• Fannin County lost an icon when Leonard Gerner passed away on June 18, 2017. This article features his memories as a pilot trainer at Jones Field.
  • In 1943, World War II was raging across Europe and the US and British troops had just landed on Sicily. German forces had an invincible stronghold in the northern mountains of Italy and multiple US and Allied attempts to overtake the Germans had resulted in repeated failures and massive casualties. Also at that time, Weldon Porter, a 23-year-old, black-dirt farm boy from Bonham, was training at the highest military camp in the world which was Camp Hale, Colorado near Leadville, Colorado, just south of Vail at an elevation of 10,000 feet above sea level.
  • Examples of churches and church/schools built by former slaves can be found all across the South. However, there is no need to travel so broadly, for many examples exist in Fannin County.
  • When trying to make a lesson appeal to students, it helps if I can localize it, i.e. use local examples when possible to make a point. While I and my working students at Bonham High School study the growth of retail corporations in the late 1800s and early 1900s, among the many corporate leaders we look at is J.C. Penney. Why Penney? It allows me to localize inasmuch as Penney opened a store in Bonham, one of the earliest corporate chain stores in the city.
  • From the moment Texas & Pacific Railroad first laid tracks in Fannin County in the early 1870s, there was perhaps a suspicion that water, an absolute necessity for keeping steam locomotives rolling, would be scarce. In the early 1890s city officials began addressing the water shortage. Frustrated at failed attempts to drill productive wells, in 1893 they decided to build an artificial lake east of town. The May 28, 1893 Dallas News reported that work on the lake was to begin soon. By the mid 1890s the lake and an accompanying standpipe were serving the City of Bonham. photo by Tim Davis of old Bonham City Lake
  • The cupola has been placed on the top of the tower and W.C. Dodson's Fannin County Courthouse is close to being fully restored. At the same time this restoration has been going on, I have been finishing the manuscript on a biography of my great-grandfather, the man behind that building.
  • Circa 1894 the Wright family made their way to Foster's studio on the north side of the square in Bonham. Pictured are James Edward, Ida Mae, James Henry, Columia May (in James's lap) and Cora. In later years, Columia May would recall a lean Christmas when the only gift her parents could afford to give her and the rest of the children was a big bag of candy. "Dad felt awful bad about it," she stated. To lighten the mood, he stepped out on the front porch with his gun and fired two or three shots into the cold night air. He claimed he was shooting at Santa Claus for bringing so little. "He had a keen sense of humor," she remarked.
  • For the first time in almost 92 years, people arriving in downtown Bonham will see a cupola adorning the roof of the historic Fannin County Courthouse.
  • From August 23Ė27, 1911, Bonham played host to hundreds of African-Americans from across the state and Oklahoma. Race relations weren't the best back in the early 20th century, but there are signs of both sides trying to make amends. Clippings from the Bonham Daily Favorite hardly pass without some intonation of surprise at the well mannered and peaceful gathering, while the Colored Fair Association welcomed all their white friends to join them Saturday night for a talent show.
  • As Fannin County Commissioners Court deliberates where to place a Spanish American War memorial that had been on the southwest corner of the courthouse grounds prior to restoration of the 1888 courthouse, the story of the monument provides a glimpse into local history.
  • Quite understandably, when Big Boy 4014 came chugging to a stop in Pottsboro, a crowd of hundreds of spectators had already gathered. After all, when you are the world's largest steam locomotive, your reputation proceeds you. This behemoth weighs more than a Boeing 747, is longer than a pair of city buses and was designed for stability at 80 miles per hour.
  • Although it was overlooked for decades, the story of Bonham native Charlie Christian is as compelling as that of legendary Mississippi Delta bluesman Robert Johnson. Charlie learned fast, he played fast and they say he even had a wicked fastball, too. Unfortunately, he was gone just as fast. Charlie Christian didnít live to see his 26th birthday, but in 25 years he went from those first steps in Tanktown to walking with Bennie Goodman, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and the true masters of his day.
  • Spanish Louisiana before its retrocession to France in 1800. The Corps of Exploration led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark had not returned from their traverse of the northern reaches of the territory acquired through the Louisiana Purchase when President Thomas Jefferson set another expedition on its way west investigate the new southern boundary of the United States. The idea for an exploration of the Red River to search for a watercourse to the southern Rockies and to open trade and make alliances with the Indian tribes was part of Jefferson's search for knowledge about the nation's new lands.
  • Without my knowledge, on March 13, 1941, I was appointed by my local draft board "assistant leader of a contingent of selected men from Local Board No. 2 of Grayson County, in the State of Texas." On March 18, I was among some 30 young men who had received draft notices for service in the United States Army, who were assembled in the lobby of the Grayson Hotel in Sherman.
  • Plow-Horse Cavalry; The Caney Creek Boys of the Thirty-fourth Texas, by Fannin County native Robert Weddle, has long been out-of-print and only occasionally available from used book sellers. Thanks to a Rescuing Texas History grant from the Portal and in cooperation with Mr. Weddle's children, the book can now be read online and is fully searchable. Great Fannin County and Civil War history.
  • Summer was baseball, twice a week under the lights at the ballparks and every day in some lot or backyard. Toss the bat, choose up sides, banish the last pick to the wilderness of right field and play ball. Rarely were there nine to a side, so you made do.
  • Without my knowledge, on March 13, 1941, I was appointed by my local draft board "assistant leader of a contingent of selected men from Local Board No. 2 of Grayson County, in the State of Texas." On March 18, I was among some 30 young men who had received draft notices for service in the United States Army, who were assembled in the lobby of the Grayson Hotel in Sherman.
  • Joe Thurmond, mayor of Bonham, at Will Evans' party for Fannin County, July 10-12, 1923 - Image Courtesy of Amon Carter Museum of American Art © Erwin E. Smith Foundation
  • Without my knowledge, on March 13, 1941, I was appointed by my local draft board "assistant leader of a contingent of selected men from Local Board No. 2 of Grayson County, in the State of Texas." On March 18, I was among some 30 young men who had received draft notices for service in the United States Army, who were assembled in the lobby of the Grayson Hotel in Sherman.
  • Texas Historical Commission's Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American Historyís Sam Rayburn Museum have teamed up for an ongoing exploration into the life and career of one of the most influential Americans in the 20th Century. Our quarterly webinar series will delve into specific facets of Sam Rayburn's personal life and political career, with topics ranging from Mr. Sam's family to historic pieces of legislation he was instrumental in passing.
  • Without my knowledge, on March 13, 1941, I was appointed by my local draft board "assistant leader of a contingent of selected men from Local Board No. 2 of Grayson County, in the State of Texas." On March 18, I was among some 30 young men who had received draft notices for service in the United States Army, who were assembled in the lobby of the Grayson Hotel in Sherman.
  • Effervescent. That's the word Roy Floyd uses to describe an outgoing person who has an infectious charm and a scintillating personality. Effervescent. Oh, wait! That's Roy! Yes. Yes, it is.