On this day in 1861, Adina Emilia De Zavala was born. De Zavala was known for being a preservationist, and without her efforts, The Alamo may not have been preserved to be the Shrine of Texas Liberty. In this photograph, we see De Zavala with a group of schoolchildren in front of The Alamo. We are so grateful for her hard work and determination to preserve history!Photo Source: Briscoe Center for American History ... See MoreSee Less
Traces of Texas reader John Miller was nice enough to submit this DYNAMITE piece of Texas history. This is the grave of Barnabus Burch, who, along with 40 other Union loyalists, was hanged on October 19, 1862 in the "Great Hanging" in Gainesville, Texas. The Great Hanging is still the largest mass hanging in the history of the United States. From a family history: "Barnabus Burch was an old man in his seventies and almost 'bed ridden with rhymatiz', what we now call arthritis. He was one of the two or three men who were hauled to Gainesville in a wagon because he could not mount a horse. The Burch family lived just north of what is now Burns City.At the mock trial, Barnabus Burch made the statement: 'one night recently I had a dream, I thought this was a needless war. I thought the North over ran the South. This disheartened me. Truly, old men shall see visions and young men dream dreams." He was found guilty and hanged. All of the men who were hanged had signed the Montgomery Act.After Barnabus Burch was hanged, his body, with all of the others who were hanged, was thrown in a warehouse, on the square, that was owned by James Bourland. The next day Burch's wife and daughter, Elizabeth Ann (Burch) Neely went to Gainesville and brought his body back to his farm. The two women dug the deepest grave they could and buried him in a fence row, near Wade Lake. It is now the Marvin Cason place…The irony of all this is that the son-in-law of Barnabus Burch, James Neely, Jr. was away fighting for the Confederacy when the hangings occurred. James Martin Neely, Jr. was in Morgan’s Battalion and saw action in Arkansas and Louisiana."Barnabus Burch had moved to Hood County, Texas, from Missouri about 1850, then to Cooke County by 1860. He was approximately seventy years of age, and crippled with arthritis, when he paid twelve cents in taxes on his personal property in 1862. His name is penciled in above that of “Thomas Burch” on the 1862 tax roll for Cooke County.Thank you, John Miller. What an off-the-beaten-path Texas history find! ... See MoreSee Less
The Arcane Texas Fact of the Day:Originally, producers wanted Charles Bronson and James Garner for the Lonesome Dove miniseries. But Bronson declined and Garner dropped out due to health reasons. When the producers cast Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones, Duvall was originally set to play the stern and by-the-book Woodrow Call. But, after reading the novel ----- and on his wife’s advice ----- Duvall asked to switch roles, lending his signature warmth to the carefree spirit of Gus McCrae. It’s hard to imagine Jones and Duvall in each other’s roles, but it was almost a reality. For his part, Jones brought an air of authenticity, being that he's a Texan and also owns a ranch near San Saba. ... See MoreSee Less
REGISTER TODAY for Texas Talks! Justice Ken Wise will reveal some information not previously known about the secret court of the Republic of Texas. Justice Wise sits on the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston and is the creator and host of the popular Texas history podcast, Wise About Texas, which is heard by over 1.3 million people in 152 countries around the world. REGISTER TODAY! >> TSHA | Texas Talks bit.ly/3FM5BWb... See MoreSee Less
Lorenzo de Zavala died on this day in 1836. Santa Anna had wanted to capture him because he was the biggest political rival Santa Anna had in Mexico. Santa Anna had named him to a diplomatic post in Paris but when De Zavala learned Santa Anna had assumed dictatorial powers in Mexico he turned against him and made his way to Texas. De Zavala had been imprisoned in 1814 for his support for democratic reforms and taught himself to read English. He also read enough medical books while in prison to qualify as a doctor. He rose to be one of the leading figures of the period and held many offices in Mexico including senator, secretary of the treasury, and governor of the state of Mexico. As the fires of revolution grew hot in Texas he became an ardent advocate of Texas' independence and served in the Convention of 1836. He was one of the 56 signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence along with Sam Houston and later helped write the Constitution of the Republic of Texas. A rowboat he was in overturned in Buffalo Bayou, half-frozen by an October cold front, and he developed pneumonia and died. He was buried in a small family burial plot which has since sunk into Buffalo Bayou and been lost.The Texas State Archives and Library Building in Austin is named after de Zavala, as is Zavala County, the city of Zavalla, and numerous streets, schools, and public buildings.(Painting by Lajos Markos) ... See MoreSee Less
The Ernsts - the first German settlers in Texas!The Ernsts were the earliest documented German family to settle in Texas. In 1829, Friedrich Ernst arrived in the United States from Germany with his wife and five children. He had been the clerk and gardener for the Duke of Oldenberg, but he yearned for a different life.In 1831, the family settled along Mill Creek, northwest of San Felipe, in what was then Mexico. Accustomed to the comforts of the city, here they were on the frontier.They named their nascent town Industry, foreshadowing the skills and work ethic that many more Germans would bring with them to Texas over the coming decades. Industry grew up around the Ernsts’ little compound.In 2007, the Texas Legislature declared Industry to be the state’s oldest permanent German settlement. A drive around town is the best way to see the sites of Friedrich Ernst’s settlement.At what is now Ernst Memorial Park, a store, which later operated as a post office, served the growing community and was a renowned and helpful stop for many newly arrived German immigrants.Find more destinations with German heritage: texastimetravel.com/cultural-heritage/german-heritage/📷: Old Industry post office ... See MoreSee Less
New York Times Best – Selling Author S.C. Gwynne will speak on his latest book, “Hymns of the Republic,” a spellbinding account of the dramatic conclusion of the Civil War, on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022 at Granbury Live.
Author/Historian and Pulitzer prize finalist breathes new life into the epic battle between Lee and Grant. “The Story of the Final Year of the American Civil War” is a brilliantly told account of the American Civil War personalities and is a masterwork of history. The Ramay-McCatee Speaker Series – S.C. Gwynne is presented by The Bridge Street History Center, Thursday November 3rd, 6:30 and open to the public with a book signing reception to follow. Tickets only $10 & $15. Books available to purchase.
Mr. Gwynne, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and writer for Time Magazine and Texas Monthly, also authored the Comanche Native American epic “Empire of the Summer Moon” and the thrilling “Rebel Yell” about the great and tragic hero “Stonewall” Jackson.
The Texas Historical Commission approved a request from Granbury ISD to place a historical marker for an African American school on February 3, 2021 and former GISD Facilities Manager Randy Leach will be speaking on the effort to obtain the marker and telling the story of the two African American churches and the school just north of the Granbury Town Square.