Old Rip Ford Was The Texans’ Texan

“This Week in Texas History” for Wednesday, October 1 through Tuesday, October 7 tells the story of John Salmon Ford, better known as “Rip” and widely admired as the Texans’ Texan.

In his long life, Rip did it all:  fought Indians and Mexican raiders, practiced medicine and the law, taught Sunday school, served in the Republic Congress and wrote plays as well as one of the best autobiographies in Texas history.

Police Chief Goes Over To The Dark Side

“After thirteen months on the run, a former small-town police chief wanted for murder and armed robbery was captured in Tennessee on September 27, 1929.”

That’s the attention grabbing beginning to the “This Week in Texas History” column for Wednesday, September 24 through Tuesday, September 30.  If you haven’t read it, you’re missing out on a fascinating and rarely told story.

See You In La Grange On Wednesday, October 1!

Bartee has not one but two scheduled appearances in La Grange on Wednesday, October 1!

First, he will speak about his book “Texas Depression-Era Desperadoes” at the Rotary Club luncheon at 12 noon.  The event will be at the Texas Czech Cultural Center on the Fayette County Fairgrounds.  Following his talk, copies of the book will be available for purchase and Bartee will personally autograph your copy.

Then at two o’clock that afternoon, the Fayette County Record is hosting a book-signing for Bartee at its offices at 127 South Washington Street.  Once again copies of “Texas Depression-Era Desperdoes will be on sale and Bartee will be happy to sign yours.

Don’t miss this opportunity to meet Bartee in person, talk to him about his book and, if you like, buy your very own copy.

Rice All-American Has A Heck of A Game

Dickie Maegle, former all-sport star at Taylor, carried the ball only five times in the September 26, 1954 football game against Cornell but made the most of his opportunities by scoring four touchdowns and accounting for 178 yards. 

The Rice All-American is most remembered for a bizarre play in his final college appearance — the 1955 Cotton Bowl.  Maegle was sailing down the sideline on a 95-yard TD dash, when a member of the Alabama team came off the bench and tackled him.  The Forty-Niners picked him in the first round of the 1955 draft, but Maegle lasted just six seasons in the NFL.

Schoolboy Rowe Took The Batters To School

In just his second season with the Detroit Tigers, Lynwood “Schoolboy” Rowe won 16 games in a row en route to a 24-8 record in 1934.

When his right arm was healthy, the Waco native was nearly unhittable.  He also was one of the most popular major-league players of all time.  Read all about Schoolboy in the Wednesday, September 17 through Tuesday, September 23 installment of “This Week in Texas History.”

Texans Loved Dobie’s Books But Hated His Politics

On September 19, 1964, four days after receiving the Medal of Freedom from President Lyndon Johnson, J. Frank Dobie lay down for his afternoon nap and never woke up.

In his many books about Texas and the Southwest, Dobie put folklore on an equal footing with respected works of history.  Texans had a hard time reconciling his entertaining tales with his outspoken liberal politics, heretical views that got him fired from the University of Texas.

Houston Big Shot Turns Against Truman

Jesse H. Jones, the Houston mover and shaker, turned against Harry Truman on September 16, 1948 and endorsed Republican Thomas E. Dewey for president.

The most influential Texas businessman of his generation, the newspaper publisher had his finger in every pie in the Bayou City.  A lifelong Democrat, who served as secretary of commerce under FDR, Jones’ dramatic defection to the GOP during the presidential campaign of 1948 signaled a seismic shift in Lone Star politics.

Texans Take Part in Last Oklahoma Land Rush

The official starter fired his pistol on Sep. 16, 1893 and thousands of land-hungry Americans, including a slew of eager Texans, were off and running for the Cherokee Outlet.

Ever wonder how so many Okies have Texans in their family tree?  Simple. Their Lone Star ancestors took part in the three races for free land.  Read all about it in “This Week in Texas History” for Wednesday, September 10 through Tuesday, September.  And if your local newspaper doesn’t carry the column, sign up today for a private email subscription available on this web site.

Manson Follower Faces The Music

After a nine-month extradition fight, Charles “Tex” Watson was taken from his cell in the Collin County jail at McKinney on September 11, 1970 and returned under armed guard to Los Angeles to stand trial separately for his part in the Manson Family killing spree.

The Farmersville native was convicted of multiple counts of murder and condemned to die in the gas chamber, but the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment when the death penalty was declared unconstitutional.  At age 68, Watson is still behind bars and waiting for his fifteenth parole hearing in 2016.

The First Great Tennis Player From Texas

Wilmer Allison upset Fred Perry, number one in the world, in the semi-finals of the National Singles Tennis Championship on September 8, 1935 and went on to win the title the next day in straight sets over Sidney Wood.

The Forth Worth native was the national college champion in 1927 and won the Wimbledon doubles crown twice with partner John Van Ryn.  He returned to his alma mater after World War and coached the University of Texas tennis team from 1946 until 1972, the last 15 years as head coach.