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May 28, 2015 - Two miles south of Loop 500 on US Highway 96 a two-vehicle collision brought out the highway patrol on Thursday, May 28, 2015.

According to Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jimmy Faulkner, at 7:20am a 2009 white GMC 2500 pickup pulling a homemade trailer with a water tank was traveling south on US Highway 96 when it struck the rear of a 2010 silver Chevrolet Traverse. The driver of the GMC, Christopher David Link, age 32, of Center was cited for failure to control speed. The driver of the Chevrolet was Aaron Weldon Boles, age 79, of Center, and he was stopped with his blinker on to make a left turn into a private driveway when the collision occurred.

The Traverse exited the roadway to the left and came to rest beside the private driveway. The GMC came to a halt a little further down the highway from the crash in the middle of the southbound lane. Once DPS arrived the GMC was moved from the road.

No injuries were reported and both vehicles were towed from the scene.

May 26, 2015 - Stephen Shires spoke with the commissioners about contracting with the county to be the Assistant District Attorney.

Stephen Shires spoke with the commissioners about contracting with the county to be the Assistant District Attorney.The Shelby County Commissioners approved Stephen Shires as the new assistant to District Attorney Ken Florence at their recent meeting held on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. They also put companies with large truck haulers on the spot in relation to county roads and seeking permits for such travel.

A budget adjustment Request from the District Attorney Florence was on the agenda and present to speak about this request was Shires, who informed the court a portion of this effort is to provide assistance to Florence in improving case disposition percentages in Shelby County, "The way we've set this up, I would not fall under the professional prosecutors act. So, I could maintain my [civil] practice over there and then we could look. I mean the hours working and all that, that's not how you measure the productivity of this position. How many cases do we get moved, how many cases do we get plead, how many cases do we get tried. We keep our disposition rate above 90% which is important."

Shires explained to the commissioners the District Attorney's office and County Attorney's office must keep their disposition rate above 90% otherwise the county is in jeopardy of losing state funding. Jennifer Fountain, Shelby County Clerk, stated the county is at 74% over the past five year term not including juvenile probation. She stated the five year term began in January and she has filed for clarification from the state as to how many of these cases are misdemeanor and felony to get an idea of each department's percentage.

The commissioners approved proclaiming May as Elder Abuse Prevention Awareness Month at the meeting held on Tuesday. Pictured are (from left) Jennifer Fountain, Shelby County Clerk; Tracey Belin, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services; Jimmy Lout, Commissioner Precinct 2; Allison Harbison, Shelby County Judge; Travis Rodgers, Commissioner Precinct 3; Roscoe McSwain, Commissioner Precinct 1; Mason Hendry, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.This proposal was made possible with the evacuation of the District Attorney Investigator position formerly held by Bobby Carlsen and Florence volunteering to no longer use a $10,000 car allowance. According to Judge Harbison, if Florence finds himself in need of an investigator he has said he can work with the Sheriff's Department, Center Police Department and when necessary seek help from the Attorney General's office because the state has revenue available to be used for special investigation. With the absence of an investigator at a cost of $51,000 and the $10,000 car allowance no longer in use, this should help afford an assistant at his request of $60,000.

"My preferred arrangement is to essentially be an independent contractor, which means the county would have to provide me no benefits. No health insurance, no car allowance, no phone, no nothing."

Shires stated this arrangement is one which the county has adopted in the past with one example being that of Wesley Hoyt acting as contract assistant to then District Attorney John S. Walker.

"It's tough for one person to do that job, because it's difficult to be proactive. There's lots of things that we need to do working with probation, working with the police to be proactive," said Shires. "I'm going to run for District Attorney next time around. My understanding Mr. Florence is not going to run, so this would also cause an ease of transition to the office. Like I said when I ran before, what's important to me are the drugs, are dealing with the drugs and the police have a ton of drug cases, but on top of that we continue to have a murder or a kidnapping or these sorts of things and it's just difficult, I think it's difficult for any one person whoever it is to do the job. So, I think this is a good solution."

Roscoe McSwain, Commissioner Precinct 1, made the motion to move forward on a contract basis of $5,000 a month with the money coming from the current budget if there's enough money to fund it, if not a small adjustment will be made to fund it, "We'll get a report back on the benefit we get out of the $20,000 in four months when we go over next year's budget." The motion was seconded by Travis Rodgers, Commissioner Precinct 3, and was approved.

