Posts Tagged ‘1954’

Gareth to Lynette

December 6, 2012

arthur hughes - inspired by Tennyson's Gareth and Lynette

Image from ARTMAGICK

Poem in College Magazine.

The following poem which appeared in the University of Virginia Magazine, published by the students, was written by L. Travis White, of Frederick, who is studying law at the institution:

Gareth to Lynette.

Then Gareth: “Here be rules. I know but one —
To dash against mine enemy and to win.” — Tennyson.

More soft than silken strands the hair
That tumbles round thy temples fair,
Tossed by the summer air;
Like roses bloom thy cheeks;
The droning bee they near deceive,
When proffered sweetness to receive
Some brim-full flower he seeks.

Thine eyes, like twin stars on the deep,
Soft-mirrored when the billows sleeps
And moaning winds their silence keep,
Shine tenderly; yet seem
They like the dewdrops when the lawn
Gem-strewn, doth greet the Sun of dawn —
And mockingly they gleam.

Near thee the lark on tireless wing
Hovers his sweetest song to sing;
To thee the zephyrs tribute bring,
With violent-laden breath.
The buds whose fragrance is most sweet
Are gladly crushed beneath thy feet —
Thrice blest in such a death.

But thy heart is as hard to lover’s pain
Like the rocks beside the storm-swept main —
Against them dash, in vain, in vain,
The waves of a passionate sea;
Yet slow to ocean yields the land,
The proud rocks crumble into sand —
So will I conquer thee!

— L. Travis White.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Dec 4, 1912

L Travis White - Class of 1911 - Frederick MD - The Frederick Post MD 15 Dec 1971

L. Travis White is number 4 in the picture above.

Frederick High School’s Class of 1911 is once again part of the scene at the local school, at least in the form of the official class photograph presented to the school recently by Robert J. DiDomenico, executive director of Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley Inc.

The full story of where the old fashioned studio picture spent the last 60 years will probably never be known, although it can easily be visualized gracing the living room of some proud graduate’s home.

Whatever its history, the picture complete with handsome frame and glass, turned up as part of an anonymous donation to Goodwill and was spotted by Mrs. Barbara Coulter, secretary to DiDomenico, who recognized it as an interesting bit of memorabilia for the school.

DiDomenico agreed that this was a fitting disposition for the photograph and it was presented to George Seaton, principal of Frederick High School.

The picture, taken in the era of the old Boys High School, now Elm Street Elementary School, reveals several points of contrast with more recent high school class photos. Most obvious, of course, is the fact that the class is composed of only 19 members, all boys.

It is also interesting to note that the students are pictured in a West Point type military uniform, an indication of the schools’ past presently reflected only in the nickname “Cadets,” used by Frederick High athletic teams.

The students’ haircuts, on the other hand, are a bit on the full side with moderate sideburns not too different from today’s more conservative styles.

Most familiar, however, are the surnames, most of which are still prominently represented in Frederick County today. No effort has been made to tell how many members of the class survived, but Principal Seaton would be pleased to hear from any who might still live in the area.

Names of those identified in the Smith Studio (of Frederick) photograph include: Clyde E. Burgee, Allen G. Quynn, Earl E. Zeigler, L. Ray Burgee, Louis A. Rice, James R. Keller, J. Ernest Haifleigh, R. Dorsey Sappington, Willis D. Witter, George L. Rothenhoefer, Dean W. Hendrickson, David L. Johnson, William H. Solt, Marvin L. Shirley, Prof. Amon Burgee, Edgar J. Eyler, J. Roger Fisher, L. Travis White, John L. Shaw and J.F. Minor Simpson.

The Frederick Post (Frederick, Maryland) Dec 15, 1971

L Travis White - Scholarship - The News - Frederick MD 06 Jun 1912

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Jun 6, 1912

L Travis White - Scholarship - The News - Frederick MD 20 Jun 1914

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Jun 20, 1914

Travis White El Paso - Caribel and Roxanna visit - The Frederick Post MD 11 Apr 1931

The Frederick Post (Frederick, Maryland) Apr 11, 1931

L Travis White - Odd Tricks - Bridge book cover

Image from Gamblers Book Club

From Bridge Guys – Bridge Books:

White, Littleton Travis – (July 3, 1894 – December 1973) – Littleton Travis White

Odd Tricks, c1934, Edited by Albert H. Morehead and Clifford A. Bender, Publisher: The Bridge World, Inc., New York City, United States; also Odd Tricks, 1978, Edited by Albert H. Morehead and Clifford A. Bender, Publisher: GBC Press, Las Vegas, United States, ISBN-10: 0896508102; also Odd Tricks, 1983, Edited by Albert H. Morehead and Clifford A. Bender, Publisher: Casino Press, ISBN-10: 0870190334 / ISBN-13: 9780870190339, LC: 34041970

Note: Mr. Paul Ryan has contributed this information in addition to a scanned version of the newspaper article in the El Paso Herald Post upon the publication of the bridge book. This information is included in a .pdf file for the interest of the bridge visitor and, in addition, a visually more acceptable version, also in a .pdf file format. Mr. Paul Ryan has also included the scanned version of the World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, of Littleton Travis White and also the scanned information collected during the 1930 United States Federal Census. Also include is the Social Security

*     *     *     *     *

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
The Work Done By The Just Government League:

[excerpt – L. Travis White’s mother was involved in women’s suffrage movement]

L Travis White - Mrs John Kearnes White - Suffragette - The News - Frederick MD 15 Dec 1915

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Dec 15, 1915

Littleton Travis White - Roxanna's Party - The News - Frederick MD 17 Dec 1901

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Dec 17, 1901

*     *     *

Evidently, his sister was a bit of an artist:

Roxanna White - Charcoal Drawing - The Frederick Post MD 15 Oct 1917

The Frederick Post (Frederick, Maryland) Oct 15, 1917

Campus map, St. John's College (MD)

Image from HCAP

L. Travis White’s sister, Roxanna, married the president of St. John’s College. What I found interesting were his comments to the Rotary Club about the educational revolution, and St. John’s “counter-revolution”:

COLLEGE HEAD TALKS TO CLUB

St. John’s System Explained To Rotarians By President

Educational counter-revolution by St. John’s College, Annapolis, shared discussion with the shortage of Maryland oysters as topics of discussion before the Wednesday luncheon meeting of the Frederick Rotary Club.

Dr. John Spangler Kieffer, president of St. John’s College and also of Annapolis’ Rotary, described the 100-book foundation of knowledge system inaugurated by the school in 1937.

W.R. Slemmer, chairman of the local Rotarians’ committee for an oyster-roast to be held later this month, changed the after-dinner talk of members from the day’s topic of  “Education in Revolution”, to “will we be able to get oysters to roast?”, when he refused to continue sale of tickets for the proposed affair, until weather conditions and the bivalve market assures delivery of the food.

Introduced by his uncle, Rev. Henri L.G. Kieffer, the speaker of the meeting explained St. John’s College new system as anomalous, in that it is designed to maintain the “aura of college aristocracy, with democratic ideals.”

The highly honored Harvard graduate was made president of the Annapolis college last year, succeeding Stringfellow Barr in continuing the “nationally observed new-trend for education, started in 1937.” President Kieffer’s wife, the former Miss Roxanna White, is a native of Frederick.

Called Revolutionary

Dr. Kieffer explained that the St. John’s program is actually a revolution against the nineteenth-century revolution in education. That classical education of the past hundred years was not the complete fundamental knowledge necessary to developments of laboratory sciences and that elective courses were a compromise which undergraduates are not capable of choosing.

He deplored over-specialization in teaching undergraduates and summed up the program of his college system, as one intended to complete adolescence of students by training the mind to think generally and adultly; thereby being acquainted with the “principles” of the civilization in which he will live.

“We are living through a revolutionary period, as evidenced by the present loss of standards, faith and belief in things,” Dr. Kieffer said, “There is skepticism, dogmatism, on every hand. There is a general lack of knowledge and faith in fundamentals. We have lost the stability of the nineteenth century minds, because the atomic bomb disproved Maxwell’s system of physics,” the speaker concluded.

The Frederick Post (Frederick, Maryland) Feb 12, 1948

*     *     *     *     *

Interesting “men vs. women” note in this article excerpt:

PARTY FOLLOWS FINAL SEMINAR

Mr. And Mrs. Kieffer Are Honored By Group At Library

Women may control the wealth of the country as statistics indicate, but it was the men who defended its economic system as opposed to the Communist theory in a lively final session of the Great Books Seminar in the C. Burr Arts Library, May 2 during the discussion of the Communist Manifesto. John S. Kieffer, director of adult education at St. John’s College, Annapolis, who has been conducting the Seminar, presented. The session concluded with a party given by Between-the Book-Ends Club in honor of Mr and Mrs. Kieffer….

Kieffer - Book Seminar - The Frederick Post MD 12 May 1952

The Frederick Post (Frederick, Maryland) May 12, 1952

*     * Census Records *     *

John Kearnes White, the father, doesn’t every appear to be with the family:

Littleton Travis White - 1900 census - Frederick MD

1900 Federal Census – Frederick, MD

Travis White - 1910 census - Frederick MD

1910 Federal Census – Frederick, MD

In 1920, Mrs. White and Roxanna are still living in Frederick, MD, sans father, and Littleton Travis White is a roomer in Virginia, practicing law.

*     *     *

By 1940, Littleton Travis White was finally married, and to quite the YOUNG lady:

Travis White - 1940 census - El Paso TX

Living in El Paso, Texas, with his mother-in-law, young wife, and baby daughter.

