"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 7 Dec 2000

"Pearl Harbor 59 Years Later!"

On the morning of December 7, 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor left 2,403 dead. Two of those men were from Milam County, Texas, Machinist Mate First Class Paul Clement Bartlett who died aboard the USS ARIZONA (BB-39) and Seaman First Class William David Horton who died aboard the USS WEST VIRGINIA (BB-48).

There is no list of Texans who died at Pearl Harbor. This would make an outstanding project or research assignment! Remember, 2001 will be the 60th Anniversary of the attack and your communities should start making plans now to honor these men.

Paul Bartlett remains are entombed aboard the ARIZONA. William “Demp” Horton and his brother, J. L., served together aboard the WEST VIRGINIA and it was first thought they had both been killed. In 1947, Horton’s remains were returned to Rockdale and he was re-buried in the IOOF Cemetery.

The U.S. Parks Service operates an impressive website for the USS ARIZONA at: http://www.nps.gov/usar/ExtendWeb1.html/ and it includes a list of casualties and survivors of the ship as well as a list of Pearl Harbor casualties minus the crew members of the ship.

RootsWeb has a comprehensive list of the names of all civilians and military personnel killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor at: ftp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/hi/military/pearl.txt.

For a history on the Attack at Pearl Harbor, visit the U.S. Navy History Center’s website at: http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq66-1.htm.

For information on the Pearl Harbor Survivors Assoc. visit their website at: http://members.aol.com/phsasecy97/ or write: PHSA, Inc., National Administrative Office, P. O. Box 99, Menomonee Falls WI 53052-0099.

"Book Review"

Over the Wall: The Men Behind the 1934 Death House Escape, by Patrick M. McConal. ISBN: 1-57168-365-8, Eakin Press (http://www.eakinpress.com/), P. O. Drawer 90159, Austin, Texas 78709. Soft-cover, 6"x9", 200 pages, photographs, index, $19.95 (plus shipping & tax).

For years Sandra Walker of Austin heard stories about her great-uncle Whitey Walker who led the only escape of prisoners from Death Row at the “Walls Unit” in Huntsville, Texas on July 22, 1934. She spent years researching his criminal activities throughout Texas and Oklahoma. Then along came Patrick M. McConal and answered most of her questions with his new book, Over the Wall: The Men Behind the 1934 Death House Escape.

Over the Wall records the lives of the men who made one of the most daring prison escapes in the history of the Texas Prison System. The exploits of the Whitey Walker Gang, also known as the Fishing Hole Gang, are examined in detail, including the planning of the Huntsville escape by their leader.

The story involves some of the most desperate outlaws of the Southwest during the Great Depression: Whitey Walker, Joe Palmer, Irwin “Blackie” Thompson, Raymond Hamilton, Henry Methvin, Hilton Bybee, Charlie Frazier, among others. With strong ties to many Central Texas families, these men were continuously in the news along with Bonnie and Clyde.

McConal covers the beginning Walker and Thompson’s life of crime in the oil boomtowns of the Texas Panhandle. He illustrates how the two outlaws were making history before Bonnie and Clyde ever appeared on the scene and how they pulled off this daring feat months after the death of Bonnie and Clyde.

This book portrays an interesting history of the Texas Prison system, bank robbers and gangsters of the Depression Era. It is mandatary reading for anyone interested in this aspect of Texas history.

The author makes his home in College Station, where he is Publishing Specialist for the Information and Technology Exchange Center.

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/2670/ COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 11 Dec 2000 and was last revised on ________ 2000

Copyright © 1999, 2000 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604