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"Pistol Packin' Preachers of the Texas Hill Country
Wednesday, May 4, 2011 • Posted May 4, 2011

The Mason County Historical Commission presents its annual historical symposium on Sunday, May 15

Barbara Barton has written several books including one called Pistol-Packin’ Preachers. Other books include Den of Outlaws; Ben Ficklin; Saber, Shield & Spurs; Ruckus Along the Rivers; Secrets of the Sherwood Courthouse; and Head ‘em Up, Move ‘em Out. She graduated from Mertzon High School and Hardin-Simons University. She and her husband, Lewis, enjoyed teaching science and raising their two children while ranching on the side. Barbara and her husband live in Knickerbocker, Texas which is about fifteen miles from San Angelo.

Pat Parsons is speaking on her great grandfather, Rev. William Henry Harrison Biggs, who was a Methodist circuit rider in Texas. She has also authored a book about him, Bringing the Gospel to Texas: The Life of William Henry Harrison Biggs. Pat is married to author Chuck Parsons who will be the moderator of this year’s symposium. (Pat has been our moderator the past three years). Both Pat and Chuck devote a lot of their time seeking out the past for Chuck’s books on the Texas Rangers and outlaws of the 1800s. As they traveled doing research, she found mention of Rev. Biggs in unexpected places such as Bastrop and San Angelo and even in St. Louis, Missouri. She has dedicated her book to her parents who gave her her love of God, family and history.

Rev. Malford Hierholzer is the third speaker. He is currently the pastor at Hilda United Methodist Church, where his great grandfather served in the late nineteenth century. He will be speaking about the European and Negro immigrant preachers who came to the Texas hill country as well as telling some stories about some of the German immigrant preachers who served the area as circuit riders. Pastor Mal and his wife Carolyn live in Canyon Lake. He graduated from Southwestern University and has a Masters in Divinity from Perkins School of Theology as well as an Honorary Doctor’s degree from Southwestern University. Since serving at the Hilda UMC he has developed an interest in the circuit riders and their history.

There will be a display of early circuit riders and other memorabilia as well as books by authors Pat Parsons, Church Parsons, and Barbara Barton. The Mason Historical Commission will also have their publications for sale including the reprinted Mason County History as well as their newest book published by Arcadia – A Pictorial History of Mason County from 1876-1958. Many other Mason County books will also be available for purchase. There is no charge to attend the symposium.

th at 2:00 p.m. at the MHS auditorium. The topic will be "Pistol-Packin’ Preachers of the Texas Hill Country". Speakers are authors Barbara Barton and Pat Parsons and Rev. Malford Hierholzer.

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