Saturday, January 28, 2017

Sibling Saturday: 1966

This picture was taken in the backyard of our family home at 8015 Sharpview in Houston, Texas, sometime during or before July 1966 (the processing date on the slide mounting).  That's my brother Mark barely visible on the far left, my sister Karen, me, and my brother Brian.

© Amanda Pape - 2017 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Black Sheep Sunday: Erath County Sheriff Murdered - 1877

Earlier this week, I was contacted by the director of a public library in Erath County, where the university I work at is located.  She wanted to know if we had any local 1877 newspapers.  Our Stephenville newspapers on microfilm only go back to 1882 (with many gaps in those early years), and the Dublin paper did not start until 1889.

However, I learned a trick from research I did on Francis Edward Garland, the editor of my town of Granbury's early newspaper, the Vidette, from 1872 to 1883.  No copies of that newspaper survive, but I found plenty of references to Garland and the Vidette in other Texas newspapers (available at the Portal to Texas History) from that era.

I thought the same technique might work in this case - especially since the story involved the murder of the Erath County Sheriff, William James Mastin, and the researcher had an exact date for his death:  June 25, 1877.

Sure enough, I found two references to the murder on the same page (two)1 of the July 5, 1877, issue of the Weekly Democratic Statesman, published in Austin, Texas, via the Portal to Texas History.  I had searched for "mastin erath" (without the quotes) and limited the results to 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):

I found a follow-up story2 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, I have blanked out a number of lines of news not relevant to this case.)  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. ( accessed January 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; .                                                          

2The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 36, No. 161, Ed. 1 Thursday, September 27, 1877, newspaper, September 27, 1877; ( accessed January 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; 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; ( accessed January 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; 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, (Accessed January 21, 2017.)

© Amanda Pape - 2017- click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sentimental Sunday: Karl Pape's Art

I've been corresponding a lot recently with three grandchildren, siblings, of Karl James (Jakob Lorenz) Pape, 1889-1958, the son of my great-grandfather John Pape's brother Lorenz.  Karl is my first cousin two times removed, and his grandchildren, the three siblings, are my third cousins.

Karl was born on August 27 1889, in Duesseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, the oldest child of Lorenz Pape (1862-1932) and his first wife Maria Henrietta Kamp (1862-1899).  Lorenz, Karl, and son/brother August, all painters, sailed from Antwerp, Belgium, on May 15, 1913, and arrived in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 27, intending to go to brother / uncle John Pape's home at 1043 Sherman Avenue in Evanston, Illinois.  They (and four more siblings who arrived in December of 1913) did live there until sometime in 1914, when the Evanston city directory shows Lorenz, Karl, and August, painters, living at 1622 Forest Avenue in Wilmette.  By May 1918, Karl was running the home decorating business on his own, out of that address.  

On July 25, 1923, Karl married Catherine Gertrude Schwall (1892-1977), "daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Simon Schwall of Ridge avenue," at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Wilmette.  Karl and Catherine were living at 1632 Central Avenue in Wilmette when Karl was naturalized on January 7, 1926.  Later that year, the first of their four daughters were born, and by the 1930 Census, Karl and Catherine were living with Catherine's parents at 804 Ridge (they died in 1935 and 1933).  Karl and Catherine were still living at this address at Karl's death on June 26, 1958.  He is buried at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Besides being a house painter and home decorator, Karl was a talented painter and artist.  His daughter Elizabeth told me that "Karl went to a prestigious art school in Duesseldorf; his brothers did not.  Apparently, Karl's artistic aptitude was already significant for him to attend that school."  She also told me that, "The Pape family did artistic work on the old St. Joseph church after they arrived in Wilmette."  The old St. Joseph Catholic Church was a brick building that existed from 1869 to 1939; it was torn down after the current church building was completed.

Here are some of Karl's other works:   

Mari told me, "I inherited a painting [by] my grandfather of the farm with the church and their house in the background....Painted in 1929....The white house on the left was my grandparents' home [at 804 Ridge].  The huge [red] building on the right is St. Joseph's [Catholic] Church [at the corner of Lake and Ridge]."  

Mari also sent a close-up of the signature on the painting:

Mari describes this next one as her mother "Mary Ann Pape as a teenager, sketched by her father, Karl Pape. Probably 1946. Mom said her father told her faces were not easy to sketch. She is wearing a silk blouse with a peacock he painted. My brother has the blouse in a glass frame. Still stunning after all these years."

Here is the photo of the silk blouse, sent by Mari's brother Joe:

Detail, sent by brother John:

Another painting by Karl, sent by Joe:

I found the next image in a number of auction house web sites.  It is titled  "Stormy Waters, Wilmette," a framed oil on canvas, 36" x 48.5", signed and dated 1927.  The fact that Wilmette is part of the title (Karl lived there for 40 years) makes me feel this is the same Karl Pape.

