Texas History List: First telegraph company chartered; historic - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Texas History List: First telegraph company chartered; historic suspension bridge opens

Source: Andrew Shehorn via wikicommons Source: Andrew Shehorn via wikicommons
(KLTV) -

During this week in Texas history, communication across the state stepped up with the charter of the first telegraph company, the building of one of the largest suspension bridges, the creation of a new format for country music, and writing of special legislation to stop fence cutting.

Click on each link to be redirected to the full story on the Texas State Historical Association website.

On January 4, 1923, a new format was created for a country music variety show, featuring a fiddler and a square-dance caller, by radio station WBAP in Fort Worth. The station, established by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, stood for "We Bring A Program." It became a ground breaker in Texas radio.

The first telegraph company in Texas was chartered on January 5, 1984. Opening in Marshall on February 14, the Texas and Red River Company connected Texas to Louisiana and Mississippi with lines stringing from treetop to treetop. By 1870, there were around 1,500 miles of telegraph wire in Texas.

Now a state historic marker, the Waco Suspension Bridge opened to traffic on January 7, 1870. The bridge crosses the Brazos River in downtown Waco. At the time, it was one of the longest suspension bridges in the world, at 475 feet. It cost between $135,000 and $141,000 to build the bridge. It closed to traffic in 1971 and it is now in the National Register of Historic Places.

Fence cutting became a major conflict in the 1880s between cattlemen, who wanted to have free range of the land, and people who used fences around their land. The damage from fence cutting in the fall of 1883 totaled around $20 million, which led to a special session of the legislature to be called by Governor John Ireland. On January 8, 1884, the state legislature made fence cutting a felony, punishable by one to five years in prison.

For more stories about the history of Texas, check out TSHAonline.com.

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