Sunday, November 27, 2011

Treasure Hunter by W. C. Jameson - Book Review

I recently had the opportunity to review W. C. Jameson’s book Treasure Hunter. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to be a modern day Indiana Jones, then Treasure Hunter is the book for you. Texan, W. C. Jameson, and his treasure hunting partners, Slade, Poet, and Stanley, traveled across the southwestern United States and northern Mexico in search of lost Spanish mines and buried treasure. They often found it and sometimes they even got to bring some of it home and cash it out. In his book, Treasure Hunter, W. C. Jameson is ready to take you along for the ride.

These treasure stashes were located primarily by doing extensive historical research in Mexico in old Spanish archival records. Then Jameson and his partners would go searching for the treasure and that is where the adventures would begin. To get some idea, just ask yourself, “How would you retrieve hundreds of pounds of gold or silver bars out of an old abandoned mine in Mexico and get it across the United States border without having the gold stolen from you by Mexican bandits or confiscated by the Mexican or United States governments?”

I enjoyed reading Treasure Hunter very much. I found it to be very entertaining and lots of fun as Jameson takes you along vicariously on several of his treasure hunting adventures. If you decide to go along, don’t forget your leather jacket, fedora, bullwhip, and your gun. You will need your gun!

Treasure Hunter: Caches Curses and Deadly Confrontations by W. C. Jameson. Treasure Hunter is available from for $14.95. For a few dollars more, copies signed by the author are available at the publisher Seven Oaks Publishing Company.

Texas Cannon Rolling Thunder Rolls On With New Wheels

On November 12, Rolling Thunder, the cannon of the Lone Star Volunteers, came home with a new set of wheels.  The Lone Star Volunteers attend Texas historic events all over the State of Texas demonstrating Rolling Thunder.  Rolling Thunder is a three-quarter scale replica of an 1841 Mississippi field cannon and is similar in size to the 6 pound Twin Sisters cannons used by the Texians to win their independence from Mexico in the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.  As you can see in the photograph above, Rolling Thunder is a real firing cannon.  The picture above is a picture of Rolling Thunder taken at the Texian Navy Day Celebration held at the Battleship Texas in the San Jacinto State Park near LaPorte on September 17, 2011.

It looks scary since that is about 2500 degrees of fire coming out of the end of the barrel and also the primer hole at the rear. That is the reason all the gun crew members are wearing heavy gloves and ear protection. On this occasion, the Lone Star Volunteers were firing directly into the wind and the burnt powder was blown back on them. That is one of the reasons the gun crew wears the red shirts made of 100% wool, which is a requirement for outerwear for this type of gun handling. Their ever-ready water bucket is in front, and they were joined by four other cannons from the Texas Army.

Recently the Lone Star Volunteers discovered that Rolling Thunder's 160 year-old wagon wheels were coming apart at the seams from the dryness of our recent Texas drought and the summer heat. It was customary during the Revolutionary and Civil War eras to pull the cannons down into a creek to let the water soak into the hubs and spokes of the wheels, so the cracks in the wood would swell and close up.

Rolling Thunder was machined from a solid billet of steel about 25 years ago by a local oil field worker as a hobby project, and the wood carriage that supports it was handmade to fit. Rolling Thunder's wheels came from a 160 year old wagon.  Rolling Thunder It has been hauled around, fired and shown off all around Texas making appearances in many places. When they discovered there might be a problem with the 160 year old antique wheels, they asked a wagon manufacturer to take a look to see what could be done to repair them. It was decided that the wheels had deteriorated too far for repairs, and the decision was made to have new wheels made. It took three months to have the new wheels made from scratch. Yes, The wheels were made in Texas.

However, 2011 is the 175th anniversary of Texas independence from Mexico, and the whole time the wheels were being fabricated, the Lone Star Volunteers were still taking Rolling Thunder to historical events all over Texas, firing it and showing it…but being very careful whenever they had to move it. But they never held back. The only time they had to draw the line was when it was suggested that they put Rolling Thunder on the bow of the Battleship Texas using a helicopter since there is no passageway wide enough to allow for it to roll onto the Battleship Texas. Consequently they fired salutes to the Texian Navy beside the bow as shown in the picture above.

New Wheels on Rolling Thunder Cannon (Click to Enlarge)
 On Saturday, November 19, Rolling Thunder showed off its new wheels at the Tomball Holiday Parade in Tomball, Texas.  The cannon has been attending this parade for 11 years…it hasn’t missed one yet and doesn’t plan to miss one in the future. May Rolling Thunder roll on for another 160 years on her new wheels and continue to preserve Texas history.

