Sunday, June 13, 2021

Take a Virtual Tour of the Bob & Almeady Chisum Jones Exhibit

You know Bob Jones as the name on a Southlake park, road, and the nature center. But who was he?

Bob Jones (1850-1936) and his wife, Almeady Chisum Jones (1857-1949), were born into slavery. They overcame the challenges of inequality to build a prosperous farm and ranch along the Denton-Tarrant county line. They made sure their ten children received an education and took pride in who they were. Their story is drawn from census and other records and the remembrances of generations of family and friends.

Take a moment and watch this virtual tour of the Southlake Historical Society’s exhibit: Bob and Almeady Chisum Jones, A True Story of Resilience Courage and Success.

To see the exhibit in person, you can visit Southlake Town Hall and the Southlake Library , now through September 4. To learn more about the Jones family and to read the exhibit panels in their entirety, visit www.SouthlakeHistory.org.

Ghosts of Southlake Past at Medlin Cemetery

The Southlake Historical Society invites everyone to its sixth annual Ghosts of Southlake Past cemetery tour on Saturday, November 2, in the historical Medlin Cemetery, 1130 Trophy Club Drive, Trophy Club. Tours will begin at 4:30 and 6 p.m. and will last about 40 minutes.

Appearing will be Southlake City Councilman Ronell Smith as Bob Jones, who went from slavery to success, and Trophy Club Mayor Nick Sanders as merchant William Prewitt.  Other local people will tell the spirited stories of Joseph Loving, who at age 52 joined the Confederate army with his son; Mittie Medlin Harris, the young woman who died in childbirth and was the first person buried in the cemetery; Almeady Chisum Jones and Eugie Jones Thomas, women of strength and integrity; and hard-working mom Millie Prewitt. All re-enactors will be dressed in period clothing.

Participants should bring a small flashlight, wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather.  The tour will be held rain or shine.

A limited number of tickets will be available the night of the event. Tickets are required and can be purchased at www.southlakehistory.org.

Updated: D-Day Anniversary Exhibit in Southlake Library Spotlights Southlake Resident’s Bravery

In honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, the Southlake Historical Society is telling the story of Southlake’s own Lt. Colonel Charles H. Young in a pop-up exhibit June 3- July 6 in the Southlake Public Library, 1400 Main St.

The Society is inviting relatives and friends of people who participated in D-Day to write the service members’ names and units in a special book included in the exhibit.

On D-Day, more than 140,000 Allied troops crossed the English Channel at Normandy, France, paving the way for the liberation of Europe. Hours before Allied troops stormed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword beaches, Young and other Troop Carrier Group pilots flew paratroopers and towed artillery filled gliders to targets behind German lines. Flying 70 feet apart with minimal lights and poor navigation technology, the unarmed planes were easy targets as they descended to 700 feet and slowed to just above stalling speed for their drops. Young’s plane was “The Argonia,” named for his hometown of Argonia, Kansas.

After the war, Young resumed his job as a pilot for American Airlines. In 1953, he and Virginia Young, his wife, bought a 100-acre place that today is part of the Monticello subdivision. In 1956, the pair helped found Southlake by working with a handful of neighbors to incorporate a small part of rural Tarrant County into a town.

In the 1970s, Young was editor of “Grapevine Area History,” the go-to book for anyone interested in local history. In 1995, he published “Into the Valley: The Untold Story of USAAF Troop Carrier in World War II, From North Africa Through Europe” to set the record straight about the under-appreciated Troop Carrier Command. His son, Charles D. Young, was the editor.

Also on display will be authentic WWII helmets, medals and other items owned by history enthusiast and UNT student Paul Porter of Southlake.

Library hours are 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, closed Sunday. The exhibit is free. Learn more about the Southlake Historical Society here.

The Southlake Historical Society presents “Wild about Wildflowers”

The Southlake Historical Society presents, “Wild about Wildflowers,” a guided tour though the Blossom Prairie Wildflower area at Bicentennial Park on Sunday, April 14 at 2 p.m.

The Southlake Blossom Prairie Wildflower area was established by the City of Southlake in November 2015 at the society’s first Buffalo Stomp, an event where families and scout groups shook a wildflower mixture onto the ground and stomped in the seeds.

In the late 1800s, the Blossom Prairie Wildflower area was known for being a campsite for settlers heading west by a wagon train along the road we now refer to as FM 1709.  The area that now houses the Southlake water tower was a lookout point referred to as Bunker Hill.

At the April 14 event, visitors can take a journey through history on a guided tour through the log house led by Joyce Connelley, co-owner of the organic garden center, Marshall Grain Nursery.  On the tour, Connelley will discuss the North Texas wildflowers and their importance to native landscaping, pollinator protection and sustainability. Kids will be invited to decorate their own wildflower packets.

This event is also free and open to the public.  Refreshments will be served.  For more information Visit the society’s website at www.SouthlakeHistory.org . For questions, contact Emily Galpin at galpinec@gmail.com or Tamara McMillan at tamaramcmillan@yahoo.com

‘Ghosts of Southlake Past’ will reappear November 3

Ghosts will gather this year Saturday, November 3 at Hood Cemetery in Southlake for the fifth annual “Ghosts of Southlake Past” cemetery tour sponsored by the Southlake Historical Society. Actors will bring to life early settlers, outlaws, Civil War soldiers and more. Putting on holsters and bonnets will be community leaders, a high school theater student, a beloved librarian and local history buffs.

Hood Cemetery is located on Coventry Lane near N. Peytonville Ave. in Southlake. Tours will be at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults; $10 for ages 3 through 18; and $10 for ages 62 and older.

Tickets can be purchased online at the society’s website, www.SouthlakeHistory.org. The maximum number of attendees for each tour is 75, so you’re encouraged to buy your tickets early and be sure to bring them with you to the cemetery for quick check-in. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather.

