March Extras!

A Tale of Two Men

By Jeryl Marcus, editor, Tumbleweed Times
       This is a tale about Jefferson Davis and Wallace Bliss. Jefferson Davis was just seven years older than Wallace Bliss. Both men were important figures in the history of our country. Each had an army post named in their honor: Fort Davis and Fort Bliss. These two military posts are only two hundred miles apart.
     Both Davis and Bliss graduated from the same military academy.
     Both men married daughters of General Zachary Taylor. Davis married Sarah Taylor, and 13 years later, Bliss married her sister Mary Elizabeth "Miss Betty" Taylor. Both marriages lasted only a short time and both ended in death. In Davis' case, his wife Sarah caught malaria while in Louisiana. She died after only three months of marriage.
     Bliss caught yellow fever also while he was in Louisiana. He was only 38 when he died and had been married for just five years.
     Fortunately for Jefferson, he went on to live to be 81 years old.
     Both Jefferson and Bliss were leaders in the Mexican-American War. And they both served under General Zachary Taylor!
      Even after death the comparisons continue. When Bliss died, his body was buried in New Orleans. When Jefferson died many years later, his body was kept in New Orleans as well! The bodies of both men were eventually moved. After a few years, Jefferson's body was moved to Virginia. Bliss' body went to El Paso, Texas nearly one hundred years after his death.

     Scroll down to see the original oil painting called "Family Ranch." This is a portrait of Chris Lacy, the grandson of Herbert Kokernot on his horse, Pepper. The painting is by a talented Alpine artist named J.R. Smith. To see more of J.R. Smith's paintings, go to:
Below: Visitors can sit in the driver's seat of the Model-T Ford at the Clark Museum Hotel in Van Horn. (Ellie the cat prefers to sit on the hood!)