Ronnie Fry and I, both of us former employees of the Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railway, gave a presentation of its history to the Lubbock Model Railroad Association in Lubbock on January 6.
There were several guests at the museum during the West Texas Wind Festival.
There were several guests at the museum during Homecoming 2013. Kenneth Bunnell donated a box of slides taken by J. B. Cooper that his mother had when she was the curator of the museum. Carl Childers donated several old items, among them a Roscoe Methodist Church cookbook, a booklet containing memoirs of Roscoe in the 1920's written by John Beryl Witherspoon, a 1936 RHS Commencement Program, and a Minnie Pearl Cookbook signed by Minnie Pearl.
Jan Bodine donated a promotional thermometer compliments of the Leland Howard Gin of Roscoe, Texas.
The museum was open for the Independence Day celebration on July 7 and had numerous visitors. Richard Hood of Frisco, Texas, donated a copy of a 1928 photo of a large group of Roscoe students, mostly high school, standing in front of the high school building in uniforms and outfits of various sorts, including clown suits.
Robert McBride donated several Gleaners from various years to add to the museum's collection. The museum would love to have more.
Robert McBride donated some Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific materials and lent for scanning a post card with a photograph of the 1913 visit to Roscoe of Bill Black of Nome, Alaska, along with his wolf and dog team.
The museum curator completed a narrative, "Shootout at Wastella," that recounts in detail the gun battle that Roscoe Police Officer Felix Pantoja had with Georgia fugitive Phillip Kellogg on July 11, 2003. The narrative has been placed in the museum.
The museum curator completed a narrative, "The Mayor of Fort Worth and the Roscoe Rabbit Drive of 1915," which is a compilation of an interesting series of events recounted in four 1915 articles printed in March and April 1915 in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The curator also wrote an article about the Roscoe race track and the Nolan County Fairs that used to be held on the east side of Roscoe during the teens of the twentieth century.
The George Parks Memorial arrived from Eastland and was placed in Memorial Park.
While on a family outing to Lake Trammell, Roscoan Juan San Agustín stepped over a squarely shaped stone 12" x 11" x 5" with barbed wire tied to it and picked it up to see what it was. To his surprise, the underside contained some carefully carved words, the most prominent being the numerals 1884. He brought the stone to me and, after we knocked some of the rust and dirt off of it, were able to read what had been carved on it:
It is unclear just what the stone is, but a good working hypothesis is that it was part of the original Mitchell County Courthouse built in 1883, or a part of the second one that was built after the first one was dismantled a year later when surveyors determined that it had been built in the right-of-way of Oak Street. Since the lettering is neat but amateurish (i.e., not of the quality found on tombstones of that time), Harry Hall may have been a rocklayer who worked on the building. The stone may have wound up at Lake Trammell as a weight for a trot line. In any case, the stone was donated to the Heart of West Texas Museum in Colorado City and is now on permanent display there.
On Tuesday, October 9, the newly placed Texas Historical Marker for the Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railway was dedicated in a ceremony in Memorial Park. Long-time RS&P employees Willard McFaul, Donald Menn, Bob Brothers, and Royce Walker were on hand, along with several city officials including City Council members Robert McBride, Helen Perry, and Christi Pepper Beal; museum curator Edwin Duncan; and Roscoe Mayor Pete Porter, as well as a number of interested onlookers. McFaul, Walker, and Brothers briefly reminisced about times spent while working on the railroad, and McFaul read a poem he wrote about the time a confused young man tried to hijack the train to take to General Robert E. Lee. Mayor Porter concluded the ceremony with a proclamation to the celebrated short line that for 75 years contributed so much to the community and surrounding area.
The museum was open during the West Texas Wind Festival on October 20th and received many visitors.
Several articles about Roscoe were located and downloaded from the online historical archives of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which are available for the years from 1897 through 1922. Among them were articles about the apparent murder of Hugo Zetzman, Sr., in Fort Worth in 1915 and the stabbing death of Charley Tomlin in Roscoe in 1922. A number of early articles about the RS&P Railway were also downloaded as were articles about cotton, cattle, and weather.
The Bankhead Highway plaque was placed in Memorial Park across the street from the museum and dedicated in a ceremony on August 21. Mayor Pete Porter read a proclamation and those present included Joe Specht, Librarian Emeritus of McMurry University, City Council members Helen Perry and Robert McBride, Museum Curator Edwin Duncan, County Commissioner Terry Willman, and Roscoe merchant Delma Boston. Jess Lambert lent for scanning a magazine article from the December 1966 issue of Master Detective about the murder of Roscoe nightwatchman Lewis Snyder on August 5, 1966. Funding for a memorial for George Parks was collected and an order made with Sterling Memorial of Eastland for a granite monument to be placed in Memorial Park. Sylvia Garland Leeds of Quinlan donated some old photos of the Haney family.
