RSS

Monthly Archives: September 2016

XIT Ranch

xit-brands

(image credit: tshaonline.org)

The XIT was once one of the largest ranches in Texas, comprising 3 million acres along the Texas-New Mexico border in the Panhandle area of the state.  In 1879, the State of Texas was looking for funds with which to build the Capitol building.  The Texas Legislature appropriated the remote Panhandle acreage to a syndicate led by Illinois natives John and Charles Farwell in exchange for an agreement to build the Austin structure.  The original cost of the Capitol building was projected to be $1,500,000 but wound up costing about $3.7 million with the syndicate funding all but about $500,000 that the state picked up.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 29, 2016 in history, texas

 

Tags: , ,

Clyde Barrow, Jailbreak in McLennan County

McLennanCountyCH

While living in Waco, I would occasionally drive past the old McLennan County courthouse.  I had first seen the feature film Bonnie and Clyde while living there.  However, I mistakenly thought that both Bonnie and Clyde had escaped from the jail at the McLennan County Courthouse in the midst of their short crime spree.  Only years later would I learn the details about how Bonnie had helped Clyde and two others escape.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
6 Comments

Posted by on September 22, 2016 in bonnie and clyde, courthouses, history, outlaws, texas

 

Tags: , , ,

James Buchanan Gillett, Texas Ranger

2142-Gillett-Six-Years02

If you are looking for a good book about Texas history, Six Years With the Texas Rangers is very well written and quite interesting, first published in 1921.  Though James B. Gillett was a Ranger for only six years, these were some of the six most important years for the post-Reconstruction Rangers in the Frontier Battalion.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
4 Comments

Posted by on September 15, 2016 in biography, history, texas, texas rangers

 

Tags: , , ,

WWII Prisoner of War Camps in Texas

At the outset of the war, foreign prisoners of war were not a major consideration for the federal government, but as the war progressed, tens of thousands of foreign prisoners needed to be placed all over the United States.  At the height of the program, Texas had some three dozen prison camps.  They were located from as far north as Dalhart, as far west as El Paso, in the northeast to within a few counties of Texarkana to several on the Gulf Coast.  In all, it is estimated that the United States held between 400,000 and 500,000 prisoners with roughly 20% of them held in Texas camps.  The Geneva Convention provided that prisoners be moved to areas that were close to the climate where they were captured.  Accordingly, many of Texas’ prisoners of war were German prisoners who surrendered in North Africa and Texas was deemed to be an appropriate site for them.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
4 Comments

Posted by on September 8, 2016 in history, texas

 

Tags: , ,

Larry McMurtry

lonesomedove1

Larry McMurtry was born in Archer City, Texas to William Jefferson and Hazel Ruth McIver McMurtry, a ranching family.  He relates that his family had been ranchers since the 1870s and that it had included several trail drivers among his uncles and other relatives.  Accordingly, some of his tales were developed from stories he had been told when he was a boy.  McMurtry lived on a ranch south of Archer City near a local landmark known as “Idiot’s Ridge” until he was old enough to go to school and his parents moved into town.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
7 Comments

Posted by on September 1, 2016 in authors, biography, texas

 

Tags: , ,