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Cockrell awarded PCRTA grant

ACT GRANT – Beverly Cockrell, an English teacher at Corrigan-Camden High School, received the first annual Active Teacher Grant from the Polk County Retired Teachers’ Association. The money will be used to purchase the novel “Unbroken” for her classes to study.ACT GRANT – Beverly Cockrell, an English teacher at Corrigan-Camden High School, received the first annual Active Teacher Grant from the Polk County Retired Teachers’ Association. The money will be used to purchase the novel “Unbroken” for her classes to study.

LIVINGSTON– Beverly Cockrell, an English I teacher at Corrigan-Camden High School was awarded the first annual Active Teachers' Grant on March 5 by the Polk County Retired Teachers' Association.

Cockrell plans to buy the novel, "Unbroken," the story of Louie Zamperini, an Olympic runner and an Army hero in World War II. She said she "believes the study of this novel will elevate the students' learning about life, dedication, conviction, faith and perseverance." The novel will be used for years increasing the impact of this grant.
She was among numerous applicants from Polk County schools for the ACT Grant. The selection committee considered the number of students the grant would impact, depth and creativity of the students' learning experiences and if it would have the ability to be used for more than one year.

Polk County Retired Teachers' Association is proud to support active teachers as they endeavor to provide quality education for their students.

Local treasure trove highlights area history

Typical 1950’s/60’s Corrigan night scene, facing north, as depicted by talented local artist Paula Adams Schoenemann.  On the left is Essie’s Café and Lack’s Furniture, across the street shows Thomas Fruit, Corrigan Theater, Essie’s Courts, Cobb’s Feed Store (building still standing) and Manry’s Café.Typical 1950’s/60’s Corrigan night scene, facing north, as depicted by talented local artist Paula Adams Schoenemann. On the left is Essie’s Café and Lack’s Furniture, across the street shows Thomas Fruit, Corrigan Theater, Essie’s Courts, Cobb’s Feed Store (building still standing) and Manry’s Café.

Editor's Note: The following feature is a welcome new addition to the Corrigan Times' cache of regular features. Sheila Kirkland's column will expound upon the goings-on of the Corrigan Area Heritage Center and will work to enlighten readers on aspects of local history on a bi-weekly basis. Enjoy.

By Shelia Kirkland

When people think of hidden treasure an image comes to mind of pirates, sunken ships and chests filled with gold, jewels and other valuables. Well, we have a treasure trove right here in our neck of the woods that is just as exciting and valuable as gold and jewels...our own heritage.

The Corrigan Area Heritage Center (CAHC) is becoming a reality with a Grand Opening planned for Saturday, May 23. At the heart of this is our treasures, artifacts if you will, of our lives in areas around Corrigan Moscow, Camden and dozens of small communities such as Stryker, Carmona, Skinnertown and many others.

When I first became actively involved in the Corrigan Area Heritage Center I was hesitant, thinking, "What can I bring to the table? I don't really have anything of historical value."

After helping sift through and documenting boxes of memorabilia area citizens have already donated I now realize that EVERYTHING has value. Everything has a story behind it that links itself to our area and our people. A church bulletin reminds us of a revival or somebody's baptism. A school report card reminds us of how important the "3R's" were and gives us a flashback to a favorite teacher. An old dress pattern recalls clothes lovingly sewed for special occasions, or costumes created for school plays. A story told orally and passed down to another generation gives us a personal tie to an event in our area.

This is our treasure and we must preserve it. Twenty years from now our children or grandchildren will ask us to tell them a story about "the old days"—which differs from one generation to another. They will be amazed at what we take for granted today.

A free drink coupon at a local fast food place for making the honor roll will become part of the "treasure". Its value is not monetary, but is intrinsic. In perusing the CAHC inventory, I see reward coupons from yesteryear and remember the old Freezette and Dairy Queen. I remember walking (from the old school) to Sirman's Drugstore for a scoop of ice-cream, courtesy of our teacher, for a job well done. Although these establishments have long since vanished, the memories remain. The upcoming generation will one day be the guardians of these memories and will have the Heritage Center to preserve these treasures.

