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"Time is what we want most, but what we use the worst."
~William Penn

Monday, June 20, 2011

Moments in Texas History ~ 6/20/2011


Fort Clark established at Las Moras Springs
June 20, 1852
On this day in 1852 Fort Clark was established at Las Moras Springs in Kinney County. Originally named Fort Riley, the post was renamed in honor of Major John B. Clark, a deceased officer who had served in the Mexican War. Fort Clark was the southern anchor of the line of frontier forts protecting the western frontier. The land was leased from Samuel Maverick. Oscar Brackett established a supply village for the fort at Las Moras, later called Brackettville. The fort and the town are still closely identified. In 1884 Mary Maverick was paid $80,000 for the 3,965-acre tract. From 1872 until 1914 the fort was the home of the Black Seminole scouts and the Fourth United States Cavalry.

Later Fort Clark was the garrison for the Tenth United State Cavalry and the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth United States Infantry regiments. These units were mounted regiments of black soldiers, known as "buffalo soldiers." From 1920 to 1941 Fort Clark was home to the Fifth Cavalry. In 1938 Col. George S. Patton was regimental commander. In June 1944, after full mechanization of the cavalry, Fort Clark, one of the last horse-cavalry posts in the country, was ordered closed. In 1971 the property was purchased by North American Towns of Texas and turned into a private recreation and retirement community.

Feudists intensify conflict by lynching
June 20, 1874
On this day in 1874, R. P. "Scrap" Taylor and two others were lynched at Clinton, Texas. The incident was part of the notorious Sutton-Taylor feud, which grew out of violent Reconstruction-era politics. The Suttons were allied with the Reconstruction authorities, particularly the State Police, while the Taylors opposed them. The family fight began in earnest when Bill Sutton killed William "Buck" Taylor on Christmas Eve 1868. It subsequently developed into the longest and bloodiest feud in Texas history. It ended with the killing of Jim Taylor and two companions by a Cuero posse on December 27, 1875. Other Reconstruction-era feuds included the Earl-Hasley feud in Bell County and the Lee-Peacock feud in the Grayson-Fannin County area.

Texas senator delivers speech against martial law
June 20, 1870
On this day in 1870, Texas senator Marmion Bowers delivered a speech opposing Governor Edmund Davis's newly legislated right to declare martial law. Bowers was born in Indiana in 1829 and moved to Texas in 1853. By November 1856, he was practicing law in Austin, where he was at one time in partnership with Alexander Stuart Walker. He served in the Confederate army during the Civil War until he was elected to the Tenth Texas Legislature (1863-64). In 1869 he was elected to the Texas Senate, where he served until his death. There he opposed Republican attempts to restore order to the state through the use of force. Governor Davis's declarations of martial law and his use of the militia and state police in Madison, Hill, Walker, Limestone, and Freestone counties were some of the most controversial Reconstruction-era measures. Bowers died in Austin in 1872.
posted by Jeff ~ 6.20.2011 The Texas State Historical Association

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