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Category Archives: biography

The Younger Brothers

(Image credit: findagrave.com)

The Kansas City Times (Kansas City, Missouri) issue of June 20, 1897 carried the headline, “The Younger Brothers May Be Pardoned” and recounted events leading up  to their incarceration.  A Minnesota governor was said to be considering a pardon of Jim and Cole Younger for time served.  Some twenty-one years earlier, the James – Younger Gang had attempted to  rob the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota on September 7, 1876.  The Youngers (Jim, Cole and Bob) and their associates, Frank and Jesse James, along with four other individuals (Bill Stiles, Clell Miller, Charlie Pitts and Bill Chadwell (a/k/a Stiles)) had planned to meet to attempt to rob the bank.  They rode in and began the bank robbery with Jesse, Cole, and Pitts going inside the building and the other five standing guard outside.  The outlaws were discovered and citizens began to fire on them.  Cole was shot in the hip, Bob was shot in the elbow and Jim took a round to the jaw.  Miller and Chadwell/Stiles were killed outright along with one civilian, believed to have been shot by Cole, and one employee of the bank.  Pitts, Frank and Jesse were also wounded.  A posse caught up with the Youngers, the James and Pitts.  Frank and Jesse escaped, the Youngers were captured and Pitts was killed.  The Youngers pled guilty to the bank robbery attempt in order to avoid being executed.

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Posted by on September 17, 2020 in biography, civil war, outlaws and crimes

 

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Joel Roberts Poinsett

Joel Poinsett is not known to have ever resided in Texas but was a career public servant and diplomat whose efforts could possibly have led to the addition of Texas to the United States prior to the Texas Revolution.

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Posted by on September 10, 2020 in biography, texas revolution

 

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Chill Wills

Theodore Childress “Chill” Wills was born on July 18, 1902 to a family in Seagoville, Texas.  His father was a farmer by the name of Robert Bruce Wills and his mother was the former Frances Elizabeth “Fannie” Rublee.  Chill was the youngest of six children of this union and his father Robert Bruce died in 1907 when he was only forty-four and Chill was five.  Robert Bruce Wills is believed to be buried in Oakland Cemetery in South Dallas.  It does not appear that this Wills family is related to the family of country singer/band leader Bob Wills.  Fannie Rublee Wills had married John Dunaway by 1910 and the couple were living near downtown Dallas with their family that now consisted of John, Fannie and seven children.  What eventually became of John Dunaway is not known at this time.  By 1920, Chill was living with his mother a little further out of downtown on Kings Highway and she was married to Allen E. Barse.  The census forms say that both Chill and his stepfather Barse worked at a saddlery in Dallas.

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Posted by on August 27, 2020 in biography, entertainers

 

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Jules Bledsoe

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.

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Posted by on August 6, 2020 in biography, black history, entertainers

 

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Gov. Edmund J. Davis

Edmund Jackson Davis was born in St. Augustine, Florida in 1827 to William G. and Mary Ann Channer Davis.  His family moved to Galveston, Texas in 1848 and he began to study studied law.  After being admitted to the Texas bar, Davis moved to Laredo where he served as a deputy customs collector until he was elected district attorney in Brownsville in 1853.  He later served as a district judge in Brownsville.  Davis married the former Anne Britton in 1858 and served as a state judge until the beginning of the Civil War.

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Posted by on June 11, 2020 in biography, civil war, governor

 

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