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Showing posts from 2011

A Pyramid of Candy at Christmas

Betty Fails Richards April 1962
The Christmas holidays always brings to mind my Aunt Betty Richards and the many hours she spent in the kitchen cooking candies, breads, cakes, pies, and her famous cinnamon rolls. She was a great cook and there were many cousins, aunts and uncles who stopped by during the holidays expecting to find their favorite sweet.
During their later years, my grandparents lived with Uncle Johnny and Aunt Betty in Lingleville, which is a small stop in the road just outside of Stephenville in Erath County, Texas. My cousins, Linda, Brenda, Jerry, and DeeBo had the enviable privilege of getting to know them better than any other of their 46 grandchildren. Yes, I said 46. That number always astounds me, even today. I am the third oldest grandchild, and the oldest living today; next in line is two years younger than I am, and the youngest is young enough to be one of my children.
Some of Bob and Willie's 46 Grandchildren
Grandpa and Grandma Richards had eleven children…

G. Herb Palin - Our Favorite Sloganist - Part II

I have a fascination with census forms. While looking for G. Herb Palin, our advertising “sloganist extrodinaire” (see Part I) who penned “A Tribute to Mineral Wells,” I found myself caught up in the families I found on the sheets that were enumerated with his family, especially in the 1920 census in Los Angeles, California.
But before I get into that, I’ll tell you a little more about the times leading up to those later years of Mr. Palin’s life.
Reading about his childhood, it struck me that he had a happy home life and his parents were eager to make him happy. They loved his active imagination and his sharp wit, and his mother, Anna, especially loved the way he could make up rhymes so early. I could envision him entertaining family members and friends for hours on end!
His father, James Matthew, was very happy when Herb graduated as a civil engineer, but Herb kept his future plans for a life filled with his poetry in the back of his mind.
At some point after Herb graduated, he married …

He Was Accidentally Shot on the Banks of the Pacus River

"During the years 1865 until 1875 every man who drove on the famous Chisholm, Goodnight and Loving Trails was in danger of losing his cattle and having his 'hair lifted' besides. Nevertheless, they drove, some recklessly, others cautiously, and month by month the trails broadened and deepened.

All along the Goodnight and Loving Trail were graves, now in forgotten places and holding forgotten men. W. H. Boyd, veteran of the drive of 1867, recalls many fresh mounds, that 'had never been rained upon.' Astraddle of one near Fort Phantom Hill was a brand new cowboy's saddle, both shelter and marker for the owner who slept beneath.

Sometimes the trail hands erected stones and scratched inscriptions thereon, hardly literary but often unique. In 1854, the San Diego Herald bore witness to the death of a young man on the trail, perhaps a cowboy driving a herd to the gold fields, and the epitaph was copied in Texas:

Here lies the body of Jeems Hambrick who was accidentally…

"The Sloganist Extraordinary of the United States" Mr. G. Herb Palin and Josephine - Part I of III

A tale straight out of our imaginations, a time when little boys and girls dreamed of traveling around the world and living a life of glitz and glamour complete with glittering lights, beautiful gowns, and important people. Beginning with a young boy from the south, born in Savannah, not willing to give up his desire to be a poet, his vocation takes him across the United States and around the world. He rubs elbows with the elite of Los Angeles and Hollywood at a time when everyone flocked to see the faces behind the names of the movie industry, and several French and Italian proprietors of some of the most lavish restaurants in that era were his neighbors in the 1920s.
Cousins of mine from Longview, Bobby and Sue Moore, sent me a poem written about Mineral Wells. They thought I might like to share it with my readers. Many have probably read it in the pages of the Star News Centennial Edition 1857 - 1957 submitted by Bob Jessup at Rootsweb on I had never seen the poem, how…

"PEACH" at Weatherford Public Library

I recently was contacted by Christy Bellah, PEACH Cataloging Librarian of the Weatherford Public Library who said she had just come across my blog. Finding that I have a lot of family ties to Parker County on my blog, she thought I would be interested in hearing about an exciting project at the library. They recently received a grant to allow them to digitize and make accessible online, historic documents, photos and oral histories relating to Parker County history.
She invited me to a public meeting October 6 where they presented exciting news about a grant funded project the library will be undertaking between now and August of 2012. The project is called “Preserving and Expanding Access to Culture and History” or “PEACH”. Staff unveiled this project and sought to enlist the assistance of all those community organizations that are involved in chronicling, collecting, organizing and preserving the history of Parker County.

As Dale Fleeger, Director WPL stated, "Weatherford Publ…

Palo Pinto Academy 1883

PALO PINTO COUNTY – Palo Pinto Academy opened on the 15th of October with 70 pupils, and has now about 100. B. F. Weaver succeeds D. P. Deaver, deceased, as Principal. The prospects for the tone of future instructions is flattering in the county. Out of 22 certificates issued, about half are first grade, and only one third grade. There are 38 communities in the county, and but 22 as yet have teachers. The teachers are thinking of organizing an institute soon, and one of the first things to be considered is the establishment of a teachers’ library. It is believed that a library will help to avoid the rock (want of interest) upon which many county institutes split.
Texas School Journal, Volume I By Texas State Dept. of Education Texas Educational Journal Publishing Co., 1883

Maybe Mr. Weaver used Andrews' Lunar Tellurian to instruct his pupils. As shown in the diagram: A. The globe ball.  S. Arc of the sun's circumference, drawn upon the same scale as the globe. Extend the arc S un…

Ancestral Roulette: William R. Cook

I’m very late joining this party – the Saturday Night Genealogical Fun (SNGF) party brought to us each week by Randy Seaver.  The week of January 11, Randy challenged us with Ancestral Name List Roulette: 1) How old is one of your grandfathers now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your “roulette number.” 2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an “ahnentafel”). Who is that person? 3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the “roulette number.”

My ancestor that is my "roulette number" is William R. Cook, noted on my uncle's genealogical chart only as Bill Cook. I know very few facts about my great-great-grandfather. But Randy's Roulette game has encouraged me to discover more than these few things.
William R. Cook married Mary Ann Prov…