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Around Town

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February 14, 2020 - Members of VFW Post 8904 and Auxiliary gathered at the Shelby County Veterans Memorial located at the Historic Shelby County Courthouse on the Center square in honor of the USS Maine and its crew.

Larry Hume, Post Quartermaster, spoke to all present and shared with them the history of the USS Maine and the tragedy which was the inception of the Spanish-American War.

"122 years ago tomorrow, February 15, 1898 the USS Maine exploded in the harbor of Havana, Cuba. In that explosion, 266 American crewmen and Marines were lost. Spain was blamed for the explosion and the Spanish-American War began as a result. Less than four months later on August 12, 1898 the United States had won a decisive victory, and this was the first war the United States had ever fought beyond her shores. 3,000 American military were lost, but mostly from Yellow fever and fighting in the jungles of the Philippines. You all remember Teddy Roosevelt of the Roughrider fame. When the war was over, he told his troops as they mustered out, 'Enjoy the next 15 days, because after that you will be forgotten,' and they were, just as they are today. And because of the United States Government's refusal of proper military care, these veterans banded together in organizations that would eventually become the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Today we are here to remember the lives lost so long ago in the explosion of the Maine and the Spanish-American War that ensued, we thank them for their service, just as we thank the veterans of all wars."


Gene Hutto, Post Commander, placed the Memorial wreath on the Shelby County Veterans Memorial. 

Hume stated Shelby County, Texas has participated in all wars and he has found through research veterans connected to the Spanish-American War. According to Hume, Elijah Webb who was born in Center in 1866, was killed in the Philippines. He voluntarily enlisted at the beginning of the Spanish-American War. Webb was first in Cuba and then was sent to Manila, Philippines with Company H of the 44th U.S. Volunteer Infantry.

"While the Spanish-American War ended in August 1898, the first Philippine Republic objected to the terms under which the United States took possession of the Philippines from Spain and fighting continued there until July 2, 1902," said Hume. "During this fighting, Elijah Webb was killed on June 16, 1900, and his body was returned to Shelby County for burial in August 1901."

Hume referenced a Houston Chronicle article from August 8, 1901, "On the large box which held the metallic coffin was his name, the number of his company and the cause of his death," said Hume. "Which was stated on the box as knife wound to the head. It went on to say that Leige had many friend here and good crowd witnessed the casket in which rested his remains."

Webb was buried in what was known as the city cemetery, but is now known as the Methodist cemetery located behind the First United Methodist Church on Porter Street.

Others from Shelby County who served and survived the Spanish-American War included Edwin Booth who is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Timpson; Brunson Cline who is buried in Carroll Cemetery; Charles Hudson who is buried in the Corinth Cemetery near Timpson; Charlie Matlock who is buried in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery; and James Mosby Jr. who is buried in Fairview Cemetery in Center.

"Today we can honor these local veterans and all those who are forefathers of our great organization by continuing to fight for veterans rights just as they did," said Hume. 

In their honor, Taps was then sounded as presented by Gene Hutto, Post Commander. As is always the case, veterans and auxilary members saluted during the playing of Taps and the constant noisy traffic traveling the square continued. In respect of the ceremony and honor being given, a man could be seen on the other side of the square removing his hat and giving reverence.


February 13, 2020 - The Center Noon Lions Club has for sale for a limited time their popular Princess Brooms. They are available at King's Nursery and Florist in Tenaha and Ivan Smith Furniture Store in Center. These brooms are only available for a limited time. For more information, please contact Tim Wulf at 598-6333.

February 10, 2020 - Tri-County Community Action Agency, Inc. “Harvest for Homes” is seeking volunteers to assist with our Produce Drop every 4th Wednesday of each month, as well as the Food Pantry every Thursday of month.

The Produce Drop requires that you be able to lift up to 25 pounds and assist clients with carrying bags, boxes, etc. to their cars. It also consists of clean up afterwards.

The Food Pantry hours are from 8:30 – 10:30am each Thursday. Must be able to lift up to 25 pounds and assist clients with carrying their bags to their cars. If you could sacrifice at least 3 hours each Thursday that would be greatly appreciated!

For more information, please contact: Tri-County Community Action Agency, Inc., Brenda Allen at (936) 598-6315, ext. 502.


From left: Troy Massey, Chrisco Bragg, Celeste Lewis, Amanda Kirby, and Crystal Brooks.

February 6, 2020 - Living in Joaquin you will find yourself surrounded by LSU fans. Chrisco Bragg had no choice and explained, "My only choice was to challenge them to a wager. If LSU wins, I would wear LSU gear and stand at a HWY intersection in Logansport for an hour and accept any jeers I may receive. If Clemson wins, then the taker had to wear Clemson gear and do the same."

Crystal Brooks was bold enough to accept and the bet was on. LSU continued their dominance in college football and the outcome was inevitable.

Bragg mustered up the courage and reluctantly wore the LSU gear for an hour and listened to the fans drive by and cheer.

