Gustave Eiffel and Paris, Texas

The Fort Worth Gazette issue of August 8, 1889 carried a small paragraph that read as follows under the headline in all caps that read “TO OUTDO THE FRENCHMEN.”  The paragraph read, “A Washington architect, anticipating the great world’s fair to be held here in 1892 in honor of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America, and wishing to lay the Frenchman who conceived and built the Eiffel tower completely in the shade, has submitted plans for a tower to astonish the thousands who will gather here at the great exposition.  It is to be 1500 [feet] high or 500 more feet more than the wonderful tower in Paris.”

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Thomas Jefferson Rusk

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(Image credit: Findagrave)

Thomas Jefferson Rusk is considered to be one of the fathers of Texas.  He was born in South Carolina on December 5, 1803 to Irish immigrant John Rusk and his wife Mary Sterritt Rusk, and was one of seven children.  He had a modest upbringing as his father was a stone mason.  The family lived on the estate of John C. Calhoun who was his mentor.  Rusk studied the law and was admitted to the South Carolina bar.

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King Ranch

The King Ranch lies between Corpus Christi and Brownsville and is currently the largest ranch in Texas.  Historically, it was even larger when it was known as the Santa Gertrudis under a land grand from the King of Spain to José Domingo de la Garza.  It was later conveyed to José Pérez Ray whose descendants conveyed it in turn to Richard King.

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Juan Seguin

Juan Nepomucema Seguin was born in Spanish San Antonio on October 27, 1808 to Juan José Erasmo and María Josefa Becerra Seguin.  Erasmo was descended from one of sixteen families who came to the San Antonio area from the Canary Islands in the early 1700s.  The Seguin cattle ranch covered portions of three current Texas counties: Bexar, Guadalupe and Wilson.  Erasmo served as postmaster of San Antonio from 1807 to 1835, mayor (alcalde) of San Antonio from 1820-1821 and quartermaster of Presidio de San Antonio de Béxar from 1825 to 1835.  Erasmo was acquainted with Moses Austin who was succeeded by his son, Stephen F. Austin.  Along with Don Martin de Veramendi, Erasmo assisted them in obtaining their Austin Colony grant.

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(Image credit: pbs.org)

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Fort Stockton

Fort Stockton was originally an adobe fort built in 1859 by the United States Army as a means of protecting travelers, freighters and the mail service.  It was located near what was known as Comanche Springs, the source of Comanche Creek.  It served as a way point on the Old San Antonio Road, the Butterfield Overland Stage route and the Comanche Trail to Chihuahua, Mexico.

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