For almost twenty years the Bents were one of the most powerful families in the southern plains and Southwest borderlands. From an adobe trading post on the Arkansas River and mercantile establishments in Taos and Santa Fe, their company engaged in the bison robe and fur trades, business on the Santa Fe Trail, and more shadowy enterprises like liquor trading and smuggling. Traditionally celebrated as rugged individualists and forerunners of Manifest Destiny, the Bent brothers were, in reality, heavily reliant on the family ties they forged across racial and cultural lines. Alliances with the Southern Cheyennes and New Mexican federalists were essential to family's success in the region. Simultaneously, however, the success the Bents experienced laid the groundwork for the violence and chaos that upended their business in the late 1840s. Ironically, American expansion dealt the final blow to the fortunes of Bent, St. Vrain and Company.
Meet David Beyreis
David Beyreis is a historian of the Great Plains and North American borderlands, and a member of the Fort Worth Westerners. He is the author of Blood in the Borderlands: Conflict, Kinship, and the Bent Family, 1821-1920 and articles in Montana: The Magazine of Western History, Kansas History, and The Journal of the Early Republic. His work has received a Wrangler Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy Museum and Western Heritage Museum and was a finalist for the Western Writers of America's Spur Award. His current research focuses on intercultural diplomacy on the northern plains during the nineteenth century. He received his PhD from the University of Oklahoma and currently teaches history at Ursuline Academy of Dallas.
The US Army Camel Experiment is an award-winning mini-documentary that has been shown at international conferences in the UK and Kazakhstan, has over 22,000 views on YouTube, and is shown at historical sites across Texas and the Southwest. Director Doug Baum made the film in 2012 with footage shot on a 2009, 150th-anniversary reenactment of the 1859 Echols Expedition in West Texas. The film contextualizes the 19th-century US military experiment and answers the question, "What ever became of the camels?" After showing his film, Baum will be discussing in greater detail this quirky bit of history and taking questions.
Meet Doug Baum
Doug Baum has been the owner of Texas Camel Corps since 1997. Texas Camel Corps was named for and predicated on the 19th century use of camels as military pack animals in the desert Southwest. Today's business activities include public education programs about this quirky bit of history with an annual calendar of events that includes clients such as the Texas Historical Commission, US National Park Service, schools, libraries, museums, and historical sites across Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Mississippi. In addition, Baum is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and also leads international tours in Egypt, Jordan, India, Morocco, and Kenya. Most recently he has been hired as a tourism consultant by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The pre-revolutionary interaction between indigenous peoples and African Americans is much more extensive than originally thought. Many events such as the need for males for husbands as a result of extensive warefare, laws among the French held territories allowing freedom for Afro-Indian children and other pressures created large areas of cooperation and integration. There was no one perspective among the over 535 now-registered tribes on interaction between the groups and responses varied dramatically depending upon many factors such as economics, location, culture, and historical events.
Post-Revolutionary war and leading up to the Civil War relations among the groups begins to change as some Indigenous people begin to lose lands and face extreme backlash for support of African Americans. Post-Civil War and through the Civil Rights Era the African American groups begin to disassociate from Indigenous groups. These divisions continue into our modern sense of identity and historical issues facing our society today.
Meet Lisa Uhlir
Dr. Uhlir is one of those individuals who love learning and would stay in school forever just studying if she could. This is most likely why her multiple degrees range from chemistry to Russian studies, to economics and political philosophy. Her original goal was to be a spy but the end of the Cold War and the Clinton hiring freeze on embedded spies halted that dream mid-hiring process with the CIA. Dr. Uhlir grew up in Northern Michigan and is an Ojibwa Native American from the Sugar Island Band. She has taught locally at UTA and UNT, and currently is a full tenured professor at TCC. She frequently speaks on issues from Native Boarding schools to Native healing.
Texas has had a complicated history with the sea. Though images of cattle drives, and oil wells dominate popular understandings of Texas, maritime trade and travel have been pivotal features in the development of Texas as a territory, nation, and state. By the end of the nineteenth century, Galveston was one of the most developed cities in the South, and the third busiest port in the United States. Galveston became one of the primary points of entry into Texas, with an intricate metropolitan environment.
