Texas Women’s History
Tales Worth Telling & Re-telling
INTERESTED? LET'S TALK… Schedule a date and sort through the following topics for what might suit your civic, professional, education or religious group’s interests—by profession, by era, by accomplishments, by the change women wrought when they arrived in Texas.
Aaah, the fascination of women and men for the stories of those early generations of Texas’ heroic efforts, particularly the Texas Dames, those Sassy and Savvy women who swapped bread for hunks of deer meat with the Indians; for those who shot canons through doorways to ward off marauding Indians, and on up through time to the women who notched “firsts” in almost every professional and public service arena.
These are the stories I love to tell and have been doing so for several years, even before Texas Dames: Sassy and Savvy Women Throughout Lone Star History was published by The History Press and that I’ll continue to tell when my next book on women in Texas history comes out in September: Texas Women Ranchers: Three Centuries of Mettle and Moxie.
Contact me: email@example.com
Posing by a cutout of a true “Texas Dame,” Dr. Mollie Armstrong, Texas’ 1st woman optometrist, I joined a reporter from The Brownwood Bulletin where I got my newspaper start, and Dr. Jay Vollett, a great grandson of Dr. Armstrong. The Brown County Museum has created quite a display featuring her work, interests and long life after she had to pull out of college as a teenager because of blinding headaches. The answer for her, corrected lenses, fueled her continuing education and profession—optometry. While telling the stories of “Texas’ Women’s `Firsts’” on a May program I got to look around. It’s a fine museum and well worth a stop to peer into life in this area of Texas.
Not hard to enjoy a luncheon with book loving women led by Laura Coulter, librarian at Howard Payne University in Brownwood and president of the Junior Twentieth Century Book Club. She had invited me to speak to their year-end luncheon and give an overview of Texas Dames: Sassy and Savvy Women Throughout Lone Star History. As I told her, when a librarian asks a writer to do anything, we “oughta’ or be shot.” Where would writers be without these guides and lovers of books?
Independent researcher Alexis Potemkin would not let Dr. Armstrong’s life fade. Alexis gathered facts and stories that marshalled an historic marker about Dr. Armstrong. Alexis passed on her research to me so that I could include the Brownwood optometrist, first in Texas, Dr. Armstrong in Texas Dames: Sassy and Savvy Women Throughout Lone Star History.
SPEAKING AT HOME…Monday, October 20, I’ll visit about “Republic of Texas Women” with the Frances Cooke Van Zandt Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas in Fort Worth. (Of course, Mrs. Van Zandt’s life made for an interesting segment in my first book.) A woman attending a program I gave in Dallas in January to the National Society of Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims invited me for the DTR program. For it, I’ll be able to draw stories from both books— the new one, Texas Ranch Women: Three Centuries of Mettle and Moxie, and from Texas Dames: Sassy and Savvy Women Throughout Lone Star History.
More ideas for programs for your organization:
The Professions and “Texas Dames™”
Medicine — from anesthesia, optometry, physical rehabilitation and railroad doctoring.
Science ——botanists and marine biologists, both students of flora and fauna from Austin to Fort Davis.
Business — in Dallas’ beginnings, a woman in construction; another ran a circus (after serving as a spy in the Civil War); another ruled timber and banking interests in Huntsville; another from Dallas invented and successfully marketed “white out;” the former black slave who cornered downtown Dallas real estate; four who ran successful hotels from the coast to Dallas.
Agriculture — Texas being an agricultural state and still large in agri-business, quite a few “Texas Dames” stories recount their experiences over the miles of Texas borders and across the eras:
• Fifteen ’Dames’ from the coast throughout West Texas, raised cattle, sheep, horses (even the first polo ponies sold to New Yorkers) while pioneering in oil and banking.
Law — a half dozen Texas Dames parlayed their law degrees to serve as Supreme Court judges, “the all women Supreme Court in 1925,” while modern women have followed to the bench in state and county courts in the 1970’s.
Aviation — Four “Texas Dames”
• Two women pilots and instructor pilots holding the earliest pilot’s licenses in the 1920’s
• Two women stayed on the ground and wheeled and dealed to recruit, train and sustain women pilots for service in World War II
LET’S TALK…817 737 6958 or EMAIL
P. O. Box 470841
Fort Worth, Tx 76147