Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Texas Is a State of Mind

List of state highways in Texas
List of state highways in Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Texas is my home.  It was my parents' home and I cherish it.  I have been other places, and I enjoyed the trip, but here I know what the rules are and who I am.  I read an article in the Ft.Worth Star- Telegram about an experiment in teaching students what it means to be Texan at McMurray University in Abilene .  The 15-hour course includes study in the Buffalo Gap Historic Village which includes a dozen historic structures and it will be capped by a three week tour to the whole state with stops at historic sites.  This is hands-on history including recreating of a buffalo hunt.

I'd like to join them.  I've been to some of their destinations on trips with my family.  I remember the way my parents talked about the far regions of the state.  My mother's sister lived in El Paso, so I have been entertained by her descriptions of the mountains and the desert. My husband's sister lived in San Angelo, so I traveled to those plains myself.  I've been to the coast, the historic sites, the missions, and the lakes.

 My father's g-grandfather was granted the section of land on which the town of Bogata was built.  The town was originally named Maple Springs, but the Post Office protested the name when it came time to be officially registered as a town with postal service, because there were so man towns with Springs as a part of the name.  It was supposed to be named for the capital of Columbia, but the clerk who filled out the paperwork had poor handwriting or couldn't spell.  In any event it became Bogata pronounced BA-go-ta. 

I read the deeds with great reverence that cite the William H. Humphreys Survey as the location of land my family owned.  William Humphreys had been in Texas in 1818, but his father died and his mother did not think she accomplish the work required by the land grant, so she returned to family in Kentucky.  William did not lose his yearning to be counted a Texan.  By about 1836 William and his wife and some of his children were parked on the border waiting to re-enter Texas when independence was declared. He had to wait until then to come back because Santa Anna had abolished the constitution of 1824 in favor or the new Constitution of 1835.  I'm not sure whether Santa Anna feared the impact of settlers from the United States but there was restriction on immigration. But with Texas as an independent nation, William and his family became citizens of the Republic of Texas and settled in Red River County.

I claim my native land as Texas.  I'm proud of it.  This is a picture of the Red River County Court House in Clarksville, the County Seat.

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