The museum had many visitors during the Independence Day Celebration in downtown Roscoe on July 7. Arrangements were made for the building of a stand for the Bankhead Highway plaque. It is due for completion and placement next month. A new slideshow, this one for the 1930's, was put on the Historic Photo Slideshows on this website. The museum needs more good photos of that decade. If you have any, please consider donating or lending them temporarily to the museum for scanning.
The Roscoe City Council approved the placement of a plaque in Memorial Park to commemorate the Bankhead Highway, which once ran through downtown Roscoe. The highway was variously known as Texas Highway 1, the Bankhead Highway, and US Highway 80. The Bankhead, a national highway, was famous in its day and ran from Washington, DC, to San Diego, California. The plaque is provided by the Texas Bankhead Highway group led by Dan Smith, who came up with the plaques and has been instrumental in getting them placed in communities along the route.
Norma Kranz of Dallas donated a photograph of the three Miss Roscoe finalists in the 1954 beauty pageant held in Roscoe: Christine Clayton, Miss Roscoe; and Norma Lynn Eckert and Pauline Nance, her Maids of Honor. The museum received a digital photo frame from the city and loaded it with about a hundred old black-and-white photographs of early day Roscoe. It was on display along with a newly completed photo album and narrative history of the Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railway for the City's Spring Fling on April 15. That day the museum was full of visitors.
Stanley Cleckler brought by several copies of the Roscoe Times from the 1970s and early 1980s containing articles written by George Parks about "Injun George," his name for himself when he performed a smoke ceremony to forecast the success of a coming year's crops. Performed on March 22, the day after the spring equinox, Injun George conducted the ritual from 1972 to 1982. Cleckler also brought for scanning several student essays on the history of Roscoe, as well as a couple of newspaper articles on Roscoe's uranium sitting parlor of 1955, run by Frank Edward Cleckler.
Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Hughes donated a framed display of contemporary newspaper articles and photos on the shooting of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in May 1934. They also donated photos and articles about a 1957 rattlesnake hunt that inspired the annual Rattlesnake Roundup held in the Nolan County Coliseum, as well as a photo of Blind Walt, a Roscoe character of the 1920s and 1930s.
The Texas Historical Commission sent notification of its approval of a historical marker for the Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railway in Roscoe. The 18" x 28" marker, when it arrives, will be placed in Memorial Park, across the street from the museum. Sponsors for the marker are Suzie Alford's third graders at Roscoe Elementary School.
Temporary changes to the museum website made last month were made permanent with old photo archives replaced by PowerPoint slide shows. The Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department lent some old photos and its scrapbook for scanning, and several excellent old pictures along with excerpts from the minutes of City Council meetings dating back to 1907 have now been digitized.
Ronnie Fry of Lubbock donated J. W. Green's Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific road passes for the years 1909-1914, when Green, his great-grandfather, was the railroad's Roadmaster. Fry also donated two of Green's RS&P employee rulebooks as well as two pocket-sized notebooks Green used to log his daily work activities in 1915 and 1917.
A Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific website was officially launched with four slide shows: Engines of the RS&P, Railcars of the RS&P, Workin' on the Railroad, and Mishaps of the RS&P, along with a four-chapter narrative history of the Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railway. The site will be modified as needed and when new materials become available.
Some changes were made to the museum website. The Photo of the Week Archive was getting too large for the amount of space allotted by Google for free websites, so the alternate solution of presenting the archive as a slide show is being tried as an alternative, probably temporary. Arlon Wayne Orman lent for scanning some old Roscoe Times articles on Roscoe church histories. He also lent a couple of old photos of baptisms conducted by the Roscoe Baptist Church in Seale Creek southeast of town in June of 1927 as well as a photo of the Church of Christ's church built in 1908 and a photo of the Presbyterian Church, which used to be on Cypress.
An addition to the Roscoe Historical Museum website was begun that will document the history of the Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railway from its beginnings in 1906 to its closing in 1984. When finished, it will contain a narrative history and display numerous photographs and documents. It is very much a work in progress, so development of the site will take some time.
Jennifer Petler of Fredericksburg donated several old pictures to the museum, including a great one of the Roscoe High School graduating class of 1914 with separate photos of each person pasted onto a cardboard back.
The museum prepared for and had a goodly number of visitors on October 15, the day of the West Texas Wind Festival in Roscoe.
Much time and effort was spent in compiling, composing, and completing an application to the Texas Historical Commission for a historical marker to commemorate the Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railway. From its beginnings in 1906 to its demise in 1984, the railroad was one of the most successful short lines in the country, and its impact on Roscoe cannot be overestimated. If the application is approved, the historical marker will be placed in Memorial Park on Broadway and Cypress, across the street from the museum.
Gerald Hook of Russellville, Arkansas, donated several old photos of R. S. & P. engines and cars as well as reprints of five Interstate Commerce Commission reports about dealings with the R. S. & P. in the late teens and twenties. Nerissa Jay donated a history of Roscoe's Methodist Church as well as a manila envelope full of photographs that belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Walter Potter. Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Hughes donated Joy Theater monthly movie schedules for February and March 1948 as well as a framed 8" x 10" photograph of the interior of the old Terry Grocery taken in 1944 or 1945. They also lent for scanning a photograph of the members of the Roscoe Roping Club taken around 1950.
