(As related to Paul Proft by Beerdaddy42, administrator of 42club.com and a resident of east Texas)
Beerdaddy42Beerdaddy42's grandfather was a railroad man in eastern New Mexico and west Texas. He traveled more of Texas than most folks did in his day. He picked up the game of 42 prior to 1920 when it was still a fairly new phenomenon. He would occasionally call the game "Rounce." In his railroad days, it was often called "4-Hand Texas Rounce" and "Domino Rounce." It became known more as "42 Rounce" when the game of "84 Rounce" became popular.
42 is thought to be an adaptation of a card game called "Pitch." Some young boys improvised the game using dominoes because their parents would not allow them to play cards. (Playing cards was considered sinful.) The new game spread to other parts as interest in it grew. (Shoot-the-Moon, also a dominoe game, was later played by gamblers of the era that 42 emerged from.)
Central and Eastern European immigrants settled in numerous parts of Texas and New Mexico. They loved card games and no doubt had influence on 42's spread across the region and the ways it is played. Those communities are avid dominoe game players to this day. You may find living history on 42 and it's origins in West, Kerrville, New Brunsfield, and towns and communities settled by the Dutch, Czech, and German folks (and others).
Reports on the origin of 42 in east Texas should not be discounted. Hand-me-down (word-of-mouth) history, though of great interest (especially in games like Moon and 42), is not reliable enough for any firm historical conclusions. Texans' recollections have a way of getting embellished, and the folks were talking about loved ones and a game they had a passion for.
Forty-two (42) legends have sketchy validity. One source indicates east Texas Baptist boys devised the game. Some have heard they were Assembly of God (Pentecostal) boys. Consensus, however, is that the game was, indeed, devised by some younger folks as a way of getting around the moral ban on playing cards. In 1985, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram published an article that credited W. A. Thomas as a "co-inventor" of 42 in Trappe Spring (now Garner), Texas, in 1887.
More contributions by Beerdaddy42