World War I-era Camp Bowie nurses in charge of the contagious and infectious diseases ward. From left: Marie Stroupe, Myrtle Peterson, Lillian Jenkins and Ellen Johnson. Special Collections/University of Texas at Arlington Libraries
World War I-era Camp Bowie nurses in charge of the contagious and infectious diseases ward. From left: Marie Stroupe, Myrtle Peterson, Lillian Jenkins and Ellen Johnson. Special Collections/University of Texas at Arlington Libraries

Living

8 statues Fort Worth needs: Forgotten leaders (who happened to be minorities or women)

By Bud Kennedy

bud@star-telegram.com

September 01, 2017 8:51 AM

FORT WORTH

Mostly Anglo men are remembered in stone or bronze across Fort Worth: working cowboys, early mayors, humorist Will Rogers and corporate executive Charles Tandy.

Yet only one public statue is devoted specifically to honoring women: “Spirit of Woman,” a Fort Worth Botanic Garden bronze of a pioneer woman.

As many memorials honor Anglo Confederate veterans (four, including two currently in city storage) as they do minorities and women combined (the aforementioned “Spirit,” plus American Indian chief Quanah Parker, rodeo bulldogger Bill Pickett and the unnamed North Side “vaquero”).

If Fort Worth is ready to change that — where do we start?

Here are a few of the names that came up over and over in conversations with local historians, not as any kind of final list but only as top-of-mind thoughts about Fort Worth figures who deserve more recognition:

The nurses of World War I Camp Bowie

When a 1918 flu pandemic killed more than 1,200 residents of Dallas and Fort Worth, few healthcare workers were more at risk than the U.S. Army nurses at what was then Camp Bowie in west Fort Worth. Nearly 2,000 soldiers were treated, and the victims included many Army nurses serving America for $75 a month.

Edna Gladney was an early advocate for children’s rights and adoption. Fort Worth’s Gladney Center for Adoption, founded in 1887, has continued her mission into the present day.
Courtesy of Mrs. Earl Chester

Edna Gladney

Gladney (1886-1961) led a statewide and nationwide campaign for children’s rights and adoption from the 1930s to the 1950s, protecting the poor, vulnerable children of the Depression and World War II. Her work finding adoptive homes for 10,000 children was the subject of the 1941 Greer Garson movie “Blossoms in the Dust.”

Dr. Raúl López-Guerra
Courtesy of KERA

Dr. Raúl López Guerra

Lopez Guerra (1898-1956) was born and died in León, Guanajuato, but he practiced medicine in Fort Worth for 30 years. He saw patients from across North Texas nine hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of whether they could pay. He and his musician wife, Aurelia, were active in city arts and civic groups, and spoke out against discrimination.

Dunbar High School coaching legend Robert Hughes will be enshrined in the national Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 8.
Joyce Marshall jlmarshall@star-telegram

Robert Hughes

Hughes (1928- ) is the winningest American boys’ basketball coach of all time, but he also has been a mentor and father figure to hundreds of Fort Worth teenagers over a 47-year career. His coaching career began amid the heartbreak and discrimination of segregation, spanning the civil rights era into the 21st century. He will be inducted Sept. 8 into the sport’s national hall of fame.

 

 

Trick rider “Tad” Lucas in 1923 or ’24. The family photo is a favorite of her daughter, Mitzi Lucas Riley, who also was a trick rider and joined her mother as an honoree in the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth.
Paul Moseley Star-Telegram archives

“Tad” Lucas

Lucas (1902-1990), the greatest rodeo cowgirl and trick rider of all time, joined a Wild West show at 16 and became a star known as “Rodeo’s First Lady.” She was famous for trick riding, but she also rode bulls during World War I to raise money for the Red Cross and rode bucking broncs into her 60s.

This is a copy of a photo of William “Gooseneck Bill” Madison McDonald on display at the Fort Worth Public Library in downtown Fort Worth. He is described by historians as Texas’ first African-American millionaire.
Unknown Star-Telegram archives

William Madison “Gooseneck Bill” McDonald

McDonald (1866-1950), son of a former slave once owned by Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest, was an early-20th-century Fort Worth banker described by historians as Texas’ first African-American millionaire. He championed free enterprise and self-reliance, and led Texas Republicans as the state party chairman.

Dr. Riley Andrew Ransom Sr. moved in 1918 to Fort Worth, where he opened the Ethel Ransom Memorial Hospital and served as chief surgeon until it closed in 1949. He served as president of the Lone Star State Medical Association in 1924-25.
unknown Courtesy of Texas Medical Association

Dr. Riley Ransom

Ransom (1886-1951) was one of the first African-American doctors in Texas and operated one of only three nationally accredited black-owned hospitals, along with a nursing school. He equipped the 20-bed hospital with a state-of-the-art laboratory and X-ray equipment, performed thousands of surgeries and delivered hundreds of babies.

Baker and businesswoman Lucille Bishop Smith prepares 300 fruitcakes as Christmas gifts for Tarrant County servicemen in Vietnam in 1965. She was the first African-American woman to join the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram Collect Fort Worth Star-Telegram Collection

Lucille Bishop Smith

Smith (1892-1985) was a celebrated chef, baker and entrepreneur known for launching the first commercial hot roll baking mix. Over a 50-year career, she taught girls cooking and sewing in segregated Fort Worth schools, catered events, wrote cookbooks and was the first African-American woman to join the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. In 1965, she baked 330 fruitcakes for every local soldier in Vietnam.

Bud Kennedy: 817-390-7538, @BudKennedy.

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