Texas Back Roads
yesterday at 21:24. Facebook
TiTH: First Steam Boat to Travel Up the Brazos River

January 22

On this day in 1837, the first steamboat to ascend the Brazos River above Harrisburg [longitudinally] brought Augustus C. and John K. Allen and a number of other prominent Texans to the new capital of Houston.

The Laura was built in Louisville, Kentucky, for use on the Brazos by Thomas F. McKinney and Samuel M. Williams.

After...
View details ⇨
Texas Back Roads
01/21/2017 at 19:07. Facebook
TiTH: County Courthouse Burns

January 21

On this day in 1877, the Mason County courthouse burned, destroying all early county records, including those pertaining to the Mason County War.

This deadly episode began as a feud over cattle rustling but grew into a conflict between the Anglo and German elements in the community.

The violence began in February 1875 when a mob took five suspected...
View details ⇨
Texas Back Roads
01/20/2017 at 23:07. Facebook
TiTH: Irish Colony Co-Founder Assassinated

January 20

On this day in 1853, John McMullen, co-founder of the McMullen-McGloin Colony, was murdered by an unidentified assassin in San Antonio.

McMullen, born in Ireland in 1785, was a merchant in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, when he was attracted by the 1825 colonization law of Coahuila and Texas and became an empresario. He entered into a...
View details ⇨
Texas Back Roads
01/19/2017 at 23:07. Facebook
TiTH: Texas Gets a New Capital

January 19

On this day in 1839, Waterloo (soon to be renamed Austin) was approved as the new capital of the Republic of Texas.

In 1836, Columbia (now West Columbia) had become the first capital of an elected government of the republic. It remained capital for three months. The city of Houston was then selected as a temporary capital until 1839.

A capital-site...
View details ⇨
Texas Back Roads
01/17/2017 at 23:07. Facebook
TiTH: Famous Spinach Eater Makes His Debut

January 17

On this day in 1929, Popeye, the Sailor Man, renowned comic-strip character, first appeared in print. The Victoria Advocate is credited as the first newspaper in the nation to run Elzie Crisler Segar's comic strip, originally called "Thimble Theatre," which starred the spinach-eating hero.

Segar (1894-1938) was born in Chester, Illinois,...
View details ⇨
TiTH: Texas Dries Up

January 16

On this day in 1919, national Prohibition forced 13 Texas breweries to stop the legal production of beer. Of these, eight were large, regional breweries, and the other five were small breweries that served a local market. Breweries either closed their doors or switched to the production of nonalcoholic beverages such as sodas or "near beers."

The Galveston...
View details ⇨
TiTH: Governor Refuses to Vacate Office

January 15

On this day in 1874, Democrat Richard Coke was inaugurated as governor of Texas. Nevertheless, Republican governor Edmund J. Davis refused to vacate the office.

Coke had overwhelmingly won the gubernatorial election in 1873. But the election was tainted by irregularities on both sides, and the state Supreme Court had voided the contest in...
View details ⇨
TiTH: Camp Hood Activated

January 14

On this date in 1942, Camp Hood was activated. The temporary camp, named for Confederate general John Bell Hood, is now one of the largest military bases in the world.

It was officially opened on September 14, 1942, and has since been continuously used for armored training. By 1950 it was made a permanent base and renamed Fort Hood.

Units from Hood...
View details ⇨
TiTH: Legendary Outlaw of the Big Thicket Arrested

January 13

On this day in 1939, legendary Big Thicket outlaw Red Golemon was arrested for the first time. Thomas Jefferson Golemon was born in 1909 near Kountze, Texas, and left home at 18 to become an oilfield roughneck. For the next 12 years, he traveled through Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma and earned a reputation for brawling.

He was...
View details ⇨
TiTH: A Horse Thief Lynched!

January 12

On this day in 1874, responding to an influx of thugs after the Missouri-Kansas-Texas "Katy" Railroad reached the Red River, vigilantes hanged a horse thief in Denison.

