Have you ever been to Corsicana, Texas

Have you ever been to Corsicana, Texas? When I was fourteen, my family and I lived in Corsicana for a few months. We recently visited Corsicana again. I remembered little about the town and had no idea Corsicana had so much history to learn, stories to hear about, and fun sights to see.

Have you ever been to Corsicana, Texas?

Corsicana War Memorial Mural

Courthouse, Time Capsule, Mural of old Corsicana Library

Bronze Statues

Corsicana has the most unique and historical life-size bronze statues placed chiefly, but not all, in the central historic district. The statues commemorate the lives of well-known and outstanding citizens who each contributed differently to the city of Corsicana.

There are 16 statues in all. I came across only a handful as I drove through the historic district. Each statue is identified by number B1 – B16, and an audio tour of these statues are available at this link:  https://visitcorsicana.com/bronzes. GPS coordinates for each statue are listed here, so it is easy to find each one.

Oil field worker (Artist Lisa Perry)

Have you ever been to Corsicana, Texas?

The oil field worker is a bronze statue of an oil field worker heading home after a day’s work. A city contractor found oil instead of the water he had been drilling for in 1894, making Corsicana the birthplace of Texas oil.

Magnolia Oil (Mobil Corporation), Humble Oil (Exxon), Texaco, and Gulf Oil evolved from Corsicana’s oil industry in the 1890s. Who knew this stuff?

Brent Thompson (Artist J Payne Lara)

Have you ever been to Corsicana, Texas?

Brent Thompson was a Corsicana native who, along with four other Dallas Police officers, was shot and killed in 2016 by a sniper shooting into a crowd during a downtown Dallas rally.

Mr. Thompson saved many lives by wounding the gunman. President Trump posthumously awarded Mr. Thompson the Public Safety Medal of Valor in 2019.

Coach Jim Acree (Artist J. Payne Lara)

Have you ever been to Corsicana, Texas?

Coach Jim Acree was the head coach of Corsicana’s high school football program in the mid-60s. During that time, Corsicana had an undefeated season, and the team was the state champions.

Corsicana remembers coach Jim Acree for the positive life lessons his players learned alongside their football training.

KAND Rick Aldama (Artist Tim Harmon)

Have you ever been to Corsicana, Texas?

Rick Aldama served as the voice of KAND Radio in Corsicana for 25 of his 46 years in broadcasting. Rick Aldama’s statue portrays him wearing a skimmer hat and striped vest in tribute to Richard Parker, the longtime owner of KAN-D-LAND radio station.

This station first aired in 1937 but was owned by Richard Parker from 1964 to 1995!

Sower of the Seeds (Artist Lisa Perry)

Have you ever been to Corsicana, Texas?

His son, Obe Veldman, commissioned this statue of Lutzen Veldman, a farmer sowing his seeds. Obe Veldman wanted to portray how vital farming has been throughout the history of Navarro County. The “Parable of the Sower” (Book of Luke in the Bible) is the inscription on the bag of seeds Lutzen Veldman is holding.

Wesley Green – Shoe Shop (Artist Lisa Perry)

Have you ever been to Corsicana, Texas?

Green’s Western Wear, established in 1953, was owned and operated by Wesley Green and his wife, Lucille. Green’s was THE place to buy your western wear, but this was where everyone purchased all their shoes, baby shoes, work boots, cowboy boots, whatever the shoe need might be.

Mr. Green was a famous and beloved citizen in Corsicana. Mr. Green, a Purple Heart veteran, was very involved with the community of Corsicana. He is remembered today with this bronze statue as he poses, repairing a boot. 

Collin Street Bakery (Artist J. Payne Lara)

Have you ever been to Corsicana, Texas?

Most everyone in Texas, certainly in central Texas, is very familiar with The Collin Street Bakery and its world-famous fruitcake. I cannot count the times I stopped at this bakery on my way to Oklahoma to pick up fruitcakes for my parents.

These fruitcakes were always a trendy Christmas gift when I was growing up. Fruitcake is not everyone’s “thing,” certainly not mine, but for those who enjoy fruitcake, The Collin Street Bakery, dating back to 1896, is the best.

This bronze statue is of Jerry Grimmett, an employee at The Collin Street Bakery, for over 60 years. That’s a LOT of fruitcakes!