*     *     *     *     *

According to his mother’s obituary, she was a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy:

Caribel Travis White - Obituary - The Frederick Post MD 30 Apr 1954

The Frederick Post (Frederick, Maryland) Apr 30, 1954

John Kearnes White - The White Rose

Travis’s father appears to have authored a book of poetry. The interesting part is the dedication:

John Kearnes White - to my mother

To My Mother, not My Wife.

HATHI TRUST Digital Library has the book online: THE WHITE ROSE

*     *     *     *     *

Littleton Travis White died in Annapolis, Maryland, while visiting his sister:

Travis White - Obituary - El Paso Herald-Post TX 08 Dec 1973

His death was front page news in the El Paso Herald-Post (El Paso, Texas) Dec 8, 1973

The End

All this for a poem!

“People Count Themselves to Death in This Life”

September 24, 2012

Image from Today in Literature

Superior Sagas

By INEZ ROBB

This country has run plumb out of frontier. But despite the laments of the pessimists, it has not run out of the bold, freewheeling pioneer spirit before which the frontier vanished.

That, says an expert (borrowing from Freud) is the reason we Americans are crazy about westerns; We read ’em by the thousands to sublimate our intense yearning to pack up the covered-wagon and git for the great open spaces.

And that goes for President Eisenhower, too, who is one of the most consecrated devotees of western fiction in the country.
So says Louis L’Amour (his square name), walking encyclopedia of the Old West and author of “Hondo” and other superior sagas of the wild and woolly.

“The American is still a tough hombre, rough and ready, no matter what sociologists say about the debilitating effects of central heating, can openers and air-conditioned autos,” said L’Amour when I cornered him for luncheon the other day.

*     *     *

Product of West

A product of the Old West and the descendant of pioneers, at least one of whom lost his hair to the Sioux, the author bases this heartening appraisal of his fellow citizens in part on his experience with them in a tank destroyer unit in Europe during World War II.

“It may take a jolt to waken that tough, rough and ready streak in him, but he’s got it, even here in the effete East,” says L’Amour.

Born in North Dakota, this is one western author who spent his childhood playing cowboy and Indians with real cowboys and bona fide Indians. There he began to collect, subconsciously, the extraordinary range of western lore that makes the background of his western as authentic and factual as a history of the period.

“I’ve got no time for this Hopalong Cassidy stuff,” said L’Amour, who looks as big and rough hewn as any of his heroes. Having committed heresy, he went on to say that his hero gets the girl, if any, and doesn’t have to go around kissing horses in the sunset.

Even though the Indians scalped his great-grandfather, the author has affection and respect for the noble Redskin and treats him as a man with problems, mainly the pale face, in his fiction.

Not only is L’Amour recognized as a real long-hair student of the Old West as pertains to the pioneers but as an expert on the American Indian, his life and hard times. The two fields mesh and L’Amour is toying with the idea of writing a dictionary or encyclopedia on both.

Most Americans today, he pointed out, don’t even know such elementary facts as why the pioneer used oxen rather than horses or mules on the trek west, or how much goods and gear a covered wagon held.

*     *     *

Lot More Tasty

Fully loaded, the wagon would tote 2500 pounds. And nature provided the oxen with large hoofs which didn’t sink into sand or sod as did the dainty hoofs of horses and mules. And, in addition, oxen were a lot more tasty in the stew pot if worse came to worst and an animal had to be killed for food.

L’Amour always intended to be an author, but never of westerns. His first novels were about the East Indies, on which he is also an expert. In fact, this inexhaustible man is a student and expert on a dizzying number of subjects, Indian archeology and the 12th Century, to name two.

He recently signed a contract to do two novels on the 12th Century theme. But in the intermin, he has a number of novels on the fire for Americans who long for a home where the buffalo roam and who, when they settle down with a good book, begin to hum “Don’t Fence Me In.”

Albuquerque Tribune (Alburquerque, New Mexico) Aug 12, 1954

This Writer’s Life Better Than Stories

By HAL DOYLE

NEW YORK (AP) — “People count themselves to death in this life,” said Louis L’Amour, declining to give his age.

With L’Amour, one of America’s  most prolific adventure writers, keeping his age to himself isn’t a matter of vanity. It’s a philosophy.

“It isn’t the number of years you’ve lived that’s important,” he said, “It’s a mistake to measure living in terms of years. It’s how you’ve spent the years that puts real meaning into existence.”

Judged by most standards, L’Amour has had enough experiences to last the ordinary man through several reincarnations.

The average adventure writer is a swivel chair dreamer who would think twice before picking a quarrel with his dentist.  L’Amour not only looks like the adventure heroes he writes about — he probably could whip one of his own heroes in a fight with either fist or gun.

The big 6-foot-1 inch author weighs 200 and is a judo expert as well as an authority on desert or jungle survival. He has been a sailor, a miner, a hobo, a professional boxer — he won 54 bouts, lost 5 — and an antitank combat officer in World War II.

At 15 he left his home in Jamestown, N.D., and joined a circus as the first step in a search for adventure that has carried him to almost every place in the world.

“Even then I knew I wanted to write,” he recalled. “But I figured I could learn more out of school than in it. I felt I had to see life before I could write about it.”

“I had 200 stories rejected before I sold my first one for $10,” he recalled.

His career has now reached the jackpot stage. He has published more than 400 short stories, turned out half a dozen adventure novels, including “Hondo,” made into a movie starring John Wayne, to whom he bears a strong physical resemblance. Recently he sold a magazine serial for $15,000, sat down and wrote another book, “We Shape the Land,” in 55 hours at the typewriter in 5 days.

L’Amour, whose own experiences have proved a fruitful gold mine, has no patience with people who think of adventure as something limited to the glamerous past.

“It isn’t,” he said soberly. “There is more adventure alive in the world today than there ever was, plenty of unexplored places. Adventure is there waiting for any man with the courage to go and find it. But you’ll never discover it by looking at the calendar — and counting yourself to death.”

Abilene Reporter News (Abilene, Texas) Apr 25, 1955

*     *     *

Proving, once again,  that “going to school” is not the same thing as “receiving an education”:

Anderson Daily Bulletin (Anderson, Indiana) Sep 16, 1954

*     *     *

Panaman City News (Panama City, Florida) Jul 16, 1969

*     *     *

One of several Louis L’Amour books made into a movie:

Hammond Times (Hammond, Indiana) Sep 27, 1956

*     *     *

A real “corker” of a quote:

The Daily Intelligencer (Doylestown, Pennsylvania) Dec 27, 1955

National Read-A-Book Day

September 6, 2012

Image from Flavorwire

It’s National Read-A-Book Day

Click Orlando: 20(things to  know about) Books Everyone Should Read

*   *   *   *   *

Check out what folks were reading back in the day – New Books at the Library:

Lima News (Lima,Ohio) May 22, 1954

Council Bluffs Nonpareil (Council Bluffs, Iowa) Jul 25, 1953

Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota) Jan 17, 1944

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Mar 30, 1929

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Nov 30, 1921

Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Oct 20, 1909

North Adams Transcript (North Adams, Massachusetts) Jul 30, 1895

*   *   *   *   *

From the Dracut Library Blog:

WHY SHOULD YOU READ??

People learn to read by reading. Skill building is important, but without practice putting all the skills together, learning is slowed down. Quantity and intensity matter.

Frequent practice reading for longer periods of time pays off in fluency and ability to use skills automatically.

Increasing competence is motivating and increased motivation leads to more reading. When students can see their own progress, they want to read more.

Pleasure reading has cognitive benefits. It improves skill and strategy use, builds fluency, enlarges vocabulary, and builds a student’s knowledge of the world.

Children learn by example. Set aside 5 minutes of time where both you and your child read. Make it an important aspect of your day. As your child gets older, just doing the same activity can be a bonding experience – reinforcing the value of education. Whether it’s a magazine, newspaper, eReader or iPad, the important thing is Just do It!

Midsummer Folly and a Wheelbarrow

July 30, 2012

Brownsville Herald (Brownsville, Texas) Aug 2, 1949

Midsummer Folly

This being the socalled silly season, we are moved to interest in Larry Hightower, cowboy poet, who has started to push a wheelbarrow around the world. He expects to consume the nest 12 years in this useless task. Of course everyone should have a purpose in life and if one’s purpose is to trundle a wheelbarrow 25,000 miles or more, we wish him success. To those of us who hate to push a lawnmower around a yard once a week, this man’s self-imposed stunt seems the acme of foolishness if foolishness has any acme. Yet we wonder if a lot of us aren’t just as foolish without realizing it.

Many of us are pushing wheelbarrows, figuratively speaking. We are trundling a load of unnecessary worries up hill and occasionally butting our heads against stone walls. We are loading ourselves down with self-imposed burdens and hoping someone else will lighten the load. Many of us are pursuing the wrong path, keeping the wheelbarrow wheel in a rut, so to speak, when we ought to go ahead and reconnoiter along the road and see if we shouldn’t make a turn somewhere. Oh, well, if Larry wants to push a wheelbarrow around the world for a dozen years back to where he started that’s his business. On a rough road with plenty of cream he could churn some butter while he’s a-wheeling. Maybe he isn’t much more foolish than some others. The broad highway is filled with all kinds of wheels within wheels.

