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Username: Dorothy Norred
UserEmail: dorothy.norred@marcgroup.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; T312461; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 19 Dec 2005
Time: 15:03:22


My name is Dorothy Norred. I am researching my 'Shultz' roots and I have a ggg uncle who attended medical school in Louisiana in the late 1800's. His name was Jacob P. Shultz. I believe he went by Jake. I would appreciate any help you can give me.


Username: Deborah Harper
UserEmail: dharper@cigrovestx.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 22 Dec 2005
Time: 11:21:20


Dear Mr. Block: I recently became the director of Groves Public Library. I am originally from Village Mills and always was grateful to you for recognizing that Village Mills was once a great timber town. I am working on the Groves website and am interested to know about the Griffing Brothers Nursery and exactly how many pecan trees where actually planted in Groves. Currently I am using your figure of 2,500 but I have read other sources that say as many as 6,000 were planted. Could you give me some insight? Thanks in advance.

Username: Mary Whigham, Washington Cty Genealogical Society
UserEmail: mjwhig@texasbb.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)
Date: 30 Dec 2005
Time: 14:25:33


Responding very late to a letter you sent to the Washington County Chamber of Commerce re Yellow Fever Cemetery. There is one in Brenham and one in Chappell Hill, both referred to as Yellow Fever and Masonic. Who is your Texas hero as both cemeteries have been documented in the book, Historic Cemeteries of Washington County by Judy and Nath Winfield and I can look up to see if buried there.

Username: Barbara Lyle
UserEmail: bbralyle@gt.rr.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 31 Dec 2005
Time: 09:48:57


I read in today's Bmt Enterprise you will not continue your columns . What a loss to the readers of said paper. I understand the reason but will miss your input.

A faithful reader

Barbara Lyle

Username: Josiah Harlan
UserEmail: josiahharlan@sbcglobal.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 31 Dec 2005
Time: 12:27:02


Dear Mr. Block,

Since moving back to Beaumont last year after a 30 year absence, I have thoroughly enjoyed your articles, particular those relating to Sabine Pass. My mother's family was from Sabine Pass. Her name was Genevieve Carey. She was the daughter of Richard Carey, Jr. and Bessie Garrett Carey. My mother was born in 1915 in the Carey-Welch home in Sabine Pass. It is my understanding that the home was built by my great-grandfather, Captain Richard Carey. His wife was Ada Hemmenway Carey. Apparently, they moved to Beaumont several years after my mother was born. Unfortunately, everyone I have mentioned is dead and I have never really known much about their lives in Sabine Pass because they did not talk much about it. I would be very interested in anything you could help me with in learning more about the Careys, Garretts, and the Hemmenways. I know that the Gerald Johnson family is also connected with my family. I am now 63 and my interest in my family has increased as I have aged. Again, I would really appreciate any help you can give me.

Username: Christine Skidmore
UserEmail: bengaltiger1938@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; yplus 5.6.02b)
Date: 01 Jan 2006
Time: 11:07:45


I always like black panther I would like to know more about.

Username: Art Schaeffer
UserEmail: artandclaudia@wmconnect.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; CS 2000 6.0; Wal-Mart Connect 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 01 Jan 2006
Time: 20:57:03


We are going to miss your regular columns in the Beaumont Enterprise. Sure you won't reconsider?

Username: Melissa Vincent
UserEmail: melissaandkelley@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; {7FC78759-DFEE-4E82-B828-1AE45EEFBBBD}; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 02 Jan 2006
Time: 20:43:17


Hi, My name is Melissa Vincent and I lived in Grand Chenier prior to Rita. We have since moved to DeRidder. I am sorry to hear that your health will keep you from printing more articles in the Cameron Pilot. I am originally from San Antonio but my husband's family has been in the Grand Chenier, Geuydan, and Lake Arthur areas since the late 1800's. I always enjoyed reading your accounts of GC history. It helped me learn a lot about our family heritage and interesting things to pass on to my children. May God bless you for the work and history that you have preserved. Melissa Vincent

Username: Jeanie Chakas
UserEmail: jeanies_husband@yahoo.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)
Date: 03 Jan 2006
Time: 17:30:53


Hi WT!

I found your site tonight while trying to find some information on black panthers in North America. In the children's book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and especially in the book, Little House in the Big Woods, they mention black panthers in the wilderness of Wisconsin several times. Thought that you might find that useful...

However, while navigating your site I discovered that we are nearly kinfolk! I'm not German (well maybe I am a little bit on my mother's side), I just think I am since I converted to Lutheran a few years back. So, I am sort of German through my faith! Well, okay, let's be honest! How many rotwursts at church picnics do you have to eat before you are a true German? I'm Wisconsin Synod (WELS) The Germans of the WELS also came in the same during the 1950's.

Actually, now a days I am a Connecticut Yankee, but my Mother's maiden name is Treece and we have many relatives down there in Texas. The Treece's are of German decent but to my knowledge, we immigrated a lot earlier than you did. I am sure we were here for the Revolutionary war. I think the village they lived in burned to the ground. I am not sure if they were Lutheran or not to begin with. I think the modern day Treece's are Methodist.

Well, just wanted to say hi! I read much of your page and found it all terribly fascinating! Have a blessed new year!

Username: Alda Clark
UserEmail: alda45@yahoo.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)
Date: 05 Jan 2006
Time: 14:55:08


Really enjoy reading your stories. I live at Singer, LA. Between Beckwith and Bear Head Creeks. Do you have any information about Singer History or the band of Jayhawkers in your story.


Alda Clark

Username: Larry Singer
UserEmail: glsing@swbell.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; YPC 3.2.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; yplus 5.1.02b)
Date: 05 Jan 2006
Time: 18:31:24


can you tell me anything about c.r. tolivar bottling works in beaumont or a coca cola product called billy walker that was bottled in beaumont.Thanks

Username: Lisa Luther
UserEmail: lp_luther@yahoo.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 06 Jan 2006
Time: 13:04:47


Hi Mr. Block,

I am doing research on my Miles family tree. I recently obtained the information that my grandfather's second wife's name was Maryon Ruth Yentzen. Monta's full name is Monta Crouch Miles, Jr. (you have it listed as Monta A. Miles). My grandfather adopted Jack Miles, and had two other children by his first marriage to my grandmother. I know you're not looking for the Miles side of the family, but if you need any information, I will be happy to help!

I have always been told Maryon Ruth died of maleria in India, but was not sure of the date. Monta died in 1996.

Thank you for the information!

Username: Dennis Hogan
UserEmail: denmeg_hogan@msn.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; DigExt; MSN 6.1; MSNbMSFT; MSNmen-us; MSNc11; v5m)
Date: 07 Jan 2006
Time: 08:22:31



Mr. Block:

In the late 1960's, my father and his dog had a nocturnal encounter with a wild "cat" on some farm property in NE Kaufman County, not too far from Dallas. He didn't actually see the cat, I don't think, but he did hear its distinctive terrifying scream when the dog approached and turned tail. He may have even found tracks the following morning.

Dad later consulted a wildlife expert from East Texas who he knew back at work at Southern Union Gas Co. in Dallas. The co-worker said the cat could have been a very rare "panther" which inhabits East Texas, particularly in the Sabine River bottoms.

Now I looked up "panther" on various Texas wildlife websites discussing wild mammals in Texas. Some do not list panther in Texas at all. A few do mention it or call it a jaguar. Based on the description of the cat's distinctive scream and Northeast Texas location (and perhaps tracks too), the "expert" was convinced enough it was probably not a bobcat or mountain lion. My dad was enough of an outdoorsman to give the "expert" a pretty good description of what he heard and saw.

I came across your article while doing a Web search on "panthers in Texas." I realize this alleged encounter was in NE Texas well away from most others. However, the Sabine River isn't that many miles away and the encounter was in a rural area with nearby creek bottoms.

Dennis Hogan

Frisco, TX

Username: Jim Bishop
UserEmail: jbishop44@verizon.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)
Date: 08 Jan 2006
Time: 16:06:47


This is Jim Bishop in Florida, trying to get back in touch with WT concerning his articles on OWINGS family members. I'm also wanting to wish him and all his family a Happy New Year!!

Username: Fred Adolphus
UserEmail: frederick.r.adolphus@usar.army.mil
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; T312461; SV1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)
Date: 11 Jan 2006
Time: 11:56:52


I would like to find out where the Battle of Calcasieu Pass took place. Can you tell me? I have a make of Cameron showing Monkey Island. Was the battle fought on present-day Monkey Island, or to the north or south of the island? I know that Monkey Island was created by digging the Calcasieu ship channel and was not there during the war. Also, where on Monkey Island is the Civil War cemetery? How far is the battle field from the cemetery? The librarian, Julie, told me that there was a Confederate field hospital near the cemetery right after the battle. Where was the field hospital? Any answers that you can furnish will be very appreciated. Thank you,

Fred Adolphus

Username: Jeremy Choate
UserEmail: choatejr@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 13 Jan 2006
Time: 15:41:32


Dear Mr. Block,

I really enjoy reading your articles about the history, people, and places of Jefferson County. Maybe you can help me find some information about one of my relatives.

In the spring of 1936 my gg uncle Arvillien Choate of Mouton Cove, Louisiana, received a settlement from a case or dispute in Jefferson County, Texas. My family had conducted some research into this in the 1970’s, but to no avail. They spoke with many now deceased attorneys like W. B. West, Chap B. Cain, LeRoy McCall, and others in the hopes of finding some additional information.

In 1973, LeRoy McCall Sr. was doing research for his book entitled “Mr. Mac”, and he discovered some newspaper articles from around Beaumont that detailed a settlement involving Arvillien Choate. The article included Arvillien Choate’s name along with some others, and told about a $600,000 settlement sometime around 1936 that involved quite a number of people in Jefferson County, Texas. I contacted LeRoy McCall Jr. about this, but he did not know what his father had uncovered.

I am hoping to find any information that will lead me to these newspaper articles. I have conducted lots of associated research around Beaumont, but I have yet to find the articles.

The only connection that my gg uncle Arvillien had to Jefferson County, Texas was by way of his relation to David Choate Jr. This is the David Choate Jr. who fought at the Battle of San Jacinto. David Choate Jr. was married to Mary Coon in 1849, and they lived near the town of Concord on Pine Island Bayou. I found Mary Choate’s grave, but David Choate’s grave is not marked anymore. This is a shame, since he did fight for Texas independence. They are buried in the old Leatherwood cemetery near Loeb next to their friend John Wood Davis. I have read the “Kemp Sketches” of the San Jacinto soldiers to gain some further insight, but I have been unable to locate any further information regarding the case and Arvillien Choate’s involvement.

If anything that I have written sounds familiar to you, or if you have any questions, or if you could suggest any leads, please contact me.

Username: Jim Ratcliff
UserEmail: ratcliff2201@yahoo.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98)
Date: 15 Jan 2006
Time: 10:05:14


WT., I have enjoyed your articles for years, as I can relate to many of them since being from East Texas myself, (Kirbyville). Most recently I have taken up the hobby of metal detecting and have not had good results. Might I ask you for tips on how to research stories on old towns and places of interest? Keep up the great work, May God Bless Your Days, Jim Ratcliff

Username: Kevin Bryant
UserEmail: brykev02@msn.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 16 Jan 2006
Time: 00:25:59


Thanks for the great reads.  I work in Cameron and Sabine and it is so great to read about their history.

Username: Renaldo
UserEmail: renaldo9582@yahoo.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)
Date: 19 Jan 2006
Time: 15:41:15


Sir, you wrote: "I would appreciate hearing from anyone in Texas or Louisiana, who believes he has sighted a panther, black or otherwise. I would like to add their comments to my website. I can be reached by email at wt@wtblock.com. I tried that, but my email was returned marked User Unknown.

My daughter has a small (100 acres) ranch near Cotulla in South Central Texas. On weekends and school holidays, many of her brothers and their families visit the ranch for outdoor recreation. In the past four or five months, several members of our family have reported seeing a "big black cat" in the ranches thicket area.