Below is a photo of Karl Pape in his 20s.

I hope to show more of Karl's art in a future post.

© Amanda Pape - 2017 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Treasure Chest Thursday: 1937 Diary Found in Local Dairy Barn

Yesterday, an employee at my place of work brought me a five-year diary she found in an old barn her family owns near Lingleville, Texas:

Inside the front cover is the name of its previous owner, Betty Goodwin of Philipp, Mississippi.  Inside are some entries for 1937 (Betty did not write every day and stopped making entries on March 7), as well as some lists of names and a few birth dates near the end.  The question was - who is Betty Goodwin, and how did her 1937 diary written in Mississippi end up in Texas?

I read through all the entries in the diary and noted locations mentioned.  Betty had also put her own month and day of birth in the birthdays list, so I knew she was born on May 30.

A search in with her name, that date, a guess for birth year of 1925 (plus or minus five years), and Philipp, Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, as a location for any event in her life, brought up an entry in the U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, for an Elizabeth Whitten Goodwin, born May 30, 1921, in Coffeeville, Mississippi.  Her father was listed as James L. Goodwin and her mother as Fannie Whitten (hence the middle name).

I was able to find Betty in Philipp on both the 1930 Census and the 1940 Census at  Betty was an only child, and was born late in her parents' lives.  Her father, a salesman in a retail general store, was about 50 when she was born, and her mother was somewhere between 42 and 49.

I used Google Maps to map Coffeeville, Philipp, and all the other places mentioned in the diary:

This made me feel pretty confident that Elizabeth Whitten Goodwin was the same person as Betty Goodwin.  She would have been 15 when she started writing in this diary.  Now the next step was to try to figure out how the diary wound up in a dairy barn in Texas.

The Social Security application indicated that in December 1941, her name was listed as Elizabeth Whitten Goodwin.  However, in October 1952, her name was listed as Elizabeth Goodwin Walker, so my guess was that she married about that time.  I did some more searches in both and, adding in the last name of Walker, and learned that Betty had at least one daughter who was born in Texas.  I found the daughter on Facebook, and from there learned that Betty had at least one granddaughter (who attended the university where I work), and at least two grandsons.  None of them are named here, because they are all still alive.  I was not able to find more about Betty's husband, because his name is fairly common.  It is possible he is still alive, so he is also not named here.

The Social Security application, however, told me Betty passed away on May 16, 1995.  Further searches in Ancestry found her in the Texas Death Index, having died in Tarrant County (Fort Worth area).  That's not too far from Lingleville.  A search in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, in a database available at my university, found Betty's death notice, on May 19, 1995, in the Final AM edition, Metro section, page 35.  It indicated that she was 73 when she died in a Fort Worth hospital (she would have turned 74 in 11 more days), and was a retired civil service employee.  It also indicated there would be a graveside service at Skyvue Memorial Gardens in Fort Worth.

There is a minimal entry for Betty in FindAGrave, but the date of birth is incorrect there, and there is (currently) no photo of the marker, if one even exists.  I've sent in some edits and requested a photo.

A little more research uncovered the fact that Betty's daughter lived in the Lingleville area for a while, from at least 2000 to at least 2009, and operated a dairy while she was here.  When I presented my research to the employee that found the diary, she confirmed that a woman had leased the dairy barn and operated a small dairy around that time.

The employee who shared the diary especially liked these last two pages, where 15-year-old Betty wrote about her cats:

© Amanda Pape - 2017 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sentimental Sunday: More Corpus Christi Reminiscing

Here are a few other places in Corpus Christi that bring back old memories.

Snoopy's Pier opened in August 1980 as a small bait stand and burger joint with a 600-foot fishing pier on the Intracoastal Waterway.  You can see the name on the roof from the JFK Causeway.

It pretty much was just a burger stand (and bar) when we went there in the early 1980s.  Mark remembers that the big stove pictured below was a great place to warm up after fishing on a cold day.  I don't remember any fishing, but I do remember this stove.

Another place I drove by nearly every day for over four years was the Yardarm Restaurant.  This Ocean Drive establishment in what looks like a waterfront house has been there since 1975, but I had never been there.  That was remedied on our trip in June 2016.  The seafood, prepared with French sauces and cooking techniques and Mediterranean seasonings, was delicious.  The view, from the glassed-in back porch overlooking Corpus Christi Bay, was mesmerizing.

The Yardarm is family-owned and operated.  Diane and Constantine Tsaousis took their old family home and made it The Yardarm.  They typically close down a little before Christmas and take a vacation back in Greece, then reopen in early February.

Finally, a sight that always makes me happy - watching the shrimp boats return to the downtown Marina very early in the morning.  Back when I lived in Corpus Christi, 1979-1984, there were a number of boats in the shrimper fleet, and you could go down to the Marina and buy fresh shrimp from them at good prices.

