http://www.andrewbutlerphotos.com/blog Waltzin' Across Texas - Andrew Butler Photos: Blog
2017-12-25T16:37:00Z (C) Waltzin' Across Texas - Andrew Butler Photos Waltzin' Across Texas - Andrew Butler Photos http://www.andrewbutlerphotos.com/blog/2017/12/the-hutto-who The Hutto WHO?

Hutto Hippo 0001Hutto Hippo 0001Hutto
Williamson County, Texas

The Hutto WHO?

One of the most amusing -- let's just get right to the point and say quirky -- towns in Williamson County, perhaps in all of Texas, is Hutto, whose school mascot is the hippopotamus. In fact, currently they remain the only school district in the nation to call themselves the Hippos. No one knows for sure how the hippo became embedded in Hutto culture, but three stories make their cases. The first story explains that one day in the early 1900s a hippo temporarily escaped from a circus train and frolicked in a local creek until apprehended and returned to the train. The next story tells of a rival coach who took one look at the large players on the Hutto team and proclaimed his team would certainly lose because the Hutto players were the size of hippos. The third story has it that a rival football coach disparaged the Hutto team because they wore rustic, rudimentary uniforms. This coach felt that their baggy uniforms made them look like hippos.

Hippo culture is a seriously cool thing, make no mistake. Homes and businesses all over the city have adopted the Hippo as their mascot and statues of hippos stand in yards and parking lots throughout the town. Some newspaper articles refer to 100 hippo statues distributed around Hutto, but many more than that dot the landscape. The statues vary in size from life-sized to small, and strike a variety of poses from sitting to standing, to looking over the shoulder, to mouth open, closed or yawning.

Usually the hippo statues reflect a quality of the business owner or a personality trait of the statue owner. One very large hippo representing an automobile business in Hutto features eight headers extending from the hippo's sides, a spoiler on its rear end and a ratchet in its mouth. This hippo sports a fade paint job in black, yellow and orange. Another huge hippo sure to impress wears an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, orange-with-yellow-polka-dots bikini. Yet another large hippo wears blue overalls and a red and white checked shirt. The Hutto Area Chamber of Commerce sells ten different sizes and poses of concrete hippo statues ranging in size from twenty-six inches high/ 750 pounds for $250 to desk/shelf-sized for $25. The mayor of Hutto annually awards the Golden Hippo for good citizenship. And the beat goes on.

Hutto has much more on offer though than their hippos as their steady growth rate shows. According to the 2,000 census, 1,250 people resided in Hutto. The census of 2010 revealed that 14,698 people lived in Hutto, and records for 2016 indicate that 17,000 people now make Hutto their home. Three annual festivals will appeal to tourists who find themselves in the area. On April 15, 2017, Hutto will celebrate its 7th Annual Crawfish Festival. Its Annual Olde Tyme Days Festival takes place in October, with 2017 marking the 32nd year for this festival. The Annual Christmas Fair takes place each December. All of these festivals take place in downtown Hutto and feature many types of vendors and events.  

Waltzin' Across Texas - Andrew Butler Photos (C) Waltzin' Across Texas - Andrew Butler Photos 2017-12-25T16:36:57Z 2017-12-25T16:36:57Z
http://www.andrewbutlerphotos.com/blog/2017/12/if-dollar-general-and-super-walmart-had-a-baby If Dollar General and Super Walmart Had a Baby.

Gibson's 0001Gibson's 0001Kerrville
Kerr County, Texas
30 03.160' N 99 08.850' W
Directions: Start at the intersection of Francisco Lemos Street and Main Street. Go 1/2 block west on Main Street. The store is on the left (south) side of the street.
Gibson's 0002Gibson's 0002Kerrville
Kerr County, Texas
30 03.160' N 99 08.850' W
Directions: Start at the intersection of Francisco Lemos Street and Main Street. Go 1/2 block west on Main Street. The store is on the left (south) side of the street.