Several months ago, while driving to the ranch gate, I saw a large black animal cross the road around 75-80 yards ahead of me. The animal walked in the thicket. At first, I thought the creature may have been one of my daughter's three black dogs. However, when I reached the ranch house, the dogs were all sleeping in the front porch area. I would estimate that the animal I saw was about 15-18 inches tall at the shoulders and perhaps three feet long plus tail. Later sightings by other members of the family cause me to believe what I saw may have been a panther.

Over the most recent New Years Day holiday, one of my sons was clearing trails through the thicket with a tractor and shredder when a large black animal ran across his path. My son, a police officer trained to observe details, said the animal was muscular and perhaps four feet long plus tail. He said that it looked like a really big cat.

On Saturday, January 14, 2006, several family members had congregated on the ranch to play paintball, drive my daughter's ATV's and just relax. My daughter and her son were riding their ATV's along the edge of the thicket when my grandson called out to his mother that he had seen a "real big black cat" running through the underbrush.

That same morning, my forty-year-old son was walking in the thicket in search of feral hogs. The previous week, my daughter had come upon a herd of three dozen or more large and small hogs lounging under a low tree in the thicket. My son did not see a single hog, but he did see a large (he spread his arms wide to indicate how large) black cat. He said the animal was standing quite still and staring at him. He thought to use his rifle to shoot the creature, but considered it too dangerous to shoot because the paintballers were playing only 150 yards or so behind the animal. The cat then walked away.

Shortly after that, my 15-year-old grandson saw a big black cat staring at him from just inside the edge of the thicket. He called out to his father to bring a gun, but the animal had gone by the time the firepower arrived.

My daughter had three ranch dogs. Early last summer, one of the dogs was gravely injured by having been bitten by some animal with fangs. He had to be put down. A week or so later, one of the remaining dogs disappeared. Just a month ago, the last dog disappeared.

The feral hogs are gone. The many wild turkeys that lived in the thicket are gone. The raccoon that used to ravage her trash cans is gone, as is the opossum that had taken up residence in my grandson's tree house. Even the skunks that had set up housekeeping under the ranch house are gone.

Another of my sons sawa deer while working in the thicket. He remarked that the creature had a bad hind leg and could not walk well.

While working at the ranch, my daughter found two skunk tails, but no other sign of the skunks. She has also come across hog tails but no sign of the animals to which they were attached.

She keeps three horses at the ranch. She was concerned because the horses grow very nervous whenever they see large black objects.

The most conclusive evidence that a big cat is in the area are large cat-like paw prints in the dust around the house. These are perhaps 3.5 inches across. The next time I visit the ranch, I will photograph any such paw prints that I find and post them here.

Hope that some of the above will be of interest to you.


Username: Grace E. Bodemuller-Holst
UserEmail: grace.holst@sbcglobal.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; YPC 3.0.3; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; yplus 4.1.00b)
Date: 19 Jan 2006
Time: 22:38:26


Tonight, I went out to the internet to get news on the passing of my "Aunt Sue". I deeply regret that I was unable to attend her funeral this week. She will truly be missed, but I do find comfort in that she is in heaven with "Boots" and Susan (her daughter). Susan, as you may or may not know, passed over the last few years. I don't believe Aunt Sue ever recovered from her passing. I have enjoyed reading your articles this evening.

I now reside in Rockwall but married a hometown boy, Tommy Holst. He is the son of Harland Holst. Harland is the grandson of Sheriff Jake Giles of Jefferson County. Tommy faithfully reads and enjoys your articles in the Beaumont Enterprise.

Username: Rita Porterfield
UserEmail: rep7728@sbcglobal.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 22 Jan 2006
Time: 23:54:01


In answer to burial location for H N Connor, Texas Confederate veteran; there is a very old cemetery on the Northeast side of Downtown Fort Worth and some of the graves date back to the 1800's or more you might check there. That area was known as Rock Island. Hope they haven't change it because of all the construction going on in the Northside of Fort Worth. There's also another cemetery near the Trinity River about a block or two just off Main Street. I know because when I was a kid my friends and I would walk through there playing and used it as a short cut to the Trinity River. I am looking for the owners of a house back in the early 1800,s that may have been a boarding house or cattle baron's house or it could have been a private school located on Main Street. So far I've found a James T Melton who was a teacher for a private school and lived some where on Calhoun??? When my grandparents brought their home in the early 1900's it was only 3 rooms and there were not many homes in the area and the large two story home was located across the street with an old ornate iron fence. I know that area was very historic because I lived and grew up in Cowtown. My husband's family has a lot of Texas history if your interested.

Username: Guy W. Rossi Jr.
UserEmail: grossi@jetzone.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 26 Jan 2006
Time: 07:48:58


Mr. Block,
My Father-in-law landed at Normandy with the 29th infantry division on D-Day, He was then transferred to the 78th division. He is now 82 years old and his memory of those days are dimming considerably. Is there any way I can get him some historic information on the 78th?
His name is Sebastian A, (Bizz) Grasso, and he boxed for the 78th under the name "Babe" Grasso. Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated by myself and the whole family.
Thank You,
Guy W, Rossi Jr.

Username: Jared M. Kidd, CDT, ARMY ROTC
UserEmail: jkidd4@utk.edu
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.9) Gecko/20050711 Firefox/1.0.5
Date: 27 Jan 2006
Time: 07:28:00


I came to this site from a Google search on Col. Albert Miller Lea. I am an ROTC Cadet at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and Col. Lea was the founder of our Military Science program. This is referenced in the article; "The University of East Tennessee" where Col. Lea became the University of Tennessee later on. We are a public land-grant institution and our Military Science program is the oldest in the United States except for some of the military academies, dating to 1844. We still wear 1840s style Dragoon uniforms modeled after the ones worn by Col. Lea's original Tennessee Dragoons when we provide color guards at Tennessee Volunteer football and basketball games. We also march every four years in the Presidential Inaugural Parade as a part of the state of Tennessee's representation in the parade.

Username: Ken Ryan
UserEmail: kenr@ih2000.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98)
Date: 27 Jan 2006
Time: 20:57:57


Mr. W.T. Block


Recently you published an article in the Mid-County Chronicle about Isaac Ryan and the Alamo.

Would you tell me what prompted you to write the article.

Isaac Ryan was a distant relative of mine. I knew he met his demise along with a lot of other good people at the Alamo but I did not know the circumstances of his being there.

Isaac was the 6 Th. child of John Jacob Ryan Sr.

John Jacob Ryan Jr was the 13 Th. child of John Jacob Ryan Sr.

Ken Ryan

Username: Lee Russell
UserEmail: hoss70@swbell.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 28 Jan 2006
Time: 15:27:51


Dear Mr. Block,
I recently came into a possession of a copy of "Rebel Private Front and Rear" by W A Fletcher which is reviewed elsewhere on this site.

I had intended to throw the book away during a good Saturday clean up be decided to do a bit of internet research on it before I pitched it.

That is how I came to your astounding website. I have enjoyed perusing it and was floored when I found and read the review of this book.

Does this book have either historical or monetary significance? Any input you may shed would be appreciated and I would entertain an offer if you were interested in the copy. I can provide pictures if you desire.

Thank you in advance for you help and consideration.

Yours truly,
Lee Russell, Gainesville, TX

Username: Nicole Waldrep
UserEmail: nwaldrep@esc5.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; TUCOWS; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 30 Jan 2006
Time: 10:44:25


Dear Mr. Block--
I always read with interest your "local History" articles when they are published. I currently reside in Tyler County, which is filled with a lot of rich history, "ghost stories", etc. I am originally from Beaumont, and almost all of my family except for 1 aunt are now deceased. My question to you is this-- I recently found out that my great grandma ran a boarding house on "Easy Street" during the late 30's and early 40's. She also cooked for outsiders, and this is how my grandparents (Rebecca Hinds McCanne and Jack F. McCanne) met. My great grand mom's name was Bessie Guinn Hinds, and she was a widow. If you know anything related to this, I would appreciate it, as I am trying to get an understanding of any family history that I can!! Thank you for your time, Nicole McCanne Waldrep age 38, Woodville, Texas

Username: Alicia Ramsey
UserEmail: alikay@sbcglobal.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 01 Feb 2006
Time: 12:41:19


I accidentally ran across this website and haven't been able to stop reading. I grew up in Groves and currently live a block from PN Park, and find this very fascinating, especially since Rita. Thank you, Alicia Ramsey alikay@sbcglobal.net

Username: Mary Williamson
UserEmail: wait4nite@yahoo.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)
Date: 01 Feb 2006
Time: 17:19:33


Hi! Just wanted to say I was pleased to see the stuff about K. D. Keith and Otis McGaffey on here! Was just doing a search while I was bored and was happy to find this. These guys are my 2nd & 3rd great grandfathers! Would love to read more on them if it is available. Please direct me if you can! Thanks!

Username: Bill Rawlinson
UserEmail: brawlins@sbcglobal.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; YPC 3.0.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 06 Feb 2006
Time: 13:18:48


Do you know which RR owns the abandoned rail line in Port Neches that starts near the Hwy366 and Magnolia intersection, crosses Port Neches Av near Williams Ave, and runs southeast to the high school?
BTW, I have 3 volumes of your series - what is most attributable to the downturn of Port Arthur's economy? I10 routing - oil industry? I've only lived in Beaumont since '72 ...

Username: Keith Beard
UserEmail: scc96@cebridge.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 07 Feb 2006
Time: 17:40:36


Mr. Block, I read all you have written, I had a beach house in So. West Cameron parish from April 29, 1999 til Sept. 24, 2005 when Rita destroyed our parish, We still have lots of friends in Jefferson parish who evacuated to our home in Alexandria, La. during Rita's wrath on your county. Thank God our home was 150 miles inland and we had minor damage, again I enjoy all your writings and remain a fan. Regards, Keith Beard

Username: proshamail04@yahoo.com
UserEmail: proshamail04@yahoo.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; MyIE2)
Date: 11 Feb 2006
Time: 15:14:59


Hi! Just wanted to say I was pleased to see the stuff about K. D. Keith and Otis McGaffey on here! Was just doing a search while I was bored and was happy to find this. These guys are my 2nd & 3rd great grandfathers! Would love to read more on them if it is available. Please direct me if you can! Thanks!

Username: Don J. Benton
UserEmail: dbenton@gt.rr.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; Media Center PC 2.8; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 12 Feb 2006
Time: 10:38:43


I am the g-grandson of Thomas R. Jackson who was 1st Lieutenant for Company A, Likens' Battalion and Spaight's Battalion. I understand you have a copy of Sgt. H. N. Connor's diary who was in the same unit. I have been searching for information about T R Jackson during the Civil War. Would it be possible for me to read that diary in an attempt to get more information about Jackson?

Username: Kirk Clark
UserEmail: kclark16@houston.rr.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 12 Feb 2006
Time: 15:16:52



Regarding Manhasset, I went to san Antonio several weeks ago, and ordered an enlargement of the Tobin aerial photo from 1930 , which clearly shows the redoubts and redans constructed as the Civil War drawing indicates. It appears the soldiers left the structure fairly intact, with exception maybe for filling in the moat to a degree. I am planning to have a sectional enlargement ordered in the future, which should aid clarification even more.

Just an update.

Kirk Clark
Clear Lake

Username: Ellen Palumbo
UserEmail: elmaria1@juno.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)
Date: 14 Feb 2006
Time: 02:27:41


Hello, Mr. Block
I saw you wanted anyone that had a black panther story to contact you. Well, I have one although from what I've read I must be crazy because their is no such animal. It was however very large, light black and had darker black spots visible under her regular black shade. It was back in 2001 when she decided to hang around our area for a month! It was quiet eventful, I called the local sheriff's department one night a 1:00 in the morning, I heard the most horrible screaming. I thought that the neighbor's pit-bull had gotten someone but it turned out that the deputy said it was a swamp panther getting the neighbor's pig. I talked to many "agencies" in the coming weeks because my barn cats were disappearing and I could hear her at night around the yard. You will notice I say she. Well, I got to see her one evening before it got dusk, she was not far enough away from me! Her head was above my father's tire on his F150 and she was large. This is Louisiana not Africa you know, I didn't take it to well. The ass at the Wildlife dep. said I couldn't shoot her no matter what she did, she was an endangered species; of course my poor little barn cats were fast on their way to extinction as well. He said for me not to worry they didn't stay in one place long, their territory was some where around 25 square miles, or some such. Oh, and Louisiana has a capture and release program for deer an alligator but not large cats. (smile)(dumb state) I guess if your official view is it doesn't exist you don't need one! I would say that there are quite a few carcasses, but if reported that a person shot one, well that's a large fine and over two years in jail. If I had known I was only listening and seeing a make believe animal I would have kept the tape I made of her screams at night unfortunately I didn't know I was experiencing a really rare occurrence. If you want more info I would suggest you get into a chat room with some residents of DeRidder, Louisiana they get to here and see them up there with alarming frequency, from what I hear.

