts. To participate and for more information go to

October 4, 2014. 2014 FALL MEETING--EDWARDS PLATEAU HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION, San Angelo, Texas. The 2014 Fall meeting of the Edwards Plateau Historical Association will convene in the Heritage Hall of the First United Methodist Church, 17 East Beauregard Street in San Angelo, Texas, on Saturday morning, October 4, 2014, with registration at 9:30 a.m. Host is Tom Green County Historical Commission. Chairman is Golda Foster <> The program will consist of the presentation of documented papers pertaining to Tom Green County historical events. A noon meal will be catered, and EPHA President Ruth Cooper of Winters will preside at the annual business session. Items on the agenda will be approval of the October 5, 2013, and May 4, 2014 minutes, approval of the Treasurer's report, discussion and possible action on The Edwards Plateau Historian publications, election of officers, selection of Runnels County for the Spring 2015 meeting, and other current business. Registration cost is $15.00 each and includes the meal. RESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE by Saturday, September 27, with Margaret Gaver, P. O. Box 243, Junction, TX 76849-0243; telephone 325/446-2477 or e-mail<>.

October 11, 2014. KENT COUNTY QUANAH PARKER TRAIL ARROW DEDICATION, Jayton, Texas. For more information contact .
October 11, 2014. THE THIRD ANNUAL HISTORICAL DRIVING TOUR SPONSORED BY THE JACK COUNTY HISTORICAL COMMISSION. "We are sponsoring our third annual Historical Driving Tour on Saturday, October 11th and believe it will be a worthwhile and fun event for all who are interested in Texas history. Jack County has a colorful past and seeing these sites in person will make history come alive. There are six main sites on this self-paced driving tour. There are many other sites to be viewed along the way. Those attending will be given an audio CD detailing the stories of these sites, as well as a map and driving directions. Your tour will include several of the more infamous Indian raids of the area including the Warren Wagon Train Indian Massacre and the Butterfield Stage Stops. Other locations on the tour include a frontier burial site, a frontier fort and the birthplace of 4-H. The tour will be held Saturday, October 11th during the hours of 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Tickets are $10.00 for each adult. Tickets will be available on the day of the tour at the Jack County Museum, 241 W Belknap Street, Jacksboro, Texas. For more information call Jess Elmore 817-994-9235<mailto:817-994-9235> or e-mail<>
October 11, 2014. THE EL CAMINO REAL DE TIERRA (CARTA) will be hosting its annual conference in El Paso. The CARTA conference will be hosted at the Hilton Courtyard Hotel on the University of Texas-El Paso campus and will feature a number of significant presentations from noted regional and local historians ("all history is local") and tours of the adjacent historic sites that pertain to the "Camino Real." For more information email<> or call 575-528-8267.

October 18, 2014. LLANO COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM PRESENTS WESTERN TRAPPINGS ON THE LLANO October 18, 2014 to January 4, 2015 International Juried Exhibition & Sale Finest in Custom Gear & Original Western Art No Ad.mission Charge Meet the Artists reception & Preview Sale Oct.17, 2014 Ticket is required for admission to reception. Live Public Auction of Western Art & Custom Gear Oct.18, 2014. Llano, Texas.<>

October 25, 2015. WEST TEXAS TRAILS MEETING, Hope Center at Quitaque, Texas. Activities include a tour of the Comanchero Canyons Museum, a panel discussion, a meet-n-greet session, and lunch. Those needing Friday or Saturday night hotel accommodations can contact Hotel Matador (806-347-2939), El Matador Lodge (806-347-2600), and Travelers Inn Bed and Breakfast in Roaring Springs (806-348-7304). Exhibit space is available and exhibitors should contact the local arrangements folks to reserve a table. The event is a combined effort of the Comanchero Canyons Museum (<>) and the West Texas Historical Association. For more information contact<> or<>.

