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Sam Houston elected first president of the Republic of Texas
September 05, 1836
On this day in 1836, Sam Houston, the victor of San Jacinto, was elected president of the newly founded Republic of Texas. Candidates for the office had included Henry Smith, governor of the provisional government, and Stephen F. Austin. Houston became an active candidate just eleven days before the election. He received 5,119 votes, Smith 743, and Austin 587. Mirabeau B. Lamar, the "keenest blade" at San Jacinto, was elected vice president. Houston received strong support from the army and from those who believed that his election would ensure internal stability, hasten recognition by world powers, and bring about early annexation to the United States. He served two terms as president of the republic and was subsequently a United States senator and governor of the state of Texas.
Infamous outlaw sentenced to death
September 05, 1877
On this day in 1877, Texas outlaw Bill Longley was found guilty of murder by a Lee County jury and sentenced to death. Longley was born in Austin County in 1851. Tales of his criminal career are a mixture of actual facts and his boasts, but it is known that at the end of the Civil War he took up with other young men and terrorized newly freed slaves. He took part in a number of crimes, including several murders, and enlisted in and deserted from the U.S. cavalry twice. In Lee County in March 1875, Longley shotgunned a man named Wilson Anderson to death for allegedly killing Longley's nephew and fled north to the Indian Territory. Longley returned to Texas and killed at least two more men over the next year. By February 1876 he was in Delta County, sharecropping for the Rev. William R. Lay, when he was arrested in a dispute over a local girl. He burned himself out of the Delta County jail and killed the Reverend Lay while Lay was milking a cow. In June 1877 Longley was captured in Louisiana and returned to Texas to stand trial for Anderson's murder. On October 11, 1878, before a crowd of thousands, Longley was executed in Giddings by Lee County sheriff James Madison Brown. Rumors persisted that Longley's hanging had been a hoax and that he had gone to South America, and a claim was made in 1988 that he had later reappeared and died in Louisiana.
Future port developer weds future state legislator
September 05, 1905
On this day in 1905, developer Hugh Benton Moore wed Helen Edmunds in Kansas City. She was working as a nurse at the hospital where he was a patient. One month after their wedding, the couple moved to Texas City, Texas, of which Hugh Moore was the pioneer developer. He also served as general manager of the Texas City Terminal Railroad and Mainland Company. As a nurse, Helen Moore provided the only medical service in Texas City until the first doctor arrived in 1907. She also became an activist for woman suffrage, a crusade that eventually led to her 1923 election as president of the League of Women Voters of Texas. She was also elected twice to the state legislature, where she established a reputation for humanitarianism. Hugh Moore, meanwhile, devoted himself to establishing Texas City as a major industrial port. He retired in May 1944, after all investment bonds for the townsite were redeemed, and died of pneumonia in Santa Fe, New Mexico, thirty-nine years to the day after his marriage. After the death of her husband, Mrs. Moore gave a grant to the Salvation Army of Texas City for the construction of a building to care for the poor. She died in 1968.
posted by Jeff - 9.5.2011 The Texas State Historical Association