Sheila Young Fox of Abilene lent for scanning some photographs of the Young family to go with the ones the museum already has. She also donated the official 1941 Roscoe PTA scrapbook which has photographs and newspaper articles, along with an account of all the PTA's activities that year. John Strother donated Gleaners, Roscoe's school annuals, for the following years: 1947, 1948, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004. If you have any Gleaners for other years that you'd be willing to donate or know where others are, please contact the museum.
Jimmie Cantrell of Abilene donated a photograph album containing photos of the forties and early fifties, including pictures of Boys Club trips, school photos, and three Plowboy football team photos. David Duncan lent for scanning his copy of Mary Edna Worthy's childhood memories of the Roscoe Baptist Church in the 1920s and 1930s. Arlene Hartman lent three Gleaners, Roscoe school annuals, of the years 1947, 1951, and 1954, for scanning.
Jeannie McBurnett of Bryan brought a copy of a 1938 "historical edition" of the Roscoe Times that is literally in pieces but scannable. Published to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the Roscoe, Snyder and Pacific Railway, it contains valuable information on the history of Roscoe and the Roscoe State Bank, as well as the R. S. & P. It also has an account of E. B. McBurnett's trip to the area in 1880, which was reprinted from a 1909 Roscoe Times.
Harold Duvall donated two iron spheres he was told are meteorites. One is about the size of a ping pong ball, the other about as big as a marble. Both are surprisingly heavy.
The Museum was open during the City of Roscoe's "Spring Fling" festival on April 16, and received a goodly number of visitors who came in to see, among other things, the fourteen new 13" x 19" photos that were on display.
David Sterley of Wichita Falls called one day hoping to find information on the murder of his grandmother's brother, A. J. Parker, in Roscoe in 1937. I didn't have anything tangible at the time but got the general story from my mother, Laura Fay Duncan, who at 103 still remembers the incident well. With the information she provided along with a copy of the death certificate, David and I were able over the next few days to locate several old newspaper articles that filled in a lot of the blanks. A. J. Parker, Roscoe's mayor for 17 years at the time, was shot in the alley between the R. S. & P. office and Haney's Rexall Drug by Bill Dawson, Roscoe's night watchman, whom Parker had just fired. I hope to write a complete account of the incident for the museum. The Museum thanks David Sterley for all the information he provided, as well as a number of photographs of the Parkers and Rutledges, two early-day Roscoe families.
Lucille Zinke has donated a toy sewing machine that Santa Claus brought her in 1931. The little machine, a Singer, really worked, making a chain stitch. It will be available for viewing in the museum during the Spring Fling on April 16.
Harold Duvall brought by a couple of early photos of the Roscoe School that the museum didn’t have. Both are post cards in good condition, and one of them has been colorized.
The other day I went to the County-City Library in Sweetwater and asked a librarian if they had anything on the history of Roscoe. After a little searching, she came back with a manila folder containing about fifteen or sixteen short pieces on early day Roscoe that Marion Duncan wrote for the Roscoe Times in the early 1980s. I have now scanned these so the museum will have permanent copies. Topics include the Roscoe livery stable, jail, public water trough, and cattle pens as well as stories about the first cars, the 1917-18 drought, Sunday dinners, and country schools.
Thanks to Frances Richburg for bringing by materials that document the military career of her late husband, Don Richburg, as an honor guard for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery. We hope to make these materials a part of a patriotic display for this year’s Independence Day celebration in Roscoe.
The Roscoe Historical Museum extends its heartiest thanks to Willard McFaul for making available for scanning his collection of Roscoe, Snyder, & Pacific Railway photographs, brochures, and newspaper clippings. Willard was an employee of the railroad from 1949 to 1984, when it finally closed its doors. At one time one of the most successful short lines in the United States, the R. S. & P. played a great part in the growth and economic success of Roscoe from its beginnings in 1906 to its demise in 1984. Up to now, however, the museum has been severely lacking in materials to properly portray the railroad’s importance to the community. That gap is now filled to a great extent, and we will be working to make a display of the R. S. & P. publically available.
Ken Brawley has lent the Roscoe Historical Museum his Hewlett-Packard DesignJet 430 plotter, which can print black and white images up to 24” wide. I’ve been making good use of it by cleaning up old photographs and printing them on 13” x 19” photograph paper. Expect to see some of these on April 16, when the museum is open for the City of Roscoe’s “Spring Fling” festival.
Betty Sue Sasin made available for scanning her photographs of Roscoe
taken in 1980. Subjects include not only
the big flood from that year, but also several old buildings, abandoned but
still standing at that time. These include
the Turk Hotel, the Burton-Lingo building, the Roscoe Times Office, the Roscoe
Motel, and the Guitar Gin.
Maurice Hastings brought some early deeds and materials documenting the sale of lots in Roscoe as well as arrowheads and other Indian artifacts found around Roscoe.