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Category Archives: folklore

Elmer Kelton

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(Image credit: AmericanCowboy.com)

Elmer was born in 1926 on the Five Wells Ranch, one of the Scharbauer ranches, in rural Andrews County, Texas.  His father was Robert William “Buck” Kelton and mother was the former Neta Beatrice “Bea” Parker.  Three years later, Buck took a job at the McElroy Ranch in Crane, Texas near Midland, where he would remain for 36 years.  Elmer grew up on the ranch, hearing the colorful stories told by Buck and the other cowboys on the ranch.

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Posted by on July 21, 2016 in authors, biography, folklore

 

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Unsolved mystery: Jesse James’ grave site

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The  outlaw Jesse Woodson James (1847-1882) is generally thought to have been shot and killed by Robert Ford on April 3, 1882.  Ford, a James gang member, reportedly shot James, then 34 years old, in the back of the head at the Kearney, Missouri home of Ford’s sister as they prepared to head out for another robbery.  Ford’s motive was to obtain a reward. Ford and his brother pled guilty to murder but were pardoned by the Missouri governor Thomas Crittendon. Although James body was identified and buried in Kearney, Missouri,  alternative accounts persist that he somehow faked his death and moved to Texas. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2015 in folklore, outlaws and crimes, unsolved mystery

 

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Emily D. West

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She is the traditional subject of the song “Yellow Rose of Texas” and one of the more compelling characters in the miniseries “Texas Rising” which just completed its debut run on the History Channel.  In it, the character has an affair with Mexican General Santa Anna and is occupying his attention leading up to the battle.  In addition, she may have had personal motives of revenge that led to her desire to see Santa Anna defeated.

The familiar song does not deal with San Jacinto or Santa Anna.  It was composed in the 1800s, although the actual name of the composer is unknown.

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Bigfoot Wallace and the Bandito Vidal

William A. A. “Bigfoot” Wallace lived from 1817-1899 and was a Texas Ranger, one of 30 to be inducted into the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame. He came to Texas after the death of his brother and a cousin at the hands of the Mexican Army at Goliad in 1836, intending to somehow even the score for his lost relatives. Wallace is believed to have many times exacted his revenge, though he was captured and imprisoned by the Mexican Army himself in the early days of 1843 in the so called “Black Bean Episode,” which he survived. Wallace is mentioned in many other historical accounts as he fought as a Ranger in the Mexican-American War, continued to serve as a Texas Ranger during the 1850s and beyond. He did not serve in the Civil War, electing instead to remain in Texas to guard the borders against Indians, renegades and Union soldiers.  The young State of Texas benefited from an uneasy arrangement with the Confederate Army to allow some Rangers to remain in place to defend the frontier.

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