Hunter And The Beanstalk

Hunter And The Beanstalk

Hunter Coker, 6, son of Timothy and Katherina Coker, is shown measuring his bean plant that now measures 8-feet tall. He started the plant with a bean while enrolled in Mrs. Stone's kindergarten class at Vista Academy in Crockett. (Courtesy Photo)

Houston County youth help unload SHARE veggies

That's a lot of carrots!

When pallets full of fresh veggies recently were delivered to Houston County SHARE, a group of Houston County youth was on hand to help unload the produce trucks and other tasks. Pictured with more carrots than Bugs Bunny could eat in a week are Piney Woods Leos Dolan Mullins and Sara Smith. Leo Jace Skalicky is in the background unloading red onions. See related photos on Page A6. (Photo by Ellen Brooks)

PWFAA’s Summer Tunes By The Tracks Are Back!


Del Castillo, an Austin-based group, opened the second Summer Lightnin' Concert Series, June Tunes by the Tracks, last Thursday at at Sallas Amphitheatre in Arnold Park (next to Houston County Museum). Guy Forsyth will take the stage tonight, Thursday, June 12, at 8 p.m. Forsyth performs his own brand of Americana/folk/blues music. The concerts are free and family-friendly. (PWFAA Photo)

Local Girl Scout Focuses On Nutritional Needs Of Seniors

By Lynda Jones

"I believe the general public is not as aware of the issues that face our senior citizens. By posting this case study, I hope to change that," Christina McElhany, a seventh grade Cadette Girl Scout of Latexo Girl Scout Troop 1875, said in reference to her Girl Scout Silver Award Project.

Christina McElhany, daughter of Dan and Kimberly McElhany of Crockett, focused on the quality of nutrition Houston County’s seniors receive for her Girl Scout Silver Award Project. (Photo by Lynda Jones)Christina McElhany, daughter of Dan and Kimberly McElhany of Crockett, focused on the quality of nutrition Houston County’s seniors receive for her Girl Scout Silver Award Project. (Photo by Lynda Jones)McElhany began her project in November 2013 and completed it on May 7. She devoted 62 hours to researching whether senior citizens are meeting their daily food and nutrition requirements that they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

McElhany said, "This is a subject that is very concerning to our community."

She explained that her focus on senior citizens began when she started volunteering at Houston County SHARE.

"I realized the overwhelming need that our senior citizens required involving their nutrition. Our food pantry helps many seniors in our community, but it is small and cannot reach everyone," McElhany said. "Some seniors don't meet the financial requirements even though most seniors are on a fixed income. These seniors often have to decide on buying their medication or nutritious food."

McElhany's research involved three control groups that included individuals 60 years of age or older at the Houston County Senior Citizens Center in Crockett, in their private homes, and a blind control group that was given anonymous questionnaires.
"These are self-assessment studies and all data is local to our county and is not related to nursing homes or hospitals/hospice centers," McElhany explained.
"After compiling all the data, it seems that the most nutritional needs that were lacking in all groups were the consumption of calcium fortified juice and 20 minutes of sun exposure for vitamin D consumption," McElhany said. "A lack of beef consumption was also a concern. I would have liked to seen a higher dairy consumption, since this is the age were osteo issues are more prevalent in seniors, especially women."
She said she found the group with the most positive overall results were the men she interviewed at the Houston County Senior Citizens Center.
"I believe this is the highest group because they offer daily reduced meals to all seniors," McElhany said. She also noted, "A large percentage of these males are widowers so this probably the most nutritious meal of the day for them."
She found the group with the lowest positive data was the Blind Control Group.McElhany hypothesized this result "could be because people tend to be more honest when they participate in anonymous surveys."
The males in the Blind Control Group reported a lack of animal protein, calcium fortified juice, fruits/vegetables, sun exposure, fiber cereal intake and beef consumption.
"They scored well in water intake, whole grains, daily multi-vitamins and dairy intake," McElhany reported.
Results from the females in the Blind Control Group, McElhany reported, showed an even consumption of animal protein, dairy, calcium fortified juice and daily multi-vitamins.
"The most notable failure was fruits/vegetables, sun exposure, fiber cereal, grains, whole grains and beef consumption. The only one they excelled at was their water intake," McElhany reported.
McElhany concluded, "I hope that this study will help our community and state see that more food programs are needed to take care of all of our seniors in Houston County and even across the State of Texas. No person should have to choose between life-saving medication and eating. I believe these are basic human rights that should be afforded to all people. Our seniors helped to shape the world we live in, so it is all of our responsibility to help shape their future now in a positive way."
McElhany mailed a copy of her study to the State Capitol and to State Representative Trent Ashby.