December 31, 2014. DUE DATE CALL FOR PAPERS AND PRESENTATIONS PROPOSALS FOR THE 2015 OKLAHOMA HISTORY CONFERENCE SPONSORED BY THE OKLAHOMA HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Artesian Hotel, Sulphur Oklahoma April 22, 23, and 24, 2015. Proposals should be sent to: Annual Conference Committee, Attn: Paul Lambert, Oklahoma Historical Society, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73105. Proposals also may be emailed to Paul Lambert at<>. 405/522-5217

EDWARDS PLATEAU HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION. A glorious late-summer afternoon to each of you. I hope each of you grandparents are enjoying the day set aside to honor you. My grandfather Burt died in 1925 before I was born; my grandfather Allsup (a delightful man) passed away in 1937 when I was small; my grandmother Burt died in 1942, and we lost dear grandmother Allsup in 1958. Although there was no "grandparents's day", we children were taught to honor and respect our elders, and I was fortunate to have wonderful forebears. Today I am reminiscing about my ancestors and the legacy of kindness they left behind. I am sorry to report several deaths....funeral services for Wanda (Mrs. Bill) Whitworth of Brackettville were held in the Junction Cemetery during the week. A dear family friend, Ray Leamons of Houston/and Kimble County, passed away last Monday, and services will be Wednesday in the Houston National Cemetery. My son-in-law's father, Stanley E. Rohowetz, died Wednesday in Indianapolis, Indiana, and services will be September 19 in Woodruff, Wisconsin. He was another kind gentleman who will be missed. Yesterday, a lifelong friend, Clayton Murr, passed away, and funeral arrangements are now pending. Happy news to report include word that Harriette Randle Cahoon, now of Brownwood, will celebrate her 90th birthday anniversary September 18. She and her family lived in Kimble County in the1960's. Happy wishes, Harriette! Edwards Plateau Historical Association will meet Saturday, October 4, in the Heritage Hall of First United Methodist Church in San Angelo. Host will be Tom Green County Historical Commission, and more details will be forthcoming. Plan to be there! Until next week......Frederica Wyatt [] Executive Director of the Edwards Plateau Historical Association.

NEW HISTORY GROUP. Central Texas Historical Association Is organizing at Blinn College. Kenneth Howell who takes up his new job as Professor of History at Blinn College is currently organizing the Central Texas Historical Association. For more information you can reach him at<>

NEW BOOK. 'Big Drift' by Patrick Dearen blends color, history of West Texas. The book is available at Cactus Book Shop, 6 E. Concho Ave., and at San Angelo Standard-Times (TX) - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

NEW BOOK. "Frontier Texas! A Journey through the Wild West" includes almost all the text and visuals that visitors experience in a visit to the Western heritage center, said museum Executive Director Jeff Salmon. Abilene Reporter-News (TX) - Monday, August 25, 2014

GOV. PERRY REAPPOINTS O'NEAL AS TEXAS STATE HISTORIAN. Gov. Rick Perry has reappointed Bill O'Neal of Carthage as Texas State Historian for a term to expire two years from the date of his honoring ceremony. US Fed News (USA) - Saturday, September 6, 2014

SCURRY COUNTY MUSEUM ANNOUNCES NEW 40TH ANNIVERSARY DISPLAYS--partying like its 1974. You'll see at the museum's 40th anniversary celebration a display containing a host of toys and gadgets to bring you back a few decades. Among the items are an electric typewriter, a Rubik's Cube and a stack of Post-It notes from the office necessity's early days. The museum is located on the campus of Snyder's West Texas College. Its hours are 9 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (TX) - Monday, September 1, 2014

BILL HOLSTEAD: WICHITA FALLS GOLF LEGEND. Bill Holstead became at age 23 an instant golf legend when he defeated two of the world's top golfers Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw in 1970 to win the prestigious Texas Amateur's Golf Tournament. From there he's gone on to win more than sixty tournaments and continue his reign as the best golfer who resides in Wichita Falls, Texas. Life Examiner (USA) - Thursday, August 28, 2014.

[ view entry ] ( 73 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 65 )
I have lived along the west Texas Rio Grande border on and off for many years. During this time I did a fair amount of research and writing about Big Bend border history and as a historian I cannot ignore the lessons of the past. Today Mexico is at war with itself. A massive tide of refugees is reportedly crossing our southern border. The U. S. Border Patrol is overwhelmed. The issue has become quite politicized as tempers flair with vehement demands to militarize our Rio Grande boundary. Shadowy militia groups with their own agendas have also entered the picture.

