Texas History


Lamar dies mourning Houston's victory over Burnet

by Bartee Haile


Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, second president of the Texas Republic, dropped dead of a heart attack at his Richmond home on Dec. 18, 1859.

When he stepped down as the Lone Star chief executive in December 1842, Lamar was a physical and emotional wreck. Not only had his grand plan of setting the new nation on an irreversibly independent course gone wrong, the voters had picked archenemy Sam Houston over soul mate David G. Burnet as his successor.

A much anticipated trip to Georgia to visit his daughter Rebecca, whom he had seen just twice in seven years, was almost permanently postponed by a duel. Blaming Lamar for his recent rejection as vice-president, Memucan Hunt demanded satisfaction but mutual friends managed to defuse the private powder keg.


Mayor Birdie Harwood, a Texas first remembered

Texas' first female mayor, Ophelia "Birdie Harwood, was elected the top official of Marble Falls 100 years ago, even before she and sister citizens could vote.





By Jane Knapik

Special to the Highlander


One hundred years ago, on April 2, 1917, Ophelia “Birdie” Crosby Harwood of Marble Falls became the first woman ever to be elected mayor in Texas, at a time before women had the right to vote.

At the April 4 Marble Falls City Council meeting, Mayor John Packer will read a proclamation detailing her lifetime achievements. The council meeting begins at 6 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 800 Third Street, Marble Falls.


Lynchings ignite Hoodoo War

by Bartee Haile


A masked mob dragged five suspected cattle thieves kicking and screaming from the Mason County jail on Feb. 18, 1875, lynched three of the terrified outlaws and touched off a nasty feud forever known as the Hoodoo War.

In the chaotic aftermath of the Civil War, Texans often took the law into their own hands. Desperate characters, who mistook common folk for easy pickings, were routinely dispatched without benefit of judge, jury or clergy.


This Week in Texas History

Bartee Haile, This Week in Texas History

Disgraced politician tries to settle the score


Mar. 14, 1882, was the date and the Dallas County Courthouse was the place a former mayor of three Texas towns chose to have it out with the man he blamed for his latest fall from political grace.


It was no coincidence that James Thurmond went out west in the late 1850s. Like other youths of draft age, the Kentucky native wanted to put as many miles as possible between him and the soon-to-come Civil War.

Subscribe to RSS - Texas History