As an example, while going through a donation box recently, I happened upon some old movie theater guides for the Corrigan Movie Theater. Wow! I had to giggle at some of the famous movie stars of that era such as Claudette Colbert, Doris Day, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando. The list goes on and on. I quickly sobered when I realized if I asked any 12 year old today if they had ever seen a movie starring Sean Connery, Richard Gere, Robert Redford, Julie Christie, Demi Moore, Ryan O'Neal, Angelica Huston or Michelle Pfeiffer, they would say, "WHO?".

Corrigan was home to a movie house, theater or "show" for over 40 years. Occupying three different locations and several different owners before finally closing its doors in the early 70's, this form of entertainment was a huge part of the social life in Corrigan. The theater, or "show", as many of us called it, had a nightly feature movie from 7-9:30. There was also a weekend "Midnight Show" from 9:30 to midnight, if you were of an age to stay up late or were the proud owner of a driver's license. This was considered "Date Night". (The theater was closed on Sunday.) The small concession stand had a brisk business offering popcorn, soft drinks and candy. A number of young teenagers made extra money working in the concession stand.

Teenage angst was often played out during a movie intermission or if the film projector had a glitch. Many Saturday nights my friends and I would pay admission for a ticket to watch a movie, when in fact, all we really did was talk and see who sat by who. It was an unspoken rule that 3 week-ends of consecutively sitting by the same member of the opposite sex constituted a serious relationship. If said boy or girl was caught conversing in the lobby with another boy or girl, the inevitable "break-up" drama was played out right there in the lobby for all by-standers to see. The accusations flew, the denial repeated until the climax when the girl was rushed to the restroom to be consoled by her girlfriend's claims that the boy was "not good enough for her". Meanwhile, the boy--with his dutiful sidekicks--sought refuge across the street at Essie's Café, easing his sorrows with a cheeseburger and Cherry Coke.

Fortunately the theater's audience was spared having their movie interrupted by this on-going cycle thanks to "movie monitors". Adults or "responsible" high school students removed you from the auditorium if you were too loud or disruptive. Your parents were called to retrieve you, or if you were of an age to drive, you were escorted to your—actually your parent's—vehicle and asked to depart the premises.

This memory was all the result of seeing an old movie guide. When people are encouraged to share their memorabilia with the Corrigan Area Heritage Center they usually ask, "What do you want?"

There is no answer to that except, "If it relates to the Corrigan area we want it ALL!"

Something you think is of little significance, or just a "doo-dad" is of interest merely because you have it and it has a local story or is part of the local story. Kelly Shadix refers to these as "puzzle pieces". You may have a small piece that fits in with another item or story which will then connect to another topic of interest. Will our puzzle ever be finished? No. Each generation adds to it. Each part of Corrigan and its 10 mile radius need representation in this puzzle.

I ran across a Johnson School yearbook. Who can tell us about or bring items that represent this school? Our local churches have a history of their own. How will we know when, or how, they were founded? Etcetera, etcetera. Plenty of questions in need of answers.

Your connection to this area is important. It is your heritage. Pictures, school programs, church bulletins, recipes, quilt patterns with a local tie, etc., would add to our treasure. An interesting story could be written, or recorded, and paired with some other person's account or picture to expound on the same event. I foresee our treasure chest growing. Again, this is not just about the town of Corrigan, or a certain handful of people. All surrounding areas and citizens need to be represented in this effort.

I plan to periodically write an article to keep the community updated on events and the "jewels" of the CAHC. I urge you to get involved with the Corrigan Area Heritage Center. Join us on Facebook "Corrigan Happenings Between 1900 and 1980 and weigh in on some of the discussions that take place. (That is not to suggest that our treasure gathering stops at 1980. It is hard to imagine that 1980 was 35 years ago, and to a young person today, that was the old days!)

