The always interesting Texas stories of adventurous people and exciting events capture our imaginations even now, hundreds of years after some events happened. (Remember the Alamo? It'll be 200 years ago by the time today's infants are in their twenties.)
Let's take a look at some things that happened this week in Texas history:
1. On September 8, 1874, Lt. Frank Baldwin and three scouts captured the "white Indian" known as Tehan in what is now Hemphill County. Tehan was taken by the Kiowas when he was a child. They called him Tehan ("Texan"). He was subsequently adopted by the medicine man Maman-ti and grew up to become a fierce warrior. Except for his red hair, fair skin, and bull-like neck, he was pure Kiowa, and he reportedly committed several depredations on whites as an apprentice brave during the early 1870s. He was captured during the Red River War in the mid-1870s.
2. On September 8, 1900, a catastrophic hurricane hit Galveston, and a third of the city was destroyed. Some records indicate that up to 8,000 people died in the storm. Galveston Island was completely flooded, and property loss at that time was estimated at $30 million. It is considered to this day to be the worst recorded natural disaster to strike North America.
3. On September 10, 1869, former slave Hope Thompson purchased a piece of property on Elm Street in what is now downtown Dallas. Thompson was a laundrywoman, and borrowed the money to buy the property ($50) from a banker, whom she repaid by doing his laundry until it was paid off. In September of 1885 her real estate was appraised at about $35,000, a large amount of money in that time, and even more astonishingly so because she was an African-American woman.
Other interesting dates this week:
On September 11, 1890, Fort Sam Houston was officially named. It was originally called Post of San Antonio.
On September 12, 1909, Country singer Kenneth Threadgill was born in Peniel, Texas. He moved to Austin in 1933 and began working at a service station. By December he'd bought the place and turned it into Threadgill's Tavern, now Threadgill's Restaurant. Janis Joplin played this venue often, and is said to have been discovered there.
On September 12, 1866, the first producing oil well in Texas came in a a depth of 106 feet at Oil Springs in Nacogdoches County.
Visit TSHAonline.org for much more Texas history!