Syracuse Herald Journal (Syracuse, New York) July 15, 1946

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Mar 16, 1950

Wheelbarrow Express Starts Up Pike’s Peak Despite Falling Snow

Colorado Springs, Colo., March 11 — (AP) — Larry Hightower an his “Wheelbarrow Express” began the 62 mile round trip to the summit of Pikes Peak at 8 a.m. today despite falling snow and scorning grim legends of death and disaster to winter travelers atop the peak.

Hightower is the Ellensburg, Wash., man who started pushing a wheelbarrow on July 4, 1846 and has since pushed it a total of 18,212 miles through 48 states, five Canadian provinces, Mexico and Guatemala.

“I’ve seen worse weather than this,” he commented drily abut the snow which had started falling during the night. “I’ll make it if it takes all winter.”

He carries a supply of food which includes crackers, sardines, some GI emergency rations and a thermus jug of coffee.

He has only one blanket, but wears four shirts, two pairs of trousers and four pairs of gloves.

He said he will release a red flare if he gets into danger. On reaching the summit he will set off four flares to announce his arrival.

If he gets stuck for the night in the higher altitude where there are no houses, he said, he will dig a burrow in the snow and hole up. For warmth, he said, he will depend on a flask of partly filled with sand, into which he will pour wood alcohol, making a tiny stove.

He estimated it would take him from six to eight days to make the trip.

Greeley Daily Tribune (Greeley, Colorado) Mar 11, 1950

PIKE’S PEAK SUMMIT, Colo. (UP) — Larry Hightower, the only man to push a wheelbarrow to the top of Pike’s peak, left the deserted summer house and started back to Colorado Springs Thursday.

It took him five days to reach the top of the 14,110-foot mountain. Going down, he figured it would take about two days to cover the 26 miles.

Idaho State Journal (Pocatello, Idaho) Mar 16, 1950

BOISE, (UP) — Wheelbarrow Trundler Larry Hightower headed west again Saturday after obtaining Gov. C.A. Robins’ signature on a treasured Washington state flag.

The wiry Ellensburg, Wash., World War I veteran said he would try to make Pendleton, Ore., within the next 20 days. But he won’t hurry.
After all, he said, he’s been on the road more than four years — walking every foot of the way. So a few more days, or weeks, are of little importance.

Hightower caught Gov. Robins in his office late Friday after making an unsuccessful first try at getting hte chief executive’s signature on a flag which already has the names of 13 governors on it.

Hightower and his “Irish baby buggy” arrived here Thursday night after a tough trip across the Southern Idaho desert. The wheelbarrow survived the heat well, but Hightower had several blisters atop blisters before he reached the sanctuary here.

IN HIS carefully kept log book, the deeply suntanned wheelbarrow pusher chalked up his 19,448th mile. He explained that his tour since he left Ellensburg has taken him through most states of the nation and several countries of Central America.

Hightower, who lives on a government veteran’s pension, wore out 19 pairs of shoes and 1217 pairs of socks on his trip. He wears levis and a cotton suntan shirt most of the time. A pair of gloves helps absorb some of the punishment of pushing the 120-pound ‘barrow, into which are neatly piled all of his belongings.

HE SAID the idea of setting a world record for wheelbarrow travel struck him about five years ago.

“Men have accomplished many things, but no one picked a wheelbarrow for something like this,” Hightower said. “I picked the most primitive type of travel — a one-wheeled vehicle.”

HE CALLS HIMSELF a “messenger of good will,” and has delivered 332 lectures in schools, colleges and other institutions on Americanism.

“I’ve been trying to get across the idea that the American way of life is the best in the world,” Hightower said.

When asked how he managed to live on just a pension, he replied:

“You can’t throw a whingding, but you get by  somehow.”

Hightower hasn’t made up his mind whether he’ll go back to Ellensburg and settle down or not. He thought for a while of traveling to Hawaii or perhaps the Phillippines, but the Korean was situation has soured him on making a trip across the Pacific.

“Guess I’ll just mosey along and see how things turn out,” he said.

Idaho State Journal (Pocatello, Idaho) Aug 20 1950

Long Beach Independent (Long Beach, California) Aug 27, 1947

Walla Walla Union Bulletin (Walla Walla, Washington) Sep 28, 1950

Wheelbarrow Valued Highly

MOSES LAKE (AP) — Someone else is pushing Larry Hightower’s wheelbarrow and the former Ellensburg cowboy doesn’t like it.

It’s the one he pushed up Pike’s Peak on the jaunt that took him through the western United States and into Mexico and Canada. The one-wheeler turned up missing Thursday night, he complained to police.

Police should have no trouble identifying it. It has two headlights powered by a generator, a radio aerial topped by an American flag and the base is painted red, the interior white and the outside blue.

It’s worth a lot to Hightower, too: $40,000 was the estimate he gave police.

The cowboy said he suspects two juveniles.

Tri City Herald (Pasco, Washington) Jul 23, 1954

*****

Idaho Family Girl is (at least was – searching for her great-grandfather’s log books) to put in a museum. Read more HERE.

Recent post by Idaho Family Girl with more pictures.

Footage of Larry Hightower pushing his wheelbarrow on youtube:

Larry the Wheelbarrow Pusher

Little Pets – Big Pets

July 18, 2012

Remember Folks! Little Pets Grow Into Big Pets!

Wage Earner: Cute Little Tyke, What is it?

Salaried Man: It’s a device to nick the wealthy for more taxes!

Farmer: If Uncle wants it, it’s okay with me – I’ll never hafta feed it!

*     *     *     *     *     *     *    *     *

For Instance – Whooda Ever Thought – Way Back in 1913

RICH MAN

POOR MAN

BEGGAR MAN

THIEF

DOCTOR

LAWYER

MERCHANT

CHIEF

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

C’MON, C’MON EVERYONE!

DIVVY UP!

Dixon Evening Telegraph (Dixon, Illinois) Mar 10, 1954

Unemployment – It’s Nothing to Bray About

June 1, 2012

Ike Sees Red – the Registerers… Not So Much

August 24, 2011

Today in History:

In his Summer White House office at Lowry Air Base, Colorado, President Eisenhower signed into law the proposed anti-Red bill which virtually outlaws the Communist party.

The President called it a step in the program to guard the nation.

(NEA Telephoto)

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Aug 25, 1954


COMMIE REGISTERERS BORED.

At the close of the first day in their new jobs, Anita Intellini (left) and Shirley McGowan, both of Washington, D.C., are completely bored.

Their task is to register Communists at the Justice Department under the Communist Control Act signed into law by President Eisenhower.

Not one Commie, not even a Pinkie, came in to register.

The Marion Star (Marion, Ohio) Aug 27, 1954

From Armistice to Veterans’ Day

November 11, 2010

President Eisenhower signing ceremony the change from Armistice to Veterans’ Day

A New Name for November 11

THE ACTION of Congress in changing the designation of November 11 from “Armistice Day” to “Veterans’ Day” has probably heightened the significance of that date as a time to pause in respect and memory of the valiant deeds of our armed forces in wartime.

Throughout America’s history the strength of the nation has had its finest expression in the willingness of our sons and daughters to give of themselves when the need arises. Their service has preserved the freedom which has become synonymous with America and our way of life. It continues to provide hope and leadership for a troubled world.

It is fitting that on this first occasion known as Veterans’ Day we should all pause in our daily activity to pay high tribute to those who have served their country.

The County-side observance being conducted this year by veterans organizations, guided by the Alameda County Veterans’ Day Commission, the Board of Supervisors, and City Councils, seems most appropriate. The members of the Commission should be complimented for their efforts in establishing a new and enlightened interest among both veterans and the general public.

It is to be hoped that this year’s colorful parade and military demonstrations in Oakland will be but the forerunner of observances to be held in other cities of the County in future years.

Daily Review (Hayward, California) Nov 11, 1954

Robert V. Carr: The Cowboy Poet

July 23, 2010

From his book, "Black Hills Ballads"

Robert V. Carr (aka Bob Carr) was the official poet of Seth Bullock’s Cowboy Brigade. I got an email from Carl Steiger the other day, which prompted me to see what all I could find on Mr. Carr. Based on census records, as well as a mention by Cabot Yerxa in one of his articles, Robert Carr appears to have been born in Illinois, and not South Dakota, as mentioned in some sources.

STORIES PICKED UP.

Th’ trees are whisperin’ a tale,
Of shade an’ lazy dreams;
Of loiterin’ and lingerin’,
Beside th’ singin’ streams —
‘Tis loafin’ time.

Th’ woods are makin’ love to you,
They’re callin’ you to jest
Come out from work an’ idle there,
Upon th’ lap of rest —
‘Tis loafin’ time.

— Robert V. Carr.

Des Moines Daily Leader (Des Moines, Iowa) May 17, 1902

SIMPLY TO LIVE.

(By Robert V. Carr in The Jaw Bone.)

To simply live, and drink of Sorrow’s cup
To know of Happiness, the blessings of Content;
To love, to hate, to rest, to strive and toil,
And know that all is for a purpose sent.
To simply live and gather by the way
Impressions which e’er mould and make the character of man.

Tri-City Star (Davenport, Iowa) Oct 18, 1904

Cowboy Lyrics.

“Cowboy Lyrics,” by Robert V. Carr, is a neat little volume of poems published by the W.B. Conkey company, Chicago.

If one is surfeited with the conventionalities of city and society, if one would have the open and unbroken prairie, if one would see the “bronco buster” in real leather breeches, if one would know the appetite before the call for dinner of the cow puncher, if one would see the roundup as it really is, he should get these “Cowboy Lyrics.” There are human tastes and human passions in the book, and they are related with much warmth and expression by the uncultured poet of the “Old Pactola Trail.” The spirit of the author is in “The Old Cowman.”

