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Books About Coryell County Texas People and Places
What's Your Favorite Book about a Coryell County Texas Person, Place or Event? Here are some of our favorites about Copperas Cove, Evant, Flat, Gatesville, Jonesboro, Mound, Oglesby and Purmela.

 

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The Long Trail HomeThe Long Trail Home

by Stephen A. Bly

The second son of Brazos Fortune, Samuel, is somewhat the lost sheep of the Fortune family. After he is run out of Texas, he ends up hiding out with his father and brother.

"My home was in Coryell County, Texas. You know that." "But they took that away from you." Mama's buried there---bless her soul---so I guess it will always be home. I've never even been to the Black Hills. I didn't go see Daddy when he was alive,..." . . . Read more

Cotton Belt EngineerCotton Belt Engineer: The Life and Times of C. W. "Red" Standefer 1898-1981
This is the story of a Texan. This is a TEXAS story. We spell it big here because it is a big story. A big story about a man from TEXAS. A story about a man who as a young boy saw what he wanted to do, set out to do it and accomplished his life's ambition. The man's name was Cecil Standefer. The events in this book primarily happened in Texas between 1898 and 1981. "The first train from Gatesville arrived on 14 February, 1911, and the first train from Hamilton to Comanche ran on 3 September, 1911..." . . . Read more Look inside
A Biker-Soldier's JourneyA Biker-Soldier's Journey

by Monty Van Horn

He is just an ordinary person. He is a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, combat veteran, and a pastor. He is also a biker, hunter, mechanic, outdoorsman, your neighbor, a friend, and again, just an ordinary person. "In April of 2001, on a Sunday after church, Monty and Tammy were riding their Goldwing in Evant, Texas when suddenly the bike shut off. Monty quickly checked the traffic and coasted into a church parking lot. Tammy helped push the big..." Read more Look inside

200 Texas Outlaws and Lawmen: 1835-1935

After his parents' death , he lived with his grandparents in Evant, Texas , at least until he was detained for their murder . Although he was ultimately released , the stigma lingered long with the young man. Jim Miller next found shelter in the home of his sister and her husband, John E. Coop, near Gatesville, Texas. When Miller was seventeen, he.... Read more

Crossed Over: A Murder, A Memoir

"You can find a town like Gatesville anywhere in Texas---county seat, built on a square, courthouse in the middle, around it stores, a pool hall, title company, cafe serving a steam-table al-you-can eat noon meal..." The novelist Beverly Lowry was mourning her son’s death in a hit-and-run accident when she came across a newspaper story about Karla Faye Tucker, the infamous Houston murderer who was then on death row . . . Read more Look inside

Ten Deadly Texans

Eight - year - old James Miller was arrested for killing his grandparents in Evant, Texas in 1874 but was never prosecuted. Ten years later he killed his sister's husband near Gatesville on July 30 , 1884... Read more Look inside

Cotton Davidson - The Rifleman of the AFL

"Cotton was born in the 1930s on a cattle and goat ranch in Coryell County, Texas during a time of progressive, dramatic changes in social and economic conditions throughout the nation. His athletic career began at Gatesville High School and led to a scholarship to play football at Baylor University.  Enrolling at Baylor University was the first big step in a lifetime dedicated to the football profession..." Read more

The Copelands

"As for Coryell County, I reckon we'd already been here a couple years by the time they got it surveyed and named. Comanches killed the first two surveyor who tried to lay it out. That not only brought the army down on the Indians, but it put close to a hundred armed civilians in the saddle as well..." Read more Look inside

Komondor

by Joy C. Levy and Carol Ann Johnson

The Diary of Maggie (for those who have forgotten already) is the diary of a Komondor trained by the Adams family in Evant, Texas to work with their flock of Angora goats. Maggie was a rare animal —even for a Komondor . . . read more

Outlaws of the Wild West

by Terry C. Treadwell

When he was just eight years old, Jim 'Deacon" Miller's grandparent were found murdered in their home in Evant Texas and for some reason that has never been clear, young Jim was arrested for their murder. However no charges were ever brought against the eight-year-old. Jim Miller's sister Georgia, who had married John Thomas Coop, agreed to take him onto their farm at Plum Creek, Gatesville for a few years... Read more, Listen to a sample

A Shot of Jack Daniels

by Jack Kyle Daniels

Under any description of the start of my life, the odds were against me. With the untimely death of my mother at age 31 in September and the suicide of my father on the following Christmas Day, I was orphaned at the age of two along with six siblings. ... "The cabinet met on Halloween, and when he came back to Corsicana, Dr. McCree told me I might be appointed to the Methodist church at Evant, Texas. Evant was the last church geographically in the Central Texas Conference... Read more Look inside

Eternity at the End of a Rope: Executions, Lynchings and Vigilante Justice in Texas, 1819-1923

