Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Fabulous Heywood Brothers - Book Review

The book The Fabulous Heywood Brothers by Jerry D. Frazee is a wonderful slice of Texas history about the earliest days of the oil boom in Texas and Louisiana. I really enjoyed this book. The Heywood brothers were originally traveling entertainers in the northern United States. Though the book does describe some of the activities of the other Heywood brothers, the book is primarily about the amazing activities of Scott Heywood.

Following years as a traveling entertainer, Scott Heywood would first try his hand as miner in the Alaskan Gold Rush. After failing to make a go of the Alaskan gold fields, Scott Heywood attempted drilling for oil in California where he gained minor success and valuable experience. Within days of hearing about the Lucas gusher at Spindletop, he became one of the very first wildcatters in Texas. Scott Heywood drilled the second oil well, a gusher, at Spindletop and would go on to drill the very first oil well in the state of Louisiana.

As a successful oilman, Scott Heywood would become involved in Louisiana state politics as a state Senator and even get crossways with the infamous Governor Huey P. Long.

If you have ever wondered about those early days of oil in Texas or the wildcatters that located it, this book is for you. Follow one of those wildcatters as he risks it all on a hole in the ground and wins. At about 196 pages, the book is a quick and entertaining read. It is such an interesting story; I wish it had been longer. This is Jerry D. Frazee’s first commercial book and we are hoping to see more from him in the future. The Fabulous Heywood Brothers is available from and is only $10.00 including tax and shipping. An online PDF version is also available for $6.00.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Battle of San Jacinto Ceremony - 175th Anniversary - April 21, 2011

Official State of Texas Ceremony
Commemorating the

175th Anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto

April 21, 2011
11:00 A.M.
San Jacinto Monument
San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Park

Pledge to the Texas Flag

"Honor the Texas Flag;
I pledge allegiance to thee,
Texas, one state under God,
one and indivisible."

"Texas, Our Texas"

Texas, our Texas! All hail the mighty State!
Texas, our Texas! So wonderful, so great!
Boldest and grandest, withstanding ev'ry test;
O Empire, wide and glorious, you stand supremely blest.


God bless you, Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
that you may grow in power and worth,
Throughout the ages long.

Copyright 1925: Words by Gladys Yoakum and William J. Marsh
Music by William J. Marsh


Musical Prelude

Sam Houston State University Bearkat Marching Band
Brian Gibbs, Director

Master of Ceremonies

Ron Stone, Jr.


Trey Strake, Chairman
San Jacinto Historical Advisory Board

Presentation of Colors

1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment


Patsy Teas, Chaplain
San Jacinto Descendants

Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. Flag

Melody Townsend
President General, CRT

National Anthem

Sam Houston State University Bearkat Marching Band
Led by Nita Wilkerson, Miss Ima Hogg Chapter, DRT

Pledge of Allegiance to the Texas Flag

Melody Townsend
President General, CRT

"Texas, Our Texas"

Sam Houston State University Bearkat Marching Band
Led by Nita Wilkerson, Miss Ima Hogg Chapter, DRT

Recognition of Scholarship Recipients

Patti Adkins, President General, DRT
Eron Tynes, President, San Jacinto Chapter, DRT

Sam F. Clark, Jr., KSJ, President General, SRT
Denton Bryant, SRT Education Committee Chairman

 San Jacinto Analysis

Sam Houston IV, KSJ
Great Grandson of General Sam Houston

Recognition of San Jacinto Descendants

Recognition of USS TEXAS (SSN 775)
Sailors of the Year

Ron Brown, President
San Jacinto Chapter SRT

Special Greetings

The Honorable Jack Morman
Harris County Commissioner, Precinct 2

The Honorable Wayne Smith
State Representative, LD 128

Carter Smith
Executive Director, TPWD

Introduction of Speaker

Bob Hixon, Chairman
San Jacinto Museum of History

Principal Speaker

The Honorable Mark White
Former Governor of Texas


Carl Osborne, Chaplain
San Jacinto Chapter, SRT

"Will You Come to the Bower"

The Texas Army Fife and Drum Corps

 Laying of the Memorial Wreath

Salute to Texas Patriots

The Texas Army

Musical Finale

The 2011 Planning Committee wishes to express appreciation to the staff of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the San Jacinto Museum of History for their ouststanding support of this year's ceremony.


