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Around Town

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May 27, 2021 - The Center Woman’s Reading Club met on Thursday, April 1st at the First United Methodist Church fellowship hall.

The club voted to the program topic for next year will be the Book with the Greatest Impact.

Janene Walker read the resolution in memory of Polly Barron Smith who joined our Woman’s Reading Club in 1996. It is a beautifully written tribute by Janene to a faithful, loving member of our club. This resolution will be sent to Polly’s daughter Anne.

Janene Walker presented her program “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield. Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret of so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disenters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author’s tale of gothic strangeness-featuring the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

Please contact the club membership coordinator, Monty Jones, at 936-598-5757 if you are interested in visiting the club.

By Stephanie Elswick

May 27, 2021 - The Center Woman’s Reading Club met on Thursday, April 15th at the FUMC fellowship hall.

The club was pleased to present a book in memory of Dr. Bill Ginn to the Fannie Brown Booth Memorial library. President West gave the librarian, Sandra Davis, the book entitled “Carving Caricature Figures” that is about wood carving which was a hobby of Dr. Ginn. The doctor’s wife, Eleanor Ginn, was in attendance for the presentation.


From left: Sandra Davis and Eleanor Ginn

Mrs. Davis was also presented with another book for the library titled “West Texas Cattle Kingdom” in memory of a long time member Linda Anderson. Both Mrs. Anderson and her husband Joe Anderson enjoyed reading about Texas history. Both books are available for check out at the library. Their daughter, JoLynn Fountain, was in attendance for the presentation.


From left: Sandra Davis and JoLynn Fountain

Following the business meeting President West and Mrs. Fannie Watson led an interesting group discussion about the novel “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. It is the story of the coming of age main character Kya Clark who lives in the marshes of North Carolina. It explores themes of loneliness, abandonment, lessons learned from nature while centering on the murder of a young man.

The discussion began with an introduction of the book by Becky Wiggins playing the part of the book’s author Delia Owens. It was a delightfully interesting afternoon enjoyed by all present.

Guests are welcome. Please contact the club membership coordinator, Monty Jones, at 936-598-5757 if you are interested in visiting the club.

May 27, 2021 - The Center Woman’s Reading Club met on Thursday, May 6th at the FUMC fellowship hall.

The club was pleased to purchase three children’s books in memory of long time member, Polly Smith, who passed away several months ago. The books are at the Fannie Booth Watson Memorial Library available for check-out.

Club member Bonnie Lucas presented the book Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett. Eye of the Needle is a spy thriller novel that was author Ken Follett’s first successful best-selling effort as a novelist. It has many historical references to World War II.

Henry Faber, a German spy, nick named The Needle due to his trademark weapon being a stiletto, serves as the novel’s main character. The novel was inspired by Operation Fortitude which was an allied counter intelligence operation during WW II.

Guests are always welcome. Please contact the club membership coordinator, Monty Jones, at 936-598-5757 if you are interested in visiting the club.

By Stephanie Elswick

May 26, 2021 - Gena’s Piano Studio recently held their annual spring piano recital on May 1, 2021. The theme was “Fabulous Fifties.” Instructors are Gena Pinner and Valarie Kirkwood.


Pictured from left to right are as follows: (Front row) Kayden Haessly, Ella Eaves, Abby Dutton, Mia Munoz, Eythan Castillo, Julie Orellana, Avery Prudhomme, Gracelynn Ragan (Second row) Gena Pinner, Ella Ann Cooper, Zander Kline, Collyn Grammer, Kolton Scruggs, Stormie Meyers, Marissa Gortney, Ashton Jenkins, Isai Hernandez, Haven Allen, Isareide Gonzalez (Back row) Renee Hagler, Maisie Burns, Von Blueford, Melqui Cantu, Allison Ramirez and Valarie Kirkwood. Not pictured are Pam Hall, Jireh Cantu, Kinley Cranford, Machael Cranford, Presley Campbell, Hailey Pugh, Kambry Ferguson, and Paisley Kirby.

