Past Exhibits



Scroll down or click below to see our exhibits that were displayed in Town Hall and the library.

Lonesome Dove, the miniseries: Dramatic photographs by Bill Wittliff (summer 2023) [A Humanities Texas traveling exhibit, Lonesome Dove included over 50 framed photographs shot on location by Texas legendary screenwriter and the miniseries’ executive producer, Bill Wittliff.]
Quanah Parker: One Man, Two Worlds (summer 2022) [Learn more about Comanche Chief Quanah Parker, a warrior among the Plains Indians of Texas and the second as a pragmatic leader who sought a place for his people in a rapidly changing America.]
Places People Still Talk About (summer 2021) [Enjoy a look at Southlake since the mid-1950s, when it became Southlake.]
1919 Carroll School: Where It All Began (summer 2019) 
The Yanks Are Coming: How Texans Helped Win the Great War (summer 2018) [Read about a West Texas cowboy turned doughboy; a UT student from Fort Worth who shot down more German planes than any other Texan, yet lost his life in the influenza epidemic; and young men from now-Southlake who fought in the trenches.]
Shared Stories: Denton County, Southlake and the Wild West, 1840-1878 (summer 2017) [As told by outlaws, lawmen, a cattle baron, church ladies and a Kiowa chief whose death in 1878 inspired the demise of Larry McMurtry’s character Blue Duck.]
Taking Flight: How Aviation Changed North Texas and Southlake (summer 2016) [From the 1950s-1980s, 10 or more landing strips, most of them grass, allowed pilots young and old to take to the skies over then-rural Southlake.]
A Walk Through Time: Historical Photos of Southlake (summer 2015 and occasionally during 2015 to 2021) 

Lonesome Dove

Thanks for joining us July 8-Aug. 19 at Town Hall for the Southlake Historical Society’s ninth annual exhibit: “Lonesome Dove, the miniseries: Dramatic photographs by Bill Wittliff.”

The 55 framed photographs in the exhibit were shot on location by Texas legendary screenwriter and the miniseries’ executive producer, Bill Wittliff. In the library downstairs were rare and authentic western saddlebags, spurs, lariats and more.

The traveling exhibit — part of the permanent Wittliff Collections at Texas State in San Marcos — was sponsored by Humanities Texas, a nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

See below to read and hear fascinating stories about the miniseries and Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer-prize winning novel, Lonesome Dove.

Crossing the Rio Grande, copyright 1988, Bill Witliff
On the Mesa, copyright 1988, Bill Wittliff

There’s So Much to Lonesome Dove

Readers and viewers alike continue to be captivated by the Lonesome Dove saga and its characters, be it the book or the miniseries. Some consider the miniseries to be the best western of all time.

There are a number of audio and video interviews with the author about his book, such as this 1995 NPR of Larry McMurtry with Terry Gross on Fresh Air and this brief question-and-answer session.

There are articles about how Bill Wittliff came to create the miniseries, such as this August 2019 Texas Monthly article by writer John Spong, who wrote: “Wittliff read McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning trail-driving saga when it was published in 1985, and a year later was hired to translate it to the screen.” 

You can find on YouTube interviews with miniseries actors, including this 1996 interview with Robert Duvall, who admits that of all his acting roles, his favorite was Augustus McCrae. 

In March 2016, a Lonesome Dove reunion was held in the Fort Worth Stockyards, bringing together Bill Wittliff and many of the actors including Robert Duvall (Augustus McCrae), Diane Lane (Lorena Wood), Danny Glover (Joshua Deets) and Ricky Schroder (Newt Dobbs). Fort Worth Magazine wrote several articles about the reunion and a few clips can be found on YouTube as well. 

Did You Know?

Larry McMurtry was a graduate of what became the University of North Texas. He chose the title for his novel after seeing a church bus with Lonesome Dove Baptist Church (located in Southlake) on its side. He explains in this undated interview.

Author and screenwriter Larry McMurtry, photographed by Bill Wittliff in this undated photo. Courtesy of The Wittliff Collections, Texas State University
Bill Wittliff, left, had a cameo appearance with Texas writer Bud Shrake as sod busters in the miniseries. Courtesy of The Wittliff Collections
Tommy Lee Jones and Wittliff shared a love for fly-fishing. Courtesy of University Archives, Texas State University

Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan said the following about Lonesome Dove in a Fort Worth Magazine article by Brian Kendall: “I had read Lonesome Dove probably five times before I saw the miniseries. But I remember being home before I went off to college and watching it and thinking, ‘I want to make that.’ I didn’t know what form at the time; I just knew I wanted to make that.”

