Thursday, June 30, 2016
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Preview the Paper Preview the Paper

Preview this week's Paper
A limited number of pages are displayed in this preview.
Preview this Week’s Issue ›
Subscribe Today ›

Lost & Found


VideoFound: male intact dog found in middle of road on 467 near Olmos loop area. Taking to a rescue or shelter soon. Cannot keep. If yours call Crystal at 830-832-4270.
*Includes FREE photo online! mywcn.com/lostandfound
Lost purse @ Maverick's Friday night June 24. Please return. No questions asked. Reward. 830-391-4013
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Walk-in bathtub sales person wanted. $100,000+ $4,000/mo. guaranteed. Sales experience required. Call Jerry Stewart at 1-913-276-2143, Ewing Enterprises, LLC.
Seeking individual to work in a local child-care center, paid holidays, etc., must be high school grad or GED. Apply in person at Cubs Country Childcare, 212 FM 1346 in La Vernia.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›
You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.

South Texas Living


Texas Times: A Ghostly Texas Halloween




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn
October 29, 2009 | 2,035 views | 1 comment

(This story not in print. Only available online.) Whether it's an abandoned town along the railroad, or the dusty site of famed Old West gunfights, Texas is home to a wide variety of ghost towns that offer an intriguing escape to a bygone era, or perhaps a creative alternative to traditional trick or treating on Halloween.

Once home to nearly 10,000 residents, the town of Thurber is today one of Texas' most famous ghost towns. In the early 1900s, Thurber was one of the most important mining sites in Texas, and at one point it was the largest town between Fort Worth and El Paso. In the 1920s, however, the move by railroads to switch from coal to oil in order to power their locomotives brought the Texas mining industry to its demise, and Thurber along with it. By the late 1930s, Thurber was virtually deserted. As of the 2000 Census, there was only a population of eight residing in Thurber. While today only six original buildings are standing in Thurber, there are eight historical markers, including the Snake Saloon, Hotel Knox & Mining Office, New York Hill, the brick plant, the cemetery, St. Barbara's Catholic Church, Big Lake & Dairy, and Thurber's first coal mine.

For different reasons, the port town of Indianola in Calhoun County, met a similar fate to that of Thurber. Officially founded in 1846, Indianola-then called Indian Point-had already become a landing area for German immigrants who were headed to West Texas. During the Mexican War, Indianola became an important deep-water port and home to an army depot that provided supplies to frontier forts in West Texas. Because of its location, Indianola became the chief port through which European immigrants traveled to West Texas. The first post office opened in Indianola in 1847, and the town grew quickly over the next several decades. From Indianola, the world's first shipment of mechanically refrigerated beef was shipped to New Orleans-beginning a new chapter in the transportation of perishable goods. Indianola was growing and prospering, with a population of 5,000, when a disastrous hurricane struck the Texas coast on September 16, 1875. The storm destroyed the low-lying town and took many
lives. Residents who survived attempted to rebuild on a smaller scale, but another hurricane in 1886 brought devastation again to Indianola. A resulting fire destroyed all but two buildings. Indianola was largely abandoned by 1887. Today most of Indianola is underwater, due to beach erosion. A few fishermen have built houses along the coast, despite the fate of their predecessors. A historical marker reads "Site of the town of Indianola, 1844 to 1886."

To the far west, near El Paso, lies the ghost town of Lobo, which, according to the Big Bend Sentinel, "has been inhabited solely by dust devils, Mojave rattlers and ghosts for the past couple of decades." In the 1850s, however, Lobo was home to the Van Horn Wells - the only source of reliable water in the region. The wells were also a stop on the San Antonio-San Diego mail route. The railroad built a depot and cattle loading pens in 1882, and by 1907, a post office was opened and named Lobo for the wolves that had roamed the area. Throughout the 1900s, Lobo endured ups and downs, including an earthquake that ruined the town's only hotel and the introduction of a cotton gin that eventually became too costly to operate and was forced to shut down. In 1988, Lobo was put up for sale for $60,000 by then-owner businessman Bill Christ. Purchased in 2001 by a group of individuals from Germany, today the town's official web site reads, "Lobo, Texas is a private property and not intended for
settlement or long term visits of people other than the owners and their personal friends."

