THE BOOK

Saving the Oldest Town in Texas

 

ISBN-10: 1622882148

ISBN-13: 978-1622882144

Over a hundred years after Col. Wettermark robbed his own bank, Peggy Jensen wonders if she is brave enough to renovate a home that seems too far gone.  She could almost say the same thing about herself. She is alone, stiffening up in all her joints, at loose ends after seven years watching her husband’s brilliant mind deteriorate.  Her daughter talked her into moving to the Oldest Town in Texas, and Peggy wants to renovate a historic home.  It is just her luck to fall in love with a deteriorating scandal-ridden mansion.

The chapters alternate between the current day struggle to renovate the mansion and the true turn-of-the century story of Col. Wettermark, his wife Daisy and his children. 

wettermark photo.jpg
Col. Benjamin Wettermark 

Col. Wettermark was the banker everyone trusted.  He worked hard to become the mayor of Nacogdoches and one of the most important men in East Texas.  In fact, his campaign for mayor was based on his speeches about trust.  On the night he emptied the safe and took the night train out of town, he lost that trust. Then he became the face on the front page of hundreds of newspapers as the scoundrel who broke the bank in the Oldest Town in Texas.

Nacogdoches, Texas

The oldest town in Texas started as a Spanish mission to the Caddo Indians. It's near Louisiana about midway between Dallas and Houston. 

To see why Nacogdoches is called the Oldest Town in Texas, go to the blog entry by Dr. Scott Sosebee. 

Photo by Bruce Partain.

Saving history

Like every city, Nacogdoches has lost some of its history to each wave of prosperity that washes over the town.  There are still vestiges of the people who started the town and made it what it is today. The Old University Building, the architecture of Diedrich Rulfs, Millard's Crossing, Zion Hill Baptist Church and some of the original buildings downtown show the stories time has not been able to erase.  

Oh, and a signpost that says "Wettermark Street" right where the Colonel built his mansion. 

Photo by Bruce Partain.

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