This program explores some of the maritime connections that complicate Texas, highlighting the impact of the Atlantic world on our shared past. Sailors from across the world entered Texas society. Often dismissed as dirty and poorly educated, these maritime workers nevertheless shaped the contours of Texas port cities. The transition from sailing ship to steam ships changed the way that Texans looked at their own borders and port cities. As these ports grew in importance, they drew more attention from contemporary observers and actors who had to balance the demands of an increasingly industrialized state economy with Texas cultural traditionalism.
Meet Kevin Grubbs
Kevin Grubbs is a PhD candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi. He works at the Fort Worth Log Cabin Village and teaches at Tarrant County College. His dissertation explores the lives of sailors along the Gulf Coast during the transition from sail to steam in the late nineteenth century. He has been published in the Journal of Mississippi History and presented on maritime history and the history of slavery.
According to the popular modern narrative, Texas cattlemen drove cattle herds from Texas to Kansas up the legendary Chisholm Trail. This trail originated in San Antonio, Texas. Or Brownsville, or Cuero, or Fort Worth, or Kingsville, or several other claimed origins, depending on who tells the story; no one seems to know for sure. Recently-discovered General Land Office surveys document the exact location of the famous Chisholm Trail during its peak years of use as a cattle trail. Did the Chisholm Trail really pass through Fort Worth? Fort Worth Westerners member Wayne Ludwig will address these questions.
Meet Wayne Ludwig
Wayne Ludwig is a Fort Worth native, cattle trails historian, and author of The Old Chisholm Trail: From Cow Path to Tourist Stop (Texas A&M University Press, 2018). He created the Texas Cattle Trails History Group on Facebook and is a member of Western Writers of America, Academy of Western Artists, and Old Trail Drivers Association of Texas. The Old Chisholm Trail was awarded the Elmer Kelton Book of the Year award by the Academy of Western Artists. The book was also named a Finalist for 2018 Most Significant Scholarly Book by the Texas Institute of Letters. Wayne has been a guest speaker at various symposiums and historical association events and instructor for TCU Silver Frogs extended education.
Tom Ashmore will discuss the history of Horsehead Crossing on the Pecos River which served the Butterfield Stage Line and the Goodnight–Loving Cattle Trail. Horsehead Crossing is a ford on the Pecos River in Pecos County, south of Odessa, Texas. Historically, it was a major landmark on the trail west as one of a few fordable sections of the Pecos in West Texas, and as the first reliable source of water for about 75 miles on the route from the east.
Meet Tom Ashmore
Tom Ashmore spent 21 years in the Air Force as a special intelligence analyst. After retiring as an analyst, he worked as a contractor teaching intelligence skills for the Air Force Intelligence School for 20 years at Goodfellow AFB, Texas. As a member of the Concho Valley and Iraan Archeological Societies, he headed up archeological investigations of Butterfield's Overland Mail's Johnson's Station in Irion County, Grape Creek Station in Coke County and Horsehead Crossing Station in Crane County. He also headed up investigations of Paint Rock 1800s Historic Camp Sites in Concho County, Tower Hill Military Lookout in Sterling County and ancient rock shelters in the Lower Pecos region of Texas. He completed a book in 2019 on his Butterfield Trail investigations, The Butterfield Trail Through the Concho Valley and West Texas. He is a member of the Iraan Archeological Society and Texas Archeological Society and has written numerous reports for the Southwest Federation of Archeological Societies.
Shae Adams Nawoj will delve into the history of hair art and its role in 19th century social traditions. She will show off some of the intricate work created by our ancestors with a demonstration of how those pieces may have been created.
Meet Shae Adams Nawoj
Shae Adams Nawoj is the Assistant Historic Site Supervisor at Log Cabin Village in Fort Worth. She has worked in the museum world at institutions as varied as Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Gettysburg National Military Park, Colonial Williamsburg and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, with her most recent being the W. K. Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas. Her background includes studies in public history with an emphasis in 19th century American history and memory. At Log Cabin Village she works as part of a "myth busting" team on a mission to set the record straight about life on the American frontier.
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. Currently she is the president of the Log Heritage Foundation, supporting Log Cabin Village; the welcome chairman in her historic neighborhood; a director of Tarrant County Historical Society; and a member of the Texas State Historical Association. She is a committee member and contributor to the TSHA Handbook of Texas Women, the Handbook of Texas Medicine, and the Handbook of Dallas-Fort Worth. Her current research interest is the Fort Worth School of Medicine, 1894-1918, and medical education in Texas during the professionalization of the medical field.
