~ West Texas Historical Association ~

Summary of WTHA Annual Meeting-  Lubbock, Texas

The 83rd annual meeting was held in Lubbock from March 31-April 1, 2006.

Registration:  Registration began at noon on Friday and was ongoing until 4:30 p.m. The first session began at 1:00 p.m. on Friday and concluded at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday.

Program:  Presented in 6 sessions will be 54 presentations, including the participation of members of the East Texas Historical Association and the Center for Big Bend Studies.

Facilities:  All sessions were held at the Holiday Inn Park Plaza, 3201 South Loop 289 in Lubbock, Texas.

The 2006 Program Committee was made up of the following members:  Keith Owens, Tom Alexander, Gene Preuss, Jean Stuntz, and Don Taylor.

The 2006 Local Arrangements Committee was made up of the following members:  Robert Hall and Tai Kreidler

 Overview of the Sessions and Events

Thursday's schedule, March 30, 2006

  • Early Bird Reception, Evening Buffet Meal and a special celebration of Elmer Kelton's birthday from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Friday's schedule, March 31, 2006

  • Tour from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • The Board Meeting took place from 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Registration began at approximately at noon.
  • The Silent Book Auction in the Magnolia Room ran from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Session 1A entitled, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Heroes, Villains, and Failures, was chaired by Keith Owen, Lubbock Christian University, and included the following papers:

  • "William Bledsoe and the Ferguson Impeachment," by Chad DeMars, Texas Tech University
  • "The Dramatic Career of an Enigmatic Outlaw: Hill Loftis," Bill Neal, Quanah
  • "The Second Santa Fe Expedition: Jacob Snively and the Mission to Disrupt New Mexico Commerce in 1843," Troy Ainsworth, Lubbock

Session 1B entitled, West Texas Giants, a Panel Discussion, was chaired by Tai Kreidler, Texas Tech University, and included the following:

  • "Harry Igo," by Don Dyal, Texas Tech University
  • "George Mahon," by Janet Neugebauer, Texas Tech University
  • "Marshall Formby," by H. Allen Anderson, Texas Tech University

Session 1C entitled, The West Texas Beat, was chaired by Christopher Smith, Texas Tech University, and included the following papers:

  • "Buck Ramsey," by Bette Ramsey, Lubbock
  • "The Only Mountain in Lubbock: A History of Music Recording in West Texas," by Curtis Peoples, Texas Tech University
  • "Music and Sense of Place in West Texas," by Andy Wilkinson, Lubbock

Session 2A entitled, Art and Aqueducts: Building a Better West Texas, was chaired by Kregg Fehr, Lubbock Christian University, and included the following papers:

  • "Traveling the Lower Road: The Paintings of Leon Trousset," by R. B. Brown, Museo Historico ex Aduana Fronteriza de Cuidad Juárez
  • "Public Monument Sculpture in West Texas: Honoring the Historical Heritage of Regional Values," by Holle Humphries, Lubbock
  • "John C. Williams and a Thirsty West Texas," Rusty Hawkins, Texas Tech University

Session 2B entitled, Businessmen, Businesses, and Urban Life, was chaired by Tiffany Fink, Hardin-Simmons University, and included the following papers:

  • "F.E. Ruffini – Architect, Husband, Father: Building Career and Family in  19th Century Texas," by Susan Dickey, Diocese of Springfield, Illinois
  • "Oysters, Macaroni, and Beer: The Business Enterprises of the Texas Pacific  Mercantile & Manufacturing Company," by Gene Rhea Tucker, Tarleton State University
  • "Life on Both Sides of the South Pacific Tracks in the Big Bend on the Eve of  the Great Depression," by Paul Wright, Sul Ross State University

Session 2C entitled, Culture Comes to the Panhandle, was chaired by Clint Chambers, Lubbock, and included the following papers:

  • "The History of West Texas A&M University," by Marty Kuhlman, West Texas A&M University
  • "Texas Swing: Music in the Texas Panhandle from Bob Wills to 'Texas!'," by Gil McNaughton, Southwest Missouri State
  • "Ladies and Libraries: The Cultivation of Culture in the Texas Panhandle," by Jean Stuntz, West Texas A&M  University

Session 3A entitled, West Texas Movers and Shakers, was chaired by Leland Turner, Texas Tech University, and included the following papers:

  • "The Eccentric Dream: Entrepreneurism, Philanthropy, and the Founding of Post City, Texas," by Sam Prose, Texas Tech University
  • "Captain Charles Schreiner:  Weaving the Golden Fleece for West Texas Ranchers," by Aaron Riley, Texas Tech University
  • "'I Never Saw Such Times:' The Life and Death of Spottswood W. Lomax," by Michael L.Collins, Midwestern State University

Session 3B entitled, We Share the Land: Trails and Travelers across West Texas, was chaired by Shirley Eoff, Angelo State University, and included the following papers:

  • "Texas Panhandle Branches of the Old Santa Fe Trail in the 1860s," by Clint Chambers, Lubbock
  • "Mapping Texas from a Comanche Perspective," by Linda Pelon, McLennan Community College
  • "Black Horse, the Last Comanche War Chief," by Robert Truitt, Jr., Midland

Session 3C entitled, Educators and Education in West Texas, was chaired by Cynthia Savage, Midland, and included the following papers:

  • "Eva Camunez’s Teaching Career, 1932-1942," by Gloria Duarte, Angelo State University
  • "Our Story: The Teaching of Texas History in Public Schools," by Robert Fink, Abilene Independent School District
  • "The Texas Tech School of Black History: An Overview," by Bruce A. Glasrud and James M. Smallwood, Seguin

