A most enjoyable evening was had yesterday at the Friendswood Public Library. Friendswood author Bob Arnold discussed the content of his book First in Texas to a well-attended and receptive audience. Bob spoke about Josiah Bell and his influence in Austin Colony and the Brazoria County area, developing the towns of East and West Columbia. Josiah Bell was friend to Stephen Austin and Bob spent time researching the letters written between these two leaders of early Texas history. We learned about Josiah’s third son, James Hall Bell, the first native-born Texan to serve as a justice on the Texas Supreme Court. James Hall Bell was elected associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court in August 1858 and served until August 1864, when his term expired. He was an outspoken opponent of secession, believing that it would ultimately result in disaster for Texas; these sentiments cost him his reelection bid in 1864.
Finally, we heard about Bob’s father, Red Arnold, a Texas Ranger for 25 years. Bob shared stories both humorous and serious. We learned a little about Red Arnold’s career and Bob answered some questions regarding Texas Rangers in general.