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Today is May 29th
Today in Texas History


On May 29, 1947, Hilton Hotels was incorporated under Delaware law. It later became the first hotel chain to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.In 1919, Conrad Nicholson Hilton purchased his first hotel, the Mobley, at Cisco, Texas. This was the beginning of a hotel empire built in three stages: first, by leasing and renovating old hotels; next, by building new hotels on leased land, primarily in Texas; and, third, by buying existing hotels at low prices.

Hilton opened a new Texas hotel every year between 1925 and 1930. By the onset of the Great Depression, he owned a total of eight. Despite efforts to advertise in national magazines, he was close to bankruptcy by 1931. Economic hardship lessened nationwide travel and forced him to close his El Paso hotel in 1933. He recovered, with the help of Shearn and William L. Moody, Jr. of Galveston and a number of other investors, and subsequently merged his hotels with the Moodys’ operations to form the National Hotel Company, of which he was one-third owner and general manager. The merger failed, however, and in 1934 Hilton resumed his independent operation with five hotels. In 1938, he acquired the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco, his first outside of Texas. Hilton later established his corporate headquarters in Beverly Hills, California and began to expand abroad, starting in Mexico.

In all, Conrad Hilton eventually owned 188 hotels in 38 United States cities, including the Shamrock Hotel in Houston, the Mayflower in Washington, the Palmer House in Chicago, the Plaza and Waldorf-Astoria in New York and 54 hotels abroad.



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Today in Old Western History

May 29

1861 – Feared Indian fighter Henry Robinson, AKA Great Red Beard, and his daughter’s fiancé are attacked, scalped and killed by about 20 Indians while on their way to Chalk Bluff, Texas. The Indians even took Henry’s red beard.

1861 – Mounted riflemen clash with 70 Comanches in Chaparito, New Mexico Territory.

1861 – British Columbia’s Governor Sir James Douglas set off on a long and arduous journey to see where and how to provide a wagon route to the recently discovered goldfields of the Caribou. Royal engineers from Britain surveyed a route along the Fraser Canyon. In a unique attempt to transport food and construction supplies in the hot, dry interior, 21 camels were imported as pack animals. The stubborn animals were not a success. They were aggressive with their handlers and terrified the mules carrying freight along the treacherous tracks. Many of the panicked mules dashed into the woods and were lost or threw themselves into the canyon to their deaths. There are many stories of miners, notorious for hard living and hard drinking, who swore off the demon rum after unexpectedly coming face to face with a spitting camel in the middle of a dark night.

1869 – William F. Cody sees his first circus in North Platte, Nebraska.

1876 – General George Crook sets out from Fort Fetterman to join forces with Custer and Terry in search of Sitting Bull.

1880 – Five settlers are slain by Apaches in Cook’s Canyon, New Mexico Territory.

Source: Lonesome Dove

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