Victory Sponsors

San Jacinto Chapter, DRT / San Jacinto Museum of History
Taste of Texas Restaurant

Texian Sponsors

Battleship Texas Foundation / Friends of San Jacinto Battleground
Bob and Sarita Hixon / San Jacinto Descendants

Lone Star Sponsors

Al Davis / Mr. & Mrs. L. Clay Fisher
The Honorable Sylvia Garcia / Sam Houston Chapter, SRT
Mike & Sandy Lamb / Piney Woods Chapter, SRT
San Jacinto Chapter, SRT / Mr. & Mrs. Arthur A Seeligson
Trey Strake / Texas Star Chapter, DRT

Monument Sponsors

Seth Hurin Bates Chapter, DRT / James Bowie Chapter, SRT
Ephraim M. Daggett Chapter, DRT / Alfred Davis, Jr.
George S. Gayle, III / John Floyd Gilbert Chapter, DRT
Dr. & Mrs. Carlos R. Hamilton, Jr.
Holland Lodge, No. 1, A.F. & A.M.
Dorothy Knox Howe Houghton / President Houston Chapter, SRT
Lone Star Chapter, SRT / The Honorable Sandy Pickett
Seguin Family Historical Society
General James Smith Chapter, DRT / Steamboat House Restaurant
William Barret Travis Chapter, DRT / Eron Brimberry Tynes
Mr. & Mrs. James G. Ulmer

Battleground Sponsors

Gina Chapman Bouchard / Denton Bryant 
Cedar Mountain Chapter, DRT / Cradle of Texas Chapter. DRT
Aaron Estes Chapter, DRT / Fort Brown Chapter DRT
Fort Settlement Chapter, DRT / Miss Ima Hogg Chapter, DRT
James A. Reeder, Jr. & Eric D. Nevil
Sterling C. Robertson Chapter, DRT
Stenson-Simpson Chapter, DRT
Mr. & Mrs. John Stanley Taylor
Frances Cooke Van Zandt Chapter, DRT

2011 Planning Committee

Ron Brown / Nancy Burch / Al Davis / Hon. Sylvia R. Garcia
George S. Gayle III / William P. Haddock / Sam Houston IV
Steven Howell / Russ Kuykendall / Nan Morris / Bob Smith
 Larry Spasic / Beth Tragus / Eron Tynes

Event Co-Chairs

Nancy Burch / Clay Fisher

Vice Co-Chairs

Al Davis / Eron Tynes

The San Jacinto Day Ceremony is organized under the auspices of the San Jacinto Historical Advisory Board: Trey Strake, Chairman; Jimmy Burke; Jan DeVault; and Bob Hixon, Chairman, San Jacinto Museum of History Association.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Charles B. Stewart Bust Unveiled in Conroe

At the dedication ceremony for the Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park in Conroe, Texas on April 21, 2011, the bust of Texas founding father, Charles B. Stewart, was unveiled.  The bust of Charles B. Stewart was sculpted by Texas artist, Craig Campobello. The biographical text regarding Charles B. Stewart on the front of the marker was written by Texas History Page author, K. K. Searle.
Dr. Charles Bellinger Stewart
Designer of the Lone Star Flag

Charles B. Stewart Marker Text

Charles Bellinger Stewart was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1806.  He came to Texas in 1830.  As a member of the militia, he served at Anahauc and the Battle of Velasco in 1832.  He served as the first Secretary of State of Texas in 1835.  He was then elected a delegate from the Municipality of Austin to the Convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos in 1836.  There he boldly signed the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico.  He also served as a member of the committee that drafted the Constitution of the Republic of Texas.

Following the Texas Revolution, Stewart moved to the Lake Creek Settlement where the town of Montgomery was founded in 1837.  In 1838, he helped located the site of the Montgomery County seat in the town of Montgomery.  Stewart lived and worked in Montgomery for most of his adult life where he was a physician and successful businessman.  Stewart married twice - first to Julia Shepperd, and following her death, he married Elizabeth Antoinette Boyd.

Charles Bellinger Stewart designed the world famous LONE STAR FLAG OF TEXAS which was adopted in 1839.  Stewart represented Montgomery County at the Constitutional Convention and signed the Texas State Constitution of 1845.  Following statehood, Stewart served in the House of Representatives of the Texas State Legislature.

The Stewart home site is located seventeen miles west of the Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park.  Stewart died in 1885 and is buried in the New Cemetery in Montgomery, Texas.  An ardent patriot, Charles B. Stewart has left his imprint boldly written in the institutions and history of his country and his state - TEXAS!

The Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park is located near the intersection of FM 2854 and I-45 in Conroe, Texas next to the Montgomery County Central Libary.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2011 Yellow Rose Ball

The Yellow Rose Ball was held April 19, 2011, at the Crystal Ballroom of the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas and was a huge success.  The 2011 Yellow Rose Ball was sponsored by the San Jacinto Chapter, the Sam Houston Chapter, the Lone Star Chapter and the Stephen F. Austin Chapter of the Sons of the Republic of Texas.  The 2011 Yellow Rose Ball remembered the 175th anniversary of the Texas Revolution and 175th anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto.  Below are some of the pictures taken by Dale Williamson.

