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Sam Houston’s Wild Child

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A couple of weeks ago we talked in this space about the “prairie dog lawyers” of the Texas Panhandle, brave and hardy pioneers who took it upon themselves to practice law in a lawless time and place, without even mentioning Temple Lea Houston. That’s like writing about rock and roll in the 1950s without bringing up the name of Elvis Presley.

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A Trip to ‘A Bald-Headed Whiskey Town’

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One of the first things Anglo settlers did when they got to the Panhandle was create a town near Sweetwater Creek. They called it called Hidetown.
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Prairie Dog Lawyers

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We don’t usually mention lawyers when we talk about the hardships our pioneer ancestors endured on the Texas frontier, but we should. Being a pioneer anything meant doing without the civilities of civilization, at least in the short term. Frontier lawyers had to ply their trade without the luxury of, well, law.
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Pardon Me: The Reign of Ma and Pa Ferguson

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It’s easy to make fun of Ma and Pa Ferguson in today’s enlightened times, when politicians allegedly can’t be bought and rarely if ever say or do anything stupid (again, allegedly). The Fergusons were different. They were friends of the farmer, the downtrodden and the convicted, but they were always loyal, first and foremost, to the highest bidder. We just don’t see elected officials like that anymore.
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John Wesley Hardin and the Death of Jack Helm

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Jack Helm was at a blacksmith shop in the small Texas community of Albuquerque in 1873, working on an invention to rid the world of the boll weevil when two men, including notorious badman John Wesley Hardin, shot him to death.
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