Fort Worth Characters
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University of North Texas Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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This book would not have happened without some very important people. At the top of the list must be Shirley Apley, “the Goddess” of the Genealogy, Local History, and Archives Unit of the Fort Worth Public Library. More than a goddess, Shirley is a wizard at genealogical research. ...
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The twelve people in this book are not counted among Fort Worth’s Finest. But neither are they all scoundrels and ne’er-do-wells. They are mostly people who slipped through the cracks of Fort Worth history. Our city has more than its share of larger-than-life figures, although for some odd reason we have never put up statues to them: ...
Chapter 1: The Curious Story of Brevet Major Ripley Arnold
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As the American frontier marched westward in the nineteenth century, a number of obscure, even junior-grade Army officers would make their marks on history. For instance, Fort Worth, Texas, was named for Major General William Jenkins Worth; Dodge City, Kansas, for Major General Grenville Dodge; ...
Chapter 2: Legendary Marshal Timothy Isaiah Courtright
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“Longhair Jim” Courtright is remembered in Fort Worth history for his tonsorial style—à la Wild Bill Hickok—and one legendary gunfight, which he lost. But there was far more to the man than the twodimensional figure of legend. Large swaths of Courtright’s personal life and career are unknown. ...
Chapter 3: Hagar Tucker: Fort Worth’s First Black Policeman
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Before I. M. Terrell and “Gooseneck Bill” McDonald there was Hagar Tucker, Fort Worth’s first black citizen of note. The first two were exemplary gentlemen, Terrell as an educator and McDonald as a businessman-politician. Tucker made his mark as a lawman, or more specifically, a “special policeman” with ...
Chapter 4: Marshal Sam Farmer: Fort Worth’s First Professional Peace Officer
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Sam Farmer was a man of principle. Sam Farmer was a scoundrel. Sam Farmer was a dedicated lawman. Sam Farmer was a slacker. He was all of these depending on which aspect of his life and career one chooses to focus on. Like so many Western lawmen (see Jim Courtright), Sam Farmer’s character had its dark side. ...
Chapter 5: Al Hayne: The People’s Hero
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Today, practically anyone born and raised in Fort Worth knows who Al Hayne was: the celebrated Hero of the Texas Spring Palace. But much of what they think they know is wrong. Hayne is described in various sources as a Welshman, a Canadian, and a fireman, none of which he was. ...
Chapter 6: The Strange Case of Maggie Tewmey
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On a blustery winter afternoon in January 1893, Margaret Tewmey set out from her downtown home to give a regularly scheduled music lesson. She wore an old flannel dress over a gray woolen underskirt and pulled a black woolen cloak tight around her to keep out the cold. Atop her head perched a nondescript hat with a silk veil, ...
Chapter 7: Black Sheep Jeff Daggett
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Jeff Daggett was bad news his whole life, from his unwelcome birth in 1863 to his unfortunate end fifty-four years later in a hail of bullets in the Tarrant County Courthouse. He was born in 1863 on the plantation of Captain Ephraim M. Daggett, remembered as the Father of Fort Worth. His mother was Matilda Smith, ...
Chapter 8: Quanah Parker: Fort Worth’s Adopted Native Son
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In the heart of the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District stands a statue of legendary Comanche Chief Quanah Parker. It is fitting that the statue stands in front of a hotel because Quanah himself was never more than a visitor to Fort Worth. He never resided here, did not have family roots here, and visited the city only rarely ...
Chapter 9: Wayward Policeman Thomas Finch
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There is a big difference between dying while a police officer and dying in the line of duty. Ever since 9/11 there has been a wave of popular sentiment nationally to honor fallen peace officers, including those who died decades ago and have been forgotten. Thomas Finch was a commissioned, badge-wearing Niles City policeman ...
Chapter 10: Crazy Mary Rea: A Real “Corker”
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Every family has a black sheep, and the Rea family of Fort Worth was no exception. The Reas were known as a family of lawmen, marshals, and sheriffs. Then there was Mary Rea, who was only related by marriage, but still, she wore the family name and that was all that mattered. She was an embarrassment to the family ...
Chapter 11: Madam Mary Porter: Mary, Mary Quite Contrary
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Few people have ever heard of Mary Porter, although many think they have. That is because Mary is usually confused with Fannie Porter, the notorious San Antonio madam who became famous as the consort of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In the 1970 documentary “The Making of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” ...
Chapter 12: James W. Swayne: Straight-arrow Judge
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A Southern lawyer who also happened to be a man of high principle. A friend of the black man and defender of black civil rights when doing so was the exception rather than the rule. This could be a description of Atticus Finch, the fictional hero of Harper Lee’s bestselling 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, ...
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Page Count: 296
Illustrations: 43 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2009