Prior Programs

Presented to the Fort Worth Westerners.

Oct. 20, 2020
Ruth Karbach

Oct. 20, 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. 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.

Sept. 15, 2020
Bert Schultz

Sept. 15, 2020: Bert Schultz, "The Oregon Trail: Gateway to Western Expansion"

"The Oregon Trail: Gateway to Western Expansion"

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.

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.

Jan. 21, 2020
Shae Adams

Jan. 21, 2020: Shae Adams, "Myth and Memory of the West"

"Myth and Memory of the West"

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.

Nov. 19, 2019
Dawn Youngblood

Nov. 19, 2019: Dawn Youngblood, "Images of America: Fort Worth"

"Images of America: Fort Worth"

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.

Oct. 15, 2019
LTC (RET) Richard Crossley, Jr.

Oct. 15, 2019: LTC (RET) Richard Crossley, Jr., "Texas Frontier Forts: Into the West"

"Texas Frontier Forts: Into the West"

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.

Sept. 17, 2019
Jack Edmondson

Sept. 17, 2019: Jack Edmondson, "Colonel Bowie's Knife—The History of a Legend Forged in Steel"

"Colonel Bowie's Knife—The History of a Legend Forged in Steel"

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.