Few seem to realize that none of this is particularly new. Striking similarities exist between this present day crisis and what took place on the border a century ago. In mid-1916 President Woodrow Wilson ordered the National Guards of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, consisting of some 110,000 officers and men, to the southern border to prevent ongoing bandit raids and violence originating in Mexico. In the upper Big Bend of Texas a number of new cavalry outposts came into existence within a matter of months. For the next three years the U. S. Army, including members of the National Guard, the Texas Rangers as well as armed vigilantes took part in numerous deplorable punitive actions that destroyed the lives of hundreds of Mexicans living on both sides of the Rio Grande. Today it would be called collateral damage but that does not mitigate the inhumanity that resulted. The similarities between those times and today are striking.

Perhaps the most serious of these reprisals took place just after midnight on January 27, 1918 when Troop G of the Eighth U.S. Cavalry, Texas Rangers of Company B from Marfa, Texas and a group of vigilantes surrounded the tiny Presidio County village of Porvenir. A little more than a month previous a group of Mexican raiders had attacked the west Presidio County Brite Ranch robbing a store and stealing a herd of cattle and horses as well as shooting up the place. The raid made national newspaper headlines and initiated calls to teach border Mexicans a lesson. The some 140 residents of Porvenir were dragged from their homes into the freezing night. A search of the village turned up little; no stolen goods, only one old gun with no cartridges and a few knives. The Rangers selected fifteen Porvenir men between the ages of 16 and 72 years and marched their prisoners off into the darkness. Some distance away, the fifteen were unceremoniously shot to death. A few days after the massacre, Troop G returned to Porvenir and destroyed the village. The U.S. Army successfully covered up its role in the killings. Five Texas Rangers were fired from their jobs but never faced prosecution. The actions of the U.S. Army, the Texas Rangers and vigilantes at Porvenir went well beyond the murders of fifteen poor tenant farmers. Forty-two children lost their fathers and their homes as a result of the atrocity. The tension and border raids did not end at Porvenir however. The border raids and brutal retaliations continued on for another year and a half only ending when the U. S. Army left the border entirely in the fall of 1919.

More recently in May 1997, a member of U.S. Marine Joint Task Force 6 drug interdiction patrol shot and killed eighteen-year-old Esequiel Hernandez near the Rio Grande border as he herded goats near his family home outside Redford, Texas. Young Hernandez carried an antique single shot .22 rifle that day to fend off predators. According to the Marines, Esequiel fired a shot in their direction. He probably did not realize the Marines were nearby since they wore camouflaged “ghillie” suits. Acting on orders to return fire, Corporal Clemente Banuelos opened up killing the innocent goat herder. The Hernandez killing became a symbol of the failure of U.S. Drug policy. About that same time upriver from Redford, the Marines established a training outpost at Candelaria, Texas that operated for several summers. A U.S. Army camp about 30 miles upstream from Candelaria also went into operation. The build up of U.S. military prompted the Mexican government to move a contingent of several thousand troops from Chiapas to the border to counter the U.S. troops just across the river. For more than a year the Texas upper Big Bend once had again became an armed camp with soldiers from two nations separated only by a small stream of water known as the Rio Grande River. Citizens on both sides of the border were alarmed and things only quieted down when both the U.S. and Mexican forces left the area much to the relief of border residents.

Texas Governor Rick Perry’s recent decision to order 1,000 national guardsmen to the Mexican border is an ill advised political move. At a cost of about $12 million dollars a month, the militarization will only increase border tensions as it always has in the past. These guardsmen have highly questionable arrest powers and lack training in law enforcement. Many of them cannot speak Spanish only adding to the difficulty. Let the Border Patrol and local law enforcement carry out their job, a job they are trained to do and give them the necessary support and funding needed. As Winston Churchill put it, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.