Bragg told the rest of the story, "BUT this is where the story takes a turn for the better. I proposed that we raffle off a Joe Burreaux #9 jersey and give the proceeds to charity. Mrs. Brooks chose Boo’s Battle founded here in Joaquin as the charity to receive the benefit. The bid started and quickly rose into the hundreds until Troy Massey of TriState made a very generous bid of $500."

After the time limit expired, Mr. Massey came out on top as the winning bid. He received the jersey, however, the REAL WINNERS are the charity and the people that will be helped and comforted during their time of need.

If anyone wants to donate to a great cause, please contact Celeste Lewis (936-615-7468), Amanda Lewis Kirby of Boo’s Battle (903-754-9291), or on Facebook (Boo's Battle Support Fund) and help families in need as they battle the awful disease we know as cancer. A football game and a little wager turned out to be fun and a way to help our community.

February 4, 2020 Huntsville - Three Shelby County students listed on the Dean's List of Academic Honors at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, are undergraduates who have achieved a grade point average of at least 3.5 out of a perfect 4.0 in all work attempted while enrolled in not less than 12 semester hours.

The university recognizes the following students for earning the honor for the Fall 2019 semester: William Cummings of Tenaha (2016 THS Graduate), Stephanie Presa of Center (2016 CHS Graduate), and Jessenia Salinas of Tenaha (2018 CHS Graduates).

February 4, 2020 Huntsville - William Cummings, of Tenaha, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Software Engineering Technology during the Fall 2019 commencement ceremonies at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.

Cummings graduated Cum Laude.

Cummings is a 2016 Graduate of Tenaha High School and was named multiple times on the Dean's List and the President's Honor Roll while attending Sam Houston State University.

February 4, 2020 Huntsville - Sam Houston State University recognizes Stephanie Presa, of Center, Texas, for earning the honor being listed on the President's Honor Roll for the Fall 2019 semester.

Presa is a 2016 Graduate of Center High School.

The students listed on the President's Honor Roll at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, are undergraduates who have achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average in all work attempted while enrolled in not less than 12 semester hours.

January 30, 2020 - Shelby County Outreach Ministries would like to recognize a very special person. Her name is Iva Parker, or, as many have come to know her, Sister Iva.

Sister Iva has a very special ministry and at 97 years young she is such an inspiration. We call it a ministry of love. Sister Iva makes prayer quilts. Each quilt bears a little note that says “this is more than a quilt. If you look closely at every stitch you will see her love for sewing as well as her love for people. In this quilt is an abundance of love. May this Quilt be a covering of God’s love in the lives that it warms.” It also comes with a testimony from Sister Iva that says her greatest passion is living for God. She is a faithful member of Dreka Pentecostal Church in Shelbyville, Texas.

Her favorite Bible verses are Acts 2:38-39: 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Sister Iva states also, if you met her and forgot her, you have only lost a friend. If you met Jesus and forget Him, you have lost everything.

She generously donates these quilts to Shelby County Outreach Ministries so they can be used as Prayer quilts. They are reserved for those who find themselves in desperate need of prayer.

Sister Iva and we hope that each person that receives one of these precious quilts feels the love and warmth of our Heavenly Father wrapping His arms around them. The Lord loves a cheerful giver and Sister Iva is just that. She gives her time, her love, her labor, and her heart in the work she does and expects nothing from it. Her reward is knowing that her efforts will be a blessing to someone in need.

All of us at Shelby County Outreach Ministries wants her to know just how special she is to our Ministry and to the people who receive one of her quilts.

We love your quilts, but more importantly, we love you, Sister Iva. Thank you for all you do to help others.

January 29, 2020 - In December, Center Wal-Mart Store #364 awarded a grant of $1,000 to Shelby County Outreach Ministries, Inc. in an effort to feed the hungry and assist the needy in our community. 

Shelby County Outreach Ministries operates four different programs that serve residents of Shelby County. The Helping Hands Outreach Center provides emergency food boxes and assists with utility bills, doctor/dental visits, prescriptions, Ensure, job search accessibility, temporary lodging, and much more. In 2019, they distributed 3,399 emergency food boxes, which fed 7,087 people. Overall, the program met 3,994 needs of the clients in Shelby County. 

The Senior Nutrition Site provides meals to senior citizens, 60 years of age and older, fresh and healthy meals. They also enjoy games, social interaction, educational opportunities, exercise, and more while there. Meals on Wheels is a program housed out of the Senior Site and delivers meals to homebound seniors. Collectively, these two programs have provided 19,599 meals to our senior citizens in Shelby County. 

The Unique Boutique is our thrift store that takes donated items and sells them for low prices. This store helps fund our other programs so we can continue serving our community. 

Our organization relies on the support of the community and generous contributions made by individuals, businesses, and churches. We are extremely grateful to Wal-Mart for their generosity and our local store, their staff.  

January 29, 2020 -  I would like to say thank you to all of my friends who responded to the recent benefit to help out with my medical expenses. The way our community turned out to help with the needs of another is a true testament to the goodness that we have in our county. 

May God Bless You. 
Harry Perry 

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