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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Friday, April 11, 2003

Study club holds Texas heritage program

A Texas Heritage Department Program entitled, Texas, "Is It Worth Bragging About!" was held recently by The Modern Study club as members gathering in the home of Martha Jay, 523 South Oleander.

The thought-quote for the program was ­ "Texas is still a last frontier. It's the part of the United States where the traditional virtues are still operating. In short a piece of living history." ­ J.C.B. Richmond.

Juracy Ray, Texas Heritage Chairman, chose to present her own program, which she had planned earlier in the year. She prefaced her program with the statement, "We all love our state and like to tell others about it." She then began by refreshing everyone's mind about some of the well-known and pertinent facts about out beloved state ­ our state tree is the pecan tree, while the mocking bird is our state bird, sideoats grama is our state grass, chili is our state main dish, topaz the state gem, lightning whelk our state seashell, the Texas bluebonnet our lovely state flower and our state motto is friendship and we truly try to live up to our motto.

She continued, our state capital is Austin and our capital is constructed mainly of pink granite, our longest river is the Rio Grande which stretches 1,270 miles and our tallest mountain is the beautiful Guadalupe Peak that stands 8,749 feet. Texas has 274,416 square miles of land, has 257 counties, stretches 770 miles east to west, and 800 miles north to south, plays host to three-fourths of the birds that we have in America, and 17 of the 50 states will fit simultaneously within it's borders with 1,000 square miles left over. Texas has 91 mountains more than any state except Alaska.

Mrs. Ray talked about all the regions of Texas, the type of land and rainfall in the regions as well as their economic resources, the major cities and their tourism attractions.

Some "little" known facts Mrs. Ray told were that Kermit was named for Kermit Roosevelt, son of President Teddy Roosevelt, the first tin smelter on the North American continent is at Texas City; the largest sugar plant in the world is at Sugarland in Fort Bend County; 1942 Jo Carrol Dennison of Tyler became Texas' first Miss America; the first electrical power plant in Texas was erected at Galveston in the early 1880s; Jacob Walker was the last man killed at the fall of the Alamo on March 6, 1836; 12 Parker County watermelons exhibited at the World's Fair in St. Louis in 1904 had a combined weight of 1,185 pounds to win the gold medal world prize; the star that tops the 570-foot San Jacinto Monument at the San Jacinto State Park near Houston is 34 feet tall and that the largest religious painting in the United States was painted in Dallas by artist Torger Thompson, who took eight years to paint "The Miracle of Pentecost," which measures 20 feet in height by 124 feet in length.

Mrs. Ray also presented excerpts from an article about the wonderful Hallie Stillwell, who made her home at the North edge of Big Bend National Park. In the article writer Rosemary Williams stated that Hallie was her favorite Texan, a Texas treasure, and that for her, Miss Hallie personified Texas. Williams also declared she, frankly, just loves Texas. A postage stamp mural in Cisco is an unusual site to see, according to Presenter Ray.

President Joyce Morton presided during the meeting and conducted opening ceremonies. Shirley Shaffer led the Club Collect and Paula Fuller led the pledges to the United States of America and Texas flags, as those in attendance repeated all in unison.

Pearl Gustafson, treasurer, presented a report concerning club finances and Paula Fuller, secretary, read the minutes of the previous meetings. Committee reports were then presented.

Lena Harpham, Federation Counselor, presented a report from the GFWC Clubwoman Magazine from the article, Sowing the Seeds, which told of GFWC's sponsorship of a nationwide Juniorette club program established in the 1960's. The program has over 2,000 members currently active in 22 states. Mrs. Harpham emphasized that GFWC Juniorette club membership will sharpen leadership skills and put idealism to work in projects that benefit children, the elderly, families and communities. The General Federation of Women's Clubs challenge is to continue to develop leadership skills and a volunteer spirit in young women.

Roll call was answered by naming one's favorite historical place and a famous Texan. Hostesses for the meeting were Martha Jay and Joyce Morton.

Ten free oak trees available

Ten free oak trees will be given to each person who joins The National Arbor Day Foundation during the month of April 2003.

The free oaks are part of the nonprofit Foundation's Trees for America campaign and are being given in recognition of the oak's selection as the People's Choice for America's National Tree.

The ten trees include two red oaks, two pin oaks, two bur oaks, two scarlet oaks and two willow oaks.

The free oak trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting in April or May with enclosed planting instructions. The six to 12 inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge.

To become a member of the Foundation and receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to Ten Free Oak Trees, National Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by April 30. Or join on-line at

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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