Yellow Rose Ball Sponsors

General Sam Houston's Staff

Mr. and Mrs. Ron Brown
Dr. Lacy Hunt
Ms. Eron Brimberry Tynes
Mr. and Mrs. Tom Green
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lusk
Mr. Dale Williamson

Colonel Sidney Sherman's Second Volunteer Regiment

Mr. and Mrs. Randy Pollard
Mr. and Mrs. John Meredith

Twin Sisters Cannons

Mr. and Mrs. Dallam Masterson
Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Fogarty

Colonel Mirabeau Lamar Texas Cavalry

Mr. Al Davis
Mr. David Hanover
Sam Houston Chapter , SRT

Deaf Smith Scouts

Mr. and Mrs. John Homman

Yellow Rose Ball
Honorary Chairs

Mr. Sam Clark, KSJ, President General, SRT
Mr. Sam Houston IV, KSJ, General, Texas Army

Yellow Rose Ball Committee

Mr. Ron Brown, Chair
Mr. Lewis Chandler
Mr. Joe Davidson
Mr. Tom Green
Mr. Tom Houston
Mr. David Mahavier
Mr. Doak McBride
Mr. Wendell A Robbins, Jr.
Mr. Denton Bryant
Mr. Dale Williamson
Mr. Dodd Eastham
Mr. Will Haddock
Mr. Robert Kendall
Mr. David Martin
Mr. Curt Osborne
Mr. Randy Pollard

Special Contributors

Mr. Joe Rosser
Mr. David Mahavier
Mr. Jim Giuffre
Mr. Denton Bryant
Mr. David Martin
Mr. Tom Green
Mr. Joe Parish, President, Capitol Flag Company

In Appreciation

Knights of Dixie Orchestra
Mr. K. R. Woods
The Lancaster Hotel / The Lusk Family

The Yellow Rose Ball
Celebrating 175 Years - The Battle of San Jacinto

Mater of Ceremonies

Mr. Ron Brown,
President San Jacinto Chapter, SRT


Mr. Tom Houston,
Second Vice President General, SRT

Posting of the Colors

The Buffalo Soldiers Color Guard

Pledge to the United States Flag

Mr. John Meredith
President, Lone Star Chapter , SRT

Pledge to the Texas Flag

Mr. Dennis Giuffre
Second Vice President,
Sam Houston Chapter, SRT

"Texas Our Texas"

Mr. Jim Giuffre
Sam Houston Chapter, SRT


Mr. Trey Strake
San Jacinto Historical Advisory Board

Toasts and Tributes

Mr. Charlie Briggs, KSJ
Past President General, SRT

Ms. Eron Brimberry Tynes
San Jacinto Chapter, DRT

Mr. Tom Green, KSJ
San Jacinto Chapter, SRT

The Battle Report

Mr. Sam Clark, KSJ
President General, SRT


Captain James Gray,
Deputy Director
CNO's Executive Panel

Front cover art work by Mr. David Mahavier, Sam Houston Chapter, SRT.  Back cover art work by Mr. David Martin, Lone Star Chapter, SRT.  Back cover art work: Copyright 2010, David Martin.  All rights reserved.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Gold Rush: 1847-1849 by Frank W. Lewis - Book Review

Frank W. Lewis, knows how to tell a very entertaining story.  The Gold Rush: 1847-1849 is the seventh in this western historical fiction series tracking the adventures of frontiersman and entrepreneur, Caleb Landers, and his eclectic band of frontier associates.

In The Gold Rush: 1847 - 1849, Caleb Landers, now a successful entrepreneur whose various enterprises are based out of Texas, accidentally gets in on the ground floor of the California Gold Rush in 1847.  The Gold Rush: 1847-1849 gives an interesting picture of what it was like in the California gold fields when the first discoveries of gold were being made.  He also gives us a very graphic picture of what San Francisco was like in the earliest days of the gold rush.  In 1847, San Francisco, with would-be miners arriving daily, was an amazingly dangerous place filled with a growing assortment of gamblers, prostitutes and killers.  Add to this mix a total lack of government and law enforcement and you have a pretty good idea of how The Gold Rush: 1847-1849 begins.

It is important to note that Frank W. Lewis is actually a successful gold miner in real life.  In The Gold Rush: 1847-1849, Lewis shares his knowledge as to how claims were staked as well as the various methods used by the miners for locating gold during the early days of the California Gold Rush. This book is just about as close as you can get to participating in the California Gold Rush yourself.

Note: Frank W. Lewis paints an extremely vivid picture.  Readers are warned that if this were a movie, some of the language would earn it an "R" rating and some of the sexual conduct described between various characters would give it an even stronger rating.

The Gold Rush: 1847-1849 was published by Western Tales Publishing and is available from For more about author Frank W. Lewis see his website at: .