  • The President's Reception at the United Spirit Arena began at 6:00 p.m.
  • Dinner started around 7 p.m., President J'Nell Pate presiding.
  • Presentation: The evening program kicked off around 8:00 p.m. with guest speaker Donald Blakeslee, Wichita State University

Saturday's schedule, April 1, 2006

  • Registration began at approximately at 7:30 a.m.
  • The Silent Book Auction ran from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  Book pickup from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Session 4A entitled, Center for Big Bend Studies Session, was chaired by Tom Crum, Granbury, and included the following papers:

  • "The Battle of Sacramento," by Glenn P. Willeford, Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua, Chihuahua City, Mexico
  • "The Trial and Execution of General Felipe Angeles," by Ruben Osorio, Sul Ross State University
  • "Death Records from the Big Bend: A Glimpse into Life and Death in the Mining Towns of Shafter and Terlingua," by Gerald G. Raun, Alpine

Session 4B entitled, Phi Alpha Theta Session, was chaired by Michael Whitley, Lubbock Christian University, and included the following papers:

  • "A Comparison of the Southern Plains Dust Bowl and the 1950s Drought," by Melissa Gonzales, Wayland Baptist University
  • "Broadening the Scope:  The Texas High Plains Klan of the 1920s," by Nicholas Pruitt, Wayland Baptist University
  • "Letters Home," by Shannon Sturm, Angelo State University

Session 4C entitled, East Texas Historical Association Session:  Church and State in East Texas, was chaired by Dan Utley, East Texas Historical Association, and included the following papers:

  • "Martin Dies and the Marshall Housewives’ Rebellion," by Gail K. Beil, Marshall

  • "The Hayden Controversy," by Joseph Early, Jr., Cumberland College, Williamsburg, Kentucky

Session 5A entitled, Concho Valley Criminal Commerce, was chaired by Alice Olson, Lubbock, and included the following papers:

  • "Stand and Deliver: Robbing the Stagecoach," by Robert Stiles, Angelo State University
  • "Annie Black and the Soiled Doves of San Angelo," by Suzanne Campbell, Angelo State University
  • "Prohibition or Prescription?" by Rachel Bell, Angelo State University

Session 5B entitled, Vestiges of World War II in West Texas, was chaired by Thomas E. Alexander, Commissioner, Texas Historical Commission, and included the following papers:

  • "Uvalde and Eagle Pass:  The Army Air Corps and Small Towns," by William  McWhorter, Military Sites Coordinator, Texas Historical Commission
  • "Fort D.A. Russell in War and Peace," by Bob Brinkman, Historian, Texas Historical Commission
  • "San Angelo Army Air Field Bombardier School:  A Forgotten Piece of the  City’s World War II Heritage," by Shirley M. Eoff, Angelo State University

Session 5C entitled, Crimes of Greed, was chaired by Don Abbe, Lubbock, and included the following papers:

  • "A Bank Robbery in a Dust Storm," by Jim Fenton, Lubbock
  • "The 1927 Stanton Frame-Up," by T. Lindsay Baker, Tarleton State University
  • "The Crooked Path that Led through El Paso:  Smuggling Chinese Immigrants  into Texas at the Turn of the Twentieth Century," by Joe Grimshaw, Texas Christian University

Session 6A entitled, Literary Elements in Some of the Works of Elmer Kelton, was chaired by Lou Rodenberger, Baird, and included the following papers:

  • "Major Tenets of British Romanticism as viewed by Elmer Kelton," by Kenneth Davis, Lubbock
  • "Frank Claymore as Tragic Hero," by Becky Matthews, San Antonio
  • "Following the Letter of the Spirit: Casuistry among Kelton’s Lawmen," by Lewis Toland, New Mexico Military Institute

Session 6B entitled, Building the Brands:  Ranchers and Ranching in West Texas, was chaired by Fred Rathjen, Canyon, and included the following papers:

  • "George Webb Slaughter," by Barbara Barton, Knickerbocker
  • "Starting Over: Charles Goodnight’s Return to the Texas Panhandle," by Tiffany Fink, Hardin-Simmons University
  • "Life at the T-Anchor Ranch," by Brenda Haes, Texas Tech University

Session 6C entitled, Protecting Our Heritage, Sharing Our History, was chaired by Gene Preuss, University of Houston, and included the following papers:

  • "Texas Last Frontier Heritage Ranch Tour," by Sammie Simpson and John Hope, Muleshoe
  • "The Muleshoe Heritage Center," Ann McElroy, Muleshoe
  • "Oral Histories of the First Responders in the Katrina Disaster: The United  States Coast Guard Disaster Area Response Teams," Mark Howell, Texas Tech University

  • Lunch and Business meeting took place from 12:30-2:00 p.m. in the Mahogany Room of the Holiday Inn Park Plaza. WTHA President, J'Nell Pate, presented "A Syrian Immigrant in West Texas."
  • Afternoon Program and Tour began at 2:00 p.m. - Blanco Canyon Site and Floydada County Museum
  • Buffet Dinner at the National Ranching Heritage Center and evening program by Andy Wilkinson

P.O. 41041
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, Texas

Ph. 806-742-9076


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Picture This!

Western writer Elmer Kelton addresses the crowd gathered to celebrate his upcoming 80th birthday.

Saturday afternoon tour:  Keith Owens and other WTHA members take in the view as Donald Blakeslee talks about the Blanco Canyon Site.

Leland Turner speaking at Thursday night's reception.

Cake to celebrate Kelton's upcoming birthday.

More pictures from the 2006 meeting can be seen here.