New Wheels on Rolling Thunder Cannon (Click to Enlarge)

Article and photographs courtesy of Fred Mead.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Passing of Dr. Wesley Weeks Williams

We report the glory of graduation to heaven on November 17 of an esteemed Methodist Pastor and long time member of the Ephraim M. Daggett Chapter #36 of the Sons of the Republic of Texas, Dr. Wesley Weeks Williams, age 88. As many of you know, he was the father of current active chapter member and past chapter president, John Wesley Wiliams. Memorial services will be held Monday, November 21, 2011 at 3:00 PM at the First Christian Church, 601 Southwest Johnson Avenue, Burleson, TX, 76028-5805 Office: 817-295-4123.  An obituary can be found in the Fort Worth Star Telegram for November 19, 2011.

Our special thanks to Ephraim M. Daggett Chapter #36 webmaster, D. A. Sharpe, for providing this important information to the Texas History Page.

Fernland Historical Park Has Grand Opening

Ribbon Cutting by Gareth Westlake and Dana Gibson in front of the 1846 Arnold-Simonton House at the Grand Opening of Fernland Historical Park

The Grand Opening of Fernland Historical Park was held  on September 17, 2011 in historic Montgomery, Texas.  The park features numerous authentic Republic of Texas and Civil War era homes, a museum focusing on the early history of the town and a teaching center for students of early Texas history.

Sam Houston State University President Dana Gibson

The ribbon was cut by Dana L. Gibson, President of Sam Houston State University, and Gareth Westlake, President of the Fernland, Inc. Board.  Fernland Historical Park is located on Clepper Street in Montgomery, Texas located in western Montgomery County. The Fernland Historical Park is the product of a group effort of several entities including the Tharp Family, Sam Houston State University, the City of Montgomery, Texas, the Montgomery Historical Society and Fernland, Inc.

Guest Entering the Arnold-Simonton House to View Fernland Museum Exhibits

The Fernland Museum has already had 27 different collections of artifacts and archival documents donated or loaned to the museum. The museum curator is Melinda Cagle and she will be glad to assist you with the donation or loan of historical items, artifacts and/or documents to the museum's collections now that the museum is officially open.  The collections focus on the history of the Montgomery, Texas, Montgomery County, Texas, the early Republic of Texas, and the State of Texas.  Mrs. Cagle has already begun cataloging the museums collections to make the collections accessible to historical researchers and other students of the history of Montgomery, Texas and the State of Texas. If you are visiting Montgomery, swing by the museum and walk among the all the historic Texas buildings, cabins and homes in Fernland Historical Park.

Photos courtesy of Billy Ray Duncan.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fernland Historical Park Grand Opening - Saturday, September 17, 2011

The new Fernland Historical Park will have its grand opening in Montgomery, Texas on September 17, 2011.  There will be a ceremony at 11:30 a.m.  The park will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  The Fernland Historical Park features authentic Republic of Texas era cabins and houses which can all be seen in one location.  The Fernland Historical Park museum will also be opened to the public for the first time today.  Two exhibits are featured: The Early History of Montgomery, Texas and Annexation: 150 Years of Texas Statehood.

Monday, August 29, 2011

San Jacinto Chapter SRT Meeting - September 1, 2011

The next meeting of the San Jacinto Chapter of the Sons of the Republic of Texas.will be Thursday, September 1, 2011, at the Post Oak Grill, 1415 South Post Oak Lane, Houston, Texas at Noon. Many attendees arrive by 11:30; be there by 11:45 a.m. to ensure you get a good parking spot and a seat. The cost of lunch is $22.00, payable at the door by cash or check. Parking is free in the garage - enter restaurant from the rear door in the garage.

September's speaker will be award winning author, Jim Bevill whose topic will be "Avenging the Cruiser U.S.S. Houston - A Houstonian at Okinawa." Given the WWII theme of Texian Navy Day to be celebrated aboard the Battleship Texas on Saturday, September 17, 2011, the meeting this week will be an appropriate time for award winning author and SRT Honorary Member Jim Bevill to share with us a true story.

Jim will tell the story of a twenty-two year old man from the Heights who answered the call of duty to avenge the sinking of the heavy cruiser USS Houston (CA-30) on March 1, 1942 by enlisting in the U.S. Navy on Memorial Day in 1942. That man was James Barner Bevill, (right) whose personal stories of naval service to his son were later formed into an oral history project for the Texas State Historical Association focusing on Houstonians in World War II. This presentation gives the unique perspective of a young sailor from the Heights, who served on board an Auk Class Minesweeper in the South Pacific and reminds us of the terrible consequences of war, and that many of those survivors who returned home did so only by narrowly cheating death itself. This is his story.

