City News

City News

Autumn Trails Update
Historic Day for Winnsboro
Texas Rural Best Award Applications Now Being Accepted
Public Notice
Autumn Trails Events

This Week:

October 6th is the date for the Arts and Crafts fair in downtown Winnsboro.

Karen Sparks of the Chamber of Commerce reports that there are 48 venders registered to show their products. There will be woodcrafts, Christmas items, iron crafts, jewelry, stained glass, quilts, toys, face painting, barn-board art, gourd birdhouses, painted jeans, gift baskets and floral items.

The public is invited to stroll the historic streets from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and check out the variety of art.

Maryann Miller

The September 28th celebration of OIL FIELD DAYS, which harkens back to the time when this city was a boom town, included two special historical designations. A marker was dedicated in honor of the Union Pacific Depot that has been in Winnsboro since 1878. The original structure burned in 1907 and was rebuilt on the same site in 1908.

A second historical marker recognizing the town’s contribution to oil field work, wasunveiled by David (Scotty) Scott. He was an appropriate choice for the honor since he worked for Getty Oil which was the Tidewater Oil Company back when the oil boom was on. “It meant quite a lot to me to be asked to read the inscription on the maker,” Scotty said. “I grew up in the oil fields. My father worked on rigs in Oklahoma when I was three. Then when I was twenty-two, I started working.”

Scotty talked fondly of the boom days in the late forties and early fifties, mentioning the oil companies that had offices in Winnsboro or Pickton. Magnolia Oil, which is now Mobil, had an office here in Winnsboro and the Humble Oil and Refining Company, now Exxon, was based in Pickton. “Times were different then,” Scotty said. “Now someone in White Plains, New York, controls everything with a computer. Used to be that the bosses would visit the fields and meet everyone and the companies were good to us. It was better then to know who you were working for.”

Citing the importance of honoring all the people who worked to build the community and the country, Scotty expressed a hope that OIL FIELD DAYS continues to be an annual event. “Folks worked hard then,” he said. “Farmers, oil workers, railroaders. And we shouldn’t forget what they did.”

As part of the day’s festivities, John Burke demonstrated a 1910 12H.P. Krueger – Atlas Jack Motor. Musical entertainment was provided by Lindy Hearne, Lynn Adler, and Bobby Pickle. Bill Jones served as Master of Ceremonies and Cody Tippie and David Williams of Boy Scout Troop 379 posted the colors.

Lou Mallory, chair of the Wood County Historical Society presented a special Patriot Award to the Winnsboro Heritage Society for its contribution to preserving historical structures. Maurine Lindsay accepted the award on behalf of the Heritage Society.

by Maryann Miller

“It’s a great day for Wood County,” proclaimed Louis Pyle, President of Save Our Springs of North East Texas (SOSONET). “The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), formerly known as the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC), just formally created Lake Country Groundwater Conservation District during their regularly scheduled meeting held in Austin today. This district will provide Wood County with local control over our ‘treasure-trove’ of groundwater resources versus allowing for the possibility of future control out of Austin. And we all know local control is definitely best for everyone in the county!”

“Lake Country Groundwater Conservation District was created in response to a petition SOSONET filed in April of this year on behalf of 150 Wood County landowners,” said Pyle, “and represents over twenty-four months of hard work by the organization’s Board of Directors and 550+ members.”

Pyle, SOSONET Director, Glenn Morton, and the organization’s Austin attorney, Mary Sahs, attended the TCEQ meeting to witness the momentous occasion. In conjunction with creating the district, the TCEQ also appointed Louis Pyle, A. D. Kleinman, Glenn Morton, Jim Armstrong and Ed Bennett, all Wood County landowners, to serve as the district’s temporary directors. As such, their primary responsibility is to call a countywide election to (1) confirm the district, (2) approve the district’s 1-1/2 cent per $100 valuation maintenance tax and (3) elect the district’s permanent directors. “It’s the district’s five permanent directors that will actually run the district, write its management plan and establish its rules,” said Pyle “and they will be elected by the voters of the county on a precinct basis, with one from each precinct and one from the county at-large.” Directors (either temporary or permanent) receive no compensation for their work on the district’s board.

The temporary directors plan to hold their first meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 15th, in the Commissioner’s Court Room of the County Courthouse in Quitman after being sworn into office by Judge Bill Alexander. Since the district is subject to the Texas Open Meetings and Open Records Acts, anyone may attend, and formal notice of the meeting including agenda items will be printed in at least one local newspaper prior to the meeting.

“Even though our district has been created, SOSONET’S job is not done,” said A.D. Kleinman, who serves as Vice President and Chairman of the organization’s Education Committee. “We still have a big job in getting everyone who lives in Wood County to understand why we need this district, what services it will provide, and how we will pay for it. We are more than willing to provide this and a lot more information to anyone who will listen – just let me know where and when, and we’ll be there.” In addition, SOSONET will continue to hold open monthly meetings and special programs. For the times and places, visit the organization’s website at www.sosonet.homestead. com.

SOSONET is a Texas non-profit 501corporation. The organization uses funds received from dues and donations to cover the costs of its activities – all of which focus on educating the public about groundwater conservation and groundwater conservation districts. Anyone interested in these important issues is invited to join SOSONET and participate in the organization’s meetings and activities. All dues and donations are fully tax deductible to donors as charitable contributions.

Visit LCGCD’s website at

The TNRCC name has changed to TCEQ – Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The first photo was taken Wednesday morning just before the meeting was called to order.

