It’s a long way from a sound stage in Hollywood to the rolling hills of Parke County, Indiana, so we were surprised when a geocaching outing in southern Indiana took us to the gravesite of an old-time cowboy movie star from the heyday of the silver screen.
Tex Terry appeared in over 50 B westerns and was also in the background of several other A western movies back in the days before television, when going to the Saturday matinee was an important part of every kid’s life. How many of us can remember when all we really needed in life was a nickel box of popcorn and an afternoon of watching our favorite stars tame the Wild West?
Tex was a master with the bullwhip and usually played the role of the villain as he and his gang of cutthroats tried to subvert the law, while always losing to the good guys in the white hats.
Born in Coxville, Indiana on August 22, 1902, Tex served in the U.S. Cavalry from 1919 to 1922 before going off to Hollywood to begin a movie career that spanned half a century. His expert use of a bullwhip made him a star in the days of such cowboy movie heroes as Roy Rogers, Hoot Gibson, Hopalong Cassidy, and Gene Autry.
His long list of movie credits included Covered Wagon Trails (1940), starring Jack Randall; Heroes of the Saddle (1940); Oregon Trail (1945); Man From Oklahoma (1945); El Paso Kid (1946); Alias Billy The Kid (1946); and Apache Rose (1947), starring Roy Rogers and Dale Evans; and a second western also titled Oregon Trail in 1949, which was his last movie role.
The advent of television killed off the last of the celluloid cowboys and ended what had been a thriving industry. Like many of his co-stars, Tex Terry tried to make the transition from the big screen to small, appearing in at least one episode of Have Gun, Will Travel, in which Richard Boone played the dapper Paladin, a well-educated professional gunslinger who generally used his brain before reaching for his six-gun.
The movies had made Tex Terry a wealthy man, and he was wise enough to know that at his age he wasn’t cut out for a new career in television. He and his wife, Hollywood agent Isabel Terry, retired to Indiana, where he died in Coxville on May 18, 1985.
Tex Terry is buried next to his wife in a small unnamed cemetery near the tiny community of Coxville, off of County Road 67, just south of the intersection of County Road 16. Coxville is about fifteen miles north of Terre Haute. The cemetery is a quarter mile or so south of Roseville covered bridge. Parke County, Indiana is famous for its many covered bridges. The next time you’re in southern Indiana stop by and pay your respects to this old cowboy movie star.
Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an autographed copy of Big Lake Wedding, the fifteenth book in my Big Lake mystery series. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.
Thought For The Day – People always ask me if I’m seeing someone. You have to be more specific. Do you mean a therapist or hallucinations?