Henry W. Raguet was born in 1796 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He, along with thousands of other early Texas settlers, would not be considered famous. Individuals like him aren’t written up in textbooks and have no streets, towns, counties or buildings named for them. They simply lived their lives and raised their families, despite whatever hardships and tragedies that they endured.
Monthly Archives: March 2016
Legend has it that rancher Samuel Burk Burnett won the ranch in a high stakes poker game and that another player, out of money, had bet his ranch on his poker hand, only to lose to Burk Burnett’s hand of four sixes. It makes a great story, right? Burnett denied the story more than once. Nevertheless, the legend has endured and 6666 has been the ranch brand.
Andrews, Texas is located in far West Texas. If you hold your right hand up and imagine that this part of Texas is represented by your thumb and forefinger, Andrews County would be where your thumb and forefinger come together. The town of Andrews is the county seat and just about the lone survivor of a number of small communities that were born and died out since around 1890 when settlers first began to come to the area.
On December 7, 1835, Ben Milam was killed by a Mexican sniper during the Siege of Béxar in which Mexican forces were driven from the San Antonio area. After the battle, the Texas forces occupied the Alamo and surrounding areas, setting the stage for Gen. Santa Anna’s own siege to retake it several weeks later.
There is some speculation about the location of the actual tree that was used by the sniper, but it is traditionally thought to be in the center of the town as it then existed and close enough to provide a line of sight to the Veramendi Palace, located on the west side of the river.
Decatur, Texas (33°14′N 97°35′W) is the county seat of Wise County in North Texas. Its namesake is Stephen Decatur, Jr., a famous naval officer. Decatur was the son of naval officer Stephen Decatur, Sr. who served in the navy during the American Revolution. Stephen Decatur, Jr. was reared in Philadelphia and upon graduation from Episcopal Academy there, at 17 years old, he worked in the maritime industry before securing a midshipman’s warrant in 1798 and began serving on the USS United States. This was in the interim period between the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, but there was still quite a lot of naval activity that occurred. Decatur was then assigned to a frigate USS Essex as a first lieutenant protecting maritime shipping. In succession, he was transferred to the USS New York and USS Argus. This was followed by a transfer to the USS Enterprise, a schooner. He served in action against French ships and others. In one event, he was commanding a captured enemy ship in the harbor at Tripoli on a mission to destroy the captured USS Philadelphia. Decatur was able to board the ship with 60 men, set it afire, escape to his vessel and reach open sea. For this, he was commended by Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson.