RSS

Tag Archives: texas

Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher, as it was known, was set up for a short time on the west bank of the Brazos river near the settlements that would give rise to Waco.  It was established by the Texas Rangers to provide security for settlers in 1837 and to the best of our knowledge, it was also abandoned the same year.  The outpost was named for William S. Fisher, Secretary of War of the Republic of Texas at the time.  Fisher was a long time member of the Texas Army.  He would later become a participant in the ill fated Meir Expedition after which he would be captured and imprisoned in Mexico.  Fisher passed away around two years after being released from his confinement in Mexico.

Fort Fisher is likely better known today as being the site of the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum.  The facility was conceived by several individuals connected to Waco and the Texas Rangers including former Ranger Clint Peoples, former Waco mayor Roger Conger, Wacoan Gaines deGaffenreid, Alva Stem and others.  It was to house the Homer Garrison Museum and is the state-designated official historical center of the Rangers.  Col. Homer Garrison had been a lawman since he was nineteen years old, serving as a deputy sheriff of Angelina County, a patrolman for the Texas Highway Patrol which became part of the Texas Department of Public Safety in 1935.  Garrison went on to become the director of TDPS and commander of the Texas Rangers until his death in 1968.

The concept of the museum was supported by Governors John Connally and Preston Smith, who was present at the signing of the law creating the museum.  By the time of the groundbreaking in 1968, Peoples had retired from the Rangers and was serving as a United States Marshal, but his last posting as a Ranger was to command Company F in Waco.  Several individuals donated artifacts to the museum including Charles Schriner III and Joe Bates.  Their collections included Bates’ Colt .45 made for Captain Ben McCullogh and a monogrammed carbine that once belonged to Ranger Captain Manuel “Lone Wolf” Gonzuallas.

Gaines deGaffenreid was known as a leading collector of guns and historical memorabilia pertaining to the early days of Texas.  He had been born and raised in Chilton, Texas.  He was local rancher and had assembled one of the finest collections of historical weaponry.  He was named as the first curator of the museum and served in that capacity until his death in 1991.  Prior his death, the City of Waco acquired a number of items from his collection and conveyed them to the museum.  In addition, the museum’s collection includes items associated with Sul Ross, Rangers William Jesse McDonald, Gonzuallas, Frank Hamer and John R. Hughes.  Conger, Peoples, Robert E. Davis, Sr., Bryce Brown and Dave Carnahan were named as the committee to screen items to be accepted into the museum.

The_Waco_News_Tribune_Tue__Apr_3__1973_

(Image credit: Waco News-Tribune)

The museum also includes Texas Ranger service records from 1847 to 1935, historically significant photographs, books and other items connected to the law enforcement agency.

A statue of a Ranger mounted on horseback entitled Texas Ranger was installed on the grounds in 2008.  It was created by Don Hunt and was a gift of Betsy and Clifton Robinson.  A second statue stands at the entrance of the building and shows Ranger George Erath standing and holding surveying equipment.  It is entitled Major George B. Erath – Frontiersman and was created and donated by the artist Robert Summers in 1976.

The museum structure was completed in 1976.  It is now open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.  It is located just east of Interstate 35 at Exit 335B.  The museum commemorates the long history of the Texas Rangers and among other topics, provides biographical details of the thirty-one individuals named to its hall of fame.  Other features and details about the facility are available on its website.

© 2019, all rights reserved.

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 16, 2019 in forts, texas rangers

 

Tags: , , ,

Rufus Higginbotham, Co-founder of Higginbotham Brothers

The Higginbotham family founded a chain of what became hardware stores a decade and a half after the Civil War.  When the business matured, they had locations in many towns across Texas.  Hardware stores and lumber yards with Higginbotham in the name were common in Texas.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 9, 2019 in biography

 

Tags: , ,

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)

Read the rest of this entry »

 
4 Comments

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

 

Tags: , , ,

Clint Peoples, Texas Ranger

clintpeopleswacohistoryorg

(Image credit: wacohistory.org)

Captain Clinton Thomas Peoples was born August  25, 1910 in Bridgeport, Wise County, Texas to William Thomas and Susie May Johnson Baugh Peoples.  In Bridgeport, his parents ran a cafe and candy store.  The family later moved to the King Ranch where his father managed a section of the ranch.  He attended high school in Conroe where they were living at the time.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 25, 2019 in biography, texas rangers

 

Tags: , ,

General William Rufus Shafter

William Rufus Shafter was a Union officer in the Civil War.  Born in 1835 in Michigan, he was in seminary at the outset of the Civil War and enlisted in the Union Army.  About thirty years after the end of the Civil War, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for meritorious service pertaining to an incident on May 31, 1862.  Shafter had been a lieutenant involved in bridge construction near Fair Oaks, Virginia when the Union forces were engaged by Confederate troops.  Shafter left the bridge and took about twenty-two men to counter the Confederate attack.  All but four of his troops were killed and he received a flesh wound and possibly other wounds.  However, Shafter stayed on the field, concealing his wounds.  In a later battle, he was captured by the Confederates and served three months in a prison camp in 1864 before being released.  He was then assigned to the 17th United States Colored Infantry, which appears to be his command when the war ended.  Shafter had been elevated to the rank of brevet brigadier general.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 18, 2019 in biography

 

Tags: , ,

Fort McKavett

Fort McKavett is located near Menard in Menard County, Texas.  It was one in a line of Texas frontier forts built during the era to protect settlers who were moving into the area.  The forts were situated roughly in a diagonal line connecting the Red River to the Rio Grande and about one hundred miles west of the currently occupied land at the time.  United States Army infantry colonel Thomas Staniford was given orders to build a military post at the headwaters of the San Saba River and he arrived with his regiment on March 14, 1852.  The headwaters were a natural spring and Staniford decided to move the location about two miles down from it where the spring formed a small lagoon, favoring the water supply there.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 11, 2019 in forts

 

Tags: , ,

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
2 Comments

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

 

Tags: , , ,