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Hunt County Historical Commission

Christmas Story, Facebook

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, recently wrote a blog essay looking back at Greenville and Hunt County at Christmas, 1920, 100 years ago, as described in the Greenville Evening Banner.  Children gazing in shop windows at wondrous toys was one of the major activities, as portrayed in "A Christmas Story."

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Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, says Dean Hallmark is one of the young men from Greenville and the surrounding area who should be remembered on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.  Hallmark did not lose his life at Pearl Harbor, but he was one of the pilots on the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo in 1942.  Like many, he had to ditch his plane, and he was captured and executed by the Japanese.  He was a member of the 1933 Greenville state championship football tea

Portal to Texas History, University of North Texas

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, says Texas had two official Thanksgivings from 1941 to 1957.  President Lincoln set the last Thursday of November as the official Thanksgiving Day in 1863.  President Franklin Roosevelt signed legislation changing the official holiday as the fourth Thursday of November in 1941, in a move designed to expand the Christmas shopping season.

Texas State Historical Association

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, relates the story of Horsehead Pass, the only usable way to cross the Pecos River in West Texas on the way to California in the mid-1800s.  The pass was also used by cattlemen John Chisholm, Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving on cattle drives into New Mexico, Colorado and further north.

Texas State Historical Association

Carol Taylor, Hunt County Historical Commission chairman, says the 1920 U.S. census -- 100 years ago -- showed the nation to be changing in fundamental ways, as the majority of people were now living in cities.  The 2020 census is officially scheduled to end on Wednesday (Sept. 30).

courthousehistory.com

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, says a limestone quarry once existed near Gober in Fannin County.  And, in fact, limestone has recently been taken from the abandoned quarry to be used in the restoration of the Fannin County Courthouse in Bonham.

Texas General Land Office

Carol Taylor, Hunt County Historical Commission chairman, says the Ebenezer Baptist Church of Wolfe City recently received the 100th historical marker presented in Hunt County.  The predominantly-black church was founded in 1889 by a committee made up of men and woman, and blacks and whites, very unsual for the time.

Texas A&M Agrilife

Hunt County Historical Commission chairman Carol Taylor contrasts the effects of the current coronavirus pandemic to the devasting 1918 flu outbreak in North Texas.  Many closings occurred then, and people were urged to wear masks.

Cemeteries of Texas

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, has been touring the 119 cemeteries in the county this summer.  While she's enjoying the tour, it is the responsibility of the Historical Commission to document the county's burial places.

Carol Taylor

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, relates the story of J.D. (Duke) Jernigan, Jr., grandson of Commerce co-founder William Jernigan, who received acclaim as a star aviator during the Great Depression.  He made a cross-country flight for Texaco towing a glider, and later became a top executive with the company. An historical designation is being sough for the home of Duke Jernigan's family on Bonham Street in Commerce.

Carol Taylor

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, relates the story of Lt. Truett Majors, the U.S. Army Air Corps pilot who died on Dec. 8, 1941 in the Japanese attack on the Phillippines, and for whom Greenville's Majors Field Airport is named.

Texas A&M Agrilife

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, recently wrote about natural remedies used by Native Americans, in the context of the search for ways to treatment the coronavirus.  Carol says the Native Americans observed how animals used plants in developing natural remedies.  Blackberries were often used.

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Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, says a proposal to receive designation of a house at 1705 Bonham Street in Commerce as an historical site is being sought from the Texas State Historical Commission.  The house originally belonged to J.D. Jernigan, son of William Jergigan, one of the co-founders of Commerce.

Texas A&M

Carol Taylor, Hunt County Historical Commission chairman, relates the stories of tornadoes that have touched down in Greenville and the surrounding area over the years, including one in 1870 that destroyed the Hunt County Courthouse.

Census.gov

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, says the U.S. Census provides historians with a rich source of information on life in America.  Carol says the 1880 Census especially provided a bounty of information on communities and individuals.  But Carol says the 2020 Census asks so few questions that it will not be very useful to historians of the future.

