Thursday, April 26, 2012

2012 Arbor Day Ceremony

On the morning of April 26, 2012, approximately 30 people gathered in Heritage Park in Bryan for the annual Arbor Day Ceremony. 

Participating in the formal program were Darrell Lovelette, Director of Parks and Recreation, City of Bryan; Bob Holmes, Parks Director, City of Bryan; Jason Bienski, Mayor of Bryan, and Nancy Berry, Mayor of College Station, who together read a proclamation on behalf of the two cities and Brazos County; Amy Reed, Executive Director, Keep Brazos Beautiful, who made the memorial tree presentations; Brazos Heritage Society member Dennis Brezina, who spoke about the Heritage Park project; and Amy Atkins, Assistant Parks Director, City of College Station.  Also present were representatives of Congressman Bill Flores, the Texas Forest Service, and the A&M Garden Club.

Several members of the Brazos Heritage Society’s Executive Committee were in attendance, including: Nat Hilliard, President; Dan Beto, Vice President; Kyle Kovel, Secretary; Beverly Myers, Treasurer; and Tom McDonald, Of Counsel.   

The high point of the ceremony was the planting of two trees – a Lacebark Elm and a Live Oak.  These trees were planted in recognition of certain individuals.  A tree donated by Ashley Wesp was planted in memory of Dan Cody, and the other tree, donated by the Evening Garden Club and Kay Perrone, was planted in honor of Joyce Niece and Karen Thomas.

Several photographs from this event may be viewed on the Smilebox below.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Arbor Day Celebration at Heritage Park

Amy Reed, Executive Director of Keep Brazos Beautiful, has invited members of the Brazos Heritage Society to an Arbor Day Celebration on Thursday, April 26, 2012, at 11:00 AM in Heritage Park.

Please RSVP if you plan to attend by calling 979-775-3569 or by emailing

Where in Brazos County?

Commencing last month, the Brazos Heritage Society began conducting a monthly contest in which readers of Heritage Brazos are asked to identify a structure or a location in Brazos County. 

In this second contest, readers are being asked to identify the building in the accompanying photograph and its location.  Submissions may be sent to Dan Beto at

The winner of this contest will be treated to a Starbucks coffee by Society Events Coordinator Fran Lamb.  In addition, as part of the prize, the winner will be provided a book – Historic Brazos County.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

President’s Message, April 2012

I would like to begin this message by thanking Linda Roberts, Tamara Garza, and Glynis Gore for all the work they did for the Brazos Heritage Society in their roles as members of the Executive Committee last year.  We would not have had the successful year we did without all their support and hard work.  Thank you ladies for a job well done!

If you were unable to attend our annual membership meeting – held at the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History on February 26 – you missed a great meeting!

During the meeting the following officers were elected for one year terms:

            Nat Hilliard, President
            Dan Beto, Vice President
            Kyle Kovel, Secretary
            Beverly Myers, Treasurer  

Blaine Brezina and his father Dennis were at the meeting to provide a slide show presentation on the project Blaine would like to do for the Heritage Park as a means of meeting the requirements for becoming an Eagle Scout.  He has some really great ideas for the Park and has also presented them to members of the Bryan Parks and Recreation Board, who were also impressed and approved a majority of his ideas. 

If anyone is interested in donating a tree for the park, please let us know.  On the list of approved trees are the following: Burr Oak, Lacebark Elm, Live Oak, Vitex, Crepe Myrtle, American Elm, and Redbud.  Feel free to contact me at this email address if you are interested in make a tree donation:

Sheila Fields gave us an update on the Boonville Jail community marker: she and Tom McDonald are moving right along with the project and we should have the marker in place in the not to distant future.

Dan Beto brought us up to date on our electronic newsletter – Heritage Brazos – and mentioned a new monthly contest – Where in Brazos County?  Please visit our electronic newsletter at

 Our Treasurer, Beverly Myers, provided us with an up-to-date financial statement, which reflects the organization continues to be in good financial order.

Fran Lamb made a presentation about our first fundraiser for the year – Antique Sideshow.  She will be contacting experts in many fields of antiquity to arrange for them to evaluate the items brought in for the show.  Additional information about this event may be found elsewhere on this newsletter.  In the picture below I am holding what my great grandmother called her “butter crock.”  The crock was filled with fresh homemade butter and kept in the springhouse to keep it from spoiling.  It is one of the items I plan to have reviewed at the Antique Sideshow.  

After the meeting we enjoyed refreshments in the staff meeting area of the Museum.  Debra Cowman, the Museum Director, had the Museum open for us and answered many questions about upcoming projects and events. 

The new Executive Committee had our first meeting for the year on March 12, 2012, at Elizabeth and Kyle Kovel’s home – the old Cavitt House.  They very graciously agreed to have the meeting there.  

We set some new goals for this year, one of which is to consolidate all of the Society’s records and any other property in one place.  We now have acquired adequate storage and Homer and Beverly Myers have donated a four drawer metal filing cabinet for our records.  It seems that the Society’s records and legal papers are scattered throughout the membership, and each time new officers are elected there are box loads of papers transferred to them.  Since I took office, I have had several people bring different things to me that they had been storing somewhere, in one instance, up to several years.  Tom McDonald has agreed to serve as Of Counsel for the Society and to facilitate this coordination effort.

