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Texas

This category contains 38 posts

Thurber, Texas: More than Just a Ghost Town

Thurber, Texas is half-way between Fort Worth and Abilene on Interstate-20, but you’ll miss it if you’re not looking for it. Although it was the biggest city between Fort Worth and El Paso with a population of nearly 10,000 one hundred years ago, it is a ghost town today. Between 1886 and 1920, the Texas … Continue reading

Doc Scurlock: From Six Guns to Bubble Gum

Josiah “Doc” Scurlock was a colorful character who rode with Billy the Kid and found no shortage of trouble in his younger years, including having his front teeth shot out over a card game dispute. The other man wasn’t as lucky. Scurlock was born in Alabama in 1849 but moved west as a young man. … Continue reading

Old Rip: The Toad Who Took a Thirty-one Year Nap

By John Bird Eastland, Texas is best known for its most famous citizen of the past—a horned toad named Old Rip. Eastland County was amid a boom in the last years of the 19th century, and a larger courthouse was built in 1897. During the dedication, dignitaries placed various things in the courthouse cornerstone as … Continue reading

The Eastland Historic Hotel, Eastland, Texas

In 1918, Eastland County, Texas was in an oil boom. From 1910 to 1920, the population of the county more than doubled, and what had been a farming area became the tenth most populated county in Texas for a time. The growth meant new businesses, including the three-story building one block from the courthouse that … Continue reading

The Lynching of Santa Claus

The Santa Claus Bank Robbery happened in Cisco, Texas on December 23, 1927 and resulted in the last public mob lynching in the state. The details are well-known in Cisco and Eastland, and the story is notorious in Texas, as it was one of the last true examples of the wild west. Readers can find … Continue reading

Hiking to the Top of Texas: Guadalupe Mountains National Park

After writing The Summer of My Discontent, I decided it was time for more adventure. First on my list was to hike to the top of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas (8751 feet), in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The first question was whether I’d go alone or find a hiking buddy. My eleven-year-old … Continue reading

Texas, South Texas, and the Good Stuff from Across the Border

Texas could be four different states. Two at least. I-35 runs north to south and by most standards divides East Texas from West, two worlds that have little in common. Not only are they different regions within the state, but by any reasonable person different regions within the United States. East Texas, from Dallas to … Continue reading

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