Bosque County Celebrates Texas Independence Week

In June 2008, a group of interested Texans began a project to celebrate Texas Independence. The purpose is to encourage and promote education regarding the rich history of Texas and its people and to celebrate our past and honor those who paved the way for us. Bosque County has been a large participant of this celebration starting in March 2009. Programs are held all over the county. These celebrations should help us grow in knowledge and appreciation for the past.

Programs involving students focus mainly on the fourth and seventh grade, since those are the grades that study Texas History. Fourth graders are invited to enter an art contest, featuring a famous place or person. Seventh graders write an essay about Texas history. The best entries are voted on by the students in those grades, and the finalists are judged by a panel.

Event: Student Contest Deadline; Thursday, February 27, 2020

Texas History Essay Contest Submissions are due at the First Security State Bank in either Clifton or Meridian.

Event: "Early Railroads of Bosque County" Lecture; Friday February 28, 2020 at 7 pm in Walnut Springs

The Walnut Springs Historical Association is bringing featured speaker Artie Dunlap to deliver a presentation on “Early Railroads of Bosque County” on Friday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. in the Annex Building located directly behind the Walnut Springs Museum at 193 Avenue A, Walnut Springs. Dunlap is a former employee of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT), Union Pacific & Fort Worth Western Railroads.

Event: “Mr. Texas: Governor Coke Stevenson” Lecture; Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at 6 pm in Meridian

Dr. Monte L. Monroe, Texas State Historian, is to present “Mr. Texas: Governor Coke Stevenson” as part of Bosque County’s Celebrate Texas Independence week. The program is to be held Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. in the District Courtroom of the historic Bosque County Courthouse in Meridian. The program is sponsored by The Bosque County Collection in collaboration with First Security State Bank. A reception will follow at The Bosque County Collection across the street.

Monte L. Monroe, Ph.D. is the archivist for the Southwest Collection and on faculty at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Appointed Texas State Historian by Gov. Greg Abbott in 2018, Monroe is the first state historian from West Texas, the first archivist in the position, and the first from a major public university.

The subject of Monroe’s lecture, Coke R. Stevenson, was the 35th Governor of Texas, serving from 1941 to 1947. The first Texas governor to serve more than two terms, Stevenson was also the first to hold the three highest state offices as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, as lieutenant governor, and then as governor. As governor, he placed the state on a cash basis without curtailing services to the people and without a tax increase. A son of pioneer settlers, Stevenson was a lifetime resident of Kimble County.

Monroe, a former editor of the West Texas Historical Review, has taught and published widely on Texas history. He has served on the Texas Historical Records Advisory Board, the boards of the West and East Texas Historical Associations and as chair of the Texas State Historical Association Archives Committee. He is a founding board member of the Humanities Center at Texas Tech. Monroe received a Bachelor of Arts in literature and history from Stephen F. Austin State University and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in history from Texas Tech University.

Event: Announcement of Student Contest Winners; Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 1:30 pm in Clifton

Winners of the 4th and 7th grade Texas History Student Essay Contest will be announced at the Bosque Museum in Clifton.

Event: "History of Firearms" Lecture; Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 2 pm in Clifton

Retired Probate Judge David D. Jackson is to speak on the evolution of firearms through the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries on Sunday, March 8 at 2 p.m. at the Bosque Museum, 301 South Avenue Q, Clifton. Judge Jackson is also owner of the Jackson Armory in Dallas and an expert in antique, military and modern firearms.

1936 News Article of Interest:

This proclamation was published in the February 1936 issue of the Meridian Tribune. 1936 Texans celebrated the centennial of Texas Independence, but the words ring true for today:

      Whereas, the State of Texas is an empire within itself, vast in its area, unparalled in the glory of its heroic deeds and romantic history, unrivaled in the splendid progress and achievements of its brilliant past and living present, and unmatched in the marvelous opportunities it has in store for its citizens ever in the future; and
      Whereas, we are approaching the date, March 2, which marks the birth of Texas Liberty and the beginning of the Republic of Texas, and its subsequent entry into the Sisterhood of States of this Union; and
      Whereas, there is a movement throughout this State that Texas Week, beginning March 1 and closing March 7 be properly observed in commemoration of the birth of the Republic of Texas;
      Now , Therefore, I, J. D. Grimes, Mayor of the City of Meridian, in accordance with Senate Concurrent Resolution No.8 of the Forty-Second Legislature, proclaim Texas Week and invite our citizens to observe Texas Week, not as a season of holidays but as a week of better work and better living;
      First. I urge every home, office, place of business and industry, and the public school to fly a Texas Flag.
      Second. I urge the school to observe Texas Week with appropriate assembly programs; make Texas Week education week and book week; plant trees and flowers and dedicate them; and make patriotic pilgrimages to places of historical significance; and
      Third. I urge clubs, churches, lodges and other assemblies to render appropriate programs during Texas Week;
      Fourth. Let us all, for a brief space of Texas Week extol the cultural and spiritual values of the romantic traditions of our history and dedicate ourselves to the lofty ideals of statesmanship, character and leadership which our forefathers exhibited in their lives consecrated to liberty, happiness and service.

Signed by J. D.Grimes, Mayor and Levi Dunlap, City Secretary.