Pharmacist renames popular soft drink from Waco to Dr. Pepper

Waco, Texas, June 12, 1885: Charles “Doc” Alderton, a pharmacist at Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store at Fifth Street and Mary Avenue downtown, has finally developed a soda fountain drink he thinks thirsty customers will enjoy and order every time they come into the drug store.

He calls his newly concocted soft drink the “Waco.” All this week, customers have come into the store, sat down at the soda fountain counter and laughingly shouted out, “Hey, Doc, give me a shot of Waco!”

“Doc” Alderton loves to work behind the soda fountain counter when he’s not in the pharmacy, and he loves to hear that shout out for a “Waco.”

Customers have been telling him for years that they were tired of the “same ole fruit flavored drinks” he served. They wanted something different. Alderton promised he would create exactly what they wanted.

For the better part of a year, the good doctor has been applying his pharmaceutical knowledge to blending assorted fruit flavors and conducting various experiments to come up with just the right taste for his new soft drink.

Galveston hurricane kills 12,000 and destroys city

Galveston, Texas, September 10, 1900: A gigantic hurricane of biblical proportions strewed its wrath across Galveston, late Saturday afternoon, hurling 140 mile per hour winds and walls of water 20 feet high. A hurricane so horrific it is impossible for this reporter to describe adequately with mere words the death and destruction left in its wake.

An estimated 12,000 are dead in a city of 38,000 people. The wealthiest, most enterprising city in Texas has been obliterated. An estimated 4,000 modern buildings and elegant homes have been reduced to mangled, waterlogged debris.

Saturday night, as the water began receding, reality raised wrenching images never to be forgotten by all who witnessed them.

Plantation heiress kills herself on fears fiancé died in Civil War

Sara Elizabeth “Bess” Hambrick, 20, took her own life last evening, after retiring upstairs to her bedroom, following supper with her father, mother and brother in their elegant dining room at the Hambrick Plantation house 14 miles west of here.

Her father, Burrell Hambrick, had discussed many things at the meal, including deeding 3,000 acres of his 3,200-acre Hambrick Plantation to his 57 former slaves. Hambrick said it was only right that the slave families who worked with him to build the plantation should be entitled to live comfortably on the land and to farm it themselves since they are now free.

American Civil War veteran is the tallest man ever known

Henry Clay Thruston, 79, who was – as all of us in these parts know – the tallest man in the American Civil War and who now resides here, has just returned from a trip to Memphis for a Confederate veterans reunion.

Even at his current age and standing in his stocking feet, Thruston (pronounced Thooston), now – as then – soars to 7 feet 7 inches tall.

Many of his shorter fellow veterans who have grown old and stooped in the 44 years since the end of the War still marvel at his erect posture and his incredible height. He moved through the crowd head and shoulders above the vets he went to war with. Wearing his trademark beaver stovetop hat, he seemed even taller.

Public school gas explosion kills hundreds of children

There is nothing—absolutely nothing—that can prepare mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, or any of us who live in this tiny community for the grisly, bloody reality of 431 children—our children and our neighbor’s children—blown to eternity and crushed into oblivion by that monstrous school explosion, here yesterday.

431 of our young ones and at least 14 of their teachers—445 members of our families– all died in an instant at 3:05 PM, yesterday, just ten minutes before the end of school, in an explosive shock-wave, consuming fire, and hailing stones, apparently caused by a natural gas leak under our school.