This Day In Texas History - September 5

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This Day In Texas History - September 5

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Post by joe817 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:51 am

1657 - Gabriel Barbier dit LeMinime, early explorer, was born in Montreal, Canada, on September 5, 1657. Gabriel accompanied René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, on his trip down the Mississippi River in 1682. He was commissioned lieutenant for La Salle's 1684 voyage to the Gulf of Mexico. The party landed in Texas in February 1685 aboard the Joly.

Barbier accompanied La Salle on his first expedition west of La Salle's Texas Settlement but was lamed on the journey and was unable to take part in later extended trips. He is believed to be the first European married in Texas, being married in June 1686 by Henri Joutel to a young woman who also had come on the expedition. A child born to the couple in 1688 was the first white child known to have been born in Texas.

1836 - The Constitution of the Republic of Texas, approved by the electorate on September 5, 1836, conferred upon Congress the right to grant patents, but Congress made no provision for them for almost three years. Within a few weeks of the establishment of the republic, however, inventors in the United States were interested in obtaining Texas patents. In 1839 six patents to six inventors and in 1841 eight patents to four inventors were granted.

Although others were granted, the records list only fourteen patents: brickmaking machine, 1; lamp, 1; pile driver, 1; snag remover, 1; shingle machine, 1; chimney, 1 ; mill dam, 1; patent medicine, 1; mills, 2; plows, 2; and cotton gin machinery, 2. When Texas was admitted into the Union, no provision was made in the treaty for the incorporation of the Texas Patent Office into that of the United States, although the United States patent commissioner recommended that such action be taken.

1847 - Jesse Lincoln Driskill married Nancy Elizabeth Jane Day, originally from Columbus, Georgia, on September 5, 1847. The couple lived in Missouri four years and then moved to Bastrop, Texas. Driskill went into the merchandising business, moving first to San Antonio and later to San Marcos and Bryan. In 1857 he entered the cattle business, and for three years during the Civil War he furnished beef to the Confederate army and the Texas Rangers. Driskill was paid for his efforts in Confederate dollars and by the end of the war, with no cattle and no money, had gone broke.

He began to rebuild his herds. In the early days of the Chisholm Trail, Driskill could be found driving cattle to northern markets with his brother-in-law, William H. Day. Driskill was said to have been an adventurous drover and fearless ranchman, and through persistence he became successful once again in the early Southwestern cattle trade. Business fell off sharply after 1871, when permanent residents of Abilene, Kansas, the destination of many trail drives, became fed up with the cattle trade and the wranglers.

In that year Driskill moved his wife, four daughters, and two sons to Austin, the westernmost metropolis in the state at that time. In 1885 he purchased the site for his future hotel, an entire city block for $7,500. The Driskill Hotel opened on December 20, 1886. For many years it served as a social and political center in Texas society. The Driskill family lost their fortune in 1888, when a late spring freeze on the northern plains killed 3,000 cattle. Payments on the hotel could not be met, and Driskill was forced to sell to S. E. McIlhenny. Driskill died, some said a broken man, on May 3, 1890, of a stroke.

1850 - In antebellum Texas the increasing amount of freight arriving at Indianola and Port Lavaca destined for western markets demanded a better method of transportation than the poor wagon roads from the coast were able to deliver. Railroad entrepreneurs envisioned a number of lines to serve this market and hoped as well to tap the rich cotton-growing areas of the interior.

Acting upon authorization of the state legislature, Samuel Maverick, Volney E. Howard, John C. French, Enoch Jones, John O. Meusebach, George Wilkins Kendall, Gustav Schleicher, and John J. Linn, among others, were granted a charter on September 5, 1850, which founded the San Antonio and Mexican Gulf Railroad Company. The line was to connect San Antonio and Victoria to "any suitable point on the Gulf between Galveston and Corpus Christi." All towns along the proposed route could subscribe to buy company stock to finance the project.

1895 - The Waco and Northwestern Railroad Company was chartered as the Waco Tap Railroad Company. The railroad was organized by citizens of Waco to connect their city with the Houston and Texas Central Railway at a point in or below Falls County. By the time rails of the Houston and Texas Central reached Bremond, selected as the junction, in mid-1870, the Waco Tap had completed several miles of grade. However, progress was slow, and the grade did not reach Marlin until April 1871. The company was sold to the Houston and Texas Central on February 4, 1873.

