Texas History
Texas History photo view from Hueco Tanks
Texas history: People, places and events from the Lone Star State.


Fredericksburg Texas Hill Country Lodging: Premier B&B near Fredericksburg Texas

While in the Hill Country check out Knot in the Loop Saloon, Willow City, Texas

 

The Mason County Hoodoo Wars
Part 1
  / Part 2

by Glenn Hadeler

"Hoodoo": It’s an old an old term for bad luck or what brings it, and in 1875 Mason County had plenty of both. People would bolt their doors and post guards for fear of what might come with the next day; but, this terror was not wrought from the usual frontier threat of Comanche raiders or wild beasts, those had been subdued for some time. No, this fear was of their own neighbors, and perhaps even one time friends. So bitter were the passions that spawned this strife that it even divided the Texas Ranger Company sent to quell the bloody affair.

The Bowie Mine: A Literature Review by Bill Townsley
The search for the legendary Lost Bowie Mine has been the topic of conversation and controversy for over a century and a half. Today, treasure hunters mine the sources in history to narrow the search.

The Jaybird-Woodpecker War of Fort Bend County by Gary Brown
The story of the short, violent and infamous war in 1888-1889 resulting from local antagonisms following Reconstruction.  It crossed racial, political and social lines.   And it was very violent.  [This is posted as four  jpg images in its original  format.  With a slow connection it could take some time to download.]

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Cowhand From Llano
An Old-timers Account of Youthful Experiences in Cow Country
by ERNEST TURBIVILLE
"When I was a boy in Llano County, Texas, horses occupied the important place in the scheme of things that automobiles now do. In the cow country we were entirely dependent on horses. A man had to be mounted to take his place among men."

The History of Blanco County Part 1
The History of Blanco County Part 2
by Jean Cox Stanley
There are a number of histories written of Blanco County. My purpose in writing this short one is to pass on my knowledge and feelings about the county of my birth. It is my hope that if this history is read by family members they will see it as the story of not just any pioneers, but that of our ancestors. You will find that some of our physical characteristics, vocabulary and speech patterns, as well as some of our strengths and weaknesses come from these early settlers

The Woman at San Jacinto
by Gary Brown

Accounts following San Jacinto included reports of a court of inquiry after the battle and subsequent civil lawsuit over allegations that one of Sam Houston’s senior officers had been charged with the murder. But why would the death of one Mexican woman have been so important as to lead to charges of cowardice and murder and countercharges of civil libel?

INTO THE PAST WITH CAPTAIN PERRY
INDIAN TROUBLE IN THE EARLY DAYS:
by GLENN HADELER

In 1840 the land that would later become Blanco County, was a desolate wilderness, some fifty miles west of the nearest settlements.  For the most part, it was in the undisputed control of the Penateka Comanches and the other roving tribes of Native Americans who drifted through the hills.  These nomadic people could not possibly understand the events that were about to change their centuries old style of life. A three part story reprinted with permission from the Johnson City Free Press.

BOWIE by STEVE GOODSON
Defender of the Alamo, pioneer leader, slave trader, land speculator, Indian fighter and Prospector of lost mines. Who was this man?

Jim Nichols by IRA KENNEDY
Jim Nichols vs a secesh, ring click, paper collar, kid glove gang of cyoties. A former Texas Ranger faces up to the Confederates in Blanco County.

A Scalping and a Vision
by Steven L. Yuhas
I found this story while doing research on the life of "Bigfoot Wallace". Wallace had stopped to spend the night at a cabin about twelve miles above La Grange. A man wearing a fur hat came in and stood before the fire. After a few minutes he removed his hat and bent over to warm his head. It was raw, red and had some bone showing. In those days it was frontier custom not to ask questions of a stranger, but Wallace’s curiosity got the best of him. "Excuse me for asking, but what happened to your head?"

COWHAND FROM CLICK
by NORA MELTON CROSS
Henry Smith's boyhood and trail driving days.

