Spring 2015

September 7, 2015

Spring Meeting
18 April 2015


The Spring Meeting of the Permian Historical Society was held at the Polo Park Estates in Midland, Texas. Thirty-four members and guests were present.

Registration began at 9:00 a.m. with breakfast treats provided by the facility and books and past PHS annuals available to purchase. The costume theme was Hee Haw and photos were taken of those participating.

The meeting began at 10:00 a.m. with a hearty welcome from President Peggy Kelton. She announced that our Fall Meeting will be in Ft. Stockton on 17 October 2015 and will be hosted by the Pecos County Historical Commission. Jim Collett was introduced as the person who is going to revamp our membership roll. Anyone who had not paid their 2015 dues to date was urged to do so today.
The minutes of the 2014 Fall Meeting were approved as printed.

The first presenter was Barbara Barton who gave a power point program on The Indians of the Concho Area. Some tribes, such as the Seminoles and Cherokees, came to Texas from other states while the Jumanos and Comanches were longtime inhabitants. Many individual Indians’ exploits were related and their part in Texas history revealed.

The second program was presented by Emily Barton whose family were the first Hispanic residents of Crane. She emphasized the work life of her father, Leonard Andrew Hernandez, and her own experiences as a student in Crane. The artifacts and family photos which accompanied her presentation made it most interesting.

Bill Modisett gave the last presentation, which was about Ector County rancher Jim Parker. He started ranching in Andrews County in 1907 and eventually owned four ranches in Andrews and Ector counties. One of his ranch hands, Dub Riley, has provided much information to historians on this remarkable Permian Basin man. Mr. Modisett also announced that a PBS documentary on Permian Basin philanthropist Dora Roberts is in the works. 2007-2008 calendars featuring the Parker Ranch were there for the taking.  Scott Jordan brought Pecos Trails travel guides for everyone at the meeting and extras to place in area museums and libraries to promote tourism in the area which, in turn, will generate revenue.

A.L. “Bud” Lindsey was announced as the winner of the Fall Meeting 2014 Best Presentation award for his power point program on The Convent-Monastery in Stanton. Attendees were instructed to vote for the program they thought was today’s best presentation and turn in their ballots to Donna Bell.

J. Tillapaugh presented an honorarium to our editor Jim Collett on behalf of PHS for his many hours of devoted service in getting our annual out.

J. Tillapaugh then presented the first Public History Awards given by PHS to the Heritage Museum in Big Spring, director Tammy Schrecengost accepting; to the Museum of the Desert Southwest in Crane, curator Genny Townsend accepting; and to the UTPB Conrad Dunagan Library’s Special Collections, Howard Marks accepting. J. explained that PHS hopes these awards will be presented annually to celebrate the importance of the contributions local repositories of the area’s history make to the overall history of the Permian Basin.

Door prizes were won by Lane Bond, Tammy Schrecengost, Sue Ann Damron, Evelyn Stroder, and Genny Townsend.

The meeting was adjourned and followed by lunch, compliments of Polo Park Estates.

_____________________________                                     ______________________________
Peggy Kelton, President                                                                      Sue Ann Damron, Secretary

Bobbie Jean Klepper (2014)

January 7, 2015

Bobbie Jean Klepper, of Fort Worth, Texas, died Sunday, November 9, 2014, at Community Hospice in Arlington, Texas. She was 81 years old and had battled declining health for several months.

Born on August 1, 1933, in Matador, Texas, Bobbie Jean, as she was known to her family, was the eldest of three daughters born to Robert Franklin and Florence Alice Pruitt. Mr. Pruitt was a widower with a son and a daughter when he married Florence.

Bobbie Jean was married to Robert Junior York in 1950 and divorced from him in 1969. They had four children, two daughters and two sons. She married Richard Edward Klepper in 1971, and their marriage lasted until his death in 1991. They had one son.