May 24, 2021 - Memorial Day is Monday, May 31st, 2021. United States Flags should be flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon. All banks, schools, businesses, government offices and citizens that fly a US Flag that can be lowered are asked to please do so in honor of those Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice. All other flags flying with the US Flag should also be lowered.

If you fly a flag that can’t be lowered you can still show respect for the day by tying a black cord or ribbon to the top of the flagpole. It too should be removed at noon.

If you have no one to lower your flag at sunrise it is permissible to lower it the night before so it will be in place at sunrise.

May 21, 2021 - To the dismay of many, cursive handwriting is rarely taught to elementary school students these days, ensuring a future in which few will be able to read it. However, even those of us who were taught and use cursive handwriting are sometimes befuddled when trying to read old documents which were written with pen and ink in the ornate script of the 19th century and earlier. Speaking at the May meeting of the Timpson Area Genealogical and Heritage Society, Marynell Bryant, current chair of the Texas Heritage Certificate Program of the Texas State Genealogical Society, shared examples of old script and tips on how to decipher it.

Bryant revealed that, in addition to being written in a style of handwriting which is unfamiliar to the 21st century researcher, the penmanship of the scribes varied widely, with some much more difficult to read than others. The education and literacy of the writers varied widely as well. As Bryant shared “For example, the early census takers weren't paid very much and sometimes they were just sort of dragged off the street and given the job”. This frequent lack of education is reflected in the penmanship and spelling of the record taker. She also noted that the often haphazard preservation of the old records has led to physical deterioration of the handwriting due to wear, insects, and water.

The way certain letters were written in the past has changed and, then as now, there was no real uniformity between scribes. Some formed their letters very ornately while others simply printed them. “D's, H's, W's, and G's present especial difficulty. I's and J's were sometimes almost indistinguishable”, Bryant shared. “The best way to determine what a letter is is to find a word that you know that uses that letter and identify how the writer formed the letter in that word. For example, the capital “J” in “James”.”

Some names and words were abbreviated in ways that are no longer common, Bryant said. The use of “Geo.” for “George”, “Wm.” for “William”, and “”Jno” for “John” or “Jonathan” were frequently used. “Thos.” for “Thomas” and “Jos.” for “Joseph” were also standard. The now universal two-letter Postal Service state name abbreviations did not exist. She illustrated how “Tennessee” was abbreviated as “Tenn”, “Arkansas” as “Ark.”, “Pennsylvania” as “Penn.”, and “Massachusetts” as “Mass.”. Personal signatures are especially difficult, she added.

“When reading a sentence, read slowly and make sure it makes sense. If it doesn't, you are probably misreading it. Don't make assumptions,” Brant warned. A good magnifying glass or a high-resolution photocopy enlargement are often helpful tools. “If you are having trouble with a letter or word, try to find where it is used again elsewhere in the document. Identify common phrases found in deeds and wills”. As she previously mentioned, misspelling is always a problem. “Words were often misspelled, especially personal or place names. Think of possibilities for the way the name or word could be spelled. Sometimes they are even spelled differently in the same document”! In any case, the researcher should transcribe the document exactly as it is written, misspellings and all.

At the close of her presentation, Mrs. Bryant announced that it was test time! She projected two old handwritten documents onto the screen in front of the room and challenged TAGHS members to use the tips she had shared to decipher them. Members were successful, to a greater or lesser degree, but the signature at the bottom of one document was virtually illegible.


Tad Bailey presents Marynell Bryant a certificate of appreciation

This was the first monthly meeting for TAGHS since meetings were suspended last year due to COVID-19 concerns and the Society plans to continue with them. The Timpson Area Genealogical Society meets at 2PM on the third Wednesday of each month in the meeting room of the Timpson Public Library on the corner of Austin and Bremond Streets in downtown Timpson. The TAGHS library is located within the Timpson Public Library and is open and staffed from 9AM until 5PM weekdays. Telephone 936-254- 2966 and ask for the Genealogical Library.

May 20, 2021 - Mathews Realty delivered pizza to area law enforcement as a 'Thank You' on Wednesday, May 19, 2021.