The family-owned Collin Street Bakery and Café sell all kinds of wonderful baked goods, sandwiches, and salads, not just fruitcakes, and are open from 7:00 am – 5:30 pm Monday to Thursday, 7:00 am – 6:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm on Sundays. There are four locations, one in downtown Corsicana, one right off I-45 in Corsicana, one in Waco, Texas, and one in Lindale, Texas. I highly recommend a stop at The Collin Street Bakery – good stuff here.

Oakwood Cemetery

700 N 15th Street
Corsicana, TX 75110

Have you ever been to Corsicana, Texas?

We seem to be visiting a lot of cemeteries lately! Usually, we search for geocaches, end up at a cemetery and become fascinated by the history we find. This time, although geocaches were nearby, we did not have enough time to look for them.

Oakwood is a large old cemetery with graves dating to the early 1800s. Buried here are over 500 Civil War veterans, as well as most of the prominent figures throughout the history of Corsicana.

A former governor of the State of Texas, Beauford H. Jester, is one of the graves we happened on as we drove through the many streets here. Oakwood is one of the most peaceful and beautiful cemeteries we’ve visited in the United States. We spent a pleasant hour or so here.

Pioneer Village

912 W Park Ave.
Corsicana, TX 75110

Have you ever been to Corsicana, Texas?

Well, this wonderful Village full of history was a surprising find for us. Several buildings are placed here to create a village as it might have appeared in the mid-1800s. Corsicana’s Pioneer Village is similar to the one we visited in Fredericksburg.

We toured an Indian trading post, pioneer kitchen, general store, frontier home, barn, tack shed, and blacksmith shop. Each building is chock full of historical items and gives a good feel for how a village might have looked during that period.

We plan to make a return visit and spend more time looking, learning, and discovering as well as taking a look at the new Bonnie & Clyde exhibit.

We had the excellent fortune to meet the very knowledgeable Deb Miller, curator at the Pioneer Village. She was kind enough to answer our questions and give us fascinating information about the notorious Bonnie & Clyde!

Ms. Miller is a terrific asset to the City and Pioneer Village.

Bonnie & Clyde, oh my!

Lefty Frizzell Museum

A separate building in Pioneer Village houses the Lefty Frizzell museum. Lefty Frizzell, born in Corsicana, was, in the 1950s, a prominent singer and songwriter. His music and songs influenced many country musicians over the years.

Lefty Quotes

The Nudie Suit

Have you ever been to Corsicana, Texas?

Nudie suit tailored by Nudie Cohn

A fascinating thing I learned in Corsicana while at the Pioneer Village was the story of Nudie Cohn, tailor to the stars. Do you know who made those flamboyantly flashy rhinestone suits country and rock stars have worn through the years? It was Nudie Cohn. Nudie’s clients included so many entertainment legends.

Each of his suits was individually and specifically tailored and was worn by Hank Williams, Roy Rogers, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, John Lennon, Elton John, members of ZZ Top, Cher, and, most famously, Elvis.

It was a $10,000 gold lamé suit designed by Nudie Cohn that Elvis Presley wore on the cover of “50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong.”

Lefty Frizzell is the one that sealed Cohn’s Hollywood reputation when Nudie Cohn created a Nudie suit for one of Lefty Frizzell’s performances. You can read a great story if you do a quick Google search for Nudie Cohn.

Other sights and things to know about Corsicana are the Palace Theater, the Corsicana Opry & Event Center, and Wolf Brand Chili! The old Palace Theater, where my brother, sisters, and I used to spend Saturday afternoons watching movies, is now a performing arts venue providing big-name entertainment.

The historic district’s beautiful 1900s red brick building houses the Corsicana Opry & Event Center. The Event Center is an excellent choice in Corsicana for all special occasion events, including Ghost Walks.

An interesting bit of information is that Wolf Brand Chili, created by Lyman T. Davis, originated in Corsicana in 1895. We enjoy finding these historic buildings and their exciting stories in these small towns in Texas. I hope they are of some interest to you guys as well.

As I already mentioned, we plan to return to Corsicana one day to check out some of these venues and museums that were closed or unavailable. Leave me a comment and let me know if you have taken a day trip to Corsicana and your experience. What did I miss?

Have you ever been to Corsicana, Texas

4 thoughts on “Have you ever been to Corsicana, Texas

  1. wow !!! who would have thought. There is so much that is overlooked in our own back yard.

    1. I love discovering these little history tidbits, and you’re right. I had no idea!

  2. Love the statues, love the history! Looking forward to your next installment.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Each statue is really a whole story. Where will I be next week, hmmmm?

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