"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 18 October 2001

“Women Sheriffs in Texas”

There have been over 70 women sheriffs in Texas. Most were appointed to finish the un-expired term of a deceased husband; however, some were then elected to serve in their own right. Today, there is only one woman serving as a Sheriff in Texas.

In Milam County, Texas, Sara White (Mrs. Valter T.) was appointed in Jan. 1942 to complete her husband's term as Sheriff when he left to do his Patriotic duty during World War II. She was elected to a full-term on Nov. 3, 1942 and served until Jan. 1, 1945. She is the only woman to serve as the Sheriff of Milam County. She was only the fourth woman elected to serve as a county sheriff in Texas.

Charlene Cates a History instructor at Blinn College in Bryan, Texas is working on a book to document the history of these pioneer law enforcement officers. She needs biographical information, anecdotes and stories of events relate to these women. She is interested in the communities where they served, arrests, interesting cases, newspaper articles, photographs, etc.

According to Professor Cates, the earliest woman sheriff was in the Panhandle in 1914 or 1916 and Texas has had more women sheriffs than any other state.

If you are related to any woman who has served as a Sheriff in Texas or if you would like more information, please contact Professor Cates at Rt. 3, Box L-184A; Franklin, Texas 77856; e-mail ccates@acmail.blinncol.edu or telephone: 979/828-2682 (home) or 979/821-0319 (office).

“Stephen F. Austin’s Birthday Celebration”

On Saturday, Nov. 3rd, there will be a Birthday Celebration for Stephen F. Austin planned by Billy and Janie Price that will begin at 2:30 p.m. at the site where he died on December 27, 1836 in Columbia (now known as West Columbia), Brazoria County, Texas.

Austin was originally buried at his sister’s home at Peach Point Plantation near the present-day Jones Creek, but was re-interred in 1910 on the “Hill of Heroes” in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.

The original burial site has been turned into a park and there is a plaque to mark the death site. Additionally, there are three huge Live Oak Trees at the park, which were there when Stephen F. Austin was there. The park is covered with thick carpet grass and has Confederate Rose and Rose of Sharon bushes, and Crepe Myrtle planted. A tree recently planted by Mr. Price and Sam Houston IV is a Kissing Burr Oak Tree. The seed came from a Burr Oak Tree in San Marcos, Texas, under which it is said that some ladies kissed General Sam Houston while he visited there. Mr. Price has placed two stainless steel flagpoles from which fly the American and the Texas Flags at the Park.

The program will include Sam Houston IV, descendants of Stephen F. Austin and many others. All children are invited to help celebrate this historical promotion of Texas History and the Memory of “The Father of Texas.”

To get to the park, take Hwy. 36 North out of West Columbia, Texas and go for a short distance. Turn right onto Brazoria County Road (CR) 467. Proceed down this narrow road until you come to the Park on your right. There will be flags and people at the turn onto CR 467 to help direct you.

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/lks_friday/COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 1 Feb 2002 and was last revised on __________

Copyright © 1999, 2001, 2002 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604