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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Moments in Texas History ~ 9.17.2011

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Emma loses out to Crosbyton as county seat
September 17, 1910
On this day in 1910, Crosbyton defeated Emma in an election to determine the Crosby County seat by a vote of 198 to 120. The once prosperous town of Emma traces its origins to the fall of 1890, when R. L. Stringfellow and H. E. Hume, owners of a general store in Estacado, purchased a section of land in the central part of the county. In 1890 a post office opened, and in 1891 Stringfellow and Hume laid out a town on this site and named it Emma, after the woman that one of them later married. Emma replaced Estacado as county seat in October 1891. Sometime after this the courthouse that had been built at Estacado in 1887 or 1888 was brought to Emma, where it was the most impressive building in town. Emma prospered, and by 1910 the town had several churches, a post office, a school, a bank, and an estimated population of 800. Unfortunately, in 1910 the railroad came through the county and bypassed the town by five miles. By October the majority of residents had moved from Emma to Crosbyton. Many of the business buildings and several residences were moved across the prairie to Crosbyton in a caravan consisting of four engines, thirty men, and twenty-two mules. The old courthouse was torn down and hauled to Cedric. In 1911 the post office was moved to Ralls, and Emma became a ghost town. A Texas historical marker on State Highway 207 twenty-five miles east of Lubbock is all that remains to mark the site of Emma.
Army officer paints watercolor of Kiowa Chief
September 17, 1845
On this day in 1845, army officer and explorer James William Abert visited the village of Kiowa Chief Dohäsan in the Texas Panhandle. Abert commanded a party of some thirty-three men assigned to explore the Canadian River region in the summer and fall of 1845. The young lieutenant made several sketches and watercolors of activities at Bent's Fort, of native animals, and of outstanding Indians, including Dohäsan. Dohäsan had become principal chief of the Kiowas in the spring of 1833. His likeness was painted at least twice, by George Catlin in 1834 and by Abert in 1845. In 1967 and 1970, the Abert journals were published under the title Through the Country of the Comanche Indians in the Fall of the Year 1845 , edited by John Galvin, a California historian. They featured illustrations of Abert's watercolors, many of which were obtained from his descendants.
Wood County dams completed
September 17, 1962
On this day in 1962, whether by accident or design, the dams of two small Wood County lakes were completed. Lake Hawkins and Lake Winnsboro, formed respectively by Wood County Dam No. 3 and Wood County Dam No. 4, were both made for recreational and flood-regulation purposes. Impoundment of water had begun in both lakes the same summer. Lake Hawkins has a surface area of 776 acres; Lake Winnsboro, of 806 acres. The new lakes joined the hundreds of other manmade reservoirs in Texas that provide water for municipal use and irrigation, as well as the the means for fishing, boating, swimming, water skiing, picnicking, and other recreation. Such little county lakes are naturally dwarfed by other impoundments, such as Lake Texoma (89,000 acres) and International Falcon Reservoir (115,400 acres when it rains on the Rio Grande watershed). Though these larger lakes provide some hydroelectric power to the state, Texans have generally been forced to look elsewhere for electricity, since rainfall in Texas is predictably unpredictable.
posted by Jeff - 9.17.2011  -  The Texas State Historical Association

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