Memories abound in decennial dive through microfilm


[Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part look back at some July events in Madison County expressed in the pages of the Meteor going back to 1929 (the earliest available editions of the newspaper). This first installment covers the modern era of the area.]

Recently I thought maybe I was wasting time and ink, writing about events already documented. Therefore, I chose here to sniff old newspaper ink and delve into microfilm, in search of things that may bring fond memories.

News coverage differed from now. I hope you notice that for many years, married females were only talked about by their husbands’ names. You’ll see that many things were much cheaper, and folks’ diets differed too. You will note that for years we had movie theaters here. Personals made up a big part of the news, and there were special columns for Midway, Center, Jozye, and more. Sometimes the word “Negro” was used in print, I felt not in a derogatory way, and I went with history and used it here also. If it offends you, I apologize.

July 2009

A photo of Pat Lindsey accompanied information her donating her colorful abstract painting “8 Cats” to our public library.

A photo showed Brock Taylor reaching for a rebound at the Madisonville Summer Shootout in June.

King Cole was taking chemo treatments for the awful cancer that took the wonderful man from our midst.

Ellis Reyes appeared in a snapshot, starting a run for first base in the Little League All-Star Minor Division game.

Madison County Justices of the Peace Ruth Closs and Lew Plotts plus Chief Clerk Vickie Haltom and Deputy Chief Clerk Mayra Martinez were all pictured along with information about traffic ticket forms changing.

An article about North Zulch summer sports was accompanied by photos of Kaley Morgan, Canton Ogg, Cole Ballard, Wes Jones, Logan James, Mallorie Ferrell, and Taylor Jones.

Madisonville Little League junior softball teams took part in a tournament. Photos included Shelby Bruner, Kacey Creel, Bailey Wakefield, and Alex Biddle.

Dude Goodrum read to the County Library Summer Reading Program. The accompanying photo included M’Lyn West, Brenda Pearson, and Veronica Grooms.

July 1999

Ian Cade Vance was born July 10, to Mandy and Clint Vance.

Gala’s Round Town shared that Courtney Dean and Keith West were getting married on July 9. Courtney was also newly hired to teach at Madisonville Junior High School.

Madisonville High School halfback J.J. Johnson was headed to play college football for the Washburn University Ichabods in Topeka, KS.

Katy Gustavus was July Employee of the Month at Madison St. Joseph Health Center.

Joyce Coleman tendered her resignation as Madison County Clerk, having served in that capacity for 16½ years.

Anthony Merchant, the first MHS athlete to be selected for by Texas High School Coaches Association to compete in the All-Star Football Game, would take the field for the July 27.

Zach Bracewell, of Bedias, won two trophy saddles, a horse trailer, and two trophy buckles at the Youth Rodeo Association Finals in Giddings.

July 1989

Monte’s Hallmark Shoppe then did business then at 115 N. Woodrow. The published wedding registry included Anita Frazier and Steve Andrews.

Mr. N.J. Gent died on July 6. He and wife Lois had operated Gent Florist from 1944-1981.

Madisonville CISD’s School Board hired Bill Parten to serve as High School Principal, the job from which Earl Parten recently resigned. Renita Schroeder was hired as high school Ag teacher.

Two locals, Sharla Adams and Carol Reding, received scholarships at the Texas State FFA Convention at AstroArena in Houston that month.

The upcoming marriage of Lea Ann Busa and John Alan Andrus was announced, with the wedding scheduled for August 5.

J.C. Nellums was recognized as having served with Madison County EMS for 17 years, the last 8 as supervisor of the 12-member department.

July 1979

Madisonville School Board made a couple of big changes. Jim Vinson, previously a member of the coaching staff, was made MHS Principal. Lural McCloud, who had then taught and coached here for 17 years, was made MHS Head Basketball Coach.

North Zulch ISD’s School Board named Gayle Cosby as the School Superintendent.

A group of local 4-H girls attended a cooking school recently, including Diane Byrd, Allyson Fite, Frankie Farris, Lea Garrett, Susan Blow, Dorothy Wilkins, Bobbie Farris, Donna Hall, Lanette Farris, Gwen McCoy, Kim Johnson, Amy Wise, Sheila Slaughter, and Lydia Samuel.

Apple Tree Florist & Gift Shop first opened, operated by owners Linda Churchwell and Margaret Mosley.

The 1959 graduating class of A.V. Lee High School held their 20th class reunion, attended by Elmo Adams, Jimmie Manning, T.J. Robbins, Billy Nellums, James Childress, Alton Carrington, Fred Holiday, Faydean Bailey Sims, Ruby Nealy Franklin, and Naomi Bailey Webb.

Crouch’s, the Family Store, advertised a big shoe sale and all ladies’ summer ready-to-wear at half price. The store was open all day every Saturday.

At the recent Texas 4-H District 9 Horse Show in Waco, local 4-H members Laurie Gray and Jim Merchant qualified for Texas State 4-H Horse Show. Gray took second place in pole bending and third in barrels, and Merchant earned fourth place in western pleasure.

Madisonville’s Little League All-Star Boys’ Team was scheduled to compete in playoffs in College Station. Players included Dean Todd, Mark Bennett, Michael Eck, Ricky Pointer, Zock Allen, Travis Kelly, Timmy Allen, Joe Eugene Johnson, Trae Poe, Rufus Johnson, Jay Hardy, and Tilden Nixon. Wally Eck and Jim Rigby were team managers.

Several local ranchers placed their brands on the branded stairway in Kleberg Center at Texas A&M University. They included Kenneth Andrews, Harvey Cannon, R.F. “Buddy” Chambless, William Forrest, Jr., Glenn Mathis, and Clint Wakefield. R.E. Samuel, Jr., had placed his brand earlier.

Sonic Drive-In held a grand opening. The photo from that event included Mayor Joe Drew, Chamber of Commerce Vice-President George Miles, Sonic Manager Joe Leggett, Assistant Manager Terry Keller, Chamber Secretary Ellen Jenkines, Felix Myers, and Harold Renfrow.


The Madison County Museum is located at 201 North Madison Street and is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Anyone who would like to volunteer or make a donation of any type should see the curator, Jane Day Reynolds, or call her at 936-348-5230.