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Around Town

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February 21, 2022 - The Piney Woods Photographic Society (PWPS) held their regular monthly meeting this past Saturday in Center, Texas. There was a workshop presented by Billie F. Jones on "Black and White Photography" in preparation for next month's photo challenge. The February Challenge included photographs submitted by members for voting on Favorites and discussions.

The next PWPS meeting will be the 3rd Saturday of the month, March 19th, at the First United Methodist Church, 211 Cora Street, Center, Texas, 9am until 12 noon. If you have a passion for photography or want to learn more about cameras, feel free to attend this meeting. Follow us on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/groups/PineyWoodsPhoto.

If you want to see all the photographs submitted to the Challenge, view the PWPS Flickr page, https://www.flickr.com/groups/pineywoodsphotographic/

For more information on memberships or meetings contact any club member or Billie F. Jones by email at billiejones602@gmail.com.

February Challenge "Macro Photography"


1st place - Bobbie J. Wood - "King Tut"


2nd place - Billie F. Jones - "Eye of the Needle"


3rd place (Tie) - Debra Cockrell - "Tinker Toys"


3rd place (Tie) - Jan Huffman Carter - "Colors and Lines"


Dr. Scott Sosbee of the SFASU History Department and Executive Director of the East Texas Historical Association

February 21, 2022 - “Sam Houston is one of those people that we Texans have made larger than life. Without Sam Houston, Texas history would be very different, but he was human and had a lot of human foibles,” said Dr. Scott Sosbee of the SFASU History Department and Executive Director of the East Texas Historical Association in his opening remarks to the February meeting of the Timpson Area Genealogical and Heritage Society. “Houston was a great man. He was a winner. He was successful in almost every thing he did. He rose to great heights from a fairly hardscrabble background. He only lost one election in his life. He became Governor of Tennessee and a close friend of Andrew Jackson, who was grooming him for the Presidency of the United States. He was the hero of the Battle of San Jacinto and later the first President of the Republic of Texas. Unfortunately for Houston, his success did not continue with his love life”, Sosbee revealed.

“Houston had been engaged to be married twice some years before he was elected Governor of Tennessee and each of the women had broken it off. Being a single man was a significant political liability in the 1830s, so, probably with the help of Andrew Jackson, an arrangement was reached between Houston and the Allens, one of Tennessee's most prominent families for him to marry their nineteen-year-old daughter Eliza. Houston was thirty-five but tall and handsome and Eliza agreed to the marriage,” Sosebee told. “The marriage lasted only four weeks however, and Eliza left the Governor's Mansion and returned to her family home in Sumner County. No event in Sam Houston's life has been more clouded by speculation and myth than the failure of his first marriage. The true reason Eliza left is not known, though there are a number of theories, the most probable is that she was in love with someone else, closer to her own age,” Sosbee continued.

“Houston refused to reveal the reason for Eliza's departure but soon thereafter, much to Jackson's displeasure, he resigned as Governor and left the state for Arkansas, where he lived among the Cherokee, with whom he had established a good relationship in Tennessee. During the time he lived with the Cherokee he established a romantic relationship with a Cherokee woman which may or may not have been a marriage, depending upon one's cultural perspective,” Sosbee said. “It is important to remember at this point that Houston and Eliza had never gotten a formal divorce and were still legally married. If he had been married to the Cherokee woman he would have been guilty of bigamy. In 1832 he left the Cherokee and his 'consort' and traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with President Jackson.” Sosebee revealed, “Houston left the White House with a commission from the President ostensibly to treat with the Comanches in Texas to prevent raiding along the border with the United States. Since Houston's relationship was with the Cherokee, not the Comanche, and raiding had not been a problem, the true purpose for sending Houston to Texas was more clandestine.”

