Welcome to the premier issue of Texas Towns Revealed, the newest e-magazine that highlights the history and intrigue of small towns. This magazine started somewhat unexpectedly three months ago. While I (Alfred Ricks) was working in Kenedy, Texas, with a little bit of free time on my hands, I followed a coworker’s suggestion (Lisa Zapata Morales of Runge, Texas) and I stopped by a nearby town named Helena. This turned out to be one incredibly small town. So small that I almost drove right past it. After some exploring, I discovered a few historical markers and a museum square of multiple historic buildings enclosed by a fence with a locked gate The next day I was directed to Panna Maria. It is impossible to miss with the beautiful church that dominates the town. I stopped at the visitor’s center across from the church and was surprised that the church was open and I could just walk right in and look around. I’m familiar with the state of Texas, but here were two interesting towns that I had never heard of in my life. This all occurred during the same time that I was investigating Apple’s digital magazine newsstand and considering starting my own publication. If these two towns were unknown to me, how many more small Texas towns were just waiting to be revealed? That was the beginning of Texas Towns Revealed. (continued next page) Visiting, researching and exploring small towns is something I’m familiar with as I live in one of those towns. The first capitol of the republic of Texas was West Columbia and that’s where I raised my children and still live there with my wife Carla. A call to the phone number on the sign of Helena’s Karnes County Museum Square was answered by Ramona Noone. She agreed to open the museum and give me a personal tour. I found more than enough information for a magazine. The old post office in Helena had an elephant foot on display from an elephant named Black Diamond. The elephant had actually been killed in Kenedy at a site that currently has a “Black Diamond” ranch sign. I soon discovered that the elephant had killed a woman in Corsicana and there was a man who witnessed it in 1929 when he was only 5 years-old. The man currently has the head of that elephant in his trophy room. The story of Black Diamond is our featured story in the premier issue. So sit back and enjoy the stories, pictures and videos in the first edition of Texas Towns Revealed as we prepare the next issue for you. Future issues will have small towns’ history, pictures, historical locations, unique businesses, special residents and videos that you can’t find anywhere else. We welcome your suggestions, and if you want to see your small town’s name in future issues, send us your picture with your town’s city limit sign or water tower in the background.

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