Puryear/Pearson Reunion

Puryear/Pearson family and friends will gather to honor our Great Grandmother Rose (Rosa) Anne Thurman Puryear-Pearson b. 1872 – d. 1941. Rosa, a Travis County Pioneer, widowed twice, raised 15 children – 12 Puryears and 3 Pearsons. She outlived 3 husbands and her children populated a large portion of Travis County.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

10:30-11:30 a.m.

White Rock Cemetery – Bee Cave, Texas

Color Guard – Texas re-enactors-Artillery & Musket Salute by Members of Moses Austin Rangers.

From Austin: Take Highway 71W to the city limits of Bee Cave. The White Rock Cemetery is on the right, past Hwy 620 just before Hamilton Pool Road (FM 3238).

Public Invited

Rosa holding AltaRosa holding Alta

Texas Ranger Memorial Cross Dedication

TxRangerBadgeEarly Travis/Hays County settler and Texas Ranger, Henry Garrett Thurman, Jr. (1855-1928), will be honored by the Former Texas Ranger Association (FTRA) and Moses Austin Chapter Sons of the Republic of Texas (SRT). The Memorial Cross Dedication will be conducted by retired Texas Ranger Captain Carl Weathers of Lubbock, Texas. SRT Color Guard and Black Powder Boys in period uniforms will provide military honors accompanied by musket and cannon salute.


Saturday, October 3, 2015 – 10-11 a.m.

Wallace Mountain Cemetery

Highway 290

Dripping Springs, Texas

Directions from Dripping Springs: Going east on Hwy 290 from Dripping Springs, the cemetery is exactly ½ mile east from RM12 (formerly known as Ranch Road 12), directly across from the water tower. There are NO signs for the cemetery. Look for the letter “S” on the open gate. You will be directed to the private cemetery.

Directions from Austin: Going west on Hwy 290 from Austin, the cemetery is exactly 2 miles west from Deep Eddy Distillery, directly across from the water tower. There are NO signs for the cemetery. Look for the letter “S” on the open gate. You will be directed to the private cemetery.

Henry and Caroline Maxey-Thurman had 10 children, many still live in Travis and Hays Counties. Organizers hope that all their descendants will attend. Some of the earliest family names were Puryear, Pearson, Cox, and Ellis.

For more information contact Event Coordinator, Will Barkley at FTRA willb@formertexasrangers.org or David Bowles, Family Member Sponsor david@westwardsagas.com phone 210-827-4122.


Helena, “The Toughest Town on Earth”

“The Toughest Town on Earth” Eastern Newspapers called Helena. The first county seat of Karnes County, Texas founded in 1852. The town named for the wife of a founder, Lewis Owen. Helena flourished until the railroad bypassed it in 1894. After the county seat moved to Karnes City, Helena became a Ghost Town. The population is about 30 now; if you don’t count the ghosts.

Other than the ghosts of the past, Helena is known for the “Helena Duel.” It was invented by some mean hombres. Men who had a score to settle were tied at the left wrist and each wielded a razor sharp knife. The blade short so no vital organs could be punctured. Shirtless, the fighters lashed at one another until the loser begged to stop or bled to death. The local cowboys bet on the Helena Duel, like it was a cock fight.

My Great Grandfather, Dan Brown, operated one of the Helena Saloons until 1894 when the town died. That had to be a tough job! John Ruckman built a home in Helena in 1878 that is on the National Registry of Historic Places. I met Paul Ruckman, the Great Grandson of John, in Dallas in 1989. It was years later that we realized our Great Grandfathers settled the town of Helena.

The “Indian Summer Heritage Festival” is held in Helena on the last Saturday in October. Lulubelle and I will be signing books and telling stories this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Helena Courthouse Museum located at Highway 80 and FM 81 NE of Karnes City, 5 miles E of Panna Maria, Texas.

David and Friends - Helena 2013

David and Friends – Helena 2013

Triple Crown Trophy

Horseracing’s coveted “Triple Crown” trophy (TCT), has been returned to its case at the Kentucky Derby Museum. The three-sided silver and gold trophy was designed by Cartier and commissioned by the Thoroughbred Racing Association. Only California Chrome was eligible to win the elusive Triple Crown, after winning the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. The chestnut colt, with a white blaze across its long nose, failed to win the Preakness the last leg of the Triple Crown. The California-bred horse did win the hearts of racing fans the world over. Chromie, as the four year old colt is called by its owners; Perry Martin and Steve Coburn, is a crowd pleaser and loves the attention. Only 12 horses have won the Triple Crown; the last was Secretariat in 1978.

Chromie didn’t win the TCT; but won the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes and placed fourth in the Preakness. He ran against the nation’s best four year olds, during a grueling five week racing schedule. The trainer is 77 year old Art Sherman and the jockey is Victor Espinoza. What makes this story neat is that an ordinary horse, owned and trained by everyday working people, could out run all but three of the best bred horses in the world on a bad hoof.

A future blog will be about a Texas horse that did win the Triple Crown.


California Chrome

City of Austin’s Christmas Tree

In 2001, a great video was taken of the Christmas tree in Zilker Parker in Austin, Texas. The tree is still there today! Mike Carlson, South Austin Memories, posted this and I wanted to share this beautiful video of the City of Austin’s Christmas tree.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



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