Houston arrived in Nacogdoches in late 1832 and established a law practice. In 1833 Henry Raguet and his family arrived from Cincinnati and established a successful dry goods store on the city square. They were friends with Adolphus Sterne, who had helped finance Mr. Raguet's store, as was Sam Houston and Houston soon became acquainted with Sterne... and his eldest daughter, Anna. “Anna was universally described as a stunning beauty and was courted by all of the city's most elite young bachelors. She must have been quite the catch. Forty-year-old Sam Houston became one of the suitors for fourteen-year-old Anna's hand. Their age difference was significant, even in those days, but Henry encouraged his daughter to develop an interest in the distinguished and financially secure Houston,” Sosebee said. Houston seems to have been enchanted by Anna, as is evidenced by his surviving love letters to her. “He wrote her some of the sappiest love letters that you have ever read! When he was away, he wrote her telling her how much he missed her and described her smile as lighting up the sky and calling her his Venus,” chuckled Sosebee.

“There was one really big problem with Houston's pursuit of Anna: he was still married to Eliza. Texas was still part of Mexico and divorce was illegal under Mexican law, so even if he were granted a divorce in the United States, it wouldn't have been recognized in Mexico and he would be guilty of bigamy if he re-married,” Sosebee explained. “Maybe this is why he so vehemently supported Texas independence! If Texas were no longer under Mexican law, he could divorce Eliza and marry Anna. We know that Houston led the army that secured Texas independence and one of his first acts as President of Texas was to appoint a judge in San Augustine County by the name of Shelby Corzine, whose first official act was to grant Sam Houston's petition for divorce from Eliza,” continued Sosebee.

“You know, historians are always looking for that diamond, that lost historical document that they can say 'Look at this'! Copies of the decree granting Houston's divorce from his first wife existed, but no one had ever found the original document. An archivist named Ainsworth was digging through a box of old papers at the East Texas Research Center at SFA several years ago and down in the bottom he found a folded document. Further examination revealed it to be Houston's original divorce decree! I wanted us to keep it in Nacogdoches but we dutifully shipped it to the Sam Houston Memorial Museum in Huntsville,” lamented Sosebee.

“Back to Houston and Anna Raguet, the now eighteen-year-old Anna was less enthusiastic about the now forty-three-year-old Houston's attention to her. In addition, Houston was now living in the Capitol of Texas instead of Nacogdoches, and had to continue his courtship of Anna by written correspondence.

These letters were entrusted to no less than the new Secretary of State of Texas, Robert Irion. Irion made several trips from the city of Houston to Nacogdoches every month to deliver these letters to Anna,” said Sosebee. “As Anna's affection for Houston waned, her affection for Irion grew and she finally sent a letter to Houston by way of Irion saying that she was in love with Irion and therefore would not consider any more proposals from Houston. Houston seems to have taken this news better than one might expect and even gave his blessing to the marriage of Irion and Anna Raguet, which took place in Nacogdoches in 1840.”

“Later that year on a trip to Mobile, Alabama, Houston met the daughter of a plantation owner named Margaret Lee and they were married shortly thereafter. Houston was forty-seven and Margaret was nineteen. Their marriage was a long and apparently successful one, producing a number of children. Although Houston regarded Nacogdoches as his Texas home, Margaret didn't like the city and refused to live there after Houston had left public office. They eventually settled in Huntsville, where Houston lived out his remaining years,” Sosebee explained. “Margaret claimed that she didn't like the weather in Nacogdoches but considering the similarity of the weather in Huntsville, perhaps she just didn't want to live in the place where Sam had loved Anna Raguet,” concluded Sosebee.

The Timpson Area Genealogical Society meets at 2PM on the third Wednesday of each month in the meeting room of the Timpson Public Library on the corner of Austin and Bremond Streets in downtown Timpson. The TAGHS library is located within the Timpson Public Library and is open and staffed from 9AM until 5PM weekdays. Telephone 936-254-2966 and ask for the Genealogical Library.


Members and guests pictured are: Don Richey, Shirley Richey, Carole Ann Chance, George and Martha (Buster and Carolyn), Pam Sykes, Janette Wittmann, Robbie Kerr, Sandy Prislac, Cherry Jones and Rita Hughes.