In sections of the Texas frontier where courts and jails had not been established or where officials and juries could not be depended upon, vigilance committees were often formed to...
View details ⇨
TiTH: Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Co. Closes Its Doors

January 11

At 5 o'clock on January 11, 2012, the Dr Pepper Bottling Co. in Dublin, Texas closed its door for the last time.

Because of its lawsuit for trademark infringement against the small town bottler, the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. severed its licensing agreement with the first and oldest Dr Pepper bottler in the world, a more...
View details ⇨
TiTH: Texas Tea Discovered South of Beaumont

January 10

On this day in 1901, the Spindletop oilfield was discovered on a salt dome south of Beaumont, marking the birth of the modern petroleum industry.

Pattillo Higgins, the "prophet of Spindletop," and others had tried for years to find oil on Spindletop Hill, but with no success. In 1899, however, Higgins hooked up with Anthony F. Lucas....
View details ⇨
TiTH: A Bowl of Red

January 09

On this day in 1984, veteran Texas newspaperman and chili aficionado Frank X. Tolbert died of heart failure. Francis Tolbert was born in Amarillo in 1912 and attended four different Texas colleges but never received a degree.

He began his career in journalism as a sportswriter for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and later worked for papers in Wichita Falls and...
View details ⇨
TiTH: David Crockett Heads to Texas

January 09

On this day in 1836, after losing his bid for a fourth term as a Tennessee representative to the U. S. Congress, Davy Crockett wrote a letter stating his intention to go to Texas.

This, his last extant letter, praises Texas as “the garden spot of the world,” with the “best land and the best prospects for health I ever saw.” With high optimism...
View details ⇨
TiTH: 17-Year-Old Spy Hanged

January 08

On this day in 1864, 17-year-old David Owen Dodd was hanged. The Texas native was captured as he tried to cross Federal lines near Little Rock, with notes in Morse code hidden in his shoe.

After a military court found him guilty, he confessed that he had been sent to gather information about Union troops. Dodd may have been the youngest person hanged...
View details ⇨
TiTH: The Largest Single-Span Suspension Bridge in the World

January 07

On this day in 1870, the Waco Suspension Bridge, a 475-foot structure crossing the Brazos River in downtown Waco, was opened to traffic.

At the time of its completion, it was the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world and the only bridge crossing the Brazos River. Civil engineer Thomas Griffin teamed with...
View details ⇨
TiTH: Final Bell Rings for Legendary Boxing Promoter

January 06

On this day in 1929, boxing promoter George Lewis (Tex) Rickard died of complications following an appendectomy.

He grew up in Sherman, Texas, and as a youth worked the family cattle ranch. He was elected city marshall of Henrietta at age twenty-three, and during this time, he also secured his reputation as an excellent poker...
View details ⇨
TiTH: The German Rockhound & Explorer

January 05

On this day in 1818, scientist Ferdinand von Roemer was born in Hildesheim, Hanover. He studied law at Göttingen from 1836 to 1839 and received his Ph.D. in paleontology in Berlin in 1842.

Roemer traveled to Texas in 1845. From November 1845 to May 1847 he explored from Galveston to Houston, as far west as New Braunfels and Fredericksburg...
View details ⇨
TiTH: Mississippi Slave Turned Texas Cowboy Dies

January 04

On this day in 1929, Bose Ikard died in Austin. Ikard, born a slave in Mississippi in 1843, became one of the most famous black frontiersmen and trail drivers in Texas.

The Civil War left Bose a free man, and in 1866, he went to work for Oliver Loving as a trail driver. After Loving's death, Ikard continued in the service of...
View details ⇨
NEW YEAR FIREWORKS!

The Quadrantid meteor shower, the first meteor display of 2017 is set to peak in the morning hours of January 3 (tomorrow morning).

Of the dozen or so meteor showers visible from Earth, the Quadrantids are among the more intense, with more than 100 meteors per hour expected during its peak. However, this shower is typically one of the least viewed events due to the...
View details ⇨