Since 1819 over 3,000 souls found their personal ''eternity at the end of a rope'' in Texas. Some earned their way. Others were the victim of mistaken identity, or an act of vigilante justice. Deserved or not, when the hangman's knot is pulled up tight and the black cap snugged down over your head it is too late to plead your case. This remarkable story begins in 1819 with the first legal hanging in Texas. By 1835 accounts of lynching dotted the records. Although by 1923 legal execution by hanging was discontinued in favor of the electric chair, vigilante justice remained a favorite pastime for some... Here are a dozen accounts of lynching in Coryell County . . . Read more Look inside

Deaths in Central Texas, 1925-1934

Because of the lack of information published about people who died in western McLennan County and eastern Coryell County, Texas, the material in this volume has been gathered from local records, newspaper obituaries, cemetery records, funeral home records, and tombstone inscriptions. Typical entries include name, age, date and place of birth, date of death, names of spouse and children, and source of information . . . Read more

More Ghost Towns of Texas

"The townsite now known as Ireland began as a scattered rural community on both sides of the Hamilton-Coryell county line. Taking letters from each county's name, residents formed the name Hamco. Life for the handful of families around Hamco changed in 1911, for in that year ..." Read more Look inside

Nancy Hanks, An Intimate Portrait: The Creation of a National Commitment to the Arts

"Gatesville was a part of Coryell County , and wherever Bryan went , Coryell County went with him . Irvin McCreary was Bryan's boyhood companion . His daughter , Mrs. Raye Virginia Allen , recalls : Bryan Hanks and my dad were in the ..." Read more Look inside

Always A Tiger: Keep Movin' Forward

Written from the point of view of a common middle class man. Who, through all of the tragedy had to go to work, deal with middle class financial means, and set an example for his children. "After our staff was fired from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, I was able to get a high school coaching job at Copperas Cove High School in Copperas Cove, Texas. It is a bedroom community for Fort Hood, an army base ..."  Read more Look inside

Gingerly

"Meet Gingerly Matson, an extremely tall, slightly overweight, shy 5th grader from West Intermediate School. Gingerly spends most of her time wishing that she was invisible. That is until she meets her new best friend, Zoey. Zoey has flaming orange hair that is as wild as her personality..." Terri Kelley, M.Ed, has written over two dozen children's books. She was born at a military hospital in Seoul, S. Korea and was raised in Copperas Cove, Texas . . . Read more Look inside

Robert Griffin III: Athlete, Leader, Believer

"The family lived for a time near Tacoma, Washington, and in New Orleans, Louisiana, before settling in Copperas Cove, Texas, which happened to be home to the kind of Texas high school football powerhouse that makes shows like Friday Night Lights interesting..." Robert Griffin III exploded onto the NFL scene with a style and flair anything but typical. With a Heisman Trophy on his mantel, RG3 entered professional football in 2012 under a spotlight that glowed beyond his own team, the Washington Redskins. Could the Baylor graduate electrify the NFL as he had the college game? Could he return a fabled franchise to the realm of elite Super Bowl contenders? . . . Read more

Out of the Woods: Embracing Your Testimony

by Nicole Miles from Copperas Cove

"Out of the Woods is based on the true story of how Michelle grew up always wanting to leave the shadows of her sister's mistakes. After leaving home and walking away from the church, she found out quickly that being an adult was not all she thought it would be. After struggling with one bad relationship after the other, Michelle finally found her way back..." Read more Look inside

The Way It Was: The Story of Roger Hammack and Coryell County

Who runs toward crime and chaos? Crime is rampant in Big Spring, Texas. Robberies, shootings, and murders splash across the front page of the local newspaper with no end in sight. But one man emerges to stop it all: Texas Ranger Jay Banks. This famous crimefighter rolls up his sleeves to tackle the problem from the right end of a gun. When he hires rookie cop Roger Hammack to help clean up the town for good, he has no idea what skills this skinny kid can bring to bear on the town’s criminals ..." Read more Look inside

First Available Cell: Desegregation of the Texas Prison System

Decades after the U.S. Supreme Court and certain governmental actions struck down racial segregation in the larger society, American prison administrators still boldly adhered to discriminatory practices. Not until 1975 did legislation prohibit racial segregation and discrimination in Texas prisons. However, vestiges of this practice endured behind prison walls. Charting the transformation from segregation to desegregation in Texas prisons—which resulted in Texas prisons becoming one of the most desegregated places in America—First Available Cell chronicles the pivotal steps in the process, including prison director George J. Beto's 1965 decision to allow inmates of different races to co-exist in the same prison setting, defying Southern norms . . . Read more Look inside

Come to Texas: Attracting Immigrants, 1865-1915

“Come to Texas” urged countless advertisements, newspaper articles, and private letters in the late nineteenth century.... In July , 1872 , George Sweet , publisher of the Texas New Yorker , printed a letter from a farmer in Gatesville , Texas . It read in part , " This is the first letter I ever tried to write to a newspaper in my life... Read more Look inside

Deadly Dozen: Twelve Forgotten Gunfighters of the Old West

Deadly Dozen tells the story of twelve infamous gunfighters, feared in their own times but almost forgotten today.

