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Community History Workshop Series: Preserving Our Past

Presented in conjunction with The Center for Texas Studies at TCU, these workshops are aimed at increasing the historical awareness of the community. The series is designed to make the public aware of the important, yet often overlooked historical resources around them, and how to preserve them for posterity. The goal of the workshops is to prove that “every person is a historian,” and that they can, by their deeds and actions, preserve a small part of the cultural and historical fabric of this region.

Dr. Francis Daisy Emery

March 2: The Lady Was a Doctor: Fort Worth Medical School, 1894 - 1918

Presented by: Ruth Karbach, Independent Scholar

In honor of Women’s History Month, we welcome local historian Ruth Hosey Karbach to discuss the trailblazing women who studied and practiced medicine Fort Worth in late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Opened in 1894, the Fort Worth Medical School, once a part of Texas Christian University, admitted women from its inception. Over its twenty-four year history, ten female students received degrees including Frances Daisy Emery Allen, M. D. who was the first woman to graduate from any Texas medical school (1897) and worked in Fort Worth. Karbach will examine the personal and professional lives of these unconventional women who forged roles in public education, politics, community organizations, and medical societies.

Ruth Hosey Karbach is an independent scholar living in Fort Worth. A graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, she pursued further studies at Sam Houston State University. Karbach supervised an oral history project for a university archives, served as curator of a historic house museum, and was associated with the National Cowgirl Museum. She contributed chapters to the Grace & Gumption: Stories of Fort Worth Women series, Celebrating 150 Years: A Pictorial History of Fort Worth, and Texas Women: Their Histories, Their Lives.

Weathermen in 1957

April 6: Making History Come Alive: WBAP-TV Archives Project

Presented by: Brian Hocker, Vice-President — Digital Media, Programming, and Research at NBC 5/KXAS-TV

Dallas-Fort Worth residents are familiar with KXAS, or Channel 5, but they may not realize that it signed on the air in 1948 as WBAP-TV, the first television news station in Texas. In fact, it pioneered many broadcast techniques in Texas and the Southwest, including the local newscast, professional weather reporting, all-color news film, and more. Luckily, speaker Brian Hocker and some of his colleagues at the station were not only aware of the role of WBAP in television history, but wanted to preserve its past. Through a partnership with the Portal to Texas History which is maintained by the University of North Texas Libraries, Hocker led the charge to save a basement full of invaluable film reels and news scripts so they could be digitized and made available online to the public. Join us to learn the details of this important preservation success story!

Brian Hocker joined the broadcast industry in 1986, initially holding positions in audience research and advertising. As Vice-President—Digital Media, Programming, and Research, Hocker is responsible for the purchase, scheduling and production of local and syndicated programs along with general station operations. He has served in leadership roles in professional organizations such as the A.C. Nielsen Company’s National Policy Guidelines Committee, which advises on policies and practices for the television ratings industry, and the American Marketing Association’s DFW Chapter. Locally, he volunteers on several community boards including the Cowtown Marathon, where he is the past chairman of the board of directors.

Barbed Wire Fencing

May 4: True Tales from the Texas Fence Cutting Wars, 1880 - 1890

Presented by: Dr. Brooke Wibracht, Instructor at TCU

Across Texas in the 1880s, battles broke out between permanent ranchers and landless cattlemen over access to resources that were vital to them both—grass and water. Before this chapter in Texas history closed, enemies were made, property was damaged, and lives were lost. Historian Brooke Wibracht will share true tales from her research into the men and women who participated in the Texas Fence Cutting Wars. Ranchers, cutters, and the Texas Rangers all had their parts to play as state and local authorities sorted through accusations and quelled violent outbursts—or did not in some cases. After you hear how this complex struggle over Texas lands unfolded, we think you will agree with Wibracht that in the end "finding justice was complicated."

Brooke Wibracht received her Ph.D. from Texas Christian University, M.A. from Loyola University Chicago, and B.A. from Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on the Texas Fence-Cutting Wars, and she examines the roles of the state government, the Texas Rangers, and ranchers as they fought over barbed wire and public land. She contributed to the forthcoming book, Texas Women and Ranching: On the Range, At the Rodeo, In their Community with a chapter titled, "Mabel Doss, Mary Ketchum Meredith, and the Texas Fence-Cutting Wars" and teaches Texas History at TCU.

AddRan College of Liberal Arts - Center for Texas Studies Logo

The Center for Texas Studies at TCU is designed to celebrate all that makes Texas distinctive. It is housed in AddRan College of Liberal Arts, where various disciplines and programs can act in concert to foster and nurture the essence of Texas. History is, of course, central, but Texas literature, anthropology, ethnography, politics, religions, philosophy and design and textiles all represent elements that are a part of the incredible mosaic of Texas.

Last updated: Feb. 14, 2019