Jeff Carroll is a Texan whose ancestors arrived in the 1820s. Reared in Houston and Weimar, he served in the U.S. Coast Guard, earned a Bachelor's Degree of Forestry from Stephen F. Austin and a Master's Degree of Environmental Education from the Universtiy of Michigan. During a 25-year career with the U.S. Forest Service, he advanced from being the first "Interpretive Forester" in the Southeastern Region, to the International Coordinator of Education.
Back home, his "Legendary Texas" column appeared in 21 newspapers, and his radio program reached listeners on 62 stations.
After writing for the new Handbook of Texas, he taught Texas history at Texas A&M University and then at Blinn College, where he received the Teaching Excellence Award and twice was elected by students to Who's Who Among America's Teachers. He is the author of six books and a life member of the Texas State Historical Association. Visit Jeff's "Legendary Texas"
Thomas W. Knowles
Thomas W. Knowles became interested in history at an early age when he learned that his relations and ancestors had fought on both sides of the conflict between the Plains Indians and the Texas Rangers, and on both sides in the American Civil War. In his previous books, The West That Was and Wild West Show! (edited and written with award-winning Texas author Joe R. Lansdale), he explored the history of the American West and the making of the myth of the Wild West. In 1996, the American Library Association, PBS, the NEA, and the Newberry Library selected Wild West Show! for their special recommended reading list of the thirty all-time best nonfiction books about the American West, and as a reference for the Newberry Library's two-year traveling exhibition, "The Frontier in American Culture."
His short stories, nonfiction articles, opinion columns, reviews, essays, interviews and photographs have appeared in Texas Books in Review, New Destinies, Persimmon Hill, and many other anthologies, newspapers and magazines. He's contributed to and narrated film documentaries, including The Discovery Channel's "Texas Rangers: Legendary Lawmen." His areas of interest include science fiction, Victoriana, military history and law enforcement history, but the American West remains his favorite subject.
While he wrote and researched They Rode for the Lone Star, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas, granted him historian-in-residence status, and (along with Clayton Moore and Chuck Norris) honored him with an ex-officio board membership.
He lives in Bryan, Texas, with his wife, Barbara, and his son, James. When he's not writing, he camps out, hunts, and fishes with friends and family, and he sometimes shoots period firearms with historical re-enactment groups. He may sometimes be found roaming about Texas, collecting arrowheads and other artifacts of the Old West, stopping to swap tales with country people, and taking photos of old churches, dance halls, and abandoned farmhouses.