Woodward Maurice “Tex” Ritter was born on January 12, 1905 to James Everett and Elizabeth Matthews Ritter of Murvaul, Texas, in Panola County about 10 miles south of Carthage. He was the youngest of about nine children. His first name is sometimes spelled “Woodard” but in one account it is related that he was named for Dr. S. A. Woodward, the doctor who delivered him. Tex was the grandson of Benjamin Franklin Ritter, who had been brought to Texas as a baby in the early to mid 1830s from Tennessee.
Category Archives: biography
This coming weekend will mark the anniversary of San Jacinto Day. In our mind’s eye, we can envision what that may have looked like, especially after visiting the San Jacinto Monument. Some will also think of Henry Huddle. His name may not be too familiar to many Texans, but most likely just about everyone might recognize at least one of his works. San Jacinto Day is drawing near, and the painting called “The Surrender of Santa Anna” (pictured below) commemorates the famous battle.
A paragraph in a 1939 issue of a newspaper in Decatur (Illinois, not Texas) began “No. 1 Name of the year, so far, is that of Sheriff Smoot Schmid of Dallas, Texas.”
(Image source: unknown)
In honor of the opening week of another Major League Baseball season, when every team is still 0-0 and hopes are high, we remember the great player from Texas, Ernie Banks. Banks would be among a very short list of the all time best athletes from Dallas, along with such players as Bobby Layne and Doak Walker.
(Image credit: sabr.org)
Ernie Banks was born in Dallas on January 31, 1931, ironically the same year as Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle. His full name was Ernest Banks, with no middle name.
“Cherokee Bill” was a name adopted by Crawford Goldsby, a youth born February 8, 1876 at Fort Concho in Texas. He was actively an outlaw for several years, mostly across the Red River in Indian Territory, before he was apprehended. His father was George Goldsby and his mother was Ellen Beck Goldsby. His father was of mixed blood, part black and part white, and was a Buffalo Soldier in the 10th U. S. Cavalry. His mother was also of mixed blood, part Cherokee, black and white. Crawford was probably named for his father’s brother, also known as Crawford Goldsby, who lived and died in Alabama.
Cyd Charisse was born Tula Ellice Finklea in Amarillo, Potter County, Texas on March 8, 1921 to Ernest Enos and Lela Norwood Finklea. Ernest was a well known Amarillo jeweler of French descent, though he was born in Texas. Ernest was the proprietor of E. E. Finklea Jewelers at 410 South Polk Street in downtown Amarillo. Finklea’s billed itself as “The Jewelry Store of the Panhandle.” The name Cyd is a respelling of the nickname her brother gave her when he could not pronounce “sister” and she adopted it as her stage name. The last name Charisse was actually her married name.
Juan Nepomucema Seguin was born in Spanish San Antonio on October 27, 1808 to Juan José Erasmo and María Josefa Becerra Seguin. Erasmo was descended from one of sixteen families who came to the San Antonio area from the Canary Islands in the early 1700s. The Seguin cattle ranch covered portions of three current Texas counties: Bexar, Guadalupe and Wilson. Erasmo served as postmaster of San Antonio from 1807 to 1835, mayor (alcalde) of San Antonio from 1820-1821 and quartermaster of Presidio de San Antonio de Béxar from 1825 to 1835. Erasmo was acquainted with Moses Austin who was succeeded by his son, Stephen F. Austin. Along with Don Martin de Veramendi, Erasmo assisted them in obtaining their Austin Colony grant.
(Image credit: pbs.org)