Paul Neal Adair, better known by his nickname “Red” Adair, was born in 1915 in Houston, Texas to Charles Edward and Mary Emeline Smith Adair. Charles was a carpenter and blacksmith. Both he and Mary had been born in Kansas where they married. By 1910, they were living in Houston. Red got his nickname from being red headed and was the middle child of at least five siblings. When he was young, the family lived northwest of downtown Houston in an area known as The Heights, where Red attended school through the 9th grade at Houston Reagan High School. He as a good athlete and student, but dropped out of high school to help support his family in the midst of the Depression.
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On the morning of October 26, 1943, Littlefield, Lamb County, Texas awoke to learn of the brutal murders of residents Dr. Roy Elwin and Mrs. Mae Franks Hunt. Dr. Hunt had been killed by a gunshot at close range and Mae had been killed by at least one blow to the head from an object not found at the scene. Their bodies were found by the couple’s five year old daughter. The couple was buried a few days later following their funeral at Littlefield’s First Methodist Church, attended by an overflow crowd.
Judge Harold Barefoot Sanders was born on February 5, 1925 to attorney Harold Barefoot Sanders, Sr. and May Elizabeth Forrester Sanders in Dallas, Texas. Sanders told of growing up during the Depression, working odd jobs to raise money for the family. He and his father were both named for Dennie Barefoot, Judge Sanders’ paternal grandmother. She was the granddaughter of Daniel Barefoot, of Tennessee, who had settled in Montague County, Texas in the 1800s. Dennie’s father Jonathan Barefoot had served in the Civil War. Judge Sanders talked about the name Barefoot and explained in a 1971 newspaper article that it was not a nickname and was his grandmother’s maiden name. He also clarified that it was not a Native American name, as some might have supposed.
After the success of the book and film Hidden Figures which generated much deserved recognition for NASA employees Katherine Jonson, Dorothy vaughan and Mary Jackson, the book with the eye catching title of Hidden Genius: Frank Mann, the Black Engineer Behind Howard Hughes came to our attention. It is the story of Frank Calvin Mann, as told by H. T. Bryer.
In an article under the column “Domestic Intelligence” the Galveston Daily News reported on March 3, 1871 that the Texas Pacific Railway when it was granted a federal charter to operate. The company was authorized to build a railroad via the most direct and eligible route along the 32nd Parallel from Marshall, Texas to El Paso and on to San Diego, California. With the railroad grant came a federal land grant of twenty sections of land per mile in California and Texas and forty sections of land in the territories of New Mexico and Arizona. Why Marshall, Texas? A Louisiana company, New Oleans, Baton Rouge and Vicksburg Railway Company already had been granted a charter to connect to the line at Marshall.
The Hoodoo War was the common name for the Mason County War, which took place in the middle 1870s in the area and arose over the killing and rustling of cattle. This was typified by attacks from vigilantes wearing masks to conceal their identities and to generate terror. These vigilantes essentially took the law into their own hands in an effort to defend against the alleged perpetrators.
Wiley Hardeman Post was born November 22, 1898 near Grand Saline, Van Zandt County, Texas to William Francis and Mae Quinlan Post. His family were cotton farmers and moved to Oklahoma when Wiley was five years old, finally settling close to Maysville. He was exposed to flying at a local county fair when he was about twenty years old. It inspired him to take flying lessons, though he did not begin flying on his own until later but took a construction job.