Famous People From Texarkana
The twin city of Texarkana, TX/AR has had many celebrities grow up within the city limits. This article focuses on 10 of those people that call or have called Texarkana home. These 10 selected are not the most famous, or best people out of the dozens of options we had, we wanted to cover a variety of fields. Some of them you will know and some of them you won’t, see who made the list!
David Crowder is a Christian singer and former lead singer of the David Crowder Band. Crowder grew up in Texarkana, TX in the 1970s-80s and attended Baylor University where he started the David Crower Band. DCB was formed in 1996 and had a long and very successful career. With 10 albums and 9 Dove Awards, DCB was a top name in contemporary Christian music for nearly 20 years. The band broke up in 2012, but Crowder’s solo career continues. Some of his more recent and popular songs are “I Am” and “Come As You Are.”
Henry Ross Perot was born in Texarkana, TX in 1930. Perot graduated from Texas High School in 1947 and later went on to attend college at the U.S. Naval Academy. After his graduation from the Naval Academy, Perot made his career in business. He started working at IBM where he was one of the company’s top employees. Perot left IBM to work for a company that would later become General Electric (GE). Perot also had a run at politics. In 1992 and 1996 he ran for President against George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton and actually saw a surprising amount of success. In the 1992 election he received roughly 19% of the popular vote and 0 electoral college votes, which was the most successful Third Party Candidate in U.S. History. The 1996 election did not show his as much success as 1992, but he still had some followers. His political career pretty much comes to an end here and he goes back to being a successful business man. In 2015 Perot was ranked 129 on Forbes richest people in the Untied States.
Scott Joplin is known as the “King of Ragtime Writers”. Born into a musical family, Joplin developed his knowledge and love of music at an early age. Joplin grew up in Texarkana and was a railway worker like the rest of his family, but as a late teenager he started traveling the southern United States as a musician. Joplin later made his home in Missouri and became a piano teacher. Joplin passed away in 1917, but his legacy lives on through his music.
Molly Quinn was born in Texarkana, but moved to California as a teen to begin pursing her acting career. From a young age she performed in local theatrical performances and had many auditions with talent agencies. Quinn is known for her role as Alexis Castle on the hit TV show “Castle” and as Bloom in “Wix Club”. She has had smaller roles in popular films like “We’re the Miller’s,” “Avalon High,” and “A Christmas Carol.”
Wacha was born in Iowa but grew up in Texarkana, TX. Wacha went to Pleasant Grove High School where he led their baseball to the state finals as a Junior and the state semi-finals as a Senior. After high school, Wacha attended Texas A&M University and was a starting pitcher for the former Big 12 school. In college he was named a Freshman All-American, Third Team All-American and All-Big 12 Second Team as a Sophomore. Also, during his Sophomore campaign Wacha was able to pitch in the College World Series. The St. Louis Cardinals drafts Wacha 19th overall in the 2012 MLB draft and with great success in the minors during 2012 Wacha was brought up to the big leagues the following season. As a rookie Wacha was a key player in the Cardinals run to the World Series. Going 2-0 against the Dodgers in the NLCS, Wacha received the MVP for that series. Unfortunately, the Boston Red Sox got the best of St. Louis in the championship, but that was a great starting point for Wacha’s career.
A Texarkana, AR native, Rod Smith had a great 14-year career in the NFL. Smith attended Arkansas High School in the early 1990s, Smith received All-League, All-Area, and All-State as a Senior. Smith played college football at Missouri Southern State where he was First-Team All-American and a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy. In 1994 Smith was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Denver Broncos and very successful NFL career began the following year. Smith racked up numerous professional awards with his time on the Broncos. Those awards are 3x Pro Bowl, 2x All-Pro, 2x Super Bowl Champion, NFL Receptions Leader, AFC Receiving Touchdowns Co-Leader, Denver Broncos receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns leader, and the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame to name a few.
The lead singer of Tesla, Jeff Keith, was born in Texarkana, AR but shortly moved to Idabel, OK; which is only about 1 hour away from Texarkana. Keith has been in the music industry since the 1980’s and his band, Tesla, is still pumping out songs to this day.
Stock car racing is not super popular in the Texarkana area, but for Rufus “Parnelli” Jones it was his life. Born in Texarkana, AR in 1933 Jones became a legend on the race track. Jones is in over 20 racing Halls of Fame ranging from Midget Auto Racing to International Motorsports HoF. Aside from his Indy 500 victory in 1963, Jones saw more success as a car owner. His ownership brought him 2 Indy 500 wins, 3 USAC National Championships, and a few Baja wins as well.
Eddie Matthews was born in Texarkana, TX in 1931. Matthews spent only about 6 years in Texas before he moved to California with his family. He was a professional baseball player and had a very decorated 16-year career. From 1952-1968 Matthews was a 12x All-Star, 2x World Series champion, 2x NL home run leader, and the Atlanta Braves retired his number, #41. Matthews was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978.
Many of you may not know who Joe Anderson is, but if you kept up with the NFL in the fall of 2015 then you will. Joe Anderson was the guy who stood outside the Houston Texans stadium with a cardboard sign looking for a spot on the team. After his story went viral the New York Jets added Anderson to the Practice roster 6 weeks later. Anderson graduated from Texas High School, attended Louisiana Tech University and went undrafted to the Chicago Bears in 2012. After a year with the Bears he was let go and has been a practice squad player since. Hopefully, he makes his big league return in 2016.