Just as it takes a village to raise a child it takes a community's effort to document its heritage. Any item or time (volunteer) you would like to share with the CAHC would be so greatly appreciated. You can contact me at 936-327-6556, Kelly Shadix, or Thelma "Tutti" Stanford. Message us on Facebook, or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Monetary donations, including memorials and honorariums, are always welcome, needed and appreciated. Donations can be made by a number of methods. Mail check payable to Corrigan Community Service League, to 303 N Market St, Corrigan, Texas, 75939 (please include "CAHC-History" on memo line), PayPal using This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or deposit to Corrigan Community Service League/CAHC History account at Citizens State Bank (see Thelma Stanford).

[Shelia Kirkland is a native Corriganite, the daughter of Maxine (Loving) and Henry Kirkland, and retired Corrigan-Camden ISD Texas History Teacher.]

After-school program comes to Corrigan

NEW PROGRAM – A volunteer is shown helping a student at the new food program that not only feeds students but also helps students with their homework. (Photo by Kim Popham)NEW PROGRAM – A volunteer is shown helping a student at the new food program that not only feeds students but also helps students with their homework. (Photo by Kim Popham)

By Kim Popham

CORRIGAN – A new program has come to town to help children who need a meal after school.

The Child Feeding Program based in Lufkin is now serving meals to any child who is attending school. The meals are served from 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Monday-Thursday at the Cockrell Community Center of the Corrigan Housing Authority.

Cody Miller, who serves as nutrition director of the program, along with Angela Flowers who is the program director, were in Corrigan last week to help get everything set up to start the program. The program also serves the Boys and Girls Club chapters in Lufkin, Diboll and Livingston.

Miller said that they are happy to be here for the kids and help the community.

"As of this week we have served approximately 40 kids each day and we hope the number grows," Miller said.
"In the summer we will be feeding all the children, not just school age, but at this time it is only for the school-age children," Miller said.

Soria Bubbs, of Corrigan, is an employee of the program, her duties are to prepare and distribute the food each day.

The program not only sees to the nutritional needs of the children but also offers an enrichment program that involves volunteers who come in to help the children with their homework, help with character building and allows the children the opportunity to interact with one another.

If you would like to become a volunteer, just stop by the Cockrell Center during the meal times and to speak with someone and state your availability.

Corrigan area’s illustrious history highlighted by Miller

One of three movie theatres that once existed in Corrigan.One of three movie theatres that once existed in Corrigan.

By Beverly Miller

Corrigan is located in the northern part of the county at the intersection of two major highways -- U.S. 287 and U.S. 59 North.

The town was once intersected by two railroads: The Waco, Beaumont, Trinity and Sabine Railroad and the Houston East and West Texas branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Because of its infrequent schedule and frequent minor wrecks, initials of the WBT&S Railroad were often dubbed "Wobble, Bobble, Turn Over and Stop".

Founded in the 1880's, the town was named for Pat Corrigan, the conductor on the first trains of the Houston West Texas Branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad through Corrigan.

The first major landowner in the Corrigan area was J. B. Hendry, who emigrated with his family from Mississippi in the early 1850s. A highly educated man, Hendry had attended college and spoke several languages. He was the owner of four leagues of land, which now includes the town site of Corrigan, and built the first grist mill in the area. He donated land for the first school building in Corrigan and for the right-of-way of the Houston East and West Texas branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad through the Corrigan vicinity.

A Civil War veteran J.B. and his wife were the parents of 14 children.

The Hendry family home was on the same site as the present home of a Hendry granddaughter, Mrs. E. J. Kurtzemann ,and her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. H.E. Pate.

Other businessmen in the town before and during the first decade of this century included Carl, Jake and Leo Bergman, Joe Birch, Ben Burch, J.W. Cobb, Dr. J.R. George, J.W. Leggett, Bart Meadows, J.H. Potts, Sam Reed, Tom Wilson and Edgar Vinson. Businessman John R. Williams was a blacksmith and gunsmith who lived near Corrigan.