Username: Haden Henning
UserEmail: hadenh@covad.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 15 Feb 2006
Time: 06:24:32


Thank you for your great work and I have enjoyed reading much of it. I am researching family history and seeking information regarding the oil business activities in Beaumont of Walter B. Sharp, Howard Hughes, Sr, and John L. Henning, Jr., and Clarence E. Reed, between 1902 and 1908. Oil field folklore and others have suggested a man from Louisiana, possibly working for Herman Frasch (then Sulphur Mines, La. and in Beaumont), was the actual inventor of the revolutionary roller rock bit patented by Hughes. If this is true, I believe I know who this man was and therefore interested in any info you could share from your work in Beaumont.

Username: Bobby Simmons
UserEmail: uscgeo@earthlink.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 15 Feb 2006
Time: 20:05:42


Mr. Block, thank you for all the interesting articles regarding SE Texas and SW Louisiana. My father was a bookkeeper for Kirby Lbr. Corp, and I think we lived most places Kirby ever had a mill, Silsbee, Voth, Bessmay, Buna and many other towns...too many to mention. Really enjoyed your article re: Joe Marriot who lived in Bessmay. We kids all called him "Uncle Joe". Would like to correspond with former residents of Bessmay.

Username: Lonnie Stanley
UserEmail: MrMan48@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.0)
Date: 19 Feb 2006
Time: 09:28:21


Hello Mr. Block,
I found your article,
"Henry R. Green, Fake Obituary Identified Beaumont's Early School Teacher-Historian" very interesting."
You were wondering what ever became of him, it seems he did in fact die three years later.I have a Dec.11, 1860 Beaumont Banner newspaper, with a notice about Henry R. Green on the back page.
It states:
Is hereby given that the undersigned was on the 24th of Sept. A.D. 1860, appointed and qualified as administrator, with the will annexed, of the estate of Henry R. Green, deceased, and that all persons holding claims against the said estate are required to present the same within the time required by law.
J. E. Armstrong, Administrator
H. R. Green, Deceased
Beaumont, Sept. 25th, 1860
I will be glad to email you a photo of the article if you wish. Thanks, Lonnie Stanley

Username: John Robbie
UserEmail: JSRobbie@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.0)
Date: 19 Feb 2006
Time: 16:59:43



I have read your articles with great interest.

As a naval historian in the United Kingdom, and having been involved with Oil & Gas construction yards in Orange over the last 12 years, I am coming to Texas - including Orange - on the 23rd February 2006

I will be in the Port Arthur / Beaumont / Orange area on the 27th February (will be staying in Houston)

I feel that the full history of the Irish immigrants and their effect on the global shipbuilding / offshore structures has never fully been complied.

One of their yards was eventually taken over by part of the Singapore Government organizations, and is 2006, the largest global constructor of Jack Up Rigs - including Keppel AMFELS [The AMFELS stands for American Far East Levingston!] at Brownsville, Texas.

From the comments on your website, your are not in the best of health, but can we meet or talk ? [especially about the Levingston organization]


John Robbie


United Kingdom

Username: Ron Thrower
UserEmail: rthrower@austin.rr.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 19 Feb 2006
Time: 20:33:45


Mr. Block,
I just read your article titled "The Ghostly-Silent Guns of Galveston...". Enjoyed this very much. In your article you express that "No other information,... survives concerning the fortification of the capitol city. Approximately 12 years ago I was involved with the widening of SH 71 through Austin and during the course of my research I "rediscovered" the fortification. The primary document for finding the fortification was a subdivision plat of 1874 titled "Fortview Subdivision". On this document the surveyor clearly drew and labeled an area designated as "fortification". I took this and overlaid it on a current aerial and survey and instructed the state exactly where to locate the fortification. To everyone's amazement the backhoe scraped the earth in one small area and it was clear in the difference of soils the location of the trench. Subsequently no artifacts were found but an historical marker was erected near the site about 2 years ago with the help of the Daughters of the Confederacy.

Ron Thrower

Username: Nicholas Benjamin
UserEmail: NicholasBenjamin79@gt.rr.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; {EDEF061E-DB0F-E3E2-0B3B-DAC0743BF32D}; .NET CLR 1.0.3705)
Date: 21 Feb 2006
Time: 07:23:06


I have been told so many stories about Sara Jane RoadI want to know the real truth behind it.  Any info you can gave me will be helpful.


Username: Rachelle Socia
UserEmail: rsocia1@gt.rr.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 23 Feb 2006
Time: 11:28:17


I am trying to find out about Dyson descendents in orange Texas and I have not come up with nothing .

Username: Tim Vines
UserEmail: timvines5640@yahoo.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; Q312461; SV1; GIL 2; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 28 Feb 2006
Time: 11:21:40


Subject: Black Panther

Mr. W. T.,

Please let me introduce myself, my name is Timothy Vines and I currently live in Sabine Pass, Texas. I have lived in Sabine Pass since 1975 as my father was also employed in the oil and gas industry and our family followed him to each of his different work locations. During his years of employment we have always had "home" up in the small town of Zwolle, Louisiana which is on the Texas/Louisiana border on Toledo Bend. Since his retirement, my parents have moved home and currently live there. Growing up as a child living in the woods we always heard stories from our grandparents and great-grandparents about going off in the woods, "There were bear and panthers" out there that would "get us". Of course as a child we never ventured too far off. As I grew up and my love of hunting blossomed, I was out hunting squirrel one morning with my faithful 20 gauge "crack barrel". I was out away from our property down in the "bottom" area as we called it, which is a deep part of the woods where the Bayou San Miguel slowly winds it way toward Toledo Bend. As a youngster and as an adult, I don't venture to far off the beaten path for the fear of getting lost. That particular morning was foggy and as a youngster (11-12 yrs old, approx. 1980) I became uncomfortable with the noises I kept hearing. So I decided to move a little closer to our property for a little bit of security and it was still early, dawn was just beginning to show its self through the tall thick trees that cover the area. I will never forget, I walked to our property line and sit down on a tree stump next to our corner post of our fence and felt better with myself since I was a little closer to home and in a familiar area. I was sitting there waiting to see any movement up in the trees when I began to hear something moving through the leaves behind me. I slowly began to turn around with my faithful "crack barrel" thinking to myself it was a squirrel playing on the ground, but to my surprise there laying atop of the fallen log of the stump that I wa

Well, I hope this doesn't sound too far fetched, but you can call me with any questions or you can even speak to my parents if you wish. Of course they have never actually seen the big cat, but they have heard it numerous times. If you have any questions, please feel free to email or contact me. I really enjoy your internet site.

Tim Vines
713-432-3420 Office
409-626-2762 Cellular
281-274-9724 Right Fax

Username: Michael C. Gay, GMC(SW) USN ret.
UserEmail: mcpluto@msn.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; MSN 9.0;MSN 9.1; MSNbVZ02; MSNmen-us; MSNcOTH; MPLUS)
Date: 09 Mar 2006
Time: 04:07:32


In the summer of 1962 or 1963 I rode with my father from Odessa to Alpine. After we dropped off my sisters at the Girl Scout camp there we were forced to stay over night in Alpine due to car trouble. The next morning while having breakfast in a small diner, the waitress (who I think was also the owner and cook) asked if we would like to see the panther her husband had killed that morning. He was a rancher, had caught it in a trap he set out for coyotes, and was forced to shoot it. We went out back of the diner and there it was , filling his truck bed. I was only about six but I remember it vividly. The cat seemed huge to me, smelled horrible and was as black as night. I would love to find out if my memory is right and that the cat was in fact a black panther. I don't remember any spots on it, just a smooth black coat. The rancher seemed very saddened that he had to shoot the big cat. I doubt that he would have felt that way over a regular mountain lion. My father passed away in 1964 and no one else in my family was there with us, so I only have my childhood memory to depend on. I've always wondered if the rancher reported it to the papers or anyone else. If it was truly a black panther he may not have felt comfortable reporting it. I have no idea what the laws (at the time) might have been regarding something like this.
I stumbled on your sight and read the stories you have on the cats and just thought I would send you this tidbit of my past.

Username: Adam Smith
UserEmail: texasbowie@sbcglobal.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; YPC 3.2.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 11 Mar 2006
Time: 19:38:50


Dear Sir, some two years ago, my friend and owner of a ranch in Palo Pinto County, Texas (city of Gordon)....spotted what he believes was a Black panther on two separate instances within a day....we asked the only other neighbors on the large Plateau overlooking Lake Palo Pinto about it and they had observed what they called a "Mexican Black Panther" for a week or so, they were VERY aware of it as it had killed no less than 2 of their goats within a matter of days!! I talked to them later, and they were astonished that a single cougar could feed so much in a short period of time, as regular Mountain Lions are spotted there (very rarely now) and sometimes would kill a goat. I have personally seen a Cougar (Mountain Lion) there and bobcats on at least one occasion each (I have been going for ten years), but not the "Black" Panther as it is known in Gordon...other residents claim to have seen it as well down at the local bars during this brief time period of a month or two. This is west of Ft. Worth which was known to have cougars come into town often... there is a long tradition of panthers in Ft. Worth and a large statue of a "Sleeping Panther" in downtown. The old Ft. Worth police badges used to have panthers on them and there is a story related to all the panther lore which I have forgotten.... I don't know much, but I know my friend is a very avid outdoorsman and Eagle scout as am I.. He certainly saw a black panther or cougar-like animal, not a dog..etc.. I had another good friend (a city boy, who said, "What the h*** is that thing") who was with him, they spotted it from the top of a bluff where the ranch is located, crossing a road below some 150 yards away at dusk, he described it as "Low, black, and about 125-150 lbs.. perhaps, the size of a very large dog and much larger than a coyote"... He also saw it when he was coming in on the road but he didn't know what it was until he had called his only neighbors about it.... His neighbors live out there full time whereas we just go out for the weekend.

I was a budding Texas Historian with an emphasis on photos, I have many mostly Cowboy shots....some Thurber shots, Texas Ranger shots...I have the photo illustrated on pg. 378 in Walter Prescott Webb's 'The Texas Rangers' of a Texas Ranger Captain in the hunt for Sam Bass.

Username: Jenny
UserEmail: genevievekirsh@cox.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; (R1 1.5); .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 12 Mar 2006
Time: 03:07:30


I read your comments on black panthers and I would like to let you know that black panthers still exist in Louisiana. I know this for a fact not hearsay. I have had two experiences...once when I was a child and once tonight. Trust me, they are still around.

Username: Laura VanWinkle
UserEmail: lvanwink@ramapo.edu
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 14 Mar 2006
Time: 00:58:03


Mr. Block,

I actually found your site as I was trying to do some research into the oil industry. I am specifically interested in the development of the oil industry in the American mid-west, particularly the practice of oil well capping as small industry was overrun by big business. If you could give me some suggestions or point me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you,
Laura VanWinkle

Username: Darlene Mott
UserEmail: dmott@tsl.state.tx.us
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0)
Date: 16 Mar 2006
Time: 09:49:34


Mr. Block,

The Sam Houston Regional Library has a number of your books regarding Sour Lake. Robert would like to discuss those books with you. Please contact me at the SHRL&RC at dmott@tsl.state.tx.us so I can relay Robert's message to you. If you prefer, you may call me at 936-336-8821. This message should only take a few minutes of your time. Thank you. Darlene Mott, Librarian/ Sam Houston Regional Library

Username: S. M. Head
UserEmail: headhunter2006@headsbunker.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X Mach-O; en-US; rv:1.7.6) Gecko/20050317 Firefox/1.0.2
Date: 16 Mar 2006
Time: 11:21:07



Thanks for all the magnificent work you have done for us Gulf coast Texans. I've recently begun digging into my family's history and discovered my great grandfather built the Bragg Hotel in Bragg, TX, at the end of the Hardin County Ghost Road. I know next to nothing about him, so your published work has been a great blessing. Gaining insight into the turn of the century east Texas thicket has been wonderful, its almost as if I can smell the pine and oil.