I’m not so young as I uster be,
I’m somewhat gray and wrinkley,
An’ I wear my hat — my old white hat —
On the back o’ my neck on a roll o’ fat
An’ I don’t ride much like I uster, tho’,
I’m not so dog-goned gumbo slow
When it comes to bronks, but yet I’ll say,
A buggy fer mine ‘most any day.

But my heart is young, oh, my heart is young,
An’ she sings the songs like she allers sung;
Dealin’ fair and dealin’ square,
An’ findin’ friendship everywhere;
An’ never a fear does she let slide,
Fer the day when I cross the Great Divide.

Old pards are gone — no use to care,
They’ve rode the trail to Overthere;
But I’ll see ’em again, I should shout!
To jes’ shake hands fer all get out!
I’ve no regrets an’ that’s no lie,
A white man’s never afeer’d to die;
Old age an’ death has got to be,
An’ by the bods, they don’t scare me!

Milford Mail (Milford, Iowa) Jun 25, 1908

ROBERT CARR, COWBOY POET, PAYS A VISIT TO BUTTE

Robert V. Carr of South Dakota has been visiting in Butte the past few days. Mr. Carr has gained fame as the author of a little volume of verse styled “Cowboy Lyrics.” The volume is in four divisions, “Ranch and Range,” “On the Trail of Love,” “Where the Chinook Blows” and “The Road to Yesterday.” In the verses are found faithful pictures of cowboy life, as it is, life on the range and through the great West. Mr. Carr is possessed of a genial humor, a practical philosophy and kindliness of heart which find voice in these poems and are bound to make them most popular.

The Anaconda Standard ( Anaconda, Montana) Oct 25, 1909


“How.”

I’d like to meet you anywhere,
Along the sunset trail
An’ roll with you a cigarette,
An hear a range-land tale.
I’d like to hear you drawlin’ speak
That word that rhymes with cow,
An’ tastes o’ sage an’ alkall —
That little old word “How.”

I’d like to sight you from a raise
Upon the Big Divide
I bet I’d know you from the way —
The reckless way you ride.
I bet I’d yell — Aw, blame the luck!
I’d give the world jes now,
To hear the pound o’ hoofbeats an’
that little old word “How.”

Fer charmed, I’m sure, an soft handshake
Of high society,
Somehow, don’t never git its rope
Upon the heart o’ me.
I want to beat you on the bark,
In joyous, friendly row,
An’ call you names — I want to hear
Taht little old word “How.”

— Robert V. Carr in the Popular Magazine.

Syracuse Herald (Syracuse, New York) Feb 25, 1911

From Literature of South Dakota - by Oscar William Coursey

NEW BOOKS

Robert V. Carr, the author of “Cowboy Lyrics,” of which a complete and revised edition will be issued by Small, Maynard & Co., of Boston, in October, did not write his lyrics of the western cattle range from the window of a Pullman, or in ease and comfort.

Mr. Carr, in a recent interview, tells of his first attempts to lariat the wild and untamed muse.

Said he, “You must not think that the way of the writer of western verse is strewn with posies. I believe I was about 14 years old when, in addition to an overpowering ambition to be a cowboy, I began to cherish fond hopes of becoming a writer. Possessing a couple of Indian ponies, I drifted from ranch to ranch, from cow outfit to cow outfit, and when I was not annoying the cooks, I was scribbling poetry. Some of those verses I sent to a country editor. He returned them with a note to the effect that they were not worth space. Years later that editor transgressed the law and was sent to jail. That served as an awful warning to me, and later, when I became a country newspaper editor, I always published the poetry sent in.

“Still, in the camp and on the trail in that trampled country north of the Black Hills of South Dakota. I wrote of the things I saw. Sometimes they were printed, but more frequently rejected.

“I left the western country for a bitter experience in teh army in the Philippines and returned to the Black Hills a physical wreck, but still writing. I then sought the cities, but managing editors had little space for western poetry and I drifted on. In that time I came in contact with the down-and-outs, the hungry men, the broken men. I need no books to tell me of despair. In many a dark hole in the city I longed for the clean prairies and a sniff of sage. But still I scribbled. And in time I returned west.

“Years later, when my old cowboy friends had coiled their ropes forever, a magazine editor wrote me, asking for some cowboy lyrics. I was the most surprised mortal in the United States. The editor got his lyrics and I received a check. I hated to cash that check. Naturally, one does not desire to part with something that has cost him 15 years of fighting.

“Yes, the way of the poet, like that of the transgressor, is hard; but yet, when I get a friendly letter from one of the boys in the west, or some chap whose authorship is confined to chalkmarks on water tanks, I do not regret the efforts. I am thankful that I was made to suffer, for it is only by suffering that we learn anything worth while.”

The Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah) Jan 4, 1913

TONOPAH.

Robert V. Carr, in The Popular

Slung his money like he knowed
He had staked the mother lode
Wine and song and all the rest —
Everything the very best
Said he wanted to get rid
Of his excess dust — he did!
Wildest splendor ever saw
Struck it rich, had Tonopah

Friend had he — fair-weather kind,
But he did not seem to mind
Said that he proposed to live
While he had a chance, and give
Every kind of sin a test,
So he’d know which was the best
Swiftest sport I ever saw,
That prospector, Tonopah

Throwed his coin across the bars,
Smoked them dollar-each cigars,
Buys of diamonds ’bout a peck,
This and that girl to bedeck
“Sparkler for a smile,” says he,
“Nothin’ cheap now goes with me.”
And the beat I never saw
Of that there young Tonopah

Then one day the cuss went broke,
Put his watch and chain in soak,
Friends began to drift away
And to dodge the sad-faced jay
See that poor bum over there
Beggin’ for two bits? I swear!
That’s the young sport I once saw
Down and out — old Tonopah!

The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.) Jan 26, 1913

Both Cabot Yerxa and Bob Carr homesteaded here in 1913. Five months of each year was spent in other localities, in pursuit of dollars to keep them going through the seven months they spent on their homesteads. Bob Carr finds a position as writer for Keystone Comedies under Mack Sennett, but is told most writers only last a week. All writers are in one large room and from their various yarns Sennett selects what he considers the best to make a picture. Mr. Yerxa continues:

Shortly after Bob Carr was installed, Mac Sennett came into the room, instructing the writers they must use what was on hand in the Studio to form their stories.

There are now on the pay roll one cross-eyed man, a jig dancer, one fat woman, an Irish comedian, one small elephant, two negroes, and six bathing beauty girls. Their bathing suits are all new and we don’t want them to get wet.

Now you fellows go home and come back here in the morning, each with his own story. You must use these characters, they are all paid for by the month. We can not afford to hire extra actors, just for one picture. Go out on the lot and look over the sets available for backgrounds here in the studio. Search in the costume room, we have comedy police uniforms and other things of use perhaps. You picture story can take people to the beaches and places near Hollywood. But no long trips or over night stops, they cost too much. Income is not all we wish it was, because the public seems hard to pull away from old fashioned theatres.”

Bob stayed up nearly all night working on his story construction. The waste basket was full of discarded copy, but he felt satisfied with his plot and action, as he entered the conference room next morning.

Mac Sennett walked in early and ceremoniously laid down some typed pages and announced that he, himself, had written a story and proceeded to read it forthwith. Then he asked each man in turn what he thought of it. The assembled men, all complimented the story very highly, because they hoped to stay on the payroll over Saturday night. Sennett was not above praise and he beamed under the barage of honeed words. Turning to Bob, the last man, he questioned, “And you, Carr, what do you think of my story?” Bob needed to be on the payroll very badly, but shrewdly felt that just to echo praise would get him nowhere.

He decided to be honest and replies quietly, “I think the story is rotton poor, and not worth building onto.” There was a hushed silence in the room!

(Continued next week)

Desert Hot Springs Sentinel (Desert Hot Springs, California) Oct 18, 1951

Mr. Yerxa continues:

The other writers knew that Bob was a goner Saturday night, unless Sennett fired him on the spot. They waited.

But Mac Sennett was no rich man’s son sitting in the easy chair of authority, prepared for him by some doting father. He had come up the long hard road, lifted by his own bootstraps. Not too long ago he had been carrying a spear in a crowd of extras hired for the night on a New York stage. His present position of success and rising prominence in a new industry had been won by showing foresight, originality, and much determination. Many things far more complicated than a story lay on his desk for solution. Therefore the writing of a script was not too important. Although take aback by the blunt criticism, he was inwardly pleased by the new man’s courage of conviction. So in an even voice, he asked Bob what was wrong with it, and Bob picked the story apart. Then Sennett questioned, “All right, Carr, now read your own story.” Bob did.

Sennett approved, and ordered it to be used for the first draft of the new senario.

Bob stayed on the payroll over the first Saturday night, and indeed was kept on the story writing staff until the time came for him to return to the desert….

Desert Hot Springs Sentinel (Desert Hot Springs, California) Oct 25, 1951

The most picturesque and attract[ive] cabin on the desert in homesteading days was that of Bob Carr. This was “B.A.”, before autos. There is something sacreligious about riding over the desert or up to a cabin in an automobile. The Desert is so quiet and clean, and wild life so retiring amidst the scant vegetation, that a mere man made machine roaring about is sadly out of place.