Glenn Justice

[ view entry ] ( 126 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 130 )

Bob Alexander’s "Riding Lucifer’s Line" is a well researched collection of twenty-five sketches about Texas Rangers who died by gunshot in the performance of their duties along the Texas-Mexican border between the years 1875-1921. Writing from the knowledgeable perspective of a retired U.S. Government Treasury officer, Alexander undertook a formidable task piecing together the often-obscure and many times incomplete life stories of these selected lawmen. This is not an easy task. Historical records relating to Texas Rangers are frequently spotty and incomplete for a variety of reasons. Some were lost to fire or other calamity while others curiously somehow vanished from state archives, county courthouses and other repositories. These Rangers commonly moved from job to job inside and outside law enforcement seldom staying in one location or position for long periods. Pay was low, hardship plentiful and life threatening danger a constant factor.

Alexander’s Rangers met death in a variety of ways ranging from accident to ambush with a surprising number being the result of inexperience and the absence of modern tactical training. Early day Rangers had to learn law enforcement mostly by performing the job and sometimes this in itself proved deadly particularly on the Texas-Mexican border. An example of this was the 1890 death of Texas Ranger Private John H. Gravis in Presidio County. Gravis had been a Ranger for about five months when he and a deputy sheriff got into a gunfight in the rowdy silver mining town of Shafter. The young Ranger lost his life after being shot in the head. While conflicting accounts cloud the details Alexander pointedly summed up the tragedy by writing “On the Texas/Mexican border rookies were but the raw meat of the devil”. Another example emerged with the death of Ranger Robert E. Doaty some two years later. Doaty had been a Ranger for only twenty-two days when he met death in another border shoot out. The same is true for Eugene B. Hulen killed in Presidio County in 1915 after being a Ranger forfifty-seven days.

Although the author’s wordy writing style might burden some, Alexander does offer the dedicated reader an insight infrequently found in the innumerable volumes of Texas Ranger history. The author avoids the Texas Ranger mythology pitfalls of Walter Prescott Webb and others painting a realistic and sometimes gritty picture of these lawmen as they met their end. There are no stereotypes present in these stories. In a lengthy two-part introduction Alexander lays out his premise in which he acknowledges the wrongs and abuses of some pre-modern era Rangers. He traces the evolution of the Texas Rangers from their early days as Indian and bandit fighters and gunmen to today’s lawmen through advancements in transportation, tactics and technology. While Alexander promises, “no white washing” in his effort he does somewhat subjectively present the lawman’s point of view relegating divergent analysis to being somehow less than creditable. While Alexander seems to disdain the work of agenda driven scholars and those he considers to be “armchair historians”, he does not hesitate to make use of such research.

No one doubts that law enforcement on the Texas-Mexican border is and always has been a very risky but necessary profession. It is also controversial mostly during the bloody years of the Mexican Revolution. This book will probably appeal more to Texas Ranger enthusiasts and less to those persuaded by revisionist views. However, it is an insightful work deserving consideration by all. These Rangers who gave their lives certainly merit inclusion in the pages of history. How and why they died is a worthy topic for reflection. Alexander’s effort is to be commended. As Louis R. Sadler put it “This is Bob’s best book to date” and it is.

"Riding Lucifer’s Line: Ranger Deaths Along the Texas-Mexican Border". By Bob Alexander. Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2013. Pp. xxvi, 404. Photographs. Notes. Bibliography. Index. $29.95 cloth.

Glenn Justice

Used with contractual permission of
"The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Inter-American Cultural History"
Copyright 2014

[ view entry ] ( 179 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 148 )

Nick Kotz ‘ latest book “The Harness Maker’s Dream: Nathan Kallison and the Rise of South Texas” is a well-written and carefully researched piece of Texas history. Kotz tells the story of his uncle, Nathan Allison, born in the Ukrane, who left his native homeland and braved considerable odds to come to the United States in 1890. Living for a time in Chicago the young man married, started learning English and took up harness making. In 1899, Kallison moved his wife and family to San Antonio where he set up a one-room leather goods shop. The venture eventually grew into one of the largest farm and ranch supply businesses in the state.

The Harness Makers Dream is not just a history of a sucessful businessman. Nathan Allison was Jewish and Kotz’s book details the struggles of Jewish immigrants in Texas as well as their contributions to society and the economy. San Antonio born author Nick Kotz has penned a number of books and some years back won the Pulitzer Prize for his newspaper reporting. He is perhaps best known for a 2005 book: “Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Laws That Changed America”. The Harness Maker’s dream is published by TCU Press, ISBN: 978-0-87565-567-3.