The first commercial business enterprise in the town was a sawmill established in the 1880s by the Allen and Williams Company. In addition to the sawmill, saloons and stores, other early commercial firms included a creosote plant, an ice factory, a shoe shop, a barber shop, a wholesale meat products plant, a cotton gin, a livery stable, a bottling works and a photographer's studio. A newspaper, The Corrigan Index, was published in the town in 1892.

The bottling works was established in 1900 and located near Bear Creek. Soft drinks were produced in strawberry, vanilla, banana, wintergreen and other flavors. A favorite drink was called "Ho-Yan", a drink similar to the modern "cola" drinks.

In 1871, the first building for the Union Springs Missionary Baptist Church was erected on the site of the present structure. Built by the first pastor, J.W. Know, with the assistance of Holcomb Calloway, Ransom Chandler, J.B. Hendry and Allen Maxey, and with the builder also furnishing all material, the structure served the dual purpose of church and school.

The Methodist Church was organized in Corrigan in 1887. Church services were held by Dr. E.P. Angell, a local physician and minister. The first church services were held in the Stewart home in the eastern part of town.

A Catholic Church was built in Corrigan in 1895. The former Corrigan Flower Shop is located on the site of this early church. Land for the church was given by Alfred Holcomb, a local hotel owner.

Bishop Gallagher, then Bishop of Galveston, dedicated the church soon after completion of the building.

The Damascus Missionary Baptist Church near Corrigan was organized in 1863 by the Rev. J.R. Dowell, Jimmy Jones, and Sam Saxon. On a designated day each man agreed to ride a horse from a different direction for one hour and the point where they met, they would gather other settlers in the area and organize a church. When the men met at the end of the hour, they blew their horns and other area settlers rode horses to meet them. A prayer service was held and a church organized, which they decided to name Damascus from the ancient city in the country of Syria.
The first church building was a small one built of logs, hauled by ox-team by the Rev. R.W. Courtney from a sawmill at Potomac, now one of the numerous sawmill ghost towns in north Polk County.

Near the church is the Damascus Cemetery, and like the "City of the Dead" in the old-world Damascus, the cemetery has graves of marked interest. Old graves mounded over with rocks, and graves once covered with a shingle roof supported by pillars, bespeak of Old South traditions among settlers in the area.

The first school in Corrigan was established in the 1800s on land donated by J.B. Hendry, and the small frame structure was near the Stewart home in the eastern part of town. The first teacher in Corrigan was Miss Bettie Burch.

Born in 1857 near the pioneer Polk County town of Moscow, Miss Burch was a descendant of a soldier in the Army of the American Revolution and was a daughter of James Burch. James Burch and his brother, Bob, served under General Sam Houston during the Texas Revolution and were in the Battle of San Jacinto.

In 1900 Miss Burch adopted the three small children of her brother, Jim Burch and his wife, who died a few months apart. With the aid of another brother, Ben Burch, then a businessman in Corrigan, she established the Burch Hotel which she owned for many years. Until the building was razed several years ago, it was Corrigan's oldest landmark. Miss Burch lived to be 94 and is buried in the Burch Family Cemetery, often called the Catholic Cemetery, near Moscow, where her grandfather, Samuel Burch, was buried in 1850.

Another early teacher at Corrigan was Burrell Magee, who also taught in Polk County schools. Known for his excellent scholarship, he was also an artist and a musician. Archie Saxon, a descendant of Sam Saxon who was among the earliest settlers in north Polk County, also excelled as a teacher in the Corrigan area. In addition to teaching in area community schools, he also served as a Corrigan High School Principal before 1910.

The first brick school building, a two-story structure, was completed in 1910. J.A. Webb was school superintendent in 1910. Members of the board of education were Dr. W.G. Pullen, president; Eugene Robison, secretary; E.T. Sparks, treasurer; and members E.A. Arrington, Jake Bergman, W.H. Caton and E.C. Suber.