The history of the Oregon Trail beginning in Independence, Missouri to Oregon City, Oregon Territory highlighting major trail milestones in Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho and Oregon. Approximately 400,000 pioneers and gold seekers traveled the nearly 2000-mile long trail to the Pacific coast during the period 1835 to 1869. Experience the Oregon Trail during our September meeting on Zoom!
Meet Albert (Bert) Schultz
Bert graduated from Hastings High School (Nebraska). He received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and an officer's commission in the United States Army from the University of Nebraska in 1968.
Bert served in the US Army from 1969 to 1971, including one year as a company commander in Vietnam, after which he received a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Houston in 1973, followed by a 30-year career in the international offshore oil and gas industry.
Following his retirement, Bert served three years with Promise Keepers, a national men's ministry; three years as the President of the Westlake Historical Preservation Society; two years as Vice President of the University of Nebraska ROTC Alumni Association; and two years as the Chairman of the Westlake Academy Camp Leadership Team.
Bert's interest in old West frontier history began as a youth growing up on a Nebraska farm near the Oregon and Pony Express Trails, and frontier forts along the Platte River in Nebraska. He has since traveled and studied the Oregon Trail, Pony Express, Bozeman, Santa Fe, and Chisholm Trail historical sites.
After fully retiring in 2005, Bert began presenting old west living history presentations including the history of the Pony Express, North American Indian and Buffalo, origin of the cowboy and the cattle drive trails and US cavalry and frontier forts during the Indian war period of 1865 to 1890.
Bert and his wife, Karen live in Westlake, Texas and have two adult daughters, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild.
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.
Shae Adams will explore the myths about the frontier, what they say about our memory of America's past, and how that shapes the national narrative.
Meet Shae Adams
Shae Adams is the Assistant Historic Site Supervisor at Log Cabin Village in Fort Worth. At Log Cabin Village she works as part of a "myth busting" team on a mission to set the record straight about life on the American frontier.
She has worked in the museum world at institutions as varied as Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Gettysburg National Military Park, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, with her most recent being the W. K. Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas. Her background includes a master's degree in public history from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with an emphasis in 19th-century American history and memory.
Fort Worth exudes a vivacious Western spirit founded upon a rich history. In 1849, four years after the Republic of Texas became the 28th state, the Army built a fort to keep native tribes west of the Trinity. That fort grew into a focal stop on the Chisholm Trail and later became the western terminus of the railroad. In World War I, Fort Worth housed one Army and three aircraft training bases, while Fort Worth Stockyards, which became one of the largest in the nation, provided multitudes of horses and mules. From pianos on dirt floors to the Van Cliburn Competition, from the earliest portraits by itinerant French artists to world-class art museums, Fort Worth has always been home to high culture. Groups such as the Woman's Wednesday Club made sure art and libraries stood in the old fort town once more famous for its saloons. No matter the era, and no matter the many reasons, Fort Worth will always be "where the West begins."
Meet Dawn Youngblood
Dr. Dawn Youngblood is Director of Historic Preservation and Archives for Tarrant County in Fort Worth, Texas. The award-winning archives holds many treasures and secrets preserved from the old West past of the region. She is author of two books: The SMS Ranch and Images of America: Fort Worth, which will be available in the fall.
Dawn grew up in San Antonio, where she attended the Alamo Heights Schools and developed a passion for history. She obtained a degree in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, where she met and married her husband, Fort Worth attorney Edwin Johnston Youngblood. They have lived in Fort Worth since 1982 and have two grown children, Christian and Eden.
Following a career in publishing – having worked as a Senior Editor for Harcourt Brace, and Publications Director for Freese and Nichols – Dawn returned to graduate school. She obtained a PhD in Anthropology from Southern Methodist University in 2003 and worked full time at SMU as a curator and professor.
In 2010, Dawn began her current position as Tarrant County Archivist, and in 2017 became Tarrant County Historic Preservation and Archives Officer. In that post, she is working on the first ever County Historic Preservation Plan in the State of Texas, and received a significant grant in support of that effort.