Taylor Sheridan, Courtesy of Crystal Wise

Quanah Parker: One Man, Two Worlds 

View a virtual tour of the exhibit here.

The society’s 2022 exhibit was on display July 9-Aug. 20 in the lobby of Southlake Town Hall, 1400 Main Street.

The exhibit was researched and created in 2002 by then-Tarrant County Historical Commission members Doug Harman, Bob Holmes and Clara Ruddell. Most recently, the exhibit is sponsored by the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Lakes Trail region.

The dramatic story about Comanche Chief Quanah Parker and his mother Cynthia Ann Parker dates back to 1830s Texas. Cynthia Ann was captured at age 9 by the Comanche and lived with them for 24 years before being recaptured by the Texas Rangers and returned to the Parker family. 

From the 1870s into the 20th century, her son Quanah Parker lived two vastly different lives: the first as a warrior among the Plains Indians of Texas and the second as a pragmatic leader who sought a place for his people in a rapidly changing America. He developed friendships with many notable men, including President Theodore Roosevelt who invited Quanah to his inauguration in 1905.

“Southlake’s link to Cynthia Ann is Malinda Frost Dwight Hill, a survivor of the 1836 attack on Parker’s Fort,” said historical society president Connie Cooley. “Malinda died in 1870 and is buried in Lonesome Dove Cemetery in Southlake.”

Fans of S.C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon know well the story of Cynthia Ann, and Malinda’s escape from the fort with her baby, mother, husband and others is chronicled on pages 16-18.

Photograph of Cynthia Ann Parker with her daughter, Prairie Flower, taken in Fort Worth after Cynthia Ann’s recapture in 1860 by Texas Rangers. Cynthia Ann was reunited with family members she no longer remembered and struggled to readjust. She tried to escape a number of times with her daughter to find her Comanche family but never succeeded. Her son, Quanah, searched for her but never found her. She died in 1871 in East Texas. Quanah later had her reinterred near his home in Oklahoma. Courtesy of Humanities Texas
Quanah Parker was born around 1845 and lived two very different lives. He was the son of Comanche Chief Peta Nacona and Cynthia Ann Parker and, in the 1860 raid on Comanches by Texas Rangers, his mother was recaptured and Peta Nacona was killed. Young Quanah moved west to join the Quahada Comanche and proved to be a warrior chief and successful rancher and investor. Government officials recognized him as the Comanche tribes leader and he served on several delegations to Washington, D.C. representing the Comanche nation. This photo of Quanah Parker, circa 1885. National Photo Company Collection, National Archives and Records Administration.
Quanah Parker as part of a Comanche and Kiowa delegation, ca. 1880–1897. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Places People Still Talk About

If you were a kid in Southlake after the town’s incorporation in 1956, there’s a good chance you sat in old Carroll Hill for elementary school, grabbed a candy bar at Village Grocery, later attended brand new Carroll High School and bought gas at Yates Corner Grocery.

Society members gathered photos from longtime residents and archived newspapers, looked through scrapbooks and yearbooks and culled comments from the Facebook page “You know you grew up in Southlake when…” to gather information for this summer 2021 exhibit.

Please note a correction to this panel: an agreement was reached in 1968, not 1988.
Please note a correction to this panel: After almost 30 years of wrangling, an agreement was reached in 1968, not 1988.
In 1979, Carroll ISD administrators, students, teachers, coaches and parents suffered a tragic loss. Don Durham was killed in an automobile accident on Texas 114 while driving home from a school-related event. Don Durham had been hired by Jack Johnson in 1964 and for 15 years successfully served as an administrator, teacher and coach.

1919 Carroll School: Where It All Began

“This is where it all began,” longtime Carroll ISD Supt. Jack D. Johnson said with emotion in 2009 as he stood in the 1919 Carroll School’s entryway before giving a tour to a Southlake Historical Society member.
From its start in 1919 until the 1960s, when new schools were built, the school was the centerpiece of the community. It’s where both Carroll ISD and the city of Southlake got their start (in 1956, residents came to the school to vote on whether to incorporate as a township). 

The society’s 2019 exhibit celebrated the centennial of the school that locals called Carroll Hill School.

The Yanks Are Coming: How Texans Helped Win the Great War

Trench warfare. Cowboys turned doughboys. An “ace” aviator shot down by Spanish influenza. Poppies. Armistice Day.

Remind me what war that was…

It was World War I — a war that changed the world.

The society’s 2018 exhibit commemorated the centennial of “the war to end all wars.”

Shared Stories: Denton County, Southlake and the Wild West, 1840-1878

In 2017, the Southlake Historical Society partnered with the Denton County Historical Commission to tell the history of Denton County and Southlake through the eyes of the larger-than-life characters and everyday people who lived it.

Taking Flight: How Aviation Changed North Texas and Southlake

For more than 100 years, aviation has placed a significant role in shaping North Texas. From the 1950s, 10 or more landing strips, most of them grass, allowed pilots young and old to take to the skies over then-rural Southlake.

The society’s 2016 exhibit showcased these.

A Walk Through Time: Historical Photographs of Southlake

In 2015, partnering with the Southlake Arts Council and Apex Arts League, the historical society presented an exhibit celebrating the history of our community through historical photographs.

Lonesome Dove Baptist Church, circa 1890s. Courtesy of the Tarrant County College District Archives, Fort Worth.
In 1844 and 1845, several groups of white settlers traveled here from Missouri with “their families, their dogs, guns and religion,” one historian wrote. In February 1846, as Texas’s statehood was being formalized, the 12 charter members of a newly organized church stacked their guns against a large oak tree at the edge of the Cross Timbers, sat on the ground and heard the Rev. John Allen Freeman deliver a sermon. Afterward, they discussed what name to give their new church. According to Pearl Foster O’Donnell, a descendant of those early settlers, “a dove perched high in the tree above them” and began to coo. “It sounded so lonely,” she wrote in Trek to Texas, “the perfect name for their church: a lonely outpost for proclaiming the Gospel of our Lord on this vast frontier.” So they chose the name Lonesome Dove. The first church, built of logs, was said to have been “built on the rocks where Indian blood was spilled.” According to church records, another church was built in 1857 and torn down in 1869. A third building burned in 1930. Today’s church is on the original site. 
1870 tombstone of survivor of Parker’s Fort massacre. Southlake Historical Society Archives.
Every Texas schoolgirl and boy knows the story of Cynthia Ann Parker. In 1836, her family’s settlement, Parker’s Fort (near Waco), was raided by Comanches. Several family members were killed and some escaped, but Cynthia Ann, age 11, and four others were taken. Cynthia Ann was adopted by the tribe and later married a warrior. One of their sons, Quanah Parker, became a famous chief. Though recaptured 25 years later, she never readjusted to white society and never saw her Comanche family again. A part of her story is ever present in Southlake and involves a young mother who was at the fort that day in 1836. Malinda Frost Dwight was only 16 when she, her husband George, their baby and 15 other members of the related Dwight, Frost and Parker families fled the raid through what Malinda’s descendant James Dwight described as a “trackless and uninhabitable country.” After the death of her husband, Malinda Dwight married again. In 1870, at age 49, she died and was buried in Dove Cemetery. Her tombstone, pictured here, was carved by one of her sons. A century later, another descendant, Jack Cook (“She was grandmother’s grandmother”), repaired it. 
Cates family reunion in the Dove community, date unknown. Courtesy of the Tarrant County College District Archives, Fort Worth.
The once-thriving Dove community was home to members of the Cates family. According to a 2008 Texas Historical Commission marker, “In 1849, the state legislature created Tarrant County, with Birdville as the county seat, and the U.S. Army established Fort Worth as a frontier fort. The small village of Dove developed by the 1870s. A general store and post office operated at the intersection of Dove and Lonesome Dove roads, and the community became a farming center for cotton, melon and dairy production. Included as part of the community were Lonesome Dove Cemetery just north of the church site, the Dove Branch swimming hole, used for recreation as well as baptisms, and Dove School, which was closed in 1919 when Carroll School was built in the newly named Carroll Common School District.”
Veterans of Company G, 18th Texas Cavalry, CSA (Confederate States of America), 1902. Courtesy of the Denton Public Library.
In 1861, as word spread to Texas that the anticipated war with the North had begun, area men signed up to fight for the Confederacy. These men – pictured at a reunion in Dallas nearly 40 years later – had eagerly joined Company G of the 18th Texas Calvary. Most lived in Denton County. Seated, from left, are Capt. R.H. Hopkins, Lt. W.B. Brown, Pvt. A. Williams, and Pvt. Spencer Graham; standing are Pvt. John Marlin, Pvt. William O. Medlin, and Pvt. Boone Daugherty. Descendants of Pvt. Graham, who is buried at Hood Cemetery in now-Southlake, still live in town.  
White’s Chapel School, circa 1890s. Courtesy of the Shivers family.