She was devoted to her family and was involved in school activities, served as a Cub Scout den mother and introduced her children to museums and other cultural platforms. Beginning with the births of her grandchildren, she crocheted baby blankets for all the new babies. Possession of one of Aunt Bobbie’s covers was a point of pride for the recipients. Her legendary love of a good cup of coffee and her ability to cajole a refill are fond memories. She would watch for someone getting out of a chair and say something like, “While you’re up, I need some more coffee. My cup has a hole in it, right here in the top.”

Insatiably curious and loving learning, Bobbie Jean graduated as Salutatorian of the 1950 Senior Class of Nocona High School. When she was in her early thirties, she started working toward a college degree, taking one or two courses at a time, nights and weekends. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history with a teacher’s certification from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in 1975, followed in 1977 by a Master of Arts Degree in history, also from UTPB. In 1989 she earned a Master of Library Sciences Degree from the University of North Texas extension program at Texas Tech, and she was pursuing a doctoral level degree at Texas Women’s University in 1997 when not one, but two, strokes forced her to slow down a bit.

Bobbie Jean was passionate about history and historical preservation. She was employed as a graduate assistant in the archival collections housed at UTPB as a student, and she eventually progressed to Archivist/Special Collections Librarian, a position she held for more than twenty years. She and her archives were resources valued by students, researchers, journalists, and authors; and her font of information and entertaining presentation made her a popular choice as a speaker in professional, educational, historical, and religious venues.
She often said that she fell in love with archival work and was thrilled that someone was willing to pay her to do something she loved so much that she would have done it for free. Her enthusiasm was contagious, and several of her student assistants actively procured for the archives the donation of county records, photographs, and other items of historical significance. One of her students became a museum curator. Through her involvement with the Permian Historical Society, Bobbie Jean was instrumental in the procurement, preservation, and restoration of the White-Pool house, the oldest existing residence in Odessa, and the preservation of the historical home of the Henderson Drug Store. She was active in numerous organizations and held offices in the Permian Historical Society, White-Pool House Friends, Ector County Historical Commission, Odessa Cultural Council, Heritage of Odessa Foundation, and University Library Friends. She received the Heritage of Odessa Foundation Community Statesman Award in the field of Humanities in 1991 and the Permian Historical Society Academy of History Award in 2001. In addition, articles she wrote that were published in the Permian Historical Annual received the Best Article Award given by the Society in 1980 and again in 1998.

Bobbie Jean was a life-long follower of Jesus Christ, having accepted his offer of salvation during Vacation Bible School when she was eight years old. Her desire for Christian fellowship led her to intimate involvement with her church. She was a long-time member of Second Baptist Church in Odessa, Texas, where she served as church librarian for fifteen years. She also taught children’s and ladies’ Sunday School classes, led Bible study groups, held offices in the Women’s Missionary Union, directed the Girls’ Auxiliary, served on a pastor search committee, and, of course, assisted with Vacation Bible Schools. At the time of her death, she was a member of Lamar Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, and a valued participant in her Sunday School class.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Richard Edward Klepper; her daughter, Kathryn Ann York; her half-brother, R. F. Pruitt; her half-sister, Mattie Lou Messick; and her sister, Wanda Ruth Graham.

She is survived by four children and their spouses, Susan Kay Bowman (Stan), Robert Allen York (Ginger), John Michael York (Charleen), and Richard Samuel Klepper (Lori); and her sister Martha Rose Grant; six grandchildren; and thirteen great-grandchildren.

Meeting Minutes: Fall 2014

January 7, 2015

Fall Meeting
11 October 2014

The Fall Meeting of the Permian Historical Society was held in the parish hall of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Stanton. There were 36 members and guests in attendance.

Registration began at 9:00 a.m. The Board Meeting began at 9:15 a.m.