If Dollar General and Walmart Had a Baby

That baby would be Gibson’s Discount Center. Except that would be anachronistic since Gibson’s rose to fame before the other two. H. L. Gibson opened Gibson Novelty Company in 1932. His experience there led to the opening of the first Gibson’s Discount Center in Abilene, Texas, in 1958. Similarly, J. L. Turner and Son Five and Dime, a variety store, opened in 1935, eventually being renamed Dollar General  in 1955. Then Sam Walton opened his variety store, Walton’s Five and Dime, in 1950. The first Walmart followed in 1962.

Rather than their time sequence though, it is the type of store and the type of merchandise sold that links the three chains. All three owners began their retail lives with novelty/variety stores featuring inexpensive merchandise. 

To get an idea of a novelty shop think of today’s Spencer’s Gifts. There, you can shop for lava lamps, head gear, beer pong variations, Simpsons items and more. Or consider Monkey See Monkey Do in Austin, Texas, which sells Rick and Morty figures, magnets, bacon candy, blind box toys, banana flavored dental floss and more.

A variety store on the other hand, would offer some novelties, but the bulk of their trade would come from household products, personal products, cleaning supplies, cookware and many more items. Sears, Roebuck and Company stores and particularly their catalogues are the perfect example of a well-managed variety store, and possibly the great-grandpappy of Gibson’s, Walmart and Dollar General, all three.

Gibson’s genius lay in the ideas of selling a variety of discounted items and franchising the stores. H. L. Gibson would negotiate with manufacturers to get a lower price on name brand goods than could be found in most other variety stores. An important part of their business model was that if one store had access to a certain manufacturer, all the other stores did too.

Toastmaster is an excellent example of what Gibson’s meant by name brand. Toastmaster has nothing to do with wine or with making toasts. Instead its name derives from what the very first item made by this company quickly delivered to American breakfast tables -- toasted bread. Toastmaster sells many types of home appliances, but takes its name from the humble toaster. Customers could count on a lower price on a Toastmaster product at Gibson’s than at other stores.

Whether it was a new toaster you were after or a new fishing fly-tying kit, you knew you would find the best one at the best price at Gibson’s. For the consumer it was only a step or two from paradise. You would quickly find the item you came for and then have time to browse the numerous aisles and departments for other tempting goodies.

You also knew better than to schlep into Gibson’s in your house shoes and hair rollers. You would always run into several people you knew. Often whole families would go to Gibson’s together -- there was something there for all ages. When my father would go to Gibson’s I always tagged along. Sometimes I was lucky enough to have a friend or two over at the time, and we would all be thrilled to go to Gibson’s. There were likely to be cute boys there who’d tagged along with their families. We would undoubtedly run into other friends somewhere in the store. The first place to check out was always the music department. There were always kids there listening to the new records being played by the clerk, or looking through the records and in later years through the 8 track or cassette tapes.

I had the great good fortune while in Kerrville, Texas, a couple of weeks ago to stroll through one of the last remaining Gibson’s. We didn’t know there was a Gibson’s in Kerrville and came upon it unexpectedly while rambling. Andrew immediately decided that finding a Gibson’s was definitely worth a photograph and a blog. We parked the car and ventured inside.

It was rather like stepping through a time warp -- just like the Gibson’s of long ago, but with early twenty-first century merchandise interspersed with timeless merchandise. It was very like a Dollar General in the sense that there were many things crammed into the space, and the space was not well-decorated nor nattily turned out. Unlike a Dollar General, we were still looking at great merchandise at a good price. It was sort of like being in a Walmart but with the merchandise crammed into half the usual area of a Walmart.

The place was certainly jumping. Aisles and checkout lanes were populated. We had difficulty finding a parking place and had to circle through the parking lot once before we could park. We didn’t check to see, but I’ll bet Kerrville has a Walmart Supercenter since even little Kyle does, and I’ll bet it was probably crowded too. Yet Gibson’s continues to draw people in.

There is a very popular Facebook group called “You’re Probably from Beaumont, TX if you remember ...” devoted to all things nostalgic about Beaumont. There have been many interesting threads about the Gibson’s in Beaumont. Some recall that for their families Saturday was Gibson’s day. Others share fond memories of working there while in high school. Worth a browse or two someday if you find time on your hands.