And while on the subject of Society property, I recall some really great bunting that we used to put on the Gazebo in Heritage Park for the Independence Day festivities.  Does anyone know that happened to it?  Perhaps it is in a box in someone’s garage?  We would love to have it for the 4th of July this year.   

Once again we have a dedicated and energetic members of the Executive Committee who I feel will make this an even more successful year.

                                                                                                        Nat Hilliard, President

“Old School Days” Tea in Millican

The Millican Heritage Society is hosting its eighth annual “Old School Days” Tea on Saturday, April 28, 2012, at the Community Center in Millican, Texas.

The first seating will be at 11:00 AM and the second seating will occur at 1:30 PM.  The cost of admission is $18.00 per person.

Reservations and payment are due by April 23, 2012.  For additional information and to reserve a place, call 936-825-7207.

This annual event is underwritten by Col. & Mrs. John Vilas, Loop Self Storage in Navasota, Brazos Valley Equine Hospital, and BCS Tax Group.

History of Texas Music

The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum has a special exhibit – Texas Music Roadtrip – that is on display until October 14, 2012.  As noted on the Museum website, the Lone Star State is a cultural crossroads with a western persona, southern traditions, and a long history of immigration.  Native Americans, Mexican Americans, African Americans, Anglos, Germans, Poles, Czechs, French-speaking blacks and whites, and numerous other ethnic groups have settled the state over the years, each with influences that resonate in the larger musical symphony of the Southwest. 

Persons interested in the vast musical heritage of the Lone Star State would do well to visit this exhibit.

Additional information about this wonderful exhibit may be found at:

Admission to the Museum’s exhibits, including Texas Music Roadtrip, is $9 for adults; $8 for college students (with valid ID); $7 for seniors/military (with valid ID); $6 for youth ages 4-17, free for ages 3 and under.  The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum is located at 1800 North Congress Avenue at the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr., Boulevard in Austin.  For more information, call (512) 936-4649.  The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum hours of operation are Monday through Saturday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and on Sunday from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

Treasurer’s Report, April 2012

Greetings from the desk of the Treasurer.  The following is an overview of our finance condition as of April 15, 2012.

At Prosperity Bank we have a certificate of deposit valued at $8,363.5o and our checking account at the bank has a balance of $6,768.57, for a total of $15,132.07.

For more detailed information about the Society’s financial condition, please do not hesitate to contact me at 979-229-9414 or by email at

If you have not done so, please send in your annual membership fee with the 2012 Membership Application Form.

                                                                                     Beverly Myers, Treasurer

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Where in Brazos County? Contest Winner

Last month the Brazos Heritage Society instituted a monthly photo contest, in which readers of Heritage Brazos are asked to identify a structure or a location in Brazos County.  The  announcement for this initial contest may be viewed at:

The winner of this inaugural contest is Tom McDonald, who successfully identified the location of the building in Cawthon, Texas, in Southern Brazos County just a few miles from Allenfarm.  The building in the photograph was once a railroad station, and later served as a saloon and still later as a general store.   This building is presently owned by Will Terrell.

According to The Handbook of Texas Online:

Cawthon is a small rural community on Farm Road 159 four miles south of Millican and seventeen miles south of Bryan in southern Brazos County.  The site was within the lands of Stephen F. Austin’s colony and was settled before the Civil War.  A townsite did not develop, however, until after the International and Great Northern Railroad was built from Navasota to Hearne in the early 1900s.  The town was named for early settler Will Cawthon.  A post office operated at the community from 1912 to 1956.  In 1925 the town had a population of twenty-five, two general stores, a railroad express and telegraph agent, a physician, a butcher, and a blacksmith.  The community had a store and a population of ten in 1940.  The 1948 county highway map indicated a church, a school, two businesses, and several scattered dwellings at Cawthon.  By 1964 the community reported a population of seventy-five and no businesses. Cawthon in 1990 had scattered farm buildings, the old International and Great Northern Depot, and an estimated seventy-five residents.  The population remained the same in 2000.  [Christina L. Gray, “CAWTHON, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed March 10, 2012.  Published by the Texas State Historical Association].

Congratulations, Tom!

A new “Where in Brazos County?” contest will be posted within the week.

Saving Texas History!

Brazos Heritage Society member Henry Mayo has made us aware of Saving Texas History!, an electronic publication of the Texas General Land Office.  The Spring 2012 edition of the Saving Texas History! focuses on a new perspective of the 1842 Archives War, with Land Commissioner Thomas William Ward’s thoughts about the incident that saw Austinites hold hostage the archives and records of the General Land Office for more than a year.

And for other publications of the General Land Office, visit the following link:

We are indebted to Henry for sharing this publication with us.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

TSHA Riding Line Available

The Spring 2012 issue of Riding Line, the newsletter of the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), is now available online.

Additional information about the TSHA may be found at the following link: