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Around Town

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David Mathis, the new Associate Pastor of Worship and Education at First Baptist Church in Center, presented a program about spring with musical selections of flower songs and a quiz on famous flowers.

March 21, 2017 - Linda Bordelon welcomed 47 members and guests of the Golden Harvest Ministries Club on the first day of spring, March 20, 2017. The tables were decorated with the first spring flowers to represent some of the many horticulture entries in the April 7 Center Garden Club Flower Show.  

The 51st Small Standard Flower Show "Cultivating Joy" is free and open to the public from noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Center Community House, 423 San Augustine Street. Ten tickets for the garden urn were given as door prizes.  Tickets may be purchased at $1 each from any Center Garden Club member or Bounds Insurance. 

Harold Hanson led the "Happy Birthday" song to Francis Chance (March 23) and Linda Anderson (March 26).  Bobbie Nutt and Blanche Haley remembered their husbands on their March anniversaries.

Submitted by Linda Bordelon, Reporter  

Preservation of Shelby County District Clerk Records

March 20, 2017 - Would you like to see and touch records made by and about your ancestors since the late 1800s?  Shelby County officials are making it possible for the citizens and taxpayers to do just that! 

On Wednesday, March 15, 2017, Shelby County District Clerk, Lori Oliver, spoke to the Timpson Area Genealogy and Heritage Society about the efforts currently in progress to preserve the paper records entrusted to the Shelby County District Clerk’s office. These records include such case files as lawsuits, divorce, adoptions and cases involving juveniles.

When the Texas Constitution was written, the founding fathers stipulated that each county would have a district clerk.  The clerk shall, by government code, maintain and arrange the records relating to and lawfully deposited in the clerk’s office.  Ms. Oliver and her staff take this charge seriously and are working diligently toward that end.  

Most early county records were lost when the Shelby County Courthouse burned on June 2, 1882.  The oldest surviving record found to date is dated 1883.  Past efforts to preserve records have included microfilming and digitizing through a scanning process.  These efforts, however, do nothing to preserve the original paper records, which are disintegrating into dust as time passes. The rapidly deteriorating condition of the records prompted action to remediate the problem. County officials began looking at new technology and best practice for preserving them.  Paper records are estimated to last 300-500 years.  Microfilmed records are estimated to last 50-100 years.  With rapid changes in technology and the resultant incompatibility between old and new technology, digital records are estimated to be useable for 2-10 years. Based on these statistic, it has been determined that preserving the original paper record is the best preservation approach.

Funding is a big issue on what will be a long and costly project, but one that must be done. Preservation efforts are moving forward in $12000 to $15000 expenditures as funding becomes available.  Ms. Oliver stated that it is doubtful that the project will be completed in her tenure in the office of District Clerk and maybe not even in her lifetime.  

In 2009 the Texas State Legislature passed HB 3637 which assesses a $10 filing fee on all civil filings in the District Clerk’s office. Money collected from these filing fees is designated for records preservation.  Using income from the $10 filing fees, and with the support of the County Commissioners and a generous $50,000 transfer by Shelby County Clerk, Jennifer Fountain, from the County Clerk’s records preservation fund to the District Clerk’s records preservation fund. the efforts have begun.  

Kofile, Inc, the oldest and most experienced private conservation laboratory was hired and authorized to begin the preservation.  The initial investment authorized by the District Clerk was not to exceed $12,000.  Skilled conservators from Kofile carefully collected and processed the first batch of records through deacidification, which includes unfolding the records, cleaning them of dust, tape, etc, enhancing the clarity of the writing/typing and encapsulating each record in archival sleeves.  This process is projected to protect and extend the life of the original records for up to 300 years.  The processed records are returned to the county in attractive fire and weather resistant binders for viewing by the citizens of Shelby County and other interested parties.  A digital copy of each case file is provided by Kofile, Inc. Shelby County citizens and other researchers have the option of viewing the digital file or the bound file.  

In April 2015, the government mandated that the District Clerk accept only electronically filed cases.  In situations where e-filing is not practical and will impede action necessary to address an emergency situation, the office will accept original document filing.

The e-filing mandate requires that attorneys file cases through a secure online portal.  It was quickly determined that Judges and attorneys need access to these electronic files. With the expansion of access, however, confidentiality and privacy became issues.  To address this problem, State Representative, Travis Clardy, has introduced a bill in the Texas Legislature to protect those records that must be kept confidential.  These would include cases involving juveniles, adoptions and cases sealed by the courts.

