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Outlaw meets his match
December 03, 1884

On this day in 1884, noted outlaw and cattleman Joseph Graves Olney came to an ignominious end after a colorful and controversial life. Olney, born in 1849 in Burleson County, first became embroiled in a cattle dispute and shot a man in Llano County in 1874. The following year he killed a man named Moses Baird, thereby becoming part of the Central Texas Hill Country’s notorious Mason County War. After mortally wounding a deputy in a gunfight, Olney escaped to New Mexico and established a ranch under the alias of Joe Hill. Fleeing a warrant for his arrest, he was in Arizona by 1879. A rash of cattle rustling and stage robberies in the early 1880s attracted the attention of Wyatt Earp himself, who tried to pin the crimes on Olney, but there was no evidence to indicate his guilt. Olney finally died when his horse fell on him while he was working on his ranch.

Baylor University dedicates Armstrong Browning Library
December 03, 1951

On this day in 1951, the Armstrong Browning Library was dedicated. This facility at Baylor University holds Andrew Joseph Armstrong's personal collection of Browning materials, which he donated to the university when he joined the faculty. The library has 2,000 original letters and other manuscripts written by and to English poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The collection also includes all of the first editions of both poets and most of the books, periodical articles, pamphlets, and other publications that deal with them. Primary and secondary materials for the use of scholars are constantly being added to the collection.

Dallas Morning News buys out rival paper
December 03, 1885

On this day in 1885, the Dallas Morning News bought out its major competitor, the Dallas Herald. The Herald was founded in 1849 by James W. Latimer and William Wallace, who purchased the Paris, Texas, Times and moved it to Dallas. The Herald remained a weekly paper until 1874, when it began publishing an edition every morning except Monday. The Morning News grew out of the Galveston News, established in 1842 by Samuel Bangs. By 1879 Alfred H. Belo, who had acquired control of the business, was investigating the possibility of establishing a sister paper in rapidly developing North Texas. When Belo's efforts to purchase the Herald failed, he sent George Bannerman Dealey to launch a new paper, the Morning News, which began publication on October 1, 1885. From the outset the Morning News enjoyed the double advantage of strong financial support and an accumulation of journalistic experience, and within a month and a half had absorbed its older rival.

West Texas townsite company sells more than 200 lots despite sandstorm
December 03, 1924

On this day in 1924, the Anton Townsite Company sponsored a "Grand Opening Jubilee" despite a blinding sandstorm and succeeded in selling more than 200 lots in the new town of Anton, Texas. Like many other Texas towns and cities, Anton, in Hockley County about twenty-five miles northwest of Lubbock, traces its origin to the arrival of the railroad, which fixed Texas urban development in a spatial pattern that remains little altered today. Anton was located in the center of what had been the Spade Ranch's north pasture at the site of Danforth Switch, a spur of the Pecos and Northern Texas Railway. The town was named in honor of J. F. Anton, a Santa Fe railroad executive. By 1926 several churches had been established; by 1929 the town had a bank. Grain, cotton, and later oil were central to the economy. The town, which bills itself as the "Rabbit Capital of Texas," also had a large rabbit-processing plant for a time, though by 1982 it had closed down. In 1998 the town's population was estimated at 1,254.