Upcoming Programs

Scheduled for the Fort Worth Westerners.


Feb. 18, 2020
Richard McCaslin, Ph.D.

Feb. 18, 2020: Richard McCaslin, Ph.D., "RIP Ford, Congressman of Republic of Texas and Texas Ranger"

"RIP Ford, Congressman of Republic of Texas and Texas Ranger"

The program will be on "RIP" Ford. John Salmon Ford (May 26, 1815 – November 3, 1897), better known as "RIP" Ford, was a member of the Republic of Texas Congress and later of the State Senate, and mayor of Brownsville, Texas. He was also a Texas Ranger, a Confederate colonel, doctor, lawyer, and a journalist and newspaper owner. He fought in Mexican - American War under John Coffee Hays, became chief Texas Ranger in the antebellum era and defeated both Juan Cortina "Robin Hood of the Rio Grande" and Comanche chieftain and medicine man, Iron Jacket. As a Texas state brigadier general, he won the last battle of Civil War which took place in the Rio Grande Valley.

Meet Richard B. McCaslin, Ph.D.

Richard McCaslin is TSHA Endowed Professor of Texas History at the University of North Texas.

Dr. McCaslin currently teaches classes on Texas and nineteenth-century United States military history at the University of North Texas. His primary interest is in addressing the myths of our past and finding the truth that lies within, as well as explaining the not-so-true elements that develop. He is an author or editor for eighteen books and the director for more than a dozen UNT doctoral graduates, several of whom have also published books. Seven of his books have won awards, and his biography of Robert E. Lee was also nominated for a Pulitzer. In addition, he has written more than two dozen book chapters and journal articles on subjects related to what he teaches. He is currently working on three books: biographies of sculptor Pompeo Coppini and Texas Ranger William L. Wright, and a study of the Trans-Mississippi in the Civil War. He maintains an active public speaking schedule, which allows him to travel and learn more about Texas and the United States.


April 21, 2020
Ruth Karbach

April 21, 2020: Ruth Karbach, "Caruso in Cowtown"

"Caruso in Cowtown"

Famed Italian tenor Enrico Caruso's first Texas performance was before a crowd of 8,000 gathered in the Cowtown Coliseum in the Fort Worth Stockyards in 1920. Speaker Ruth Karbach will explain how the city attracted Caruso and the excitement over his visit.

Meet Ruth Karbach

An honors graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, Ruth Karbach has had careers in the social work and history museum fields. As a juvenile probation officer, she pursued graduate studies in criminology at Sam Houston State University. In Fort Worth, she was a social worker at a children's home, a shelter for homeless families, and Tarrant County Child Welfare. Karbach was named a Child Welfare Worker of the Year for her achievements as a state adoption specialist.

Karbach's history museum career started with directing an oral history project for the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech. After serving seven years as curator of Thistle Hill, an historic house museum, Ms. Karbach worked for the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in collections care and as an assistant curator. She served as a consultant for "America's Castles" on the A&E network and appeared on "Christmas Castles" for HGTV and "Texas Country Reporter."

Karbach wrote two chapters on progressive era women for Grace and Gumption: Stories of Fort Worth Women and contributed an essay to the companion social history Grace and Gumption: The Cookbook. Also, she was a contributor to Celebrating 150 Years, a Pictorial History of Fort Worth. Her essay about Ellen Lawson Dabbs, M.D., an early Texas suffragist and women's rights advocate, was published in Texas Women: Their Histories, Their Lives, winner of the 2016 Liz Carpenter Award for scholarly research in women's history.

Ruth loves her adopted city of Fort Worth and has been an active community volunteer for four decades. Presently she is vice-president the Log Cabin Village Foundation, the welcome chairman in her historic neighborhood, and a director of Tarrant County Historical Society, and is a member of the Texas Association of Museum and Texas State Historical Association. She is a committee member for the Handbook of Texas Women. Her current research and speaking interest is early medical women in Texas.


May 19, 2020
Brooke Wibracht

May 19, 2020: Brooke Wibracht, "True Tales from the Texas Fence Cutting Wars, 1880–1890"

"True Tales from the Texas Fence Cutting Wars, 1880–1890"

Across Texas in the 1880s, battles broke out between permanent ranchers and landless cattlemen over access to resources that were vital to them both—grass and water. Before this chapter in Texas history closed, enemies were made, property was damaged, and lives were lost. This month historian Brooke Wibracht will share true tales from her research into the men and women who participated in the Texas Fence Cutting Wars. Ranchers, cutters, and the Texas Rangers all had their parts to play as state and local authorities sorted through accusations and quelled violent outbursts—or did not in some cases. After you hear how this complex struggle over Texas lands unfolded, we think you will agree with Wibracht that in the end "finding justice was complicated."

Meet Brooke Wibracht

Brooke Wibracht received her Ph.D. from Texas Christian University, M.A. from Loyola University Chicago, and B.A. from Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on the Texas Fence-Cutting Wars, and she examines the roles of the state government, the Texas Rangers, and ranchers as they fought over barbed wire and public land. She contributed to the forthcoming book, Texas Women and Ranching: On the Range, At the Rodeo, In Their Community with a chapter titled, "Mabel Doss, Mary Ketchum Meredith, and the Texas Fence-Cutting Wars" and teaches Texas History at TCU.

Prior programs