March 7, 2017 - Due to the growing need for food boxes, Shelby County Outreach Ministries started a new "Food of the Month" drive last month to help replenish supplies in their food pantry. For the month of March, the highlighted food is canned meat!

Bring your canned meat donation such as tuna, chicken, chicken breast, spam, or chili to Shelby County Outreach Ministries located at 930 Shelbyville Street next to the railroad tracks at MLK Drive from 9am until 2pm weekdays.

Donations are always welcome of dry beans, rice, peanut butter, and can vegetables. Monetary donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 1029, Center, Texas 75935.

Volunteers are welcome as well. Thank you and God Bless!

March 17, 2017 - On Thursday, March 16th, members of Shelby County Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8904 and the Auxiliary visited with US Marine Crops World War II Veteran Ford S. Brown, Sr.  Mr. Ford who will turn 100 years old in September recalled his service during the invasion of Okinawa in April 1945. The battle of Okinawa was the bloodiest and last battle in the Pacific.

He and his wife Iva Nell will also celebrate their 79th Wedding Anniversary on June 28th. Mr. Ford was presented with a World War II baseball cap, a framed certificate of appreciation for his service and a complimentary membership in the VFW. On hand with Mr. Ford and wife were their two daughters, Sylvia Hearn and Cynthia Perez, County Veteran Service Officer Sherry Riley, Auxiliary member Mary Fausett and Post Service Officer John Piersol, Post Chaplain Cynthia Islas, Past Post Commander Mike Langford and his three grandchildren and Post Quartermaster Larry Hume.

March 16, 2017 - Start off your April 1st, 2017 with great food, fellowship, and good deeds! The Senior Nutrition Site is hosting their annual Spring Breakfast Fundraiser and all donations will go to the Senior Nutrition Site!

The all you can eat breakfast smorgasbord starts at 8:30am and ends at 11:30am! The menu includes coffee/juice, a variety of fresh fruit, bacon/sausage, pancakes, scrambled eggs, quiche, hash browns/grits, cream gravy with sausage, biscuits/toast, and all the trimmings.

The Breakfast Fundraiser helps to fund food for lunches at the Senior Nutrition site which provides nutritious food for seniors Monday-Friday. It's a place where seniors can visit and socialize with others. The site also provides food for the Meals on Wheels program which is critical for many. Meals on Wheels not only provides food for shut-ins but also provides a routine check for many seniors who may go for weeks before someone sees them.

Bring the family and enjoy wonderful food, time together, and the Senior Nutrition Site will do the dishes! No joking - no fussing over who does the dishes on Saturday, April 1st, well, at least the morning dishes!

The Shelby County Senior Nutrition Site is located at 124 Haley Drive off Loop 500 across from Panola College.

March 15, 2017 - We Are Here To Help!
Do you need help or have questions regarding……..

  • Medicaid
  • CHIPS –Children’s Health Insurance
  • SNAP – Food Stamps
  • Medicare
  • Prescription Assistance
  • Program Renewals
  • And Many Other Resources

The City of Tenaha has aligned itself with the Children’s Defense Fund to help our citizens with life solutions.  If you need assistance or have questions stop by and see Maria Salas at the Tenaha City Hall during the 1st and 2nd Wednesday of every month from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm starting in April.

Stop By: Tenaha City Hall   9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 238 N. George Bowers Drive   Tenaha, Texas 75974

  • April – Wednesday 5th and 12th   
  • May – Wednesday 3rd and 10th
  • June – Wednesday 7th and 14th
  • July – Wednesday 5th and 12th
  • August – Wednesday August 2nd and 9th
  • September – Wednesday 6th and 13th
  • October – Wednesday 4th and 11th
  • November – Wednesday 1st and 8th
  • December – Wednesday 6th and 13th

Or Call: Maria Salas – Children’s Defense Fund (936)-488-4658

Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts attend Scout Sunday at First UMC

March 15, 2017 - Boys Scouts Troop 119 traveled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana on March 4, 2017 for a camp out on the U.S.S. KIDD and a learning experience.

