Throckmorton was born in 1825 in Sparta, Tennessee and came to Texas with his family when he was about 16 when they settled near Melissa in North Texas. His father Dr. William Throckmorton is the namesake of the town and county of Throckmorton. James studied medicine with an uncle in Kentucky before returning to Texas in 1847 to fight in the Mexican-American War. Throckmorton suffered from chronic kidney disfunction, so he only remained active for a few months. He then married, settled near McKinney in Collin County and opened up a medical practice. In the years that followed, he studied law as he also became more active in the community. Eventually, he left the practice of medicine and devoted his time to politics and the law. He successfully ran for the Texas House of Representatives in 1851 and served three terms. He then ran for the Texas Senate where he served from 1857 to 1861 until the outset of the Civil War.
Continue reading James Webb Throckmorton, 12th Governor of Texas
William A. A. “Bigfoot” Wallace lived from 1817-1899 and was a Texas Ranger, one of 30 to be inducted into the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame. He came to Texas after the death of his brother and a cousin at the hands of the Mexican Army at Goliad in 1836, intending to somehow even the score for his lost relatives. Wallace is believed to have many times exacted his revenge, though he was captured and imprisoned by the Mexican Army himself in the early days of 1843 in the so called “Black Bean Episode,” which he survived. Wallace is mentioned in many other historical accounts as he fought as a Ranger in the Mexican-American War, continued to serve as a Texas Ranger during the 1850s and beyond. He did not serve in the Civil War, electing instead to remain in Texas to guard the borders against Indians, renegades and Union soldiers. The young State of Texas benefited from an uneasy arrangement with the Confederate Army to allow some Rangers to remain in place to defend the frontier.
Continue reading Bigfoot Wallace and the Bandito Vidal
On Christmas Day, 1932, Doyle Johnson of Temple was taking a nap after the family Christmas dinner when he was awakened by his wife saying that some individuals were trying to steal his new car, parked outside. Mrs. Johnson yelled for them to stop as Doyle ran to the car, jumped on the running board and struggled with the thief, Clyde Barrow, who fatally shot him. Bonnie Parker, Barrow and W. D. Jones escaped with the stolen car.
Continue reading Frank Hardy, one time member of the Barrow Gang
Wilbarger County is named for Josiah Pugh Wilbarger and his brother Mathias. Josiah lived from 1801-1844 and was the son of John and Ann Wilbarger. His place of birth is listed either as Rockingham County, Virginia or Bourbon County, Kentucky. He married the former Margaret Barker in Missouri in 1827 and they relocated to Matagorda, Texas in December of that year. He taught school in Matagorda for a year before moving to La Grange in Fayette County. From some time after that, he was a surveyor by trade and and eventually moved to a settlement about ten miles north of present day Bastrop, Texas, staking his own claim in an area contested by Indians about 26 miles southeast of Austin.
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Audie Leon Murphy was born in the village of Kingston, Hunt County, Texas (north of Greenville) in 1925 to Emmett Berry and Josie Bell Killian Murphy, a family of sharecroppers. Audie was the sixth of twelve children. His father abandoned the family when Audie was eight and his mother died when he was a teenager. Audie dropped out of school at the elementary level, in order to help support his family. Looking at this humble resume, not much would have been expected of him.
Continue reading Audie Murphy, a Texas Hero