The commissioners approved proclaiming May as Elder Abuse Prevention Awareness Month at the meeting held on Tuesday. Pictured are (from left) Jennifer Fountain, Shelby County Clerk; Tracey Belin, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services; Jimmy Lout, Commissioner Precinct 2; Allison Harbison, Shelby County Judge; Travis Rodgers, Commissioner Precinct 3; Roscoe McSwain, Commissioner Precinct1; Mason Hendry, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Judge Harbison stated Commissioner Rodgers has been having difficulty in his precinct in dealing with the roads which are his responsibility and saltwater trucks that drive on them. She stated a process by which companies traveling on these roads are required to get permits through the County Road Use Permit procedure which was put in place sometime in the past. According to Judge Harbison it is Commissioner Rodgers contention the trucks he is having issue with are not permitted.

"It's not that we can charge them a big fee or anything, but we need to know who's on those roads," said Judge Harbison.

Commissioner Rodgers explained how he would like the process to work, "What my idea would be, we can go without charging for writing a permit, but once we get a permit and on that permit they've got an agreement if they damage something that they will either fix it or furnish materials to fix it. This permit also gives you the information who's on this road or who has been on it, who to check with or look at. If there are two or three vendors on it, it can be split up two or three different ways. I've got one road that is still closed due to the weather, if they would stop when it first starts it wouldn't be so bad, but they won't stop they just keep on dragging and tearing."

According to Commissioner McSwain, the legislature addressed this issue within the last two or three years and a county cannot require payment for that permit; however, they can require the permit, "The permit is a benefit to the trucking company because we have a set amount of hours, they call in the permit, we have so many hours to go look at the road assess the damage the road has already received, see what condition the road's in, you note that then they're not responsible for damage that was done on the road, but from then on they are responsible and we'll hold them to it when it happens. If they do not get the permit, I think this is what we'll find in the law if enough studying [is] done, if they do not come get the permit to allow the county to know what road they're using then they're responsible for anything we want to put on them, damage to the road."

Jimmy Lout, Commissioner Precinct 2, asked what companies should be getting the permits and he specifically asked this in relation to Tyson and Pilgrim's Pride.

McSwain said all of the companies are supposed to be getting the permits, "Tyson and Pilgrim's have now got to where if they use this money on the highway with their trucks and they go two miles to a farm then they want to go out the other three miles to the other main highway where they'll tear the whole dang road up. Well it's not my fault and I don't know what they're doing to keep from hitting each other. Well that ain't my problem, they tear up both ends of the dadburn road instead of just tearin' up one end. Pilgrim's right now, I was looking through those farms tickets the other day when they sold, 93,000 to 97,000 lbs loads. Well that ain't legal to start with, now if you're going to hammer the log trucks and everybody else, why are they getting to do it?"

The commissioners continued with discussion about more roads which have been damaged by regular use of large trucks . Judge Harbison stated the main issue right now is the constant rain as usually at this time of year the roads are dry. At this time there is no one to enforce these permits. Judge Harbison said sheriff's deputies and constables could enforce the permits.

Judge Harbison made a motion reinstating Shelby County does have a County Road Use Permit and everyone needs to be informed of that and it will be added to the county website. The motion was seconded by McSwain and was approved.

Agenda items receiving approval include:

    Pay monthly expenses.
    County Depository contract with Farmers State Bank.
    Give 60 day notice for occupant at 108 Austin Street to vacate the premises allowing the county to use the building.
    Hire Stephen Shires on a contract basis as assistant
    District Attorney at $5,000 a month for four months with a review of progress after those four months.
    Reiteration of county road use permit.
    Proclamation for Elder Abuse Prevention Awareness Month.
    Adjourn 10:27am.

May 26, 2015 - State Highway 7 East was the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 where several witnesses were first to respond to the aid of those involved.

As the crash occurred, Jennifer Norton was preparing to turn into the Steel Building Supply parking lot and Jamie Lindley was in the lot by his vehicle. Norton hesitated turning as it appeared a truck which was approaching her from the east was about to turn into the same lot. That hesitation may have prevented the truck from colliding with Norton as the next thing Lindley witnessed was the truck traveling airborne over the entrance to the parking lot. Once the vehicle stopped moving, Lindley and Norton moved quickly to those involved in the crash and helped them until EMS arrived.

