Fort Duncan was founded on March 27, 1849 by Army Captain Sidney Burbank. Transferred there were three companies of the 1st United States Infantry. It was situated on the Rio Grande River. Later in the year 1849, he post was named Fort Duncan, after Col. James Duncan, a hero of the Mexican–American War.
Author Archives: Texoso
Famed baritone vocalist Julius Lorenzo Cobb Bledsoe was born December 29, 1887 in Waco, McLennan County, Texas to Henry Lee Devalt Bledsoe and Jessie Cobb Bledsoe. His father died when he was still an infant and by the time he was about two and a half years old, he and his mother were living with her parents, the Cobbs, near downtown Waco. His grandfather Stephen Cobb has been mentioned as a founder of Waco’s historic congregation, New Hope Baptist Church. It was at New Hope where young Julius had sung solos by the time he was five years old. In 1914, Bledsoe graduated as valedictorian of Central Texas Academy, founded by African American Baptists in 1901 in Waco. From there, Julius went on to enroll at Temple College in Waco before transferring to Bishop College in Marshall, Texas where he earned his A B degree.
Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker are believed to have first met around January of 1930 in Dallas where they both were living. At the time, Clyde was 21 and Bonnie was 19. Clyde was arrested a few weeks later in the latter part of February for the burglary of the Motor Mark Garage in Denton. In early March of 1930, while he was awaiting trial for that burglary, Clyde was transferred to McLennan County in connection with burglary and automobile theft charges there. Barrow was indicted along with William Turner by the McLennan County grand jury for these charges. Clyde pleaded guilty to a number of them, including the theft of an automobile belonging to W. W. Cameron, a Waco lumber dealer. It’s unclear if Barrow had also been sentenced by then, but newspaper accounts say that Turner had been sentenced and was awaiting transfer to the Huntsville prison at the time that Bonnie smuggled a gun into the McLennan County jail. Turner, Barrow and another prisoner named Abernathy were able to escape with the aid of Bonnie Parker and the smuggled gun. Bonnie remained in Waco as the three escapees left Texas, but the trio were captured in Ohio and returned to the state less than two weeks later. Barrow was held a few months before being sent to the Eastham Prison Farm to begin serving a fourteen year sentence. He was paroled in February, 1932 after which he and initially his brother Buck and a number of different associates over time would operate as the Barrow Gang for a little more than two years until he and Bonnie Parker were killed in the ambush is Louisiana in May, 1934.
The El Paso Herald Post carried an article on November 1, 1973 telling of two pistols formerly belonging to outlaw John Wesley Hardin that would be on display in the lobby of the State National Bank for about two weeks. One of the guns was a nickel plated Smith & Wesson D. A. Frontier pistol that Hardin was carrying when he died. The second was a Colt “Thunderer” .41 caliber piston. The latter was engraved with pearl grips. This gun was taken from Hardin a few days earlier by Deputy Sheriff W. J. Ten Eyck after Hardin allegedly pulled the weapon and brandished it to take money he had lost in a crap game at the Gem Saloon, also called the Acme Saloon in other accounts. The article continued to relate that Hardin had moved to El Paso in 1895 and set up a legal practice after studying the law while in prison and passing the Texas bar. Hardin had reportedly killed as many as forty men, but was himself killed by John Henry Selman, a local constable.
On August 6, 1939, the Harlingen, Texas Valley Morning Star read “Donat Stars In New Film” followed by the sub heading ‘Goodbye Mr. Chips” in Mercedes, Texas. The article went on to describe the latest film of popular leading man Robert Donat. Based on the James Hilton novel of the same name, the film tells the story of the life and teaching career of Charles Edward Chipping, a Latin teacher at a British boys’ school. Donat’s character falls for and marries a beautiful and flashy young woman named Katherine, played by actress Greer Garson in her debut performance. Revealed in a series of flashbacks, the film portrays the events in Chipping’s life and the individuals who were part of it. Donat would go on to win an Oscar for Best Actor. The film was the first major role in the long and successful career of Garson. She was also nominated for an Oscar that year, but the award went instead to Vivian Leigh for her performance in “Gone With The Wind.”