The Carr cabin was on a sandy shelf thirty feet above the desert floor, with a clear view to the south and of San Jacinto Mountain. On the west was a thick high bunch of mesquite which gave ample shade and furnished complete protection from the west wind.

It was built of up and down boards with cracks covered by batt strips. All knot holes covered carefully with tin can covers. The one living room was 10 x 14 feet. Cast iron stove at the east end and small sleeping porch at the west end. The only furniture was a plain pine unpainted table, with Bob’s typewriter, the only dictionary in the desert, and a few books of synonims. Three plain wooden chairs and a couple of boxes for extra seats and a pile of mesquite wood for fuel completed the cabin requirements.

Yet with this meager array, his quiet wife, Stella, was able by her ingenuity and feminine view point to make the cabin extrememly attractive. Little plants in dishes and cans, home made curtains at the windows, spotless dishes, magazine pictures, picked with care, fused with Congress. He made pinned here and there, and curtains and stiched covering shelves made the room very cheerful.

(Continued next week)

Desert Hot Springs Sentinel (Desert Hot Springs, California) Nov 1, 1951

Mr. Yerxa continues:

Stella was a very excellent cook and made wonderful bread. Whenever Bob was out at night she always had a lighted lamp set right against the window glass, and we could see this for many miles, as we trudged cabinward from the railroad post office through desert sand in darkness. Stella Carr was a cheerful companion to Bob and pioneered all through the homesteading days, and at his death, took up her home in Sierra Madre, California, where she now lives.

On that pine table, Bob wrote many a magazine story, novelette, and western poetry, which has amused and interested thousands of people all over the United States. He had a flare for using characters in western settings and stories to make readers laugh. Others were war stories from his experiences in the Spanish American war, or straight western style, cowboys, miner, and Indians.

Bob Carr was a delightful personality and a great comrade. We had wonderful days on the desert together. Just we two walking about, examining all the new things of the desert about us, and enjoying endless conversations, about philosophy, religion, history, poetry, books, Indians, explorers, and the strange complication that civilization has brought into human life. And always with us was that intelligent burro “Merry Xmas.”

Desert Hot Springs Sentinel (Desert Hot Springs, California) Nov 8, 1951

Bob Carr always viewed any situation from the dramatic angle because he was a born story teller. One day after the wood boxes were heaped high, and all the water pails full to the top in both cabins, he and I got to discussing what two men could do with their bare hands if lost in the desert without food or equipment. Or two Indians running away from marauding tribes. So we approached the problem this way. We hunted round for clay, carried some to Two Bunch water hole, formed a shallow wide dish, and hastily burned it. Although badly cracked it served our purpose to bring more clay to our pottery work spot.

We had used matches to start our fire as twirling a stick to get a flame we considered unnecessary time loss.

Having now abundant clay and water, we fashioned a crude olla to hold a gallon of water, and a rather deep dish with thick walls to cook with. Also we formed two small bowls to eat out of, and made two clumsy spoons. We placed these articles to dry slowly, and later in the day fired them in hot ashes. They held water. With carefully selected stones of the proper size we set out on the prowl for food. We succeeded in obtaining three small birds, and after a time one small cotton tail rabbit fell to our barage of stones. We could not in fairness use a knife, so we used sharp pointed sticks to aide in skinning and cleaning our game.

After searching we found a rock with an edge sharp enough to sever the heads and feet, and to cut up the birds and rabbit into small pieces. We filled the deep dish with water, threw in the pieces of meat and started them to cook over a fire. Some mesquite beans were gathered, cut up and added to the stew. Several sage leaves were added to give flavor. After considerable time the food was ready and served in the individual bowls and we had our clay spoons to use. Thus refreshed, we gathered branches, and palm leaves to build an Indian style “wick-i-up” and were well launched in the business of house-keeping.

Desert Hot Springs Sentinel (Desert Hot Springs, California) Mar 6, 1952

Cabot Yerxa

The Cabot Yerxa image can be found on Find-A-Grave,  (LINK) along with a biographical sketch, posted by Jane Pojawa.

Cabot Yerxa, homesteading here in 1913…. Mr Yerxa continues:…

Bob Carr and his wife homesteaded on land joining mine in 1913. They kept a dozen chickens, which were well locked up at night. But at one period a chicken was missing every few days during daylight hours. Large animal tracks were noted, a few feathers scattered about and some drops of blood in the sand. That was all.

Bob cleaned his rifle and kept it near the door. On one bright sunny morning, he and I were sitting in the shade of his cabin speculating as to whether it was a coyote or linx responsible for missing chickens. Just then we heard a chicken squawk near the edge of mesquite brush, and looked in time to see a big spotted linx retreating with a full grown chicken in its mouth. Bob grabbed the rifle and we took up the trail. In a few moments we saw the linx with its prey and it saw us too. Whereupon the linx promptly dropped the chicken and advanced slowly towards us, menacingly. Stopping now and then with teeth bared and snarling, its glinting eyes steadily in our direction. We three were very close together now, and just for an instant the linx crouched low and steadied itself for a spring upon us. But Bob was cool and had been holding a line on the animal with his rifle. His shot went true to the mark and the linx never completed the spring, but fell within a half dozen feet of us, screeching and clawing the small brush and sand. Had we been unarmed we would have been in for a very serious encounter, indeed. Such a large animal could kill a man, or at least make extremely serious injuries.

(Continued next week)

Desert Hot Springs Sentinel (Desert Hot Springs, California) Mar 19, 1953

Cabot Yerxa continues his report of animals and men of the desert back in the early teens of our century….

The Bob Carr single pine board cabin, with a one slope roof, was on a sandy shelf above the flat desert and half hidden in thick undergrowth of mesquite and grease wood. Bob and I, had cleared several pockets out of the sandy depression amid the sand hills near his cabin. These pockets were circular open spaces in which a camp fire was safe and out of any adverse wind condition which might be affecting the open desert.

To these secluded spots we often went for talks and long discussions of outside news which had trickled in to us by mail. Sometimes to wonder at the way nature had provided plants, birds and animals, and other desert things with qualities which made their survival possible in such a land as this. For variation we talked about books, famous people, historical events, and pages out of history which have changed the course of the world. Sometimes Bob would recount again parts of his past life which had been very eventful and on some days we went over the trials and experiences which had befallen me, which were many and varied. Anyway, we spent very interesting hours crouched by small campfires buried out in the desert without benefit of radio or television which people find so necessary today. We did not even have a newspaper. There we were, just two men by a fire, in the middle of many thousand acres of land, with no roads, and no strangers prowling about. After I found the black burro called “Merry Xmas,” it would follow us and lay down by the fire, and I am not at all sure that “Merry Xmas” didn’t understand much that was said. Because its intelligence was so much greater than any ordinary burro.

(Continued next week)

Desert Hot Springs Sentinel (Desert Hot Springs, California) Mar 26, 1953

Bob Carr and Cabot Yerxa, both writers, enjoyed each other’s company and the desert before it became inhabited. Mr. Yerxa continues.

In a large mesquite tree of venerable age lived a family of seven great spotted white owls …standing fully twenty inches high and the wing spread of these beautiful birds of the night was astonishing. During the darkened hours they would often fly slowly, and close overhead with a ghostly swish of wings.

Sometimes they would come quietly to rest on a convenient limb and call a very mournful “Who, who.” This was all very eerie in these primitive surroundings.

To our campfire hideouts Bob and I took the occasional city visitors who chanced to come to see the desert and us. We would start out at night, in the dark from Carr’s cabin, walking single file, with the city man in line. We walked in circles, and loops, thru thick brush, sometimes on hands and knees under low lying mesquite branches. Then over sand hills, through rocky washes, and patches of cactus, until the weary visitor was nearly exhausted and at last drop into one of our secluded camp spots. Here a small fire was built and stories told of wild cats, mountain lions, linx, rattlesnakes, etc. The visitor thot he was miles away from the Carr cabin, and with the background of night and location of the camp fire spot all the stories seemed very real. But in fact we were never more than a quarter mile from the cabin. Often coyotes would yap, desert rats scampered about in the brush and sometimes the firelight glinted back from animal eyes peering out at us from the darkness. So therefore, when the large white owls sailed overhead slowly with a very audible swish of wings, and called “Who, who” in the blackness of the night, — all visitors were ready to return to the cheerful lamp lighted cabin. We walked them the same long way on the return journey, up hill and down and round about, so they never suspected that it was all a game which Bob and I enjoyed very much. The stories these men told in Hollywood about visits to Carr’s desert cabin were very amusing.

Balzac, the French novelist, often wrote a whole book just to set forth the character of one person, so Bob and I got the idea of writing very short character sketches for newspaper readers. Bob wrote most of these, but I helped along. They were published in Los Angeles papers, one every day.

(Continued next week)

Desert Hot Springs Sentinel (Desert Hot Springs, California) Apr 2, 1953

Bob Carr and Cabot Yerxa worked and played together on the primitive desert years ago. Mr. Yerxa continues:

Bob Carr had been a cowboy, miner, newspaper reporter, soldier, and columnist. He was the pioneer type man, but primarily he was a writer. We had plans all made to start a desert magazine here in this location when he passed away in Sierra Madre, California. It was too much of a problem for me to undertake alone, therefore the project never got underway. But Randal Henderson started the “Desert Magazine” so the field is now well covered.

Bob and I each wrote about one hundred of these characters cameos:…

Desert Hot Springs Sentinel (Desert Hot Springs, California) Apr 9, 1953

Here are some examples of the character cameos mentioned by Cabot Yerxa which also ran in the Atlanta Constitution, the Anaconda Standard and the Indianapolis Star (Above heading and cropped cameos are from the Indianapolis Star) :

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Cabot Yerxa builds a house back of Miracle Hill in 1925. He tells of animals interested in his progress….

