Researchers at Stephen F. Austin State University are tracing the roots of a cowhide trunk that could have belonged to Thomas J. Rusk, an early political and military figure in Texas. The trunk’s lid bears the initials TJR. It’s one item in a massive collection at Millard’s Crossing Historic Village. Executive director David Young said the trunk was purchased by Nacogdoches native Lera Millard Thomas who was a compulsive collector and an early preservationist. She created a living history village on her family’s land called Millard’s Crossing in the 1970s.