[ view entry ] ( 209 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 256 )

According to Fort Davis historian Barry Scobee, Comanche Chief Quanah Parker showed up in Fort Davis in the last part of the nineteenth century. As Quanah put it, he came in search of “the gift-of-God cactus to lighten the Red man’s burden”. Accompanied by Chief Rising Star and several other dignitaries from the Indian Territory, Chief Quanah arrived at the Lempert Hotel much to the astonishment of a Miss Finck who presumably worked at the desk. Scobee described this most unusual occurrence. “Miss Finck heard a knock at the door and was somewhat startled to see three heap big Indians standing there in stately silence”. Mr. Fox, an Indian agent accompanying the party, stepped forward explaining that the chief and his two traveling companions came on a peaceful mission simply wishing to obtain bed and board while they searched for peyote somewhere in vicinity of Mitre Peak. Quanah apparently told the Indian agent that Comanche traditions taught the wonderful cactus could not be found in any other locality.

While Scobee’s intriguing glimpse into the past ends there, there is more to the story, much more. Chief Quanah Parker likely knew the Texas Big Bend a lot better than most folks today might expect. Born about 1850 probably near Elk Creek near the Wichita Mountains of today’s Oklahoma, Quanah rose to become the principal Comanche leader during and after the Texas Panhandle Red River War. Quanah’s mother, a white woman of Scotch-Irish extraction taken captive at the age of nine years from Fort Parker, Texas in 1836 is Cynthia Ann Parker. Her story became immortalized in the dark but classic John Wayne movie The Searchers. Quanah came from an impressive line of Comanche chieftains including his father, Peta Nocona, who Quanah said, died of complications from wounds received during a fight with the Apache. Iron Jacket, Quanah’s grandfather, got his name because he wore a Spanish coat of mail in battle. Comanche legend has it that Iron Jacket had the ability to blow threatening bullets away from him with his breath.

Following the death of his father, Chief Wild Horse of the Destanyuka band took the ten year old Quanah Parker under his wing teaching the boy the warrior ways of the Comanche. It is not clear at what point the Comanche first used peyote in shamanistic ceremonies. According to anthropologist Dr. Omar C. Stewart who is considered to be an expert in the study of peyote use by Native Americans, the Comanche probably first learned about peyote during their raids to steal horses as they traveled on the Comanche trail across west Texas into Chihuahua. It is here that the young Quanah most likely first encountered the magical cactus.

While Quanah Parker cannot be credited with introducing peyote to his people he became, according to Stewart, “the most important Comanche roadman in the early history of peyotism”. Long before the arrival of the Comanche, the Native Americans of Mexico including the Tarahumara knew of the power of peyote as a natural medicinal drug. Christian Tarahumaras also associated peyote with their faith. They also applied it to snake bites, wounds, and burns, and thought it cured cure rheumatism. But its power went beyond that. The Tarahumara believed if a man carried peyote on his person that bears could not bite them or deer run away, that game would become tame and easy to kill. During the early 1700’s Chihuahua experienced a considerable number of Spanish Inquisition investigations into the possession and use of Peyote.

U. S. Army Captain Valery Havard, a surgeon stationed in the 1880’s near Presidio became one of the first Anglo physicians to describe the use of peyote and mescal beans in the Big Bend. He noted the beautiful flower produced by the peyote cactus and its presence in most Mexican houses. Although Havard said peyote is mostly an intoxicant he thought it to be good for the relief of fever. The good doctor also pointed out that if one chewed the magical cactus a “delirious exhilaration” could be experienced and that peyote in those days was known as “dry whiskey”.

Quanna liked his peyote for more than one reason. In 1896 an observer saw him sit up all night during a peyote ceremony and eat thirty buttons. The following morning Quanna seemed unaffected and alert. He once sent a roadman to Mexico to obtain 8,000 buttons. Perhaps the chief summed it up best when he said, “The White man goes to his church and talks about Jesus. The Indian goes to his tipi and talks with Jesus.” Perhaps Quanah became a believer in the power of peyote when he went to visit his brother John Parker in Chihuahua about 1885. Previously he opposed the use of peyote. During the visit a Spanish bull is said to have somehow attacked the great chief leaving him with a terrible wound that resulted in a bad case of blood poisoning and fever. Other accounts state that Quanah only contracted some sort of stomach disorder. Whatever the case, a shaman mixed him a strong potion made from peyote juice and he recovered. Apparently Quanah believed the concoction cured him because after that time he became an ardent supporter of the use of peyote.

