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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Roscoe in Years Gone By: Unknown Parties Dynamite Calaboose

The calaboose was across the street from the wagon yard, seen here in 1913.
(Reprinted from The Roscoe Times in The Abilene Reporter, February 12, 1910.)

Between 12 and 1 o’clock Sunday morning the city prison here was badly wrecked by an explosion of dynamite. The charge was a heavy one and was heard by many citizens in town, several of whom thought at the time that the bank safe had been cracked.

The charge seemed to have been placed either under or inside the north east corner of the building and the force of the explosion was sufficient to move the building on the foundation and tear up the floor badly. It will be necessary to put another floor in the building and to otherwise repair it before it will hold a prisoner.

In addition to wrecking the calaboose* the window glass in the rear windows and transoms of W. F. Jones’ store building were all shattered to pieces.

There is no telling what damage might have been done had the charge of dynamite been confined, but the dastardly deed must have been committed by an amateur who did not know enough to confine the charge.

Ordinarily this is a peaceable and law abiding people, and we did not believe that there existed in this entire country a person, or persons, low enough to commit such a cowardly deed, but we were mistaken in this one instance at least, and we sincerely hope to have the pleasure of soon knowing that the scoundrel who committed this dirty and cowardly crime against the entire community will be wearing prison stripes.

The person or persons who put this charge of dynamite in Roscoe’s little city prison would perform the same act against your residence or business, provided he or they had provocation to do so.

The officers are working faithfully on the case and are not going to pass it up until every clue is run down. –Roscoe Times.

* In one of his articles on early 20th century Roscoe (Roscoe Times, November 5, 1983), Marion Duncan located the calaboose on the southwest side of the 100 block of Main Street (i.e., behind the present-day Smackers Building.) He says it was “small, built mostly of wood, and intended only for overnight use.”



Karina Cisneros and Johnathon Cuellar.
Fourteen Roscoe Collegiate students were in College Station earlier this month to participate in the 2016 Texas 4-H Roundup, and five came away with prize ribbons. Six competed in the 4-H Discover the Scientific Method Research Poster Contest, five in the Veterinary Science Skill-a-thon, and three in the Horse-Judging Contest.

Matthew Buckley, Karina Cisneros, and Johnathon Cuellar won first-place ribbons in the animal and plant science divisions of the Research Poster Contest, while Alfonso Islas won second and Caleb Boren third in the Vet Science Skill-a-thon.

Matthew Buckley.

Alfonso Islas and Caleb Boren


The annual July 4th Parade, celebrated on Saturday, July 2, encourages everyone who wants to to participate in this year’s parade, starting at 10am. There is no entry fee. Just show up! Line-up is at 9:30, and judging for the various categories will be done then. Prizes will be awarded for best bicycle, motorcycle, car, vehicle, best overall, most patriotic, etc. Items in the prize bags will be donated by local businesses. The parade will kick off a day of celebration of music, food, vendors, and fireworks.

For any questions about the parade, contact Valerie at 325-338-4666. For vendor information, call Roscoe City Hall at 325-766-3871.



It’s another big weekend at the Lumberyard. On Friday night, the South Austin Moonlighters will make their first appearance in Roscoe, and on Saturday night, Charlie Robison is back for a command performance.

The South Austin Moonlighters.
The South Austin Moonlighters are a group of established musicians and songwriters who consider themselves and their music “True Americana,” a band that blends country, blues, folk, and rock. They are regulars at such Austin venues as The Saxon Pub and Threadgill’s, and Gruene Hall, just up the road. Two days after they’re in Roscoe, they’ll be playing at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth.  Singles include “You, Love, & Me,” “To Love Somebody,” and “Little Rain.”

Charlie Robison

Charlie Robison, a native Texan, is probably best known for his single “My Home Town.” His musical career began in Austin in the late eighties when he played in various bands. He went solo and released his first album, Bandera, in 1996, followed by Life of the Party in 1998, Unleashed Live in 2000, Step Right Up in 2001, Live in 2003, Good Times in 2004,  Beautiful Day in 2009, and Live at Billy Bob’s Texas and High Life, both in 2013.

Besides “My Home Town,” his best known singles include “I Want You Bad,” “Barlight,” “Poor Man’s Son,” and “Walter.”

Both acts will begin around 9:30pm.  Cover charge for the South Austin Moonlighters is $10 and for Charlie Robison $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

For reservations or more information, call the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Summer clouds over Roscoe yesterday afternoon.
Summer officially arrived on Monday, but on Sunday our wet spring provided one last shower before it left, once again confounding farmers who are still trying to plant. The rain was a surprise because it had not been in the forecast all week. Unlike the thunderstorm on the previous Sunday, which arrived from the west, this one came in from the northeast. It started just after 7am and lasted until about 7:30. Unfortunately, it arrived with a strong wind that in many places damaged baby cotton that had just come up. My rain gauge recorded 1.38”, while the official amount recorded by Kenny Landfried in east Roscoe was .79”. Joe Ejem in west Roscoe said he had 1.8”, and really the amount varied by area. West of town got an inch or more, while in Champion it was more like three-quarters of an inch. In any case, the shower filled all the puddles again, and mosquitoes are plentiful around town.

The 100°F degree days predicted for Friday and Saturday also never came to pass. Friday’s high was only 95° and Saturday’s was 94°. However, this is not to say those days weren’t hot. They were. The 50% and 60% humidity we’ve had the past week haven’t helped at all with the heat index.

The forecast through this weekend is for sunny skies, continued high humidity, with highs in the mid-nineties and lows in the low seventies. The meteorologists are predicting a high of 96° for today and highs just slightly lower through the weekend. There is 0% chance of rain until Sunday, when the chance increases to 20%. On Monday and Tuesday, however, it increases to 40%. Naturally, all that is subject to change, though, so we’ll see.



Funeral services will be held at 11:00am on Friday, June 24, at Roller-McNutt Funeral Home in Clinton, Arkansas, for Rebecca Presley Duvall, 24, who passed away on Thursday, June 16, reportedly of a fatal mix of alcohol and drugs.

Visitation will be at 10:00am immediately preceding the funeral service, after which she will be laid to rest next to her brother Jordan at Davis Special Cemetery in Fairfield Bay, Arkansas.

Rebecca Presley Duvall was born on November 5, 1991, in Dallas. She attended school for several years in Roscoe and in Shirley, Arkansas. After leaving Arkansas, she moved back to Texas where she lived with family and friends until her passing on June 16. Presley was a loving person who will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

She is survived by her father, Ray Scott Duvall, mother, Rebecca Zell, stepfather Steve Zell, and sister Delani Duvall.

The family wishes to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers.

Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of Roller-McNutt Funeral Home of Clinton, Arkansas.



Family graveside services were held at 10:30am on Monday, June 20, at Roscoe Cemetery for Bobby Keith Cleckler, 72, who passed away on Friday, June 17, at his home in Wastella.

Keith was born in Roscoe on August 27, 1943, and was a 1961 graduate of Roscoe High School. He also attended Howard County Junior College and West Texas State University. As a young man, he rode bulls in rodeos and was a jockey in horse races. He was a farmer most of his adult life.

Survivors include his son, Marty Cleckler of Lubbock; grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Lauren Cleckler of Lubbock; mother, Neva Cleckler of Sweetwater; and brother, Kendell Cleckler and wife, Mondelene, also of Sweetwater.

He was preceded in death by his father, Wendell Cleckler.


1 comment:

  1. Really sorry to hear about Keith Cleckler's death. He was a genuinally nice guy and I remember him well from our days at RHS. Rest in peace.


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