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) State Cpl. Trooper Jimmy Faulkner investigated the crash assisted by DPS Trooper Dustin Ramos and DPS Trooper Michael Neal. According to DPS Trooper Ramos at 12:28pm a 1995 white Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Nicholas Smith, 19, of Mansfield with passenger Terry London, 20, was traveling west on State Highway 7 East. The truck failed to drive in a single lane and drove off the roadway to the left into a ditch where it struck a culvert and became slightly airborne before overturning and coming to rest off the road in front of Steel Building Supply and facing north. A motorcycle within the bed of the truck was tossed from the vehicle during the crash.

Smith and London were transported by ACE EMS to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Smith was issued a citation for failure to drive in a single lane and failure to maintain financial responsibility. The crash remains under investigation.

The Center Fire Department was on scene to provide traffic control and assist others.

Effective May 25, 2015, 12:30pm EDT

As of 12:30pm EDT, May 25th, the Weather Channel's Dr. Greg Forbes issued a 50% probability of a tornado for Central and East Texas. Dr. Forbes is a severe weather expert who developed the TOR:CON index which estimates the risk of a tornado.

According to the, TOR:CON index ranges from 0 to 10. The index values are 8+ Very high probability of a tornado; 6 - High probability of a tornado; 4 - Moderate chance of a tornado nearby, but hail and/or high wind gusts possible; 2 - Low chance of a tornado, but hail and/or high wind gusts possible; and 0 - Near-zero chance of a tornado or a severe thunderstorm.

To calculate percentage, multiply the TOR:CON value by 10 for the chance of a tornado within 50 miles of a location.

Monday, May 25, 2015 - Severe thunderstorms in central and east TX, east of a line from near Childress to Abilene to Fort Stockton, southeast OK, southwest AR, northwest LA. TOR:CON - 5 central and east TX.

Isolated to scattered severe thunderstorms in west-central TX, southeast MN, north and west IA, southeast and south-central NE, central and east KS, central and east OK, northwest AR, west MO. TOR:CON - 3 southeast NE, southwest IA, northeast KS; 2 to 3 rest of area.

A chance of isolated severe thunderstorms in west IN, central and south IL, southeast MO, west KY, west TN, east AR, MS, LA. TOR:CON - 2.

The above information is available at the following link - TOR:CON Index, Exclusively From The Weather Channel (

Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Bradley Horton is seen speaking with the passenger of the motorcycle as she sits by the motorcycle following the chase.May 22, 2015 - The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) was engaged in a bi-county vehicle chase on Monday, May 18, 2015 south of Shelbyville and the suspect driver is still being sought.

At around 12am Texas DPS State Trooper Ricardo Segura was entering Shelby County on FM 147 as he attempted to pull over a blue Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle which was speeding and had two riders. As the motorcycle was 1 mile from the intersection with State Highway 87 South the driver of the motorcycle laid the motorcycle down beside the roadway.

DPS Trooper Ricardo Segura investigated the Suzuki 600 motorcycle following the incident. He is seen being assisted by Gene Vail and his wrecker crew.When Trooper Segura brought his vehicle to a stop it was discovered the passenger was still with the motorcycle and her leg was trapped beneath it. While Trooper Segura removed the vehicle from atop the passenger, the driver fled into the woods.

Jamie Hagler, Constable Precinct 2, arrived shortly after with Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Bradley Horton to assist in the search for the suspect.

The passenger informed authorities she did not know the identity of the driver. Center Police Sgt. Scott Burkhalter arrived at the scene with K9 Taz to assist in searching for the suspect in the woods. ACE EMS transported the passenger from the scene to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for examination.

No information has been provided by DPS at this time pertaining to the suspect or passenger. Further information will be provided as it is made available.

Jamie Hagler, Constable Precinct 2, tried to gain information from the passenger relating to the driver of the Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle.

May 21, 2015 - Municipal Court Judge James Bogue swore in newly elected Timpson City Council members Kyle Allen, George Grace and Janell Baker at the recent Tuesday, May 19, 2015 meeting.

Judge Bogue remarked that all of the newly elected council members were re-elected to their seats on the council, "I want to congratulate you on being the winners and remind you that the people of this town place their confidence in you and this is no little thing. We are all proud of our city and those that care enough about it come to vote, and I congratulate you on getting those numbers."

