William Cowper Brann


(Image credit: Texas Co-op Power Magazine)

William Cowper Brann was born in Coles County, Illinois in 1855 and was raised by a local farmer after his mother died when he was 2 1/2.  His first job was to serve as a bell boy at a local hotel.  Following that, he worked as a painter, a drummer, a grainer, a printer, a reporter and an editorial writer.  It was written that he talked his way into a position as chief editorial writer for the Houston Post.  Brann earned a reputation for being a hard worker at whatever he attempted to do.

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Murder of “Alamo” Actress, 1959


(Image credit: Albuquerque Journal)

On October 12, 1959, the Associated Press column appeared in newspapers across the country with similar headlines to this one, “Admirer Kills Young Actress In Alamo Movie.”  The article reported the death of LaJean Eldridge, an actress in the John Wayne film project being shot in Bracketville, Kinney County, Texas.  Ms. Eldridge, about 26 years old, had died the day before, the victim of a stabbing that took place in a rented residence that she and five male actors shared in nearby Spofford, Texas.  The group were members of a little theater troupe.  Eldridge had been cast in the film as “Mrs. Guy” and the alleged killer, Chester Harvey Smith, about 32 years old, was her boyfriend who had been cast as an extra in the project.

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