On this day in 1966, rancher and writer Cordia Duke died. Born Cordelia Jane Sloan in Missouri in 1877, she taught school as a teenager in the Oklahoma Territory before moving to Sherman County, Texas, to teach in a one-room school near the XIT Ranch. She married Robert L. Duke, foreman for the Buffalo Springs division of the XIT Ranch, in 1907. In the ensuing years Cordia Duke chronicled the stories and activities of ranch hands and thus recorded a rapidly vanishing way of life. Her articles appeared in magazines such as the Cattleman. In the 1920s she was appointed the first woman game warden in Texas when the land surrounding the Duke homestead was designated a wildlife sanctuary. Passages from her diary as a ranch wife eventually became the basis of a book titled 6,000 Miles of Fence, published in 1961.
On this day in 1895, Florence Arto was born in Houston. She appeared in Texas filmmaker King Vidor's first two-reel film, In Tow, as well as in a documentary on the sugar industry. In 1915 she and Vidor were married and traveled to California in hopes of employment in the expanding film industry. A mature and elegant presence, Florence Vidor performed in fifty-nine feature films, often cast in upper-class or aristocratic roles. She and Vidor were divorced in 1924; violinist Jascha Heifetz became her second husband in 1928. Florence made her last film in 1929 and died in 1977.
On this day in 1885, the Texas Bankers Association, the oldest state bankers' association, was founded at Lampasas Springs (now Lampasas). Leading the promotion that brought thirty-one bankers from twenty-two Texas cities and towns was Frank R. Malone, cashier of the First National Bank in the host town, aided by E. M. Longcope, assistant cashier of the same bank. The banker-delegates convened at the colorful Park Hotel and selected as the organization's first president a Gonzales banker-lawyer, James Francis Miller, member of the United States Congress. Many of the early leaders of the TBA were Confederate veterans. Their chief objective in organizing the association was to promote legislative and regulatory changes for banking, specifically to bring about the repeal of the constitutional restriction against the chartering of state banks. In the 1990s the Texas Bankers Association had over 2,500 members and was headquartered in Austin.