Bringing Home The Gold

Local Students Excel In Current Events, Math, Spelling & Vocabulary

The Latexo High School UIL Math Team won its third consecutive State UIL Championship last week.  Pictured are Ashley Rothrock, first place individual; Charles Rothrock, second place individual; Byron Williams, seventh place individual; Jace Skalicky, third place individual; and Coach Audrey Cravens.  Williams is holding the team’s State UIL Champion plaque. m(Latexo ISD Photo)The Latexo High School UIL Math Team won its third consecutive State UIL Championship last week. Pictured are Ashley Rothrock, first place individual; Charles Rothrock, second place individual; Byron Williams, seventh place individual; Jace Skalicky, third place individual; and Coach Audrey Cravens. Williams is holding the team’s State UIL Champion plaque. m(Latexo ISD Photo)

latexo-current-events-team 640pxThe Latexo High School UIL Current Events Team won its third (2010, 2011, 2014) State UIL Championship last week. Pictured are Rachelle Marcus, fifth place individual; Byron Williams, first place individual; Coach Kim Watson with the team’s State UIL Champion plaque; Parker Hartzog, third place individual; and Cole Miller, Team Gold. (Latexo ISD Photo)

Jaclyn-for-A1 640On Tuesday, May 20, Kennard High School sophomore Jaclyn Barclay won her second consecutive Academic UIL State Championship in Spelling & Vocabulary. “To be a state champion it takes lots of time, hard work, dedication, and Microsoft Excel!” Barclay’s ultimate goal is to win all four years of high school. (Photo by Sherrie Chesser)

Mary Allen Seminary Named As One Of Most Endangered Places In Texas

AUSTIN - The Mary Allen Seminary in Crockett, the Brinkley Davis House in Limestone County, the Clay House in Nacogdoches, Jefferson Ordnance Magazine in Jefferson and the Pig Stand No. 41 in Beaumont are among the 12 sites that Preservation Texas, Inc. has named to its eleventh annual list of Texas' Most Endangered Places.

Preservation Texas officials announced the selections outside the Texas State Capitol on Tuesday, May 20.

"The 2014 list is a diverse group of sites that reflect the range of preservation issues that historic places throughout the state are confronting," said Evan Thompson, executive director of Preservation Texas. "The sites are cultural, architectural and historic icons that are at imminent risk of disappearing from the landscape.

"Local grassroots organizations have been working tirelessly in support of these sites. By including them on the 2014 list, we hope to rally Texans statewide to step up and save them by supporting job-creating investments in our state's at-risk historic places."

Historic preservation is a billion dollar industry in Texas. Historic sites named to the list of Texas' Most Endangered Places represent some of the biggest opportunities to make a positive economic impact on local communities through preservation.

Preservation Texas supports sites on its Most Endangered Places List providing technical assistance to identify preservation needs and set priorities, fund raising expertise and assistance in fostering and building community partnerships.

803 North Fourth St., Crockett, Houston County
Standing on the crest of a hill one mile north of the town square in Crockett stands Mary Allen Hall, the 1887 administration building of the former Mary Allen Seminary.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the four-story Second Empire-style brick building is all that remains of this school for African-American women built during the post-Reconstruction period.

The Seminary was founded by the Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and later became Mary Allen College. It closed in 1972.

The Mary Allen Museum of African-American Art and History is seeking to restore Mary Allen Hall by reigniting the same spirit of cooperation and goodwill that led to the school's founding.
Having suffered from fire, neglect and natural disasters, the brick walls remain standing while the interior is in a state of collapse. Through careful preservation planning and support for an ongoing capital campaign, it is hoped that Texans will rally to save this architectural and educational landmark.