As I'm drawing to an end of this article, I remembered that the Polk County Enterprise had written an article on Kelly Shadix, who had turned an old building into a "Corrigan Museum". I thought well, she might have just the right "story of interest" to liven up all the history. She not only had a few, she could be a walking, talking history book herself.

Kelly grew up in the home with her great-great-grandparents, Anna Laura and Emmitt Knox. Her grandparents were Fred and Clara Smith. Kelly's dad is Ronnie Smith. She commented that being a part of such knowledge about the years "way back" could be both a blessing as well as a curse (a lot of memories, pictures and books etc). Kelly commented that most of her friends are now in their 80's.

As a child, Kelly spent time viewing stacks of previous "school yearbooks". When in a conversation with someone on the street, she would ask "what year did you graduate?" Then she learned that it was more appropriate to ask, "Who are some of the people you went to school with?" (being careful not to cause confusion or hurt feelings).

I'm now going to introduce you to the Corrigan that will hold your interest.

Corrigan once had three movie theaters, not at the same time. The last one, owned by the Holleman's, was torn down in 1973.

Cleo and Emmitt Bergman and Vernon Leo Bergman were brothers and they each had a grocery store, across the street from each other. Another store was called, the Economy Store.

As Kelly began to digitalize her collection of town photos, she noticed a faded sign under all the many coats of paint on this store. She discovered that the sign read, "Mistroit". Seems in the 1930s, the originator of a Livingston Mistroit store also had a store in Corrigan! Kelly commented that Corrigan had seven independent small-town grocery stores until Brookshire Bros. came to town, closing down the smaller grocery stores. It's happened to other small towns that we all hold dear in our memories and dreams of time long ago!

The people in the town somehow has disagreed on the number of full service "filling stations' that Corrigan has had over those "gone-by days". It is thought the town had 15, but for sure we have found them to agree to at least 10, according to Kelly. One thing is for sure, those of us who can remember those "filling stations" know the days of having the floorboard of your car swept out, oil checked, windows washed and candy for all the kids, are long gone and are just fond memories to those who had the opportunity to enjoy the "good ol days"!

I asked Kelly if she had a "funny story" about Corrigan. She had this one to share with us.
The store that sets next to her office and the "museum" once set beside "the dime store". In junior high she wrote a paper and recalled that the building had once been a two-story building. As she researched, by reading newspapers from that era, during the 1920-30s the only brick hotel advertised in the newspaper was modern, air conditioned, fire proof and was located next to the Citizens State Bank. In June 1934, the hotel burned! The fire burned the bank and gutted the hotel! The one store became the Brookshire Bros Grocery and yes, it turned out that the building was known as The "Dime Store".

Kelly ended by recalling that she had played in all these buildings as a child and was raised on these streets and now she has taken on furnishing the museum with the help of the generous people of Corrigan who bring the history and the items from their loved ones that has helped to make Corrigan the friendly, loving town that it is today.

Memories of Moscow: Polk county hamlet’s interesting past

One of Moscow’s winning baseball teams poses for a group shot in this undated photograph. )Photo source: A Pictorial History of Polk County)One of Moscow’s winning baseball teams poses for a group shot in this undated photograph. )Photo source: A Pictorial History of Polk County)

by Beverly Miller

I've got to tell the readers that I have enjoyed the research, reading and conversations that has made me appreciate these new and meaningful adventures. As I write this column based on the comments that you, the readers have expressed to me, you are enjoying them also. This article is right up there with Camden with unbelievable facts of how many lively and prosperous communities in our own county have diminished to almost nothing.

We'll start with a scene of Moscow downtown. Moscow is located north of Livingston on U.S. 59. Then we will take a "skip and hop" back through just a few of these most interesting accounts and persons that have contributed to the colorful memories of Moscow.

