Sketches from the Five States of Texas

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Texas A&M University Press, 1998 - History - 176 pages
When veteran columnist A. C. Greene turns his eyes on Texas, he sees a variety of experiences and a scope of history that fascinate the rest of us. Under its annexation terms, Texas is allowed to divide itself into as many as six states. While that is not ever likely to happen, Greene masterfully shows that several cultural states do exist within the one political entity of Texas--and have throughout the state's history.

Greene has a wide-ranging curiosity about the "facts" of Texas history: what lies behind them, what quirks of human nature they reveal, how the people who lived them might have experienced them, roads not taken, and why things have come to be as they are. His historical writing has helped make Texas' past accessible and even interesting to the public for over forty years.

Spotlighting individuals, places, and events that make for distinctiveness, Sketches from the Five States of Texas features oddities and little-known facts that present a kind of "history-within-history." Several sketches look at inventions or innovations, such as plows and Other pieces focus on historic moments: the first long distance telephone service; the last messenger from the Alamo. Transportation is a theme that runs through this book: trains, planes (including a box-kite contraption), early automobiles and roads, and steamboats, ice boats, and war boats. Place names get attention, too: peculiar names, unexpected sources, and long-lost places. Naturally, the wars of Texas are also covered: the Revolution, the Indian wars, the Civil War, and the Texas Navies.

The pieces in this collection originated, for the most part, in Greene's popular Dallas Morning News columns; several sketches and all the regional introductions are completely new. Aficionados of Texas history will already know some of what they read here, but they will not know all of it. Greene's nuggets of history will inform and entertain a wide reading public. They represent A. C. Greene at his best and most engaging--and the states of Texas at their best, too.
 

Selected pages

Contents

Texas River Names
5
County Oddities
6
Rail Nicknames
7
Old Highway Days and Ways
9
Early Texas Film Industry
11
East Texas
15
Los Adaes
16
Alonso de León Named Texas
17
Dentons Wandering Grave
83
Lonesome Dove
84
Panther City
85
AntiSoutherner
86
Col CC Slaughter
87
Long Distance to Lancaster
89
The VinFiz Flyer
90
Overbecks Jail
92

Champ dAsile
18
The Mystery of the Yellow Stone
19
Peter Whetstone
21
Colonel Williams
22
The First Black Millionaire
23
Chambers Terraqueous Railroad
24
Martin Varner
25
Dance Pistols
26
Missouris Capital
27
George Washington Grant
28
Karmack Texas
29
The Kelly Plow
30
President Jeff Davis of Texas A M
31
Spindletop Tales
32
Jimplecute and Others
34
T P 600 Engines
36
The Legend of Ima Hoggs Name
38
South Texas
43
Ice for Texas
45
Steamboats AComin
47
The Texas Horse Marines
48
Naming Valley Towns
49
Great Linnville Raid
50
Sugar Land
51
Swinging the First Railroad in Texas
52
McKinney and Williams Company
54
Goliad Declaration
55
Dr Jack Shackelford
56
R C Cranes Marriage License
57
The Alamos Last Messenger
58
The Alamo Monument Message
59
Indianola
60
S Rhoads Fisher
61
The Great Western
63
John Henry Brown
64
Prince John Magruder
65
General Shelby Buries the Flag
66
Last Shot of the Civil War
67
Early Beef Packing
68
Escandóns Colonies
69
Port Arthur
70
Bagdad
71
Houstons River Oaks
72
The Old Three Hundred
73
General Sheridans Apology
74
North Texas
77
The Military Post of Fort Worth
79
Red River Navigation
80
McKenzie College
82
EHR Green
93
Montgomery Ward Car
95
Sarah Cockrell
96
Birdman of Birdville
98
Gooseneck Bill McDonald
99
Socialist Songster
100
Canadians at Fort Worth
102
Wichita Trucks
103
Arlington Downs
104
The Dallas Ford Plant
105
Texas President of Brooklyn
106
Central Texas
111
Mormons in Texas
113
Salado College
114
First War Correspondent
115
Austin in the Reconstruction Era
116
Robert T Hill
117
Carpetbaggers and Scalawags
118
Wootan Wells
119
The Canning of Chacon
120
Adam Johnson
121
The Hello Sucker Girl
123
University of Texas Pedagogy
124
The Gentle Art of Dueling
126
Lockharts Lovely Library
127
W Lee ODaniel
128
West Texas
133
Fort Phantom Hill
136
Robert E Hill in Texas
137
The Gold Rush
139
Cynthia Anns Brother John
141
The Dove Creek Fight
142
Buffalo Hides
143
Ben Ficklin
146
The New Bank at Brownwood
147
The Naming of Abilene
148
Crazy Water
149
Judge Roy Bean
151
Larry Chittenden PoetRanchman
152
Mollie Abernathy
153
Polo Fever 1904
154
Pershing in Texas
156
Texas First Fire Truck
157
The Hilton Hotel Chain
158
Roby Northern Railroad
160
Conans Creator
161
Index
163
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About the author (1998)

A. C. Greene, of Salado, Texas, is a longtime and well-known Texas author who for years wrote a newspaper column (primarily in the Dallas Morning News) that featured Texas history and Texana subjects. He is the author of A Personal Country, which was on the A&M list for several years, and a number of other books. He holds an honorary doctorate from Austin College and is a past president of the Texas Institute of Letters.

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