Diagram, map  Description automatically generated


Tidbits of Shelby County History
Here Lies Texas and Tells the Truth, too

This week’s article is a little different. I found this information in a file cabinet, but no additional information is known about the date or author. I am also going to include some fun facts people associate the Lone Star State with such as cowboys, guns, oil, and the world’s best barbecue. I am also attaching a map to the article.

Texas used to be bigger, but to keep from being conspicuous, it sold land that is now all or part of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming to the United States, when it joined the Union.

Texans are neither Southerners nor Westerners. They are TEXANS, which is a God’s plenty in itself.

Texas occupies all the continent of North America except a small part set aside for the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It is bounded on the north by 30-odd states, on the east by all the oceans except the Pacific, and on the south by the Texas Border and on the west by the Pacific Ocean and the rest of the world.

Fold Texas northward and Brownsville will be 120 miles into Canada. Fold it eastward and El Paso would be dunked into the Atlantic. Fold it westward and Orange would be 215 miles out in the Pacific. Try it.

Area: 263,644 sq. miles; Water Area: ,695 sq miles

Texas compass has six directions. North to the Panhandle. South to the Rio Grande. East to East Texas. West to West of Pecos. Down to oil. Up to the Texas moon.

North to South: 801 crow flight miles; 918 highway miles.

East to West: 773 crow flight miles; 893 highway miles.

If you flew from Boca Chica, where the Rio Grande empties into the Gullf of Mexico at the southern tip of Texas, to Sabine, you would fly 328 miles. If you went by highway, you would drive 499 miles. If you started waling every bit of coastline you would travel over 1,600 miles.

Texas is equal in area to all the New England States plus New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, South Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana with 7,112 square miles left over.

There are 64 counties with greater land area than Rhode Island and there are 254 counties in all.

Texas has 101 peaks over 5,000 feet high and the highest point east of the Rockies is Guadalupe Peak, 8,751 feet high. The town of Sabine Pass is 8 feet above sea level and Velasco is 11 feet.

There are creek beds that stay dry so much of the time that it is easier to find bird nest in them than fish. There are areas so flat they have to put signs to tell the water which way to run when it rains.

Odd Facts about Texas

1. Dr Pepper was invented in Texas in 1885 by Charles Alderton in Waco and first marketed in 1904 nationally.

2. The Six Flags Over Texas theme park is named for the six countries that have ruled over Texas. The six countries are Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States, and the Confederate States of America.

3. Texas uses its own power grid, separate from the rest of the United States. There are three power grids in the U.S.: one for states east of the Rocky Mountains, one for states between the Pacific and the Rocky Mountains, and one for Texas.

4. The deadliest natural disaster in United States history occurred in Texas. The Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 took between 6,000 and 12,000 lives.

5. The largest known bat colony in North America is located just outside of San Antonio. It is located in Bracken Cave, the largest known North American bat colony has over 20 million bats. The largest known urban bat colony is also located in Texas over Lady Bird Lake in Austin.

6. The Texas State Capitol building is the largest state capitol in the nation. In terms of gross square footage, the Texas Capitol is only smaller in size to the U.S. Capitol building. The Texas Capitol dome sits 7 feet higher than the U.S. Capitol.

7. Texas is larger than any country in Europe. If Texas were its own country, it would be the 40th largest in land area. With an area of 268,820 square miles, Texas is second only to Alaska's landmass.

8. Texas has three of the top 10 most populous cities in the U.S. These cities are Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. In 2020, the population of the Texas Triangle reached nearly 21 million following rapid growth across much of Texas.

9. Friendship is the State Motto. The word Texas means friend.

10. The Texas Rangers are the Oldest State-Wide Law Enforcement Agency. It was originally founded in 182 by Stephen F. Austin. This original group of 10 men was given the sole responsibility to protect the settlers.

11. In East Texas, you will find Caddo Lake which is the only natural lake in Texas.