Photo 1 – The Commission
L/R: Ralph Marquez, Commissioner
Robert Huston, Chairman
Duncan Norton, General Counsel
Kathleen Harnett White, Commissioner

Group Photo taken after the Commission voted to approve Lake Country GCD

L/R: James Sloan, TCEQ Groundwater Planning & Assessment Team
Steve Musick, TCEQ Groundwater Planning & Assessment Team
Mary Sahs, SOSONET Attorney
Louis Pyle, Temporary Director of Lake Country GCD
Glenn Morton, Temporary Director of Lake Country GCD
Kelly Mills, TCEQ Groundwater Planning & Assessment Team

Texas Rural Best Award Applications Now Being Accepted

Texas Rural Communities, Inc. (TRC) is soliciting applications for innovative, education-related projects in rural communities that have been developed for the benefit of the local community. Proposals for new
programs will not be considered and state and federal agencies are not eligible. The applications are for TRC’s third annual $10,000 Texas Rural Best Award.

The $10,000 Award will be a one-time award to be used to contribute to the success of the selected innovative, education-related project. The applications will be judged on the uniqueness of the project, significance of the problem or problems solved, length of time project is operational, and evidence that project may be replicated in other areas of rural Texas.

All applications must be post-marked no later than October 18, 2002. Faxed or e-mailed applications will not be accepted. For application procedures please call Texas Rural Communities at 512-219-0468 or check the web site at


The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), Wood County Sub-Chapter recently named officers for the 2002-2003 year. Officers for the coming year will be Dr. Dick Groepper as Chairman (second term) and Bob Martin of Emory as Vice-Chairman. Gary McKinley, Executive Director of the Wood County Industrial Commission will remain as recording secretary for the sub-chapter.

Dr. Dick Groepper, Director of Development at Jarvis Christian College, initiated the establishment of a sub-chapter of Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) in Wood County about 18 months ago with the help of the Wood County Industrial Commission. Recognizing a community need for business assistance and counseling, Dr. Groepper and the WCIC began the process of establishing a SCORE chapter in Wood County that could provide not only support for Wood County but also the surrounding area including Rains County.

The SCORE Association is a national, non-profit association with 12,400 business counselors throughout the U. S. and its territories. There are 389 SCORE chapters in urban, suburban and rural communities. The Wood County Sub-chapter has been under the Tyler Chapter for a year and will continue under the Tyler Chapter for another year as the Wood County organization continues to develop. SCORE is a resource partner with the U. S. Small Business Administration. SCORE members are trained to serve as counselors, advisors, and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. These services are offered at no fee, as a community service. SCORE was formed in 1964 and nearly 4 million Americans have utilized SCORE services.

Dr. Dick Groepper has been working with the Tyler Chapter, headed by Leland Ferguson, to expand the development of the sub-chapter. The Wood County Industrial Commission is providing administrative support to the organization in view of the important role that SCORE plays in economic development. The WCIC assists in recruiting membership and providing clerical support that is needed by the SCORE sub-chapter in Wood County. The key qualification SCORE counselors bring to clients is real-world experience. SCORE business counselors have general management and specific industry experience that can benefit a business. SCORE business counselors may be working or retired business owners, business executives or operations managers. All SCORE counselors receive specialized training in counseling and mentoring.

Small Business Workshops

SCORE also offers low-cost workshops and seminars and the Wood County sub-chapter plans to offer these services. Topics can be structured to help address specific interests that are important to Wood County businesses and managers. Recently, SCORE Wood County supported the Winnsboro Chamber of Commerce in presenting their annual business seminars in March and April of this year. The same approach, or one tailored to specific needs, can be provided to other chambers, business organizations or financial institutions. With regard to the importance of business training, Bob Martin, new Vice Chairman, said, “Our rapidly changing business climate demands continuing education whether it’s for a start-up or established business, and SCORE is an affordable resource a small business can depend upon”.

Basic workshop fees generally range from $15 to $75 depending on the program. Topics representative of the type that SCORE offers to local businesses and those interested in starting a business include: Developing Your Business Plan, Starting and Operating Your Own Business, Getting Financing for Your Business, Basic Business Accounting, Expanding Your Business and Marketing for Small Business. Other courses are being considered and can be tailored to the needs and wants of the business community.

SCORE Counselors Needed

The critical part of the SCORE process is the retired executives and business owners who donate their time and expertise as volunteer business counselors. This is the first step for the organization of the sub-chapter in Wood County. “We have many outstanding retired business people who would be very effective in helping existing businesses and new business owners. The WCIC sees SCORE as a very important part of the county’s Business Retention and Expansion Program (BREP) that is core to our economic development strategy”, said Gary McKinley, Executive Director, for the WCIC. The Wood County SCORE Sub-Chapter has had a number of small business clients since establishment in the area and has held successful workshops in Mineola, Jarvis and Winnsboro.

The minimum investment of volunteer time is one hour a week for counseling on one of three days during the week. The volunteers must also complete a training program prior to serving as counselors or mentors in the program.

The SCORE Wood County Sub-Chapter meets monthly at noon on Third Wednesdays at Peralta’s Restaurant, Quitman. Those individuals that would like to attend or would like to arrange for SCORE assistance should contact Gary McKinley at 763-4831 or Dick Groepper at 769-5745 for more information.

Information courtesy of Gary McKinley.
Past City News Articles

Winnsboro Remembers
Is a Unit Road System a Good Idea?
Lest We Forget – A 9/11 Memorial
Del Ray Heights man killed by police in domestic disturbance call
Resurfaced Road causes Fed-Ex slip-up
4th of July Celebration at City Park
Flag Day Special
Memorial Day Observance in Winnsboro