We make no bones about it at Brumbaugh’s; we love the Lone Star State. Texas has the largest land mass of continental US states — and a big history to boot. Texas history is full of larger-than-life personalities and grand stories, which have been passed down across generations. Here we’re sharing seven Texas state facts that every proud Texan should know.
The Six Flags
Texas has always been an area of change. Since it’s beginning, six different flags have flown over the state.
First, Texas was part of New Spain, a massive Spanish-held region that now makes up much of the Southwestern US and Mexico. France later claimed a portion of the eastern part of Texas, near Louisiana and adjacent to the Mississippi River, though the Spanish influence on the area continued to hold. That is until Mexico won her independence from Spain in 1821 and took control of present-day Texas.
Then, as a result of war that broke out in October 1835, Texas gained independence and became an official Republic — the only state to do so in the history of our nation.
Texas added the fifth flag, the flag of the United States, when it joined the Union as the 28th state in 1845. However, at the outbreak of the US Civil War not even 20 years later, the Confederate Flag flew over most parts of Texas. At the end of the Civil War, the Stars and Stripes were returned to the Texas capital where they still hang today.
A Ranch to Fit a King
Even outsiders have heard the boast: everything is bigger in Texas. One Texas ranch lives up to that promise; King Ranch.
King Ranch is situated along the eastern border of the state between Corpus Christi and Brownsville. The massive, 825,000-acre ranch is located outside Kingsville. It has been designated as a National Historic Landmark since 1961. King Ranch spans portions of six Texas counties, plus it is bigger in area than the entire State of Rhode Island. Now that’s a true Texas-sized ranch.
Made in Texas
Texas boasts all kinds of creative ingenuity — from corporations and everymen alike. Here are three things invented right here in Texas:
- Ruby Red Grapefruit – Sorry Floridians, but the first grapefruit to earn a US patent was the Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit. In an event that was quite by accident, a red grapefruit was discovered in Texas in the early 1920s. The rest is big red Texas grapefruit history.
- Chili – Just about everyone has cooked up a big pot of chili (or seen a chili cook-off competition). While we can debate who makes the hottest chili, there is no debating where chili was invented. Other than some far-fetched tales of out-of-body experiences, most point to San Antonio, Texas as the birthplace of this flaming hot bowl.
- Dr. Pepper – Now, as you indulge in a red-hot bowl of Texas chili, you’ll want something to cool your thirst. In 1885, that turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. Working as a pharmacist in Waco, Charles Alderton invented a refreshing drink with a tangy twist. The owner of Old Morrison’s Corner Drug Store coined it Dr. Pepper. The name stuck, and the rest is Texas history.
One Tall Tree
With a predominantly arid climate, one might assume that Texas vegetation is relegated to small scrub trees and sagebrush. But a Virginia live oak in Rockport, Texas, debunks that myth.
It is a world-famous live oak specimen that survived the category 4 hurricane, Harvey, in 2017. The Big Tree is well over 1,000 years old, with some estimates as high as 2,000. It reaches 45-feet into the sky with a crown spread of over 90-feet. The trunk circumference at the thickest point is over 35-feet. This is one really big tree for a really big state.
Honky Tonk Heaven
Austin is more than just the capital of the Lone Star State. It also lays claim as the world capital of live music. The annual Austin City Limits Music Festival helps the cause, but the realization in 1991 that the city has the most live music venues per capita cemented the title. For anyone who loves live music events, a visit to Austin, Texas, should be on the bucket list.
A Fair Deal
The Texas State Capitol is one of six state capitols with a dome higher than the US Capitol in Washington, DC. The group of men who brought the huge capitol building to life was nicknamed the Capitol Syndicate. In a huge barter transaction, they were paid for their work with more than three million acres of Texas Panhandle land. The tract became known as XIT Ranch. From 1885 to 1912, it laid claim to being the largest cattle ranch in the world.
Everything Really is Bigger
Alaska holds the most land acreage of all US states, but Texas still wins out as the largest US state in the continental US. However, that’s not the only way that Texas proves it’s bigger and better. Here are three big Texas state facts:
- Big Cities – Texas contains three of the top 10 most populated US cities: Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.
- Big Farms – Texas has more acreage dedicated to agriculture and farming than any state in the US. And impressively, Texas had more farms than the second and third states combined.
- Big Trophy – The biggest trophy awarded in college football every season is the Heisman Trophy. This coveted award given to the best player in college football is named for the first coach of Rice University in Houston, John Heisman.
Texas’ long history is full of fascinating people and events, and learning about them always makes us a little more proud to call Texas home! Whenever you need help furnishing your classic Texas home, shop Brumbaugh’s — where ranch elegance meets vintage heritage. Come visit us at 11651 Camp Bowie Blvd West in Fort Worth, Texas.