I discovered your works by searching for information and leads on Fletcher Otho Head, Otho Head, Hardy H. Head and George W. Head of Kountze, Saratoga and Bragg TX. It has been very helpful. I'm sure you are bombarded with requests to help folks discover leads, so I won't outright ask . . . unless you happen to have know one of those fellows or their kin!

S. M. Head

Username: Tracy Cook
UserEmail: cooknmiller@yahoo.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 16 Mar 2006
Time: 22:43:16


Thank you for the very interesting article on German settlement in Texas. For the longest time, we have tried to figure out why our family. the Heides immigrated to San Angelo. Your article added some more info to what we are discovering. Thank you again.

Username: Joe
UserEmail: rjsnyder1@verizon.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 17 Mar 2006
Time: 03:38:34


I saw a black jaguar in Jan. 2004 at Hillview, IL. The cat was jet black, wet at the time after just crossing a field with standing water. It was chasing deer and I saw this animal crouched trying to hide in a bunch of dead grass. I shown my lights on the grass and out walked this amazing animal. It was very large weighing about 260-280lbs it appeared to be the size of a female lion. I am ex law enforcement and a very credible witness and I saw this cat at a distance of 30 ft a perfect 100% serval second look at something that isn't supposed to be here in IL. If you would like to discuss my sighting give me a call at 217 589 5899 ask for Joe.

Username: Sandy (Pye) Smith
UserEmail: smithpye@comcast.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)
Date: 20 Mar 2006
Time: 21:57:46


I want to thank you so very much for dropping me the note about Dr. Pye don't know if he is related but always looking for more stories and research info I can find on the PYE family. I feel so lucky that you sent me the note.

Username: amanda cole-may
UserEmail: maggiemay78362@yahoo.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; YComp; FunWebProducts; YPC 3.2.0)
Date: 20 Mar 2006
Time: 23:11:28


Hi, I am looking for help find out information on my great grandfather James Madison Hart died Apr. 1917, he was shot in the back in Spindletop, Texas / Beaumont, Texas. I hadn't been about to find much of a story about it or any obituary. I found your site, while looking for a Spindltop Newspaper. I sure hope you can help. You seem to know the history of these towns pretty good. Also if you know any Hart Family, I would like to make contact with them, my mother was Betty Jo Hart, daughter of Fred Lee Hart, thanks and God Bless, Amanda

Username: Justin Powers
UserEmail: powersjw@titan.sfasu.edu
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)
Date: 25 Mar 2006
Time: 16:24:26


I am doing a research paper on suburbanization and class structure before, during and directly following WW2 of the Jefferson county area. I was wondering if you new of any sites like yours or books that covered the WW2 era in the Beaumont/ Port Author? Thanks, any help or suggestions is much appreciated.
Justin Powers

Username: Sherry Wilkinson Hightower
UserEmail: texas_history_hunter@myway.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 28 Mar 2006
Time: 15:03:31


I want to thank you for the history you have preserved for all of us. I would like to invite your readers to visit my site since I have many photographs, some from Silsbee and many headstone photos from local cemeteries.

You and I share an interest in Olive, TX and in the preservation of the old cemetery that was lost until TXDOT stumbled upon it. As you have seen, I have photos of the cemetery with directions to find it. And of course your article about Olive.
Thank you Mr. Block

Username: John Brennan
UserEmail: redmuck@gowebway.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 28 Mar 2006
Time: 21:38:45


Hello Mr. Block,
My name is John Brennan, I was recently talking to Mr. Kilgore, of League City, Texas, and mentioned I was from Nederland. Mr. Kilgore said he had a very good friend from Nederland named W. T. Block, who was the Postmaster in Nederland. I knew he was speaking about you; and he told me of your website. My older brother William (Billy) Brennan worked for you, and ran the wild streets of Nederland with your son Billy Block. I hope this note finds you well. I live in League City now, but I will always call Nederland my home. I am enjoying your many fascinating articles on Southeast Texas history. Thank you.
John G. Brennan

Username: michele
UserEmail: tmc091468@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; FunWebProducts)
Date: 01 Apr 2006
Time: 00:11:10


I will not call it a Panther since no one here believes what we saw. They say there is no such thing as a Panther. Maybe not but then it's a large house cat on steroids!! My name is Michele and I live in Louisiana (Grant Parish) about 25 miles north of Alexandria. Lots of wooded area. Last night there was a large black cat behind a neighbor's house, right before dark. I have called sheriff's office who told me to call the constable, who told me to call the wild life and fisheries. I have yet to see anyone here to trap the cat and move her/him some where safe. I don't want to see her hurt but I don't want her this close to our homes and children. We live right off of Hwy 165. There is a lot of construction close. I think that is what is driving her/him closer to the houses. I know she/he has been here for at least 5 yrs since that is how long I have been living here. I have always heard her/him out in the woods but this is the first time she/he has ventured this close to our homes.
Whom do you suggest that I call? What should we do? We bring kids in early and make sure all small animals are safe. I have gone to all sorts of web sites and read up on the large cats and it's not proven there are any here. Except we seen one here.
You can e-mail here.
Thanks for your time

Username: Jenny
UserEmail: genevievekirsh@cox.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 01 Apr 2006
Time: 13:11:55


Mr. Block, I am disheartened by the fact that our big cats are actually in danger of extinction. I can understand people's fear and in some cases folks may have to protect themselves, but for the most part these big cats will go away...no harm done. I am like the next person...if it comes to me or them...well I am going to choose me. I think this is only normal....it's called self preservation. These animals are wild, but they are built with a self preservation instinct as well. They hunt and they kill to survive. I have never heard of them hunting and killing a human as of yet. I am not saying we should be stupid and not protect ourselves, but there is no need to kill these animals because we can or because we think they are a total nuisance. They have their purpose. I have come face to face with one of these creatures. Some people would more than likely think I would be at the front of the line to get rid of them. Yeah, it scared me and I will never forget it as long as my memory doesn't fail, but you know what the cat did........it did nothing......it sat there on his or her haunches, a few feet from me, and looked right at me...as if looking through me.....and it did nothing......I ran with all I had (the worst thing a person can do) and it still did nothing. I do believe that the Lord was watching over me that day and he spared my life. For this, I am very thankful. I don't believe we should kill these cats just because we are afraid.......just be careful. Anytime you live around wooded areas you are going to see wild animals. Now, I can't say this with certainty, but if folks got to checking around they mind find that more people are gored by deer than attacked by big cats.....and most people think that deer are gentle and loving....and they are beautiful graceful creatures, but we should never fool ourselves about any wild animal....that is why they are wild. This does not mean we have to kill them immediately after sighted.

Username: Donna
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705)
Date: 17 Apr 2006
Time: 08:23:46


Hi my name is Donna , I now live in Lufkin, Texas. I had just moved from Upstate, NY to Leesville, La back in August this past year. Back in October or November 2005. I was driving from Leesville, La to Alexandria, La on highways 28 which that highway runs directly through some forest that is man planted pine trees for the sole purpose of logging. When I was driving to Alexandria in a driving rain storm and had to drive real slow down the two lane highway, (one lane going east and one going west) and I could have sworn that I seen a fairly big black panther laying on the shoulder of the road, as if it had been hit by a car. It was not moving so I am assuming it was dead. I had my mother with me and asked her if she seen what I called "that huge black animal" laying on the side of the highway. She said yeah must have been a cow. There are no cows in that area, the land there is strictly for growing pine trees for the purpose of logging them and there is no livestock such as cows or horses in the area. And the animal was to long and thin to be a cow or a calf anyway. To me it looked to be some sort of huge cat and not a domestic cat, it was simply to big to be that sort of cat.

When I drove back home to Leesville later that day it was still pouring down rain so much I had to drive very slow just to see the road, I looked the entire way home in the area I knew I seen the animal on the side of the road and was unable to find it again to stop and take a better look. I had been in Alexandria about 5 hours so there was plenty of time for it to have been removed. Now I have made that trip several times and have seen dead dogs on the side of the road and they laid there for a long time, normally if I see a dead dog or other small animal on my way to Alec I see it on my way back too. That day when I seen what I thought was a Panther I did ask a neighbor who is an avid hunter if there were black panthers in that area, (now this guys tends to lie often about stupid things so I was hesitate to ask him about this) but I asked him if there were panthers in that area and he said he had actually seen some himself before and knew of people who have too.
I was shocked that there is the possibility that there could be any sort of huge cats like that in Louisiana coming from upstate NY where there are a few different types of large wild cats. I don't know why I was shocked to see such an animal in La, I just never thought of La having any sort of animals like that period. I know that there are huge bob cats in western US and northern and the NE part and some down in FL.

I found your website when goggled for black panthers in La and thought maybe asking you if they really have existed in La. And to let you know that I may have seen one myself. There is some sort of Forestry ranger station on Hwy 28 and I think maybe they may have took the animal off the side of the road. Funny that is the fastest I have ever seen any dead animal taken off the side of the road so fast. That fact alone makes me want to really believe it was a panther. I am hoping if it was taken off the side of the road it was by an official govt personnel and not just some idiot thinking it would be "cool" to take such a road kill home with them. I would say that animal on the side of the road had to be around 5ft long, so I am sure lugging it onto a truck or car was no easy task for anyone.

If you have heard about someone finding a panther on that highway about that time (October or November) can you please let me know. I have wondered about that ever since. And have done some searching on Google to try and find information about black panthers in the Texas/La area.

If my email does not make any sense to you, I could give you my phone number to call me and I can explain to you what I seen that day or I could call you. I have wondered many times since that day so much that now when I go through that area, which I do once a month I do keep an eye out for panthers now when I go through there. Where there was at least one, I am sure there has to be a few more. I am not sure about their mating habits if they mate only once a year or if they go into "heat" throughout the year and maybe that one was so desperate for a mate it took a chance of crossing the highway to look for a mate. I am assuming that panthers are cats that most likely live the life of a solitude and if that indeed was a panther it sure is a waste of a wonderful animal and who ever took it off the highway I hope they did the right thing with it, like take it to an official so that its existence could be recorded for the sake of all panthers.

Thank you,
Lufkin, Texas
If you post this message please exclude my last name in the post. Thank you

Username: Bob d'Aigle
UserEmail: rdaigle@culturalresource.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 01 May 2006
Time: 22:08:23


Mr. Block:

Thank you for your coverage on the early transportation of Jefferson County, Texas - in particular, the Sabine River. This background and history was very beneficial to a current archaeological project.

Robert "Bob" d'Aigle, RPA
Principal Investigator
CRC, LLC, International Archaeology & Ecology www.culturalresource.com

Username: Bob d'Aigle
UserEmail: rdaigle@culturalresource.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 01 May 2006
Time: 23:04:21


Do you have any record of a light gauge railroad being constructed on the east side of Old River, about 8 miles above Niblett's Bluff? At the very top of Old River, on the east side, we found a lightweight railroad spike typical of light gauge railroad and a cypress rib from a watercraft on top of what appeared to be a graded rise. Please do not post this message. Thanks.

Username: Jenny Ratcliff Edmund
UserEmail: jce0691@comcast.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; Hotbar
Date: 05 May 2006
Time: 22:17:15


My great grandfather, John Van Ratcliff was in Spaight’s Battalion. Thank you for this wonderful website.

