• Not so long ago, it was common practice, particularly in small towns all over the country, for there to be tocsin of some sortóa factory whistle, the sonorous bong of the clock on the courthouse or city hall, or a sirenóthat alerted one and all that that it was 12 o'clock, the day was half finished, it was time for the noon meal. In Leonard, Texas the siren still sounds each and every day at noon. It connects the past to the present and serves as a comforting reminder that the world goes on.
  • In 1875, Issac C. Parker became the judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, which included the wild environs of the Indian Territory. He brought hard justice to this previous lawless part of the country and earned a place in the annals of the West.
  • If you live in North Texas, you may have noticed that many of the local gas stations have recently changed their colors, giving up the red of Exxon-Mobil for the blue of Valero. Behind this change is complicated economic transition led by the area's leading Exxon-Mobil and Valero distributor, Douglass Distributing and Lone Star Food Stores. The man behind this change is William Douglass, Bill to just about everyone who knows him. He is one of the great innovators in the convenience store business. But wait, we are getting ahead of the story. Letís start at the beginning...
  • Where did you and your friends hang out when during the summer? If you lived in Bonham, the likely location was the state park. Built by the CCC and opened in 1936, it was the summertime destination for at least five generations of teens and kids.
  • Life in was a challenge for many Texas homemakers at the turn of the century, but there was no shortage of authors ready and willing to offer home remedy solutions for almost any problem. Of course, if home remedies werenít your strong point, there were plenty of patent medicine purveyors out there to lend a hand, as the collection of ads used to illustrate this story makes clear.
  • Fort Washita saw the service of many soldiers in the small family that was the regular army who names would rebound in the Civil War such as Dixon Miles, Randolph Marcy, George McClellan, Braxton Bragg, and Theophilus Holmes.
  • If you hauled freight or passengers by rail from Texarkana to Sherman along the Texas side of the Red River Valley, you rode the high iron of the Texas & Pacific. The rails connected Bowie, Red River, Lamar, Fannin, and Grayson counties before dipping down through Denton to Fort Worth. By the time I signed on the boomer trail as an extra board brakeman in the summer of 1963, the passenger service along the Trans Contenential Division, as the northern leg of the T&P was called, had long since disappeared, but the freight traffic was still substantial, enough to support half a dozen or more trains daily all dispatched out of Bonham.
  • The evolutionary clash of competing cultures was not new to the Great Plains in the 1870s. It was but another cycle in the struggles for domination of the plains that had been going on for more than two hundred years, but it was the last chapter in that long and violent story.
  • For most of the Civil War, the Red River was a backwater to bigger events happening east of the Mississippi, but in the spring of 1864 that changed when Federal gunboats appeared on the river.
  • Following the early Spanish and French forays to the Red River, it would be more than six decades before the arrival of a new group of explorers and pioneers, the Americans.
  • Here is the text of Robert Lee's letter to The Bonham News. It has been edited and punctuated somewhat for clarity.
  • In the fall of 1874, three soldiers and two civilian scouts made a legendary defense against 125 mounted warriors in what became known as the Fight at Buffalo Wallow.
  • One of Sherman's most distinctive landmarks for 80 plus years has been the collection of red brick buildings high on a hill off FM 1417óThe Woodman Circle Home. Recently, a music video got permission to shoot at the site using the abandoned buildings as backdrop. There have also been several pieces on local and area television about the home. Here is the story of an extraordinary page in Sherman's history, that may gone, but is not forgotten.
  • In the story of the struggle for dominance on the Southern Plains and its place in the history of the Southwest, there remains one principal chapter. It is the saga of the Red River War of 1874-75, and the final wresting of the area by the U.S. Army from the Comanche, Southern Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Arapaho who had dominated the region two centuries.
  • In 1875, the Indian Territory, in what is now Oklahoma, was a no man's land ruled by murders, outlaws, thieves, and all manner of miscreants who thought they had found safe haven from the law and civilization. This changed when a new judge sent two hundred U.S. deputy marshals into the territory. One of the most acclaimed of these lawmen was a former slave from Grayson County named Bass Reeves.
  • It seems appropriate for a project called the Red River Scrapbook, that we explore, at least briefly, some of the history of the river and the events that have taken place on its waters and along its banks. So that we intend to do.
  • Lake Fannin Saved is a book in 150 pages compiled by Gregory Hall now available from Amazon in "full color" for $29. A "black & white" version is available for $8.
  • Today is Texas Independence Day. Perhaps because of the drama of the events that so quickly followed the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence, other memories strike more vivid chords and have overshadowed the anniversary of March 2.

    The day has never garnered the interest and attention of Texas equal to March 6 and April 21, 1836, the fall of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. That is unfortunate, for the declaration adopted 173 years ago gave rise to all that followed. It more than deserves its due.
  • One could argue that the small town newspaper was the soul of the community. Certainly it provided the framework for a town's history and memories. It was communication on a far more personal level than a big city paper, no matter how many people read it each day, could provide. So it was with The Bonham Daily Favorite during the time it was my hometown paper.
  • With the rise of instant, and often irrelevant, information available at the click of a mouse or the swipe of a cell phone, we forget how important newspapers were to small towns up until a few years ago. They still are, but no paper from the New York Times to the smallest weekly has really figured out how to deal with the changes that have come along. But there was a time...
  • Few establishments are more evocative of small town American than the barber shop on the corner. Every town had them, and each was much like the others. The names might change, the minor details might vary, but for the most part, if you plug the name of the shop in your town into the story that follows, the recognition will be instant.
