Freestone County Courthouse Celebrates 100 Years: 1919-2019
Friday April 26, 2019; 11 am to 3 pm on the Courthouse Lawn
The courthouse officially opened in Jan. 1921.
Mrs. Lurline (Chavers) Tisdale recently donated the Post Oak Baptist Church piano to the Freestone County Historical Museum. The piano is a 1904 W. W. Kimball Company upright which graced the halls of the church for many of the church’s 90 plus year existence (1878-1968). The Post Oak Community is about 4 miles southeast of Fairfield on FM 1580. For many years locals referred to this road as the Post Oak Road.
The Chavers & Richardson families spent many hours in front of this prized piano as a part of the “Post Oak Quartet”, which was quite famous in its day. They traveled around singing at other churches, singing conventions, memorials and special entertainments. The quartet was composed of Lurline’s sisters, Martha (Chavers) Harrison and Ruth (Chavers) Moore; along with sisters Mildred (Richardson) Burkhart, Imogene (Richardson) Orand. Their pianist was Mrs. Fred (Autie) Richardson, mother of Mildred and Imogene; and not to mention that their father was song leader of the church. These teenage girls in the mid-1930s and 40s were urged and encouraged by their Post Oak Pastor, Brother R. L. Ryburn, to sing gospel music. At one time the quartet sang on KRLD radio.
The piano joins the podium, several church pews, and Mildred Burkhart’s painting of the church already on display. The museum encourages everyone to stop by and see the Post Oak Collection.
Historic Letters Returned After 83 Years
After 83 years, a collection of letters has been returned to the Kannon Family. The letters, dated 1936-1938, from Jewett were addressed to Dorothy Kannon in Baton Rouge, LA. They were found many years ago in a house being demolished in Buffalo. The letters were then given to Shelba Black, a well-known and beloved Freestone historian, about 40 years ago. She archived them in her personal files until recently when she shared them with local Ag teacher, Daniel Phillips because they contained much historical information about the early school Ag program. Daniel Phillips then shared them with Linda Mullen. Mrs. Mullen, our board president, was then able to track down, Eva Hunnicutt, Dorothy’s daughter, in New Braunfels.
Mrs. Hunnicutt revealed that her mother was Dorothy Parks, who once taught music at the Fairfield Elementary School. Their family was very thankful to receive the letters. She said, “I can’t begin to tell you how special this is to my family. What a treasure you have given us.”
Littlejohn House Finds a NEW HOME
The Freestone County Museum board is very excited at the prospects of having an early 1900's farm house example from the Shanks Community built on our complex. It will be a great addition to our already existing historic building collection.
Mark Thacker AIA is the architect over the project and has already stirred quite a bit of interest on his Facebook with posts about this old house. Some of his comments about the house are, "The house has some of the most amazing geometry I have ever seen in a "farmhouse". Whoever designed the house knew a lot about cross-ventilation and prevailing winds, its an amazing design."
(Photo provided by the Littlejohn Family)
Training Session: June 18, 2019 , 5:30 pm,
Thanks to a grant this summer from the Tocker Foundation and the UNT Texas Digital Newspaper Program; historic issues of The Fairfield Recorder, The Teague Chronicle, and Wortham Journal are being digitized. Tammy Gawryszewski, Fairfield Library Board member, was instrumental in obtaining the grant for the project. The digital newspapers will then be preserved and hosted on the Portal to Texas History for free public access.
Anna Krahmer, of the University of North Texas, is to present a program on how to use the historic newspaper collection online. The program will be present on June 18th at the Fairfield Library at 5:30 pm.
“Once Upon a Time” AIM Display Arrives
“Once Upon a Time” a "touring museum" which highlights Freestone County's Historical Citizens has arrived at the Museum for all to enjoy. AIM students, under the direction of Rachel Bossier, created many unique songs and puppet characters depicting several notorious historical Freestone County characters. It involves a marionette, green screen technology, lots of research, and presentation skills. Visitors can pick up the marionettes, scan the QR code and make their marionette dance to the song.
Several of the more notable characters honored in the display are Captain L.D. Bradley, Clay Burkhart, Fred Marberry, John Gregg, Joseph Paxton Phillpot, Nanceen Perry, Judge Warren Allegre, Washington Steward, W.L. Moody and W.R. Boyd, JR.
The display will be available for viewing through early June, so please don’t delay. It is so much fun!
FREESTONE COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM
The Freestone County Historical Museum is very honored to be selected by the Chamber of Commerce as the 2018 Civic Organization of the Year. Sheriff Jeremy Shipley presented the award to Patricia Pratt -curator, Sherrie Minze, Linda Mullen, Ralph Billings, and Leslie Tate- board members, at the annual Chamber Awards Banquet on Jan. 24, 2019. (photo provided by Freestone Times)
Linda Mullen & Shelba Black displaying letters
Dorothy Kannon Parks - 1975
The FCHM is proud to announce the "Painted Pew Program". The pews were donated to the museum by the Post Oak Baptist Church many years ago and were in need of new paint.
The new "Paint the Pews" project is a collaboration between fine art students at Fairfield High School and the Freestone County Historical Museum. Patricia Pratt, curator, says, "We are very excited to involve these students in this partnership." "Hopefully, we can inspire our youth to appreciate the diverse history of Freestone County."
The project is being underwritten with funds from the Operation Round-Up Program of the Navarro County Electric Cooperative of Corsicana, Texas. (photos by Patricia Pratt, April Walker, Linda Mullen)
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