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Babe Didrikson Zaharias

Mildred Ella Didrikson was born June 26, 1911 to Ole and Hannah Marie Olsen Didriksen in Port Arthur, Texas.  Her father was a carpenter in the maritime industry.  When she was three years old, the family moved to Beaumont, Texas where she went to public school.  She was a gifted athlete and excelled at about every sport she participated in.  She picked up her nickname “Babe” (after Babe Ruth, the baseball star) after slugging five home runs in a baseball game, though her mother said her nickname had been “Baby” earlier on.  She adopted the spelling Didrikson when she was an adult.

babedidricksonancestry

(Image credit: ancestry.com)

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Posted by on May 2, 2019 in biography, texas women

 

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Belle Starr

Belle Starr, the famous “female outlaw” was born Myra Maybelle Shirley on February  5, 1848 to John and Elizabeth Shirley in rural Missouri near the town of Carthage.  It was a time when bandits, either male or female, were celebrated in some ways.  Her family lived on a farm.  Reportedly, they were also slave owners in a time when strong attitudes for or against slavery divided residents especially in so-called border states.  Her family later sold their rural property and moved into Carthage where they ran the inn and several other businesses.  The civil war came and a brother joined the Confederate army and more specifically the controversial outfit known as Quantrill’s Raiders.  Her brother Bud Shirley was killed in Missouri in a skirmish between Union and Confederate troops.  The economy had generally deteriorated in Missouri because of the war and the Shirleys packed up and moved to near Scyene, Texas, at the time located southeast of Dallas, around 1864.

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Posted by on April 4, 2019 in biography, outlaws and crimes, texas women

 

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Minnie Lou Bradley

Minnie Lou Ottinger Bradley was born December 15, 1931 to Thomas and Zulema Young Ottinger in western Oklahoma.  At an early age, she showed a strong interest in livestock as she grew up on the family wheat farm.  She joined the 4-H Club and actively participated, although the Future Farmers of America (FFA) was then limited to male members.  While in 4-H, she exhibited Angus cattle, sheep and swine.  At age ten, she won a blue ribbon at the Oklahoma State Fair for sheep raised on her ranch.  After graduating from high school in Hydro, Oklahoma she enrolled at Oklahoma State University, first chartered as Oklahoma Territorial Agricultural and Mechanical College in 1890 and then commonly known as Oklahoma A&M.  She was the first female student to enroll in animal science, graduating in 1953 and minoring in agricultural journalism.

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Posted by on March 7, 2019 in biography, cattle breeds, texas women

 

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Liz Carpenter

Mary Elizabeth Sutherland Carpenter was born in Salado, Bell County, Texas in 1920 to Thomas Shelton and Mary Elizabeth Robertson Sutherland.  Her father was a state highway inspector and her mother was a homemaker.  Liz was the middle child of five children.  According to traditional genealogical sources, her mother, Mary Elizabeth Robertson was the daughter of Maclin Robertson who was in turn the son of Sterling Clack and Sarah Maclin Robertson.  Sterling Clack Robertson was born in 1785 in Tennessee and came to Texas as empresario of his own colony, settling in what would become Bell County near the current town of Salado.  Robertson was also a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.  On Liz’s father’s side, her Texas roots went back just as far.  Her father was Thomas Shelton Sutherland III.  His father was Thomas Shelton Sutherland II and his father was George Sutherland, born in Alabama and by profession a cowboy and rancher, who is noted as having served in the Texas Army and fought in the Battle of San Jacinto.

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Posted by on December 27, 2018 in authors, biography, texas women

 

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Governor Ann Richards

Ann Richards was the 45th Governor of Texas, succeeding Governor Bill Clements.  She was born Dorothy Ann Willis on September 1, 1933 to Robert Cecil and Mildred Iona Warren Willis.  She grew up in the Lacy Lakeview area, just north of Waco, Texas.  Her father worked as a truck driver for a pharmaceutical company.  During World War II, the family briefly moved to San Diego, California before returning to live once more in Waco, Texas.  She attended and graduated from Waco High School in downtown Waco.  Her family was not wealthy, but she took piano and elocution lessons.  Once when she was a senior at Waco High, she and classmate Marilyn Reese played a piano duet and took third place in a city-wide musical talent contest.  Foreshadowing her later political career, Ann also was on the high school debate team and was selected to be a representative to Girls State, an American Legion Auxiliary leadership organization that mirrors each state’s government.  She was attracted by the process and was selected as a representative to Girls Nation, a group select individuals from from among the Girls State representatives.  Richards entered Baylor University in Waco after high school graduation on a debate scholarship.  The future governor married her high school boyfriend, David Read Richards, in 1953 during her junior year in college, and Ann went on to graduate from Baylor University in Speech and Government the following year.

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Posted by on October 4, 2018 in biography, governor, texas women

 

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First African-American Texas Rangers

Nix-Christine

Christine Nix was hired in 1994 and became an officer with the Texas Rangers after serving in the military and as a police officer in Temple before moving to another state.  She later returned to Texas, moving to Austin.  She happened to live near the Texas Department of Safety office which helped to spark her interest in returning to law enforcement.

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Posted by on August 30, 2018 in biography, black history, texas women

 

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Sara T. Hughes

Sara Augusta Tilghman Hughes was a pioneer in the legal profession.  She was born in 1896 in Baltimore, Maryland to James Cooke and Elizabeth Haughton Tilghman.  Her father was a shipping clerk in the dry goods business.  She grew up in Baltimore where she attended Western Female High School, Salem Academy in North Carolina and then Goucher College, graduating in 1917 with a degree in biology.  After graduating from college, she taught school for two years before enrolling in night law school classes at George Washington School of Law.  During the day, she worked as a police officer in Washington, D. C. and she received her law degree in 1922.

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