  • In the fall of 1874, three soldiers and two civilian scouts made a legendary defense against 125 mounted warriors in what became known as the Fight at Buffalo Wallow.
  • The evolutionary clash of competing cultures was not new to the Great Plains in the 1870s. It was but another cycle in the struggles for domination of the plains that had been going on for more than two hundred years, but it was the last chapter in that long and violent story.
  • For most of the Civil War, the Red River was a backwater to bigger events happening east of the Mississippi, but in the spring of 1864 that changed when Federal gunboats appeared on the river.
  • His name was just too much for the Texans under his command, so they called him "Prince Polecat," a nickname that delighted the general. In a Confederate army officered by men of all manner of backgrounds, Camille Armand Jules Marie, Prince de Polignac was still one of a kind.
  • His name was just too much for the Texans under his command, so they called him "Prince Polecat," a nickname that delighted the general. In a Confederate army officered by men of all manner of backgrounds, Camille Armand Jules Marie, Prince de Polignac was still one of a kind.
  • North Texas can lay claim to many famous men and women, but one of the most famous was also the most infamous. In a three-part series, the Red River Scrapbook looks at the life and mean times of Texas' World Champion Desperado, John Wesley Hardin.
  • John Wesley Hardin's violent career finds new opportunities for mayhem as he takes part in the Taylor-Sutton Feud in DeWitt County and then is tracked down and captured by the Texas Rangers. It's "Texas, by God!"
  • After sixteen years in prison, John Wesley Hardin gets a second chance, but is soon back to the dangerous ways that will end his life in an El Paso saloon while shooting dice with "...Four Sixes to Beat."
  • For most of the country, the Civil War ended with the surrender of Confederate forces across the South in the spring of 1865, but in Northeast Texas, these events only presaged the beginning of an informal struggle between rival factions that paid out in blood and death for another half dozen years. Starting today, the Red River Scrapbook takes two-part look at the infamous Lee-Peacock Feud. photo by David Womack
  • The wounding of Bob Lee and the assassination of Dr. W.H. Pierce in late winter of 1867 ending nothing as Lee and Lewis Peacock and their supporters played revenge for revenge and the Lee-Peacock Feud continued. photo by David Womack
  • Here is the text of Robert Lee's letter to The Bonham News. It has been edited and punctuated somewhat for clarity.
  • North Texas can lay claim to many famous men and women, but one of the most famous was also the most infamous. In a three-part series, the Red River Scrapbook looks at the life and mean times of Texas' World Champion Desperado, John Wesley Hardin.
  • John Wesley Hardin's violent career finds new opportunities for mayhem as he takes part in the Taylor-Sutton Feud in DeWitt County and then is tracked down and captured by the Texas Rangers. It's "Texas, by God!"
  • After sixteen years in prison, John Wesley Hardin gets a second chance, but is soon back to the dangerous ways that will end his life in an El Paso saloon while shooting dice with "...Four Sixes to Beat."
  • The long and often bitter debate that charged the atmosphere in the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia in the early summer of 1776 as the members of the Continental Congress thrashed out the question of independency from Great Britain, was matched outside the hall, as the vote grew near, by nature's display of crashing lightning and rolling thunder that served to reinforce the import of the moment.
  • For most of the country, the Civil War ended with the surrender of Confederate forces across the South in the spring of 1865, but in Northeast Texas, these events only presaged the beginning of an informal struggle between rival factions that paid out in blood and death for another half dozen years. Starting today, the Red River Scrapbook takes two-part look at the infamous Lee-Peacock Feud. photo by David Womack
  • The wounding of Bob Lee and the assassination of Dr. W.H. Pierce in late winter of 1867 ending nothing as Lee and Lewis Peacock and their supporters played revenge for revenge and the Lee-Peacock Feud continued.
  • We invite you to join North Texas e-News in a new project - a scrapbook of the Red River Valley and of the people, places, and events that have made a mark on this part of Texas and Oklahoma for two hundred years and more. At e-News we often have thought that an import function of a small town newspaper is to act as a repository of the everyday things that tie one day to the next, one year to the next, one generation to those who have come before and will come after.
  • It was one thing for the Congress to declare independence from Great Britain; it was another thing to achieve it. As the word of the decisions reached in Philadelphia spread throughout the colonies, those in favor of the move, if they were not under the baleful eye of King George's soldiers, generally celebrated with gusto, but it would take six years of war and before the idea became a reality for many.
  • For more than one hundred years, the heart and soul of Trenton, Texas, current population about 700, have been embodied by the town's two oldest businesses, The First National Bank of Trenton and The Trenton Tribune, and the three generations of the two families behind those enterprises, the Donagheys and the Holmeses. (L-R) Tom Mc Holmes and Lewis Donaghey
  • In times past, no American politician worth his salt would let Independence Day past with out rising to extol the virtues of the founding fathers, the grand old flags, and the sacrifice of the men and women who made the American Dream an American Reality for millions. These days, the speeches are more likely to be bitter, angry, and mean spirited, so here are some words from earlier times when pride and love of country were not such a negative things as it sometimes is now.
  • The long and often bitter debate that charged the atmosphere in the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia in the early summer of 1776 as the members of the Continental Congress thrashed out the question of independency from Great Britain, was matched outside the hall, as the vote grew near, by nature's display of crashing lightning and rolling thunder that served to reinforce the import of the moment.
  • During the war for independence, the new American government and the armed forces of the army and navy utilized numerous flags of different designs. Although several of these flags incorporated designs of stripes and stars, none put all the elements together in the form we recognize today, until the Continental Congress passed the first laws concerning the national banner on June 14, 1777.