This Day In Texas History - September 23

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This Day In Texas History - September 23

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Post by joe817 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:13 am

830 - Reading Wood Black, merchant, county commissioner, Indian commissioner, and legislator, was born on September 23, 1830, in Springfield Township, Burlington County, New Jersey. At Springfield he attended the Upper Friends' School. In 1847 he became owner and manager of the 144-acre Clover Hill farm in nearby Northampton Township. Influenced by his cousin, Capt. William Reading Montgomery of the Eighth United States Infantry, who was then assigned to Fort Gates, Black moved to Texas in the spring of 1852. On April 14, in partnership with Nathan L. Stratton, who had accompanied him from New Jersey, Black purchased an undivided half league and labor of land near the head of the Leona River at the site of present-day Uvalde. One of his nearest neighbors was William Washington Arnett. Black entered into stock raising and acquired a thousand head of sheep. He erected a substantial stone building. With the aid of San Antonio lithographer William C. A. Thielepape, he then laid out a town that he called Encina (now Uvalde).

Black also opened a store, cleared a garden, and operated a limekiln and two rock quarries. On June 12, 1854, he purchased an additional 640 acres in order to accommodate more stock and expand his town. In 1858 he built a gristmill, and by 1860 he owned a wagon train that freighted between San Antonio and Piedras Negras. As Uvalde's population grew between 1856 and 1861, Black prospered, and on January 6, 1859, he married Permilia Jane McKinney. He was remarkably friendly to local Indians, especially the Tonkawas, and on several occasions helped to formulate treaties with the various groups living on or near the Rio Grande. He was not entirely a pacifist, however, but helped to organize and commanded a militia company for protection against marauding Comanches in 1856. In June of that year his company and one from the Sabinal area defeated a Comanche war party some thirty miles below Uvalde, thus effectively stopping Indian raids for two years. In September 1855 he established the first school in what is now Uvalde County, and in November he successfully lobbied the state legislature to organize Uvalde County and have his town named the county seat.
[ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbl04 ]

1856 - Marcus Allen (Mark) Withers, trail driver, the son of Hugh and Mary Jane (Goodrich) Withers, was born on September 23, 1846, in Paris, Monroe County, Missouri. When he was six, Mark came to Caldwell County, Texas, with his father and stepmother, Eliza (Bridgeford), and eight brothers and sisters. He was proud of the fact that he rode horseback all the way. Mark made his first trail drive to Johnson City, Texas, at age thirteen. His second trip, in 1862, was to Shreveport, Louisiana. Upon his return to Lockhart, he joined the Confederate Army and served to the end of the war in Company I, Thirty-sixth Texas Cavalry. In 1867 Mark went as a trail hand with a herd to Illinois. On April 1, 1868, he began trail driving for himself and his family. The drive ended in Abilene, Kansas, on July 1, 1868. Joseph G. McCoy was attempting to establish Abilene as a cattle market for the Northeast.

In the summer of 1868 Withers was one of four Texans and three California vaqueros chosen by McCoy to rope buffalo and load them on a train to be paraded across country to advertise cattle sales in Kansas. A picture of the loading of the buffalo has been published in many books and papers. Withers went along on the trip, and buffalo were roped again in St. Louis and Chicago, in the country's first "Wild West Show." Withers continued his annual trail drives until 1887, trailing into eleven western states. Some years he had a half-dozen or so herds on the trail at the same time, as many as 15,000 cattle. In the beginning, cattle were bought on credit and sold for cash. When they had to be bought for cash and sold on credit, he quit the trail. He formed various ranching partnerships and established a series of feeding pens around the state, but none were as successful as his trail drives. On January 22, 1869, Withers married Annie Wayland. They had five children. Annie died in 1880. On December 26, 1888, he married Mattie Rebecca Bagley, and they had three children. Withers died at his ranch home, west of Lockhart, on June 9, 1937, and is buried in the Lockhart City Cemetery.

1858 - Camp Radziminski was established on September 23, 1858, on the south bank of Otter Creek in Indian Territory by Maj. Earl Van Dorn as a provision depot on one of his Indian campaigns. It was subsequently moved upstream and maintained as an outpost of Fort Belknap in Young County, Texas. Unlike most other army posts on the frontier, Camp Radziminski was surrounded by a log stockade to protect government animals and supplies. The camp, near the site of Tipton, Tillman County, Oklahoma, was abandoned by the army in the fall of 1859 when its garrison was withdrawn to the newly established Fort Cobb. In 1860 it was reoccupied by Texas Rangers under Col. Middleton T. Johnson, who was campaigning against the Comanches. Willis Lang of Johnson's command wrote in his diary that the camp was "located at the south extremity of a range of Wichita mountains in midst of high piles of rocks. . . . Huge mountains rise on either side." Camp Radziminski was named in honor of Charles Radziminski, a native of Poland, who was living in Louisiana when he was appointed second lieutenant in the Third Dragoons in April 1847. Radziminski served as regimental quartermaster and then regimental adjutant during the Mexican War. He left the service at the end of the war but was reinstated as a first lieutenant in the Second United States Cavalry on June 30, 1855. He died of tuberculosis on August 18, 1858. By 1860 very little evidence of the camp remained.

