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Mathias Hanses

a cowboy and town founder most famous for honoring enduring pioneers with single white flowers, was born in Orangeville, Texas, the eldest son of two former slaves, Alex and Annie Hooks. While still at the Hooks Plantation, located outside of Texarkana, Alex had learned to read and write (his owner taught him in defiance of the law and used him as a bookkeeper), which helped him avoid the economic toils so many penniless freedmen faced in the postbellum South. In Orangeville, Alex Hooks became a preacher and prominent educator in that tiny town's black community, and the Bible, accordingly, played a dominant role in the education of his five sons and three daughters. Wiry, skinny Mathew Hooks soon went by the nickname Bones and developed such rugged attitudes and salt of the earth perseverance as would enable his successes in the Lone Star State Among them were ...



John W. Ravage

African Americans generally constituted less than 10 percent of the population of western states and territories during the so-called cattle kingdom years, c. 1865–1920. If larger states like California, Missouri, and Texas are excluded, the percentage is even smaller, somewhere around 2 to 3 percent. Wyoming was no exception. In 1880 blacks constituted approximately 1.4 percent of the population; in 1990, about 0.8 percent, or about 3,600 people. What is striking about these percentages is that in the late nineteenth century about 90 percent of these African Americans were located in one city, Cheyenne. A hundred years later the same was true: 95 percent of Wyoming's black population lived in and around Cheyenne and its Francis E. Warren Air Force Base (in the 1890s this was the cavalry and infantry outpost called Fort D. A. Russell Were it not for the military blacks would consistently make up ...