Kings of the Texas Hills
The Elusive Chanas of the Llano Uplift   by Jerry C. Drake
It is a tradition of popular folklore in the Texas Hill Country that the name of the Llano River was derived from a little-known Indian tribe called the Chanas. Not very much is known about the Chanas as a culture. Time has chosen to forget this once proud people, leaving uswith only a few passing memories recorded in rare and ancient texts. But the Chanas were very real... a living chapter of Texas history who's story deserves to be told. Who were these elusive people, these former kings of the Texas Hills?

THE SCAB BUILDING by GARY BROWN
From the earliest days of the Republic of Texas until statehood and even today, Texas has never hesitated to attempt what others considered the impossible or controversial. Sitting at the head of Congress Avenue in Austin, the Texas State Capitol represents one of those "impossible" stories. And while some would say that in Texas nothing is impossible, it may also be true that nothing in Texas is without controversy.

L' AFFAIRE D' HOG
by C.F. ECKHARDT

Jean etcetera Dubois was born in 1809 in the French province of Normandy. His daddy was Jean Baptiste Isidore Dubois, who was a tax collector for Napoleon I, and his mamma was Marie Louise Rose Bertrand, who is rumored to have been the daughter of a baker. Later, for his own reasons, he claimed to have been born on July 4, 1812, and identified his parents as Jean Theodore Dubois de Saligny and Rosalie Bertrand de Broussillon.

THE PIG WAR by GARY BROWN
The French have not had good luck with animals in Texas: a century earlier, they had nearly gone to war with Spain in east Texas over some chickens. This flap was with the newly independent Texans and is commonly referred to as the Pig War.

 

KRIEWITZ AND THE COMANCHES
by GLENN HADELER

The history of Texas’ frontier settlement is filled with tragic stories of whites who had the misfortune of being held captive by the Comanche Indians, but so far as can be determined there is only one episode where a person willingly gave himself into their hands. This wa
s the peculiar case of Emil von Kriewitz.
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SQUARE MAYS AND THE SOW THAT MADE MISCHIEF
by C.F. ECKHARDT

They tell this story up around Wimberly. I’m not sure what Squire Mays’ real name was, but his wife’s name was Aunt Polly. He come to be called ‘Square’ Mays when, after he was elected Justice of the Peace, he commenced to put on airs. He put up a sign that had his name on it, suffixed by ‘Esq.’ ‘Esq.’ is short for Esquire, which is usually abbreviated to ‘Squire’. However, up around Wimberly they decided to pronounce it ‘Square’ and Judge Mays became known as Square Mays forever more.

 

The Texas Cherokee
by IRA KENNEDY
Texas Cherokee, TucheeWoven into the fabric of personal history is the image of the American Indian. When I was a child my grandmother revealed to me, in a secretive voice, that I was of Cherokee-Irish descent; that my great-grandmother, Sarah Jane Kelly, was a full-blood Texas Cherokee. The revelation filled me with excitement and wonder. Only many years later did I realize that the secretive, almost conspiratorial tone, was shaped by generations of fear, for in Sarah Jane’s day, Indians were an undesirable element in Texas.

German Intellectuals on the Texas Frontier by Ira Kennedy
The Texas frontier of the 1850s would seem an unlikely place to find communities with a passion for literature, philosophy, music, and conversations in Latin. Just as unlikely would expectations be very high for communes in the Hill Country attempting to establish utopia along the Llano River.  But, in this area, the communities of Castell, Schoenburg, Bettina, and Leiningen were hotbeds for intellectual conversations and revolutionary social experimentation. These communities were the first to settle the Fisher-Miller Grant located between the Llano and San Saba Rivers

THE ENCHANTED ROCK
AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY
by IRA KENNEDY

Sparsely scattered across the continent are monuments, natural in origin. Some are beautiful, others bizarre; a few reach deeper than the eye or the mind to touch the human psyche. They are named holy. Enchanted Rock, which rises out of the surrounding landscape like a megalithic monument is such a place.

THE BLOODY HANDS
OF ALICE TODD

by Lemon Squeezer

"Away back in the early sixties when a Redskin lurked in every brushy hollow and when men and women went horseback to church, often times fifteen miles away, when everybody knew everybody else, and when everyone was a true neighbor -- it was then our story began."