© Amanda Pape - 2017 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Those Places Thursday: T. C. Ayers Park and Ben Garza Gym, Corpus Christi

While doing research for my recent post about the Harbor Bridge, I came across a photo in a Historic Resources Survey Report prepared under the direction of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDoT) of a plaque at T. C. Ayers Park in Corpus Christi, Texas:

This park and Ben Garza Park were renovated in the early 1980s with funds obtained from an Urban Park and Recreation Recovery (UPARR) rehabilitation grant.  I was the lead writer for the City of Corpus Christi's Park and Recreation Department (PARD) on the application submitted in November 1979, with the grant awarded the following month.

Below is a clipping from page 3 of the August 1982 edition of the City of Corpus Christi employee newsletter, City Quill, reporting on the progress of the projects. By this time, I was working for the city's public information office that created this newsletter, and I took the photos and wrote the caption.

Sadly, according to the article "Bridge design to take more right of way in T.C. Ayers Park" by Kristen Crowe in the April 30, 2016, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, all but about three acres of the 8.77 acre park, acquired in 1938 and named after T.C. Ayers, the first principal of the nearby African-American Solomon Coles School, will be part of the right-of-way for the new Harbor Bridge.

The recreation center, according to Section 5, page 4 of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Harbor Bridge replacement project, "was closed by the City of Corpus Christi in 2007 due to underutilization. The recreation center activities continue to be provided at an alternate facility, the Solomon Coles Recreation Center [the former school]..., six blocks to the east in the same neighborhood."

Above:  View of  circa-1950 T. C. Ayers Recreation Center, facing northwest, from TxDoT Historic Resources Survey Report, about December 2012.  The covered basketball pavilion, still in use, can be seen to the right

Below:  EIS Illustration 5.2-2. T.C. Ayers Park playground equipment, about November 2014, with the covered basketball pavilion in the background.

The EIS goes on to say that the nearby swimming pool (not part of the UPARR project), as of November 2014, "is currently operated by the free of charge to the general public for about 12 weeks between June and August."  The pool is likely still maintained by the city and appeared to be in excellent condition during our visits in June and July, 2016.

When I learned that the Harbor Bridge replacement project would negatively impact T. C. Ayers Park, I was curious if there were any limitations to changes in the land's use due to the UPARR funding.  Turns out, according to Appendix B of the EIS, there are.  In a February 4, 2013 letter (page B-285) from then-PARD director Michael Morris to TxDoT, it is noted that "included with the funding was a requirement that the park to remain in use as a park into perpetuity....The perpetuity requirement may be converted to a new park and/or recreational property upon consent by the NPS [National Park Service]."

According to that same Appendix B (page B-331), the City plans to transfer the perpetuity requirement to a new park to be developed at the site of the former Booker T. Washington Elementary School (mistakenly called the Carver school in the Historic Resources Survey Report). It is within walking distance of T. C. Ayers Park.  Funds for the development of this park, as well improvements to the pool (which would remain), would come from TxDoT.

Interestingly, the funding would also include improvements for the nearby five-acre Dr. H.J. Williams Memorial Park.  Acquired in 1927 and once called Hillcrest Park, it was renamed in 1986 for the physician, former president of the local NAACP, and civil rights activist.  This park was the recipient of a $40,000 UPAAR rehabilitation grant in July 1980, the application for which I also coordinated in February 1980.

And what about Ben Garza Park?  Acquired in 1938, this 10.85 acre park with its gym and recreation center (site of a Red Cross disaster relief center I helped supervise after Hurricane Allen in August 1980) was named for Bernardo "Ben" F. Garza, entrepreneur and a founder and president general of the League of United Latin American Citizens.  According to page 5-34 of the EIS, it is supposed to receive enhancements as mitigation for the loss of T. C. Ayers land, as well as all of Lovenskiold Park, a tiny (0.7 acre) "special use" park acquired in 1937 and named for Dr. Perry Gray Lovenskiold, who served as the city's mayor from 1921 through 1931.  His brother, Oscar C. Lovenskiold, was mayor 1892-1902.

However, according to a June 22, 2016, news story by Caroline Flores of KIII-TV in Corpus Christi, the City Council was discussing the future of the park in executive session.  No word on what if any decision they made, but this park would also be affected by the UPARR perpetuity provision.

© Amanda Pape - 2017 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Sentimental Sunday: Happy New Year (from 1976)!

My high school friends get together for a New Year's Day holiday party less than a year after we graduated, on January 1, 1976.  In the photo above (courtesy Sydney) in the top row from left (first names only) are  Ardis, Annette, me, and Sandra.  In the bottom row from left are Audrey, Nancy, Martha, and Sydney.  The photo below was taken by me.  Everyone is in the same order; I'm just missing from the picture.

© Amanda Pape - 2017 - click here to e-mail me.