The last two Gibson’s are located in Kerrville, Texas, and Weatherford, Texas. The Gibson’s in Kerrville is well worth a weekend road trip, and I’ll bet the one in Weatherford is too.

Waltzin' Across Texas - Andrew Butler Photos (C) Waltzin' Across Texas - Andrew Butler Photos 2017-12-19T00:33:01Z 2017-12-19T00:33:01Z
http://www.andrewbutlerphotos.com/blog/2017/12/a-tale-of-two-medal-of-honor-winners A Tale of Two Medal of Honor Winners

Paine, AdamPaine, AdamBrackettville

Kinney County, Texas
Seminole Indian Scout Cemetery
29 16.362' N 100 26.557' W

ADAM PAINE
MEDAL OF HONOR
PVT
INDIAN SCOUTS
INDIAN WARS
1843 1877

These soldiers were the famous Seminole Scouts recruited in the 1800s at Ft. Clark to patrol the West for Indians. They are either Seminoles removed from Florida or their descendants. Note that Paine was awarded the Medal of Honor.

A Tale of Two National Medal of Honor Recipients

The National Medal of Honor, the highest military honor awarded in the United States, was first awarded on March 25, 1863, during the Civil War.  In the words of the National Medal of Honor Museum, it “is awarded to a member of the armed forces who is prominently distinguished by gallantry and intrepidity, risking loss of life above and beyond the call of duty.” At least 14 Medals of Honor were awarded to Native Americans in the 1870s during the Indian Wars. Adam Paine, a member of the Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts, was awarded the Medal of Honor in September of 1874 for commendable actions during the Red River Wars.

These Scouts were the descendants of slaves and free blacks who fled to the swamps of Florida from the Deep South before the Civll War. Many of these Seminole Negros, including Adam Paine, journeyed with the Seminoles during the 1840s when the U. S. government prevailed upon them to move to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.

Finding life untenable in Oklahoma, some of the Black Seminoles, again including Adam Paine, moved to Mexico in the 1850s, where slavery was illegal. Here, though life  was still difficult, they found that the Mexican government paid them for their scouting and fighting abilities against the Comanches, the Kiowa, the Lipan Apaches, and other tribes who launched raids from Texas into Mexico. Best of all, the Mexican government allowed them to buy land so they could farm.

After the Civil War, hearing of the excellent results in tracking and fighting raiding Indians the Black Seminoles had produced in Mexico, the U. S. Army sent officers to Mexico to recruit them. The Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts quickly proved themselves a formidable foe to raiding Indians in Texas. In return the U.S.Army promised them pay, support for their families, pensions and the ability to buy land. Adam Paine enlisted in the Scouts in 1873.

Unfortunately, the government reneged on most of these promises. For example, they were not allowed to own land in Indian Territory because they were black. Family members could not find work.  Dependents had a difficult time finding food and sometimes “stole” stray cattle which roamed around. White settlers considered this a sort of poaching as they liked to scoop up the stray cattle for themselves. It was a very Jean Valjean situation. Sometimes the Black Seminoles stole food or took a stray cow in order to feed people. In the way crime has always flourished, sometimes some people stole other things.

Sources vary widely over where the events took place which resulted in Adam Paine’s Medal of Honor. According to the wording of the citation provided by the U. S. Army, Adam Paine won his Medal of Honor because he “rendered invaluable service to Col. R. S. Mackenzie, 4th U. S. Cavalry during this engagement” at the Canyon Blanco tributary of the Red River, Texas, September 26-27, 1874. The citation does not describe the specifics of his invaluable service, and details vary from source to source.  Most accounts generally agree that Col. Mackenzie sent out a group of 4 or 5 men, two of whom were Tonkawas, 2 of whom, including Paine, were Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts. If there was a 5th man, he might have been one of the U. S. Cavalry troopers, or more likely, another scout. At any rate, this group was overtaken by hostile Indians. Paine, being the first to reach his horse and mount up, stationed himself on his horse, so as to provide coverage for his group to mount and retreat. In some accounts, when his horse was killed, Paine placed its saddle over his head and shoulders to repel enemy fire. Other accounts say that Paine used the dead horse to repel enemy fire.  Whatever he actually did took the enemy aback, giving Paine time to kill one of the Indians and mount his horse. This allowed Paine to make his escape to his own party and together they fought the hostiles for the remainder of the first day and into a second.