Found Inside: "Shortly after Barney's birth his parents moved to Texas, where began a history of violence that would plague the Riggs family through two generations ... In March 1859, Indians killed Barney's uncle, John Riggs, in Coryell County. His older brother . . . " Read more Look inside

Spirits of the Border V: The History and Mystery of the Lone Star State

Haunted places in Gatesville Texas

Hackberry Unit 3B TDCJ was formerly the Gatesville State School for Boys... Guards and inmates have reported seeing young boys playing marbles and chasing each other.

Mountain View Correctional Facility was once the Mountain View School affiliated with the Gatesville State School for Boys. It's now a women's prison and the inmates will tell you there are little boys haunting the dorms. I witnessed this first hand... Read more

Botham Jean Versus Amber Guyger: Texas Tragedy Justice Vengeance

Amber Guyger was an American Dallas Police officer who made the headlines when she murdered Botham Shem Jean on 6th September 2018. She is currently serving a sentence of 10 years for murder and is incarcerated at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, northwest of Temple. When it came down to the wires, there was one inescapable fact that brought down a murder conviction: a police officer had ignored her basic training and made a fateful decision: to become the aggressor and advance on the perceived "home invader" when she should instead ... Read more Look inside

Texas Hill Country

Rita Fellows is now a full-time resident in the Mountain View Unit in the Department of Criminal Justice Prison in Gatesville, Texas, that houses only female offenders. It also has the state's only death row for women; the city of Gatesville,,, Read more Look inside

Texas Tall (The Tylers of Texas Book 3)

A deadly accident puts a cowboy on the wrong side of the law in this romantic suspense novel by the New York Times–bestselling author of the Calder Saga.

Three months later Gatesville Women's State Prison , Gatesville, Texas dressed in an orange jumpsuit , her hair fading from red to gray, Stella walked into the prison lunchroom where she would likely be eating for the rest of her life . It wasn't the Ritz... Read more Look inside

Robert Rauschenberg: An Oral History

"My dad was born in Gatesville, Texas—actually, he was born in Rosebud, Texas, and I think Rosebud has disappeared. It was near Gatesville. And he didn't finish high school. There were five boys and a girl in the family, and farming..." Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008) was a breaker of boundaries and a consummate collaborator. He used silk-screen prints to reflect on American promise and failure, melded sculpture and painting in works called combines, and collaborated with engineers and scientists . . . Read more Look inside

Quintessential Redneck

"If you would have asked the typical sunbaked resident of 1960 Gatesville, Texas if they missed not being able to watch Jay Leno on the cable, you most likely would have gotten a puzzled earthy comment, a gimlet eye, and a brown stream..." Many books speak of the sixties—pop culture, the Beatles, JFK, Vietnam War, civil rights, walking on the moon—but not from the eyes of an elementary school boy growing up on the prairie in Central Texas. This is a humorous and tear-jerking look back in time, a thought-provoking and entertaining look at history and people. . . Read more Look inside

High Fence Foodie: From The Big House To Your House

Written by by Celeste Johnson and five fellow prisoners at the Mountain View Unit, a woman’s prison in Gatesville, Texas. “High Fence Foodie: From The Big House To Your House,” has more than two hundred easy to prepare recipes for meals, soups, sides, snacks, dips, beverages, desserts, and holiday treats. The recipes can be made from basic items a prisoner can purchase from their commissary, or people on the outside can purchase from a convenience or grocery store . . Read more Look inside

Around the World with LBJ: My Wild Ride as Air Force One Pilot, White House Aide, and Personal Confidant

When Lyndon Baines Johnson wanted to go somewhere, there was no stopping him. This dynamic president called for Air Force One as others summon a taxi—at a moment's notice, whatever the hour or the weather. And the man who made sure that LBJ got his ride was General James U. Cross from Gatesville Texas, the president's hand-picked pilot, top military assistant, and personal confidante. One of the few Air Force One pilots to have a position, simultaneously, in the White House, General Cross is also the only member of LBJ's inner circle . . . Read more, Look inside

Resources:

Early Life in Texas County by County

Books about Texas People and Places

Amazing People from Texas County by County

Texas History in the 19th Century (Amazon)

Vintage Texas Photos (eBay #Ad)

Life in Coryell County 1850 - 1950

Life in Coryell County 1850-1950Life in Coryell County 1850-1950

 

What's your Favorite Book about a Texas County, Town, Person or Place? Here's our best reads list County by County

 

Mysterious TexasTrue Stories of Amazing People and Places in Texcas
 Loneliest, Least Populated Counties in Texas
Texas Cowboy HistoryBooks about Texas People 

County by County