PHI Oil History Symposium - Houston, Texas - March 8-10, 2012

The next Oil History Symposium and Field Trip will be held in Houston, Texas, March 8-10, 2012. In the past, PHI has held the symposium in Oil City, PA, Long Beach, CA, Wichita, KS, Shreveport, LA, Lafayette, LA., Oil Springs, Ontario, and in WV.  Mission of PHI: To pursue the history, heritage, and development of the modern oil industry from its 1859 inception in Oil Creek Valley, Pennsylvania, to its early roots in other regions in North American and the subsequent spread throughout the world to its current global status. PHI also publishes a yearly journal, Oil-Industry History. Our membership includes geoscientists, engineers, historians, museum curators, authors, etc.

The Petroleum History Institute (PHI), in collaboration with the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program, held its 2011 annual symposium and field trip at historic Marietta, Ohio, on the banks of the Ohio River. Participants were treated to a wide variety of talks and poster presentations ranging from the history of oil and gas in Ohio to the many contributions to the industry from Baku. On the field trip the group visited the Thorla-McKee Well, a salt water well drilled in 1814 that produced the first commercial oil in Ohio, as well as seeing an old, but still operating, natural gas engine attached to a very large band wheel driving several pump-jacks (shackle line) – still producing Ohio crude after about 100 years, and a wonderful stop at the Parkersburg Oil and Gas Museum in Parkersburg, West Virginia. The trip ended with a tour of the Petroleum Engineering Department at Marietta College.

PHI looks forward to another stimulating symposium next year at the Houston meeting, March 8-10, 2012. The abstract deadline is January 15, 2012, so start thinking about your subject and send the abstract to Bill Brice, For more information contact Jeff Spencer ( Plans are to hold a meeting soon for those interested in serving on the 2012 oil history symposium committee.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

2011 Texas State Genealogical Society Conference - November 4-5, Houston, Texas

The genealogical conference From Allen's Landing to the Moon Landing : Destination Houston will be presented by the Texas State Genealogical Society and the Clayton Library Friends in Houston, Texas on Friday and Saturday, November 4-5, 2011.  The conference will be held at the Houston Marriott South located at 9100 Gulf Freeway, Houston, Texas 77017, 713-943-7979.

The featured speaker at the conference will be Paula Stuart-Warren who will speak on the following subjects: "Finding and Using Manuscript and Special Collections Repositories;" "The WPA Era: What It Created for Genealogists;" "Southern Deeds: More than Land Deeds;" and "Railroad Records and Railroad History: Methods for Tracking." A number of other speakers include: Karen Matheson "An A+ Source: School Records" and "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor: U.S. Immigration & Ships' Passenger Lists;" Charlie Gardes"What Did GreatGrandpa do in the Civil War? - Tracing Civilian Ancestors;" Debbie Parker Wayne "DNA and Genetic Genealogy in 2011;" James Harkin "Genealogical Resources at the Texas General Land Office;" Cindy Forman "Genealogical Chaining of Artifacts;" Randy Whited "It's All Greek to Me, Working with Foreign Records when You Don't Know the Language;" and Lynna Kay Shuffield - "Civil War Research Digitally: Find the "War" at Home."

For registration questions contact: or call Scott Fitzgerald at 903-539-5572 or go to the TSGS site.  You can also click here for a copy of the conference registration form.

Pattison Area Heritage Society - August 29, 2011 - Methodist History

The Pattison Area Heritage Society announces their August 2011 PAHS speaker, William "Bill" Carson Hardt.  He has wonderful presentation about the circuit preacher during the 1930's who maintained the congregations of the Fulshear, Brookshire and Pattison Methodist Churches.  The title of the presentation is titled: "Hard Times: A Pattison Preacher in the Great Depression."

Mr. Hardt is a published author on Texas history and currently volunteers with numerous historical affiliates: President-Texas United Methodist Historical society, Chair-Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church Commission on Archives and History, Vice-Chair- Austin County Historical Commission and Tour Guide Bellville historical Society. See his blog at Bill's Texas Methodist History Blog.

The Pattison Area Heritage Society will meet Monday,August 29, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at the Pattison Area Volunteer Fire Department located at 2950 FM 359 in Pattison, Texas.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Obedience Smith To Be Remembered With Texas Historical Marker - September 10, 2011

Historian, Audrey B. Cook, and Marker Dedication Chair, Debra Blacklock-Sloan, of the Harris County Historical Commission invite everyone interested in the early history of Texas and its earliest settlers to the historical marker dedication in honor of Obedience Smith, which will be held at the Lanier Middle School on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 10 a.m.  You will want to put this one on your calender. Marker dedication planners are already expecting up to 200 attendees to remember this historic Texan and the many accomplishments of her family in early Texas history.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett will be one of the speakers and there will be a number of other government dignitaries present. So far about 20 descendants have acknowledged that they will be present: some from the Fort side of the family and some from the Frank Terry of Terry's Texas Rangers, CSA, branch of Obedience and David Smith's family.