February 14, 2022 - The Center Garden Club met on Wednesday, February 9th, for its regular monthly meeting. Very special guests, President George Washington and wife, Martha (aka Buster and Carolyn Bounds), were in attendance to highlight his birthday and interest in horticulture. Martha shared George's great interest in native trees, gardening, landscaping and farming saying he would use only native trees from the area on his vast acreage.

Following a short business meeting and lunch served by hostesses Robbie Kerr and Sandy Prislac, a program was presented by Don Richey who demonstrated the art of making wreaths and other decorative items from vines and other natural materials; all the while, relating interesting stories of some of his encounters with plants and wildlife while exploring the woodlands. Later, members where invited to make something of their own.

Submitted by Rita Hughes

February 14, 2022 - Timpson Area Genealogy and Heritage Society is pleased to announce Scott Sosebee will be our speaker on Wednesday, February 16, at 2 PM, in the Timpson Public Library annex.

Mr. Sosebee is a Professor of History at SFA and the Executive Director of the East Texas Historical Association, as well as author of five books on Texas history. The latest is "What is It About Texas: Essays on the Lone Star State," published by Stephen  F. Austin State University and Texas A&M Press Consortium.

The public is invited to attend.

February 13, 2022 - The Shelby County Aggie Moms' are currently accepting scholarship applications for the Fall 2022 semester.

Applicants must be a graduate of a Shelby County or San Augustine County high school, and must be enrolled in the Texas A&M University, College Station campus, for the 2022 Fall semester. High school applicants are encouraged to contact the high school counselor to complete the online application.

Other applicants should contact Carey Agnew at carey.agnew@centerisd.org. All applications are due on or before February 15, 2022. Late applications will not be considered. Gig'em Aggies!

February 8, 2022 - Texas A&M Forest Service is having a Free Tree Seedling Giveaway on Thursday, February 10, 2022 from 9:30am until 11:30am (or while supplies last) at the downtown Courthouse square in Center, Texas. The giveaway is drive thru and allows for 2-3 seedlings per household. They will have Black Oak, Sawtooth Oak, Shumard Oak, Bald Cypress, and Mayhaw. The seedlings are free to the public on a first come, first serve basis while supplies last.

February 7, 2022 - The public is invited to a Free Covid-19 Vaccination clinic on February 9, 2022 from 3pm until 6pm at Timpson ISD, 836 Bear Drive, Timpson, Texas 75975. This community event is for Adults, Students, and Children (5 years old and older). Parent/Guardian must attend with children.

Register in person at the event. No insurance required.

Booster Vaccines available as well. For more information, visit covidvaccine.texas.gov.

If you are getting a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or a booster vaccine, please bring your vaccine card.

February 9, 2022 - The William Carroll Crawford Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the Gateway to Texas Chapter of the Sons of the Republic of Texas will hold a joint meeting this Saturday, February 12, at 10am at the Sam Samford Lodge in Center. Nolan Sholar, President of the Gateway to Texas Chapter will bring the program on "the neutral zone" or "No Man's Land", the period of time when a narrow strip of land between Lousiana and Mexico/Republic of Texas was undecided as to ownership. Hostesses for the meeting are John Sample descendants: Vickie Martin, JJ Ford, Victoria Allen, and Cheyenne Davis. If you have any questions call Maggie at 248-3361. Hope to see you Saturday.

February 7, 2022 - The public is invited to a Free Covid-19 Vaccination clinic on February 9, 2022 from 9am until 11am at Texas State Bank Building, 120 North Preston, Joaquin, Texas 75954. This community event is for Adults, Students, and Children (5 years old and older). Parent/Guardian must attend with children.

Register in person at the event. No insurance required.

Booster Vaccines available as well. For more information, visit covidvaccine.texas.gov.

If you are getting a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or a booster vaccine, please bring your vaccine card.

February 3, 2022 - Due to the weather today with anticipated freezing tonight, Aurora Concepts will be open tomorrow, February 4, with a delayed opening. Hours of operation for the clinic and also immunizations will be 11am-5pm.

 

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