Vol 8, No 182
July 1, 1850
Fredericksburg Store Burned by Irate Soldiers
Owner John Hunter Flees
On this date in 1850, a mob of soldiers burned a store which also served as a temporary courthouse at Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country.
On the previous day (June 30), John M Hunter, partial owner of the store, refused to sell liquor to one of the soldiers assigned to nearby Fort Martin Scott. The soldier got into a brawl with Hunter, resulting in the soldier being stabbed to death.
The next day, July 1st, a mob of soldiers from the fort, sought out Hunter. Not finding him, they burned his store which also served as a repository of the County Records (Hunter was also the County Clerk). Hunter, himself, had already fled.
When townspeople attempted to save the county records, the soldiers would not let them, and the store, as well as the county records were destroyed in the fire.
Tempers eventually cooled, and within months, Hunter rebuilt the store, and was again housing county records. Eleven years later (in 1861), Gillespie County, with a large population of recent German immigrants to "America", voted 400-17 against secession from the Union.
In 1883, a new courthouse was built, which would later serve as the Pioneer Memorial Library.
O'Daniel defeats Johnson for Senate Seat
In a special election to fill the U.S.Senate seat vacated by the death of Morris Sheppard, Governor Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel defeated Congressman Lyndon B Johnson in a vary narrow election held on this date in 1941.
Pappy O'Daniel was a conservative Democrat who came to fame in a large part, by hosting a popular radio show. In the 2001 film "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" the Charles Durning character (also known as Pappy O'Daniel), was based on the antics of the Texas governor. The movie, however, in set in Mississippi, not Texas.
But on this date in 1941, the real Governor Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel became the only man ever to beat Lyndon Johnson in an election.