"Lone Star Historian 2" is a blog about the travels and activities of the State Historian of Texas during his second year. Bill O'Neal was appointed to a two-year term by Gov. Rick Perry on August 22, 2012, at an impressive ceremony in the State Capitol. Bill is headquartered at Panola College (www.panola.edu) in Carthage, where he has taught since 1970. For more than 20 years Bill conducted the state's first Traveling Texas History class, a three-hour credit course which featured a 2,100-mile itinerary. In 2000 he was awarded a Piper Professorship, and in 2012 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wild West Historical Association. Bill has published over 40 books, almost half about Texas history subjects, and in 2007 he was named Best Living Non-Fiction Writer by True West Magazine. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by his alma mater, Texas A&M University - Commerce.
|Bill with Greg Laudadio|
So I came to Palestine armed with camera and notebook, eager for a tour with men and women who were willing to show me more about their fascinating town. At lunch the Rotarians were most cordial, and we enjoyed the hour together. After the meeting, Greg led the way to the Chamber of Commerce building. I met several community leaders, and with Greg behind the wheel, we drove through the streets of Palestine. I learned all manner of details about buildings I was familiar with, and I was shown historic structures I had never before seen. We drove through the lovely cemetery in the east part of town, and along the way I was regaled with background stories and anecdotes. I'll always be grateful to these Palestine historians for spending time with me.
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|"New Town" commercial buildings faced the RR tracks.|
|The 1916 high school now house an excellent museum.|