By David Swanzy

Searching for an Accurate History of 19th Century Texas

May 21, 2015 - A good number of books on Texas History were written in the 19th century, some even before the State of Texas became a reality. Those writers were living during the time about which they were writing or, at least, shortly afterward. In these books is found valuable and first-hand information, sometimes conflicting with what more modern writers report as fact.

The Heritage Corner; The Role of Private Education in 19th Century Shelby County

May 11, 2015 - During the years of the Republic, Texas considered education important. Even as early as 1840, four leagues of public lands were set aside in each county to support public education. In 1845 a permanent school fund for the State of Texas was instituted. In 1876, after the Civil War and Reconstruction, a new constitution addressed the issue of school funding. Such concern for public school funding continued into the 20th century.

Little-Known Facts in our History: From 32 Flags to the Locofoco Party

April 9, 2015 - It may be trivia but it is a little-known fact: “Thirty-Two Flags over Texas” is a bit more complete than saying “Six Flags over Texas.” (Don’t forget that the transition from thirteen to fifty states over time required twenty-six versions—a new flag every time a star was added.)

And, as one would expect, Texas has more counties than any other state (254); and of those counties, four of them (Harrison, Parmer, Rains, & Roberts) are named after Shelby County residents. No other county can boast of this fact.

Center’s “Opera House”

March 30, 2015 - Note: This is an abbreviated version of an article from the April issue of “We the People of Shelby County” (

Since the last thirty years of the 19th century were the golden years for "opera houses" in small-town America, there is little doubt that Center had one, and possibly it was more traditional than we might think. Performing artists did tour the smaller towns, performing in tents or inside if such a venue existed.

The Heritage Corner: Square Storefront History Continues on April 1

March 23, 2015 - The spring issue of We the People of Shelby County will be available for reading at on April 1. In this second in a series about storefronts on our historic square, their history dates from before the historic courthouse was built and continues into the 21st century. Many citizens of Center have been helpful by providing oral as well as written history, and that support continues even as the summer issue begins to take shape.


Subscribe to RSS - By David Swanzy