On the journey the troop stopped at the Louisiana's Old State Capital where the group went on a tour of the castle style structure. They learned about the rich history of Louisiana and its capital. The scouts were impressed by a 4D immersive theatrical presentation, "The Ghost of the Castle," which told them the stories behind the historic building.

Boy Scouts on the step of Louisiana's Old State Capital

The boys slept overnight on the Fletcher-class destroyer U.S.S. KIDD, the "Pirate of the Pacific," giving them a glimpse of life on board. The scouts saw aircraft which flew the skies during two eras of conflict and toured the memorial which honors the men and women of the American armed forces.

Another stop of the trip was the Louisiana Art and Science Museum which included watching a planetarium show, "National Parks Adventure."

In February, the scouts and cub scouts participated in Scout Sunday at First United Methodist Church in Center who holds the charter for the Troop. Rev. Karen Jones recognized the scouts and cub scouts during the service and Troop 119 leader Darrell Albert spoke to the church members about activities the troop have planned and thanked them for their support. Rev. Jones spoke to the kids giving them an opportunity to tell about their badges they have earned and what they enjoy about scouting.

On March 11, 2017, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts joined the Daughters of the Republic of Texas on the courthouse lawn to assist with a flag retirement ceremony honoring soiled and tattered Texas Flags and American Flags in a sober ceremony reflecting honor and respect. The scouts learned Texas law outlines the ceremony for retiring it's state symbol.

The Cub Scouts are lead by Cub Leader - Dwight Preston, Den Leader - Amber Preston, and Assistant Cub Leader - Brent Dance. The Boy Scouts are lead by Scout Leader - Mike Cassell and Troop 119 Leader - Darrell Albert. Meetings are every Tuesday at the Scout House located next door to the First United Methodist Church of Center.

March 15, 2017 - World War I, also known as the “Great War” and the “War to End All Wars” had been raging in Europe for 21 months when the United States officially declared War on Germany on April 6th, 2017.   When the fighting ended on November 11th, 1918, 53,402 Americans had died in combat or were missing in action.  There were also over 60,000 more deaths from other causes such as accidents and disease.

Shelby County, Texas as in all wars before and since sent many of her citizens into harm’s way.  Unfortunately, there is no one place that you can go for a complete list of those from our county that served our country during World War I or any war for that matter.

Shelby County Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8904 and the Auxiliary are undertaking a journey of remembrance and discovery by identifying all from Shelby County who served in World War I or those not a native but are now buried here.  We believe that we currently have the names of all those who were killed in action (17), died during service (15) or are still missing in action (1).  We also have the names of 358 others who served and of course have passed.

As we undertake this project that will culminate on the 100th Anniversary that ended the War, Veterans Day, November 11th, 2018 we are asking all citizens that know of or have ancestors who served to contact us. We may already have their name but you may also have additional information and/or photos, newspaper articles, etc. that we could add. 

Please contact Post Quartermaster Larry Hume at 936-598-2976, email: or on facebook at

March 10, 2017 - It's spring forward time... Sunday, March 12th at 2am, daylight savings time starts and clocks roll forward 1 hour.

Daylight savings time is a good time to do an annual routine check of items in your house. Test items such as smoke detectors and install new batteries to help keep your family and home safe. Check your hot water heaters and other areas which aren't seen regularly.

Clean out dryer vent hoses which can become clogged with lint and cause dryers to not perform as well. Lint is highly combustible and decreased airflow can cause overheating of the exhaust ducting resulting in a fire. After inspecting and cleaning out the dryer vent ducting, check to make sure when you push the dryer back in place that the duct doesn't have a bend causing poor air flow.

Lastly, annual checkups for pets is great too!

Suggested link: Keep Your House in Tip-Top Shape: An Incredibly Handy Home Maintenance Checklist

March 10, 2017 - Cherry Jones, Center Garden Club Flower show chairman, gives final instructions for the club's 51st Annual Small Standard Flower "Cultivating Joy" which will be Friday, April 7, 2017 at the Center Community House, 423 San Augustine Street from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. 

Photo: Cherry Jones

The public will be able to view horticulture and design entries by Center Garden Club members, elementary, and high school students, as well as special exhibits on flowers for bees, the community garden, and worm composting. 

Raffle tickets ($1 each) for the garden urn may be purchased by any garden club member or at Bounds Insurance.

Submitted by Linda Bordelon, Publicity Chairman