Texas ARDF: Amateur Radio Direction Finding
USA 2016
      Practice Event
      3.5 MHz Sprint
      144 MHz Classic
      3.5 MHz Classic
    Fun Facts
Texas ARDF
    Home page

2016 United States ARDF Championships

Fun Facts

Some fun facts about Bell County, Texas:

  • Bell County is named Peter Hansborough Bell, the third Governor of Texas. Bell was a veteran of the Revolution, serving under General Sam Houston and was present at the Battle of San Jacinto. Bell was later a captain of the Texas Rangers.
  • The center of population for the state of Texas is located in Bell County, near the town of Holland.
  • The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor was founded by the last Congress of the Republic of Texas in 1845 as "Baylor Female College", and was originally the women's department of Baylor University. Baylor Female College moved its campus to Bell County in 1886 when it separated from Baylor University, which relocated to McLennan County.
  • Miriam "Ma" Ferguson, the first woman Governor of Texas, was born in Bell County in 1875. Ma Ferguson was elected governor of Texas twice, serving from 1925-1927 and again from 1933-1935. She was the second woman to be elected governor of a U.S. state (Nellie Tayloe Ross was inaugurated as the Governor of Wyoming two weeks before Ferguson was inaugurated as the Governor of Texas,) and the first woman to be elected Governor twice.
  • Fort Hood was opened in Bell County in 1942, during the Second World War. The U.S. Army base is named after Confederate General John Bell Hood, one of 10 current US military bases controversially still named after Confederate leaders. The base covers 214,000 acres (866 sq.km.), making it one of the largest military bases in the free world.
  • Harker Heights, Texas was incorporated in 1960, and is not named after someone with the last name of Harker, but rather is named after Harley Kern, one of the original landowners whose property was subdivided to establish the town.
  • The very small town of Ding Dong, Texas, about eight miles (13 km) south of Killeen has a bell-themed town name that is surprisingly unrelated to the namesake of Bell County. You can read the story behind the town name here.

Some fun facts about Williamson County, Texas:

  • Williamson County is named Robert McAlpin Williamson, a Texas Ranger and veteran of the Revolution who fought at the Battle of Gonzales and the Battle of San Jacinto. Williamson was later a Supreme Court Justice of the Republic of Texas, and served in both the Senate and House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas.
  • The town of Thrall, Texas held the US record for rainfall in a 24-hour period for over 77 years. 38.2" (97 cm) of rain was recorded between 7AM on September 9, 1921 and 7AM on September 10, 1921. Thrall lost the record to Alvin, TX on July 25-26, 1979 when 43.0" (109 cm) fell on the town near Houston in a 24-hour period during Tropical Storm Claudette.
  • Interstate Highway 35 (IH-35), which passes through both Williamson and Bell Counties, generally follows the path of the historic Chisholm Trail, a 19th century cattle trail that led from central Texas ranches to railroad centers in Kansas and Missouri.
  • Primary filming of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, a 1974 horror film, occurred in a 1909 farmhouse in Williamson County. A victim of urban expansion, the house was moved 60 miles (100 km) west to Kingsland, Texas in Llano County in 1993 (where it has been restored and is presently being used as a restaurant.) The former farm property in Williamson County is today part of a major retail center called La Frontera.
  • In November, 2015, Round Rock, Texas opened its first Diverging Diamond Intersection (DDI) at the intersection of RM 1431/University Blvd. and Interstate Highway 35. Also called a "double crossover diamond" interchange design, the non-interstate traffic crosses to the opposite side of the road on both sides of the bridge as they cross over the interstate highway.
  • One of the worst tornado disasters in Texas history struck Williamson County on May 27, 1997. An F-5 tornado killed 27 people in the town of Jarrell, while an F-3 tornado struck the Austin suburb of Cedar Park, killing one person. The F-5 tornado was 3/4 of a mile (1.2 km) wide and tracked across the ground for 7.6 miles (12.2 km), scouring away the soil to a depth of 18 inches (46 cm). Many tornado researchers consider the Jarrell tornado to be the most violent tornado in history.
Send comments to: Ken Harker WM5R wm5r@wm5r.org
Last updated: 17 April 2016