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‘Texian’ poem statue to be unveiled
on Fannin’s birthday July 17


Courier File Photo
A band in period wear plays music beneath the Texian statue at the Lone Star Flag Park during the kickoff for the Texas Legacy Festival on Friday in Conroe. The festival celebrated the 200th Anniversary of the 1st Republic of Texas. Craig Campobell’s “The Texian” statue is pictured in the background.

A brass plaque of the “Texian” poem — penned by local 2011 Texas Poet Laureate Dave Parsons — has a date for its unveiling.

The new statue featuring his poem will be unveiled July 17, at 6 p.m. at the Texas Flag Park adjacent to the Central Library in Conroe as a project of the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council.

Parsons composed the poem for the opening of the flag park and unveiling of the statue of a Texian soldier by sculptor Craig Campobella in 2011.

The event will be held on the birthday of James Walker Fannin Jr. Fannin was a 19th-century American military figure in the Texas Army and leader during the Texas Revolution of 1835-36.

After being outnumbered and surrendering to Mexican forces at the Battle of Coleto Creek, Colonel Fannin and nearly all his 344 men were executed soon afterward at Goliad, Texas, under Santa Anna's orders for all rebels to be executed. He was memorialized in several places with his name, including a military training camp and a major city street of Houston.

Robin Montgomery, Texas historian and native of Montgomery County, with six degrees and scores of published books and articles, will offer a presentation on the life of James Fannin.

“The Texian” statue will be at the entrance to the Texas Flag Park. Parsons’ poem has often been read at San Jacinto Day celebrations in Conroe.

Parsons said he read several Texas history books with the aim of composing a poem with historical accuracy and insights to the people and times of the revolution. He was most influenced by historian, Stephen Hardin’s book, “Texas Iliad” published by University of Texas Press.

“If we have grown up in Texas, we think we know more about the Texas revolution than we really do. I learned an enormous amount of details about the main players of the war. It was a truly enlightening experience researching for the poem, I recommend anyone interested in our state heritage revisit the history” Parsons said.

Through the generosity of organizations, individual donors and a silent auction at an Emily Dickinson Celebration in December, half of the funds was raised earlier in the year. Another push to complete the project took place prior to San Jacinto Day on April 21 this year.

According to the arts council, the poem “will be an additional enhancement to the park for everyday visitors.” The poem also will serve as an “artful introduction to the park.”

Parsons credits the support of the Greater Conroe Arts Alliance, the Friends of the Flag Foundation, the Texas Heritage League, and area citizens, Dr. Richard & Ann Griffin, Carlos & Maggie Gutierrez, Margaret Adams Madeley, Edna & Downey Price, M.D., Paul & Shiirley Senkel, Delores Bell, Mary & Dick Coyle, Dr. Henry Lyne, Marla Myers and Jeff & Juaneva Jamar of Austin and local sign companies, Signs Etc., FastSigns, Inc. and craftsman, Jerry Mathews were also generous to the project.

Visit www.texasflagpark.com for more information about the park. Visit https://literaryartscouncil.org/ for more information about the Montgomery County Literary Arts Council.


The Courier July 15, 2019


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