FWISD cadets enrolled in Honors U.S. Military History and selected JROTC instructors will share with members of the Fort Worth Westerners their remarkable personal experiences visiting Fort Concho and Fort Davis, Texas. Cadets will share their insights on how environments, industries, geography, and culture of the frontier influenced the development of the southwestern United States. This staff ride afforded cadets an active engagement and a meaningful connection to Texas frontier fort history, challenging cadets to reflect critically on the causes and consequences of westward expansion and the U. S. military's role in the process.
Meet Lieutenant Colonel Richard Crossley
Lieutenant Colonel Crossley became the FWISD JROTC Director of Army Instruction (DAI) in July 2011. Under his leadership, FWISD JROTC was the first program in the nation to teach an Honors U.S. Military History Course, increased scholarships and appointments to our military Service Academies and assumed operational control of FWISD Outdoor Learning Center (OLC-LLC). He has served as the Senior Army Instructor and JROTC Department Chair since August 2000 at North Side High School, Fort Worth, Texas. He has served on the Campus Coordinating Committee (CCC), the Site Based Decision Making Committee (SBDMC), the Literacy Team, and service on the High School Redesign Leadership and Management Team at North Side High School.
Prior to becoming a JROTC instructor, he served as the Deputy Inspector General, AAFES HQS, Dallas, Texas. He is an Airborne Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of Southern Mississippi Army ROTC, Air Defense Officer Basic Course, Armor Officer Advance Course, Command & General Staff College, Senior Officer Logistics Management Course and the Inspector General Course, Fort Belvoir, VA. A native of McComb, MS, LTC Crossley began his military career as an enlisted soldier in the 82nd Airborne, Fort Bragg, NC. LTC Crossley served in myriad assignments, and he earned a Master of Public Service degree in 1992 from Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY. His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (3OLC), Army Commendation Medal (3OLC), National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal and the Kuwait Liberation Medal.
A 2017 recipient of the United States Army Cadet Command (USACC) Director of Army Instruction (DAI) of the Year Award and Bronze USACC Instructor Award, LTC Crossley is currently serving as a member of USACC Program Advisory Council (PAC). Actively engaged as a member of the U.S. Army Dallas Recruiting BN Community Advisory Council, he is a member of the Fort Worth Lone Star Chapter of Military Officer Association of America (MOAA); Charter member & current Scholarship Chair of North–DFW Military Officer Association of America; Member of both Dallas & Fort Worth The Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW); North Texas Audie Murphy Chapter Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA); Member DFW World Affairs Council; Denton County Epiphany (youth/juvenile offenders), and a member of Fort Worth East Rotary Club.
Like the man who wielded it with such deadly effect on a Mississippi sandbar, the Bowie knife is enshrouded in far more romantic mythology than in documented fact. Who really made it? What did it look like? These and other questions have puzzled historians since before the fall of the Alamo.
Meet Jack Edmondson
In both his writings and his "living history" presentations, J. R. Edmondson views himself in the role of historian as storyteller. The retired history teacher has authored several books and over fifty magazine articles, most on aspects of Texas history. His book, The Alamo Story--from Early History to Current Conflicts, has been praised by reviewers as the "best" and "most readable" of all historical accounts devoted to the Texas shrine. Edmondson was a featured author at the 2000 Texas Book Festival and a member of C-Span's "Ultimate Alamo Panel," where his book was described as the "new standard on the Alamo." In 2010, the Alamo Studies Forum selected The Alamo Story as #1 of the "Five Essential Alamo Books." Nearly a decade later, in a list of "must read" books compiled by more than 600 members of the Alamo Society, The Alamo Story again fell into the #1 slot.
A native Texan, Edmondson graduated from Fort Worth Country Day School. He received his B. S. from the University of Texas at Austin and his M. S. from Texas Christian University. In appreciation for his contributions to Texas history, Edmondson was elected an honorary member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas, and Governor Rick Perry commissioned him an Admiral in the Texas Navy. Edmondson currently serves on the Tarrant County Historical Commission. He also is on the board of directors for the Texas Trail of Fame, the Friends of the Fort Worth Herd, and Log Cabin Village. Edmondson resides in Fort Worth, Texas, with his wife, Susan, and their two dogs and three horses.