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Fort Concho

oldfortconcho

(Image credit: Fort Concho National Historical Landmark)

Fort Concho was one of the later forts established in the frontier system, opened in 1867 after the Civil War.  It took its name from the nearby branches of the Concho River, the water system that was a critical resource in the area.  It was positioned as a replacement for Fort Chadbourne that was located about 45 miles to the north northeast.  Fort Chadbourne’s water supply had failed prior to the Civil War.

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Posted by on November 23, 2017 in forts, history, texas

 

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Goddess of Liberty

Standing on the dome of the beautiful Texas Capitol Building in Austin is a statue known as the Goddess of Liberty.  Installed in 1888, she carries a sword in her right hand and her upright left hand holds a star.  The figure which stands 15 feet 7 1/2 inches tall and weighs one and one half tons was designed by the architect of the Capitol, Elijah E. Myers.  Texans were proud to boast that the statue made the Texas Capitol Building several feet taller than the United States Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

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Posted by on November 16, 2017 in history, texas, texas women

 

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The Flying Stinsons

Eddie Stinson had begun his career in aviation in San Antonio, Texas and was the brother of pioneer aviatrix, Katherine Stinson.  Katherine was a prodigy in the new world of aviation.  The youngest of four children, she had been captivated by the lure of airplanes, so much so that she sold her piano to raise the money for flying lessons.  The year was 1912, only a few short years after the Wright Brothers made their first powered flight in 1903.  Her first solo flight was in a similar-looking aircraft to the Kitty Hawk plane, which more nearly resembled a box kite than what we know as an aircraft.  She said that at the time, it was supposed to take 250 minutes of flying lessons to learn how to fly.  Katherine quickly took to it and indeed soloed after four hours of flying lessons.  Licensing requirements were not as strict back then.  Katherine said that all she had to do was climb to 800 feet, do some figure-eights, glide with the power off and make a smooth landing.  She was the fourth woman ever to obtain a pilot’s license.

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Posted by on November 9, 2017 in biography, history, texas, texas women

 

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Petrolia, a Texas Boom Town

Petrolia is one of several Texas towns that sprang up during the Texas oil boom.  Petrolia took its name from an oil town in Pennsylvania.  It is located due east of Wichita Falls in Clay County, and succeeded a nearby settlement that was named Oil City.

PetroliaGusher1900

(Image credit: UNT Portal to Texas History)

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Posted by on November 2, 2017 in history, oil and gas, texas, town names

 

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Fort Belknap

Fort Belknap was founded in the summer of 1851 by Brig. Gen William Belknap, then commander of the Department of Texas, to provide support for the settlers against the Comanche and Kiowa tribes.  It also served to protect traditionally friendly tribes like the Tonkowa against attacks from settlers and other area tribes.  Belknap was also a waypoint on the Butterfield Overland Stage line that carried the United States Mail for a few years.  It was the northern outpost in a string of forts established from the Rio Grande to the south to the Red River to the north.  Located in Young County, it served the area for about 8 years.

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Posted by on October 26, 2017 in forts, history, texas

 

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Mirabeau B. Lamar

Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar was the second president of the Republic of Texas. He was born in Georgia in 1798 to John Samuel III and Rebecca Lamar.  One of the youngest of eight children, Lamar was self educated, having been accepted to Princeton University, though he declined.

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Kate Ross Padgitt and Steamboats on the Brazos

Kate Ross Padgett was born January 6, 1851 and was the first white child born in Waco.  Her parents were Shapley Prince and Catherine Fulkerson Ross and they lived in a log cabin built near the Brazos River.  Her older brother was Lawrence Sullivan (Sul) Ross who was a young child when the family moved to Texas.  The exact location of the home is thought to be on the west side of the Brazos near downtown Waco, near the intersection of what was then Bridge Street and First Street, roughly where the Waco Suspension Bridge meets the river today.  There was a natural spring nearby.  The cabin was later replaced by a hotel, the first hotel in Waco, when the Ross family moved to a home near 12th and Dutton streets.

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Posted by on October 12, 2017 in biography, history, texas, texas women

 

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