Into the new ranch house went not only my own small buildings, but the Bob Carr cabin from its place in the mesquite hills, which I purchased and took down board by board and hauled home….

Desert Hot Springs Sentinel (Desert Hot Springs, California) Apr 1, 1954

Cabot continues his description of the house he built back of Miracle Hill, recently the home of General Alexander and 27 Wolf Hounds. A fire destroyed the house and the General moved into a tin store house in back which was destroyed a few weeks ago.

Desert Hot Springs Sentinel (Desert Hot Springs, California) Apr 8, 1954

Carr gravestone also posted on Find-A-Grave (LINK) by Jane Pojawa.

NOTE: Notice the gravestone has Mr. Carr’s death as being in 1930, but the obituaries are from 1931.

ROBERT W. [V.] CARR, COWBOY POET DIES SUNDAY

Sierra Madre, Calif., Jan. 12 — Robert V. Carr, 43, known as “the cowboy poet of the Black Hills” died here yesterday. He had been living in the desert near Palm Springs while in search of health.

Carr for many years was a writer for the Whitewood, S.D. Plain Dealer, where he first began to celebrate the bad lands of that state in poetry. He later worked on newspapers in Chicago, Denver, Spokane and Seattle and edited a livestock journal at Sioux City, Ia. He came here in 1912.

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) Jan 12, 1931

WESTERN AUTHOR CALLED BY DEATH

SIERRA MADRE, Jan. 13. — Death closed a life of adventure late Friday night when Robert Carr, 52, well known Sierra Madre author, died at his Canyon Park home following an extended illness. Carr, who lived in Deadwood, S.D., during pioneer days and edited a weekly paper there, came to Southern California 12 years ago. His adventurous life furnished material for his short stories which have appeared in many magazines. He as a veteran of the Spanish-American war. He is survived by his widow.

Arcadia Tribune (Arcadia, California) Jan 13, 1931

CARR — Estella R. Carr of Sierra Madre, passed away March 31, 1973. A native of Illinois, she had been a resident of Sierra Madre since 1912. She was a widow of the late Robert V. Carr, well writer and syndicated columnist. She is survived by a niece, Mrs. Genevieve C. Pedlar of North Hollywood; and other nieces in the East. Funeral Services, 11: a.m. today, at graveside, Sierra Madre Cemetery, Ripple Mortuary, Sierra Madre, directors.

Star News (Pasadena, California) Apr 3, 1973

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You can read Robert V. Carr’s poetry books online:

Title: Cowboy Lyrics
Author: Robert Van Carr
Publisher: Small, Maynard & company, 1912

Google book LINK

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Title: Black Hills Ballads
Western Americana, Frontier History of the Trans-Mississippi West, 1550-1900
Author: Robert Van Carr
Publisher: The Reed Publishing Company, 1902

Google book LINK

Judge Roy Bean: The Law West of The Pecos

August 29, 2009

Roy Bean was for ten years in the young days of Texas justice of the peace and coroner of the town of Vinegar Roon, being, as he expressed it, “the law of Texas west of the Pecos.”

He is still living in the town of Langtry, 300 miles west of San Antonio. No man know whence he came. The railroad builders found him away out there on the great desert plains, and when the gamblers and toughs and tenderfeet came along with the first trains and at once proceeded to run the country according to their own notions old Roy Bean declared himself a justice of the peace and boldly announced, “I am the law of Texas west of the Pecos.” It is highly probable that a few people who were in favor of law and order invited the strange character to assume the judicial position and that on account of his desperate courage and fearless judicial demeanor he afterward was appointed to fill the office of justice of the peace.

Early one morning it was reported in the town of Vinegar Roon that a man had fallen from a bridge near the place and that his dead body was lying on the ground close to the water. Roy Bean, as justice of the peace and exofficio coroner, at once summoned a jury. There was no testimony to be taken. The man was a stranger, and it was not easy to determine the cause of his death. He might have fallen from the bridge or he might have been murdered. The coroner searched the dead body, and when he found a pistol in one pocket and $50 in the other he turned to the jury and informed them that in this matter their services were of no value, since it would be necessary for the court to render a verdict without their aid. The court fined the dead man $50 for carrying a pistol and took possession of the money, since the fees of the coroner amounted to just $50, and the body was buried on the lonely prairie at the expense of the county.

Vinegar Roon was named after the most poisonous little reptile that infests the western plains, says the New York Press. It can sting a Gila monster to death in the twinkling of an eye and then turn about and chase a rattlesnake from his den. Chain lightning whisky is no antidote for the poison of the vinegar roon. Roy Bean named the place, and while acting justice of the peace he divided his time between the judicial bench and a roomy saloon and gambling house, where there was none to dispute his authority, for he was sole proprietor.

One fine day a gambler, while in an unusually hilarious mood, sent a pistol ball crashing through the brains of a Chinaman. When the citizens of Vinegar Roon had ceased to celebrate the exit of the Celestial and the funeral solemnities were an affair of the past, the killer was honored with a request to appear at the bar where liquids and justice were dispensed alternately.

The sage who was “the law of Texas west of the Pecos” had evidently devoted some spare moments to the study of his first murder case, for the judgment that was rendered and entered on the docket is certainly without a parallel.

“I have carefully examined the criminal statutes of Texas,” said Roy Bean, “and I find that there is plenty of law to punish one white man for another, but there is no law to punish a citizen of Texas for shooting a Chinaman. In fact, the Chinese are not mentioned in the statutes. The gentleman at the bar stands charged with having shot and killed a Chinaman by the name of Ah Foo. Mr. Ah Foo was unfortunate. He should have remained in his own country. Texas is the land of the free and the home of the brave. It is no place for Mr. Ah Foo or Mr. Ah Sin or Mrs. Ah Sin. Our wise legislators have failed to make laws for the protection of pigtails. Therefore the defendant is discharged, and the costs of this case are assessed against the deceased, Ah Foo, and in case the same cannot be collected in full by the sale of the goods and chattels of the said Ah Foo, or some other Chinaman, it is the order of this court that a copy of these proceedings be made and forwarded to the United States minister in China, and by these presents he is authorized to collect said costs from the emperor of China. The defendant is discharged.”

One day a man with an immense sombrero above his long, tangled hair and an arsenal at his belt appeared at Vinegar Roon, declaring that he had just stopped over to have a little recreation.

“I have been spending a few weeks in San Antonio,” he said, “and my shooting irons were getting rusty.”

After taking a few drinks at the bar he began to berate the mild and feeble qualities of the liquids offered for sale in the infant city.

“Give me a little tarantula juice with a real vinegar roon floating around in it!” shouted this Arizona terror.

“All right,” calmly replied the old behind the bar. “I think we can accommodate you, but you will have to wait a few moments.”

“Well, get up the beverage,” roared the terror, “and I’ll amuse myself during the delay by dropping a few bullets around promiscuously among the lamps and bottles and sich things.”

“As you please,” suavely replied the old man. “I like to see a stranger enjoy himself.”

The terror glanced at the polite barkeeper rather suspiciously, but he never once dreamed that he was talking to old Roy Bean.

Fairly chuckling with suppressed merriment, old Roy went out on the plains only a few steps from his saloon and after turning over two or three rocks he got a big tarantula and a monster vinegar roon. After mashing the heads of the poisonous reptiles he returned to the barroom, entering the door just as the terror with a wild Comanche yell began to rain lead among the bottle and glasses.

As the patrons of the house started through the doors and windows in confusion, old Roy shouted:

“Keep your seats, gentlemen. This infant cyclone will be of sort duration.”

The next instant the terror found himself standing on his head and his weapons were falling upon the floor. Mr. Bean held the amazed man in that position until an accomplished bartender had filled a large beer glass with pure alcohol, and then he reversed the terror as if he had been handling a toy.

“Now, look here, stranger,” said Mr. Bean, in tender but deceptive tones, “you have been finding fault with the quality of my whisky and you have seen proper, to satisfy your fastidious taste, to order a peculiar drink which I have taken the trouble to prepare for you.”

The terror turned his white face toward the bar, and when he saw a tarantula and a vinegar roon floating about in a tumbler of alcohol he uttered a groan of distress and his knees began to tremble.

“There is the peculiar drink and trimmings that you ordered, young man, and my name is Roy Bean,” said the old man, as he pushed the trembling terror toward the bar.

The amazed and thoroughly alarmed stranger found voice enough to beg for mercy.

“Drink every drop of it or I will break your neck,” said Judge Bean.

The poor devil gulped down the awful mixture and with a scream of terror sprang out into the street. He “hit the earth a-running,” and he never slackened his speed until the town of Vinegar Roon was far behind him. It is supposed that the man’s stomach instantly rejected the fearful poison, for he lied to tell of his experience in Vinegar Ron, though he said there was not gold enough in the world to hire him to revisit the place.

Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Oct 6, 1900

STATE PRESS.

What the Newspapers Throughout Texas Are Talking About.

