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The Stagecoach Era proved to be a captivating period in American history. Western movie fans may recall the images of the 1939 movie Stagecoach with John Wayne and Andy Devine or the 1966 remake with Ann-Margret and Red Buttons.

For Texas, the story of the Butterfield Overland stage is both mythical and legendary. A north-south stage operated by the Risher, Hall and Sawyer partnership traversed Allen and carried mail and passengers from Dallas to Sherman, following the route that is now Greenville Avenue and Jupiter Road. Between 1858–1861, passengers could connect to the Butterfield in Sherman and travel to St. Louis or San Francisco.

Want to know more? Glen Sample Ely, Ph.D., will discuss his new book, The Texas Frontier and the Butterfield Overland Mail, 1858–1861, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 7, at the Allen Public Library.

The Butterfield Mail route was used by soldiers, emigrants, freighters and stagecoaches; the Overland Mail Road was the nineteenth-century equivalent of the modern interstate highway system, stimulating passenger traffic, commercial freighting and business. University of North Texas History Chair Dr. Richard McCaslin declares, “No other book in the modern era matches the scope of Glen Sample Ely’s. His volume will supplant that of Roscoe and Margaret Conkling’s 1947 work on the Butterfield Overland Mail and become the starting point for many other studies.”

From 1984 to 2002, Dr. Ely produced Texas history documentaries for television, cities, counties and historical societies. Earning awards from groups such as the Texas Historical Commission, the Sons of the Republic of Texas and the Texas Association of Museums, his works can be viewed at texashistory.com.

Dr. Ely earned his doctorate from Texas Christian University and has published journal articles in Southwestern Historical Quarterly and the New Mexico Historical Review. His book Where the West Begins: Debating Texas Identity was published by the Texas Tech University Press.

Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Tom Keener at 214.509.4911.