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South Texas Chamber of Commerce formed
November 16, 1926

On this day in 1926, the South Texas Chamber of Commerce was established. Founding officers of the organization were R. W. Morrison of San Antonio, president; S. C. Tucker of Brownsville, first vice president; E. R. Fawcett of Del Rio, second vice president; Ray Leeman of San Antonio, executive vice president, and George Rehment of Alice, treasurer. The organization covered in its activities fifty-five counties in South Texas, roughly bounded by Del Rio on the west, Austin on the north, Houston on the east, and the Rio Grande on the south. Representing commercial interests in its area and performing the usual functions of chambers of commerce, the organization worked for an equitable proportion of state appropriations for state-supported educational institutions in South Texas, the modernization and completion of the state highway system in South Texas, rate adjustments and improved marketing conditions in the area, equitable fire insurance rate adjustments, and encouragement of tourist traffic into South Texas and Mexico. In 1988 the South Texas Chamber of Commerce, along with the other regional chambers of commerce, merged into the Texas Chamber of Commerce.

Republic of Texas signs its last Indian treaty
November 16, 1845

On this day in 1845, the Republic of Texas concluded its last Indian treaty. The agreement marked the end of the Tehuacana Creek Councils, which began in the spring of 1843, when Jesse Chisholm helped convince a number of Indian groups, including the Caddos, Tawakonis, Delawares, Lipan Apaches, and Tonkawas, to meet on Tehuacana Creek near the Torrey Brothers trading post south of present Waco. A second council met at Fort Bird on the Trinity River in the fall of 1843. These councils resulted in a peace treaty between the Republic and the Wacos, Caddos, and other smaller groups, but the absence of the Comanches caused President Sam Houston to call another council to meet at Tehuacana Creek in April 1844. The April council convened without the Comanches, but by October 9, 1844, Houston had negotiated a treaty with a part of the southern Comanches, Kichais, Wacos, Caddos, Anadarkos, Hainais, Delawares, Shawnees, Cherokees, Lipan Apaches, and Tawakonis. At the November 1845 council the Wacos, Tawakonis, Kichais, and Wichitas agreed to the treaty of October 9, 1844.

Colorful lawman Jess Sweeten dies in Athens
November 16, 1980

On this day in 1980, Jess Sweeten, colorful county sheriff and mayor of Athens, Texas, died. He was born in Stigler, Indian Territory, in 1905. He moved to Dallas in 1926 and worked there for several years before becoming a deputy sheriff. In 1932 his election as sheriff of Henderson County made him the youngest sheriff in Texas. He served for twenty-two years. The six-foot-four, 225-pound Sweeten gained a reputation as a hard-nosed investigator and a crack shot. During his tenure he shot nine men, killing three, including Gerald Johnson, the so-called "Dallas Kid," whom Sweeten gunned down after a high-speed car chase through Athens. Sweeten conducted shooting exhibitions for schools and civic clubs throughout his career, shooting cigars and other objects held up by his one-armed assistant, Gus Sowells. On one occasion, he reportedly fired 3,700 rounds in seven hours, shooting up some 600 pounds of potatoes. He was elected mayor of Athens in 1969.