Alma Texas

Settlement of this area began as early as 1848. The town of Alma was established in 1871, when the Houston and Texas Central Railroad was built through Ellis County. C.C. Hemming deeded part of this property for the railroad right-of-way and a town to be names in honor of his daughter, Alma. Soon the town included numerous homes, businesses, churches, and civic organizations. It was the center of a farming community until the 1950's, when interstate highway 45 was built through the middle of town.


Just before the close of school, teacher, Hark!
I hear the school bell sounding,

I am thinking most of you,
While ap'tis the signal for the test

Now may on our grades we're closely watching,
With the final test in our dear God protect us, teacher,

As he ever does the view,
Failures all discouraged'round me lying,

Filled with best,
Hear the schoolboy's cry of his vacation,

How it tho'ts of teacher and the class,
For I know that someone on the floats upon the summer air,

And if he don't reach the stated next day,
Will have failed his marks to pass.

Pass mark, He must spend the next term in there,
Farewell, teacher, you may never

Press to me your switch again,
But oh, you'll not forget me teacher,

If I fail and raise old Cain.

Published by JOHN A. ZERWER in 1918 from his home in Alma. Texas
(Parody on "Just Before the Battle, Mother" Published in 1864 by George F Root

There is more mournful pathos in Dr. Root's "Just Before the Battle, Mother", than any other of the thirty or more songs he composed. The song whose sentiment was truly pathetic had a mission in the army as well as a song of humor. Dr. Root wrote for almost all the varied circumstances caused by war, and was written for all time as well. There is always a war, a conflict, a battle, a triumph, a blessing somewhere, and Dr. Root caught its melody and gave it life.

In "Just Before the Battle, Mother," one of the most widely sung songs of the war, Root takes the opportunity to inveigh against Northern Copperheads:

Tell the traitors all around you,
That their cruel words we know,
In every battle kill our soldiers,
By the help they give the foe.

Root, apparently, had also been reading his press notices when he wrote "Just Before the Battle" in 1862, for his reference to "Battle Cry of Freedom" came as a result of numerous reports to the effect that the song was actually sung by troops marching into battle.

Surprisingly enough, the song was also popular in the South, where it was sung as written, including the reference to "The Battle Cry of Freedom." Early in the war, Christy's Minstrels brought the song to England where it became immensely popular; so popular, in fact, that the English could not believe that a "foreigner" had written it


(1997 VIEW)

Images of Alma, Texas from the 1950'.
My first try at taking pictures when I made my first flights in a light plane at age 16.

Catholic Church in the 1950'

Downtown Alma, Texas in the 1950' looking south.

Looking east in the 1950'

Alma, Texas unused school building in the 1950' looking east.

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White Ribbon Campaign
Raising Awareness about Gay-Teen Suicide
And remembering those who we've lost



Site Producer Gratefully Acknowledge.......

The excellent people of Alma, Texas


WOW! This boy sure can sing! Checkout his albums on amazon.com. Listen to a sample of his song, "One Voice" it will blow you away!

'Elisabeth’ Dies at 21

Elisabeth Reed Wagner -- “Elisabeth” in Billy Gilman’s song of that name -- died Thursday (April 11) of complications from cancer at RHD Memorial Medical Center in Dallas, The Dallas Morning News reports. She was 21. The song was written by Ms. Wagner’s aunt, Liz Rose and Kim Patton Johnson. Gilman performed the song, which includes the lyrics, “Elisabeth, you make the world a better place,” at the State Fair of Texas in October. He also met Ms. Wagner during his visit. Ms. Wagner was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis when she was 3 years old. Services were to be held Monday (April 15) at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas. Memorials may be made to the John D. Wagner Scholarship Fund, c/o Texas Neurofibromatosis Foundation, 16475 Dallas Parkway, Suite 780, Addison, TX 75001.

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