INGRAM'S WALK ACROSS TEXAS
by STEVE GOODSON

So began one of the most incredible (and least known) adventures to have ever been told; an eleven month trek across some 3,000 miles of wilderness. Only three of the sailors survived to return to England, showing up in Cape Breton, off Nova Scotia in September of 1569. The three sailors, Ingram, Richard Browne and Richard Twide, were picked up by some French fishermen and returned to England in November of 1569.

MYSTERY OF THE LADY IN BLUE
by C.F. ECKHARDT

The American southwest owes much of its Spanish exploration and settlement to a woman. Texas owes the entire Spanish mission effort to her. That woman, in her entire life, never left Spain. At least, she never left it physically

MEDICINE MAN HILL
by IRA KENNEDY
Seeking legendary silver mines in La Lomeria, or the Hill Country, a Spanish expedition led by don Bernardo de Miranda, lieutenant-general of the province of Texas, set out from the presidio of San Antonio de Bejar in February, 17, 1756. Known as the Miranda expedition, the twenty-three adventurers were under orders from Governor Barrios to locate two silver mines rumored to be in the area. Miranda did find one, known as Cerro del Almagre or the Hill of Red Ochre; and in the process he came within sight of Cerro de Santiago or the Hill of the Sacred One. At least one historian has suggested Cerro de Santiago might have been Enchanted Rock, while others discount the possibility. The Hill of Red Ochre is believed by some to be the Lost Bowie Mine.

THE OTHER HISTORY: The Smallpox Winter: 1839-1840 by IRA KENNEDY
Epidemics of smallpox were devastating the Plains tribes from Canada to mexico. This is an overview from Indian Winter Counts.

The Republic of Texas
1845 - The Twilight Year: Part 1 of 2 Parts.
by IRA KENNEDY
Rumors, gossip, lies and dreams. Conspiracies, intrigues, plots, and counter plots. This must be the Republic of Texas. From 1830 to 1845, the eyes of the world turned toward Texas. Stretching from the Rio Grande to Wyoming, and from Louisiana to Santa Fe (New Mexico), Texas was enormous, and her potential to expand all the way to the Pacific Ocean was under serious discussion.

The Beginning of the End:
by IRA KENNEDY    Part 1 & 2 of 2 Parts
Lamar’s dream to mark ‘with the sword" the western boundary of Texas at the Pacific Ocean was as foolhardy as it was visionary. When Anson Jones ascended to the presidency of the Republic on the first Monday of September, 1844, he sought to attain by treaty what was impossible with the sword.

A View from the Presidency by Anson Jones: The year 1843 dawned on Texas with brightening prospects. A jealousy and rivalry began to exist between the U. States on the one hand, and Great Britain and France on the other, in relation to Texas, which was daily gaining strength, and it was not her policy to endeavor to abate or to suppress it…

THE RIVER OF LOST IDENTITY: Phonetics Foiled the Real Name of Llano River by DALE FRY
Originally the name of the Llano River was not "Llano" at all.  Spanish explorers who discovered it called it "Rio de los Chanas -- River of the Chanas-- after the Indians who inhabited its banks, a simple and logica means by which to identify the stream.

The Lost San Saba Mines  Compiled and edited by IRA KENNEDY
Reprints from articles found in the San Saba News circa 1890:  Since the 1700's, stories of abandoned or lost Spanish mines and buried treasure in San Saba and adjacent counties have fired the imaginations of thousands of treasure seekers. The following items, from the San Saba News, convey well the excitement these stories generated around the turn of the century.

The Mystery of Babyhead Mountain
by Dale Fry

For over 100 years, the presence of Babyhead Mountain, a rugged hill lying some nine and a half miles north of Llano, has given foreboding testimony to one of the most gruesome—and controversial—incidents to have ever occurred in Llano County. It was here that a search party discovered the dismembered body of a missing child, her head impaled on a stick near the summit of the hill.

On the Way to Enchanted Rock
by ANNIE SIMMS WALKER

A first-hand account from Texas history. "In 1860, at the home of my father, Captain J.M. Sims, in Lavaca County, I was married to Joseph H. Walker of Llano County. He was young, handsome, and wealthy, and I was a very young and happy bride. A short time after our marriage we moved to our home in Llano, accompanied by my married sister and her husband. After a short stay they bade us farewell and returned home."

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