The first views show Moscow over 100 years ago, maybe 120 years ago. The large building on the left was the Solomon Bergman Store. Coffins were stored in the second story of the building and raised and lowered by ropes on the outside of the building. There was no downstairs door wide enough for their admittance. The building next to the Bergman Store was the Dee Jones Saloon and opposite the store was the Emerald Saloon. Whisky for the saloons was freighted in barrels by wagon-team from steamboat landings on the Trinity River.

During the 1870's, stagecoaches rumbled down the street on their run between Liberty and Nacogdoches. Later, the town's own "street car" tracks made parallel steel lines down the road. Alabama-Coushatta Indians on trading expeditions passed down the road. Sam Houston, friend of the Alabama-Coushatta tribe, and David Green, founder of the town, made footprints on the road.

Veterans of the Texas Revolution traveled the road as did soldiers who took part in the Mexican War and in Indian skirmishes on the frontier. Volunteers for the cause of the Confederacy marched down the road on their way to join General Lee.

Footprints were left in the road decades later by boys destined to shoulder arms in the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict and the following wars of today's times. John Wesley Hardin, who killed his first man a few miles west of Moscow, became known as one of the Southwest's most notorious gunfighters, occasionally ventured into the town while hiding from the law.

For school pupils the road was literally a "path of knowledge", for it led past the Moscow Masonic Male and Female Academy, established in the 1850's and made renowned throughout East Texas by Professor Marcellus Winston. The old buildings are gone and so are all of the persons passing along the road between them in the 1870's, but their memory lingers.

On an April day in 1836, David Griggs Green, a native of Moscow, Tennessee, stood on the dividing ridge between the Neches and the Trinity Rivers in East Texas and admired the beauty of the site. Just a few days before, on April 21, the Texas Revolution had ended when General Sam Houston and his little army of 743 untrained recruits had defeated a Mexican force of about 1,200 soldiers under command of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the "Napoleon of the West."

David Green was mindful of the significance of the Battle of San Jacinto, but in attempt to render his aid, flooding streams hindered him reaching Sam Houston in time for the battle. David Green had married Miss Matilda Burch, a descendant of colonists in Maryland in the 1630's. Mary Green, a daughter of David and Matilda Green, was born in the famous old Stone Fort, built in Nacogdoches in 1790.

David Green was named one of the original commissioners of Polk County when it was officially organized in 1846. In 1847 a post office was established in the community called Green's and David was the first postmaster. In 1853 the name of the post office was changed to Moscow, the name of David Green's native town in Moscow, Tennessee.

With the completion of the Houston East and West Texas Railway of the Southern Pacific Railroad through Moscow in 1881, the increasing number of sawmills and farms and its widely known academy attended by students from other localities, the town became one of the most important commercial centers in a wide East Texas area.

Moscow had it's own "street car", a mule-drawn vehicle for transporting passenger and freight. The "street car" had a brake on each end (to keep the car from running over the mule going down hill to the depot.) Another interesting fact in Moscow transportation history is that in early times Moscow was a stagecoach stop making regular runs between Liberty and Nacogdoches.

Moscow once had a newspaper office and a studio. The photographer and owner of the studio was D. George Doughty, a bicyclist. In 1885, "The East Texas Pinery", (parent paper of "The Polk County Enterprise") was published upstairs in the Sol Bergman Store.

Of these characters the most colorful, of course, was John Wesley Hardin. The majority of the other memorable characters were always on the "right side" of the law. Among these characters was William Barnett Hardin, John Wesley Hardin's uncle, who participated in the Texas war for independence and was a civic leader and friend of Indian tribes in Polk County.

"Aunt" Adeline Roberts, a former slave who lived to an advanced age, had vivid recollections of Indians and of Sam Houston coming through Moscow.

Another memorable character was Sam Fransaw, descendant of a slave family, and hardly ever seen without his wheelbarrow. When he moved from Colita to Moscow, he transported his wife, children and household effects by wheelbarrow.

The social history of the town is of much interest. For several years Moscow had one of the most renowned brass bands in East Texas. And another source of entertainments in Moscow was a racetrack. Often as many as 400 men flocked to the track to see or bet on horse races.