Username: Jenny Ratcliff Edmund
UserEmail: jce0691@comcast.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; Hotbar
Date: 05 May 2006
Time: 22:19:05


Also, forgot to add I'm a fellow Lamar alum. Quite a few years after you, but an alum nonetheless. <G>

Username: Richard Myers
UserEmail: rtmyers5@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; Media Center PC 4.0)
Date: 06 May 2006
Time: 13:25:36


Mr. Block, I came upon your site today and find all your articles and information very interesting. I live near a old saw mill town site, that was named pinewood, louisiana. I was wondering if you had any information about the history of this forgotten little town. It was located about 3 miles north of Rosepine and just south of neame. Thanks

Username: Bill Daigle
UserEmail: wed68@cox.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)
Date: 07 May 2006
Time: 16:40:17


Mr Block, I can not read enough about the history of SW La and SE Tx. I have enjoyed all of your writing on the matter and need more. I am specifically looking for old maps of the waterways in the early 1800's could you point me in a direction to find such? I live in SW La and have spent many hours on the bayous and lakes here. I enjoy reading of the stories on the very same waters I am now piloting my boat on!

Bill Daigle

Username: Al Greene
UserEmail: al@algreene.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv: Gecko/20060426 Firefox/
Date: 08 May 2006
Time: 04:02:28


I went with then US Congressman Bob Eckhardt, in the early 1970s, to a black cemetery in Hardin, County, Texas. There I saw a cemetery that had graves on a North/South direction rather than the usual East/West axis. We were told that the reason for the North/South graves was that they were blacks that had committed some crime and were buried that way so they could never see the sun rise or set.

My search for information on this cemetery has not turned up anything so far. I think it is in the Kountze area, but am not sure. The purpose of our visit was to support the bills in Congress calling for a Big Thicket National Preserve of at least 300,000 acres. We went to a number of unusual places in the area of Kountze, one of which was the black cemetery.

I would like to locate this cemetery and return, perhaps to check out the North/South grave information.

I seek 2 things:

  1. The location of this cemetery; and
  2. The validity of the story of the reason for the North/South graves.

I could easily see how the story about the graves is true. I sure would like to document it, and get some photos.

Please send me any information about this cemetery and the North/South graves or please point me in the right direction.

Information from anyone else would be welcomed!

Thank You Very Much

Username: Janis Brennan
UserEmail: Ohma6@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 09 May 2006
Time: 09:39:31


I have enjoyed all that you have to offer. I am a descendant of Christain Hillebrandt the cattle rancher from Jefferson County, Texas. I become interested in my Family history and never expected to find much information. I am so Pleased that you have taken the time to compile the history.
Janis Brennan

Username: Josephine Harris
UserEmail: pat@portarthur.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0)
Date: 10 May 2006
Time: 14:00:12


Mr. Block:
I have read much of your work and find it extremely informative and interesting. Would you have any more information on Benjamin Johnson (husband of Sarah Garner)? I would like to know about his children as I believe that my father was the grandson of Benjamin. Please get in touch with me.
Thank you.

Username: Gladys M Cole
UserEmail: gmcoleontheroad@yahoo.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; Windows NT 4.0; DigExt)
Date: 10 May 2006
Time: 14:12:23


Father Fred Hardy took in my late husband Lindbergh A. Barron, he was orphaned when he was 10 years old. He was buried in his Knights of Columbus out fit.  It was very impressive.

Your story about Father Hardy was very great.  I learned about this page when I mailed a copy of a Picture of Father Hardy to the Jackson, Mich Library.

I had seen a file on his family there and I remember Father Hardy was buried in Jackson.

Gladys M. Barron-Cole

Username: Nancy A. Hausch
UserEmail: sellanabelle@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 14 May 2006
Time: 00:19:28


Dear Mr. Block, I had the pleasure of finding your very impressive website. Thank you for sharing some of your work with the rest of us.

I am interested in German History, specifically 1843 and prior. My reason for this interest in because I am researching my husband's genealogy (Hausch). The progenitor of our family came to America November 18, 1843. Je was from the Bartenbach Donaukreis Wurttemberg area. I would like to find out what his Germany was like and also what it was like when he landed in the Port of New York and how he made his journey to Rock Island, IL. If you would consider directing me in the right direction to find the information out, I would be very grateful.

Thank you again for sharing some of your work. Hopefully I will soon be hearing from you. Sincerely, Nancy A. Hausch, Blue Grass, IA

UserEmail: mcmac1957@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.0)
Date: 14 May 2006
Time: 02:39:05


I found your site while researching history on the SABINE RIVER AND BIG THICKETT area.

I have lived on the Sabine river for almost fifty years now, but have never known its history.

your site is most excellent and well written. I have read it now for several evenings and love it.

Sincere Thanks,
Mike and Kathy Mc Carty

Username: Jonathan Bonner
UserEmail: john_bonner@sbcglobal.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; YPC 3.0.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; yplus 4.0.00d)
Date: 18 May 2006
Time: 23:22:01


I saw a big black cat about 7yrs.ago.I was hunting in Angelina County. I was down behind the old Bonner farm, my grandpa's old home. To make it easer I was down behind the Old Shofner cemetery. I was sitting in a tree stand, it was just getting day light it was cool that morning, A breeze was blowing at my face. I saw something black jump the creek. It was coming from the Old Carter Farm, heading towards the sun. I threw my rifle up to get a closer look in my scope. It had stopped beside a downed tree. I zoomed in and saw a beautiful black cat. It weighted about 85 lbs. It was about 2 foot tall at mid back with a three foot tail. It was solid black. It was about 75 yards from me. Some asked why I didn't shoot. Well, maybe it was the way I was raised. I just hope someone else has the chance to see such a beauty as this. I did and I was lucky. That day will never be forgotten. The Big Black CAT !

Username: Randall S. Woodley
UserEmail: RWoo902441@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 20 May 2006
Time: 00:17:08


I read with fascination your article on the October 1886 hurricane that struck Johnson's Bayou. My great grandfather William Otis Fawvor 1878-1952 (son of Thomas Fresimon Fawvor) and my great grandmother Willa Mae Hall 1884-1958 (daughter of Eliga Hall) were both born there. In your research have you discovered anything related to these families with regard to the hurricane or other local history? Best regards, Randy Woodley

Username: Christopher Morgan
UserEmail: CMorg007@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 26 May 2006
Time: 07:53:40


I grew up in Jasper and Newton counties and recently moved to Texas A&M to go to college. I stumbled across your site recently and wasn't aware of the rich history or pirates and treasure in the area I grew up in. It's absolutely fascinating. The story on John Fletchers buried treasure is very interesting to me. I would like to learn as much as possible about the historical facts regarding this legend. If possible I would like to correspond with you and learn of your research and where I might gather more information as well. Thank you.

Christopher Morgan
Magnolia Springs, Tx

Username: Randall S. Woodley
UserEmail: RWoo902441@AOL.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 01 Jun 2006
Time: 22:56:23


Hello, again. I previously wrote to you about the Fawvor family. In reading through some of your material I have found a solid connection, with the help of Mr. Leonard Hale (who may have contacted you in the past). According to family history provided by Mr. Hale I am a direct decendant of Jesse Ray Yocum (Yoakum), who is my great great great great grandfather. His son Thomas Denman Yocum would have been my great great great uncle. Among old man Jesse Ray Yocum's children was a son, Jesse Rae Yocum (born around 1810 in the Neutral Zone). Young Jesse had a daughter, Julia Yoakum (Yocum) who married Thomas Fresimon Fawvor, Jr. in 1874. I was wondering if you had any information on old Jesse, young Jesse, or Julia. All I know of old Jesse was that he was a foot soldier in the Revolutionary War, out of Virginia. (Of interest are his crimes and bribery to avoid prosecution). Of further interest is how young Jesse avoided the murderous fate of his siblings (I have that he died 10/28/1886, age about 76). I have virtually no information on Julia. Best regards, Randall S. Woodley

Username: Debra Smith Greeson
UserEmail: deboriah@earthlink.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20060508 Firefox/
Date: 02 Jun 2006
Time: 12:06:13


I love your site. My grandmother was one of the bootleggers in Jefferson County during the prohibition . One of your stories brought back a story my mom told me of something that happened when she was a child. She said that her mother had been warned that there was a raid forthcoming and she hid all of the beer in a pantry under the stairwell. When they came to look around the caps started popping off the bottles because they were hot. (Very Loud) The just acted like they didn't hear it and never looked in that pantry. As they walked out they said "Don't see anything here." They were some of my grandmothers best customers. She was Anges Thibodeaux Manuel of China, Texas. Thought you might like that story.

Username: Kathy Hart
UserEmail: Hillarms@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.5; AOL 7.0; Windows 98)
Date: 02 Jun 2006
Time: 21:55:37


My family was in Sabine Pass and my gggrandmother died of yellow fever there in 1862. She was the daughter of Abel Coffin Sr. which you wrote about in your article "From Bales to Black Gold". I have a book of pictures and some tin photos which seems to be from that area and time period. I'm trying to find out how to identify the people in the book and what type of book it is. I suspect it is a school year book and the only clue to its age is that one of the photos is dated 1879. Do you know if the schools had a year book during that time period ? Any help with this would really be appreciated thank you Kathy

Username: Patty Macsisak
UserEmail: smacsisak@earthlink.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.2) Gecko/20040804 Netscape/7.2 (ax)
Date: 06 Jun 2006
Time: 10:19:20


Seek information to confirm that James S. Woosley 1811-1897 and sons (Nathan M. Woosley, George Washington Woosley, James Boulware Woosley, Joseph P(hillip) Woosley, and Thomas Keesee Woosley) were in lumber business in Jefferson, TX ca. 1863-1869.
From Biographical Souvenir of the State of Texas Containing Biographical Sketches of the Representative Public and Many Early Settled Families, Illustrated, F. A. Battey and Company, Chicago, 1889. ---- J. B. WOOSLEY, a merchant at Whitewright, Texas was born in Jackson County, Missouri, February 11, 1838. His father, James WOOSLEY, was born in Christian County, Kentucky, in 1811, but when a young man moved to Illinois and from there to Missouri, where he lived until 1852, at which time he settled in Crawford County, Arkansas, and remained there until 1863. He then moved to East Texas, and in 1869 to Hunt County, Texas, where he still resides. He has followed the mercantile business and farming all his life, has been a successful business man and for many years has been a member of the Baptist Church. He is a member of F. and A. M. and the I.O.O.F. and a man who has always stood high in the estimation of his fellow men. His wife bore the maiden name of Patience Bailey. She was born in Tennessee in 1810 and died in Texas in 1867. James B. WOOSLEY was reared in Missouri and Arkansas and received a common-school education. In 1861, he joined the Confederate service as a private in Company D, Brook's Arkansas Infantry and served with that command until 1862 when he was transferred to Wetherspoon's Battalion, Cahill?s Brigade. He was promoted to second lieutenant of Company B and served until the close of the War. He then moved to Texas where his family already were engaged in the mill business at Jefferson, which he conducted a time and then turned his attention to the growing of stock and trading in the same. This he followed until 1882, when he moved to Whitewright, Texas and engaged in the hardware business, which business has steadily grown until he now carries the largest stock in his line in that place. Mr. WOOSLEY is a through business man and makes anything he takes hold of a success. He started out after the war on borrowed capital, but has since accumulated considerable property. August 6, 1858, he marrie

OBITUARY: J. B. WOOSLEY, October 8, 1917 -- Obituary, Unnamed Whitewright, Texas Newspaper In drafting recruits for the innumerable army in the world beyond, Death has taken toll again in Whitewright, removing from our midst one who was within the age limit, ready, and claimed no exemption. The summons came to J. B. WOOSLEY about 11 o'clock, October 8, 1917 and the venerable merchant citizen vacated his accustomed place in the family circle, in the business life of this little city and in the brotherhood of men. He has been called up higher to wear the chevron and badge of a 'good and faithful servant'. Mr. WOOSLEY cast his lot with this little town in its infancy. He has been in the hardware business at the 'Woosley corner' for 35 years, accumulating in the pursuit of that business a considerable fortune. His chief service to this community through the 35 years of its development and varying periods of prosperity and depression can be better told by the hundreds he has assisted, encouraged and carried over seasons of adversity and crop failures until the sun of plenty would again appear on their horizons. He laid no claim to special accomplishments nor did he choose to assume the role of Philanthropist and town builder, but in his own way he has perhaps rendered the community in the pioneer and struggling days of its development as valuable service as any of our enterprising townsmen who may have looked upon their obligations from a different angle. He has carried heavy family responsibilities and has been a long and liberal contributor to the Methodist Church, of which he was a member. He has been liberal in other ways, and especially did he seem to find pleasure in bestowing upon those near to him much of the material things of life. His faculty of discernment and delineation of the characters of men, was remarkable. During his long business intercourse with the public he stored away in his mind a complete history of the people with whom he dealt. His confidence in them was rarely misplaced. In his niche he was content to serve and served well. He was an honorable, upright and just citizen, and as

Username: Steven C. LeBlanc
UserEmail: maisonleblanc@juno.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)
Date: 10 Jun 2006
Time: 21:04:53


My name is Steven LeBlanc. I live just outside of Abbeville, Louisiana (Vermilion Parish) in southwest Louisiana, in a heavily wooded area. This afternoon, June 10, 2006, at approx. 2:30 p.m., I saw a large black cat cross the road about 100 yards in front of me. I know for certain it wasn't a dog and it had the longest of tails so it could not have been a bobcat, which we have seen more than once in my back yard. My first thought was that this was a black panther, but I had never heard of them being in southwest Louisiana. Hence, my search of the internet this evening - I was happy to find your website and read with interest the other sightings of these big black cats. We have lots of wild rabbits and other prey in our wooded area and a host of other wild animals such as bobcats, owls, and the like. I now add a "black panther" to the list of wild animals that have visited our wooded neighborhood on Maple Street in Abbeville, Louisiana. (the woods in our area run along the Vermilion River).