We hope you and your family can join us on this important day. Obedience Smith arrived in Texas in February 1836, a mere few weeks before the Texas Declaration of Independence, so she shares a 175th milestone anniversary with the Republic. The Obedience Smith land grant includes a portion of what is today downtown Houston and extends down toward present day Rice University taking in thousands of acres in between.
For additional information, contact Marker Historian Audrey B. Cook at 713-522-9398.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

William Ware Surprised Me One Day in Utopia

For the past decade I have been researching the early history of Montgomery County, Texas for a book I intend to finish (sometime) in the next few years.  In doing the research for the book, much of the newly discovered history in the book focuses on a community in Stephen F. Austin's Second Colony that preceded the founding of the town of Montgomery, Texas.  This community, forgotten by historians for more than 100 years, was known as the Lake Creek Settlement.  A number of the primary documents I have relied upon in my research mention an early Texian named Captain William Ware who recruited volunteers for the Texas Revolution from the Lake Creek Settlement.

In July, my wife and I were vacationing in the Texas Hill Country.  We both recently read and thoroughly enjoyed David L.Cook's wonderful book, Golf's Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia.  It is a wonderful book to read, even if you do not golf.  The book has been made into a movie starring Academy Award winner, Robert Duvall, and Lucas Black.  The movie, Seven Days in Utopia will open in theatres on September 2, 2011.

Just for fun, we decided to take a detour and visit the town of Utopia as well as the golf course and the cemetery which are sites central to the story in the book. We ate breakfast at the Lost Maples Cafe and then headed out to the golf course.  On the way out, we passed a Texas State Historical Marker on the side of FM 187.  As we passed the sign, I glanced at it as I so often do. I immediately asked my wife, "Did that marker say WILLIAM WARE!"  She said she thought that it did, so we turned around to read the marker and here on the other side of Texas, hundreds of miles from the site of my research, was a marker dedicated to a figure important to my early history of Montgomery County, Texas as well as the early history of the Republic of Texas.

When we got to the Waresville Cemetery which is located next to the Utopia Golf course, we found another Texas State Historical marker and the graves of many of members of the Ware family.

Before we left, my wife and I decided to hit a bucket of balls on the driving range just for fun.  We mentioned in the pro shop that the reason we had come out to Utopia was because of David L. Cook's book.  As we finished hitting our bucket of balls, we got one more big surprise.  David L. Cook, who had come out to the golf course while we were practicing our driving, came out to say hello! 

Lots of useful history for my research and the opportunity to meet the author of a book my wife and I had both enjoyed very much all on just one day in Utopia.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2011 Texian Navy Day

Texian Navy Day


Commodore Edwin Ward Moore

and the

Republic of Texas Navy

Saturday, September 17, 2011

11:00 AM

Battleship Texas

USS Texas (BB-35)

Battleship Texas State Historic Site

3527 Battleground Road

La Porte, Texas 77571

Speaker: Dr. Archie P. McDonald

Professor of History

Stephen F. Austin State University

Ceremony organized and hosted by:

The Sons of the Republic of Texas

SRT sponsored by:

The Battleship Texas Foundation

With assistance from the staff of the
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

Contact: David Hanover / 903 372-6190 /

( for additional details)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park Dedication - April 21, 2011

On San Jacinto Day, April 21, 2011, 175 years after the victory of the Texas army over the Mexican army on the field of San Jacinto, the much anticipated dedication and opening of the Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park was held in Conroe, Texas.  More than a thousand people were there to help celebrate the opening of the park and remember the wonderful history of Texas.

Huge Crowd for Dedication of Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park

Lone Star Volunteers Fire Rolling Thunder to Salute the Raising of the Lone Star Flag of Texas

Official Souvenir Program
Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park
Unveiling and Dedication Ceremonies
April 21, 2011

Boy Scouts Assist in Unveiling The Texian

The Texian Comes into View

Sculptor Craig Campobella Waives to Crowd Following the Unveiling of The Texian

The Texian

The Texians who volunteered to fight were a rag-tag, undisciplined and opinionated bunch not good with taking orders and certainly not well trained in military tactics.  Some like Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, William Barrett Travis, and Jim Bowie would become household names.  But the common man that fought for freedom is who we honor today.  The bronze sculpture before you represents a veteran of the Texas Revolution three years after the Battle of San Jacinto and on the day the Lone Star Flag became the official flag of the Republic of Texas. He has walked up a hill, dressed in a mixture of his best and some from his fighting days.  The red sash is from the newly formed Texas army.  They tied their sashes on the right hip; every other army tied theirs on the left. He plants his flagstaff into the ground remembering bitter defeats, fallen brothers, countless struggles and that final victory as he looks into the uncertain distant horizon as if to say: 
"Come and Take It."

The Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park was made possible by the contributions of many sponsors and the efforts of many volunteers.

Grand Sponsor
Spirit of Texas Bank
The Friends of the Flag Foundation recognize Spirit of Texas Bank for their exceptional generosity as the Grand Sponsor of the dedication and unveiling ceremonies.

Boy Scouts Prepare to Assist in Unveiling the Bust of Charles B. Stewart

Contributing Sponsors
Art Foundary Carpino/Butch & Betty Bateman/Jimmy C. & Lana Beathard/Brock Agency/Bleyl & Assoc./Buckalew Chevrolet/Burditt Associates/Campobella Fine Art Bronze/ Donald Carter/City of Conroe/Randy & Janet Councill/Conroe Courier/ Conroe Outlet Mall/Dosey Doe/DWC Photography/The Eckstrum Family/Fairweather Group/Golf Cars of Housotn/Carlos &Maggie Guterrez/HEB/Bruce & Diane Henry/Karen Hornbeck/Alton Hues/Impact Printing/Charlie & Tracy Irvine/Jason's Deli/Roger & Karen Koerner/Mike & Katie Kowalski/The Lanier Family/Guy Martin/Rusty McLaughlin/Col. Leopold Ortiz, USAF Ret. & Nina Tannenbaum/Coca Cola/JCS Granite/Joe Kolb Art/John Weisner, Inc./K-Star 99.7 F.M./KJ Web Designs/Kroger/Webb & Beverly Melder/Clifton & Peggy Miller/Montgomery County/Naren & Hansa Patel/Toby & Vanessa Powell/David & Rose Roberts/Signs Etc./Signature Limo/Silver Rock Productions/Teligistics/Wal-Mart

The Bust of Texas Founding Father Charles Bellinger Stewart Was Also Unveiled

To see the biographical text on the Charles B. Stewart Marker, see Charles B. Stewart Bust Unveiled in Conroe.

Descendants of W. W. Shepperd the Founder of Montgomery, Texas

Descendants of Dr. Charles B. Stewart

Texas History Page Editor, K. K. Searle, and Texas Recording Legend, Mr. Gary P. Nunn, following the Concert. Gary P. Nunn Wrote the Classic Country and Western Song, London Homesick Blues.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Texas! The Exhibition Continues at Houston Museum of Natural Science

Celebrate the 175th Birthday of the Lone Star State in a wonderfully fun and educational way at Texas! The Exhibition.  The Texas! exhibition at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in Houston, Texas which has been an overwhelming success since opening on March 6 continues through September 5, 2011. Crowds for this exhibit have been huge.

There is something for everyone. The history of Texas is presented in one of the finest gatherings of Texas primary historical documents and artifacts ever put on public display in one single place.  The Texas! exhibit presents different aspects of Texas history including:
  • Texas Earliest Inhabitants
  • Early Explorers
  • Spanish, French and Mexican Rule
  • Texas Colonies and Empresario Grants
  • Stephen F. Austin
  • Texas Revolution
  • Sam Houston
  • Republic of Texas
  • Texas Rangers
  • Civil War Texas
  • Texas Cowboys and Cattle Drives
  • Texas Oil Boom
There is literally something for everyone. For instance, the exhibit contains the most complete collection of Republic of Texas currency, scrip, notes and bonds ever displayed anywhere. Specimens of the only coins ever minted in Texas [among the rarest coins in the world] are part of the exhibit [See the jola 1/2 real coins minted in San Antonio de Bexar 1817-1818].  The exhibit is very eclectic.  Davy Crockett's fiddle as well as portions of the actual handwritten minutes of the Convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos are also on display, along with art, flags, cannons, saddles, spurs, pistols, religious artifacts, photographs, oil drill bits, etc...

This special exhibition was organized by the Houston Museum of Natural Science with assistance from The Heritage Society in Houston, The San Jacinto Museum of History, The Dallas Historical Society, and The Torch Collection in Houston.

There are many activities associated with Texas! The Exhibition in May, June and July including:
  • Stars Over Texas at the Burke Baker Planetarium
  • Texas, The Big Picture at the IMAX Theatre
  • Behind the Scenes Tours
  • Cultural Feast
  • Distinguished Lecture Series
  • Historical Site Excursions 
If you were born in Texas or got here just as soon as you could, I can't recommend Texas! The Exhibition highly enough. Don't miss it!  Tickets for the Texas! exhibition are $25/adult and $18/child or senior for non-members and $12/adult or child for HMNS members.  For more details, call the Houston Museum of Natural Science at 713-639-4629.  Or, see the Houston Museum of Natural Science web page at .

