1853 - Fort Worth, originally Camp Worth, was established at the end of the Mexican War, when Gen. Winfield Scott sent forty-two men of Company F of the Second Dragoons under command of Maj. Ripley A. Arnold to North Texas to establish a post to guard East Texas settlements from the Indians. Acting on the advice of scouts who had camped there during the winter of 1848, Arnold chose a position on the south side of the confluence of the Clear Fork and West Fork of the Trinity River. The camp was established on June 6, 1849, and named for Brig. Gen. William Jenkins Worth. Its designation was changed to Fort Worth on November 14, 1849.
The project was successful, for there were no Indian raids east of Parker County after the establishment of the camp. The only threat to the post came from a band of Taovaya warriors who were dispersed by a shot from a howitzer, the camp's only artillery. On June 17, 1851, Capt. J. V. Bamford of companies F and H of the Eighth Infantry assumed command, relieving Arnold. The post was abandoned on September 17, 1853, and troops who had been stationed there were sent to Fort Belknap. No permanent fort had been erected, and the abandoned barracks were used as store buildings by the early merchants of the new city of Fort Worth.
1862 - The Fourth Texas Infantry was one of the three Texas Civil War regiments in the Texas Brigade of Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. In 1861 Governor Edward Clark established a camp of instruction on the San Marcos River in Hays County. The first units that later formed the Fourth Texas Infantry enlisted there in April 1861. Originally the Texans planned to enlist for a period of one year, but after the outbreak of war at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, the Confederate government announced that it would accept only regiments enlisted for the duration of the war.
The Fourth was formally assigned to Brig. Gen. Louis T. Wigfall's Texas Brigade shortly after Hood assumed command and was subsequently stationed at Dumfries, Virginia, in November 1861. On September 14, 1862, the regiment was engaged in combat at the battle of South Mountain, where it had six men killed and two wounded in the delaying action before the battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam), fought on September 17, 1862.
At Antietam the Fourth Texas was involved in some of the stiffest fighting on the Confederate left flank and suffered its greatest number of losses for any single battle of the war, losing 210 men (57 killed, 130 wounded, and 23 captured). [ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qkf01 ]
1869 - Roy Wilkinson Aldrich, of the Texas Rangers, was born in Quincy, Illinois, on September 17, 1869. He spent his early childhood in Golden City, Missouri, and as a youth lived in Arizona, Idaho, and Oklahoma Territory. When the Spanish-American War began he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Second Missouri Volunteer Regiment; he saw service on the island of Mindanao during the Philippine Insurrection.
He served with the British army's remount service in South Africa during the Boer War. From 1903 to 1907 he was sheriff of Kiowa County, Oklahoma Territory, and from 1907 to 1915 he was in the real estate business in Corpus Christi and San Antonio. In 1915 he enlisted in Company A, Texas Rangers. He was promoted to captain and quartermaster in 1918 and retired from that post in 1947; his term of service at the time of his retirement was longer than that of any other ranger. [ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fal05 ]
1879 - Andrew (Rube) Foster, founder of the Negro baseball leagues and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, was born in Calvert, Texas, on September 17, 1879, the son of Andrew and Sarah Foster. His father was the presiding elder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Calvert, and his half-brother, Willie, was also a prominent Negro League player.
Foster began a barnstorming career at age seventeen pitching with the traveling Waco Yellow Jackets. By 1902 his abilities enabled him to move north, where he pitched for some of the foremost black teams of his era, including the Chicago Union Giants and the Philadelphia Giants. In 1902 he won the nickname Rube for defeating white Hall of Fame pitcher Rube Wadell in an exhibition game.
In 1903 he won four games of the first of what was called the Colored World Series. At his well-attended, highly emotional funeral, he was eulogized as the "father of Negro baseball." He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981, in acknowledgment of the role the Negro leagues played in American life before the integration of baseball and of his own role in baseball history.
[ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffo35 ]
1917 - The Gulf and Northern Railway Company was chartered on September 17, 1917, to build a railroad from the area of Burkeville to a point near Bleakwood in Newton County. The capital was $25,000. The members of the first board of directors were B. F. Bonner, George F. Howard, B. H. Brown, John W. Link, W. T. Hancock, and Fred Pasche, all of Houston, and G. E. Davidson of Silsbee. Bonner, a prominent Houston lumberman, provided much of the early impetus for the project, which was designed to afford transportation of locally cut timber to major shipping points.
Plans were apparently altered slightly when Robert W. Wier established a large new lumbermill at Wiergate, some four miles west of Burkeville. He was to clear-cut about 86,000 acres of virgin longleaf pine in northern Newton, Jasper, and Sabine counties. Wier built the fifteen-mile Gulf and Northern from Wiergate to Newton, where the line met the longer Orange and Northwestern Railroad.
Funding for the new road came from the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe. Headquarters were at Wiergate. Construction, which had begun in June 1917, was underway at the time the railroad was chartered, and the line was placed in service on March 1, 1918. Having depleted available forest acreage, Wier ended his Wiergate operations in 1943 and dismantled the big mill there. The Gulf and Northern discontinued operations on April 23, 1943.
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