Username: Malinda Fawvor
UserEmail: curtisfawvor@sbcglobal.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; Media Center PC 4.0)
Date: 16 Jun 2006
Time: 16:21:44


I am looking for Tresvan Fawvor who is buried without a marker in McGaffey Cemetery in Sabine Pass Texas. Any help would be great. Thank you.

Username: Bonnie Croom
UserEmail: BJCroom313@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 19 Jun 2006
Time: 10:42:47



I was searching for information on Christian Hillebrandt and found your article about him. I just thought I would let you know there are still a few Hillebrandts residing in this area in Orange, Co. My name is Bonnie Croom, my Mother is Sandra Hillebrandt-Paskell, her father-my grandfather is Isaac Elisha Hillebrandt who is 89 and lives in Vidor, TX. He owns 14 acres there with cows where he still takes calves to auction. He owns 117 acres off of West Port Arthur road not far from Hillebrandt Bayou where until a couple of years ago he was running around 70 head of cattle. He has since then been leasing that land and is talking about selling due to problems with his eyesight in the last 6 months. I really enjoyed your articles and still love to listen to my grandfather's stories of when he was young and how he grew up on a dairy farm. If you have any more information on the Hillebrandt's or would like to know more about my grandfather's life (he is still very much alive and still trying to drive) please e-mail me. Thank you very much, Bonnie Croom.

Username: carolyn willis
UserEmail: cshwillis@charter.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 19 Jun 2006
Time: 15:13:25


I have read your article about "black panthers" in Texas. I myself have seen one. My family thought I was crazy and now 4 others have seen it or another one. They have also seen the brownish ones, but the solid, coal black one or ones has definitely been spotted. It is not grayish, or just blackish, but deep dark black. My husband saw a jaguarondi on the same ranch...but he has not seen the big, black cat. These cats live in Central West Texas.

Username: John A. Lutz
UserEmail: epuma@beaconnet.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; FunWebProducts; SV1)
Date: 26 Jun 2006
Time: 14:26:59


Keep up the good work and Thanks W. T....I will get in touch with people reporting large Black cats in La, Texas and adjoining states. YES folks, the BLACK cats known as black panthers do exist across the U.S.!
I wonder if any historical papers or books were ever written on the black cats in years past?
Would also like to address your readers, if they know of any written historical books or papers on large black cats in La or Texas to please contact me at epuma@beaconnet.net Thanks, John A. Lutz

Username: Kristi Ellis
UserEmail: kristi@ellis-family.org
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)
Date: 27 Jun 2006
Time: 14:01:04


My name is Kristi Ellis and my great great grandfather, Isaac Doty, died in Port Arthur on October 25, 1906 (He's buried at Greenlawn Cemetery in Groves, TX). I came across your site trying to learn more about the city my grandfather lived in late in life. He was, among other things, the proprietor of the City Hotel for a time, sometime between 1896 and 1906. Do you have any articles or books containing information on the City Hotel? This is a great website--I enjoyed reading it!

Username: Toby Wahl
UserEmail: oneixgrunt@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; Q312461; SV1)
Date: 03 Jul 2006
Time: 02:22:50


Dear Mr. Block,

First of all, Your site is great. I grew up in Groves and moved to Tyler after my service in the Army. I was looking for pictures of Spiers grocery store in Groves on the web and happened upon this site and got sucked into the reading. I have great memories of going to Spiers on my bike as a boy and charging honey buns and soda to my dad's charge account, with his permission of course. My great uncle Howard owned and operated Howard's grocery in Port Arthur and they used the same localized credit system. When I have a problem with a charge today I talk to someone in India about it. I would prefer to do things like my father did and discuss the matter with the lady at the booth who calls your children "hun" or "baby" and gives them a sucker. Well, enough wishful thinking.

I was reading "Nederland As I Remember It, 1935-1960" in regards to Spiers, and it read "...apparently unable to cope with the new Hughes Market Basket across the street." It was Bruce's Market Basket as I remember. We begrudgingly shopped there after Spiers boarded up, and my brother played for a little league team that won the NL Little League champion for a team called Bruce's Braves. The LL complex is right next to the store. Hughes may have own it, but I'm not sure. I believe the Safeway across the street from Thomas Jefferson H.S. became a Market Basket too. T.J. isn't even T.J. anymore.

Thanks for the resourceful site. It is safe to say you are a primary source.

T. Wahl

Username: Erica S. Block
UserEmail: esb1978@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98)
Date: 09 Jul 2006
Time: 12:10:12


Hello. I have stumbled across your website in the past but only now was able to read it in detail.

It's wonderful what you have done here; preserving and documenting the heritage of Southeast Texans through family ties and oral history. Many of us all too often tend to lose our identity, being simply "Americans." Ha.

I, myself, am an Anthropology major with a minor in Classics (currently attending the University of Texas at San Antonio) and so I can well-appreciate the importance of history and cultural/personal identity to people the world over. Many times, all people have are their oral histories passed from one generation to the next; many times this goes undocumented.

And congratulations on receiving your award from the Dutch, that's fantastic! Although a Knighthood means very little here, it may get you a free or reduced-price meal in the Netherlands (joke)! I have been to Amsterdam and it was quite cold, but lovely. I am actually considering studying there for my Master's degree; they have wonderful schools and many courses are taught in English.

And so, congratulations, and continue your work because although it may not bring you fame and glory (or even fortune) at the moment, it will mean a lot to future generations.


Erica S. Block

Username: Donald L. Kirkpatrick
UserEmail: tatarrax@peoplepc.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; PeoplePal 6.2; HbTools 4.7.1)
Date: 09 Jul 2006
Time: 21:25:32


My grandfather, Walter Kirkpatrick, operated the Ferry at Evadale after he purchased it from Richardson in about 1915. My great grandfather lived at Bear Man's Bluff Texas (him, his wife and few family are buried there). They later moved to Evadale. My dad, Frank Kirkpatrick helped run the ferry (as did his other brothers) till he sold it when the State put the highway across the river.
I recall spending many summers in my grandfather's home on the banks of the river in the summers of my youth. They did not have electricity or running water. We used kerosine lamps and pumped water from the well just outside the kitchen door. They had a wood stove that turned out delicious catfish, turnip greens, coconut cake and etc. Houseboats lined the bank of the river next to the bridge and their owners fished for a living. It's a way lf life that is rapidly being forgotten. I would like to know how I would go about purchasing your books. Will you please advise me on this?

Thank you,

Donald L. Kirkpatrick
Friendswood, Texas 77546

Username: Oel Castner
UserEmail: ocastner@charter.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Win98; en-US; rv: Gecko/20060508 Firefox/
Date: 10 Jul 2006
Time: 15:55:29


W. T.......I am a Meadow's descendent. The legendary fortune of the Meadow's family have been talked about for years, but truthfully none of the family knows much about the fortune. Apparently the estate was ruled inadmissible by the courts in Beaumont or Orange. The was an attorney who retired a few years ago, wrote a letter to the Meadow's family, thanking them for as wonderful livelihood for him and his family. I'm not searching for the fortune, your knowledge of history of Texas makes me curious about anything or stories about the Meadow's family interest me......I also would like to know exactly where is Pine Island and is it accessible?

Username: Gregg Turner
UserEmail: GreggTurner@msn.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; MSN 9.0;MSN 9.1; MSNbMSNI; MSNmen-us; MSNcIA; MPLUS)
Date: 12 Jul 2006
Time: 09:49:50


Sir: your website biographies include an entry for Col. William H. Griffin, USMA Class of 1835. Have you a portrait photograph of this officer?

Gregg Turner, former director
Harvard Business School


Username: Tim Collins
UserEmail: timothy.collins@nuigalway.ie
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway; InfoPath.1)
Date: 20 Jul 2006
Time: 05:21:04


W. T.,

What an incredible resource you have made freely available!. Your articles on Sabine Pass during the Civil War period have proved to be essential reading reading in my current work on Dick Dowling, which was started by the late Ann Ivins. Your style of writing brings the whole period to life, and is invaluable when visiting the places frequented by Dowling in east Texas.

May your pen never run dry!


Username: Donna Polk
UserEmail: donnamayer57@yahoo.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 23 Jul 2006
Time: 15:37:35


Hi W. T.
I was really surprised when I typed my ancestor's name, Arsene LeBleu,Sr., and it took me to several of your pages.
I was wondering if you could tell me where to find the written documentation about him to add to my ancestry.

Username: David Saenz
UserEmail: david-sjr@sbcglobal.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 24 Jul 2006
Time: 01:54:54


I grew up in a small town named San Isidro, in deep South Texas. We are around 30 miles north of the Mexican border in Starr County. Well, to get to the point, I was walking outside my house one afternoon around 1 hour before dusk and in one corner of my eye I saw something black pass by. It was around 30-40 yards away right where the brush starts. I did not think much of this, then it struck me and I turned to the area and there it was a huge black cat. It was a little larger than our typical bobcat, but not by much. As quickly as it appeared, it disappeared into the brush.
Now my story may not be that interesting, but to this day I never saw it again, and it only makes me wonder if I was seeing things. Deep down I know what I saw, but you know. Years after this happened, I have discussed it with a few of my of my uncles and they all said the same thing, They are out there." Late Summer to Early Fall 1995 or 1996

Username: Roland S. Jary
UserEmail: rsjary@earthlink.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.22; Mac_PowerPC)
Date: 24 Jul 2006
Time: 13:28:14


Do you have any verification of 'which' Joseph Dunman was it that carried the letter for help from Col. Travis at the Alamo on 1 Mar 1836? That is, there were several Joseph Dunmans about that time and of an age in which a ride would have been logical, not only in his beliefs but involvement in the efforts.

I chase family history and so far no one has been able to determine exactly 'which' Joseph this was - any help here?

Thank you for your response - enjoyed reading all the good stuff!!!

Roland Jary
Fort Worth

Username: Kathie Bordelon
UserEmail: bordelon@mcneese.edu
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)
Date: 27 Jul 2006
Time: 10:13:52


Mr. Block,
I’d like to ask permission to use your article, Southwest Louisiana History Found in the Beaumont Enterprise, in the next issue of the SWLA Historical Association newsletter. Please let me know if this is all right. Thank you and I hope all is well with you.

Username: Charlie Harris
UserEmail: railroads@tech-j.biz
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 12 Aug 2006
Time: 19:40:42


I am searching for information and photos etc on the Cotton Belt Railroad in Texas. Especially looking for drawings, photos, plans, etc of the Union (Cotton Belt) Station in Waco. Built sometimein the early 1900s. The date I have yet to ascertain.
I have been in contact with numerous railroad related organizations but with no success.
Are you able to direct me to any information you or others may have.