Texian Navy Day on Battleship Texas: September 17, 2011

Dear Friend of Texas History:

Perhaps you are aware that the Texas Legislature in 2005 created Texian Navy Day to be the third Saturday in September each year, beginning in 2006. It has since then been memorialized in activities by various organizations in Texas who enjoy preserving and celebrating aspects of Texas History and, in particular, recognizing the value of the Texas Navy of the Republic of Texas, which existed as an independent nation 1836-1846.

This year, the Sons of the Republic of Texas will celebrate this renown holiday on September 17, 2011 on board the Battleship Texas by the Battleship Texas Foundation! This is SRT's way of honoring Texian Navy Day. It is not a state-sponsored celebration belonging to SRT, but rather one, hopefully, of many similar celebrations to take place across Texas on that day by the various heritage and history organizations of Texas.

It is my privilege to have served on the Texas Navy Committee of the SRT since 2008, and I urge you to make special plans to attend this or some other ceremony on this September 17 in honor and remembrance of our beloved Texas Navy. Suzanne and I will be at the Battleship Texas event.

Look for advertisements later in the year about time and directions. Most likely, it will be a late morning event that Saturday. I would be happy to entertain any inquiries you may have bout it.

D. A. Sharpe

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Fabulous Heywood Brothers - Book Review

The book The Fabulous Heywood Brothers by Jerry D. Frazee is a wonderful slice of Texas history about the earliest days of the oil boom in Texas and Louisiana. I really enjoyed this book. The Heywood brothers were originally traveling entertainers in the northern United States. Though the book does describe some of the activities of the other Heywood brothers, the book is primarily about the amazing activities of Scott Heywood.

Following years as a traveling entertainer, Scott Heywood would first try his hand as miner in the Alaskan Gold Rush. After failing to make a go of the Alaskan gold fields, Scott Heywood attempted drilling for oil in California where he gained minor success and valuable experience. Within days of hearing about the Lucas gusher at Spindletop, he became one of the very first wildcatters in Texas. Scott Heywood drilled the second oil well, a gusher, at Spindletop and would go on to drill the very first oil well in the state of Louisiana.

As a successful oilman, Scott Heywood would become involved in Louisiana state politics as a state Senator and even get crossways with the infamous Governor Huey P. Long.

If you have ever wondered about those early days of oil in Texas or the wildcatters that located it, this book is for you. Follow one of those wildcatters as he risks it all on a hole in the ground and wins. At about 196 pages, the book is a quick and entertaining read. It is such an interesting story; I wish it had been longer. This is Jerry D. Frazee’s first commercial book and we are hoping to see more from him in the future. The Fabulous Heywood Brothers is available from and is only $10.00 including tax and shipping. An online PDF version is also available for $6.00.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Battle of San Jacinto Ceremony - 175th Anniversary - April 21, 2011

Official State of Texas Ceremony
Commemorating the

175th Anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto

April 21, 2011
11:00 A.M.
San Jacinto Monument
San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Park

Pledge to the Texas Flag

"Honor the Texas Flag;
I pledge allegiance to thee,
Texas, one state under God,
one and indivisible."

"Texas, Our Texas"

Texas, our Texas! All hail the mighty State!
Texas, our Texas! So wonderful, so great!
Boldest and grandest, withstanding ev'ry test;
O Empire, wide and glorious, you stand supremely blest.


God bless you, Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
that you may grow in power and worth,
Throughout the ages long.

Copyright 1925: Words by Gladys Yoakum and William J. Marsh
Music by William J. Marsh


Musical Prelude

Sam Houston State University Bearkat Marching Band
Brian Gibbs, Director

Master of Ceremonies

Ron Stone, Jr.


Trey Strake, Chairman
San Jacinto Historical Advisory Board

Presentation of Colors

1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment


Patsy Teas, Chaplain
San Jacinto Descendants

Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. Flag

Melody Townsend
President General, CRT

National Anthem

Sam Houston State University Bearkat Marching Band
Led by Nita Wilkerson, Miss Ima Hogg Chapter, DRT

Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas Flag

Melody Townsend
President General, CRT

"Texas, Our Texas"

Sam Houston State University Bearkat Marching Band
Led by Nita Wilkerson, Miss Ima Hogg Chapter, DRT

Recognition of Scholarship Recipients

Patti Adkins, President General, DRT
Eron Tynes, President, San Jacinto Chapter, DRT

Sam F. Clark, Jr., KSJ, President General, SRT
Denton Bryant, SRT Education Committee Chairman