As a whole, the Comanche and Quanah in particular never really had much confidence the Ghost Dance Movement of 1890. Quanah respected the white man’s religion but when told by the U. S. Secretary of the Interior that he must give up all of his wives except one and he had three, the great chief replied “Mr. Secretary you tell them”. Multiple wifes and peyote were two things Chief Quanah never compromised. He became a quite successful businessman making money in cattle and land. But even in his last days took an active part in peyote ceremonies described the Half Moon ceremony or the Quanah Parker Way.

Quanah Parker died in 1911 but not long before his death C. S. Simmons observed the great chief conduct a peyote ceremony at his home outside Lawton, Oklahoma. “At about three o’clock in the morning, the silent hour and the time of the greatest manifestation of power, Quanah, the leader, knelt before the altar and prayed earnestly. Then, taking the eagle feathers in both hands, he arose to his feet. I saw at once he was under great inspiration. His whole personality seemed to change. His eyes glowed with a strong light and his body swayed to and fro, vibrating with some powerful emotion. Has sang the beautiful song “Ya-na-ah-away” in a most grand and inspiring manner. Then all sang together in harmony. They prayed to God and Jesus and sang of a “narrow way”.

Glenn Justice

Note: Larry Francell tells me that when Quanah Parker came to Fort Davis the chief stayed at the Lempert Hotel not the Limpia Hotel. The present day Limpia Hotel was not constructed until 1912. In the 1880's an earlier Limpia Hotel did operate near the fort but this is not where Quanah stayed according to Larry. The old Lempert Hotel is today the Veranda Bed and Bed and Breakfast. Thanks for the info Larry!

[ view entry ] ( 330 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 267 )

In 1897 Andrew Prude purchased three sections of land located not far from Fort Davis establishing the A. G. Prude Ranch. Soon he and his wife Ora moved into a small log cabin on their new property. In 1900 Andrew completed a wooden frame house for his family and in 1902 added 1257 acres to the ranch. In 1911 Andrew built a two story ranch house made of adobe bricks cast in a nearby stock tank. They called it the "Big House". By 1920 Prude expanded his ranch to some forty sections of land which comprised a considerable amount of Jeff Davis County.

In 1921 the Prude Ranch started a guest ranch to share the beauty of the land and cool summer weather of the Davis Mountains with city dwellers from across Texas. Early guests arrived on the Southern Pacific Railroad at Alpine and made their way to the ranch by various means. When a terrible drought and the Great Depression of the 1930's forced Andrew Prude to sell his cattle and most of his land, the Prude family decided to operate the guest ranch full time. Soon a new highway near the ranch came into existence and more and more guests began to show up. New guest houses were built as well as a coaching school. The dude ranch program was expanded to include summer camps for boys and girls and various educational programs. The facilities have expanded over the years to accommodate a wide variety of activities. Prude ranch is well known across Texas as a popular tourist destination and continues into the second century of operation.

How the ranch came into existence and continues to operate today after all these years is a fascinating story of determination and survival. Historian Glenn Justice used many primary sources and oral interviews to tell the story of this now famous Texas ranch.

Cattle and Dudes: A Family History of the Prude Ranch 1897-1997 is now available on Amazon as an E-book. For more information or to order go to: ... le%26dudes

[ view entry ] ( 344 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 2.9 / 305 )

David Dorward arrived in Borden County in 1892. He was born December 15, 1872 in Burleson County Texas to David and Anna Dorward. In 1893 David began working as a wagon cook for the Square and Compass Ranch. A year later he went to work for the Magnolia Land and Cattle Company. In 1901 David became a businessman when he opened the Dorward Drug on the courthouse square in Gail, Texas.

