“Downtown Linden Live – Music on Main Street”

On behalf of the Linden Heritage Foundation, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of our recent event, “Downtown Linden Live – Music on Main Street.”  To have over 100 people of all ages show up in July heat is amazing!

Photo Courtesy of Ben Woods – Cass County Sun

The response to our third event exemplifies the spirit of optimism that is in the air and that the citizens and friends of Linden support opportunities to gather in our beautiful, historic downtown, socialize, and listen to live music.

Jana Clinkscales Bounds & Dick Haynes dance the “Texas Two Step”

Judging by the popularity of “Downtown Linden Live,” we plan to host more events in the future, so check our Facebook page or website, www.lindenheritagefoundation.org for news.

Dancing in the street! Photo Courtesy of Ben Woods – Cass County Sun

Better yet, join us in our mission to preserve the architecture and cultural heritage of Linden by becoming a member (info on website) and joining one of our committees.  We take our charge very seriously, but we also have fun!  Since its inception, our group has secured a place for the 1939 Firehouse on Preservation Texas’ 2016 List of Most Endangered Places and obtained competitive grant funding from Texas’ prestigious Preservation Trust Fund toward professional planning work on the Firehouse restoration.  We have much work ahead of us, and we need your help.

Many thanks to the following individuals who donated time and talents for our event:  Johnny and Janet Points, Phil Cox, and friends for sharing their musical gifts; Bob Swisher, city manager, for logistical support, and Ben Wood of The Cass County Sun for publicity and photos.

Several individuals performed special songs with the band including Jerry Arnold, Cathy Cox, Jim Barron, Brett Peek and John Knapp.  Johnny played in Mickey Gilley’s band at Gilley’s in Pasadena before it burned. Later he played with Loretta Lynn.  Johnny and Janet play with another group of musicians on Tuesday night at Don Juan’s Mexican Restaurant in Hughes Springs from 6:00 to 8:00.  They accept no pay for this but have blue donation buckets around and all donations go to St Jude’s Hospital for which the band as raised over $40,000.00.

Photo Courtesy of Ben Woods – Cass County Sun

The band includes – Johnny Points – keyboard and vocals -Janet Points – vocals – Phil Cox – lead guitar – Donnie Lowry – drums – Randee Turner – bass guitar – Scott Venable – rhythm guitar – Janice Turner and Vickie Carver –  vocals..

Again, please consider becoming a member of the Linden Heritage Foundation—we need you!  A quote from William Murtagh, first keeper of the National Register of Historic Places, best sums up our mission:

“It has been said that, at its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future.”  God bless and here’s to the future of Linden!

Sandra Westbrook Skoog

Linden Heritage Foundation

Vice President for Marketing and Development



Mural Work Added to Linden Ice House and Sweet Shop

Linden Ice House “Before” and “After” Chad Buice’s work.

Additional artwork was recently added to the old Linden Ice House and Sweet Shop at the corner of Houston and Smithland.  Recall an earlier posted article on this website –“Linden’s Ice Co. and Sweet Shop: Frozen in Time”– for a full history of the building.  Chad Buice—a schoolteacher, artist, and musician living near Atlanta, Georgia—has recently returned to Linden to complete his work.  Photos follow.

Chad Buice and recently added mural work to Linden Sweet Shop facade
Sue Morris Lazara, owner of the Linden Ice House building, with sister, Becky, memorialized in the entry.


Old Linden Firehouse receives Texas Historical Foundation Grant

Linden Heritage Foundation’s Firehouse Rescue Project is honored to have received a $1,000 planning grant from the TEXAS HISTORICAL FOUNDATION.  This organization is based in Austin and serves past, present, and future Texans by supporting research, publication of Texas history, and preservation of sites significant in Texas history and prehistory.

THF grant recipients are strongly urged to follow the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties as guidance for decision-making about work or changes to a historic property. To download a copy of these standards, go to

Take the time to visit their website at www.texashistoricalfoundation.org and consider becoming a member of THF.  Membership begins at $45 – for that see http://texashistoricalfoundation.org/membership/.