Located in a pasture between Groesbeck and Thornton on LCR 766
Limestone County

When Brinkley Davis and his family left their home in Parke County, IN, they intended to forge a new future in Texas. Settling in Limestone County in 1834, they built a log dog-trot structure using local timber and parts of the barge that they used to sail down the Mississippi River through the Gulf of Mexico to Galveston. While his family thrived, their house has fallen into disrepair, victim to the elements since it was last occupied in the 1960s.

Through the careful documentation and analysis of the Brinkley Davis House, plans for its restoration and relocation to a site with greater public access will be possible. As perhaps the oldest house in Limestone County, the study of this vernacular structure will give clues to the early architectural practices of the region. Reconstruction of collapsed front and rear porches, stabilization of its stone chimneys and preservation of salvageable wooden floors, walls and ceilings will require the dedication of preservationists committed to saving the legacy of one of Texas' pioneer families.

CLAY HOUSE (c. 1905)
720 Bois d' Arc
Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County

Considered to be the finest house in the Zion Hill Historic District in Nacogdoches, the Clay House, constructed circa 1905, is thought to have been designed by noted local architect Diedrich Rulfs. Built for Charlie Clay and his family, this structure is an important example of vernacular architecture in one of the most intact early 20th century African-American working class neighborhoods in Texas.

Although the Clay House's original porch has been lost, this threatened building retains important architectural detail. Yet having stood unoccupied for many years, the historic structure requires significant repair before it can be converted into a museum celebrating the contributions of African-Americans to the history of the Zion Hill neighborhood.

A temporary roof is in place, and the site's advocates seek to raise the funds necessary to rebuild its foundation, repair failing structural systems, install a permanent roof and replace missing architectural elements. This small house that tells a big story that neighborhoods like Zion Hill are worth preserving.

Big Cypress Bayou, south shoreline 500 ft. downstream of Jefferson boat launch. (No Physical Address) Jefferson, Marion County

Constructed as part of a network of sites for the transportation of ammunition for the Confederate war effort, the Jefferson Ordnance Magazine is perhaps the only remaining example of a Civil War-era powder magazine in Texas. Strategically constructed on Big Cypress Bayou circa 1863, what was a transportation advantage has become a liability as the erosion of the banks of the bayou has rapidly advanced to within seventeen feet of this modest structure. Owned by Historic Jefferson Foundation, this site is in need of protection from the changing landscape which threatens to cause the collapse of this important site listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ten feet square and nearly 15 feet tall, this brick building was constructed with walls one foot thick at its lower level. The walls include air spaces that formed a ventilation system to keep the interior brick dry and inside temperature stable. More than 90% of the structure is original, with careful repairs undertaken in 1992.

Serving a supply network linking Shreveport, Marshall and Tyler, the ordnance magazine in Jefferson was once part of a complex of buildings on the edge of town that have all but vanished. Both architecturally and archaeologically significant, the preservation of this site will teach lessons about how to best address changing landscape conditions at an environmentally vulnerable historic place.

PIG STAND NO. 41 (1941)
1955 Calder Ave.
Beaumont, Jefferson County

Built on a prominent Calder Avenue location in Beaumont, Pig Stand No. 41 opened its doors in 1941 at the height of the Dallas-based fast food chain's popularity. Now shuttered, this classic example of mid-century commercial architecture retains a remarkable degree of integrity. The saucer-shaped roof, wavy carhop canopy and neon lights would, if restored, bring a local landmark back to life.

The Pig Stand remains unprotected by city ordinances, and development pressure on this highly visible site threatens the long-term survival of this iconic structure. By finding solutions to its preservation, including the application of state and federal historic preservation tax credits, an economically feasible adaptive use of this building would reinforce the importance of preserving and using places of strong and unique architectural character from our recent past, while demonstrating the power of preservation incentives.

Thompson noted that the sites included on the 2014 list reflect increased awareness of the importance of historic preservation in supporting landmarks in small communities. "Passion and determination in these communities are strong, but badly managed land use planning, coupled with a lack of financial resources and professional guidance present serious challenges," he said.
Preservation Texas, Inc. is the advocate for preserving the historic resources of Texas. Founded in 1985, the nonprofit organization named its first list of endangered sites in 2004. Its Most Endangered Places program is funded in part by grants and sponsorships from across the state.
For more information on Texas' Most Endangered Places, visit, or phone Preservation Texas, Inc. at 512-472-0102.