Monthly Archives: December 2015

Happy New Year

This blog has been ongoing for exactly a year now.  Thank you all for taking the time to share our stories.  We’ll see you next year, Lord willing.

You have indicated that you like the variety of the weekly featured stories, also the unsolved mysteries, the real characters depicted in “Texas Rising” and most of all, the biographical sketches of those people who made the Lone Star State what it is today.



Posted by on December 31, 2015 in Uncategorized


Special Event – Interurban Fans – 9/13/16

transcribed from Railspot’s Facebook announcement of 8/25/2016:

The official premiere of the new TEXAS ELECTRIC RAILWAY program is Tuesday evening, September 13th at the EVENT 1013 center located at 1013 E. 15th Street in historic Plano, Texas. The premiere starts at 7:30 pm and will feature 31 minutes of color and 20 minutes of rare B&W movies from the collection of Johnnie J. Myers.

As a surprise development Johnnie J. Myers and myself were contacted this weekend by members of the Historic Downtown Plano group and our premiere has now been officially made part of the 2016 Plano Artfest. Although the actual Artfest is the following Saturday, the City of Plano has decided to have a series of programs beginning that Tuesday and leading up to the main part of Artfest that Saturday. So the new DVD featuring the Texas Electric is the opening act for that week’s events!

The program is free and open to the public and I’ve been told that they also plan to provide refreshments.

The program will include viewing the Texas Electric Railway documentary, then will be followed by a short discussion by Robert Haynes, curator of the Plano Interurban Museum and then followed by a Q&A session. The panel will include Johnnie J. Myers, myself and Robert Haynes.

The movies cover the years from 1937 to 1948 and feature the blue & white “Bluebonnet” cars, the red & cream cars, Class C freight motors, Box Motors, streetcars on the Waco Transit, Katy steam at Hillsboro, West and Italy, and even a Rock Island freight behind a 2-8-2 at Red Oak. Classic street running at Waco, West, Hillsboro, Milford, Italy, Richardson and Sherman. Several scenes of the “up and over” bridge over the MKT and B-RI at Waxahachie, crossing the Brazos River in Waco, and activity at the Dallas Interurban Terminal off Wood Street. It’s all here.

I hope that everyone will try to plan on attending that night. I’ve been told that the EVENT 1013 facility is very upscale so it’s incredibly nice that the City of Plano has made it available to us for that evening.

Speaking personally, I do love getting out and doing historical programs like this. I find which each day’s passing that there are fewer and fewer of those who were around during this period of our state’s history to know what “interurbans” are, much less the Texas Electric. So I find myself drawn by the desire to share what I have, photos, movies and knowledge, with as many people as I can while I still can. It’s been a busy summer so far. I did a two hour program for the Allen Public Library back on Saturday, June 11th where I featured “The Passenger Trains of North Texas”. Then on Friday, August 5th I did a program on the Texas Zephyr for the Wichita Falls Rotary Club. Next up will be the Texas Electric program on Tuesday, September 13th, and I’m trying to work out arrangements for an “All Texas & Pacific” program in Marshall or Longview in October. As much fun as I have doing these, the best part is seeing so many friends come and share their time with me.

So don’t be a stranger on September 13th. Set your schedule now and plan on being in Plano that evening for the world premiere for the TEXAS ELECTRIC RAILWAY, from the collection of Johnnie J. Myers.

As PS, if you have a copy of his Texas Electric book, bring it and ask Johnnie to sign it.

–Steve Goen


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Posted by on December 31, 2015 in interurban


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Junius Peak (1845-1934)

Junius W. Peak was one of the more charismatic individuals in Texas history.  His family moved to Texas from Kentucky in 1855.  The family was large, with many brothers and sisters.  Jefferson and Martha Reser Peak bought 229 acres of farmland close to the small Dallas settlement.  Peak would recall that his father Jefferson paid $110 for the land.

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Posted by on December 28, 2015 in biography, texas rangers


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J. Riely Gordon, architect

James Riely Gordon was a practicing architect during what has been called the Golden Age of Texas Courthouses, the 1880s and 1890s.  By then, almost all of the 254 Texas counties now in existence had been established.  The Texas legislature allowed counties to issue bonds for courthouse construction and many counties did, leading to construction projects all over the state.


Pictured: Ellis County Courthouse in Waxahachie (2015)

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Posted by on December 23, 2015 in biography, courthouses


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Irion County, Texas

Irion County is situated west of San Angelo (Tom Green County) in West Texas.  Its county seat is Mertzon.  It is sparsely populated but the origin of its name extends back to the early days of the Republic of Texas.  It was founded in 1889 and was named for Robert Anderson Irion, a medical doctor.  Dr. Irion was a friend and personal physician of Sam Houston.

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Posted by on December 17, 2015 in county names, republic of texas, sam houston


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Sherman, Texas

The town of Sherman is located in Grayson County.  It was named for General Sidney Sherman (1805-1873) who during the battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836 is the person credited for shouting the battle cry “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!”  In 1846, the Texas legislature had created Grayson County out of Fannin County and designated Sherman as the new county seat.  Sherman gained its first post office in 1847.  It was fairly well established by 1850 and later became a stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail route.

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Posted by on December 10, 2015 in biography, county names, texas rising, town names


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Hardeman County, Texas

Hardeman County, Texas is located on the Oklahoma border west of Wilbarger County and east of Childress and Cottle counties and bordered on the south by Foard County.  Its county seat is Quanah, named for the famous Comanche Chief Quanah Parker., the last Chief of the Comanche Nation.

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Posted by on December 3, 2015 in county names


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