For many years Moscow was known for its winning baseball teams. Dancing was a diversion for generations of Moscow beaus and belles, and numerous fancy balls were a highlight of entertainment in the town.

The ball best remembered, however, by those from Moscow attending was one aboard the sternwheeler "Graham", near Boone's Ferry in northern Tyler County in 1869. The boat, piloted by Captain Napoleon Weiss, had come up the Neches River at flood stage and as soon as it was anchored, word was sent out that Captain Weiss was going to give a dance aboard.

Moscow residents, fond of dancing joined those from other towns in a 25-mile radius in a trek to the "Graham". While roustabouts loaded big bales of cotton aboard, vivacious young couples danced on the upper deck. The favorite fiddler was Mr. Tom Seamons, who played popular tunes of the day while dashing young men and pretty young ladies in hoop-skirts whirled merrily about. The dance lasted for two days aboard the sternwheeler and was a favorite conversational topic a long time for Moscow residents that attended.

"A Teachers' Institute at Moscow -- and 'Style Show' too" is my favorite picture! There are 24 young ladies, wearing 24 hats! (I am known to wear a hat every day...only one time did I not wear a hat on Sunday to church and one of the elderly gentlemen approached me and made this comment, "Ms Beverly, do you feel ok, you don't look your self today!")

The Institute at Moscow afforded teachers inspiration and an opportunity to "brush up" on classroom techniques. Judging from the elaborate hats of the lady teachers pictured in the accompanying photo, these young teachers were evidently convinced that a head "full of gray matter" was further enhanced when adorned with "creations of ribbons, feathers, and flowers.

Born in Virginia, Captain W.D. Winston was a graduate of famed West Point. Many of Professor Winston's students became widely known for their leadership and achievements. Some were senators, representatives, judges, attorneys, physicians and one governor (Gov. William Hobby, 1917-1921). In addition to his educational accomplishments, Captain Winston was superintendent of the Moscow Baptist Sunday School for 37 years and missed attendance only one Sunday during that time.

In 1960 the significance of his career as an educator in Moscow was emphasized in a Texas Public Schools Week Program entitled "100 Years of the 3 R's at Moscow, U.S. A." The program was also presented on television.
True to the tradition of the Virginia "hunt country" where he was reared, Captain Winston's favorite pastime was riding to hounds after a fox in the deep piney woods in the Moscow area.

The long and interesting history of Moscow has assured its lasting influence in the annals of East Texas, although the decline of agriculture and the depletion of timber in the area have resulted in its no longer being a leading commercial center. But there still prevails a charm reminiscent of the Old South in Moscow, Texas, which is a fitting memorial to it's founder, David Green, who hailed from Moscow, Tennessee.

Historical facts were researched in "A Pictorial History of Polk County" by The Heritage Committee of the Polk County Bicentennial Committee and the Polk County Historical Commission.

First baby of 2015 comes as a surprise

First Baby of 2015

LUFKIN -- Lufkin's CHI St.Luke's Health Memorial Hospital delivered their first baby of 2015 last week and her name is Skylar Jade.

Celena and Scott Mercer, of Corrigan, were not only surprised to have the first baby of 2015, they were shocked to have her at all.

"We didn't even know she was pregnant,"said Scott Mercer, the father of the new year baby.
Skylar's mother says she went through a full term pregnancy with no idea she was expecting. She gained little weight and took several pregnancy tests that gave her negative results.

She went in the hospital this morning for irregular pains and discovered she was in labor.

We came in about 10:00, and the baby came at 10:10," said Scott.

This is the Mercer's second baby.

"We had complications and all the signs of a pregnancy with our first baby. We had no idea this time,"said Celena.

Skylar was 4 lbs and 8 oz.

The Mercer's say they went nine months living as if they weren't expecting, but Skylar is completely healthy.

They are expecting to take their new year surprise bundle home tomorrow. "It's shocking, but it's awesome,"said Scott