Meanderings – March 13, 2019

Kimble County Historical Commission members are delighted to announce the Interpretative Wing of our community’s new museum is now complete! Everyone is invited to join us for an open house and a stroll through the “chapters” of our local history. The “come and go or stay longer” free tour of the entire facility will be Saturday afternoon, March 23, from 2:00 to 5:00 o’clock. Refreshments will be served during the afternoon. Help spread the word, as the museum project was “of, for and by” many persons throughout many years.
Sincere sympathy is extended to friends who have lost dear ones in recent days. Funeral services were held Friday for Troy Kenneth Burch, who passed from this life Wednesday, March 6. Burial was Friday in the Junction Cemetery. Troy and his wife, Joan, have been local residents for a number of years.
Billy Lee Ragsdale, known to his friends as “Dooker”, passed away March 6, and funeral services were Saturday, March 9, with burial in the Copperas Cemetery amid his kin. His wife, Peggy, survives. He was the son of the late George C. “Bob” and Josephine “Eva” Goodall Ragsdale.
Some of Dooker’s ancestors lived in the Roosevelt community when the area was only a stopping place on two military routes, the San Antonio to Fort Terrett Supply Route and the Military Road from Fort Concho to Fort Clark.
I read of the March 1 death of Gene W. Stapp, Jr. in Arkansas. He was the son of the late Gene and Bonnie Wilson Stapp.
The Mason-Kimble-Menard Retired Teachers Association met Thursday at the historical museum for a program and business session. The organization’s local members who attended were Mary Ann Barnett, Patsy Hartt, Sherry and Bruce Hubbard, Sarah Harrison, Joann Hedrick, Emily Bierschwale, Judi Simon, Diann Crenwelge, Billie Noguess and Nan Loeffler. Mason was represented by Linnda Graham, Marguerite Spaeth, Julie Gamel and Glendene Underwood. Menardites in attendance were Cordelia Kothmann, Amy Rambo, Marcy Wheless, Katherine Kniffen and Ron Wood. Billie Meckley was museum docent for a tour, and Frederica Wyatt presented the program. The group was privileged to be the first to view a video in the theatre section of the historical facility. Seating in the theatre are pews donated by the Northside Church of Christ.
Although not officially open until next week, visitors continued to view the displays by appointment. Among those registering at the museum during the week were several KCHC members, as well as Hartt, Tommy and Lisa Randle, Frank and Kay Randolph, and Charlie and Felicia Dobbs. The latter visitor is from Kerrville.
When Rudy Rocha and the other five members of work crew from Building Four Fabrication in Chamblee, Georgia, spent most of last week setting up displays and putting the final touches on the museum’s interpretative area, they also brought along the identification sign for the building.
The historical facility’s north wing contains many artifacts and displays, as well as the World War One commemorative area. The bar originally used at Fort Mason and later at Fort McKavett is one of the room’s important attractions. The Hodges Hotel display is another of several outstanding features.
The Junction school is donating trophies accumulated in the past, and they will be displayed in the meeting room during the March 23 event.
Other important areas of the museum include the Coke R. Stevenson Memorial Room to be formally dedicated at a later date but now available for viewing.
I hope you will take time to visit the two-room Frederica Burt Wyatt Genealogy Department. A hospital room has been authentically furnished in the interpretative area by Teena Hagood and Ann Beth Caudle.
In addition to the lobby, the museum boasts a kitchen and two ADA-approved bathrooms.
The 1880s log cabin built by John F. Cowsert and donated by the family of Marche’ Burt Levinson has been painstakingly dismantled and moved from its location near Bois D’ Arc Creek. It is now being restored in a new location on the former hospital’s helipad. Ronnie Carpenter, contractor for the renovation of the 1958 hospital building, is in charge of this latest addition to the historical complex.
There is much to see, and we will be on hand March 23 to share in the resurrection of the 1958 edifice and the culmination of preserving fifty-seven years of official historical work in Kimble County!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday, March 17!

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