History

Wed
25
Jun

Now & Then

June 29, 1939
Ira’s – Racketeers of the Range starring George O’Brien and Marjorie Reynolds; The Kid from Kokomo starring Wayne Morris, Pat O’Brien and Jane Wyman; Tell No Tales starring Melvyn Douglas, Louise Platt and Gene Lockhart.
Sunrise Breakfast – The night shift of the AAA office enjoyed a sunrise breakfast

 

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Wed
18
Jun

A bloody battle at Walker Creek

A vicious and bloody fight, the Battle of Walker Creek certainly does not rank as one of Texas’s largest or better-known engagements, but the affair has significance beyond its numbers.   
On June 8, 1844, returning from a fruitless scout for Indians, a company of Texas Rangers under John Coffee “Jack” Hays camped at a point he later described as “four miles east of the Pinto trace . . . nearly equally distant from Bexar, Gonzalez and Austin.”
Wise in the ways of the Comanche, Hays had detailed one

 

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Wed
11
Jun

Matamoras fort lesser-known Alamo

Texas could have had two Alamos, the famous 13-day siege at San Antonio de Bexar in 1836, and the lesser-known siege a decade later of a star-shaped earthen fort built in the Rio Grande Valley across from Matamoras.  
In both events, a numerically superior Mexican army equipped with heavy artillery laid siege to a smaller, primarily American force determined to hold a fortified position.
A further similarity is that the ranking officer on

 

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Wed
28
May

Tehuacana goes from college town to ghost town

The Westminster University campus in Tehuacana today.
Contributed photos

Tehuacana is situated at the intersection of State Highway 171 and Farm Road 638, six miles northwest of Mexia, in northeastern Limestone County.
Part of the community is also located in Freestone County.
Named for the Tawakoni Indians - who lived in the area until the late-1840s - the Tewockony Springs Post Office opened in 1847.
The post office was discontinued during the Civil War, but service resumed in 1869.
Tehuacana has a rich history

 

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Wed
21
May

I-45’s arrival meant big change for Fairfield avenue

In the days of US 75 this one-time commercial center had restaurants and some remember a Buick dealership nearby or part of this center that has fallen to hard times today.
Photos by Mike Reddell

Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part story about US 75 through Fairfield. The second part talks about the changes after I-45 carried the Houston-Dallas traffic west of town and away from the US 75 corridor through Fairfield.

It’s almost been 42 years since US 75 traffic through Fairfield was moved to I-45.
The cars and trucks on US 75 were so thick “you couldn’t get between cars , they were so close,” remembers Albert Bonner.
Bonner worked at two service stations at the intersection of US 84 and 75.
There was a station at each of the crossroad’s four corners - the traffic light

 

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Wed
14
May

US 75: ‘Where the Two Great Highways of Texas Meet’

Like this old sign along US 75 north of Fairfield, there remains reminders and memories when the highway and its Houston-Dallas traffic flowed into the city.

Fairfield might have missed out on the railroad sweepstakes in the early part of the 20th century, but the town didn’t miss out being crossed by two major highways.
The east-west US 84 and US 75 crossroads at Fairfield even prompted a colorful boast – “Where the two great highways of Texas meet” – remembers Gordon Small.
US 75 was important to Texas and Fairfield.
The highway began in 1926 – part of

 

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Wed
07
May

History Club a charitable presence in Fairfield

The History Club helped purchase this fire truck - Fairfield’s first - in 1936, said Kathryn Davis. Davis has been a member of the club for 41 years. She said helping to purchase the fire truck was one of the first club projects for the community.

Photo by Fairfield Historical Museum

From humble beginnings in the women’s restroom of the Freestone County courthouse, over the past 89 years the Fairfield History Club has established itself as a center for culture and community generosity.
Since 1925, the club has been at the forefront of projects benefitting Fairfield and Freestone County, from establishing the community library, to selling bonds

 

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Wed
30
Apr

Battle anniversary recalls cannon’s service to South

Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper: Battle of Pleasant Hill, the day after Battle of Mansfield.

The old Val Verde Cannon was captured at the battle of Mansfield, La. on April 8, 1864.
It later participated as part of the Val Verde Battery against Federal forces in Louisiana, including the Battle of Mansfield.
Normally standing in front of the Freestone County Courthouse in Fairfield,  the field piece was taken to the 150 anniversary reenactment of the battle April 26-27 at Mansfield, La.
The cannon, a model 1861 three-inch ordnance rifle, was made of wrought iron, weighs 816 lbs.,

 

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Wed
23
Apr

Boyd directed oil industry’s WW II efforts

Ralph K. Davies (left), Deputy Petroleum Administrator for war, and William R. Boyd, Jr. (right), Chairman of the Petroleum Industry War Council, carrying telegrams, circa 1942, from the Executive office of the White House regarding the progress of the Rubber Stockpile Drive which they and Secretary Harold Ickes have just exhibited to the President.

Photo from Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum

 William Rufus Boyd, Jr., banker and chairman of the War Council of the Petroleum Industry during World War II, the son of Judge William R. and Lizzie (Self) Boyd, was born in Fairfield, Freestone County, Texas, on January 7, 1885.
He attended Fairfield public schools and after high school was employed as a printer at the Fairfield Recorder.

 

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Wed
16
Apr

Rock House lived on in later landmarks

This undated photo shows people at what appears to be the Johnson Cemetery with the Rock House in the background. The house is gone and the Johnson Cemetery remains were removed to the Fairfield Cemetery.

Photo from USGenWeb

Northeast of Fairfield is the Grange Hall community.  
Gen. Joseph B. Johnson, a wealthy large plantation owner, built a mansion of native sandstone rocks.  
It is reported it took 100 artisans a year to complete with stone quarried on his land in 1860.  
It was the scene of many social and political gatherings.  
After the General’s death, the two story mansion

 

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