Texas General Land Office

Hunt County Historical Commission chairman Carol Taylor discusses the existence in the 19th and earl 20th centuries of the "pest (for pestilence) house" in many communities, where people with highly contagious diseases were taken to be treated.  In her blog, she writes about a pest house in Virginia where the mortality rate decreased from 50 percent to 5 percent.  Greenville had a pest house where wealthy businessman Tom King went to recover from smallpox.

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Carol Taylor, Hunt County Historical Commission chairman, reflects on the arrival of the 2020s, 100 years after the "Roaring '20s" of the 20th Century.  Carol says the 1920s weren't so "roaring" in rural parts of Texas.

Texas State Historical Association

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, says a project is underway in cooperation with the Deparment of History at Texas A&M-Commerce to collect oral-history interviews with people who experienced integration during the 1960s in Hunt County.  The oral-history recordings will serve as a resource for future historians and other writers.

Texas State Historical Association

Carol Taylor, Hunt County Historical Commission chairman, relates the story of the creation of Hopkins County, on March 25, 1846, and Hunt County, on April 11, 1846, about a year after Texas became one of the United States.  Carol says the original Hopkins County seat was in the town of Tarrant, located a little north of today's county seat, Sulphur Springs.

Carol Taylor

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, relates the tale of the small howitzer that can be seen on the north lawn of the Hunt County Courthouse.  Most people probably don't realize it is a Japanese Howitzer from World War II.  How it came to be located on the courthouse lawn is an involved, and not completely understood story, but it was apparently a substitute provided by the U.S.

U.S. Senate

Carol Taylor, the chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, is taking on a new project -- a biography of U.S. Sen. Morris Sheppard, who represented Texas in the Senate from 1913 to 1941.  Sheppard, for whom Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls is named, was the author of the 18th Amendment, which brought about Prohibition.  Also, Morris Sheppard Dam created Possum Kingdom Lake.

Creative Commons, August De Luca

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, relates the tale of a human skull found by boys in 1931, and the speculation that surrounded it.  Carol reports that the skull was unearthed at least six times.

Texas Parks and Wildlife

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, discusses the many Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration projects that were built in Texas, many of which still stand.  The CCC and WPA were New Deal federal programs established under President Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression.  The projects include the Bonham State Park, built by the CCC.  Greenville's Municipal Building was built by the WPA.

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Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, relates the history of the Hopkins County town of Cumby, as a "rip roarin'" Wild West cattle town known as "Black Jack Grove."  The town celebrates "Black Jack Grove Day" each year on the second Saturday in May.

Carol Taylor

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, says her mentor Dr. Jim Conrad, former Texas A&M-Commerce archivist, was "an historian's historian."  Dr. Conrad recently passed away, and a memorial ceremony for him will be held at 5 p.m., Saturday, August 10 at the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum in Greenville. 

Texashistory.unt.edu

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, discusses the 100th anniversary of the first paved streets in Commerce.  The city's Board of Commissioners decided to begin paving the downtown square and Main, Alamo, Washington and Caddo streets, with other streets to be paved according to "demand."

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Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, wrote recently in her blog about her favorite Texas writers.  They include H.C. Brands, the author of the history of the Texas Revolution, "Lone Star Nation," whom she didn't like until she heard him speak.  Others include S.C. Gwynne, author of "Empire of the Summer Moon," and local authors Thad Sitton and Jim Conrad, authors of "Freedom Colonies."

Texas A&M Agrilife

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, says in the 19th and early 20th Century, rural Northeast Texas families were excited to be vistited by the "chicken peddler," who accepted their older chickens in return for various household products.  Farm women, in particular, were excited to see the chicken peddler because they rarely made the trip into town.

Carol Taylor

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, recently wrote an article for her local-history blog, "What If's and the Truth," pointing out that some historical "facts" aren't facts after all, such as the story that the first Hunt County court proceedings took place under a tree.

Carol Taylor

Carol Taylor, chairman of the Hunt County Historical Commission, says her husband Mike, a tax accountant, recently brought home an early-20th Century pamphlet published by the state and federal government promoting rural sanitation.  One of his clients had found the pamphlet, which was in nearly mint condition.  Waste disposal was a problem for rural people long after sanitation systems came to the cities, Carol says.

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