1862 - The Eleventh Texas Infantry Battalion was technically a legion that contained both infantry and cavalry companies when first organized in Fannin County in April 1862. The unit was composed of elements of the Sixth Texas Infantry, known as Liken's Infantry and the Sabine Pass Guards, and included nearly 400 men. The original officers included Josephus S. Irvine as major, James B. Likens as major, and Ashley W. Spaight as lieutenant colonel. The men who enlisted came primarily from Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, Orange, Rusk, Smith, and Tyler counties. The unit was known by several unofficial names including Spaight's Infantry, Irvine's Infantry, O'Bryan's Infantry, Keith's Infantry, and Marsh's Infantry. It consisted of six companies for the majority of the war and added a seventh in late 1864. Companies A and F comprised dismounted cavalry and sharpshooters. In November 1864 the Eleventh Texas Infantry was consolidated with Griffin's Texas Infantry Battalion, renamed the Twenty-First Texas Infantry, and sent to Galveston. The Twenty-First Infantry Regiment included field officers William H Griffin as lieutenant colonel and Felix C. McReynolds as major. In late 1864 the Twenty-First Infantry was stationed at Sabine Pass with fourteen officers and 235 men. They were briefly ordered to southwestern Louisiana but returned to Texas shortly thereafter. The unit was attached to Hébert's Division and surrendered with Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith on May 26, 1865.

The Eleventh Texas Infantry primarily operated in the Trans-Mississippi and was attached to Paul Hébert's Brigade and served at Sabine Pass, Beaumont, Houston, and Galveston. In March 1864 the unit was sent to the southwestern corner of Louisiana to defend against the Union Army's Red River campaign. The Eleventh Texas Infantry was involved in several engagements including: Taylor's Bayou, Texas, on September 23, 1862; Sabine Pass, Texas, on September 24–25, 1862; Galveston, Texas, on January 1, 1863; Sabine Pass, Texas, on September 8, 1863; and Calcasieu Pass, Louisiana, on May 6–10, 1864.

1869 - Three small antebellum Presbyterian schools in Texas—Ewing College (founded in 1848), Chapel Hill College (1849), and Larissa College (1855)—were the antecedents of Trinity University. After they failed during the Civil War, Cumberland Presbyterians began in 1866 to make plans to establish a single institution of higher learning in Texas. Trinity University opened on September 23, 1869, in Tehuacana. As early as 1888 the question of transferring the university to a large and more advantageous location was discussed, but it was not until 1902 that Trinity was moved to Waxahachie, where it remained for four decades. On February 25, 1942, the Synod of Texas voted to accept an invitation of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce to move Trinity University to the city of the Alamo. In order to facilitate the move, the Southwest Texas Conference of the Methodist Church and the board of trustees of the University of San Antonio transferred the property of the University of San Antonio without restriction to the board of trustees of Trinity University. [ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kbt32 ]

1892 - John Pope, United States Army officer, was born in Lexington, Kentucky. His father, a collateral descendant of George Washington, was appointed a federal judge in Illinois, and from there Pope received his appointment to West Point on July 1, 1838. He graduated seventeenth in his class and was brevetted second lieutenant in the topographical engineers on July 1, 1842. After four years of survey duty he served with Gen. Zachary Taylor's army in Mexico, where he gained promotion to second lieutenant on May 9, 1846, and, for "gallant and meritorious conduct" during the battle of Monterrey, a brevet to first lieutenant on September 23, 1846. He was brevetted captain for his part in the American victory at Buena Vista on February 23, 1847. Pope was promoted to first lieutenant on March 3, 1853, and to captain on July 1, 1856. In 1853 he commanded the party that surveyed railroad routes through Texas under congressional mandate, and in 1855 he returned to the state to search for water in far West Texas. Pope's Well, near the Pecos River crossing of the Texas-New Mexico line, became a landmark on the Goodnight-Loving Trail. Pope retired from the army on March 16, 1886, and died at the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Home in Sandusky, Ohio, on September 23, 1892. He is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis. [ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpo16 ]

1899 - Tom Campbell Clark, attorney general of the United States and the first Texan to serve on the United States Supreme Court, was born in Dallas on September 23, 1899, to William H. and Jennie (Falls) Clark. He attended Virginia Military Institute in 1917–18 and received an A.B. degree from the University of Texas in 1921. After graduating in 1922 from the University of Texas School of Law, Clark practiced law in Dallas and was civil district attorney of Dallas County from 1927 until 1937. In 1924 he married Mary Ramsey, the daughter of Texas Supreme Court justice William F. Ramsey; they had three children. In 1942 Clark was appointed head of the War Frauds Unit of the Justice Department, where he prosecuted frauds uncovered by Senator Harry Truman. Clark became assistant attorney general in 1943 and headed the antitrust and criminal divisions until he became attorney general to President Truman in 1945.