Council members Allen, Baker, and Grace all stood by their seats, raised their right hands and took the oath of their office.

Once the council members were sworn in a vote was made by Councilman Allen to elect George Grace as Mayor Pro Tem to which Grace stated, "I decline." Grace then offered a motion to elect Ronnie Wolfe as Mayor Pro Tem with Councilwoman Baker seconding the motion and it passed.

During the meeting, as the council reviewed the consent agenda items, Wolfe presented a profit and loss statement specific to the police department and no other department. According to Wolfe, this report was projected over a seven month time period of 2015. This very likely means Wolfe is continuing his agenda toward the police department regarding a reduction in force, "We cannot continue that trend, and meet these obligations that we have with water and sewer that we've to look at so be thinking about that between now and time we budget."

A motion was then carried to approve the consent agenda item A through D.

Anniversaries of several city employees were mentioned during the meeting including Tommy Sparks' 29th year with the city; Kent Graham's 5th year with the city; and Thomas Jernigan's 2nd year with the city.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:10pm.

Approved items on the agenda:

    Items approved during the meeting include:
    Canvass General Election May 9, 2015.
    Resolution 05-13-2015, an order declaring the canvassing of the City of Timpson General Election, May 9, 2015.
    Minutes of the regular meeting held on April 21, 2015.
    Financial Statement for the month of April 2015.
    Accounts Payable - Unpaid bills for April 2015.
    Timpson Cemetery Grave site map.
    TCEQ Renewal Fees.
    Resolution of Authority and contact information for Austin and Texas State Bank Accounts, adding Leslie Leathers, City Secretary to noted accounts. Set up Leslie to utilize online Austin Bank.

May 21, 2015 - The Shelby County grand jury for the July term of the 273rd Judicial District Court met on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 and handed down indictments for 25 cases.

Daryl McSwain received two indictments for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, second degree felony. The indictment alleges on August 21, 2014 McSwain threatened Dusten Byrd and Robert Mitchell Miller with imminent bodily injury by trying to ram his motorcycle and running him off the road and did then and there use or exhibit a deadly weapon, a 2001 black Ford during commission of the assault.

Massaud Williams was indicted for burglary of a habitation, second degree felony. The indictment alleges on July 11, 2014 Williams entered the home of Atoshia Ayers without her consent and attempted to commit theft of property including a flat screen TV, one PlayStation 3, one camera and four wheels. Williams was also indicted for evading arrest with prior convictions, state jail felony. The indictment alleges on December 6, 2014 Williams fled from Center Police Officer Steve Thornburgh who was attempting to lawfully arrest or detain him.

Jahir Garcia-Luna and William Brandon Smith were each indicted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, second degree felony. The indictments allege on August 18, 2014 Garcia-Luna and Smith caused bodily injury to April Rochelle Peterson by shooting her with an air-soft rifle which was the deadly weapon exhibited during the commission of the assault. Garcia-Luna and Smith were also indicted for tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, third degree felony. The indictments allege Garcia-Luna and Smith, knowing an investigation was in progress, concealed an air-soft rifle with intent to impair its availability as evidence in the investigation.

Ashley Shaunte Fredieu was indicted for credit card/debit card abuse against the elderly, third degree felony. The indictment alleges on August 16, 2014 Fredieu presented to Walmart or used a Citizens Bank Master card with knowledge that the card had not been issued to Fredieu. The indictment continues by stating Fredieu did not have permission from the cardholder, Ola M. Gardner, an elderly individual.

Jamison Rashard Swindle received one indictment for possession of a controlled substance and two indictments for delivery of a controlled substance. The first indictment alleges on July 3, 2014 Swindle possessed phencyclidine (PCP) in an amount of four grams or more but less than 200 grams. The second indictment for delivery of a controlled substance, second degree felony, alleges on July 3, 2014 Swindle delivered cocaine to a "Cooperating Individual" in an amount of less than one gram. The third indictment delivery of a controlled substance, state jail felony, alleges on June 27, 2014 Swindle delivered cocaine to a "Cooperating Individual" in an amount of less than one gram.