The Uvalde News says:

Last Monday Harry Webb, one of the Southern Pacific barge men, to amuse himself brought crackers to feed Judge Bean’s immense bear. The animal would come to the end of the chain, receive a cracker and turn a somersault, to Mr. Webb’s infinite amusement. Judge Bean finally remonstrated, telling the man to go out and “monkey with the donkeys,” as they wouldn’t hurt him. Mr. Webb bought another dollar’s worth of crackers and fed the long-eared animals for a time, but protested there was no fun in that and returned to Bruin, who, no doubt, was feeling injured. Finally a cracker was dropped and Webb stooped over to pick it up. The bear thought he intended taking it away from him and reached over with his mighty paw, caught the man back of the head, and pulled him into the ring. He tore the man’s scalp off, from neck to crown, as cleanly as an Indian could have done it, and was proceeding to further deeds of destruction when Judge Bean, attracted by the victim’s frantic yell, uttered a war whoop and landed directly on the bear’s back. The animal knew his master and cowed instantly.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Jul 27, 1891

handcuffs

A Judge Arrested for Smuggling

SAN ANTONIO, Tex., Aug. 24. — Judge Roy Bean, of Langley, has been arrested for smuggling. It is alleged that he has been concerned in running horses from Mexico into the United States. He is one of the most celebrated characters of the frontier, and has been justice of the peace for many years. He has been accustomed to enforce his ruling with the six-shooter. Once when justice of the peace in Bexar county he sentenced a man to death by hanging for horse stealing, and the criminal would have hanged if not for the intervention of the officers from San Antonio. Bean is 60 years old and wealthy.

Mitchell Daily Republican (Mitchell, South Dakota) Aug 24, 1891

JUSTICE OUT WEST

Judge Roy Bean Disposes Of a Big Docket.

Langtry, Tex., May 19. — Judge Roy Bean, chief justice of the district of Vinegaroon and the hero of many a thrilling border experience in court and camp, has recently been entertaining Judge Falvey of El Paso, whom he enlightened as to the practical and effective methods of dealing out justice in his jurisdiction. Judge Bean had no long before had as a guest Hon. H.C. Carter of San Antonio, to whom Del Rio lays claim because he embarked upon his professional career there and was at one time county attorney, making a splendid record as a successful and able lawyer.

When Judge Falvey came down from El Paso, Judge Bean met him not far from the seat of justice at Vinegaroon, escorted him to town and invited him to occupy a seat on the bench with him as he was about to open court. Judge Falvey accepted the invitation with expressions of pleasure, and court was opened in due and solemn form.

The first case called was one in which a man had made an affidavit charging another with shooting at him with a pistol, the bullet missing affiant’s head barely an inch. Judge Bean remarked that he had seen the two men drinking together during the morning with every indication of good will toward each other and asked:

“You are friends, aren’t you?”

“Yes,” replied the man who had made the affidavit.

“Then I fine you $50 each,” firmly announced the judge.

“But, my dear judge,” interrupted Judge Falvey, “this man is charged with a penitentiary offense.”

“That’s all right,” responded the court.

“All we can do with these fellows here is to fine them. IF I was to send them up to Fort Stockton it would require a journey of 200 miles by rail and 60 miles more by land and it would bankrupt the county to feed them. The fine assessed by this court will stand.”

The next case was that of a man brought in by Sergt. Lindsey, charged with having “rolled” another.  Judge Bean, thinking perhaps Judge Falvey would not understand the expression “rolled” called on the sergeant for an explanation. The sergeant gave it, saying that the term “rolled” meant that a man caught asleep or too drunk to take care of himself has his money and valuables taken out of his pockets or off his person. It was the border term for theft from the person. The prisoner in this case, he said, had taken two $20 bills and some silver from his victim’s pockets and the bills were produced and laid on the judge’s table as incriminating evidence.

Judge Bean demanded of the prisoner to tell what he had done with the silver and the latter replied that he had spent it on the guard.

“Then,” said the cort, “I fine you both $10 a piece and if I catch you around here within two hours I will feed you on bread and water and chain you to a stake.”

“This man is also guilty of a penitentiary offense, judge,” said Judge Falvey, who had listened closely to the proceedings.

“I can’t help that,” returned the chief justice, “that is all the way this court can be run.”

While Judge Falvey was sitting with Judge Bean he saw some 15 or 20 cases disposed of in like manner and when he told the people there, referring to his visit at Vinegaroon,

“Gentlemen, you have the right man in the right place.”

It is said that in reading closely Judge Bean’s famous decisions is to be attributed in a large degree the success achieved by Attorney Carter in his profession and by the way, it is said, note of these decisions has ever been reversed. Though, possibly that is due to the fact that the dispenser of justice at Vinegaroon never allows appeals from the decisions of his court.

Judge Falvey asked Judge Bean if the report was true that he allowed no appeals and the answer given by Judge Bean was that no appeals were granted because all the contractors in that vicinity were transients; all their personal effects and chattels were mortgaged and they could not give a solvent bond as required by law when appeal is taken.

When the evening’s session was over, Judge Bean escorted his guest to Eagle Nest, a string band leading the way and enlivening the journey with soft music. That night the judge gave a dinner at his saloon at Eagle Nest in honor of his visitor and things were made pleasant all around.

THE SAN ANTONIO DAILY EXPRESS (San Antonio, Texas) May 21, 1899

TEXAS LANDMARK FAST CRUMBLING

Once Proud Seat of “Law West of Pecos” is Now Crumbling Ruins.

WHERE JUDGE BEAN PRESIDED

Town’s Name, Eagle’s Nest, Vanishes From Map and Only Memory Remains of the Judge and His Rulings.

San Antonio, Tex. — With its foundation posts wobbling like old men’s legs, its floors showing ugly gaping holes, its porch roof shorn of the last lingering board, scraggy bits of what was once white paint hanging to the outer walls, and its door banging to a single rusty hinge — at Langtry, Tex., once known as Eagle’s Nest — what remains of one of Texas’ most famous old landmarks is succumbing to wind and rain.

It is the once proud seat of the “Law West of the Pecos” — the old home and saloon and throne where, not so many years ago, Judge Roy Bean lived and reigned supreme as dispenser of justice and red eye liquor, and dared the world to interfere with his game.

But since Judge Bean went away there had been a great change. Perhaps it is just as well that he “cashed in” — as he himself probably would express it — before the days when nowhere in the whole of Texas can the traveler find a drop to drink.

In the “Good Old Days.”

Many humorous and many semi-tragic stories regarding Judge Bean have been handed down by friends and relatives, many of whom are living in or adjacent to San Antonio today. It was in a day when enforcers of the law were few and far between, and when the men with the quickest trigger finger and the steadiest nerve were monarchs of a large portion of what they surveyed.

Bean was justice of the peace of precinct No. 6 and the ranking representative of the law for hundreds of miles north, south, east and west of him. Equipped with a copy of the statutes of Ohio of the vintage of 1885, a sense of fair play, and a strong conviction of what the law should be even though it were not so written down in the books, he put up his sign:

Judge Roy Bean,
Justice of the Peace,
Law West of the Pecos.

In addition to being chief magistrate over everything “West of the Pecos,” Judge Bean conducted a thirst-quenching emporium typical of the day. The saloon was in the hall of justice, and from behind the bar came the voice of authority backed by a brace of perfectly good six-shooters.

Judge Bean’s “Law.”

Two Mexican men and women walked into Judge Bean’s court one day and informed him that they wanted a change; that they wanted to swap helpmeets. The judge made diligent inquiries of each of the four, found all to be of the same mind, charged each of the men $15 and a dozen bottles of beer and called it done.

When a state official from Austin on a flying visit to “Eagle’s Nest” complained to Judge Bean that he was exceeding his authority, explaining that divorces should be passed up to a higher court, Bean alleged to have retorted:

“Why, say! Have I ever butted into your affairs? These people wanted to sway, they paid me for changin’ ’em around, they’re livin’ together pu’fectly happy, an’ nobody ’round here has complained. You go on back to Austin an’ handle your courts like you want to, but this is out o’ your jurisdiction.”

THE IOWA CITY DAILY CITIZEN (Iowa City, Iowa) Dec 22, 1919

Judge Bean Incident heading1911
To J.W. Schofield, city salesman of A.B. Frank % Company, belongs the distinction of having served as clerk in “Judge” Roy Bean’s court when “Law west of the Pecos,” had application to all classed of cases, civil and criminal, and the “Judge” power to render judgment extending all the way from the imposition of a petty fine, to the pronunciation of the death penalty.

The honor is not to be lightly construed. Mr. Schofield is the only person known to have officiated in the dispensation of justice in the most unique court in the history of judicial procedure. It was in every sense a high honor, for Judge Roy Bean, as was becoming his unusual prerogative, alone and unaided administered the “law” of his court. But the case under consideration was one in which the defendant threatened an appeal in the event the case went against him. Under the circumstances Judge Bean thought best to comply with the wishes of the attorney for the defense and Mr. Schofield was appointed to act as clerk.

Business Rivalry Cause.

The case was the result of the rivalry which existed between Judge Bean’s saloon and that of J.P. Torres.

In the spring of 1893, Mr. Schofield visited Langtry in the capacity of drummer of one of the San Antonio houses. D. Hart, a prominent sheepman of West Texas was preparing at the time, to pay off 200 or more sheep shearers who had been engaged to shear the animals. In anticipation of reaping some of the benefits of this spurt of prosperity, Judge Bean had laid in an extra stock of beer and whiskey. His rival was no slow to follow his lead.

The Mexican shearers arrived, and went in droves to the “Jersey Lily,” Judge Bean’s saloon. Satisfaction spread over his face as he looked over at the almost empty place of his rival.

Stealing a March.