Clark joined the court at the beginning of the civil rights movement and consistently voted in favor of integration. In Sweatt v. Painter (1950) Clark's support of the majority opinion, which ordered the integration of the University of Texas law school, was particularly important. He also wrote the opinion in Terry v. Adams (1953), which struck down the white primary in Texas. In 1967 his son William Ramsey Clark was appointed attorney general by President Lyndon B. Johnson. To avoid any conflicts of interest in cases his son might argue, Justice Clark retired from the bench. At the suggestion of Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Justice Tom Clark's seat was filled by Thurgood Marshall, the first black to serve on the Supreme Court. After retiring, Clark served on eleven of the United States circuit courts of appeals and in 1968 was appointed the first director of the Federal Judicial Center, where he studied the judicial system and worked for improvements in its administration. He also served as chairman both of the American Bar Association Section of Judicial Administration and of the National College of State Trial Judges. He died in New York City on June 13, 1977.
[ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fcl37 ]

1900 - William Marsh Rice, merchant, financier, and philanthropist, was born at Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 14, 1816, the son of David and Patty (Hall) Rice. He was named William Marsh for the circuit rider who organized his family's church in 1815. He left school at the age of fifteen to begin business life as a general store clerk, and at twenty-one purchased an enterprise of his own. After the panic of 1837 Rice moved to Houston, Texas, where he contracted to furnish and serve liquor in the bar of the Milam Hotel in return for the cost of the liquor, three dollars a day, and board. He was issued a headright certificate to 320 acres of Houston land and soon received a first-class license for a mercantile business from the city on June 28, 1840. He was associated with a number of partners, and with Ebenezer B. Nichols was a senior partner in the mercantile firm of Rice and Nichols, a large export and import business that supplied plantations and settlers inland with goods from New Orleans and New York and acted as banker for many of its customers; by 1856 the business was known as William Rice and Company.

In 1841 Rice offered a gold cup to the planter who brought in the first twenty bales of cotton and a silver cup for the first five. In 1851 he and other investors established the Houston and Galveston Navigation Company, and by 1858 he was the owner of a brig called the William M. Rice, which carried ice from Boston to Galveston during the summers. Rice also served as a director of the Houston Insurance Company, which insured carriers and freight. These enterprises, with others, enabled him to amass thousands of acres in Texas and Louisiana, along with a considerable fortune. Among his landholdings was a large farm on the outskirts of Houston, near Bellaire. In 1859, with other investors, Rice incorporated the Houston Cotton Compress Company. He was also an incorporator and director of several railroads, including the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado, the Houston Tap and Brazoria, the Washington County, and the Houston and Texas Central, as well as a stage line from Houston to Austin. Rice represented the Second Ward as an alderman from 1855 to 1857 and served on the petit jury and grand jury in Harris County.

By 1860 he may have been the second richest man in Texas, with real estate and personal property valued at $750,000. After the war he moved to Dunellen, New Jersey, where he was an agent for the Houston and Texas Central Railroad, which he had helped to promote. Rice retained his interest in Texas, however, for in 1885 he bought the Capitol Hotel, which became the Rice Hotel, and in 1891 he endowed and incorporated the William Marsh Rice Institute for the advancement of literature, science, and art. Rice had accumulated a fortune of about $3 million when he moved to New York City after the death of his second wife on July 24, 1896. There, on September 23, 1900, he was murdered by Charles F. Jones, his valet, and Albert T. Patrick, a lawyer who made a series of forgeries in order to acquire the Rice estate. Years of litigation ensued and, though Patrick was sentenced to death, he received a full pardon in 1912, when the bulk of the estate went to Rice Institute. Rice was an Odd Fellow, a Mason, and an Episcopalian. He was a director of the Houston Academy and a trustee of the Houston Educational Society, the Second Ward School, and the Texas Medical College. His ashes are buried under John Angel's statue of him on the Rice University campus in Houston.
[ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fri03 ]

1962 - Padre Island National Seashore, the longest seashore in the National Parks System, encompasses a portion of the largest barrier beach in the United States. It was dedicated on April 8, 1968, by Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson before a crowd of nearly 10,000. The national seashore includes a 67.5-mile-long portion of the barrier island, which is 130 miles long, and some of the island's backwaters the Laguna Madre. The seashore comprises 130,355 acres in Kleberg, Willacy, and Kenedy counties, bounded by Mustang Island on the north and the Port Mansfield Channel on the south. In 1958 newly elected Texas senator Ralph W. Yarborough introduced a bill to establish a national park on Padre Island. A year later the bill was reintroduced, and committee hearings were held in December 1959 and August 1960. Texas citizens favored the establishment of a park but were opposed by developers and land investors. Though a similar bill proposing a smaller forty-mile park was introduced, Senator Yarborough was able to guide his bill through Congress, and it passed in 1962. On September 23, 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed the measure into law. Five years of condemnation proceedings were required before Padre Island National Seashore was dedicated. [ https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/gkp01 ]
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