Presentations began at 10:00 a.m. with a welcome from President Peggy Kelton and host Bud Lindsey. Evelyn Stroder then introduced each speaker beginning with Beverly Weatherby Farmer who spoke on Growing up under the Jail in Crane, Texas. Next, Bill Kelton told the story of John T. McElroy, Rancher. As the third scheduled speaker had not arrived, Tumbleweed Smith entertained with humorous anecdotes from various interviews that he had done through the years. He managed to coax cowboy-poet member Tom Koger to recite a couple of his compositions to the delight of the audience. Bud Lindsey then gave an informative power point presentation on The Convent-Monastery in Stanton.

A delicious Mexican lunch prepared by the ladies of St. Joseph’s church was served with Elodia Bravo’s famous pound cake for dessert.

As John Vaughan had arrived, he presented his program The Rankin Beach.

Attendees then cast their ballots for today’s Best Presentation award. A certificate for Best Presentation at the October 2013 meeting was presented to Janie Harrison for her program Dr. J. W. Barnett, Pioneer Big Spring Physician. Jim Collett’s article Downhill from Upland: How the Road to Nowhere Created Several West Texas “Somewheres” was awarded the Best Article award for 2013 and Janie Harrison was awarded the 2014 Best Article award.

The first round of door prize tickets was drawn.

The membership business meeting began at 12:30 p.m. Lane Bond moved that the slate of officers presented by the Board be accepted by acclamation. The motion was seconded and passed. Only one office was filled by a new person – the two VP offices were combined and our new VP is Betty Damron.
Evelyn Stroder moved that the Board’s recommended slate for the Board of Directors be accepted. The motion was seconded and passed. The members elected were: Genny Townsend – Crane County, Beth Hoover – Crockett County, Ruben Vasquez – Ector County, Roger Goertz – Howard County, James Collett – Midland County, Earnest Woodward – Pecos County, Carolyn Hodge – Reagan County, Barbara Barton – Tom Green County, and Donna Bell – Upton County.
Investments Chair J. Tillapaugh reported that PHS is in great financial shape.

The last round of door prize tickets was drawn.

President Peggy Kelton announced that the Spring Meeting would be held at the Petroleum Museum on the third Saturday in April 2015.

Attendees were thanked for coming and the meeting was adjourned.


____________________________                                         ___________________________
Peggy Kelton, President                                                          Sue Ann Damron, Secretary

There are no minutes for the April 2014 meeting because PHS did not have its own meeting.  We attended the West Texas Historical Society meeting instead.  More details are available in this post.


Fall Meeting

26 October 2013

The Fall Meeting of the Permian Historical Society was held in the Cosden Room at the newly restored Hotel Settles in Big Spring. There were 65 members and guests in attendance.

Registration began at 9:00 a.m. Coffee, iced tea, juice, and muffins were enjoyed by the registrants as they perused the books for sale and visited with one another.

Debbie Wegman, Director of the Big Spring Convention & Visitors Bureau, thanked PHS for choosing the historic hotel as their meeting place and gave each attendee a goody bag to welcome them to Big Spring.

President Peggy Kelton extended her welcome and handed the meeting over to 1st VP of Programs Betty Cash who introduced the speakers:

Sue Ann Damron – Government Incompetence Engraved in Stone – Why the     

                              Wrong Service is on Pvt. James B. Gordon’s Tombstone

Janie Harrison – Dr. J. W. Barnett, Pioneer Big Spring Physician

Craig Fischer – Early Howard County Schools

Roger Goertz – Pro Football Players from Big Spring High School

Lane Bond – The Fascinating Saga of the Settles Hotel

Donna Bell, Best Presentation Award Chair, collected today’s ballots. Jim Collett was announced as the Best Presentation winner of the Spring Meeting for his We Almost Weren’t Here program about McCamey’s surprisingly continued existence.

