DJ's Texas State Of Mind

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Historic Texas Personlities

Like a lot of men in the 1830's, John Salmon Ford came to Texas to start a new life. At the age of 21, he came to Texas alone just a month after Texas had gained its independence from Mexico. When he entered Texas, he spent the last of his money on a horse and a wagon. On the side of the wagon, he hung his shingle....JOHN SALMON FORD, Doctor. John went on to be, and to do, a lot of things in Texas for the next 60 years. He seemed to be deeply involved in, and many times was a leader of, most of the major events that occurred in Texas until after Reconstruction in the 1870's. A leader of men, a man of great conviction and strength, he made an impact wherever he went.

Charles Goodnight was born in Indiana just as Texas won its independence -- 1836. His family moved to Texas just as Texas became a state -- 1845. By the time he was 20, he got into the cattle business and went on to become the most revered cattleman in Texas history. He blazed new cattle trails like the Goodnight-Loving Trail and founded one of the most important cattle ranches in American history -- the JA Ranch in the Palo Duro Canyon.

Mary Austin Holley, a first cousin of Stephen F. Austin, was a woman of wealth, culture and intellect, a woman of adventure and letters. At 18, she married Horace Holley who became a prominent minister in Boston and then in Kentucky. Mr. Holley died of yellow fever leaving Mary with two children to raise. This is when she found out she could write for profit because, in her grief, she wrote a biography of Mr. Holley that was widely accepted.

Eventually, Mary contacted her cousin, Stephen, who she had not seen in over 20 years. Over the next few years they developed a very close relationship through their shared love of philosophy, music, the arts....and Texas. Their correspondence is one of the few glimpses of Stephen F. Austin's feelings and beliefs.

Lizzie Johnson started out as a school teacher and, because of her education, she was able to invest in cattle. Eventually, she bought her own herd and drove them "up the trail" to Kansas to be sold. "The Cattle Queen of Texas" tells wonderful stories of her life, her loves, her travel and her cattle...."you can almost smell the dust of the trail."

Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by the Comanche Indians in 1836 when she was nine years old, and she became a member of the tribe. Twenty-three years later, Cynthia Ann was re-captured by Captain Sul Ross of the Texas Rangers, and she was returned to her white relatives. Cynthia Ann's story is dramatic, and full of happiness and sadness. She was the mother of Quannah Parker, the most powerful and famous Comanche chief of all.

Deline Rose, with her husband, Dr. Pleasant Rose, and their children, came to Texas in 1834 just before the Texas Revolution. She was the mother of 7 children. She and her husband knew many of the most important people of the era. William Barret Travis, eventual Commander of The Alamo, and General Sam Houston were two of the people she and her family knew. Mrs. Rose enjoyed entertaining and loved attending parties. Deline suffered through the "Runaway Scrape" in which the woman, children and old men ran for their lives from the Mexican Army. She lost one of her children to illness on that journey as did many other mothers. Deline also became very ill and very nearly lost her life. Dr. and Mrs. Rose lived in the Houston area after the Revolution. Deline Rose tells of the humor and the tragedy of early Texas.

William Barret Travis was born on a farm in South Carolina in 1809, but his family moved to a farm in Alabama nine years later. At the age of 16, he was sent to a school in a major Alabama commercial center where he decided to be a lawyer. But then, ladies and money became his downfall. He headed for Texas, where he became an advocate for Texas independence from Mexico...and in 1836 he lost his life for his cause as the Commander of The Alamo.

Isaac Cline seemed destined to make a name for himself. But who would have ever thought that it would be as the meterologist responsible for the U.S. Weather Bureau Station in Galveston, Texas, during The Great Storm of 1900 that killed 6,000-10,000 people....the largest natural disaster in American history in terms of lives lost.
We are very fortunate to have Susannah Dickenson portrayed by three great performers: Linda Sanders, LaJuanna Faught and Elizabeth Seibert. Susannah Dickenson was a young, illiterate housewife when her husband joined in the defence of The Alamo. She and her 18-month old daughter were inside the walls during the seige and the final assault by General Santa Anna's Mexican Army. They were two of the nine survivors. Susannah and her daughter returned to their home in Gonzales only to have it burned to the ground by the Texian Army, and then she and her daughter ran for their lives in the Runaway Scrape.

George Durham, an 18 year old farm boy from Georgia, came to Texas in 1875. His father had been a McNelly during the War Between the States, and he was about to become a McNelly. Durham tells of his time as a Texas Ranger under Captain Leander McNelly when the Rangers had to be badder then the bad guys. Bob Heinonen portrays George Durham in his later years as he tells his touching and thought provoking story of law and order that is pertinent as we view the events of today.

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