~ West Texas Historical Association ~

Summary of WTHA Annual Meeting-  Abilene, Texas

A joint meeting of the West Texas Historical Association and the Texas Map Society was held on April 1-3, 2004, at Hardin-Simmons University.

Caption- left:  Jake and Wes Sheffield contemplate buffalo skinning at Buffalo Gap.  Click on the image to view a larger version.

Caption- right:  Monte Monroe going over editing preferences for the Yearbook.

Hotel Accomodations: Collectively, the Texas Map Society and the WTHA blocked off rooms at three locations immediately adjacent to another at I-20 and Ambler. All includes a continental breakfast, but local diners are close by for something more substantial.  A block block of rooms were also held at The Whitten Inn-University Hotel on I-20 at 1625 E. Overland Trail, Abilene, Texas 79601. Call for reservations at 1-800-588-5050. Priced at $54 per night. They will apply the conference rate for Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. 40 rooms are being held until March 18th.

Registration:  Registration began at approximately 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. The first session begans at 11:30 a.m. on Friday and concluded at noon on Saturday.

Program:  The preliminary program called for 57 presentations in 21 sessions, which included the participation of the Texas Map Society as joint conferees and the East Texas Historical Association as Joint Session participants.

Facilities:  All sessions were held in the Elwin L. Skiles Social Science Building on the Hardin-Simmons University campus.

 Overview of the Sessions and Events
Thursday's schedule, April 1, 2004
  • Early Bird Reception at 6:00 p.m. at the Conference Room at the Whitten In.
  • Dinner (pending) will be dutch treat at Joe Allen's BBQ.

Friday's schedule, April 2, 2004

  • Tour at 9:00 a.m. with Alice Specht, Dean of University Libraries, of the Rupert N. Richardson History Center which will feature the J. W. Williams Map Collection.
  • The Board Meeting will take place in the Moody Campus Center (Student Union building) from 8:30-10:00 a.m. Breakfast will be served. It is a short distance away from the Skiles Building.
  • Registration will begin at approximately 10:30 or 11:00 a.m.

Session 1A entitled, Mapping, Mining and the Frontier, Texas Map Society Session, was chaired by  John Crain, and included the following papers:

  • “Mapping and Mining Enterprises: W. K. Gordon as Cartographer” by Richard Francaviglia, Arlington
  • “Mapping West Texas: The Development of the Topographical Relief Map for Frontier Texas” by Don Frazier, Abilene

Session 1B entitled, Religion, Politics and Colt 45 Justice, was chaired by Mike Collins, and included the following papers:

  • “'Pistol Packin’ Preachers in West Texas” by Barbara Barton, Knickerbocker
  • “Strange Bedfellows: ‘Longhair Jim’ Courtright and Political Influence in Fort Worth” by Harold Rich, Fort Worth
  • “Some Not-so-serious Episodes of Frontier Justice” by Bill Neal, Quanah

Session 1C entitled, Transportation in West Texas: Railroads and Airplanes, was chaired by Lynn Whitfield, and included the following papers:

  • “It’s Hard to Stop a Train, But Not Impossible: West Texans Take on the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway, 1948” by Tiffany Haggard Fink, Abilene
  • “From New York to Los Angeles By Way of Sweetwater, Texas: SAFEWay Airlines and Air-Rail, 1929-1931” by Erik Carlson, Dallas

Session 2A entitled, West Texas Communities, was chaired by Scott Sosebee, and included the following papers:

  • “Myth and Memory of Presidio San Saba and Menard, Texas” by David Weir, Lubbock
  • “Just Where are the Soldiers in Twentieth Century Texas? West Texas Community Study of Goodfellow Air Force Base and San Angelo, Texas” by Dana Magill Cooper, Grand Prairie
  • “You’re From Where? Memories of Growing Up in Noodle, Texas” by Winston Sosebee, Midland

Session 2B entitled, Bricks and Coal in West Texas, was chaired by  T. Lindsey Baker, and included the following papers:

