Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Great Mid-Texas Train Robbery

While looking through a box of my Grandmother’s genealogical research I ran across the following:

L.L. White – Entered Wells Fargo Express Co. in 1890. Midway between Coleman and Santa Anna Texas he foiled the boldest train robbery ever to be held in this part of Texas. He refused to open the door and they fired at him. He was hurt on nose.

What do you do when you find something like this? It is always exciting when you find an interesting family connection. Especially when it is on the right side of the law. Perhaps someday I will share the family connection that is on the other side of the law during a train robbery ;-).

First, I looked to see what more information I had about him in my files. Leslie L. White was the brother-in-law of my great, great grandmother, Henrietta Shafer VanDuzor. L.L married her sister, Dellie. I also found that several more Shafer siblings married members of the White family.

Then I did an internet search and found that L.L. White had been presented a watch for the part that he played in foiling the train robbery. His great grandson brought the watch to the Antiques Road Show in Memphis back in 2004, and you can watch a video of the appraisal at the PBS website.

I also found him mentioned in the RootsWeb’s Weekly E-zine in July 2005. One of his second cousins was watching the Antiques Road Show and saw the watch being appraised. In the article, I also found out a little more about the train robbery.

Briefly, on June 9, 1898, when the train had stopped at Coleman Junction, Coleman County, Texas, bandits forced the crew to get off and then tried to enter the Wells Fargo car. The express manager, L. L. WHITE, thwarted the attempt by refusing to unlock the door even when the robbers started shooting through it and one bullet “shaved off one of his eyebrows” and continuing to refuse when they threatened to dynamite the car. They were driven off when a passenger on the train began to fire at them and two of them were wounded.

The cousins were able to make contact and hopefully I will also be able to find them. I would like to share pictures and family stories with them. Here is a nice picture of L.L. and Dellie when they were visiting my great, great grandmother in Coin, Iowa.

L.L. and Dellie White

My research of the Shafer and White family is only beginning. There are several more interesting stories that I want to track down more information on. Keep tuned, as I will share some of them in the future.

Steven

Photogenic Clocks

Like many people around the world, I am thinking of England this week since the Olympics are being held in London. Today I was also thinking about clocks, so decided to post pictures of the two most photographed clocks in England. Most of you will immediately know which clock is the most photographed, but have you even heard of the second?

Of course, Big Ben is the most photographed. Here is a picture that I took of Big Ben when I was in London six years ago.

Big Ben - Elizabeth Tower - Clock Tower - Most Photographed Clock - London, England - Iconic Clock

Big Ben

When I was in England six years ago, I also visited Chester to conduct a training course at a hospital. While walking through Chester the first evening I saw this beautiful clock above the street.

Eastgate Clock - Chester, England - 2nd most photographed Clock  - Clock Tower on Bridge

Eastgate Clock

Even though the date on the clock is clearly 1897, it was not placed on top of Eastgate until 1899. The clock commemorates the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It is the second most photographed clock in England.

Eastgate was built on the site of the entrance to Deva Victrix. During the closing decades of the first century, the Romans built a fortress at the site of present day Chester. Some historians believe that the Romans were planning on making Deva Victrix the capital of Britain, as the fortress was much larger than the other ones that they built in England.

The town of Chester is a beautiful town with many picturesque buildings. You can also walk on top of the City wall most of the way around the original City. There is only one small portion that is missing and the complete circuit is almost two miles in length.

I hope you enjoy the pictures of these two photogenic clocks.

Steven