Tuesday, June 27, 2017

July 4th Holiday Hours

Good news! The library will be open this weekend.
Here are our July 4th Holiday hours:
  • Saturday, July 1, 1 p.m. -  6 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 2, 1 p.m. - 10 p.m.
  • Monday, July 3, 8 a.m. - 5. p.m.

We will resume regular Summer hours on Wednesday, July 5.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Erath County Sheriff Murdered 140 Years Ago to be Honored

This coming Sunday, June 25, a ceremony will be held to dedicate a monument on the east side of the county courthouse to the first known peace officer in Erath County killed in the line of duty, James Mastin.  Free electronic resources at the Portal to Texas History and the Library of Congress website were used to find out more information about his murder and the aftermath.

Two references to his murder were on the same page (two)1  of the July 5, 1877, issue of the Weekly Democratic Statesman, published in Austin, Texas, found via the Portal to Texas History.  The search was for "mastin erath" (without the quotes) with results limited to the year 1877.  The first reference started at the bottom of column six and continued at the top of column 7.  Sheriff Maston [sic] was killed by a cattle thief he intended to arrest:

Further on in column seven was a little more detail.  This time Mastin's name was spelled correctly, and it gave the date of the murder, June 25.  The name and a detailed description of the murderer, Bone Wilson, was also given, as well as the fact that a reward was being offered for his capture.  This story also noted Mastin was going to arrest Wilson for stealing a horse (not cattle theft):

A follow-up story2 was in the Galveston Daily News of September 27, 1877, on page 4.  In a section with news from Erath County, the Stephenville Empire newspaper was quoted. (In the image below, a number of lines of news not relevant to this case have been blanked out.)  Bone Wilson, alias Napoleon B. Wilson, was killed by Texas Rangers under the command of T. M. Sparks about 20 miles from Fort Chadbourne on September 15, 1877:

A little more detailabout the murderer’s death comes from the Lampasas Dispatch of September 27, 1877, via the Brownwood Banner.  This one was found by searching the Portal to Texas History for “sheriff erath” (no quotes in the search), as Mastin was sometimes spelled incorrectly.  This article does not even refer to the sheriff by name, and some of the details of Wilson's killing are different.  Both articles note that Wilson's body was taken to Coleman City (just established in 1876). which is about 60 miles east of the fort.

There’s more about Mastin on pages 15-16 of James Pylant’s 2009 book, Sins of the Pioneers4.  He was elected sheriff on February 15, 1876, and had survived an earlier attempt on his life in November of that year "when Rufus C. Howie fired a six-shooter at him."

One of Pylant’s sources5 is an account of the killing of Mastin’s murderer, Bone Wilson, by one of the Texas Rangers participating, Noah Armstrong.  Armstrong was interviewed sometime between 1936 and 1939, as part of the Folklore Project of the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program that was part of the U.S. Works Progress (later Work Projects) Administration (WPA).  His account of the killing of Bone Wilson starts on the fourth page.


1Weekly Democratic Statesman. (Austin, Tex.), Vol. 6, No. 39, Ed. 1 Thursday, July 5, 1877, newspaper, July 5, 1877; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth277635/m1/2/?q=mastin+erath: accessed January 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .                                                          

2The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 36, No. 161, Ed. 1 Thursday, September 27, 1877, newspaper, September 27, 1877; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth464966/m1/4/?q=mastin%20erath: accessed January 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Library Consortium.

3Beall, W. P. The Lampasas Dispatch (Lampasas, Tex.), Vol. 7, No. 18, Ed. 1 Thursday, September 27, 1877, newspaper, September 27, 1877; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth179077/m1/3/?q=sheriff%20erath: accessed January 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

4Pylant, James. Sins of the pioneers: crimes & scandals in a small Texas town. Stephenville, TX: Jacobus Books, 2009.

5Doyle, Elizabeth, and Noah Armstrong. [Noah Armstrong]. Texas. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/wpalh002308/. (Accessed January 21, 2017.)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Flag Day

National Flag Day June 14

History of Flag Day

Have you every wondered what the significance of Flag Day was and why some of us celebrate it?

Bernard J CiGrand has been credited as the Founder of Flag Day. While others came before him, CiGrand was the first to gain enough national attention to turn it into a holiday.

On June 14th, 1885, Cigrand, a 19 year old teacher at Stony Hill School, placed a 10 inch, 38- star flag in a bottle on his desk and then assigned essays on the flag and its significance. This observance celebrated the adoption of the Stars and Stripes as the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777.

CiGrand's desire to celebrate the adoption of the flag grew and gained attention when he spoke in front of Chicago's organization, "Sons of America" in June 1888. After the speech, the organization decided to publish a magazine called "American Standard" and appointed CiGrand as the editor-in-chief. His articles helped grow attention to the flag and the need for it be acknowledged.

Over the years he continued to grow awareness of the flag, gaining the attention of President Wilson who. in 1916, decreed that there would be a nation wide observance of the flag. in 1916. President Truman signed an Act of Congress in 1949 designating June 14th as National Flag Day. 

To commemorate Flag Day:

Fly the American Flag
Recite the Pledge of Allegiance
Visit a National Monument
Attend a Flag retirement ceremony

Click here to learn more flag facts.

Click here to learn more about the man who started it all.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

LGBT Pride Month

June is the month to recognize the experiences and contributions of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Americans. This month was originally chosen in recognition of the Stonewall Riots, which took place in New York City on June 28, 1969. However, the month of June took on more significance recently. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges guaranteed marriage rights to same-sex couples across the country. 

Some Prominent LGBT Americans - 
Click on hyperlinked text to see library resources with more information about them.

Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892) Poet
Mathew Brady [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Click here for a list of Walt Whitman books available in the library.

Claude McKay (1889 - 1948) Writer
By James L. Allen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Click here for a list of books by or about Claude McKay available in the library. 

Margaret Mead (1901 - 1978) Anthropologist
By Smithsonian Institution from United States (Margaret Mead (1901-1978)  Uploaded by Fæ) [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons.
Click here to find Margaret Mead books available in the library. 

Christine Jorgensen (1926 - 1989) World War II US Army Veteran 
Received sexual reassignment surgery in Denmark in 1951.
Photo by Maurice Seymour, New York (Original text : eBay front back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

The Dick Smith Library has a wide variety of resources on LGBT related topics. Let us know if we can assist you in finding library materials by calling 254-968-9249 or emailing at reference@tarleton.edu.

Additional Tarleton Resources: 
Office of Diversity and Inclusion's LGBTQ Ally program
Gay-Straight Alliance - student organization.