Friday, February 8, 2013

Lou Roberts and Her Texas Ranger--A True Texas Love Story


 By Celia Yeary
WITH NO PHOTO OF
LOU ROBERTS
AVAILABLE, I CHOSE
THIS PHOTO OF A 1910
ACTRESS WHOM I
THINK MIGHT HAVE
LOOKED LIKE HER

She was lovingly called Lou by her family and friends, and later by her beloved husband, Dan Roberts. Their meeting and life together was a true Texas love story.

Born Luvenia Conway in 1849 in Crockett, Texas, she moved with her family to Columbus, Texas, where she married Daniel Webster Roberts on September 13, 1875.

At age 33, Dan Roberts was a fine specimen of a man, tall, lanky, and strong. He was a veteran of the Texas militia during the Civil War, had joined Company D of the Frontier Battalion of the Texas Rangers in 1874, when the rangers were reorganized to offer protection to pioneers on the Texas frontier.

Daniel Roberts once said, "I was born and rocked in the cradle of war in Texas." The Nineteenth Century did, indeed, bring the Texas Revolutionary War against Mexico, then the Civil War, and the wars between the settlers and the Comanche, the Kiowa, the Apache, and others.  


A GROUP OF UNIDENTIFIED TEXAS RANGERS.
NO PHOTO WAS AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC OF
DAN ROBERTS, BUT IN READING ABOUT HIM,
I BELIEVE HE MIGHT HAVE RESEMBLED THE
THIRD MAN FROM THE LEFT ON THE BACK ROW.

Lieutenant Roberts planned to resign his position in order to marry Luvenia. However, his commander, Major Jones, merely laughed and told him he could bring his wife along to the frontier.

Luvenia Roberts first settled in Mason, Texas, forty miles from her husband's ranger camp in Menard County, but soon was forced to move into the camp after the Mason County War erupted--a local war between the Texans and the Germans that killed a dozen men.

At the camp, she and her husband lived in a renovated camp house, and she learned the skills of shooting, fishing, and horseback riding. She enjoyed her unique position as a woman in a frontier ranger company, and she was well-received by her husband's colleagues. In the six years with the rangers, during which time her husband was promoted to captain and commander of the company, she lived in several frontier camps, including those at Sabinal and Junction City.

 In 1928 she published a sixty-four-page memoir of her years with the rangers entitled A Woman's Reminiscences of Six Years in Camp with the Texas Rangers. Lauded for its contributions to both the military and social history of the Texas frontier, this work was reissued in 1987 by State House Press in a volume that also contained her husband's 1914 work Rangers and Sovereignty.
CAMP ROBERTS
In her book, she wrote: "My friends thought I was courageous; in fact quite nervy to leave civilization and go into Indian country. But it did not require either. I was much in love with my gallant captain and willing to share his fate wherever and whatever it might be. Besides, the romantic side of it appealed to me strongly. I was thrilled with the idea of going to the frontier, the home of the pioneer."

SAN SABA RIVER IN WEST TEXAS
 
In 1878, Lou and Dan set up a tent house in Menard County on the San Saba River. She relates the home they had there: "Up until this time we had had only one tent and a kitchen, but at Camp San Saba we were supplied a second tent, which because of its size the Rangers called it 'the elephant.' We felt that our household was growing. The 'elephant' I furnished as my guest chamber, and equipped it with army cot, washstand, a small table, and a mirror hung on the tent pole. Our kitchen was built of logs, with a tent for a roof. Both our tents were floored; we had outgrown gunny-sack floor coverings. The two tents and kitchen were surrounded by a brush fence, with a whitewashed gate that look quite imposing, The State furnished us a cook. The rations issued to the Rangers, included only the substantials, but were of such generous quantities that we had a surplus to exchange for butter, milk, eggs, etc. Honey was obtained from bee trees. Game and fish were abundant."

 Luvenia Conway Roberts died in Austin on July 14, 1940. Preceded in death by her husband and one son, she was survived by her daughter-in-law and several grandchildren. She was buried with her husband at the State Cemetery in Austin.

 A True Texas Love Story, of Lou and Dan Roberts.
~*~*~
AN EBOOK COPY OF
RODEO MAN
FREE TO ONE PERSON WHO COMMENTS
PLEASE LEAVE AN EMAIL!
I WILL GIFT IT TO YOUR
KINDLE OR NOOK!

