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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(Image credit: Houston Museum of Fine Arts)
One of the more unique and recognizable names in Texas was Miss Ima Hogg. Her father was James Stephen Hogg, the first native born governor of Texas, who served as governor from 1891 to 1895. James and Sarah Ann Stinson Hogg had three sons and Imogene, their only daughter. It is not known for certain who Imogene was named for, but the story is told that James had a brother named Thomas Elisha Hogg, a Confederate Captain, who had written a Civil War poem “The Fate of Marvin.” The poem was about a Southern girl named Ima who had cared for a Union soldier. There are some stories floating around that she had a sister named Ura, but according to published genealogy records, Ima was the only daughter of Jim Hogg and Sarah Stinson Hogg.
(Image credit: gettyimages.com, showing Dale Evans between the actor Jimmy Stewart and Dale’s husband Roy Rogers.)
Dale Evans was born Lucile Smith (later changed to Frances Octavia Smith) on October 31, 1912 in Uvalde, Texas to Walter Hillman Smith and Bettie Sue Coln, according to published genealogy records. The family later moved to Osceola, Arkansas where she attended high school. When she was 14, she eloped and married Thomas Frederick Fox with whom she had her first born son, Tom Fox, Jr. The marriage ended shortly thereafter and two years later, she married August W. Johns. In 1936, she married Robert Dale Butts, which relationship lasted about nine years. She had no children from the latter two marriages. In her early years, she struggled as a single parent and supported herself by working as a secretary, a singer and working in radio in Chicago, Memphis, Dallas and Louisville. She was given the stage name of Dale Evans by a radio station manager who suggested it because it was easier to pronounce than Frances Octavia Smith.
Cynthia Ann Parker’s tragic story is better known, but there were other individuals including Rachel Parker Plummer who were taken by the Comanches in the attack on Fort Parker. The battle occurred on May 19, 1836 at a fort near Groesbeck, Limestone County, Texas. At the time, there were thirty or more members of the extended Parker family living in or around the stockade fort. Killed were Silas Mercer Parker, John Parker, Samuel Frost, Robert Frost and Benjamin Parker. Those who were captured included Cynthia Ann Parker, her brother John Richard Parker, Elizabeth Kellogg, Rachel Parker Plummer and her three year old son James Pratt Plummer.
Angelina Peyton Eberly is credited with having saved Austin as the capital of Texas by preventing the state archives from being removed to another location. While her name may not be as familiar as others, her story is one worth knowing.
Depending upon where you may have heard of Sally Scull, you might get the impression that she was a Texas Civil War heroine, a “black widow” husband-killer or just about anything between the two. You may also see her name spelled Skull as well as Scull, but for this purpose, we will use the latter. She had a reputation for being able to shoot as straight with her left hand as with her right. She usually carried two six shooters, often wore mens’ clothing and had a rough vocabulary that she used freely, and often.
Mexia is located in Limestone County in east central Texas. It was founded in the 1800s and lies just north of Fort Parker with Groesbeck being the nearest town to the south of the fort. Before the Anglo settlement began in the area, it was home to Native American tribes including the Comanche.