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Vol 17 No. 09 - June 1940

The Belton Fire In 1879

By Gillian Embree Creswell.

Account of the midnight conflagration in September, year of 1879 when Belton, TX suffered this destructive fire, which added to the drought and crop failure of that year, and overcast the spirits and tested the courage of the strongest men, who made up the populace of the Central Texas county seat of Bell.

Mentions: old Luther Hall at Baylor Female College * Nolan Creek * Dechard & Mackensen's store * Fred and Gus Ulrich * the Chamberlin * Trippis, Nigro & West * Mr. J. W. Pierce * Mr. Mat McKnight * I. B. Webb's building * Miller and Haymond * D. E. Patterson * Doc Cook and John Lunsford * Powers & Co's. store * Embree & Keys * Ray & Elliott * Hon. L. C. Alexander * J. B. B. Supple * Chamberlin Bros * Miller Bros * Goode & Co * Long & Reese * Rather & Sons * McWhirter * Decher & Mackensen * I. B. Webb * Lott & Talley * H. C. Denny * Power & Co * P. T. Morey * Blanton & Sons * Judge Osterhout * Prank Rather, Pole Crabtree. V. Nigro * Minnis, Jack McWhirter and Wm. Reed * Don A. Chamberlin * Dr. Embree *

Dr. Ernest E. Palmer: The Good Physician

By J. E. Grinstead, Kerrville, Texas

Account of Ernest E. Palmer, M. D., a native of Kentshire, England, who for fifty-four years, practiced his profession at Kerrville, TX. With no hospitals, and no modern equipment for surgery, Dr. Palmer performed wonderful and delicate operations in the homes of the Texas hill country people, many of them far in some isolated mountain cabin at night, with only a kerosene lamp, or perhaps a candle, for a light. In spite of these handicaps, his success was astounding. His fame as a surgeon spread, not only through Texas, but into the far corner of the nation. This is his story.

Mrs. Julia Mcannelly: Pioneer Mother

By Ida Babcock Ball, Austin, Texas

Mrs. Julia McAnnelly, daughter of James McCrea, was born at McCreaville, Lampasas county, in 1863. She lived in that county all her life, except to occasionally to visit the outside. Mrs. McAnnelly came to Texas in 1847, her family passing through one of the severest storms ever known of the Gulf. They stayed one month in Galveston and came on to Houston. Later, they moved to Brenham in Washington county and lived there eight years. Finally they moved to Lampasas county in 1855. This is her story.

Mentions: little town of Lometa * McCreaville * a friend, Tom Gorman * Marley * her husband's father, R. D. McAnnelly * Cornelius McAnnelly * Julia McCrea * Mr. Risien * Captain Vince * Susan Vince * Mr. Pratt * Deaf Smith * Susan Vince-Pratt * McCreaville, eleven miles west of the town of Lampasas * the Burleson family * Pat M. Neff, Congressman Walter P. Stone, and Governor Whitfield *

Brooke Smith, Brownwood Pioneer

Account of Mr. Brooke Smith, pioneer citizen and banker of Brownwood, Texas, who was born in Hanover county, Virginia, March 13, 1853. He moved to Texas and settled at Waco in 1870 and moved to Brown county in February, 1876. He played an important part in the development of Brownwood and Brown county, establishing the first bank in Brownwood at a time when the only other bank in the state directly west of here was at El Paso. Mr. Smith was a community builder, and did much in the early days to aid the future growth and development of the city of Brownwood.

Mentions: Miss Juliet Sparks * Henry Ford and J. C. Weakley * Mr. Smith also helped in getting the Frisco line extended into Brownwood * Mr. Smith was elected Mayor of Brownwood in 1886 * Pecan Bayou * Graham hotel * Joe Weakley * Daniel Baker college * the West Texas Historical Association * Henry S. Brown * Howard Payne *

Tracking The Bandera Dinosaurs

Mentions: Edwards Plateau * Dr. E. H. Sellards * Roland T Bird * Tarpley * the Davenport ranch *

