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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“Cowboy’s Thanksgiving”

This poem is attributed to Frank L. Jones.  He was from Wyoming rather than Texas, but most likely would have fit in just fine in the Lone Star State.  It was presented by columnist Dick Perue in the Wyoming Livestock Roundup.
Wild turkey in the oven and the boys all gathered round
And they got to kinda talkin’ ‘bout the different things they’d found
That they could feel thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day,
And some, they told it serious-like, and some, they told it gay.

“I’m thankful most for cattle,” says Slim, who thinks a heap.
“Without them critters in the land we might be herdin’ sheep!”
Ol’ Bashful claimed that women was the blessing in his life
– he must have meant his mother, for he’ll never get a wife!

Tom thanked the Lord that hosses had four legs instead of two,
so cowboys don’t have to walk like some poor people do.
The Foreman he was thankful that the grass was good and long,
and Curly said he thanked the stars that he was young and strong.
And Bud, he blessed his appetite and the way that turkey smelt,
and said he felt thanksgiving for the long holes in his belt!

Ol’ Dunk, just kinda sucked his pipe and gazed off toward the hills.
Well boys, he says, I’m 69 years old and full of liver pills.
My rheumatism aches me and my pipe is gettin’ stale.
My hossy days are over, and I’m feelin’ purty pale.

My bunions are so bulblous that I’ve had to split my boot.
My ears – I’d have to climb the tree to hear a hoot owl hoot.
Cain’t drown my woes in likker, for my ticker’s on the blink.
I cain’t even read the cattylogs, the way my blinkers wink.

I’ve got some nose for smellin’ left – that turkey’s pert near done,
but all the chawin’ teeth I’ve got is about a half of one.
Ol’ Gus shore savvies fixin’ Turk! I’d like to eat a pound,
But hell, I couldn’t chaw it if he took and had it ground!

You talk about Thanksgivin’, boys, and here you see me set,
A plumb wore-out ol’ cowhand – but I’m mighty thankful yet,
For every hoss I’ve ever rode and every sight I ever saw,
But I’m thankful most of all for gravy – which a man don’t have to chaw! –

–attrib. to Frank L. Jones


Gobble gobble, y’all!  Hope that everyone has a nice Thanksgiving.

“A Cowboy’s Thanksgiving”


The poem below appeared in the El Paso Herald on December 4, 1911. It is unattributed.


Beautiful the sunshine pours over western plains,
And into little homes along the rugged mountain chains;
Thanks for this refulgent light in humble cottage cast,
That alleviates the burdens of a melancholy past.

My having to sorrow without one word,
And working in the stampede of the herd,
Makes me thankful for the peace and the rest
That come on Thanksgiving day in the west.

Thankful for the cattle’s large, appealing eyes,
And for my little home on the mountain’s gorgeous rise;
Thankful for the union of pleasure and sorrow,
And for the sunshine that will come on the morrow.

Thankful for the smile of little baby Ann,
Whose happy mother died with the year begin;
Thankful for the echoes of her voice in the breeze,
Where baby Ann listens and plays among the trees.

Thankful for the incentive to learn and advance,
And for those who have journeyed in this western expanse,
And for the privilege to be free and simple-
For my baby’s coiling curls and her glowing dimple.

— by A West Texas Cowpuncher

Poem for Veterans Day

A Young Girl-To the Unknown Soldier

I was only a baby
When you went to war.
I knew nothing of the torturing fears
That war can bring.
And yet my heart aches for you-
And for your mother.
Tonight, remembering you,
I pray to God.
I beg a puzzled world
To have done without bitterness and misunderstanding.
I say again and again,
“Do not let my husband and son
Be torn from the tenderness
Of my arms.”
It is not a brave way of speaking.
But I do not see the tragic splendor
Of your grave.
I see a woman’s heart weeping-
For you.”

–by Elise Betty Kauders

From time to time we will post items that do not directly have a Texas connection.  The above poem by 18 year old Elise Betty Kauders was printed in the Lubbock Morning Avalanche in Lubbock, Texas on Armistice Day November 11, 1936 after being published in the November edition of Good Housekeeping in 1934.  Several of her poems and book reviews had been published by the time she graduated from high school.  Elise eloped and married Frederick Loeb in 1941.  Frederick was later drafted during WWII and served in the U.S. Army in Italy.  Elise tried to complete her college education several times but was interrupted by the Great Depression and for other reasons, but she finally got her college degree at the age of 50.

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Ben Milam

Benjamin Rush Milam was born in Frankfort, Kentucky in 1788 to Moses and Elizabeth Boyd Milam. He was named for Dr. Benjamin Rush, who had served soldiers including Moses Milam in the American Revolution at Valley Forge.  Ben enlisted in the Kentucky Militia as a private and eventually rose to the rank of Lieutenant during the War of 1812.  He remained in the army until his enlistment was concluded in 1815.


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