 San Jacinto Analysis

Sam Houston IV, KSJ
Great Grandson of General Sam Houston

Recognition of San Jacinto Descendants

Recognition of USS TEXAS (SSN 775)
Sailors of the Year

Ron Brown, President
San Jacinto Chapter SRT

Special Greetings

The Honorable Jack Morman
Harris County Commissioner, Precinct 2

The Honorable Wayne Smith
State Representative, LD 128

Carter Smith
Executive Director, TPWD

Introduction of Speaker

Bob Hixon, Chairman
San Jacinto Museum of History

Principal Speaker

The Honorable Mark White
Former Governor of Texas


Carl Osborne, Chaplain
San Jacinto Chapter, SRT

"Will You Come to the Bower"

The Texas Army Fife and Drum Corps

 Laying of the Memorial Wreath

Salute to Texas Patriots

The Texas Army

Musical Finale

The 2011 Planning Committee wishes to express appreciation to the staff of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the San Jacinto Museum of History for their ouststanding support of this year's ceremony.


Victory Sponsors

San Jacinto Chapter, DRT / San Jacinto Museum of History
Taste of Texas Restaurant

Texian Sponsors

Battleship Texas Foundation / Friends of San Jacinto Battleground
Bob and Sarita Hixon / San Jacinto Descendants

Lone Star Sponsors

Al Davis / Mr. & Mrs. L. Clay Fisher
The Honorable Sylvia Garcia / Sam Houston Chapter, SRT
Mike & Sandy Lamb / Piney Woods Chapter, SRT
San Jacinto Chapter, SRT / Mr. & Mrs. Arthur A Seeligson
Trey Strake / Texas Star Chapter, DRT

Monument Sponsors

Seth Hurin Bates Chapter, DRT / James Bowie Chapter, SRT
Ephraim M. Daggett Chapter, DRT / Alfred Davis, Jr.
George S. Gayle, III / John Floyd Gilbert Chapter, DRT
Dr. & Mrs. Carlos R. Hamilton, Jr.
Holland Lodge, No. 1, A.F. & A.M.
Dorothy Knox Howe Houghton / President Houston Chapter, SRT
Lone Star Chapter, SRT / The Honorable Sandy Pickett
Seguin Family Historical Society
General James Smith Chapter, DRT / Steamboat House Restaurant
William Barret Travis Chapter, DRT / Eron Brimberry Tynes
Mr. & Mrs. James G. Ulmer

Battleground Sponsors

Gina Chapman Bouchard / Denton Bryant 
Cedar Mountain Chapter, DRT / Cradle of Texas Chapter. DRT
Aaron Estes Chapter, DRT / Fort Brown Chapter DRT
Fort Settlement Chapter, DRT / Miss Ima Hogg Chapter, DRT
James A. Reeder, Jr. & Eric D. Nevil
Sterling C. Robertson Chapter, DRT
Stenson-Simpson Chapter, DRT
Mr. & Mrs. John Stanley Taylor
Frances Cooke Van Zandt Chapter, DRT

2011 Planning Committee

Ron Brown / Nancy Burch / Al Davis / Hon. Sylvia R. Garcia
George S. Gayle III / William P. Haddock / Sam Houston IV
Steven Howell / Russ Kuykendall / Nan Morris / Bob Smith
 Larry Spasic / Beth Tragus / Eron Tynes

Event Co-Chairs

Nancy Burch / Clay Fisher

Vice Co-Chairs

Al Davis / Eron Tynes

The San Jacinto Day Ceremony is organized under the auspices of the San Jacinto Historical Advisory Board: Trey Strake, Chairman; Jimmy Burke; Jan DeVault; and Bob Hixon, Chairman, San Jacinto Museum of History Association.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Charles B. Stewart Bust Unveiled in Conroe

At the dedication ceremony for the Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park in Conroe, Texas on April 21, 2011, the bust of Texas founding father, Charles B. Stewart, was unveiled.  The bust of Charles B. Stewart was sculpted by Texas artist, Craig Campobello. The biographical text regarding Charles B. Stewart on the front of the marker was written by Texas History Page author, K. K. Searle.
Dr. Charles Bellinger Stewart
Designer of the Lone Star Flag

Charles B. Stewart Marker Text

Charles Bellinger Stewart was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1806.  He came to Texas in 1830.  As a member of the militia, he served at Anahauc and the Battle of Velasco in 1832.  He served as the first Secretary of State of Texas in 1835.  He was then elected a delegate from the Municipality of Austin to the Convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos in 1836.  There he boldly signed the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico.  He also served as a member of the committee that drafted the Constitution of the Republic of Texas.

