1830 Chapters
Medium 9781574412772


Kenneth L. Untiedt, editor University of North Texas Press PDF



THE HE(CK) IS IT? by Al Lowman

Or maybe a more descriptive subtitle might have been “An Idiosyncratic Reminiscence of Book People I Have Known In and Out of the Texas Folklore Society.” On Good Friday 1967, in Nacogdoches’ Fredonia Hotel, I presented my first paper to the Society.

Its title was “Charlie Coombes and his Prairie Dog Lawyer.”

Coombes’ book had been published in 1945 as the final volume in the Society’s Range Life Series. Unfortunately, it betrayed the earmarks of having been written by a lawyer. Coombes, though reputedly a superb storyteller in the oral tradition, was no prose stylist.

The stories Charlie had left out of his book had come to me indirectly from James A. Hankerson, Sr. by way of his son, James, Jr., who was—hands down—the very finest raconteur I have ever known. Hank, as he was generally known, was in those days my colleague at the old Texas Research League in Austin. Hankerson,

Sr. had been a land lawyer at Wichita Falls, and when the oilfields in that vicinity had played out, he moved to Tyler. One of his tales had initially been told by Frank Fisher, whose storytelling skills were legendary. In his day, Fisher was well-known and widely loved in the legal profession. He was also an unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate in the Democratic primary of 1938, which was won by

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Medium 9781574411805

Fourteen—“We will kill as many people as possible.”

William T. Harper University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Fourteen

“We will kill as many people as possible.”

—Fred Carrasco, hostage-taker

Federico Gomez Carrasco’s moods were hard for those in the Command Post to predict. On several occasions,

TDC Director Estelle made, or authorized lawyer

Ruben Montemayor to make, offers to Carrasco that quickly backfired. For instance, late Friday after about thirty minutes of negotiations directly between Estelle and Carrasco, an offer of transportation was made.

Estelle assumed, one way or the other, the three hostiles would need a getaway vehicle. According to

Warden Husbands, “We told Carrasco there would be a car inside the Walls waiting for his instructions.

We told him that the car would be pulled up to the ramp in front of the building, filled with gas with the motor either running or off, whatever he wished.”1

Although authorities had had expected it since day one of the siege, Carrasco had not asked for transportation in exchange for the hostages.

Estelle did not tell the hostage-takers they were being allowed to go free. They were only offered transportation. Estelle remembered, “Had they taken it up, we’d have arranged their safe conduct—but only

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Medium 9781574412680

Chapter 9 “Walked into his own trap”

Bob Alexander University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter 9

“Walked into his own trap”

As the new year of 1880 kicked off, it may be reported that since the Frontier Battalion’s formation in 1874 several rangers had made the ultimate sacrifice. Five had been killed by Indians; two more by rioting Mexicanos during the recklessly wasteful El Paso Salt War; and one by former members of the Seminole/Negro Indian scouts by some accounts, or Tenth Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers in other versions.

Anglo adversaries, Kiowas, and south of the border bandits, and the

Company D rangers, of course, had locked up in ticklish situations, too. But, thus far those ranks had come through the maelstroms sans any funerals. Such could not be said for many of their brothers of the badge, the city and county officers. For that same time period the good folks of Texas lost a total of sixteen lawmen killed in the line of duty, fellows from municipal police agencies, sheriffs’ departments, and the precinct constables’ offices.1 Texas had more than her fair share of rough and ready rascals, badmen and wanna-be badmen who had cut their teeth on blue-steeled six-shooters and soothed their bleeding gums with sour-mash. They didn’t all come from the headwaters of Bitter Creek—but they could have.

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Medium 9781574416305

Chapter 8: World War II

Richard F. Selcer UNT Press PDF


A History of Fort Worth in Black & White

around then was willing to do almost anything to avoid another race riot. Most of Fort Worth’s African Americans probably agreed with the black Dallas resident who advised, “Out of respect to peace and harmony,

Negro and white ought not to live as next-door neighbors.”2

By 1940, Jones St. was slipping as a business corridor for the black community after losing its residential population in earlier decades.

It was now paved and lighted all the way from Weatherford down to

Lancaster, home to hotels, restaurants, doctors’ offices, barber shops, and beauty parlors. By the middle of the decade it had the Colored

YMCA, the swanky Jim Hotel, the Colored Country Club, and the Red

Cab Company. The glow had long since gone off Ninth St., formerly the principal black business corridor. Now it was bisected by multiple railroad tracks, increasingly given over to warehouse and industrial properties, and hemmed in on the south by not just the railroad reservation, but south of that, by a “wholesale, garage, and lumber-yard district owned by white capital.”3

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Medium 9781574415124

1. Bleeding Kansas, Border Ruffians, and Jayhawkers

Robert W. Lull University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter One

Bleeding Kansas, Border Ruffians, and Jayhawkers

James Williams and his brother Sam arrived at Leavenworth, Kansas in 1856. They found the town growing at an explosive rate, with opportunity, excitement and conflict everywhere. Leavenworth had all the trappings of a western boomtown, and then some.

The Kansas-Nebraska act, signed by President Pierce two years earlier in 1854, opened huge expanses of the western prairie to settlers. Pierce’s signature prompted a major land rush and several years of bloody conflict. Prior to the act’s implementation date, much of what would become Kansas was Indian land—off limits to white men.1 When the Kansas-Nebraska Act became law, there were fewer than 800 whites in Kansas. When the first territorial census was completed the following year, Kansas population numbered 8,000 whites and 192 slaves.2

The political heat of popular sovereignty and the conflict over slavery drew the Williams brothers into the maelstrom like moths to a flame. They became part of the volatile mix of immigrants with competing agendas crowding by thousands into Kansas at Leavenworth. There were abolitionist activists, pro-slavery advocates, and ordinary folks all capitalizing on opportunities for new land. The sheer number of such individuals was sure to create a flashpoint.3

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