Tuesday, December 31, 2013

1932 :: Report of 1882 Bids for Capitol Lands

Dallas Herald, December 31, 1882. The bids for the Capitol lands were opened yesterday. Walter Scheill of Rock Island, Ill., offered to erect the building for 3,000,000 acres. A.A. Burck of Rockdale offered to build for 2,970,000 acres. Both bids were backed by syndicates. Fifty Years Ago. Dallas Morning News, December 31, 1932

Saturday, December 14, 2013

1965 Christmas Pageant

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shown round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. Luke 2:9-12

Once upon a time . . . back in the 20th century . . . the words printed above were read by a school-age narrator during the annual Christmas pageant in Rockdale, Texas . . . this was a pageant traditionally held in the auditorium at Rockdale High School . . . I was an 8th grader (final year of Junior High) when the following write-up ran in the local newspaper . . . the Beverly and Joe mentioned below were my classmates . . .

The Rockdale Reporter, Rockdale, Texas, December 1965. The Christmas Story will be told at 7:30 p.m. Friday by more than 200 junior-high school students when they stage their Christmas pageant in the high school auditorium. A highlight of the Christmas season in Rockdale in past years, the pageant will this year involve 211 students, according to Ernie Laurence, junior-high principal. The pageant will tell the story of the birth of Christ. Beverly and Joe will portray Mary and Joseph . . . The Rev. Frank Cady, pastor of St. John's Methodist Church and president of the Rockdale Ministerial Alliance, will give the benediction.

In previous years of participating in this pageant, I had portrayed an angel in the stable, kneeling at the manger . . . in 1965, I was a candlebearer . . . we wore white choir robes and were carrying lighted candles as we entered from the back of the auditorium . . . and we were singing Star of the East as we walked down the double aisles to the front of the stage . . .

Star of the East, Oh Bethlehem's star, Guiding us on to Heaven afar!
Sorrow and grief are lull'd by the light. Thou hope of each mortal, in death's lonely night!
Fearless and tranquil, we look up to thee! Knowing thou beam'st thro' eternity!
Help us to follow where Thou still dost guide, Pilgrims of earth so wide.

Star of the East, thou hope of the soul, While round us here the dark billows roll,
Lead us from sin to glory afar, Thou star of the East, thou sweet Bethlehem's star.
Oh star that leads to God above! Whose rays are Peace and Joy and Love!
Watch o'er us still till life hath ceased, Beam on, bright star, sweet Bethlehem star!

Star of the East, undim'd by each cloud What tho' the storms of grief gather loud?
Faithful and pure thy rays beam to save, Still bright o'er the cradle, and bright o'er the grave!
Smiles of a Saviour are mirror'd in thee! Glimpses of Heav'n in thy light we see!
Guide us still onward to that blessed shore, After earth's toil is o'er!

Star of the East, thou hope of the soul, While round us here the dark billows roll,
Lead us from sin to glory afar, Thou star of the East, thou sweet Bethlehem's star.
Oh star that leads to God above! Whose rays are Peace and Joy and Love!
Watch o'er us still till life hath ceased, Beam on, bright star, sweet Bethlehem star!

The Star Of The East 1918
Music by: Amanda Kennedy
Lyrics by: George Cooper
Website: parlorsongs.com

I had no luck in 2011 (when this was originally posted) finding a decent version of someone singing this song, but was able to locate a nice fiddle version, which has since been removed by the original contributor . . . so in 2012 I went searching again . . . and was delighted to find the following recordings . . . one is of Judy Garland (1922-1969) singing this classic . . . and the other is Slim Whitman . . .

This song was originally published in 1883 as a piano solo reverie titled the Star Of The Sea. Almost 40 years later, Kennedy dusted the work off and reissued it with this new title with lyrics by George Cooper. Musically this song is identical to the 1883 work. All that is different is the addition of these lyrics and some repeats.

Merry Christmas, Y'all . . .
and Happy Caroling!