In 1851, 14 wagons led by Stephen Blevins Austin arrived from Georgia and camped on a hill just east of where White’s Chapel church and cemetery are today.  Traveling with the Austins were the Lowes, Wilkinsons and Blevinses. A church and school were established, and by the 1890s White’s Chapel School had a log room and a frame room. According to Grapevine Area History, there was no well at the school and the students relied on a ground water tank west of the church. “Often the cows had to be driven away. Not a great deal of thought was given to germs at the time,” one resident recalled. 
Old Union community farmer, circa 1910. Courtesy of R.E. Smith.
The Old Union settlement was established in the early 1900s and got its name from the Old Union Primitive Baptist Church. The community was located near the intersection of what’s now Continental Boulevard and Brumlow Road. Along with the church, it included a school and an Independent Order of Odd Fellows lodge.  This farmer, a member of the Willey, Webb and Blevins families, owned 80 acres near present-day Carlisle Road and Continental Boulevard. Close by, at the south end of Brumlow Road near what’s now Highway 26, was a local gathering place named Lope-Up-n-Hitch, where folks met for picnics and open-air church services.
Burial of World War I soldier James Eli Torian, 1921. Southlake Historical Society Archives. 
James Eli Torian, whose family lived in the Dove community, was killed in 1918 in France. He was buried in France, but his mother was given the choice of having his remains brought home. A military color guard and photographer accompanied his casket to Lonesome Dove Cemetery. In 1917, when Eli Torian registered for the draft, he was living in Dallas and working as a motorman (you can see his draft card online). On Sept. 26, 1918, during the battle of Saint-Mihiel, he was reported missing; a fellow soldier said he had been shot by a German sniper. His cousin James Weldon Torian also fought in the trenches. On Nov. 6, 1918, their cousin Walter Torian, 30, who hadn’t been chosen for service so was “not in danger,” died of Spanish influenza. World War I claimed an estimated 16 million lives; the influenza epidemic that swept the world in 1918-19 killed between 50 million and 100 million, including 675,000 Americans. Walter is buried in White’s Chapel Cemetery. 
Bob and Almeady Chisum Jones and their 10 children, circa 1900. Courtesy of the Jones family. 
Bob and Almeady Chisum Jones, both born into slavery, established a prosperous farm and ranch along the Denton-Tarrant county line and raised their 10 children. Today, many of the thousands of acres they owned “free and clear” are under Lake Grapevine. At the end of the Civil War, Bob Jones signed on with cattle drives heading to railheads in Kansas and with the money he earned, began buying land. In 1875, he married Almeady Chisum, who had been raised on cattle baron John Chisum’s ranch near Bolivar in Denton County. They began married life in a log cabin. As the family grew, so did the house that’s pictured here; it eventually included a main room with a large fireplace, four or five bedrooms, a dining room, kitchen and several porches. The Joneses valued education and made sure each of their children received an eighth-grade education. Teachers often were hired to teach at the ranch. In 1918, Bob Jones donated land for an eight-grade “colored” school for his grandchildren and other Black children in the area. Its name was Walnut Grove. The school closed in 1951 when its students headed to Fort Worth for junior and senior high. Many of Walnut Grove’s students went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees and even Ph.Ds. 
Carroll Hill School, 1923. Courtesy of the Shivers family.
Carroll Hill School is the oldest public building in Southlake — and until the 1960s, the only public building. The school represents the commitment that residents in the poor, unincorporated area of now-Southlake had to education. In 1918, with property values in the new school district totaling $207,400, the men (women couldn’t vote) voted to raise their taxes for the purchase of $7,500 in bonds to pay for a school. For years, Carroll School was the centerpiece of the community. It was the first school in what would become Carroll ISD and the place where residents came to vote on whether to become Southlake. From where the school sat high on a hill (hence its nickname Carroll Hill), students could watch as nearby Texas 114, completed in 1932 along a roadbed purchased from a bankrupt railroad, was built by men using mules and graders. During the WWII years, students watched as trucks carrying troops and equipment went past.
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, circa 1930s. Courtesy of the Dallas Public Library’s Dennis Hays Collection.
Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were known to hang around the area west of Grapevine.  On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1934, state troopers H.D. Murphy, Edward Wheeler and Polk Ivy were riding motorcycles on Texas 114 in now-Southlake. Ivy was riding ahead when Murphy and Wheeler saw what appeared to be a motorist in trouble and turned up Dove Road to help. When Ivy realized the others weren’t behind him, he retraced the route and found them both lying dead in Dove Road – pistols still holstered and their murderers gone.  A farmer living nearby who had been sitting on his porch was a witness to the shootings and said Bonnie and Clyde were alone; gang member Henry Methvin later said he had participated. According to longtime Southlake resident Jack Cook, the killers then drove to a house between now-Southlake and Roanoke owned by some of Parker’s kin, who “put the children in the cellar” and made the outlaws a sandwich before the killers fled. When Barrow was a boy, his family may have lived for a time near what’s now Texas 114 and Kimball. If so, he likely attended Carroll Hill School. 
Baptisms in the Dove branch, 1948. Courtesy of the Joyce family.
The branch pictured here runs north and south across Dove Road at Lonesome Dove Road. Brother William Day (in suspenders) served as pastor of Lonesome Dove Church for 25 years. He was called to preaching, his daughter Lizzie Day Higgins remembered, but was hesitant to answer the call. Instead, he moved to Texas, she said, “but answered the call after he got here.” 
Grapevine Auction Barn, circa 1980s. Courtesy of the Jones family.
The Grapevine Auction Barn and Jones Bros. Cafe were located at the southeast corner of Highway 114 and White’s Chapel, in now-Southlake. The two youngest Jones sons, Jinks and Emory, partnered up in 1948 and opened the auction barn after much of their land was taken for Lake Grapevine. “We had handled cattle all our lives, so we got to thinking we could open up a place to handle them,” Jinks said. Cattle auctions were on Tuesday and horse auctions on Wednesday evenings. “Horsemen from far and wide would start arriving sometimes the night before,” said longtime Southlake resident Zena Rucker. “The place would be packed to the top of the bleachers.” The brothers’ wives, Lula and Elnora, ran a cafe inside the auction barn, offering chili, stew, red beans and homemade pies. Many historians believe it was the first integrated cafe in Texas. “The way it started, was that black truck drivers would stop on the road and they would come in the back door and ask if they could have a soda or a sandwich,” Betty Jones Foreman, daughter of Jinks and Lula, told columnist Dave Lieber in 2003. “My mother told them, ‘I’ll serve you if you come in the front door. This is a family business. I’ll serve who I want.’ ” Standing in the doorway of the auction barn is Jinks Jones. Outside is Emory’s son Bill Jones, daughter Megan and wife Susan Jones. 
Carroll Dragon football team, 1960. Courtesy of the Carroll Independent School District.
Dragon football began in 1959 when the new CISD superintendent, Jack Johnson, created a school sports program. Johnson hired the school’s first football coach, H.G. Griffin Jr. (standing behind his players in this 1960 team picture).The 1959 team had no uniforms or much equipment and was made up of 7th- and 8th-grade boys (Carroll only offered grades 1-8). In 1960, the district was accredited for 9th grade. The players in this picture are 8th- and 9th-graders. The first Dragon stadium was known as “sticker stadium.” Superintendent Johnson recalled: “We had little bit of land … [and we] worked that ground and the dust flew like flour. By the time [we] finished, [we] were covered in dirt, sand and burrs, but we came up with 80 yards. The first football field was an 80-yard field here at Southlake Carroll.”
Bailey Feed Store, circa 1950s. Courtesy of the Lafavers family.
Ever since 1949, the property at 530 S. White Chapel has been a business. The first was Earl Bailey’s feed store. At one time, the Bailey family owned land that stretched from White Chapel Boulevard to Peytonville Road. In the late 1960s, Ralph Evans (later a longtime Southlake councilman) and his family moved to Southlake and frequented the feed store. “The first year we were here, I was over at Mr. Bailey’s store and he asked me if I needed to break up the ground for a garden,” Evans recalled in a 2005 oral history. “He said I could borrow his mule and plow. I took the plow and his red mule over to my property. It wasn’t far, about three-quarters of a mile. I plowed the yard and rode the mule back. I might be the last resident here in Southlake who knows how to plow with a mule.”  

Feedstore BBQ, 2015. Courtesy of the Lafavers family. 
The Feedstore BBQ sits where Earl Bailey’s feed store once stood. Bailey sold his store in the early 1970s to the Millers, who sold groceries and gas. A few years later, Dee Hutchins bought the place and renamed it Dee’s Hitchin’ Post. The Lemieux family bought it in the mid-1980s and renamed it Southlake Feed and Tack. Phyllis and Bill Lafavers bought the store in 1997 and continued it as a feed and tack store until 2001, when they turned it into a restaurant. “We ran the store for a while,” son Mike Lafavers recalled, “until we figured out that all the animals were moving out of town and all these people kept moving in. We just figured we better start feeding all these hungry folks instead.”