  • “Thurber Bricks” by Joe Grimshaw, De Leon
  • “Bridgeport and Newcastle Coal Mining Communities” by T. Lisa Berry, Fort Worth
  • “Rock Creek Community and Mines in Parker County” by J’Nell Pate, Azle

Session 2C entitled, The Graham Texas Oak Tree Myth and the Changing Landscape of West Texas, was chaired by Earl Elam, and included the following papers:

  • “Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Founding of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and the Making of Graham Texas’s Oak Tree Myth” by David Murrah, Rockport
  • “Quantifying Present-Day versus Historical Distributions of Mesquite and Juniper using a Geographic Information System” by Herb Grover, Abilene

Session 3A entitled, Religion and Education in West Texas, was chaired by Preston Lewis, and included the following papers:

  • “Decatur Baptist College, 1898-1965” by Wes Sheffield, Burleson
  • “Caldwell Hall: Crown Jewel of the Fine Arts in West Texas” by Larry Wolz, Abilene
  • “The Establishment of Christoval’s Mount Carmelite Hermitage” by Gloria Duarte, San Angelo

Session 3B entitled, Frontier Justice, was chaired by Mitchell Davenport, and included the following papers:

  • “Shoot Out at Buffalo Gap: Solving a Mystery” by Kevin Young, Buffalo Gap
  • “They Hung the Preacher: The Only Legal Hanging in Wilbarger County” by Keith Owen, Lubbock
  • “The Assassination of Judge Cullen Higgins” by Bill O’Neal, Carthage

Session 3C entitled, How to Submit An Article for Publication in the West Texas Historical Association Yearbook, was chaired by Monte Monroe, and included the following presentations:

  • “Protocol” by Robert Hall, Lubbock
  • "Technical Information” by Monte Monroe, Lubbock
  • “Style Concerns” by Paul Carlson, Lubbock

Session 4A entitled, Grand Temples of Justice, was chaired by Stanley O. Graves, and included the following papers:

  • “National Trends in a Regional Setting” by Dan K. Utley, Austin
  • “They Left a Legacy: Architects and Builders of Landmark Courthouses” by Robert H. Brinkman, Austin
  • “The Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program” by Lyman Labry, Austin

Session 4B entitled, The Texas-Santa Fe Expedition - Texas Map Society Session /WTHA Joint Session, was chaired by Eddie Guffee, and included the following papers:

  • “Deathwatch on the Quitufue (Quitaque): Camp Resolution of the Texan-Santa Fe Expedition” by Marisue Potts, Floydada
  • “The 1841 Santa Fe Expedition – Was it an INVASION?” by Bill Gray, Floydada
  • “George Wilkins Kendall and the Mapping of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition” by Gerald D. Saxon, Arlington

Session 4C entitled, Writing on Women of West Texas, was chaired by Lou Rodenberger, and included the following papers:

  • “Minta Holmsley” by Jean Stuntz, Canyon
  • “Cornelia Adair” by Fran Vick
  • Commentary: Joyce Gibson Roach, Keller

  • The President's Reception begins at the Grace Cultural Center in downtown Abilene at 6:00 p.m.
  • Dinner begins at 6:45 p.m. Folks can move from reception to dinner on their own, eventually making their way to the Paramount Theatre for the guest speaker's presentation and the film.
  • Presentation: Kenneth Davis, WTHA President, and John Crain, TMS President, will make welcoming remarks around 8:00 p.m. Davis will introduce the evening's speaker- Jim Hoy. He is a noted scholar of the American West. Hoy has been a Fulbright lecturer and has travelled extensively in England and in South America. His book on cattle guards is a standard one and he has done other books that are also sound. Davis will forward some additional information.
  • Film: At 9:00 p.m. the lights will turn low and we can sit back and enjoy the Ford Western, "The Searchers."