Northwest of Fort Worth are the remnants of a true Wild West frontier outpost, Fort Griffin. The town, often called the Bottom or the Flat, was started in the 1860s and quickly earned a reputation for its lawlessness and colorful personalities. The town attracted notorious characters such as Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp, along with women such as Mollie McCabe and Lottie Deno and outlaws like Johns Wesley Hardin. By 1874, Fort Griffin had become so violent and lawless, the commander of the nearby military fort with the same name placed the town under government control and kicked out a number of residents. For the next several years, Fort Griffin would serve as an important supply source for buffalo hunters. The town thrived until the buffalo population dwindled and the Texas Central Railroad decided to lay its tracks through Albany to the South. This coupled with the military fort's closing brought Fort Griffin's bustling days to an end. Today, the site is preserved as Fort Griffin
State Historical Park.

Though their lifeblood is long gone, Texas ghost towns offer a glimpse into the events that led to the rise and fall of these early Texas communities.

Sources: KHOU; Lobo-Texas.com; Texas State Historical Association; ThurberTexas.com; TravelTex.com.

Sen. Cornyn serves on the Finance, Judiciary, Agriculture, and Budget Committees. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee's Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Ken Semlinger  
Poth, Tx  
October 31, 2009 9:55am
 
Nothing like the ghostly Texas wind to carry away the boring stench of politics. This is the most enjoyable news out of Washingon in years. Thanks Senator.

Share your comment or opinion on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

South Texas Living Archives


Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Celebrate July 4 in cradle of Texas liberty (June 29, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Freedom Fest brings in big names, big fun (June 29, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Hear Keen sounds at the river (June 29, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Paint by number (June 29, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Poth church offers Bible study, services (June 29, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stagecoach ride in Anderson (June 29, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. The Falstaff years and the trucks (June 29, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Austin’s oldest museum offers daily tours (June 22, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Dine out with The ROCK (June 22, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Esparza reunion planned for July 9 (June 22, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Free guided hikes at Enchanted Rock (June 22, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Getting your hands dirty — in the garden with Iris Seale (June 22, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Men: Pay attention to your health (June 22, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Movies in the Park (June 22, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. New Pioneer Playroom offers hands-on learning (June 22, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Old newspaper makes memories ‘Local and Personal’ (June 22, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Poth church to celebrate 90 years (June 22, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. See Legacy of Leadership exhibit in Washington (June 22, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. SS museum plans meeting (June 22, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Tips for a safe trip to the beach (June 22, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Wall pocket (June 22, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Area seniors invited to Bingo Tuesdays (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Art Walk America contest deadline is June 23 (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Attend picnic at Dewees-Remschel House June 15 (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. DRT receives honors at state convention (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Hear patriotic tunes in Pleasanton (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. It’s gone! The Spot is gone! (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Join WASP for summer season (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Jubilee offers fun for the whole family (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Martinez Social Club keeps you dancing (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meet 2016 Stockdale Watermelon Jubilee, rodeo court candidates (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Moms walking group invites members (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Napoli Glass (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Oak Hills Church plans yard sale (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Ramirezes celebrate golden anniversary (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. See free movies at Arcadia (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Sutherland Springs seeks volunteers (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Vendors needed for Freedom Fest (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Witness Summer Solstice performance (June 15, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Add amphibians to your landscaping (June 8, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Enjoy free summer movies at Rolling Oaks Mall (June 8, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Enjoy Pilgrim Opry (June 8, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Gene Watson in Kerrville (June 8, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Hear ‘Bach to Luckenbach’ (June 8, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Hummel plate (June 8, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. June dances in Geronimo (June 8, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meet for Play Dates in the library (June 8, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. OLPH names 2016 Mother of the Year, May Queen (June 8, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Prepare to enter cool creation in Ice Cream Freeze-off (June 8, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Remember Flag Day June 14 (June 8, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Running group plans June 11 run (June 8, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. St. Ann Teen ACTS plan 5K Color Run (June 8, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Take Dad out to FatherFest June 19 (June 8, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. The old Wagenfuehr house in Bleu Casa Village (June 8, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Tracking an icon in the ‘horned lizard capital of Texas’ (June 8, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Building communities (June 1, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cowboy penknife (June 1, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Garcia receives Linda West Scholarship (June 1, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Garner State Park celebrates 75 years (June 1, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Libraries prepare to launch ‘Reading Is So Delicious!’ summer program (June 1, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Lutheran Church windows relocated for a little TLC (June 1, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. St. Helena Men’s Club plans picnic (June 1, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stockdale’s early beginnings (June 1, 2016)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. The progression of the classic ‘koozie’ (June 1, 2016)
WCN Photo Contest HHF
WWII Clippings HHF
Coupon Q&A HHF-right
coupon home-rght
Triple R DC ExpertsVoncille Bielefeld homeAllstate & McBride RealtyHeavenly Touch home

  Copyright © 2007-2016 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.