Oakwood Cemetery

Oakwood Cemetery

Sometimes called the Westminster Abbey of Fort Worth, Oakwood Cemetery was founded in 1879 by John Peter Smith, one of Fort Worth’s first settlers. He donated 20 acres to the city of Fort Worth. The cemetery was later enlarged to 100 acres. The burial area consists of three cemeteries: Oakwood, Calvary and Trinity.

Oakwood Chapel

View of Chapel from the South in the early morning sun. The Oakwood Memorial Chapel – erected 1912.

Inscriptions scattered through this website are taken from gravestones in Oakwood Cemetery.

Bricklayer's UnionBricklayer’s Protective Union #6

“As The Ship Bounds O’re The Wave Comes Back The Lover’s Litany Love Like Ours Shall Never Die”

“He Giveth His Beloved Sleep”

“Sleep On In Peace- With Jesus”

Wooden Grave MarkerOld wood board marker, revealing only the weathering of many years.

Oakwood Cemetery“Gone From Our Home
But Not From Our Hearts”

“Her Suffering Is Past
She Rests In The Home
Of Her Choice At Last”

“Beloved One Farewell”

“See You In The Morning”

Confederate GraveStatue of a Confederate Soldier stands an eternal watch over the resting places of his comrades.

Soldier's Row“Soldiers’ Row”, established in 1903 for the burial of Confederate Veterans.

Carswell MemorialCarswell Memorial Park. Major Horace S. Carswell Jr. was the first person in Fort Worth to receive the Medal of Honor.

Angel Statue

“Asleep In Jesus Blessed Sleep”

Annie Moystin KellsAnnie Moystin Kells,
Born Nov 25, 1862
Died Oct 21, 1884
(At her feet is her pet “Polly”.)

Guardian Angel

Guardian Angel keeping watch.

Frances“My Darling Sweetheart”

Angel and Cross

Angel watches over the grave of Mabele, Born July 27, 1882, Died May 16, 1883.

Mother“Mother Our Home Is Broken”

“Loved In Life, Cherished In Death”

“The Most Wonderful Mother”

In Peace with Jesus

“Sleep On – In Peace With Jesus”

“Weep Not Papa And Mama For Me
For I Am Waiting In Heaven For Thee”

“Tho’ Lost To Sight
To Memory Dear”

“Goodbye, I Am
Going To Sleep”

“At Rest”

Glen Brown

Daddy's Doll“See You In The Morning”

“Daddy’s Doll”

Leone Love Clanan

Luke Short GraveLuke Short, known as King of the Gamblers in Fort Worth. He introduced the new game Keno at the White Elephant Saloon. Short died Sept. 8, 1893 at the age of thirty-nine. His cause of death was described as “Dropsy” (a deterioration of the body). He paid $20 in advance for his burial plot. He died in bed.

Jim Courtright Grave

On Tombstone – Jim “Longhaired” Courtright 1845 – 1887. U.S. Army Scout, U S Marshall, Frontiersman, Pioneer, Representative of a Class of Man now passing from Texas who whatever their faults were type of that brave courageous manhood which commands respect and admiration. Erected 1953 – In Memory Of Him By His Descendants.

Bartender's Row“Bartender’s Row”. In Early Fort Worth bar tending was a respected and honorable profession.

Charles CulbersonUnited States Senator Charles A. Culberson, also Governor of Texas.

“Mama, I’m Dying,
Goodbye, Goodbye”

From the grave of
a nine year boy


John Mitchell – Consort


(1) A Husband or Wife,
especially the Spouse
of a Monarch.
(2) A Companion or Partner

To coexist, cohort, live with, walk with, keep company with, hang out with, attend, protect, escort.

Old Trinity Cemetery

Trinity Cemetery – “Black Section” – The tall Obelisk in the background is a monument to “Gooseneck Bill” McDonald, a Negro banker and politician. Some of his family are buried here, but he is not.

W.T. Waggoner

W. T. Waggoner – Texas Rancher and Oilman
By 1900 over 50 million barrels of oil had been pumped from his land making him one of the richest men in Texas. W. T. built Arlington Downs, a one and a quarter mile racetrack in Arlington.

“Resting In Hope Of A Glorious Resurrection”

“No Pain Nor Grief
No Anxious Fear
Can Reach The Peaceful
Sleeper There”

“There Are No Partings
In Heaven”
Interesting Stuff
Fort Worth native Euday Bowman was a ragtime composer. His best known song was “12th Street Rag” which he wrote about his experiences in Kansas City. Another song written by Bowman was “Fort Worth Blues”. It was never published. He died in New York City in 1949.
Interesting Stuff
There were no bridges across the Trinity River in early Fort Worth. All the Catholic funerals were held downtown at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The funeral procession had to cross the river at shallow fords. Sometimes the water was high and the horses and mourners could or would not cross. There was a saying among the early day Catholics – “He is a good friend, he will follow you all the way across the river.” In the far background is the Red River Texas and Southern Railway Bridge built 1902. It is one of the oldest surviving railroad bridges in Tarrant County.