Hollis Neel Farris was indicted for theft, third degree felony. The indictment alleges on July 7, 2014 Farris stole a 2 year old Black Angus Bull valued at less than $100,000 from Paul Hancock without his consent.

Erick Sanchez was indicted for assault bodily injury, third degree felony. The indictment alleges on July 18, 2014 Sanchez caused bodily injury to Milagro Gonzalez, whom Sanchez was dating, by impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of Gonzalez by applying pressure to the throat or neck and/or blocking the nose or mouth of Gonzalez.

David Nathan Lewis Jr. was indicted for failure to stop and render aid, third degree felony. The indictment alleges on May 4, 2014 Lewis drove a vehicle that became involved in a crash resulting in damage to a vehicle. The indictment continued to allege Lewis knowingly left the scene of the crash without giving his name, address, registration number of the vehicle he was driving or the name of his vehicle liability insurer to Jedediah Dale Davenport, the driver of the vehicle with which Lewis collided.

William Harold Lovell III was indicted for intoxication assault, third degree felony. The indictment alleges on August 15, 2013 Lovell was operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated and by reason of such intoxication caused serious bodily injury to Alicia Cruse. The indictment continues to allege Lovell did so by intentionally recklessly driving causing the vehicle he was driving to roll over.

(Dates in parenthesis indicate the date of the alleged incident)
Maria De Los Angeles Mendoza-Lemus, fraudulent use or possession of identifying information, state jail felony (August 28, 2014).
Augustin S. Jimenez, driving while intoxicated, third degree felony (July 19, 2014).
Mitchell Lee Garrett, evading arrest, third degree felony (August 25, 2014).
Leonel Hernandez, evading arrest with vehicle, third degree felony (August 10, 2014).
Aubrey Calvin Pearson, failure to register as a sex offender, third degree felony (January 24, 2015).
Michael Sherman Johnson, possession of a controlled substance, third degree felony (July 30, 2014).
Carrie Moore Wilkins, driving while intoxicated with child passenger, state jail felony (August 18, 2014).
Glendon Dale Webb, possession of a controlled substance, state jail felony (July 5, 2014).
Chadwick Obrien Bradshaw, possession of a controlled substance, state jail felony (July 4, 2014).
Jose Luis Garay, evading arrest, third degree felony (August 16, 2014).

***Indictments and information are not a conviction, and are a matter of public record. All individuals are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

May 19, 2015 (Album1, Album2, Album3) - The 10th Annual Shelby County Relay for Life event was held May 15, 2015 under the cover of the Shelby County Expo Center. Rain fell prior and during the event; however, the spirit of those Relaying wasn't dampened. Becky Parfait, event chairperson, welcomed everyone and announced this years theme - Blast from the Past, a decade of Relay for Life in Shelby County.



#RFL Blast From the Past, A Decade of #RelayforLife in Shelby County - Video of Opening Ceremonies of the 10th Annual Shelby County Relay for Life - Read the story on #ShelbyCountyToday at the following link -

Posted by Shelby County Today on Tuesday, May 19, 2015


The first lap of the event began with the Teams Lap after which a special entrance was arranged for survivors and caregivers. Each survivor and caregiver spoke to the crowd announcing their name and why they became a part of Relay for Life prior to starting the survivor lap and the caregivers lap. The luminaria ceremony was held at 9:30pm and included a slide show honoring survivors, caregivers, and those loved ones lost followed by a special lap, the memory lap. Walkers walked in the dimly lit arena with only the light of the luminaria bags to guild them.

Other activities enjoyed by all were a Fight Back Scavenger Hunt, a Blast From the Past Contest, Crazy Hat Contest, and a Talent Show.

During the event, teams drew winners for various fundraisers and some of the results were:

  •     Portacool Team raffled off a Pink Portacool which was won by Sharon Peace.
  •     Texas State Bank team raffled off a Homemade quilt which was won by Johnny Hensley.
  •     Team Never Give Up, Always Look Up raffled off a metal horse shoe art. The winners were 'I Love You' won by Henry Morris, cross won by Melinda Hughes, an Angel won by Doris Nobles, and the BBQ pit was won by Dana Havens.
  •     Timpson ISD Team raffled off a personalized beach bag which was won by Sandra Gray.
  •     Shelby Savings Bank team announced the winners of the raffle to be Leroy Newman won the 2 Yeti coolers, Lori Davis won the 55” LED TV, Michael Lee won the 128GB iPad & $100 iTunes gift card, and Dr. Dixon Golden won the 12 gauge shotgun.
  •     Smyrna Church team raffled off a Kindle Fire won by Lorelei Mathews, Steven McCann won a $50 Jamberry gift certificate, Stacey Scarborough won a decorated window pane.