This year, the society will donate ten percent of ticket sales to the newly-organized Hood Cemetery Association, a 501(c) 3. Gather your family and join society members at this annual event — you’ll gain a sense of place and learn more about the history of Southlake.

Southlake Historical Society to Honor Local WWI Heroes with Exhibit and Reception

The Historical Society’s upcoming Town Hall exhibit tells the stories of farmers, cowboys, tradesmen and other small-town Texans who fought in one of the most significant wars in modern history.

During World War I, nearly 200,000 Texans served in the armed forces. “The Yanks Are Coming: How Texans Helped Win the Great War” will take you to the battlefields and into the hearts of the families left behind. The free exhibit can be seen July 7 through August 30 in the Town Hall lobby and the Southlake Library (1400 Main Street). Exhibit hours are as follows:

Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: Closed

The public is invited to join the Southlake Historical Society for a free exhibit reception with music and refreshments on Sunday, July 15, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Town Hall lobby.

WWI Texas Soldier

Image courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission

“When the U.S. entered the war in 1917,” said Anita Robeson, historian and archivist of the Southlake Historical Society, “nearly 1 million Texans registered for the draft. More than 5,000 died in battle or of disease. Like all Americans, Texans back home made sacrifices. They bought Liberty Bonds, supported the Red Cross, conserved food and, if a loved one fell, mourned.”

World War I was a windfall for Texas business. The Fort Worth Stockyards became the largest equine market in the world. More than half of the U.S. military’s mobilization and training facilities for the war were in Texas. “Texas became a place on the map,” Robeson said.

Accompanying the exhibit will be authentic WWI items collected by Southlake Carroll grad Paul Porter, who became intrigued with WWI at age 11 after reading a book he found in study hall. On display in the Library will be the uniform and personal belongings of a combat infantryman, gas masks, helmets, hats, assorted medals, a U.S. field radio and “trench art.” Soldiers and prisoners of war frequently recycled shell casings, spent bullets and other refuse to create personal art, jewelry and decorative items such as ornately-carved artillery shells and painted helmets.

“We have partnered with the Southlake Library for several years now during our exhibits,” said Connie Cooley, president of the Southlake Historical Society. “The Library opens their doors to us so we can extend our exhibit area and showcase more memorabilia, books and art.” Visit the Southlake Library’s website to learn more about their programs, events and collaborations.

For more information about the Southlake Historical Society and their upcoming WWI exhibit, visit www.SouthlakeHistory.org.

World War I Centennial Commemoration in Southlake

Did you know that that on April 6, it will be 100 years since the U.S. entered World War I? The Southlake Historical Society is sponsoring, “Over There”, a World War I Centennial Commemoration on Sunday, April 9.

“Over There” is a family-fun, free, educational event that is made to help people understand what was going on here and over there during World War I. It will take place at Rustin Pavilion in Southlake Town Square from 1:30-2:30 P.M.

“We hope this program will inspire people to find their family’s connection to World War I,” said Anita Robeson of the Southlake Historical Society. “So dig out the old uniform and letters in the attic and discover the stories of Grandpa or Great-Grandpa’s service. Free resources online and in libraries and archives will tell you which unit your family member was in and where in France the unit fought. You will be in awe of what he and the others did.”

Featured will be heartfelt letters sent home to Texas in 1917 and 1918 by a cowboy turned doughboy and letters sent to him by his mother, and the letters of a University of Texas at Austin student who trained with the Royal Air Force and became a flying ace. Reading the letters will be Southlake Librarian Cynthia Pfledderer and Carroll grad and history buff Paul Porter, who will be dressed in an authentic WWI uniform.

A trio specializing in patriotic songs, The Sorta Sisters, will sing such favorites as “Over There,” “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” and “K-K-K Katy.” They’ll also lead an audience sing-along.

World War I soldiers’ sons, daughters and other family members in the audience will be recognized. There also will be a flag ceremony and a Mayor’s proclamation. Everyone will receive a Buddy Poppy.

The Southlake Historical Society is planning an exhibit for summer 2018 that tells the stories of local men who went to war and their families and communities.

For more information about the Southlake Historical Society, visit their website.

The Ghosts of Southlake Past Return Nov. 5

Southlake Mayor Laura Hill will be among local residents dressed in period clothes who will bring to life the stories of pioneer men, women and children including a Civil War veteran, a young teacher, a boy who grew up in the early Dove community and a husband and wife who helped establish the White’s Chapel community and church.

Tickets are required and can be purchased online at eventbrite.com.  A limited number of tickets will be available the night of the event.  Participants should bring a small flashlight, wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather conditions that evening.

For more information, visit the historical society’s website, http://southlakehistory.org. Questions? Contact SHS vice president Tamara McMillan at tamaramcmillan@yahoo.com or SHS president Connie Cooley at cecooley@verizon.net.

Southlake Resident Paul Porter as a young Confederate soldier in last year’s cemetery tour

Southlake Historical Society Seeking Stories About Aviation in Southlake

The Southlake Historical Society is gathering information about the upcoming exhibit TAKING FLIGHT. The exhibit will include panel discussions on private airstrips in Southlake and on the impact of D/FW International Airport on Southlake. Dates and the names of participants will be announced soon.

Did you fly in and out of small airstrips in rural Southlake during the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s or later?

Do you have a story about an airstrip in Southlake, Colleyville, Grapevine, Westlake, Keller, any other nearby?

Come to the Feedstore BBQ, 530 S. White’s Chapel, between 5 and 7 p.m., Monday, May 23, to share your stories with the Southlake Historical Society. You can also mark on a map the location of airstrips you remember.

For more information visit the Southlake Historical Society website.