Interesting Stuff
Now as you pull out onto Grand Avenue from the cemetery, turn right. At 609 Grand, on your left, you will find George Hilton’s Bicycle Tree. If it’s winter and there are no leaves on the tree, you can see the bicycles nestled in among the limbs. It’s a little harder to see during the summer.

Faces and Places

Photos taken on the streets and sidewalks of Tarrant County.

Burk Burnett Park

Burk Burnett Park in B&W

Burk Burnett Park

Burk Burnett Park in color

new cameraThis is my new “Spy” Camera. It is a Canon ELPT LT APO (which stands for Advanced Photo System). It’s dimensions are 3.4 x 2.2 x 1.4. It weigh 4.1 oz. It shoots 25 exp. And is fully automatic with a Canon 23 MM f 4.8 lens. It has a self-timer and a built in flash. It has lots of other bells and whistles that I don’t use. It shoots three types of prints. You can chose regular size, wide size or panorama prints, and you can alternate between them. As you can see in the photo, it’s about the size of a pack of cards. It hides real easy in your shirt pocket. I felt like a real under cover spy when I took the picture of the men’s room that you will see later. All photos on this site (except the picture of me and the camera which was taken with my 35 MM Camera) have been taken with this camera. So far all pictures have been taken within the boundaries of Tarrant County, but that could change.

spray paint artist

Spray paint artist at a street festival in Handley.


A pinwheel of kittens drinking milk
out of a pan for the first time.

Continue reading

Bad Blood: Jim Courtright and Luke Short

Jim Courtright

Jim ‘Longhaired’ Courtright
was Fort Worth City Marshall from 1876-1879. No one had ever outdrawn Courtright until that fateful afternoon when he and Luke Short met outside the “White Elephant”.

Luke Short

L. L. Short – a professional gambler and part owner of the famous “White Elephant Saloon” located on Main St. between Second and Third. He was known around Fort Worth as the King of the Gamblers.

Bad blood had been brewing for some time between Luke Short and ‘Longhaired’ Courtright when they met on the evening of Feb. 8th at about 8:00 p.m. A challenge was issued by Courtright. Luke was called out of the White Elephant. Both men moved up the block until they were in front of Ella Blackwell’s Shooting Gallery. They stood facing each other just a few feet apart. Short assured Courtright he had no gun and moved to show him by lifting his vest. It was dark, Courtright had been drinking and he took it as a go for his gun. Courtright yelled, “Don’t you pull a gun on me.” Courtright went for one of his two 45’s on his hips. Courtright outdrew Short. In the process his 45’s hammer caught on his watch chain. Luke drew his pistol and got off the first shot. Short then fired four more shots. Courtright fell to the floor on his back, dying.
The year was 1887. Luke Short never went to trial for killing Courtright. The shooting was a clear cut case of self defense.

“Hell’s Half Acre” by Richard F. Selcer and “Where the West Begins” by Janet L. Schmelzer. Both books are available from the “Best Little Bookstore in Texas”.

Route 66

Route 66 mapOn Friday, May 15, 1998, Neva and I climbed into our time machine for a trip back in time on Old Route 66. We adjusted our mind time frames and reset our time machine’s odometer. The time machine’s fuel tanks were topped off in anticipation. Old road maps were consulted but newer maps were more dependable. With the old maps you could get lost in a time warp, perhaps never to find your way back to the present.
A navigator tape was plugged into the time machine electrical system for mood imaging. As “Old Roads Are Just Side Roads That Time Passed By Too Fast” was surrounding the interior of our Time Machine, we blasted off.
I stabilized our cruise speed, the co-pilot guided us towards “The Lost Highway”, known as “The Mother Road”. The Quest Had Begun.
As I wrote this last sentence the hairs on the back of my neck just stood up. I have been on old Route 66 many times covering Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico, and I still get so excited I just can’t stand it. I love Route 66 Road Trips!
66 Courts

U Drop InnThe U-Drop Inn is considered by many Route 66 connoisseurs to be an Art Deco Masterpiece Deluxe. The U-Drop Inn is in Shamrock. Shamrock is just off of I-40 and at one time a Route 66 Main Street of America Town. In 1936 construction was started on the building costing a grand total of $23,000. Several years ago on one of our Route 66 tours, we ate at the café. It was a plain, small town café; no frills, just good food. Sadly on this trip the café was closed down and for rent. I have heard that a man from up North has bought the U-Drop Inn and plans to restore it to its former glory. Great! Continue reading