Charlie Harris
New Zealand

Username: Wayne Purcell
UserEmail: prc@macau.ctm.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 13 Aug 2006
Time: 04:21:56


Dear Mr. Block:

I have just read your fascinating account of the Battle of Sabine Pass! Before continuing on, I just had to pause and drop you a quick line.

Thank you for researching and recording these different historical accounts of our great state.

I must tell you that today I am a bit homesick!

A native son of the Texas Panhandle (born in Amarillo, my parents still live in the North Texas Panhandle town of Perryton), my family and I have been serving in China as missionaries since 1985.

It has done my heart and spirit good to find your website today!!

Thanks again for making your works available online. May the Lord bless you with health and happiness.


Dr. Wayne Purcell
Pacific Rim Consultants

Username: Matt Shofner
UserEmail: matthew.shofner@sandvik.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 14 Aug 2006
Time: 16:06:43


Hello Mr. Block,
I was moved to tears when reading about my grandmother Mary B Kelly and her father John Franklin Kelly. One of Mary's son's was James Franklin Shofner and he was my father (God rest his soul). I have been doing some research on my family as I think there may be some Choctaw Indian blood somewhere up the line. I have only known names above my grandparents but you have helped put a character to these names and I thank you for that. Do you know of any Choctaw blood up this line? I hit a roadblock with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. They have a Mary Kelly on their roles but she was different from my grandmother. It may be on my grandfather's side (Floyd Shofner and Marin Luther Shofner) but it does not look that way. Any information you might have will be appreciated.

Matt Shofner

Username: Ken Lowery
UserEmail: klowery1@houston.rr.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705)
Date: 28 Aug 2006
Time: 12:30:37


I have enjoyed reading your stories about East Texas. My Grand Daddy ran turpentine camps there. His name was J.B. Lowery. He was always eager to walk the woods and tell you about his adventures. Many of my relatives worked the sawmills in East Texas. When I read your stories I feel that I may be reading about my family also.
Thank you

Username: Dee
UserEmail: Chickadee2541@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; FunWebProducts; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)
Date: 29 Aug 2006
Time: 14:35:08


We have always enjoyed your columns. My husband & I have lived in Beaumont all of our lives.

Can you tell me where I can get information about the stores, pharmacies, movie theaters, etc. that were in downtown Beaumont around the 1950's. We always try to remember where certain stores were and have forgotten where they were. Of course, we remember Kress (Kresses).

Would appreciate any information or information source you can give me.

Dee & Henry

Username: Stephanie Gonzales
UserEmail: gonzales62703@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)
Date: 31 Aug 2006
Time: 15:25:27


Mr Block

I came across your site through a search engine, and have stayed glued to my computer reading your articles. Coming from one of the first families in Jefferson Co (Blackman-Stone) I find your articles very informing, and accurate. Id love to know if you have anything else on my GGG grandfather Bennett Blackman, or my GG grandfather Elias Stone, he was one of the original Texas Rangers from 1837-1839, and served in the army of the Republic of Texas. I am also a descendant of Leo E. Craigen (peg leg) who fought for the CSA, and was wounded at the Battle of Shiloh he is also my GG grandfather. Thank you for such great writing! I have read a lot on early Jefferson Co, but your articles are by far the best.

Username: LeNelle
UserEmail: lenelledoiron@yahoo.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; Media Center PC 4.0)
Date: 31 Aug 2006
Time: 22:12:53


Mr. Block,
Wow, this has really shown me a little bit of my history, my 4th G-grandfather (Jesse Dyson)is mentioned in a couple of your writings,Jesse and every generation, including myself has lived in the orange & Jefferson county. I've often heard my mom say that one of my grandfathers was a river rat, ive heard of the hanging tree, and several other things, I guess what I would like to say is Thank you for taking the time to do this, it has enriched my life.

Many thanks,

Username: kent conwell
UserEmail: conwel@ih2000.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)
Date: 03 Sep 2006
Time: 07:21:41



we met years back when you spoke at a writer's meeting. my questions is about the indian mounds along the neches-- or that were along the neches. there is a mound in port neches at grisby's bluff. it's hard to believe it is one of the originals.


Username: Alan Johnson
UserEmail: jamesalanjohnson@hotmail.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; PeoplePal 3.0)
Date: 03 Sep 2006
Time: 09:22:31


Your web site has been added to my Favorite list. I was borned and raised in Vernon Parish Louisiana. I enjoy reading your web site and it carries me back to country living. I was borned jan 16 1958 in DeRidder Louisiana. On our little farm there in Vernon Parish produced some very good times. Take care and job well done. Alan Johnson appleheadj72@yahoo.com I sent both emails

kent conwell

Username: Carol Ann Kates
UserEmail: katescarol@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows 98; Win 9x 4.90; FunWebProducts; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 05 Sep 2006
Time: 21:33:31


I have been on your website doing research for a novel I am writing. It begins in Beaumont, Texas, in 1901, but soon shifts to Kansas. While about the exploration of oil and gas, it does not concentrate on Beaumont.

I found your website informative and very thorough.

Username: Jon Pult
UserEmail: jonpult@operamail.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/312.8 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/312.6
Date: 07 Sep 2006
Time: 13:32:47



I'm working on a series of essays on executed circus elephants. Your work "When Floto, The Elephant Came To Orange" is of great interest. How can I obtain a copy?

Username: Lou Ann Van Randen Chism
UserEmail: lchism@lonestarlegal.org
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 19 Sep 2006
Time: 09:37:30


Dear Sir:

Thank you for your site and thank you for including the Gerka Van Randen family on your site.

I lived in Hardin County for 20 years and have heard many stories about black panthers, Old Maid's Hill, and the Bragg lights.

Username: David Fenster
UserEmail: fensterdm_anr@sancharnet.in
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/418.8 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/419.3
Date: 23 Sep 2006
Time: 01:16:01


Sir: I am an American author living in India doing research for a public charitable organization.

For our archive/museum - I am trying to purchase an original copy of an article that appeared about MEHER BABA, and Garrett Fort, written by Marjorie Drueoll, in the Port Arthur News in 1937:

The Port Arthur News
Sunday, March 07, 1937 pg. 45
Port Arthur, Texas

Would you be able to suggest anyone that might have this page of this issue of the Port Arthur Newspaper from 1937 available for sale.

I know it is available online in digital form, but we would like an original copy, if possible.

Username: Craig Wilson
UserEmail: twilson@chevron.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; Q312461; SV1; GIL 2; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)
Date: 26 Sep 2006
Time: 13:51:09


Mr. Block

Thank you for your work. As a native of Port Arthur and a local history enthusiast, discovering your work has been like finding a gold mine. I enjoy reading your website.

I would like to seek some information that has always puzzled me but have never been able to find an answer to.

Do you know the origin / dates of the two separate wrecks in South Sabine Lake that are marked with pilons?

Thank you again

Sincerely, Craig Wilson

Username: kent conwell
UserEmail: conwel@ih2000.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)
Date: 27 Sep 2006
Time: 09:52:31



i wanted to do an article for the bmt. journal on the indian mounds you researched, but i need a diagram of the mounds or a picture of how they might have appeared. any suggestions?


kent conwell

Username: Michica Holliday
UserEmail: ladiday@gmail.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; YPC 3.2.0; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; Media Center PC 4.0; InfoPath.1)
Date: 17 Oct 2006
Time: 17:31:05


Mr. Block...

My ggg grandfather Jack Haynes was hung at Caney Creek i believe in Grimes Co. for trying to vote. I have been searching for any information that might be available about this and other hangings in Grimes or Walker Counties. I don't know the year this would have occurred. Any help given will be appreciated.

Michica Holliday

Username: russell guidry
UserEmail: rguidweld@mobiletel.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; FDM)
Date: 17 Oct 2006
Time: 19:59:31


Hi, I have been reading the stories on your site and must say that I can't stop reading. It is a real pleasure to have a site such as yours to find information on so many of Louisiana and Texas's past. Please keep up the good work. God bless Russell Guidry

Username: Brian
UserEmail: coastie@swbell.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)
Date: 26 Oct 2006
Time: 21:13:32


Mr. Block,
I've contacted you several times about various topics and I once again need your advice. I am the US Coast Guard unit in Port Arthur and I have been tasked with assisting my command in researching local Coast Guard history so we can dedicate a hallway in our building for significant events that our unit was involved in. Do you have any recommendations as to where I might be able to find any archived photos of the Beaumont/Port Arthur area? I am looking specifically at getting some pictures of WWII Port Arthur or maybe local military units performing regular duties during WWII.

Username: Jean Fairclough
UserEmail: jeanniemay@jeanniemay.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 27 Oct 2006
Time: 09:00:03


Mr. Block,

We have come to many roadblocks in looking for information on George Sangster (aka George Romaine Sangster), my husband's maternal great-grandfather. According to Eleanora Emily Sangster's birth certificate he was her father and he was a cook and was born in Houston, TX. We noticed you listed "Bill Sangster" as a riverboat captain out of Galveston. Do you know anything about Bill Sangster and his family? Could George be a relative of his? Thank you. Jean M. Fairclough

Username: Wayne Drake
UserEmail: wdrake354@sbcglobal.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; YPC 3.2.0; FunWebProducts; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; HbTools 4.8.2; yplus 5.1.02b)
Date: 27 Oct 2006
Time: 11:35:44


My friend and I had a discussion today about a movie theater that was located on GULFWAY DRIVE and the other one was on 36Th street I believe and we couldn't come to an agreement agree on the name of them. I said they were The Village (gulfway dr) and Don's (36th street). Could you verify this for us.

Thank you

Username: Pat McGowen
UserEmail: docpat@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; Q312461; SV1)
Date: 30 Oct 2006
Time: 10:48:49


Just to let you know, on two separate occasions, my friend and I saw two black panthers or perhaps jaguarondis in Halletsville, TX this month.

Pat McGowen
Spring TX

Username: Mary A. Garner Golding
UserEmail: MGold29383@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; FunWebProducts; .NET CLR 1.0.3705)
Date: 30 Oct 2006
Time: 10:53:35


I am so excited to find this great web site, I don't keep house much because of this most wonderful machine called a computer. I have a great deal of Garner info since I have been studying this since 1957. I have holes in my family that I have been unable to fill, I seam to skirt around all these people without finding the important proof that I need. Mary Ann Garner Golding 254-756-1347 Waco, TX

Username: Abe Ogea
UserEmail: akoge@sbcglobal.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; YPC 3.2.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; yplus 5.1.04b)
Date: 30 Oct 2006
Time: 20:36:17


Hi W. T.,
I stumbled across your writings in search of my curiosity of Gladys City and the development of Jefferson county. Having lived in Port Neches for the past couple of years and pastor of the Central Baptist Church, I haven’t the slightest idea of the rich heritage of our area. For the past few days I haven’t been able to tear myself away for all the materials you have produced. I plan to spend time reading more of your published books at the local library and if possible purchase what might be available. Thanks to you my neighborhood are seen through different eyes and the grounds I walk are greatly appreciated.
Abram (Abe) Ogea

Username: Tom Ledoux
UserEmail: webmaster@vermontcivilwar.org
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.5) Gecko/20060912 Netscape/8.1.2
Date: 31 Oct 2006
Time: 19:05:43


Mr. Block. I'm writing a book on Vermonters in the Navy in the Civil War. One of them was Stephen R. Tyrrell, Acting Ensign on the steamer Granite City. He was mortally wounded on May 6, 1864 at Calcasieu Pass. You mentioned him in your excellent article on the battle. I was wondering if you knew when and where he died? I appreciate any leads you could provide.

UserEmail: bluivory@yahoo.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 02 Nov 2006
Time: 10:53:16


I am wondering did you serve with
a Joseph Hovanec? My dad served in
WWII Battle of Bulge, H Forest, he
was wounded in the Bulge.

Username: Senobia Torres
UserEmail: mauserieon@sbcglobal.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20060909 Firefox/
Date: 07 Nov 2006
Time: 23:55:27


Mr. Block,

I love you and what you do. You truly have a gift and I appreciate you sharing your knowledge. When I am in need of local, historic guidance, you are always who I think of.

I need that guidance now. I want to do a series of stories on some of the interesting places in and around SE Texas, but since Tyrrell Library is closed for renovations, I don't know where to research.