Following the Texas Revolution, Stewart moved to the Lake Creek Settlement where the town of Montgomery was founded in 1837.  In 1838, he helped located the site of the Montgomery County seat in the town of Montgomery.  Stewart lived and worked in Montgomery for most of his adult life where he was a physician and successful businessman.  Stewart married twice - first to Julia Shepperd, and following her death, he married Elizabeth Antoinette Boyd.

Charles Bellinger Stewart designed the world famous LONE STAR FLAG OF TEXAS which was adopted in 1839.  Stewart represented Montgomery County at the Constitutional Convention and signed the Texas State Constitution of 1845.  Following statehood, Stewart served in the House of Representatives of the Texas State Legislature.

The Stewart home site is located seventeen miles west of the Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park.  Stewart died in 1885 and is buried in the New Cemetery in Montgomery, Texas.  An ardent patriot, Charles B. Stewart has left his imprint boldly written in the institutions and history of his country and his state - TEXAS!

The Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park is located near the intersection of FM 2854 and I-45 in Conroe, Texas next to the Montgomery County Central Libary.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2011 Yellow Rose Ball

The Yellow Rose Ball was held April 19, 2011, at the Crystal Ballroom of the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas and was a huge success.  The 2011 Yellow Rose Ball was sponsored by the San Jacinto Chapter, the Sam Houston Chapter, the Lone Star Chapter and the Stephen F. Austin Chapter of the Sons of the Republic of Texas.  The 2011 Yellow Rose Ball remembered the 175th anniversary of the Texas Revolution and 175th anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto.  Below are some of the pictures taken by Dale Williamson.

Yellow Rose Ball Sponsors

General Sam Houston's Staff

Mr. and Mrs. Ron Brown
Dr. Lacy Hunt
Ms. Eron Brimberry Tynes
Mr. and Mrs. Tom Green
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lusk
Mr. Dale Williamson

Colonel Sidney Sherman's Second Volunteer Regiment

Mr. and Mrs. Randy Pollard
Mr. and Mrs. John Meredith

Twin Sisters Cannons

Mr. and Mrs. Dallam Masterson
Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Fogarty

Colonel Mirabeau Lamar Texas Cavalry

Mr. Al Davis
Mr. David Hanover
Sam Houston Chapter , SRT

Deaf Smith Scouts

Mr. and Mrs. John Homman

Yellow Rose Ball
Honorary Chairs

Mr. Sam Clark, KSJ, President General, SRT
Mr. Sam Houston IV, KSJ, General, Texas Army

Yellow Rose Ball Committee

Mr. Ron Brown, Chair
Mr. Lewis Chandler
Mr. Joe Davidson
Mr. Tom Green
Mr. Tom Houston
Mr. David Mahavier
Mr. Doak McBride
Mr. Wendell A Robbins, Jr.
Mr. Denton Bryant
Mr. Dale Williamson
Mr. Dodd Eastham
Mr. Will Haddock
Mr. Robert Kendall
Mr. David Martin
Mr. Curt Osborne
Mr. Randy Pollard

Special Contributors

Mr. Joe Rosser
Mr. David Mahavier
Mr. Jim Giuffre
Mr. Denton Bryant
Mr. David Martin
Mr. Tom Green
Mr. Joe Parish, President, Capitol Flag Company

In Appreciation

Knights of Dixie Orchestra
Mr. K. R. Woods
The Lancaster Hotel / The Lusk Family

The Yellow Rose Ball
Celebrating 175 Years - The Battle of San Jacinto

Mater of Ceremonies

Mr. Ron Brown,
President San Jacinto Chapter, SRT


Mr. Tom Houston,
Second Vice President General, SRT

Posting of the Colors

The Buffalo Soldiers Color Guard

Pledge to the United States Flag

Mr. John Meredith
President, Lone Star Chapter , SRT

Pledge to the Texas Flag

Mr. Dennis Giuffre
Second Vice President,
Sam Houston Chapter, SRT

"Texas Our Texas"

Mr. Jim Giuffre
Sam Houston Chapter, SRT


Mr. Trey Strake
San Jacinto Historical Advisory Board

Toasts and Tributes

Mr. Charlie Briggs, KSJ
Past President General, SRT

Ms. Eron Brimberry Tynes
San Jacinto Chapter, DRT

Mr. Tom Green, KSJ
San Jacinto Chapter, SRT

The Battle Report

Mr. Sam Clark, KSJ
President General, SRT


Captain James Gray,
Deputy Director
CNO's Executive Panel

Front cover art work by Mr. David Mahavier, Sam Houston Chapter, SRT.  Back cover art work by Mr. David Martin, Lone Star Chapter, SRT.  Back cover art work: Copyright 2010, David Martin.  All rights reserved.