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Streets of Corpus Christi

Streets of Corpus Christi

Murphy Givens recounts the histories of various streets in Corpus Christi, telling who lived on them, worked on them and what were the businesses and residences that gave life to the streets. This volume provides many photographs from different eras and locations on each street. Givens has chosen photographs that most people have never seen to illustrate each street. Many were taken by Doc Frederick McGregor in the 1930s. However, others come from many sources including Karl Swafford postcards and business and family records. They provide a visual history of Corpus Christi showing bygone scenes.

1919 Storm

1919 Storm

A powerful hurricane devastated Corpus Christi on September 14, 1919. It left an official death toll of 284 with estimates of up to 500 more uncounted dead. Low-lying sections of the city were inundated by up to twelve feet of storm-driven tides. In the downtown, known as the beach section, buildings lining the bay were destroyed or heavily damaged, while the rest of the downtown was flooded with oil-slicked waters. On North Beach, Corpus Christi’s first suburban neighborhood of substantial residences, more than 220 homes were demolished by the storm tide. Those residents unable to reach the safety of high ground were swept into Nueces Bay to battle the storm and debris for their lives. Many died, but some survived the 14-mile struggle across the bay to come ashore at White Point or the Turner Ranch on the back side of Nueces Bay.

Columns IV 2016-2018

Columns IV 2016-2018

South Texas has a long and interesting history from the time it was first explored by Cabeza de Vaca in 1528 to LaSalle in 1685 through the Texas Revolution, Mexican War, cattle drives after the Civil War to the present day. Much of the work centers on Corpus Christi, but as the dominant settlement in the area, it also covers the history of all of southern Texas. Since 1998, Murphy Givens has been documenting this history in a weekly column in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times newspaper. Columns IV is a collection of 122 of those columns from 2016 through Murphy’s retirement in May 2018. Almost every column is four pages long and includes a photograph or illustration.

Columns III 2014-2015

Columns III 2014-2015

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times each week features a column on South Texas history by Murphy Givens. These articles on people, places and events of years gone by are eagerly awaited each Wednesday. Columns III is the third compilation of such articles, with columns from 2014 and 2015 included in this volume. They tell of adventurers, outlaws, settlers, cowboys, ranchers and pioneers who came to the Coastal Bend of Texas, struggling against nature and their fellow man to make their homes and livelihoods. This collection of 102 newspaper columns includes 164 photographs and maps, source notes and a full index.

Columns II 2012-2013

Columns II 2012-2013

Murphy Givens’ historical articles in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times are collected by many readers. This volume, Columns II, is compiled from more than 100 columns published in 2012 and 2013. They are about the pioneers and settlers who tamed the wild land and made South Texas their home. They were adventurers, outlaws, cowboys, ranchers and entrepreneurs, from all over the United States, Europe and Mexico. They lived in dangerous times and left a lasting legacy. This second book of Givens’ collected newspaper columns includes 193 photographs and maps, source notes and a full index.

Perilous Trails of Texas

Perilous Trails of Texas

J. B. (Red) Dunn’s “Perilous Trails of Texas” gives us a unique perspective of the lawless 1870s in the Nueces Strip. Dunn was a participant in bloody encounters between Anglo South Texans and Mexican-Americans in the rough times after the Civil War. It was a time when general lawlessness pervaded the land, darkening the days and threatening the nights. Dunn was a Texas Ranger and hard-riding vigilante. In Dunn’s time violence was ubiquitous. It was a time of undeclared warfare, a war of random encounter, with raids by bandits from across the border, with hide thieves roaming the cattle ranges and killing at will, followed by the punitive lynchings by minutemen vigilantes who were quick with the rope and the gun and left a trail of dead. In the wake of the most notorious outrages of the era, such as the robbery at Peñascal and the Nuecestown Raid, John Dunn was there, armed and in the saddle, pistols ready and rifle loaded and heart full of vengeance.

Columns 2009-2011

Columns 2009-2011

It is finally here. For years readers have been asking of a collection of Murphy Givens history articles. Columns 2009 – 2011 is a compilation of nearly 100 newspaper columns written by Murphy Givens about the history of Corpus Christi, the Nueces Valley and South Texas. The columns document the people who strove to make South Texas their home. Adventurers, outlaws, settlers, cowboys, ranchers and entrepreneurs from the United States, Europe and Mexico all came to the Coastal Bend of Texas, struggling against nature and their fellow man to make their homes and livelihoods. Columns includes 138 photographs and maps and a full index.

Recollections of Other Days

Recollections of Other Days

“Recollections Of Other Days” is a compilation of memoirs of early settlers of Corpus Christi and the Nueces Valley of South Texas. The great value of their accounts, both written down and told-to, lies in the fact that they lived through the times they recalled. Some had first-hand knowledge of Corpus Christi in the 1850s when it was a struggling frontier outpost. Robert and William Adams tended their flocks in the early years of the great sheep industry of South Texas. Anna Moore Schwien, daughter of a slave, Andrew Anderson, son of a bay pilot, and Eli Merriman, a doctor’s son, shed light on “what it was like” during the dark times of the Civil War. Thomas Noakes wrote about the famous Noakes Raid of 1875 while he retained a vivid memory of the sight of his burning store. E. H. Caldwell, W. S. Rankin, Annie Marie Kelly, Mrs. Delmas Givens, and Roy Terrell provide unique accounts of Corpus Christi at the end of the 19th Century and early years of the 20th Century. Ruth Dodson and J. Frank Dobie offer fascinating pictures of their own ranch lives in the valley watered by the Nueces River. Louis Rawalt describes the long white island where he came to die but found a new life. They bore the heat and burden and violence of the frontier. They endured hard times. Their legacy is the Texas we know today. Their stories are part of our history. And part of ourselves.