Company store historian to speak in Thurber

Gene Tucker Book

Tarleton State University

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Dr. Gene Rhea Tucker, adjunct professor of history at the University of Texas at Arlington, will discuss his new book, Oysters, Macaroni, and Beer: Thurber, Texas and the Company Store, at a free, public program at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at the W.K. Gordon Center in Thurber.

Every aspect of life in Thurber’s heyday, roughly the 1880s until the 1930s, revolved around the Texas Pacific Coal Company. It owned the mines and brick plant where the citizens worked, the homes where they lived and the power plant that supplied their electricity. It also owned the Texas Pacific Mercantile and Manufacturing Company, which operated a variety of commercial enterprises such as the hardware store, grocery, drug store and saloons.

Tucker attended Tarleton State University, earning both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in history. From Tarleton he went on to the University of Texas at Arlington where he received his Ph.D. in transatlantic history.

While completing the thesis for his master’s degree, Tucker spent many hours poring over Texas Pacific Coal Company ledgers, listening to oral interviews and reading newspaper accounts in order to develop a well-rounded picture of life in Thurber. He specifically examined the relations between workers and the company that paid their salaries and then earned further income by supplying their needs.

The program will be followed by a book signing.

The Gordon Center is a museum and research facility of Tarleton State University located at exit 367 on Interstate 20 midway between Fort Worth and Abilene. Motorists from the west should leave I-20 at exit 363 to avoid construction delays.

Regular hours for the Center are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call 254-968-1886.


Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System

Contact: Mary K. Adams

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Company store historian to speak in Thurber - Media Relations - Tarleton State University