Thank you---

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/celiayeary
My Website
My Blog
Sweethearts of the West-Blog
My Facebook Page

Sources:
The On-Line Handbook of Texas
Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Encyclopedia
Texas Tears and Texas Sunshine-Voices of Frontier Women
Tales From Out Yonder

21 comments:

  1. Lou Roberts - a fascinating story. I've often said that Texas women are a breed apart - a step to the side. They take charge where needed, protect their brood with everything they have. Yes, they can ride. And shoot. And brew a great cup of coffee.

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  2. Fascinating history and love those oldie pics!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

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  3. What an exciting life Lou had. Sometimes we forget the women married to our courageous military men. I think it would be fun to live in a huge tent, but I'm sure that wears thin when the weather is bad.
    A wonderful love story. I truly enjoyed reading it.

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  4. Well done, Celia. I had not heard of gunny sacks for floor covering, but it makes sense. Thanks for the lovely post and giveaway.

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  5. What a sweet love story. And what an adventuresome woman Lou was. And a writer as well. It sounds very romantic but I'm sure tent life on the frontier was not all romance!

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  6. Great story. I enjoyed the journal entries.

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  7. Good morning, Dac.
    I love that--"Texas women are a breed apart, a step to the side"--very poetic.
    Her story is in the volume titled Texas Tears and Texas Sunshine, names of quilt patterns some Texas women created. The book is divided into four sections, each named after a quilt--the other two are Lone Star and Log Cabin. I love this book.
    Each section has a story about 6 pioneer women who helped build Texas.
    I'd live to take each one and with literary license, write a fiction novel about her. They are all fascinating and not many authors could come up with a better story! Thanks for visiting.

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  8. What a inspiring love story. She was indeed smitten with that tall, lanky ranger.

    I never knew that women were allowed to accompany the men. I guess there weren't a lot who did. Her books sounds interesting.

    Great post Celia!

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  9. Morgan--me, too! Love old photos. I couldn't find one photo of Lou, but I found a couple of Dan Roberts. But they were in secure historical websites and others were forbidden to copy them. That's fine--I want to know that without guessing.
    Thanks for commenting.

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  10. Sarah--me? I wouldn't want to live in a tent. I can only imagine. That part of Texas can get very cold in the winter--I'm sure it was uncomfortable--unless you were young and in love.And---it can get burning hot, too!
    Thank you for participating--I appreciate it so much.

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  11. Caroline--well, I hadn't either, but I knew people who lived in dugout covered the floors sometimes with old quilts or canvas. But gunny sack? Do they mean tow sacks? That's what we called them.
    I hope someone wants a copy of Rodeo Man--it's still 99cents until Monday, I think, and I'd give away more than one.
    Thanks!

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  12. Linda--certainly life on the frontier was not all peaches and cream.
    I read quite a bit about Lou and Dan--you know how you research and find yourself unable to stop? Lou was from a semi-wealthy family, and they were horrified. Dan was 33 and she was about 20--that's a big difference.

    Also, after the six years, Lou became ill and they moved to Arizona. He quit the Rangers, too.
    Years later, they moved back to Texas, and she wrote, "At last we could return to our beautiful beloved state." He died soon after but she lived until 1940!!! She was a widow far longer than she was a wife. I didn't add that part...I thought it was too sad.
    I only like the romance part.

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  13. Thanks, Kathy. The book Texas Tears and Texas Sunshine has about 15 pages from her journal. I loved reading all that.

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  14. Linda L.--I had no idea women could follow Rangers. That's the first I ever heard of it--and it might have been the only time. I can't imagine many females wanting to live in a Ranger Camp.
    Thanks for your comment!

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  15. Hi Celia, great stuff! I always love love stories. What a resilient woman she must have been. The conditions must have been "rustic" at best.

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  16. Tanya--rustic, I'm sure. We can only imagine. How she kept that romantic spirit, I'll never know. Thanks.

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  17. How interesting. Lou must have had an easy nature to live in a tent and have all those men around all of the time. Good for her for living life to the fullest.

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  18. Paisley--that's how I saw her, too. Living life to the fullest. And no, it couldn't have been easy, but probably not too bad..remember, she was young. I think I could have done a lot of things when I was young....but not now at my age. It all sounds way too difficult.
    But she had the love and adoration of her husband, and the other Rangers were her friends and kept her entertained at times.
    Thanks...

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  19. She is remarkable. I just love old photographs thank you.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  20. Thank you, Mary...for commenting. I'm glad you liked the old photos. They are one of my favorite things.

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  21. This is a great story and happens to be about my great, great, great aunt and uncle. My grandfather was D.W. Roberts. Thank you for writing about this in such a beautiful way :-)

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