Texas Local

Vol. 6: John B. Denton: The Bigger-Than-Life Story of the Fighting Parson and Texas Ranger

Published: October, 2021  Pages: 256  Features: 6 b&w illus. 5 maps. Notes. Bib. Index.

Denton County and the City of Denton are named for pioneer preacher, lawyer, and Indian fighter John B. Denton, but little has been known about him. He was an orphan in frontier Arkansas who became a circuit-riding Methodist preacher and an important member of a movement of early settlers bringing civilization to North Texas. After becoming a ranger on the frontier, he ultimately was killed in the Tarrant Expedition, a Texas Ranger raid on a series of villages inhabited by various Caddoan and other tribes near Village Creek on May 24, 1841. more... about John B. Denton: The Bigger-Than-Life Story of the Fighting Parson and Texas Ranger

Vol. 5: Changing Perspectives: Black-Jewish Relations in Houston during the Civil Rights Era

Published: March, 2021  Pages: 432  Features: 19 b&w illus. Notes. Bib. Index.

Changing Perspectives charts the pivotal period in Houston’s history when Jewish and Black leadership eventually came together to work for positive change. This is a story of two communities, both of which struggled to claim the rights and privileges they desired. Previous scholars of Southern Jewish history have argued that Black-Jewish relations did not exist in the South. However, during the 1930s to the 1980s, Jews and Blacks in Houston interacted in diverse and oftentimes surprising ways. more... about Changing Perspectives: Black-Jewish Relations in Houston during the Civil Rights Era

Vol. 4: Fort Worth Stories

Published: February, 2021  Pages: 320  Features: 50 b&w illus. Notes. Bib. Index.

Fort Worth Stories is a collection of thirty-two bite-sized chapters of the city’s history. Did you know that the same day Fort Worth was mourning the death of beloved African American “Gooseneck Bill” McDonald, Dallas was experiencing a series of bombings in black neighborhoods? Or that Fort Worth almost got the largest statue to Robert E. Lee ever put up anywhere, sculpted by the same massive talent that created Mount Rushmore? Or that Fort Worth was once the candy-making capital of the Southwest and gave Hershey, Pennsylvania, a good run for its money as the sweet spot of the nation? more... about Fort Worth Stories

Vol. 3: Adolphe Gouhenant: French Revolutionary, Utopian Leader, and Texas Frontier Photographer

Published: October, 2019  Pages: 464  Features: 30 b&w illus. 2 maps. Notes. Bib. Index.

Adolphe Gouhenant tells the story of artist, revolutionary, and early North Texas resident Francois Ignace (Adolphe) Gouhenant (1804-1871). Gouhenant was selected by well-known Icarian communist Etienne Cabet to lead an advance guard from France to settle a utopian colony in North Texas. The community, beset by hardships, ultimately scapegoated Gouhenant, accused him of being a French agent, and expelled him. He then journeyed first to Fort Worth to teach the federal soldiers French and art, and next to Dallas, where he founded the town’s first arts establishment in the 1850s. Gouhenant set up shop as a daguerreotypist and photographed the town’s early residents. His Arts Saloon was the scene of many exhibitions and dances but ultimately became the high stake in a nasty battle among Dallas’s leading citizens, setting legal precedent for Texas homestead law. more... about Adolphe Gouhenant: French Revolutionary, Utopian Leader, and Texas Frontier Photographer

Vol. 2: Sutherland Springs, Texas: Saratoga on the Cibolo

Published: February, 2017  Pages: 320  Features: 50 b&w illus. Notes. Bib. Index.

In Sutherland Springs, Texas, Richard B. McCaslin explores the rise and fall of this rural community near San Antonio primarily through the lens of its aspirations to become a resort spa town, because of its mineral water springs, around the turn of the twentieth century. Texas real estate developers, initially more interested in oil, brought Sutherland Springs to its peak as a resort in the early twentieth century, but failed to transform the farming settlement into a resort town. The decline in water tables during the late twentieth century reduced the mineral water flows, and the town faded. Sutherland Springs’s history thus provides great insights into the importance of water in shaping settlement. more... about Sutherland Springs, Texas: Saratoga on the Cibolo

Vol. 1: No Hope for Heaven, No Fear of Hell: The Stafford-Townsend Feud of Colorado County, Texas, 1871-1911

Published: February, 2018  Pages: 352  Features: 44 b&w photos. Map. Notes. Bib. Index.

Two family names have come to be associated with the violence that plagued Colorado County, Texas, for decades after the end of the Civil War: the Townsends and the Staffords. Both prominent families amassed wealth and achieved status, but it was their resolve to hold on to both, by whatever means necessary, including extra-legal means, that sparked the feud. Elected office was one of the paths to success, but more important was control of the sheriff’s office, which gave one a decided advantage should the threat of gun violence arise. more... about No Hope for Heaven, No Fear of Hell: The Stafford-Townsend Feud of Colorado County, Texas, 1871-1911