he place of my birth, Fort Smith, Arkansas, is rife with legendary facts, rumors, innuendos, and suspicions. It sits on the Arkansas-Oklahoma borders. The Arkansas River separates the two states at the west end of Garrison Avenue. Similar thoroughfares in most other communities are called Main Street.
Just across the river is tiny Moffett, Oklahoma. Claims to fame are limited there. It has a very popular stockyard and enjoyed infamy as an "entertainment center" for troops stationed at Camp Chaffee during World War II and the Korean War. So many soldiers were maimed and killed in the town that the entire municipality of Moffett was placed off-limits to military personnel.
(Camp Chaffee was later changed to Fort Chaffee and was later de-commissioned as a U.S. Army installation).
Texas Corner is the junction of Garrison and Towson Avenues (Towson is pronounced "ow," (as in a sharp pain), not "oh" (as in a surprise). It is said that enterprising businessmen during the 1800 put a sign up at the corner with the word "Texas" and an arrow pointing south.
Literacy was more of a challenge then than it is now (if that is possible) and many settlers passing through to Texas, though challenged as readers, were savvy enough to recognize the word "Texas." Legend has it that when these settlers asked locals if they had arrived in Texas, the answer was yes. Thus the legend of "Texas Corner."
Probably more factual is it's connection to "Texas Road," which lead through the Indian Territory eventually to Texas. My friend John Paul Buie's father operated a barber shop at Texas Corner and John Paul tells me the "Texas Road" connection is what his dad told him, so I am accepting that version. I am relegating the sign version to rumors and innuendos — for entertainment purposes.
The pictures take you on a four-step trip from Moffett to Texas Corner. Pictures advance automatically every 10 seconds.