But Torres was not easily outwitted. He had a partner running a saloon with a dance hall in connection at Flanders, the point where the railroad gang engaged in the construction of the Pecos bridge was camped. Torres dispatched a messenger to him with instructions to bring the dancing girls at Flanders to Langtry, accompanied by the orchestra. The move was not known to Judge Bean, if it had been, an injunction restraining Torres from bringing the women and the music to his place would have been issued immediately.

Soon after the arrival of the dancers, strains of music issued from Torres’ place to the accompaniment of shifting feet. The crowd of Mexicans in Judge Bean’s saloon, one by one, raised their lips from the glasses, and in crowds departed to the scene of revelry.

Judge Bean scratched his head and called for his friend, Mr. Schofield.

Not in Accord With Law.

“Now look here, Schofield, it ain’t in keeping with justice that all this amount of beer I have imported for this occasion should go to waste,” he said. “It ain’t economy, and it ain’t accordin’ to the statutes of the State of Texas.”

“I’ll just pull Torres for conducting a disorderly house. There are more ways than one of doing business,” he said, while deputizing several cowpunchers to arrest Torres, and bring him before the honorable court of the law west of the Pecos.

Following the arrest of Torres, his place was closed down, and the shearers returned to the “Jersey Lily,” while the case of the State of Texas versus J.P. Torres, was duly docketed and called for trial.

Threatens Appeal.

Mr. Cunningham, inspector of customs, stationed at Langtry, appeared for the defendant, and demanded a jury. He also informed Judge Bean that in the even the case went against his client in the lower court an appeal would be taken. He was in turn informed that the decisions of Judge Bean’s court were conclusive and final and no such thing as a appeal had even been heard of. Mr. Cunningham insisted that the appeal would be taken, and Judge Bean called on Mr. Schofield for assistance.

In making the appointment, Judge Bean said, “I’ve got to have you for a clear, because there ain’t anyone around here can write.”

While Mr. Schofield agreed to serve as clerk, his intentions were to leave on the night train. Just as he was in the act of boarding the train, however, a ranger stepped up to him and asked if he had not been appointed to act as clerk. Mr. Schofield admitted that such was the case. Upon this the ranger then told him that he had better remain and perform his duties. Mr. Shofield agreed with the ranger when he caught sight of two bit six-shooters that looked like business.

The Trial.

In the morning the case was called for trial.

Mr. Cunningham, having a smattering of law, got the best of the argument, and put Judge Bean to rout on several legal points. Whenever the judge was unable to reply to the sallies of Mr. Cunningham, he would hold up the only law book he had, which was a statute of the state, and say:

“If what you say is the law, and is in the book, and ain’t a good law, then I’ll tear it out of the book.”

Mr. Schofield who was busily engaged in performing the usual duties of the clerk, in addition to taking and subscribing testimony, realized that the case was going against the judge. In the end the jury disagreed and it being impossible to secure another, the case was dropped for the time being.

A year later Judge Bean, on a visit to the city, met Mr. Schofiled, who naturally, was still greatly interested in the case.

Judge Bean Won.

“Well I finally got the best of Torres,” he told him.

“A jack-leg lawyer turned up in Langtry broke some time ago, and in discussing the case with him, I found out that Cunningham had no right to practice law. The lawyer told me if he did not have a license he had no right to defend Torres. After that things looked easy. I called on Torres and told him that I had him. The thing I sprung on him was, that I had discovered that Cunningham did not have a license to practice law, and therefore his action in defending him was illegal and contrary to the constitution of the state and the United States, and if he wanted to plead guilty, it would cost him $25, but if he did not, then I would try him again and stick him the limit. Torres came across and paid the $25.”

Judge Bean had at this time run afoul of the real law, by giving divorce degrees to two Mexican hombres in order that they might exchange wives. In discussing the case, Judge Bean gave expression to an axiom which he alone has ever been able to understand, “Law,” he said to Mr. Schofield, “is the true dispensation of justice.”

Hitting a Snag.

“The two Mexicans,” he explained, “appeared before me and secured a license to marry. I issued the license and married them. About four months later the same men came to me again and said they wanted to be divorced so that they could exchange wives. They said that in marrying they had married the wrong women, and had now concluded that their difficulties could be solved by being divorced and re-married. I granted the divorce, and swapped the wives around for them.

“It was not long after this that the county judge at Fort Stockton got wind of the proceedings and called on me at Langtry.

“He informed me I had exceeded my authority, and that he would be compelled to arrest me and take me to the jail at Fort Stockton. I finally succeeded in getting the judge to remain over night in Langtry, and knowing he was fond of playing poker, I sent out for some of my boys.

“The judge had about twenty dollars with him, which he soon lost. Of course, I supplied him with money from time to time, and when daylight came the judge owed me about $500.

“He called for his horse and rode away without mentioning anything more about the criminal proceedings against me for granting the divorce, and I did not remind him of the money he had borrowed from me. After he had gone, the boys came around and gave me back my money.”

“Texas certainly lost a unique character by the death of Roy Bean, some three or four years ago, ” said Mr. Schofield.

THE SAN ANTONIO LIGHT (San Antonio, Texas) Nov 26, 1911

Judge Bean jersey lilly pic1 1934

Famed Pecos Judge Shocked S.A.
By RAY WARD

For 20 years before he became law west of the Pecos, the famed Judge Roy Bean shocked San Antonio with sensational scandals and gave his name to part of the south side.

South of Concepcion park along Flores, where the colorful adventurer played Robin Hood to his friends and reveled in comic glory, became known as Beanville.

His escapades kept the courts busy but his legal footwork was so expert he was never convicted on any charge brought again him. Finally, a harried friend paid him to leave town and stay away.

QUICK FORTUNE

The portly man with a heavy black beard came to San Antonio during the Civil was and made a quick fortune running the union blockade by smuggling cotton to Mexico.

Deciding German and American society was too formal for him, Bean donned a sombrero and moved to the west side in 1866, squatting in a shack on San Pedro creek.

After a run of bad luck his creditors attached his hauling equipment and the sheriff prepared to sell it. Feeling the pinch in his pocketbook from lack of wagons, Bean simply stole his equipment back and the case was closed without further action.

REFUSED TO PAY

Bean’s unwilling landlord then ordered him to pay back rent for the shack or move out. Bean refused and went to court again. After months of legal stalling, the owner gave in and compromised by moving Bean’s belongings to another house, giving him a jug of whisky and paying him $3000 for inconveniences.

Bean then moved to S. Flores and the area took the name of Beanville. Pundits called it Dogtown because of the extreme poverty of the residents and because all the curs on the south side were starving to death.

The temporarily wealthy Bean next created a society sensation by marrying Virginia Chavez, a descendant of on of San Antonio’s original Canary island families. He settled down to a quiet married life for a few months, but was soon back in court.

ACCUSED BY WIFE

In 1867 his wife charged him with assault. She said he came home drunk, took a flaming stick from the fire, chased her out of bed and burned her backside severely.

The case rocked society and Bean got a change of venue to Boerne. At the trial he demanded his wife show the jury her scars, and when she refused the judge dismissed the case.

Bean next turned woodsman. He was hired to keep poachers off a lumber mill’s property, but made more money selling to a competitor on the side.

When the deception was uncovered, he became a dairy farmer. He bought a herd of milk cows on approval, but because of a drouth they starved to death.

BUSINESSES BROKE

Butchering was his next vocation. Bean hired boys to steal stray horses and cows and peddled the meat from door to door. He opened a saloon on the side and went broke in both enterprises.

His last venture was a return to freighting, but he killed a man in a duel in Mexico and closed shop again.

A posse of deputy marshals camped in Beanville in 1875 and convinced the 56-year-old man he should seek his fortune in the wide open west. He lacked the money to go, but a neighbor, who wanted  to be rid of him, bought his worthless business just to get him to leave.

TOO MUCH LAW

As a parting gesture he made a southsiders promise to keep the name of Beanville and departed from San Antonio saying:

“They say there’s no law west of the Pecos. Well, there’s too much law around San Antonio.”

He settled at a railroad construction camp called Vinegarroon and opened a tavern which he advertised widely in south Texas. In 1882 he was made a justice of the peace and began his climb into legend as a judge, a sportsman and platonic friend of Lily Langtry.

SAN ANTONIO LIGHT (San Antonio, Texas) Oct 24, 1954

Judge Bean Lillie Langtry pic 1934

THE STORY OF JUDGE ROY BEAN

Law West of the Pecos

By EVERETT LLOYD (excerpt from chapter two)

Contrary to general belief, Roy Bean was not personally acquainted with the celebrated English actress, Lillie Langtry, and she did not visit the town supposed to have been named in her honor until after Bean’s death. That he had a long-distance admiration for her, and even wrote to her and received a reply, we know from the statements of the famous beauty in her autobiography.

The most plausible explanation of Bean’s admiration for Lillie Langtry is that at the time she was a world celebrity; her picture and stories of her triumphs and love affairs were in every newspaper; and the station of Langtry having already been named, it is more than probably that Bean in a spirit of levity and partly as a hoax, informed her that he had named his town in her honor, and it was natural that she should feel flattered. A few years later when the opportunity came during one of her American tours, the citizens of Langtry being aware of Bean’s fancied or pretended acquaintance with the great actress, and having heard him read her reply to his letter, invited her to pay the town a visit on her way to California and she accepted.

Amarillo Daily News (Amarillo, Texas) Aug 1, 1940

Famous people in the photo above include Judge Roy Bean, Wyatt Earp, Butch Cassidy and Teddy Roosevelt.