Adam Paine did not re-up in February of 1875. Instead he worked as a teamster between the various Texas forts. On Christmas Eve of 1875 he stabbed a soldier in the heart following an angry argument. A man on the run from that point on, Paine bounced back and forth between Black Seminoles living in Mexico and Black Seminoles living near Texas forts, spending most of his time with outlaws and thugs such as Henry Enoch, a well-known cattle thief. An informant told town authorities at Brackettville, near Fort Clark, that Paine and Enoch would be at the Black Seminole camp adjacent to town on New Year’s Eve. The sheriff and his deputy confronted Paine, who was shot in the back and killed.

The man who shot Adam Paine, Claron Augustus Windus, who went by “Gus,” was also a Medal of Honor recipient. Born in Wisconsin circa 1850, his birth year is given as 1848, 1850 and 1851 by different sources. The Texas State Historical Association gives his birth year as 1850?. All sources agree, however, that Gus Windus wanted to fight in the Civil War. Using TSHA's birth year as the basis for his age, in 1864 although he was only 14, Gus managed to become a drummer for the Wisconsin Infantry by lying about his age. Drummers were usually around 18 years old, but some were as young as 12 or 13.

The Civil War ended in 1865 and Windus played the age game again, and in October of 1866 at age 16, he went to Texas as a bugler in the U. S. Cavalry. The frontier life in reality was not as romantic as it had appeared in stories. Windus stole some horses and deserted at some point in 1866 or 1867. He was eventually caught and court-martialled in 1868.  Twelve months at hard labor was his sentence, after which he remained in Texas.

In fact, he rejoined the Sixth Cavalry, L Company, which he had previously deserted. L Company was stationed at Fort Richardson, about 60 miles northwest of Fort Worth, Texas. In 1870, while stationed at Fort Richardson, Windus performed duties which led to his selection as a Medal of Honor recipient.

On July 6, 1870, Indians attacked a train and stole the mail, and fifty-eight men from Fort Richardson were ordered to retrieve the mail. Heavy rains on July 10th and 11th stopped their pursuit of the Indians at the Little Wichita River. The fifty-eight were soon attacked by Kiowa Indians. Windus’ duties during the Battle of the Little Wichita  included helping the surgeon with the wounded and firing on the attacking Indians, particularly snipers. On July 13th Windus and two others returned to Fort Richardson, enduring many hardships along the way, to bring help. Twelve of the fifty-eight men from Fort Richardson, including Gus Windus, received Medals of Honor for their deeds at the Battle of the Little Wichita.

 

 

Waltzin' Across Texas - Andrew Butler Photos (C) Waltzin' Across Texas - Andrew Butler Photos 2017-12-11T10:49:33Z 2017-12-11T10:49:33Z
http://www.andrewbutlerphotos.com/blog/2017/12/youve-heard-of-the-sultan-of-swat-meet-the-rajah-of-rude You've Heard of the Sultan of Swat. Meet the Rajah of Rude

Hornsby, RogersHornsby, RogersAustin
Travis County, Texas
Hornsby Cemetery
30 15.391' N 97 37.320' W

