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Governor Hardin Richard Runnels

Hardin R. Runnels 1989.037

(Image Credit: txfgm.org)

Hardin Richard Runnels was the sixth governor of Texas.  He was born in Mississippi to Hardin D. and Martha Darden Runnels in 1820.  After his father died, the future governor came to Texas in 1842 during the years of the Republic of Texas from Mississippi with his mother, his uncle Hiram George Runnels and his three brothers.  They first settled on the Brazos River before moving to Bowie County where they started a cotton plantation on the Red River near the community of Old Boston, named for an early store owner, W. J. Boston.  New Boston later arose when the rail lines bypassed Old Boston four miles to the north.  While still in his twenties, Runnels was elected in 1847 to the first of four terms in the Texas Legislature.  After his last term in the legislature in which he served as Speaker of the House, he was elected Lieutenant Governor serving under Governor Elisha M. Pease during the latter’s second and final term.

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Posted by on March 26, 2020 in biography, county names, governor

 

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USS Indianapolis

The U.S.S. Indianapolis (CA-35) is part of a fascinating World War II story.  The ship was a heavy cruiser that played an important role in the atomic bombing missions that led Japan directly to its surrender and the end of the war.  Indianapolis was ordered in 1929 and her hull was laid down at the Camden Yard in New Jersey on March 31, 1930 by the New York Shipbuilding Corp.  According to Naval History and Heritage Command, her displacement  was 9,800 tons, her length was 610 feet, beam was 66 feet and draft was 17’4″.  The ship was constructed to accommodate a crew of 1,269, achieve a speed of 32 knots and was armed with 9 8-inch and 8 5-inch guns.  The Indianapolis was the second of two ships of the Portland class.

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Posted by on March 19, 2020 in biography, maritime, world war 2

 

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The Lubbock Brothers

Three brothers figure into the history of Texas.  They are Thomas, Francis and Henry Lubbock.  Colonel Thomas Saltus Lubbock is the brother for whom Lubbock county and the city of Lubbock is named.  He was born in South Carolina in 1817 and came to Texas early enough to participate in the Siege of Bexar in late 1835.  He was also a participant in the ill-fated Santa Fe Expedition in 1841.  Thomas was captured in New Mexico while Texas troops were on their way to Santa Fe.  He was taken to Mexico and imprisoned, but was one of two individuals to be able to escape.  He later made his way back to Texas.  When the Civil War broke out, he first served in an irregular unit comprised mostly of former Texas soldiers and Texas Rangers as scouts for the Confederate Army.  He and some others later joined the Confederate Army and were founding members of “Terry’s Texas Rangers,” the 8th Texas Cavalry.  Lubbock was promoted to Colonel and put in command of the regiment after the death of Benjamin Franklin Terry but happened to be ill with typhoid fever at the time.  Thomas died the following day on January 9, 1862 before he could take command.  He is buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Houston, Texas.

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Posted by on February 6, 2020 in biography, civil war, county names, town names

 

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Jack Lummus, Medal of Honor Recipient

Jack Lummus was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on the island of Iwo Jima during World War II.  According to a May, 1945 newspaper report based upon an interview with a fellow Marine, 1st Lt. Lummus was killed while leading an infantry and tank attack on the island on March 8, 1945.

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Posted by on January 23, 2020 in biography, heroes, medal of honor, world war 2

 

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Alvis Edgar “Buck” Owens, Jr.

Buck Owens was born Alvis Edgar Owens, Jr. to Alvis Edgar and Macie Owens in Sherman, Texas in 1929.  He is said to have given himself the nickname of Buck after his favorite mule (alternately said to be a donkey or a horse in different accounts) when he was young.  His father, Alvis Edgar, Sr., was a sharecropping farmer in Grayson County, Texas.  In 1937, the family moved west to Arizona.  The family legend is that their trailer broke down near Phoenix, Arizona where they had other relatives, so they elected to settle there.  Similar to the stories of many other musical artists, Buck’s mother sang and played the piano at their home and in church.  Buck learned to play the guitar, mandolin and other instruments when he was a youth.  He dropped out of school at age thirteen to help the family survive and did all sorts of jobs to raise money.  As a young man, Buck began performing in honky-tonks to earn his living.  When he was about twenty, he married his first wife, the former Bonnie Campbell, a singer in a band both she and Buck played in called Mac and the Skillet Lickers.  Buck and Bonnie eventually moved to Bakersfield, California where Buck began to play around town and in the surrounding area. Buck and Bonnie would remain married for about five years.  He was married three more times.

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Posted by on January 16, 2020 in biography, entertainers

 

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Henry and Ivy Methvin

Ivan “Ivy” Terrell Methvin was born April 5, 1885 in Louisiana to Hamilton Terrell and Mary E. Barron Methvin.  Ivy was one of five children and their names all began with the letter I:  Iverson Victor (1876-1952), Izaarh (or possibly Isaiah, 1877- about 1894), Isaac (1879- about 1894), Idonia (the only sister, 1882-1910) and Ivy, all born in Louisiana.  In the 1880 census, Hamilton Methvin’s profession was listed as being a farmer.  In some listings, Izaarh and Isaac have the same years of birth and death, but in the 1880 census, Isaac is not quite one year old while Izaarh (possibly just a misreading of the written name) was at least one year older.  Of the children, Iverson survived the longest, living until 1952, working as a farmer for many years and later working as a cobbler of shoes in Louisiana.  Iverson and his wife Sarah Huggins Methvin had a large family.  The sister Idonia married a man named Campbell and had a small family before she passed away at around the age of 28 in Oklahoma. Hamilton Terrell Methvin died a about eighteen months after Ivy was born.

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Posted by on January 9, 2020 in biography, bonnie and clyde, outlaws and crimes

 

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Governor John Connally, Jr.

Governor John Bowden Connally, Jr. was born February 27, 1917 to John Bowden and Lela Wright Connally in Floresville, Wilson County, Texas, the third of seven children.  In 1920, his father’s occupation was listed as being a stock farmer (rancher) in Floresville, which is located on the southeast side of San Antonio.  By 1930, the family had moved into San Antonio for a time, as John, Sr. was operating a bus on a bus line.  Governor Connally attended San Antonio Harlandale High School but graduated from high school in Floresville.   After his graduation, he entered the University of Texas in Austin where he received his undergraduate degree and later earned a law degree.

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