THIS WEEK IN MODERN TEXAS HISTORY: Week of June 10

Bond elections, a golf tournament, and the impeachment proceedings against the Texas Land Commissioner

At Leuders in Jones County, a family of four was killed when a cyclone struck the town. Many others were injured and 15 homes were demolished. [Palestine Daily Herald, June 11, 1909]

Around 160 train car loads of Irish potatoes from the Caney Valley and Wharton Branch of the Sunset passed through Wharton on their way to Victoria for points including Kansas City, St. Louis, and Chicago. [The Liberty Vindicator, June 11, 1909]

Saturday, July 3, was penciled in as the likely date for the dedication of the new Randall County Courthouse in Canyon. [The Randall County News, June 11, 1909]

In Canyon, a bond election was ordered for citizens to have a say whether or not Canyon is to have water and sewer systems. [The Randall County News, June 11, 1909]

Former governor Sayers and Austin City Attorney J.B. Rector “almost came to blows this morning” at the investigation to establish responsibility for the incident that resulted in the death of Victor Lyons. Ranger Captain Rogers was on the stand and Sayers was examining him, and Rector objected, and Sayers caused Rector of acting as an attorney for city officials. “Rector retorted that no may, no matter how prominent or white his hair, could make such a statement.” Sayers “started for rector, but friends interposed.” [El Paso Herald, June 11, 1909]

Receipts for paying the license fee on used cars began to be needed in Texas after a June 9 opinion by the Texas Attorney General’s Office that anyone who offers vehicles for sale on or after June 18 must have a tax collector’s receipt for the license fee and deliver it at the time the car is delivered. [El Paso Morning Times, Tuesday, June 10, 1919, p. 2]

A cross-country flight from San Francisco to El Paso within the next month was announced June 10. It was announced the flight was for the purpose of demonstrating the possibilities of a two-passenger bi-plane designed to operate with a 55-horse power engine. [El Paso Morning Times, Tuesday, June 10, 1919, p. 3]

In Dallas on June 10, A.L. Fisher, 43, a guard for strikebreakers at Dallas Power & Light Company was shot and killed. Allen Leroy, a strike breaking lineman, was severely beaten during the same incident.

“Fisher was attacked by an armed party of strikers in the outskirts of the city and died soon after being taken to the hospital. Four men were arrested in connection with the event, but none were believed to be the suspect.

Dallas Mayor Wozencraft called in 100 special police to keep order after the incident. [The Taylor Daily Press, June 11, 1919, p. 1]

Grain destroyed in a hailstorm in the northwestern and northern parts of Wilbargeb County was worth in excess of $100,000 in insurance value. “Thousands of acres of wheat and oats ready for harvest were destroyed and row crops were either badly damaged or completely destroyed,” the Vernon Record noted. One farmer said he had 175 acres insured at $24 per acre. [The Vernon Record, June 10, 1919, p. 1]

A moonlight picnic on the farm of Ralph Wilson near Ambia resulted in two men dueling with pistols. The duel was over a woman, the ex-wife of one of the two participants. When the men met at the picnic, “they drew pistols simultaneously and began shooting at each other.” One of them was fatally shot. [The Paris Morning News, June 10, 1919, p. 1.]

Three members of the Western Union office in Austin were dismissed after they announced their intention to strike with the Commercial Telegraphers’ Union. [Austin Statesman, June 10, 1919]

Marshall got new Western Union telegraph equipment, and it was put in use the night of June 10. The equipment, which made Marshall a central point on the telegraph lines, cost $15,000. [Marshall Messenger, June 10, 1919, p. 4]

Two men on a truck loaded with nitroglycerin headed for the oil fields near Ranger were “blown to fragments” early on the morning of June 6 at the Kuteman cutoff leading toward Weatherford, about two miles northwest of Aledo. The accident demolished the bridge at that location and nearby buildings were damaged. [The Whiteright Sun, June 13, 1919, p. 1]

The Shaver brothers cotton gin at Shallower burned the night of June 12. It was completely destroyed at an estimated lost of $40,000. [Waco News-Tribune, June 13, 1929, p.1]

Hearings on impeachment charges against Texas Land Commissioner J. T. Robinson were set to begin in the Texas House June 13. Robinson was previously investigated by a joint legislative committee. [The Eagle (Bryan), June 13, 1929.]

Golfers Clinton Bussey, 21, Lubbock, and Dixon White, 16, Dublin, are finalists in one of the most “closely matched tournaments” in the history of the West Texas Association Tournament. The two were to play 36 holes for the championship. Busy won the tournament after White had overcome his six-hole lead, and carried the match on to an extra hole. Later on, White, who attended John Tarleton College in Stephenville (now Tarleton State University), won the Texas Junior College Athletic Association tournament in Forth Worth, May 2, 1933. [Lubbock Morning Avalanche, June 13, 1929, Waco News-Tribune, June 14, 1929, Abilene Reporter-News, May 3, 1933, p.2]

It was announced that Locust Park, a “new pleasure resort,” near Canyon at the site of the old Hale’s Park, was set to open July 4. It would have tourist cabins and a dance pavilion. [The Canyon News, June 13, 1929]

Second Class Petty officer R.H. Tally, Jr. was back home in Wise County from deployment briefly, and brought with him a bronze troops presented to him as champion boxer in the Navy for 1944. He boxed in Wise County and fought one year in the Texas Golden Glove tournament before enlisting. [Wise County Messenger, June 15, 1944]

A mass meeting was set this week in Freeport to consider changing the form of the city’s government from a commission to a charter form. The proposed change came about after an attorney refused to approve the town’s recently passed $50,000 drainage bonds. [The Freeport Facts, June 15, 1944]

C.R. Stolz sold the Premier Granite Quarries in Llano to Tom Gould, former owner of the Gould Monument Works in Jacksonville. [The Llano News, June 15, 1944]

Oliver Blackburn, a Southwestern Bell Telephone Company lineman was near death in a Cameron hospital after being electrocuted by high voltage wires off the federal building block. He was working a telephone cable and was believed to have fallen in to the electric wires.

Blackburn was stuck in the electrical wires for ten minutes before he could be removed. It was believed nothing could be done to save him because help arrived on the scene too late. [The Cameron Herald, June 15, 1944]

Boxer Jack Dempsey was in Jefferson this week for civil litigation involving some oil producing property he owned in Marion County. [The Marshall News Messenger, June 11, 1959]

An election on $100,000 in bonds to finance waterworks improvements in Hamlin was called for Wednesday, July 1. [The Hamlin Herald, June 11, 1959]

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Vince Leibowitz

Publisher & Editor at Contemporary Texas History
Vince Leibowitz is a journalist, author, and historian. He is the Publisher and Editor of Contemporary Texas History.

He lives in Colorado County, Texas with his two dogs, Lyndon "Puppy" and Senfronia.

He serves on the Colorado County Historical Commission and as Managing Editor of The Colorado County Citizen.

He recently secured a Texas Historical Marker for Etta Moten Barnett. the first black woman to sing solo in the White House. In April, 2019, he was named South Texas Press Association Journalist of the Year for Division I.
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