Gail was a thriving community in the early 1900’s. A week after opening his drug store, he married Minnie Russell who taught school in Gail. To this union came three sons, Russell, Maurice and Kelvin. David did home study for his pharmacist license and had it issued by the Texas Board of Pharmacy on September 17, 1907.

Doward supplied prescriptions for two local physicians, Dr. James Prince and Dr. John H. Hannabass. As the little town began to dwindle in population Doward”s Drug became the meeting place of the community by providing over the counter medicines, refreshments, and even ice for the old time iceboxes of the day. When the local telephone switchboard closed in 1918, Doward’s Drug had the only telephone serving Gail and the surrounding farms and ranches until the 1950’s. Telephone messages received by Mr. Dorward at the store would be delivered to local residents or to outlying farms and ranches. David Dorward also served by holding the offices of county treasurer and later served as Borden County Judge.

David and Minnie became strong proponents of the Christian faith. David taught adult Sunday school classes for thirty years and Minnie taught classes for over fifty years. Their dedication left a legacy to the residents of Borden County. After their passing, the Doward Drug building went through many years of neglect until 2012 when R. D. “Buster” and Jean Creighton Taylor acquired the property. Much back breaking work ensued hauling away junk that had accumulated around the property. Jean and Buster were able to salvage the original walls, ceiling, shelving, soda machine and safe from eventual destruction. The pharmacy counter and samples of medicines and many other Dorward treasures may be viewed at the Borden County Museum.

The dedication of the Dorward Drug historical marker will take place on Saturday, June 21 at 2 p.m. in Gail A reception will follow at the Borden County Event Center. For more information contact Lisa Mahler at:

Lisa Mahler

[ view entry ] ( 456 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 2.9 / 329 )

I am most pleased to announce my book "Little Known History Of The Texas Big Bend: Documented Chronicles From Cabeza De Vaca To The Era Of Pancho Villa" is now available in an E-Book edition at Amazon.

For more information go to: ... e+big+bend
Additional Amazon E-Book titles from Rimrock Press are coming soon!

[ view entry ] ( 370 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 168 )
Some ten years ago when I first got the idea to do an online blog about Texas history I had no idea how many folks might be interested in such a focus. Last month Glenn’s Texas History Blog set a new record for readership. According to my latest site analytics in August, 38,764 readers worldwide searched out and read at least one page of the blog. This is an average of 1,250 readers per day. Some 18,871 of these readers are located in the United States followed by 4,275 in the United Kingdom, 3,302 in China, 1,013 in Canada, 567 in the Ukrain, 242 in France, 173 in Germany, 138 in Russia, 109 in Australia, with numerous other readers in Japan, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Mexico, Spain and Singapore. A number of these overseas readers are U. S. service men and women stationed around the world.

Most find their way to the blog via Google although there is quite a list of search engines that have been used. A fair number of the readers access the blog with their smart phones something I never dreamed about ten years ago. Recently my internet guru Mike Middleton updated the blog software and I have a feeling he had something to do with the recent upsurge. I cannot thank Mike enough for all of his fine work through the years. Anyone needing a really first class web page design and IT work can contact Mike at:


[ view entry ] ( 2816 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 2261 )
On Wednesday, August 14, 2013, 08:48 PM, Sanjay Nasta wrote:

I thought your readers might be interested in the Texas Historical Marker App for the iPhone. The Texas Historical Landmarks app gives you access to detailed historical information to over 14,000 historical markers designated by the Texas Historical Commission.

We built this app because when driving through Texas, I always wondered what a historical marker on the side of the road said, I didn't always have time to stop and look at each marker. We decided to build this app to answer that question and to help educate people about our state's rich history.

The app provides an easy to use map interface that allows you to pinpoint what historical markers are close to you, retrieve driving directions to each marker, keep a tally of the markers you have visited, and even record photos at each visited marker. While traveling, you even have the ability to receive notifications anytime you are closing in on a landmark.

Texas Historical Landmarks is currently available in the app store at:
(there is a free version available with less data if you want to play)

To learn more about the app including screen shots, features, and video see here:

[ view entry ] ( 2808 views )   |  permalink  |  $star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image$star_image ( 3 / 817 )

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | Next> Last>>