APRIL 27, 1896
JANUARY 5, 1963


Text: Rogers Hornsby, Sr. nicknamed "The Rajah", was an American baseball infielder, manager, and coach who played 23 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1915–1926, 1933), New York Giants (1927), Boston Braves (1928), Chicago Cubs (1929–1932), and St. Louis Browns (1933–1937). Hornsby had 2,930 hits, 301 home runs, and a .358 batting average during his career; he was named the National League (NL)'s Most Valuable Player (MVP) twice, and was a member of one World Series championship team. Born and raised in Texas, Hornsby played for several semi-professional and minor league teams. In 1915, he began his major league career with the St. Louis Cardinals and remained with the team for 12 seasons; in this time, Hornsby won his first MVP Award and the Cardinals won the 1926 World Series. After that season, he spent one season at the New York Giants and another with the Boston Braves before being traded to the Chicago Cubs. He played with the Cubs for four years and won his second MVP Award before the team released him in 1932. Hornsby re-signed with the Cardinals in 1933, but was released partway through the season and was picked up by the St. Louis Browns. He remained there until his final season in 1937. From 1925 to 1937, Hornsby intermittently managed the teams for which he played. After retiring as a player, he managed the Browns in 1952 and the Cincinnati Reds from 1952 to 1953. Sportswriters consider Hornsby to be one of the best hitters of all time. His career batting average of .358 is second only to Ty Cobb in MLB history. He also won two Triple Crowns and batted .400 or more three times during his career. He is the only player to hit 40 home runs and bat .400 in the same year (1922). His batting average for the 1924 season was .424, a mark that no player has matched since. He was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1942. Hornsby married three times during his life, in 1918, 1924, and 1957, and had two children, one from each of his first two marriages. Known as someone difficult to get along with, he was not well-liked by fellow players. He never smoked, drank, or went to the movies, but frequently gambled on horse races during his career. Source Wikipedia
Rogers Hornsby is something of Texas royalty.  His great-grandfather was Reuben Hornsby, a Ranger, the man who built the first home in Travis County, and walked in the footsteps of Stephen F. Austin as he helped Austin survey the land in his colonies. Rogers Hornsby did his best to enhance the family name, earning the nickname The Rajah. When he died at 66 in 1963, he was buried in Hornsby Cemetery, a privately owned cemetery requiring permission to enter,

    Rogers Hornsby loved baseball above everything else in this world. In 1912 at 16, he agreed to wear a wig and dress as a girl so he could tour with the Boston Bloomers, an all (supposedly!) women's baseball team from Boston tcurrently playing college teams, municipal teams and even professional baseball teams across Texas. At 18 he played in the minor leagues, steadily working his way into the major leagues throughout the 1920s and 30s, establishing his baseball legacy. In his 40s he taught at children's baseball camps and in his 50s he managed  minor league teams.

    As a player he earned a lifetime batting average of .358, second to Ty Cobb's .367, but ahead of Babe Ruth's .342. He also bested Babe Ruth with 2,930 career hits to Ruth's 2873. Hornsby played for such celebrated teams as the New York Giants, the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. He played with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1926 when they won the World Series. Since his  first name was Rogers, he often answered to Rog. His solid reputation as a hitter led to the association of Rajah with his name. Despite these notable bragging rights, he is described by many of his contemporaries as a curmudgeon and a jerk and some called him the Ragin' Rajah because he had a bad temper.

    Anecdotes of his curmudgeonly behavior abound. For example, in 1926 as player/manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, one day in a fit of pique, Hornsby refused to allow the owner of the team to enter his own clubhouse. He is said to have often disparaged the outfield of his own team, once calling the outfield of the New York Giants clowns. Teammates recall that Hornsby wouldn’t compliment players for big plays they made because he didn't believe in praising someone for simply doing their job. In 1950 while managing the Beaumont Roughnecks, they won the Texas League pennant. As a huge thank you gesture the town proclaimed Rogers Hornsby Day and gave him a new Cadillac. Hornsby supposedly muttered a terse version of "Great. Let's play ball."

    On the other hand, rather than a bad-tempered curmudgeon, perhaps Hornsby was only a crusty, impatient man, tactless in the things he spoke rather than deliberately offensive. After all, he loved teaching the baseball camps and was quite popular with the kids. He was very patient with them, making sure every child got a fair amount of time in each position and drill. He was quite talkative to the press and upper management when the subject was baseball, and if there wasn't a game waiting to be played. Consider, too, that some of the men who spoke negatively of the Raj were jealous of him professionally. Above all, when he passed away at 66 and was buried in Hornsby Cemetery in Travis County, Texas, many people made the trek from California and other places to attend his funeral. Even today people come from all over to see his grave and to leave a baseball on it.