Captain John Reagan Baker

By Houston Wade

Account of Capt. John Reagan Baker, soldier and son of Peter and Margaret Laura (Reagan) Baker. He was born near Blue Springs, Green County, Tennessee, on August 6, 1809 and made his forst visit to Texas in 1836. In 1839 he returned to Texas and became a member of the Texan auxiliary corps of the Federalista army encamped at Fort Lipantitlán. Later he went to Refugio County and settled in Aransas City where he was elected sheriff of Refugio County on February 1, 1841, and organized a company of minutemen, of which he was captain. After gallant service, Baker returned to Refugio County and established a mercantile business at Saluria, on Matagorda Island. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he organized a home-guard company and was elected its captain. After the war he lived in Goliad County for a while, then moved to Indianola and again entered the mercantile business. In 1876 he moved to Wilson County, to a ranch near Stockdale, where he died on January 19, 1904. This is his story.

Mentions: Stockdale Wilson county, Texas * Honorable Allen Lewis Baker * Miss Margaret Laura Reagan * Peter Baker * The children of Peter Baker and his wife were: William Baker; Henry Baker; Allen Baker; our hero, John Reagean Baker; Samuel Baker; Thomas Baker; Carroll Baker; Smith Baker, * Island City * the Cherokee War * the renowned Scotch-man, Ewen Cameron * the Mier Expedition * Juan N. Seguin * Colonel William S. Fisher, Captain S. W. Jordan * Samuel Augustus Maverick * Matthew M. Cody * James Wilson * Michael Fox * Jeremiah Findley * Benjamin F. Neal * Edmund FitzGerald * John McDaniel * Charles Smith * Willard Richardson * John W. B. McFarland * Edward St. John * Raphael Gonzales * Michael Cahill * Michael Whalin * Walter Lambert * Frances Plummer * Joseph E. Plummer * Edward Drew * James B. Collinsworth * Matthew Cody * Ben F. Neil * General Rafael Vasques * General James Davis * General, Antonio Canales * Mathew Caldwell * John Lowe * Stephen Jett * Capt. Nicholas Mosby Dawson * Colonels William S. Fisher and Thomas Jefferson Green *

(Continued Next Month.)

A. B. Reagan Has Eventful Life

Account of Hon. A. B. Reagan, long-time postmaster at Brady, Texas. He has been referred to as Brady's No. I Pioneer, good citizen, and man of affairs. (Includes photo of Mr. Reagan)

A Tribute To Arizona Bill

Account is a tribute to Raymond Hatfield Gardner, better known as "Arizona Bill," scout and Indian fighter.

Mentions: Buffalo Bill, (William F. Cody) * General Hagood * Tim McCoy who owned the wild west show of the circus * Ringling Brothers Circus * Thomas J. Jenkins *

The Old Chisholm Trail

Elmo Scott Watson

Account of the Old Chisholm Trail and it’s hostorical legacy - thousands upon thousands of long-horn cattle, driven north from the wide plains of the Lone Star state to the roaring cow towns of Kansas by as bold, as reckless, as brave a crew of daredevils as the world has ever known—the old-time cowboys.

Mentions: Kit Carson and Uncle Dick Wooton and Old Bill Williams * Kearny's Dragoons * Bent's Fort * Maxwell's hacienda * John D. Chisholm * Ignatius Chisholm * Tiana Rogers * James R. Mead * Fort Cobb and the former Wichita agency * Chisholm's trading post at Council Grove * Lieut. Col. W. H. Emory * Joseph B. Thoburn * Joseph McCoy of Springfield, Illinois, * the Chickasaw Nation * the town of Terral * Rock Island bridge * Ben Bolt


Smashing of the Texas slavery racket of a century ago was urged by Sam Houston—twice president and once governor of Texas— in a letter obtained by University of Texas historians.

Written to Isaac Van Zandt charge d'affairs of Texas at Washington in 1843, the letter asked for appointment of a consul at the Port, Dr. Eugene C. Barker and Miss Amelia Williams said.