“The Cyclone of 1908”

The business district of Linden was almost leveled on May 13, 1908, by a cyclone that appeared on Linden’s southwestern horizon and began traveling northeast. Within minutes, everything on the north side of the city’s square was destroyed or damaged. Little was left of the blocks formed by Main, Graham, Houston, and Kaufman Streets.

“We had no warning that a tornado was approaching except for that awful cloud and the loud roaring that came up real fast; we made it to the storm cellar at the I.N. Merrett home when the cyclone hit. It sounded as if a train drove right over the top of the storm cellar,” recalled Mrs. W.R. Lanier.

The storm left death and destruction in its path. Killed in the storm were A.J. Nelson Sr., Sam Whitworth, Mrs. Marian Jane Tremper, and James [Jim] Tremper. The destroyed Tremper home was located near where the hospital now stands. Mr. Whitworth was in his blacksmith shop (where the old Ford Motor Company was located) shoeing a horse when the storm hit. He was blown across the street and mortally injured.

Mrs. Leola (Pete) Goodman was a switchboard operator, working on the second floor of the Harris Drug Store when the cyclone hit. Mrs. Goodman said, “The wind was so strong that the back of my dress was torn and every hairpin was blown out of my head. A nail was stuck in my arm. The building was wrecked and the only thing that kept the walls from falling in on me was all the telephone wires that held them back. After I was taken out, the wires were cut and the building collapsed.”

Damage to property was expensive. The winds of the cyclone ripped the top off of the courthouse and damaged the jail.  Woodman Hall and the post office received damages in excess of $500 (1908 rates).

Cass County State Bank, Harris Duncan and Fant General Merchandise, Cabin Drug Store, E.H. Sheffield, John S. Morris, JJ Story Store, JS Lea Grocery, Methodist Church, Hines Hotel, W.C. Taylor Hotel, the Baptist parsonage, the telephone company, Whitworth and Williams and C.H. Nelson suffered damages to their business. The Baptist Church (originally the courthouse) and the Masonic Hall were destroyed. The Lodge’s Charter was one of the few records recovered. All of the records of the Baptist Church were destroyed.  Storm damages were in excess of $26,600.00 (1908 rate)

After the cyclone exited Linden’s business, district torrential rains and thunderstorms followed. Flooding and constant lightning hampered relief efforts. “Lighting came down through our stove pipe and busted out the joints on it. It then hit the wood box, turned the logs into splinters, burned the corner off of a tin shovel and went through the floor,” recalled Mrs. Lanier.

The rebuilding of Linden began immediately after the storm despite torrential rains and flooding. The relief committee called for aid for the homeless and destitute. Individuals and business from surrounding communities contributed labor, supplies, and money to Linden’s rebuilding efforts. Due to damages to the Baptist and Methodist Churches the courthouse was turned into a house of worship until the churches could be rebuilt or repaired.

Despite the damage inflicted upon their community, the citizens of Linden came together to help each other by clearing out rubble and rebuilding as soon as possible. Hammering and sawing were constantly heard in the air as Linden commenced recovering from the cyclone.

Northside of Square Rebuilt 1909 after Cyclone

The cyclone of 1908 left a lasting legacy on the town of Linden. Prior to 1908 few storm cellars were located in the city. After the cyclone numerous cellars were built and are still visible today. Many of Linden’s records were destroyed in the cyclone thus preventing a complete history of the town from ever being recorded.

The cyclone virtually leveled Linden’s business district but it could not destroy the determination of the citizens to rebuild their city even better than it was before the storm. May 13, 2017, marked the one hundred and ninth anniversary of the cyclone which forever changed Linden’s business district and left Lindenites watching the southwestern horizon for many years.

“The Cyclone of 1908” is an article based on the research Hillary Ragsdale conducted for the Friends of the Governor’s Mansion Historical Contest. Hillary received an award for the best overall individual project. All of the information from the following article was taken from 1908 accounts of The Cass County Sun. Pictures are courtesy of  The Cass County Sun, Sue Morris Lazara and Ruth Bridges Early.  


Every year Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May. It was formally known as Decoration Day and commemorates all men and women who have died in military services for America.

The peaceful event of Memorial Day is commemorated with excitement, passion and enthusiasm.  It is a day to express our gratitude to those who have and are currently serving to keep our country free.