Deliveries were made to the Center Police Department, DPS Office, and the Sheriff's Office. Mathews Realty appreciates our law enforcement and the service they provide to our community everyday.


DPS Office: (From left) Scott Foster, Trooper Keith Jones, and Collin Mathews.


Sheriff's Department: (From left) Sheriff Kevin Windham, Pam Hall, Collin Mathews, and Scott Foster


Center Police Department: (From left) Detective Andrew Williams, Detective Kenneth King, Detective Nicole Faulkner, Collin Mathews, Scott Foster, and Pam Hall.

May 17, 2021 - The Piney Woods Photographic Society (PWPS) held their regular monthly meeting this past Saturday, May 15, 2021 in Center, TX. There was a workshop presentation on tips and techniques for still life photography in preparation for June’s Challenge on Still Life Photography. The May Challenge featured photographs submitted by members for critique and voting on Flowers. After much discussion and voting the top favorites are listed below.

The Piney Woods Photographic Society is a place to meet others who share your passion for photography. Featuring programs and activities with information and instruction for all skill levels in an environment of support and cooperation. Visitors are welcome to attend our meetings on the 3rd Saturday of each month at the First United Methodist Church, Center, TX  from 9 a.m. until 12 noon. For more information on meetings or memberships contact Billie F. Jones, 936-591-2426 or billiejones602@gmail.com

To view all the May Challenge Photos visit our Flickr page or like us on Facebook.


1st Place Favorite: Melvin Henson with Purple Flower 2021


2nd Place Favorite (Tie): Anna Jones with Raindrops on Petals


2nd Place Favorite (Tie): Bobbie Jean Wood with White Rose


3rd Place Favorite (Tie): Billie F. Jones with Indian Blanket


3rd Place Favorite (Tie): Debra Cockrell with Red Rose

May 17, 2021 - The William Carroll Crawford Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) received multiple awards at the DRT 130th Annual Convention May 13th through May 15th in San Antonio, Texas.

Gina Ferren, Chapter PresidentChapter awards received for 2021 were 1st Achievement, 1st Attendance, 1st Volunteer, 1st Membership, and 1st President General's Project Award. Chapter President Gina Ferren accepted the awards certificate on behalf of the chapter.

Maggie Casto, Chapter Registrar accepted the Chapter Growth Award for the chapter for achieving a 10% increase in membership.

Maggie Castro, Registrar

A Memorial Roll Call was held Friday, May 14th at convention where the following names of William Carroll Crawford Chapter members were read: Evelyn Biggar, Juanita Bell Sample Chandler, and Elizabeth Annette Sanders Person.

The President General for the DRT is Carolyn Thomas Raney and her project "All In" has been for the Republic of Texas History Center and Museum. The DRT has been dreaming and working towards the completion of the RTHC for 14 years. The past several years the project has been challenging and exciting. President General Raney has guided the organization along with the Board of Management through the pandemic and ice storm all while the organization is bringing into fruition the new history center and museum. A ground breaking ceremony was held at the new RTHC's location on November 15, 2019 at 810 1/2 San Marcus Street in Austin. It was announced at convention the project construction is projected to be completed in early 2022 at which time the Daughters will be given the keys to the building.

The 2022 State Convention will be in Austin May 19-21 with hopes the Daughters will be able to tour the completed Republic of Texas History Center. For more information on the Republic of Texas History Center or to make a donation, visit the DRT online at https://www.drtinfo.org/

Attending the conventon were Gina Ferren, Merle Howard, Maggie Casto, Vickie Martin, and J.J. Ford. Honorary convention attendee was Gail Sholar for signing up; however, life events got in the way.


From left: Vickie Martin, J.J. Ford, Merle Howard, Gina Ferren, and Maggie Casto

May 12, 2021 - Focused Care of Center held their annual Mother’s Day social with muffins and mimosas and gave a corsages out, donated by Hughes Florist, to our oldest moms Mae Brannen and Audrey Taylor both ladies are 98!! 

Our youngest mom is Sophie Cartwright and the mom with most kids was Carry Kidwell and Betty Cooper. All moms were given a flower pen.

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