Saturday's schedule, April 2, 2005

  • Registration will begin at approximately at 7:30 a.m.
  • The Silent Book Auction hours run from 8:00 1.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Session 5A entitled, Life on the Frontier, was chaired by June Steele, and included the following papers:

  • “Romance and Business in Colorado, Texas, 1884-1886” by Bill McCarron, Commerce
  • “Kin to Outlaws: Allen and Susan James Parmer on the West Texas Frontier, 1876-1905” by Everett Kindig, Wichita Falls
  • “A Woman’s Voice from The Runaway Scrape” by Lou Burleson, Floydada

Session 5B entitled, West Texas Ranchers and the Search for a Western Identity, was chaired by Don Walker, and included the following papers:

  • “Burk Burnett and the 6666” by Damon Kennedy, Midland
  • “Henry C. ‘Hank’ Smith: A Westering Man” by Scott Sosebee, Lubbock
  • “C. E. O. on the Range:  Murdo Mackenzie and the Matador Ranch, 1891 – 1912” by Leland Turner, Lubbock

Session 5C entitled, Mapping in West Texas - Texas Map Society Session, was chaired by Kit Goodwin, and included the following papers:

  • “Mapping West Texas Between Two Wars, 1848-1860” by Larry Francell, Alpine
  • “Tracking the Trace: From Maps to the Ground” by Victoria Scism, Garland

Session 6A entitled, Issues in Tom Green County, was chaired by Shirley Eoff, and included the following papers:

  • “Psychological and Sociological Implications of Great Depression Relief Efforts in Tom Green County” by Mary Bloodworth, Carlsbad
  • “No One Stood in the Door at Angelo State University: a Case of Painless Integration” by Richard Besch, San Angelo
  • “Water Rights and West Texas Ranchers” by Quint Melius, San Angelo

Session 6B entitled, Ranching in West Texas, was chaired by Tom Crum, and included the following papers:

  • “Tom King (1848-1897): Texas’s Forgotten Cattle Baron” by John Hanners, Commerce
  • “Mattie B. Morris Miller: Ranch-woman, Matriarch, and Benefactor” by Jack Becker, Lubbock
  • “W. R. McEntire and the Founding of the U-Ranch” by Monte Monroe, Lubbock

Session 6C entitled, Researching West Texas, was chaired by Freedonia Paschall, and included the following papers:

  • “E-History, or Googling West Texas: A Visual Case Study in Web-based Research” by John Miller Morris, San Antonio
  • “Our Dream was to Have a Home: The Pioneer Experience in Hutchison County and the Texas West,” David Holt, Canyon, Student Essay Award Winner
  • Evolution of ‘Barrilla Spring’ by Paul Wright, Alpine

Session 7A entitled, East Texans Write West, East Texas Historical Association Session, was chaired by Mark Barringer, and included the following papers:

  • “A New Look at the Frontier Battalion: Judging Texas State Troops as Lawmen” by Allen Hatley, LaGrange
  • “The Warren Wagon Train Massacre” by Mark Beasley, Abilene
  • “’We are surprised any who ever a Mormon should engage in hunting indians’: The Antebellum Mormon Cowboys of the Texas Hill Country” by Melvin C. Johnson, Nacogdoches

Session 7B entitled, Giants of West Texas History, was chaired by B. W. Aston, and included the following papers:

  • “Lanier Bell; Gentle Giant of San Angelo’s Polio Epidemic” by Shirley Eoff, San Angelo
  • “Kings of the World: Abilene High School Football in the 1950s” by Rob Fink, Abilene
  • “Abilene and the 1928 Annual Meeting of the West Texas Historical Association” by Paul Carlson, Lubbock

Session 7C entitled, Indian Cultures and Trails- Texas Map Society Session/WTHA Joint Session, was chaired by Richard Francaviglia, and included the following papers:

  • “The Cultural Frontier: Indian and Anglo cross-cultural communication” by Marie Louise Liebe-Harkort, Matador
  • “Tracing the Comanche War Trail” by John Yates, Benbrook

  • Lunch started at 1:00 p.m. in the Johnson Building, and concluded by 2:30 p.m.
  • Reception and tour took place at the Buffalo Gap Historical Village beginning at 4:00 p.m.
  • A chuck wagon buffet was served at 7:00 p.m at the Perini Ranch Steakhouse.

P.O. 41041
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, Texas

79409-1041
Ph. 806-742-9076 wthayb@ttu.edu