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Don 'Red' Barry
Temple Houston was born in 1860 and was only three years old when his legendary father Sam Houston died. Sam was married briefly as a young man to a woman named Liza Allen and while he was Governor of Tennessee they did the unheard of thing back in the day of divorcing. So unheard of that he resigned being governor and went to live with the Cherokee.
After Texas gave him a rebirth in a political career, Houston married Margaret Lea of Alabama and had a flock of kids with her. Margaret was considerably younger than Sam. Their next to last was Temple Lea Houston.
Though he never made any impact politically like his father did, Temple was one colorful character in the old west of Texas. He was a frontier trial lawyer, one of the best. And adding to that he had a reputation as a dead shot with either rifle or pistol.
Lawyer/Gunfighter, it sounds like something Hollywood would have invented, but Temple Houston was for real. And for the 1963-1964 season he came to us in our living room with Jeffrey Hunter in the title role.
The show lasted one season. I suspect the reason it was canceled was because Texas was in the shade that year due to a very famous homicide that took place in Texas just as this show was finding an audience.
That's a pity because Temple Houston was one of those larger than life characters that need to be told about. Jeffrey Hunter did a fine job in the title role.
The real Temple Houston was only 45 when he died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1905. He probably would have liked what Jeff Hunter did with his character. I know I did.
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