However, the Houston and Texas Central Railway Company entered receivership on February 23, 1885, and while the Main Line and the Western Division were sold to the Houston and Texas Central Railroad Company on April 1, 1890, the Waco and Northwestern Division remained in receivership until it was sold on September 5, 1895. In 1965 the Southern Pacific, as successor to the Houston and Texas Central, abandoned the line between Bremond and Marlin and sold the twenty-four miles from Waco to Marlin to the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company.

1942 - Pyote Air Force Station (formerly Pyote Army Air Field) was established as a bombardment crew training base during World War II and nicknamed "Rattlesnake Bomber Base" by the servicemen. It was on 2,745 acres of University of Texas land a mile southwest of the town of Pyote, twenty miles west of Monahans and just south of U.S. Highway 80. Two giant runways, each over 1½ miles long and 150 feet wide, and a taxiway formed a triangle on the flat, arid land. Construction of the facilities, including five large hangars, shops, warehouses, and living quarters, began on September 5, 1942.

Troops and civilian technicians poured in, and the population of the base grew steadily to a peak of over 6,500 in October 1944. Within four months of its opening, the base had become the largest bomber installation in the country. After the arrival of the famed Nineteenth Bombardment Group on New Year's Day, 1943, and the ceremonial inauguration of its training program on January 5, Pyote rapidly turned out crews proficient in hitting targets from the B-17 Flying Fortress until the summer of 1944, when it was switched to the B-29 Superfortress. The Nineteenth was the first air force unit to bomb Japanese targets; it flew from Pyote directly to combat in the Pacific.

Control of Pyote was transferred from the Second Air Force to the San Antonio Air Technical Service Command on November 15, 1945, at the end of the war, and the base became an aircraft-storage depot. At its peak in 1948 the depot, which was maintained by the 4141st Army Air Forces Base Unit, housed 2,042 stored planes, mostly B-29s and B-17s, but including B-25s, A-26s, C-47s, P-63s, P-51s, AT-7s, L-5s, and L-4s.

Best known of all was the Enola Gay, from which the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima; this famous plane was flown to Washington, D.C., on December 2, 1953, for preservation at National Air and Space Museum. Following the deactivation of the site in 1966, base housing was taken over by the West Texas Children's Home, and the land and remaining buildings reverted to the University of Texas. By 1985 a single large hangar and slowly deteriorating runways and taxiways were all that marked the once-busy bomber base.

1943 - Everett Ewing Townsend, called the "father of the Big Bend National Park," was born in Colorado County. At the age of nineteen he joined the Texas Rangers and was appointed deputy United States marshal at twenty-two. In May 1894 he was appointed a United States customs mounted inspector. While in the ranger service in 1900, he assumed charge of a 200,000-acre unimproved and unstocked ranch in Pecos County. After sixteen years it was fully improved, with 14,000 cattle. In 1918 he was elected sheriff of Brewster County, the largest county in the nation.

He served three terms. He was one of the founders of the Sul Ross College Museum, and for several years he served as its curator. In 1932 he was elected representative to the Forty-third Texas Legislature and, with Representative Robert M. Wagstaff, coauthored the first bill to make the Big Bend area a state park. As a result, 150,000 acres of land were set aside for park purposes.

Townsend interested the National Park Service in the idea of a national park there, the establishment of the Big Bend Park Association, and the purchase of the land. On September 5, 1943, he witnessed a ceremony at Sul Ross State College at Alpine, where Governor Coke R. Stevenson of Texas signed the deed to the United States government, transferring 750,000 acres of the Big Bend country to the National Park Service.
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Re: This Day In Texas History - September 5

#2

Post by ELB » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:50 am

If you look up Pyote, TX in Google maps the satellite view shows a point for "Rattlesnake Bomber Base" and you can see the runways, taxiways, and parking ramp just to the south of I-20. Looks like there might be a lot of bushes or small trees growing through the paving tho.
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Re: This Day In Texas History - September 5

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Post by joe817 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:38 pm

ELB wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:50 am
If you look up Pyote, TX in Google maps the satellite view shows a point for "Rattlesnake Bomber Base" and you can see the runways, taxiways, and parking ramp just to the south of I-20. Looks like there might be a lot of bushes or small trees growing through the paving tho.
Thank you ELB. I was hoping you'd post the photos. :tiphat:
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Re: This Day In Texas History - September 5

#4

Post by ELB » Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:30 pm

It's a bit tedious to do the photos, been a busy day, so not today. :(
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