On September 27th, the Blanco Sesquicentennial committee joined with the Ranch Roundup committee to celebrate the 150th birthday of Blanco County. From 10:30 am to 3 pm, the Blanco County Historical Commission and the Sesquicentennial committee under the direction of Rebecca Howerton showed the people of Blanco their heritage. Rebecca Howerton opened the event with a speech about what and why we celebrated this event. Frank Spillman from the Cowboy church said a prayer for the continued success of the county and its people. The American Legion presented the flag. The tremendous voice of Dorothy Dillon sang the National Anthem. Then Master of Ceremony, Ron Houston spoke about the Native Americans that once had roamed this territory, then an Indian appeared and spoke in native tongue. This was Ty Brady in costume and after his stage appearance he demonstrated the art of knife and tomahawk throwing. Ron Houston talked about the many Texas Rangers who fought the Indians and protected our settlers. And then in rode the Rangers, one spoke about living here, was he James Hughes Callahan ?
But Ron Houston kept us on track and introduced our county, state and local officials for speeches. Among those who spoke were Judge Guthrie, Patrick Rose, District Judge Dan Mills and Julie Dill, Mrs. Blanco County. Julie Dill read from her album of memories about what people like about Blanco.
The first musical group played Chamber Music. This group was the Blanco Community Orchestra. Ron Houston then took us to the creation of Blanco County. The three act play showed the Pittsburgh land company making plans to petition the Texas Legislature, The 7th Texas Legislature approving the creation and naming the county, Blanco, and the third act was the swearing in of the county commissioners. After the play, the Little River Band played Blue Grass Music.
Ron Houston guided us through the most tragic incident in the history of Blanco County. The Callahan/Blassingame incident as it has become known. Ken Holmes, a direct decendant of Woodson Blassingame, read the letter that Calvin Blassingame wrote to his friends seeking help in their moment of need. Maggie Goodman spoke as if she were Mary Blassingame as she read Mary’s letter to the newspaper about the killing of her son and husband. Ron Houston closed the incident by telling of the regrets and wishes that it would never happen again.
As our history unfolded Ron Spoke of Peyton Colony. He saw Peyton Roberts and his group coming and settling. Leon Coffee played Roberts. The Mt. Horeb re-enactment was performed in song with the old fashioned toe tapping,hand clapping gospel Everyone enjoyed the singing. Then more music. Alan Cooper and Penny Conn played musical Variations. This was followed by Bernice West, who did a “ I remember When “. After Bernice finished Blanco County was cheered on by junior cheerleaders.
The group saw a huge cake in the shape of Blanco County during 1858. Happy Birthday was sung by all in attendance. Candles were blown out by Rebecca Howerton, Nell Krueger and Choppy Romero. Cake and lemonade was served to all present by members of the Women’s club.
Many people helped make this event a success as did they for all of the Sesquicentennial events. To these people thank you, Pat Vallone, Deb Yorgensen, Suzette Connell, Marcie Wagner, Jerry Hendricks, all our recruited re-enactment actors, Patty Coffee, and many more.