    All of these stories about him are widely known and searchable on the internet; but, many of the stories contradict. They suggest he was undoubtedly an annoying old cuss, but that doesn't mean he was a deliberately caustic old scoundrel. 

 

Waltzin' Across Texas - Andrew Butler Photos (C) Waltzin' Across Texas - Andrew Butler Photos 2017-12-08T19:01:41Z 2017-12-08T19:01:41Z
http://www.andrewbutlerphotos.com/blog/2017/12/yellow-fever-in-old-texas Yellow Fever in Old Texas

Brenham Masonic CemeteryBrenham Masonic CemeteryBrenham
Washington County, Texas 3
0 11.032' N 96 24.102' W
Directions: Start at the intersection of Duprie Road and Old Masonic Cemetery Road. Go 100 yards north on Old Masonic Cemetery Road. The Brenham Masonic Cemetery is on the right (east) side of the road.

Text: Numerous gravestones dating from the early 1840s indicate this burial ground was in use well before December of 1847, when it was formally deeded to the Graham Masonic Lodge #20 by Chauncey B. Shepard (1812-1892). Brenham's citizens buried many loved ones here in latter part of 1867 as an epidemic swept through the area; the site has been commonly known as "The Yellow Fever Cemetery" ever since. Laid to rest here are: pioneers; veterans of The War of 1812, the The Texas Revolution and the Civil War; state and local lawmakers and officials; educators; and many other who formed Washington County's heritage.
    
Yellow Fever struck the city of Houston in 1839, attacking a third of its population. Arriving with the warm weather and departing with the cold, the American Plague scourged Houston several times over the next 28 years. During those years Yellow Fever also attacked other busy port cities in Texas such as Indianola, Galveston and Corpus Christi. The Yellow Fever epidemic in 1867 was so deadly that the Masonic Cemetery in Brenham, Texas, acquired the name Yellow Fever Cemetery, based in part because of the two mass graves in the cemetery, each holding the remains of 200 plus Yellow Fever victims.

    To victims, symptoms felt at first much like the flu with nausea, muscle aches, headache and of course, fever. These symptoms gave way to others that were particularly horror-inspiring. Victims felt a brief remission for two or three days during which symptoms disappeared; but this reprieve was followed by profuse bleeding from multiple body orifices, jaundice, a hideous black vomit and death. 

    Doctors were completely stumped by the causes of the disease and equally confused as to how to treat it. They realized that quarantine, a preventive technique, was the most effective method of fighting Yellow Fever. They tried many types of treatments, none of which worked.

    Even today there is no cure for Yellow Fever. Medical professionals can address only the symptoms and attempt to relieve a patient’s suffering. We know that prevention of the disease remains the best solution. We do know, however, due to the work of Dr. Walter Reed and the U. S. Army Yellow Fever Commission in the early 1900s, that the disease is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito rather than through direct contact between humans or their soiled clothing. The use of insecticides therefore helps to prevent the disease. Then, in 1937, a scientist named Max Theiler created the first vaccine to prevent Yellow Fever. Today outbreaks still occur but are limited to Africa and Central and South America.

    Yet today scientists fear that Yellow Fever could stage a comeback. Several factors associated with global warming are conducive to the life stages of this disease. In addition, people all over the world take flights from one country to another, often landing in more than one airport per flight, allowing contagion to spread both by infected mosquitoes and by infected humans. Adding to concern, the use of DDT and other insecticides is now prohibited which has led to increasing mosquito populations. Of greatest concern, the vaccines are only made by four companies and supplies already lag behind demand.

    The last known death caused by Yellow Fever in Texas occurred in March of 2002 when a man from Corpus Christi went on a fishing trip to Brazil without getting a vaccination for Yellow Fever.

 

 

  

Waltzin' Across Texas - Andrew Butler Photos (C) Waltzin' Across Texas - Andrew Butler Photos 2017-12-08T16:47:19Z 2017-12-08T16:47:19Z