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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Moments in Texas History ~ 3.12.2012

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Future Texas publisher born in Tennessee
March 13, 1857
On this day in 1857, Jefferson McLemore was born in Tennessee. He moved to Texas in 1878 and worked as a cowboy, printer, and newspaper reporter. He published a newspaper in Kyle in the 1880s, and from 1892 to 1896 was a member of the Texas House of Representatives. He published the Texas Monthly Review and State Topics and Indianola and Other Poems. McLemore represented Texas as a delegate at large in the Sixty-fourth and Sixty-fifth U.S. congresses. He died in Laredo on March 4, 1929.

Evangelist breaks with Southern Baptist Convention
March 13, 1956
On this day in 1956, evangelist and humanitarian Lester Roloff broke with the Southern Baptist Convention by delivering a sermon at Baylor University against denominationalism. Roloff, a Texas native, determined to preach at age eighteen. To pay for his room and board at Baylor University, he took his Jersey cow, Marie, with him and sold milk. After pastoring several different churches, he accepted the pastorate of Park Avenue (later Second) Baptist Church in Corpus Christi in the mid-1940s, which was henceforth his home base. There he organized the Baptist Ministerial Alliance, of which he was first president, and in 1944 launched his "Family Altar" radio program. Almost from the time he began preaching, Roloff was in demand as a revival speaker, and in 1951 he resigned his pastorate and became a full-time evangelist. Whether from the pulpit or over the airwaves, Roloff preached a scripturally based, no-nonsense Gospel message that reflected his conservative background and fundamentalist approach. His tenacious refusal to compromise his personal convictions resulted in a gradual break with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Southern Baptist Convention, finalized by his 1956 sermon. Under his leadership his ministry founded a number of humanitarian programs. Controversial to the end, Roloff engaged in a series of court battles with the Texas Department of Human Services in the 1970s over the licensing of his youth-rescue projects. He died in 1982.

Fort Inge established on Texas frontier
March 13, 1849
On this day in 1849, frontier artist and military officer Capt. Seth Eastman and his companies established Camp Leona on the Leona River in southern Uvalde County. The outpost, which was soon renamed Fort Inge, was part of a federal line of forts in Texas. Army troops and Texas militia used the camp as a base while they provided protection for settlements and escorted supply trains and mail carriers. For most of its history Fort Inge operated as a one-company, fifty-man post. Notable officers through the years included captains John G. Walker and Edmund Kirby Smith, as well as William A. A. (Bigfoot) Wallace and his Texas Rangers. The presence of Fort Inge brought a greater sense of security to the Hill Country frontier, and by the late 1850s farmers had established the nearby community of Uvalde. Fort Inge was closed for federal service in 1869. Today Fort Inge County Park includes the site of the old outpost.

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