#RFL Blast From the Past, A Decade of #RelayforLife in Shelby County - Video of the Talent Show during the 10th Annual Shelby County Relay for Life - Read the story on #ShelbyCountyToday at the following link -

Posted by Shelby County Today on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

#RFL Blast From the Past, A Decade of #RelayforLife in Shelby County - Video of the Team and Survivor Walk at the 10th Annual Shelby County Relay for Life - Read the story on #ShelbyCountyToday at the following link -

Posted by Shelby County Today on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

#RFL Blast From the Past, A Decade of #RelayforLife in Shelby County - Video of Always Look Up during the 10th Annual Shelby County Relay for Life - Read the story on #ShelbyCountyToday at the following link -

Posted by Shelby County Today on Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Shelby County Today was on scene as officers searched the vehicle where they recovered a large amount of narcotics and money. Center Police Officer Jake Gross is seen at the back of the vehicle as Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Bradley Horton searches the passenger side of the vehicle with Sgt. Scott Burkhalter.

May 20, 2015 - Shelby County Today was on scene as officers searched the vehicle where they recovered a large amount of narcotics and money. Center Police Officer Jake Gross is seen at the back of the vehicle as Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Bradley Horton searches the passenger side of the vehicle with Sgt. Scott Burkhalter.

Center Police Department traffic stop nets an assortment of drugs, a gun, and over $30,000 in suspected drug money in the early hours of Tuesday morning on Hurst Street.

According to a Center Police Department press release, Sgt. Scotty Burkhalter with his K9 partner, "Taz", observed a black Chrysler 300 leaving Wal-Mart parking lot without headlights turned on at 1:30am on May 19, 2015. Sgt. Burkhalter initiated a traffic stop in the 800 block of Hurst Street and made contact with the driver of the Chrysler, Benny Earl Holmes, 25, of Tenaha.

Burkhalter observed Holmes was reaching into the floor board of the vehicle while Burkhalter was talking to him. Burkhalter ordered Holmes to get out of the vehicle and to show his hands. He complied after several commands to do so.

Coming from the vehicle Sgt Burkhalter smelled a strong odor of Marijuana and placed Holmes into custody for further investigation.

Arriving on scene and assisting Burkhalter was Center PD Officer Jake Gross along with Shelby County Sheriff Deputy Michael Griffin and Deputy Bradley Horton. During the investigation a .380 caliber pistol was located in the floorboard next to two big bags of marijuana.

The search concluded with the seizure of 13.6 grams of methamphetamine, powder cocaine, over a quarter pound of marijuana, a large amount of assorted pills, $30,616 in US Currency, and a pistol.

The suspect was charged with seven (7) felonies which includes possession with intent to distribute and money laundering. Holmes was taken to the Center Police Department.

The Center Police Department wants to thank Sheriff Willis Blackwell for his deputies and the help they provided.

In the center, Walter "Buster" Bounds surrounded by his family

May 20, 2015 -  (More Photos) Walter "Buster" Bounds was honored by the Shelby County Historical Commission when the title of Town Historian was bestowed upon him on Thursday, May 14, 2015 in the courtroom of the Historic Courthouse. He is only the second Town Historian to be named; the first being Mattie Dellinger.

Prior to presenting Bounds with a plaque, Shelby County Historical Commission president, Colleen Doggett said, "Buster [Bounds] is being honored even though he is very humble and he says he doesn't know all that much about the history and doesn't know why he would be honored in this way. But he is a humble person. I've never gone to Buster and asked for information or help with something that the answer is always yes, it's never no."

Doggett addressed the large crowd in attendance at the Historic Courthouse, "We're here to honor someone who from high school days has been preserving history." Doggett referenced an interview she had with Bounds, "Buster told me a story about his high school days when he was the editor of the yearbook and he had access to all the class pictures and everything. So, he carried them home to work on and he didn't take them back up to school which turned out to be a good thing because the next year the school burned down. So, see he started preserving history when he was about 18."