Monday, December 2, 2013

1880 :: Death of William Broadnax

At Cameron on Wednesday night, a dispute arose in a barroom between Robert Boykin, jr., a boy of 19 and William Broadnax, an inoffensive gentleman. Boykin called him a liar and other offensive epithets, Broadnax threw a tumbler at him, when he drew his revolver and shot Broadnax, killing him instantly. The boy made his escape. . . . Boykin, the boy who murdered W.H. Broadnax at Cameron, on the 24th inst. has been arrested and is now in jail at Cameron. A reward of $500 offered by private citizens secured Boykin's arrest. Brenham Weekly Banner, December 2, 1880

1933 :: Death of C.K. Stribling

Rockdale, Texas, Dec. 1. -- Funeral services for C.K. Stribling, who died Wednesday, were held Thursday morning. Mr. Stribling had lived in Rockdale for more than fifty years and married Miss Mary Copeland, daughter of the late W.E. Copeland, pioneer Presbyterian minister. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Mary C. Stribling; one son, Ralph Stribling of Houston; seven daughters, Mrs. Reed Laurence of Castroville, Mrs. W.S. McClintock of Refugio, Mrs. Alfred Dippel of Dallas, Mrs. Esther Quinlan, Misses Catherine, Cornelia and Helen Stribling of Rockdale, and two sisters, Mrs. Kate Gentry of Corpus Christi and Mrs. W.A. Morrison of Cameron. Dallas Morning News, December 2, 1933

Sunday, December 1, 2013

1922 :: Death of A.P. Perry, Jr.

The death Tuesday morning and burial Wednesday afternoon of Andrew P. Perry Jr., 49, threw the whole town into mourning, as Mr. Perry was one of the most beloved and useful citizens. He died following a lingering illness which had lasted more than a year. Mr. Perry was a native of this place and had been in the drug business here since 1899. He was connected with every important activity of the town, was an active Mason, a Knight of Pythias and a Woodman. He was married to Miss Laura Vandevetter in 1907 and his widow and son, George, survive him. Services were conducted at the family residence by the Rev. G.B. Tumlin, pastor of the First Baptist Church, of which the dead man had been a member since early manhood. The pastor was assisted at the graveside by the Rev. Joseph Carden, rector of the Episcopal Church. Flowers were sent for the burial from all over Texas, and Rockdale business hours were closed from 3 to 5 p.m. out of respect. Dallas Morning News, December 1, 1922

1902 :: Death of William Pleasants

Ennis, Ellis Co., Tex., Nov. 28. -- Williams Pleasants, a young man from Rockdale, died here Thursday evening at the home of his sister, Mrs. C.W. McKenney. The remains were taken to Rockdale today for burial. Dallas Morning News, December 1, 1902

1896 :: Death of Dr. Letcher

Dr. Joseph Stephens Letcher, who died yesterday at his home in this city, was born in Alabama forty-six years ago, and has ended peacefully a remarkably active and useful life. He leaves a devoted wife and three interesting and promising children. As a physician he has, by unceasing labor and the best opportunities discovered by himself, arisen from obscurity to the first place in his profession, and as a Christian gentleman he was honored and beloved by a large circle of friends. His medical experience was varied, having practiced eleven years in Milam* county, Texas, six years in Lampasas and since 1889 in the city of Dallas. During this later period and prior to the appointment of Dr. C.M. Rosser to the position now held they were associated professionally together. His practice has been general, including surgery. He was surgeon for railroad companies and vice president of the Texas Railway Surgeon's association, as also of the Texas State Medical association. He was examiner for nearly all insurance companies located here, and for three of them was medical referee for Texas. Dr. Letcher was a man of great head and heart, affectionate with his friends and true to all men. He was of cheerful temperament and, being given much to the happiness of others, was universally beloved. Perhaps the most signal service attained here, and longest to be remembered, was that which attended his efforts for the establishment of the charity hospital now in course of construction. In this he was ably seconded by the local profession, but to his energy and zeal is largely due the gratitude of the people for this blessing. The funeral services will be held in the second Baptist church to-day, and the burial will follow at Oakland cemetery. . . . Dallas Morning News, December 1, 1896 [*He was enumerated in Maysfield on the 1880 census.]