Evelyn Stroder won the Best Costume prize, 28 year old Micah Harrison won the Youngest Attendee prize, and 90 year old Wayne Bonner was the Oldest Attendee. Door prizes were won by Peggy Kelton, Carole Lawson, Winston Sosebee, Charlene Ragan, Bo Fryar, Rene Rogers, Anita Morris, Roger Goertz, Sue Ann Damron, Evelyn Stroder, Billie Jean Ferguson, Nancy Koger, Susie Combs and Mary Sosebee. President Kelton thanked all for coming and directed them to line up for a delicious BBQ lunch provided by the hotel.


___________________________                ______________________________

Peggy Kelton, President                               Sue Ann Damron, Secretary


Costume contest winners Evelyn Stroder, Peggy Kelton and Lane Bond at Big Spring.

Costume contest winners Evelyn Stroder, Peggy Kelton and Lane Bond at Big Spring.

Speakers from the Big Spring meeting.  L-R Craig Fischer, Lane Bond, Janie Harrison, Sue Ann Damron & Roger Goertz.

Speakers from the Big Spring meeting. L-R Craig Fischer, Lane Bond, Janie Harrison, Sue Ann Damron & Roger Goertz.


Spring Meeting

27 April 2013

The Spring Meeting of the Permian Historical Society was held at the Petroleum Museum in Midland. There were 34 registered members and guests.

Registration began at 9:00 a.m. Prior to the start of the day’s presentations, attendees were able to enjoy a light breakfast, buy books from several authors, and visit with one another.

President Peggy Kelton welcomed all and turned the meeting over to vice president Betty Cash who introduced the speakers.

Darrell Ward, KOSA-TV weatherman, and Crane rancher Gordon Hooper presented The Big Drift Weather Story. The big drift occurred in the mid 1880s when the area received eighteen inches of snow and it was cold enough long enough for the Pecos to freeze. As there were no fences at the time, thousands of cattle drifted with the storm up to one hundred miles away. In 1918, Gordon’s father was living in Loving, New Mexico when a blizzard lasting four or five days happened. Mules froze in the corral, cattle’s ears and tails froze off and stock that drifted with the storm bunched up at the fences and died. Other weather events through the years were reported by Mr. Ward, such as the 1949 ice storm in Jenkins, Texas that left an inch of ice on everything.  The wet years that West Texas received from 1882 to 1885 together with the newly constructed T & P railroad induced hundreds of farmers to believe the land promoters’ spiels about the farming opportunities in usually dry West Texas.

Jim Collett, PHS’s yearbook editor, gave a power point presentation on We Almost Weren’t Here. This well documented history of the origins and early history of McCamey was enhanced by the wonderful photographs displayed. Jim told how chance and stupidity involving several eccentric individuals led to McCamey’s continued existence, while Sherwood, Stiles and Upland became ghost towns as the railroads changed paths through the years.

Door prizes were won by Dorothy Jones, Jim Sears, Nancy Koger, Guy McCrary, Beth Hoover, Murray Sauders, Sherry Phillips, Gordon Hooper, Sue Ann Damron and Betty Damron.

As the Best Presentation ballots were being turned in, President Kelton announced that Joe Specht had won Best Presentation at the October 2012 meeting in Monahans for Sneaky Pete:The West Tenor Sax Stylings of Jimmy Seals of Rankin, Texas.

After a wonderful lunch catered by the Shacklefords, the business session began.

Reports on events and historical happenings in various counties were given by the following: Betty Damron – Crane, Nancy Koger – Howard, Beth Hoover – Crockett, Carolyn Hodge – Reagan, Sherry Phillips – Upton, Diantha Dawkins and Burr Williams – Midland.

Patrick Dearen suggested PHS promote the digitization of the Midland newspaper and other papers in the area. Information in old newspapers is very important and digitization is a tremendous help to historians.

Lane Bond invited everyone to the Fall Meeting which will be held in Big Spring on the 26 October 2013 at the historic and newly restored Settles Hotel.

The meeting adjourned.


____________________________          _____________________________

Peggy Kelton, President                           Sue Ann Damron, Secretary