Nesbitt Memorial Library


Caleb Kuntz and Mark Blumberg, University of Texas Film Institute graduate students, presented their short film: "Live Oaks, Dead Folks: Bill Stein and the History of Columbus" to 66 attendees on January 10, 2012. Blumberg researched and directed, and Kuntz filmed 17 hours of footage which they edited down to 15 minutes.  The film was well received by the audience and the scenes included Stein's friends at Becky's Cafe, the county fair parade, and the Live Oaks and Dead Folks tour, with comments from the community including Jim Kearney, Virgil Thompson, Tracey Wegenhoft, and Roger Wade. The film focused on the former Nesbitt Memorial Library director/archivist's demand for accuracy in historical research. Blumberg and Kuntz will present a 27 minute version of the film to festivals.


Award-winning and internationally known Texas author Joe R. Lansdale gave a lively presentation at the Nesbitt Memorial Library on January 24, 2012. Lansdale recounted growing up with parents who survived the Great Depression, and living in a house with a great view of a drive-in theater screen and a beer joint in East Texas. His fiction is flavored with history, pop culture, horror and fantasy, such as the "Hap Collins and Leonard Pine" mysteries of which Devil Red is the latest title. One of his stories was made into the 2002 film Bubba Ho-Tep starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis and gained a cult following. His latest title, Edge of Dark Water,  will be added to the library collection as soon as it is released. 

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Donaly E. Brice, who co-authored The Governor's Hounds: The Texas State Police, 1870–1873 with Barry A. Crouch, spoke to Texas history buffs on February 21, 2012 about the tumultuous Reconstruction period in which Governor Edmund J. Davis created the Texas State Police. Brice and Crouch, friends of the late Nesbitt Memorial Library director and archivist Bill Stein, did much of the primary research for the book at the library and at the Colorado County courthouse. Brice also wrote The Great Comanche Raid: The Boldest Indian Attack of the Texas Republic which became a classic. A well-known historian and lecturer, Brice continues his work at the Texas State Archives as Senior Research Assistant.  Proceeds from the evening's books sales benefitted the Nesbitt Memorial Library Foundation.  Brice is shown in the photo (right) with library director Nancy Koehl, and foundation officer Jim Kearney.

nullLocal poet Alvin Thompson began the evening of March 13, 2012, with several impromptu poems on topics brought up by the audience of twenty. He read selections from two of his books and reminisced about the teachers that encouraged him. When he was eight years old he started writing down the poetry that comes to him so easily. As a young man he spent a year in New York City in training for a church organization. Thompson has worked at Keyser Meat Market, Schobel's Restaurant, and Walmart.   He is currently active in national and international poetry societies. In the photo with Alvin are his brother Ollie Thompson, Jr., sister Sadie Moore, niece Deborah Mitchell, brother Virgil Thompson, sister Judy Robinson, and nephew Johnny R. Thompson.

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Alleyton residents Roger and Marilyn Wade presented their book AROUND COLUMBUS to a crowded meeting room on the evening of May 8, 2012. The book contains over 200 vintage photographs from the Nesbitt Memorial Library Archives. The Wades highlighted some of the photos used in the book, and audience members identified their ancestors. Roger further tested their Columbus knowledge with close-up views of local landmarks. A detailed article about the Wades and this book project was published in The Colorado County Citizen.

Proceeds from the initial sales of AROUND COLUMBUS were shared with the Nesbitt Memorial Library Foundation.  For additional copies check with the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, The Silver Barn gift shop, Arcadia Publishing or other internet book sellers.

   The Nesbitt Memorial Library was fortunate to have forensic artist and local resident  Amanda Danning present "Imagining C. Barange" on May 22, 2012. Danning displayed the head she reconstructed from the skull of a possible sailor, whose name might have been C. Barange. The skull was  from the 1686 LaBelle shipwreck off Matagorda Bay, and "C. Barange" was the name engraved on a cup found near the skull.. She presented highlights of the reconstruction process that she used in this and numerous other projects. 

 Along with husband Jim Brasher, Danning has been very active in the Columbus area. Danning is Chair of the Columbus Folk Fest Committee that is planning the first annual Columbus Folk Fest at the courthouse square, to be held November 2 & 3 of this year.  

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Local historian James C. Kearney returned to the Nesbitt Memorial Library to present FRIEDRICHSBURG, which he translated from the 1847 German novel by Friedrich Armand Strubberg. He also annotated and drew illustrations for the novel portion of the book, and included images from other collections to support what really happened as Fredericksburg, Texas was being settled. The novel's author Strubberg (or Dr. Schubbert, as he was known at the time) was the first colonial director of Fredericksburg and was fired from the position. He was then involved in a gun battle in northern Fayette County, in which two people were killed, as referenced in Kearney's first book Nassau Plantation: The Evolution of a Texas German Slave Plantation. 

Proceeds from the initial sales of FRIEDRICHSBURG were shared with the Nesbitt Memorial Library Foundation. Check these other sites for more information about the book: The Colorado County Citizen, The Texas Monthly, and various internet book sellers.

Tracking the Texas Rangers is an anthology of sixteen previously published articles and chapter excerpts, arranged in chronological history, covering key topics of the intrepid and sometimes controversial law officers named the Texas Rangers. The book is intended for students, teachers, scholars, and the general reading public. Bruce A. Glasrud was Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of History at Sul Ross State University. He is a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association and of the East Texas Historical Association. His nineteen books include Buffalo Soldiers in the West and Brothers to the Buffalo Soldiers.         


More event photos

Author and illustrator Marjie Crisp presented a slide show of her trip on the Colorado River from its headwaters near Lubbock down to Matagorda Bay, to 25 guests.  She sold copies of her book, River of Contrasts: The Texas Colorado, as well as shirts and posters.


Trick or Treat! One hundred seventy Kindergarteners, teachers and parents came in for treats on October 31, 2012. Some kids will never be too old for costumes. 

More Trick or Treat Photos

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The 10th annual Live Oaks and Dead Folks event was held on the evenings of November 2 and 3, 2012 at the Columbus Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery. Eleven "haints" were portrayed by local actors for two hundred guests each night.  This year the tour was also part of the first annual Columbus Folk Fest.

Live Oaks and Dead Folks Photo Spread:
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