3544 Chapters
  Title Author Publisher Format Buy Remix
Medium 9781574416480

1. Line in the Sand; Lines on the Soul

Edited by Light Townsend Cummins and Mary L. Scheer UNT Press ePub
Medium 9781574416480

5. Ethel Tunstall Drought

Edited by Light Townsend Cummins and Mary L. Scheer UNT Press ePub
Medium 9781574416480

6. W. W. Jones of South Texas

Edited by Light Townsend Cummins and Mary L. Scheer UNT Press ePub
Medium 9781574416480

3. The Texas Rangers in Myth and Memory

Edited by Light Townsend Cummins and Mary L. Scheer UNT Press ePub
Medium 9781574416480

7. Delgado v. Bastrop

Edited by Light Townsend Cummins and Mary L. Scheer UNT Press ePub
Medium 9781574416480

4. On Becoming Texans

Edited by Light Townsend Cummins and Mary L. Scheer UNT Press ePub
Medium 9781574416480

2. Unequal Citizens

Edited by Light Townsend Cummins and Mary L. Scheer UNT Press ePub
Medium 9781574416503

Photo Insert

James C. Kearney, Bill Stein, and James Smallwood University of North Texas Press ePub

Colorado County map, ca 1875. Courtesy Alex Mendoza.

Antebellum Plantation House (Tait House) Columbus. Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library Archives.

Black women Colorado County, ca. 1900. Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library Archives.

Colorado County cowboys on the Prairie, ca. 1900. Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library Archives.

Wegenhoft brothers, Colorado County cowmen, ca. 1900. Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library Archives.

Asa Townsend. Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library Archives.

Rebecca Townsend, wife of Asa Townsend. Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library Archives.

Bob Stafford as a young man. Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library Archives.

Bob Stafford bank and residence, Columbus, Texas. Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library Archives.

John Stafford residence, three miles south of Columbus. Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library Archives.

Stafford meat packing plant, Columbus, Texas. Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library Archives.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574416503

7. The Interim

James C. Kearney, Bill Stein, and James Smallwood University of North Texas Press ePub

The events of 1899 and 1900 had left Mark Townsend and his allies firmly in control of law enforcement in Colorado County. The Reese attempt to challenge Townsend by both legal and extralegal means had failed miserably, and even led Keetie, the widow of Sam Reese and the matriarch of the family, to pack up and move away from Colorado County. The Reese family had been expelled, literally and figuratively, from the circle of power and influence built up and maintained over the years by Mark and Light Townsend with the help of the black vote. But events larger than an internal dynastic row portended the end of Townsend dominance.

Will Burford ran for reelection in 1900,1 but drew a strong opponent in W. E. “Dick” Bridge, a fifty-year-old resident of Columbus. Burford had been overheard to say that the sheriff's office had brought him nothing but heartache and pain and had been a financial burden on his family. During the election he felt it necessary to write a letter to the editor of the Citizen countering these rumors.2 Sympathy existed for Burford over the loss of his son, but there was also an undertow of resentment. Burford represented a power structure that many in the white community had long resented and now considered a relic of the past. On Election Day, Burford lost Columbus, but garnered comfortable majorities in Eagle Lake and Weimar. Burford won with 54 percent of the vote, but this was closer than anticipated.3 Once again, the black vote reduced the margin of his loss in Columbus and carried the day in Eagle Lake, while hometown sentiment bolstered his tally in Weimar.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574416503

10. The Deaths of Marion Hope, Will Clements, and Jim Townsend

James C. Kearney, Bill Stein, and James Smallwood University of North Texas Press ePub

During a three-week span in the summer of 1911, Jim Townsend, Will Clements, and Marion Hope all suffered violent deaths. It was a most extraordinary coincidence. The first to die was Marion Hope. After the murder of Jim Coleman, Hope had moved with his family from Wharton County to Mark Townsend's ranch near Nixon, a few miles southeast of San Antonio, where, it was said, he hoped to live out his declining years in peace and free from the troubles.1

On the afternoon on August 11, 1911, he saddled up a large Norman horse and rode out alone along a road to a calf pasture to drive up some calves. Passers-by found him unconscious sometime later, lying in the road, his neck broken. He expired shortly thereafter without ever regaining consciousness. The coroner ruled that his horse had fallen and broke his neck, although a large and visible bruise on the back of his neck could not be explained by the fall. The remains of Marion were brought back to Wharton by train August 9, 1911, for interment and were laid beside the graves of his two children who had predeceased him. Mark Townsend and other close family members accompanied the remains.2

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574416527

Chapter 5 - The War Years (1940–1946)

Mitchel P. Roth University of North Texas Press ePub

The War Years (1940–1946)

“He'll be riding in a lot more rodeos—his sentence is 307 years.”

—Rodeo Announcer, 1941

PEARL Harbor was still more than a year away when 100,000 fans attended the four Sunday October TPRs in 1940. In the lead-up to that year's shows several warm-up rodeos were hosted at the Eastham Unit, where an estimated 2,000 inmates and outside visitors took in the informal performances by 135 convict cowboys.1 More than 75 percent of the prison system's 6,500 inmates would later be treated to at least one of the four upcoming shows in Huntsville, brought in from scattered prison farms in “big red cattle trucks sandwiched between armed cars.” This didn't include the convict cowboys and others who were under the impression they could handle a wild bull or horse with a “belly full of bedsprings.” Whether they won or not, each rider was guaranteed three dollars per day in so-called “day money” as they competed for even more prize lucre while proudly garbed in traditional cowboy regalia—ten-gallon hats, cowboy boots, chaps, and whatever personal flourishes they wished to add.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574416527

Chapter 9 - The Fund Just Appeared Footloose and Fancy Free (1954–1960)

Mitchel P. Roth University of North Texas Press ePub

—O.B. Ellis, 1960

IN 1954, the Texas Prison Board vowed to spend $100,000 from recent rodeos on educational and recreational benefits for prisoners. The new prison budget was described in some quarters as “unprecedented.” Among the projects on tap from this money were a new educational building and a chapel that “will look like a chapel should.” Other items included remodeling of the local library and auditorium and new facilities for the Vocational Education Department.1 What distinguished the 1954 budget from previous ones was the fact in times past this money was usually devoted to the “enlargement and improvement of the rodeo stadium.”

Plans were made to dedicate the new Chapel of Hope during the 1955 rodeo season on October 9. Prison officials, wary of using the E&R Fund frivolously, noted that “As a matter of policy the Prison Board has restricted the use of these funds to the defraying of the cost of items and services not furnished by legislative appropriation.” In the end, board members justified it as representing their “Christian philosophy,” asserting that this edifice was a “tangible symbol” of their faith and a crucial part of the rehabilitation process.2

See All Chapters
Medium 9781574416541

3. Catalysts of Change

David S. Turk University of North Texas Press ePub
Medium 9781574416541

5. End of an Era

David S. Turk University of North Texas Press ePub
Medium 9781574416541

10. An Evolution of Leadership

David S. Turk University of North Texas Press ePub

Load more