Morris Bounds, Buster’s father, started at the insurance agency in 1965 dividing his time between insurance and managing Lunsford Buick Company. The Bounds family also raised chickens in the old days before Shelby County converted to modern broiler houses. His cousin H. B. “Bob” Bounds ran the Bounds Processing Plant located behind the old ice house from 1946 well into the 1950s and processed the first batch of chickens for Mr. Cordray that brought the modern growing methods to Shelby County. Buster is the third child of three children and the only boy. During his youth the family lived on Pecan Street which isn't far from the square allowing him to be able to walk all over the town and be observant of what was happening. He met his wife, Carolyn Bounds, after accepting a teaching job at Ottawa Township High School in Ottawa, Illinois. After marrying, the couple moved back to Center and began running the insurance agency.

Dixie Dellinger, daughter of the 1st Town Historian Mattie Dellinger, thanks Buster Bounds for the kind words about her mom."Now before I knew Buster very well, I would see him around town with his video camera doing a school play out at Shelbyville and this and that. It didn't matter. He's been to Garden Club, Reading Club, for different programs for filming." She continued to say, "What is really wonderful; people know that Buster has served as the chairman of the Historical Commission and they'll drop things by and he has a wonderful long filing closet that the first time I saw it it was stacked almost to the ceiling with old maps and this and that." Doggett referenced when she needed something for research he knew exactly where to find it.

"When you have family stories write them down; listen to the people. When you have family photographs and there in a frame or whatever put a little envelope on the back that tells who all the people were and what the occasion was for that picture to be made," explained Doggett was good advice Bounds gave many times at historic cemetery dedications.

His video archive includes interviews with people telling the history of the area, events, ribbon cuttings, reunions, celebrations, birthday parties, band and choir concerts, parades, piano recitals, awards ceremonies, ground breaking, open houses, plays, weddings, funerals, honorees, book reviews, weather events, changes in the business community, flower shows, demonstrations, dedications, and the list goes on and on.

Bounds wanted to express a word or two as he unfolded a speech bringing chuckles and smiles from the audience, "Surprises are greatly overrated and I would like to say a word or two but I'll talk fast." "I did want to thank the members of the Historical Commission. I am truly humbled to be designated town historian and I will not take the responsibility lightly, I promise.

"My contribution to the collective wisdom will be different from what the past Town Historian, Mattie Dellinger, collected and passed on to us. Mattie passed down a written legacy of her detailed insights into our community and the families that we call this place 'home.' There will never be anyone, Dixie [Dellinger], never anyone like Mattie. She and her brand of collective wisdom are greatly missed. You can find all her newspaper articles in the museum in one book.

"I shouldn’t tell this - I tried to out-Mattie Mattie once. I decided I was going to challenge her with a story about Rebie Childs who was convicted of murder in the 1930s and she spent her time while in Huntsville singing with a popular vocal group on the radio. Mattie listened to be sure I didn't know anything new about the Rebie Childs and she responded with kindness, “Yes, Rebie and I were in the same Sunday School class and I never trusted her.” And, to finish with a slam-dunk -- honest truth -- Town Historians don’t lie; she fished around in her purse and found a yellowed copy of the front page of the Light Champion filled with pictures and details about Rebie’s trial. Mattie and her memories are truly missed. There will never be another Mattie Dellinger.

"My contribution is though a new medium – a medium that is tricky to collect and very tricky to preserve and use. It is the medium of video. In the past few years I’ve collected over 14 TB of video and audio files which represents roughly 1,400 hours of filming.

"It is depressing to realize that I’ve stored more video than anyone will ever see -- or want to see. Few of my projects have a commercial value but my hope is that they will have a legacy value for 'our people.'

"Today we have an opportunity, everybody has a video camera or a cell phone, or whatever it is they are using and commercial value is not the only gauge for success. I’m still collecting at the rate of around 3 TB per year and as cameras upgrade – a certainty – that number could easily double. And before my lights and microphones get switched off, I hope to have tamed all this information into a searchable database that actually can be used. That may be the hardest part.

"Again, thanks for honoring me and my work with this designation. I can’t think of anything more satisfying than to be told that my work is important to the community I love and I love you all."

Following the plaque presentation and the speech, everyone was invited to enjoy refreshments in the transportation room downstairs.