Many of us have seen a neat old house or building and wondered what it used to be. That's the kind of stories I want to write - telling what they used to be. Sort of a 'Then and Now' thing. I'm just at a loss as to where to start.

I thank you kindly for your time and all you do, Mr. Block and look forward to your reply.

Senobia Torres

Username: John A. Lutz
UserEmail: epuma@beaconnet.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; FunWebProducts; SV1)
Date: 10 Nov 2006
Time: 21:35:02


For the message from Christine Skidmore inquiry on black panthers, she should visit our website at www.easternpumaresearch.com to further understand the large black cats called panther or puma in eastern North America.
And to Cannonball, Bill you do a great service on your website and hope the Good Lord finds it in His Blessing to keep you in good health for a long time....
God Bless You.....

Username: Teresa Bell
UserEmail: ltbell72@aol.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 12 Nov 2006
Time: 11:53:54


Thank you for your valuable research and publication of East Texas History. I am a student at SFA in Nacogdoches and am writing a research paper on Manning and some of the other sawmill towns that died or disappeared. (I have a personal interest also in that my grandparents lived in Manning during this time and my grandfather was one of the workers there. I grew up in the Shawnee Prairie/Shawnee Creek area near there) Your information has been most helpful! I am interested in finding a copy of your out-of-print book, Volume 1 of the East Texas Sawmill Towns and Ghost Towns. Any suggestion where I might procure one of these books?
Once again, thank you!

Username: Mary Proctor Sleppy
UserEmail: sleppy@earthlink.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; FunWebProducts; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 20 Nov 2006
Time: 17:57:12


I am considering the assumption that my ggrandfather was a Louisiana "jayhawker". Do you have any information that could help substantiate this. My father worked on genealogy for 25 years. He was always stumped by his grandfather's existence. His words were "This man (and his brother) came out of nowhere, married, fathered 13 children and lived the rest of life in peace, but before that time, he left little trace of his past".
This is what we know about him. John George Chandler, born 1849, in Rapides Parish, LA. (We are not sure if this is his real name but this is the name he used. Story is that he and his brother were run out of LA because of some black women and some horses. They lived the rest of their lives in Magnolia, Montgomery County, Texas.
Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Username: Bob d'Aigle
UserEmail: rdaigle@culturalresource.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 21 Nov 2006
Time: 23:40:27


W. T. - Im going to be doing another large area archaeological investigation on the Neches River. I'd like to be able to call on your expertise again. Perhaps we can meet this time. I'll be in Orange sometime in the next two weeks for a preview. Best regards, Bob d'Aigle, CRC, LLC Archaeology Consultants.

Username: Julie Miller
UserEmail: jjmiller273@charter.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 27 Nov 2006
Time: 10:55:02


I found your site and was interested in my family, the Van Randen's. I am Julia Miller (Van Randen), great grandaughter of Gerka. My grandmother, Tine, wife of Henk also died in Meppel. I live in Holland, Michigan have a son and grandaughter. Thank you for providing me with some clues to my past!

Username: Julie Miller
UserEmail: jjmiller273@charter.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 27 Nov 2006
Time: 10:57:23


I found your site and was interested in my family, the Van Randen's. I am Julia Miller (Van Randen), great grandaughter of Gerka. My grandmother, Tine, wife of Henk also died in Meppel. My parents, Johny and Margaret divorced in 1962. I live in Holland, Michigan have a Adam and grandaughter, Amaya. I don't know if you do updates to family history, but here it is for anyone looking. Thank you for providing me with some clues to my past!

UserEmail: themistergupton@hotmail.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 27 Nov 2006
Time: 14:33:18



UserEmail: themistergupton@hotmail.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 27 Nov 2006
Time: 14:37:48



UserEmail: themistergupton@hotmail.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 27 Nov 2006
Time: 14:42:28



Username: Bryan P. Leach
UserEmail: bryanleach@hotmail.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)
Date: 28 Nov 2006
Time: 07:56:42


Mr. Block,
I recently saw a large Black Cat in Bosco, La Thanksgiving night 11/23/06. Bosco is 15 miles south of Monroe, La off of La 165 north. I was traveling on a road going to my buddies camp when I saw what I believe to be a Black Jaguar. I only know this because my roommate had the same experience years ago in Merryville, La along the Sabine river. Not many people believe him since his experience, so he has done extensive research during his studies in wildlife and fisheries at McNeese. I was driving east from 165 toward the camp when I saw eyes in the ditch. I was not alarmed at first due to there being so many deer in the area. Once I passed I saw something black. My first thought was that it was a bear. Once I turned my truck around and shined my brights there he stood at 30 yards. A large black cat about the size of great dane. I would say he weighed around 125 lbs. His shoulders were broad and his tail was 3 1/2 to 4 foot in length. He did not appear to be afraid as he walked towards me and stopped. I watched him for several minutes and then he turned broad side and ran into the woods. Of course I did not have a camera, and prior to this I did not know that there was no physical evidence until I told a biologist yesterday. Once I was able to tell my roommate, he told how rare of an occasion this was and that many biologist do not recognize their existence in Louisiana. Only my close friends and family believe that I saw this cat. I just thought I would tell you of my exciting experience after reading your website trying to find info about what I saw.

Username: Peter Stines
UserEmail: pete1832@hotmail.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; Tucows; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 07 Dec 2006
Time: 10:27:04


Mr. Block,
I was re-reading the Tx Gulf Historical & Bio. Record (Nov. 1975) There was an article you had written about S.E. Texas men in the Tx. Rev. William Smith was mentioned as being from Beaumont when he joined B.J. Harper's Company. There was another William Smith listed in Logan's Company at San Jacinto. It looks like he was a substitute for Thas. Coville. Was this the same man ? Has it ever been determined where he was originally from ? Reason I ask, my ancestor was named William Smith. Research shows that he was born in New York and came to Anahuac Texas in 1831 with his wife and child. He deserted his family the following year. The name "Wm. Smith" appears on several muster rolls and it's almost impossible to sort them all out. My kinsman was murdered in 1838 over a land dispute. No idea where it happened. Adding to the confusion is William A. Smith who married William Smith's widow in the late 1830's. He was at San Jacinto, BUT his name also appears in S.C. Hirom's Company of Volunteers for the Seige of Bexar. He also came from New York and arrived in Anahuac in 1831. (Kemp's biography of San jacinto veterans has some minor errors.) The 1834 census of Anahuac reveals more more clues. I have copies of the records from the TGLO and local deed records. Any help would be appreciated. Anyone with information can e-mail me at pete1832@hotmail.com

Username: Jason
UserEmail: jasondore06@yahoo.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 07 Dec 2006
Time: 18:30:16


Hi my name is Jason, I really enjoyed all your information, I was wondering if you know of any of Jean Lafittes treasure being found? I live in south Louisiana and only know of one of his treasures being found.

Username: Kayte Lee Spiers Clater
UserEmail: JRKayteLee@bbtel.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1)
Date: 07 Dec 2006
Time: 23:53:08


Dear Mr Block, when I was researching My Family History, I came across an article, evidently written by You, mentioning that you lived in Hardin County for 20 yrs, and, you further mentioned, it appears, Hardin Co Sheriff Sam Spiers, then you went on to say, that, you could tell lots of Stories....I can't help but wonder "If" you are referring to the same Hardin Co Sheriff Sam Spiers, from here in Hardin Co, and served many yrs in Sheriff's office, many, many yrs ago, "Before" I was Born! However, If You are talking about this "Same" Sam Spiers, Hardin Co Sheriff, I believe that you would be referring to my Dad's Dad!!! You see, I am the Grandaughter of Sam Spiers, but, He Died when I was only about 6 yrs old or so. If You are, Indeed, talking about the "Same" Sheriff Sam Spiers, from Ky,I would be Delighted to write to you, and/or Talk with You!!! You see, My Dad, Stan Spiers, Died shortly after returning from 4 yrs, in USMC, when I was Only 2 yrs Old, and, I would Love to find out "all I can about My Dad's Family!!! My ph # is 270-769-3452 or #270-982-2928 and I live, here, in Elizabethtown, Ky. I am "going on" 58 yrs Old, and, for Many yrs, was a Reg Nurse here in Hardin Co!!!My name is Kayte Lee Spires Clater, I am Namesake of Sam's Daughter, My Dad's Sister, who worked in Hardin Co Clerk's Office for over 42 yrs. Please, do E-mail me, or, if you prefer, call me, at your convenience. Thankyou Kindly, Kayte Lee

Username: Richard McAuley
UserEmail: richard_mcauley@yahoo.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; InfoPath.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)
Date: 08 Dec 2006
Time: 15:34:42


Ref: Chapter V: A History of Jefferson County, Texas: Mexico and the Anglo-American Pioneers Chapter V, fn64


"Three other locations of Mexican land grants in Jefferson County are distinguished by their proximity to navigable water, namely, the Taylor’s Bayou and Pine Island Bayou watersheds and the northwest shore of Sabine Lake. Hiram Brown, Horatio M. Hanks, Joseph Butler, and N. Coleman had located claims in the latter area by 1835, but, in each instance, the grantees were non-resident claimants."

Upon what basis was it determined that Joseph Butler was a non-resident claimant?

I am the g-g-grandson of Alvey R. Johnson (1803-1862), an immigrant of 1830 who later served as a representative for Shelby County in the Third Congress, who prior to coming to Texas served as deputy sheriff in Clark County, Arkansas under both sheriff James Miles (1828-1830) and latterly under sheriff Joseph Butler (1830).

According to a power of attorney granted by John R. Johnson to Alvey R. Johnson, dated subscribed on May 10, 1840 in the "Republic of Texas County of Shelby", the writ is witness by Joseph Butler and John D. Richards, and the signature by Butler does appear to match the signature on Butler's 1834 title in Jefferson County. Do you have proof positive that Butler did not settle in Jefferson?

Username: Peter Benesh
UserEmail: peter.benesh@investors.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20061025 Firefox/
Date: 12 Dec 2006
Time: 17:08:47


Mr. Block:
I'm a journalist with the national newspaper, Investor's Business Daily.
I'm doing a story on John "Bet-a-Million" Gates.
Would you be able to help me? I'd like to interview you by phone.
I'm in California, at 619-297-1047. I am on a very tight deadline. My e-mail is peter.benesh@investors.com.
Many thanks,
Peter Benesh

Username: Peter Tjerk Westerterp
UserEmail: peter.westerterp2@sympatico.ca
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SYMPA; SV1)
Date: 18 Dec 2006
Time: 20:58:49


Enjoyed your article about the Bauke Westerterp. I am a )very)distant cousin of his living in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Your article helped me fill in numerous holes in a branch of my family tree. Thanks.

Username: Bill Glasspool
UserEmail: bglassp@yahoo.com
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)
Date: 22 Dec 2006
Time: 15:01:23


Read about the shootout with the Ashworths and Dyson's. The Sheriif they killed in Orange was my great great great grandfather. My name is Bill Glasspool and I am from DeQuincy.

Username: Laura Bergersen
UserEmail: jblb@volcano
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 26 Dec 2006
Time: 14:23:47


Very much enjoyed your article about August Tubbe and his sawmill. August was my great-great-grandfather.
Laura Collins Pierson Bergersen.
Jackson, CA
I also have some choate ancestors.

Username: Jenny
UserEmail: genevievekirsh@cox.net
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Date: 28 Dec 2006
Time: 23:36:00


Mr. Block I was reading your site to see how many more black panther sightings have taken place. I came across a few articles where you are doing german family history. My people are from Germany and I was wondering if you have any information on the following names....our lastname is now called Church....but it was originally called Kirch(although my email reflects kirsh...pay no head it was spelled wrong by my husband). Can you tell me anything?

Username: Jennifer Monaghan
UserEmail: jenniferlyn-lmsw@sbcglobal.net
HTTP User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Date: 31 Dec 2006
Time: 13:21:08


Thank you very much on the history of the Owings family. My great-grandmother is Patience Owings and somehow related to the Owings in your masterpiece. I really appreciate the time and energy you put forth.

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Copyright © 1998-2018 by W. T. Block. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, the material published on this site is copyrighted by William T. Block.
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WTBlock