"Houston's main argument for the appointment is that …


Mentions: Rev. Stewart Newell * Albert Williams, Jr., of Houston * Jefferson Davis Smith * Clinton Smith * Dripping Springs * Judge O. W. Williams of Fort Stockton, Texas * John C. Rosebgrongh * Alexander Campbell * W. K. Pendleton * McAllister * Champ Clark of Missouri * Miss Sallie Wheat, daughter of C. M. Wheat, Dallas, Texas * F. M. Getzendaner, the Uvalde geologist * Mr. Lowman

Partial list of names mentioned in this volume:

L. C. Hon Alexander; (See Raymond H. Gardner) Arizona Bill; Allen Baker; Hon Allen Lewis Baker; Carroll Baker; Daniel Baker; Henry Baker; J. R. Baker; John R. Baker; Capt John R. Baker; John Reagan Baker; Capt John Reagan Baker; Lt; John Reagan Baker; Kate Baker; Peter Baker; Samuel Baker; Smith Baker; Thomas Baker; William Baker; Barker; Bertillion; Capt James Bird; Dr Roland T. Bird; Harry S. Brown; Burleson; Pvt Michael Cahill; Mathew Caldwell; Ewen Cameron; Campbell; Gen Antonio Canales; Carlton; Carson; Don A. Chamberlin; Ignatius Chisholm; John D. Chisholm; Chisum; Champ Clark; M. Cody Clark; Matthew Clark; Matthew M. Clark; William F. Clark; Rose Chamberlin Coleman; Pvt James B. Collinsworth; Conwill; Doc Cook; Vincente Cordova; W. M. Corner; Pole Crabtree; Gillian Embree Cresswell; Gillian Embree Creswell; Gen Davis; Gen James; Capt Nicholson Mosby Dawson; H. C. Denny; Frank Dobie; Prof Dobie; Pvt Edward Drew; Col W. H. Emory; Fagan; Jeremiah Findley; Col William S. Fisher; Edmund Fitzgerald; Fletcher; Ford; Michael Fox; Raymond Hatfield Gardner; Geronimo; F. M. Getzendaner; Pvt Raphael Gonzales; Tom Gorman; Col Thomas Jefferson Green; J. E. Grinstead; Gen Hagood; Ida Babcock Hall; Thomas J. Jenkins; Stephen Jett; Dr Jordan; Capt S. W. Jordan; Melanie Earle Keiser; Pvt Walter Lambert; Langford; Pvt John Lowe; John Lunsford; Bob Marley; Maverick; A. B. McAnnelly; Capt McAnnelly; Clyde McAnnelly; Cornelius McAnnelly; Mrs Julia McAnnelly; Neil McAnnelly; R. McAnnelly; R. D. McAnnelly; Joseph McCoy; Tim McCoy; James McCrea; Julia McCrea; John McDaniel; Pvt John W. B. McFarland; Mat McKnight; Jack McWhirter; James R. Mead; Foreman Minnis; P. T. Morey; Benjamin F. Neal; Pat M. Neff; Ben F. Neil; Rev Stewart Newell; V. Nigro; Gov W. Lee O'Daniel; D. C. Ogden; Judge Osterhout; Dr Ernest E. Palmer; D. E. Patterson; Howard Payne; W. K. Pendleton; J. W. Pierce; Pvt Joseph E. Plummer; Dr Pratt; Frank Rather; A. H. Reagan; Miss Margaret Laura Reagan; Wm Reed; Pvt Willard Richardson; Taina Rogers; Rose; John C. Roseborough; Col Reuben Ross; Santa Anna Ross; Saunders; Seguin; Dr E. H. Sellards; Sinnickson; Brooke Smith; Pvt Charles Smith; Jefferson Davis Smith; Gen Alexander Somervell; Juliet Miss Sparks; Pvt Edward St. John; Lt Gov Coke R. Stevenson; Walter P. Stone; J. B. B. Supple; Pvt John R. Talley; Taylor; Thalmann; Thoburn; Fred Ulrich; Gus Ulrich; Van Zandt; Gen Rafael Vasques; Capt Vince; Susan Vince; Susan Vince-Pratt; Elmo Scott Watson; J. C. Weakley; Joe Weakley; I. B. Webb; Pvt Michael Whalin; C. M. Wheat; Sallie Miss Wheat; Gov Whitfield; Wiemers; Albert Jr Williams; Miss Amelia Williams; Lt James Wilson; Gen Adrain Woll; Dick Wooton; Wooto Wooten

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