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555 Hwy 290 West Brenham, TX 77833


2950 Woodridge Blvd. Brenham, TX 77833

s n o i t a l u grat



2350 South Day Brenham, TX 77833




2217 South Market Brenham, Texas 77833



2605 Schulte Blvd. Brenham, TX 77833

Inn of Brenham

1503 Hwy 290 East Brenham, TX 77833

2831 South Market Street Brenham, TX 77833


2242 South Market Brenham, TX 77833


Come Visit Historic Brenham

979-337-9898 2 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas

201 Highway 290 E. Brenham, TX 77833


Contents Centennial Proclamations History of the Chamber Anniversary Picnic Centennial Sponsors Community Timeline Blue Blazers History Past Chamber Chairs Current Chamber Staff Founding of the Chamber Chamber Locations

4 6 8 10 17 26 30 35 36 38

Washington County Chamber of Commerce

2017 Chairman’s Circle Members

washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas | 3

On hand for the March 21, 2017 Washington County Commissioners Court meeting for the Washington County Chamber of Commerce 100th anniversary proclamation reading were chamber board and staff members, front row from left, Randy Wells, Jenny Mills, Page Michel, Washington County Judge John Brieden, Lu Hollander, Shae Janner, Courtney Powell and Walter Jackson; and back row from left are County Commissioners Don Koester, Luther Hueske, Kirk Hanath and Joy Fuchs.

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4 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas


Bible Study - 9:00 a.m. Worship - 10:00 a.m. Bro. Darren Donaldson Pastor

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2000 FM 389 Brenham, TX 979-836-3040


Residential • Commercial • Industrial



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washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas | 5

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Washington County Chamber of Commerce

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From 1912 through 1916, Brenham witnessed the greatest activity in building and general improvement work in its history. At this time, a group of civic-minded, interested citizens realized the great opportunities the community had to offer and joined together to promote the public welfare and progress of growth in the economy of the community. In order to make Brenham a bigger and better place to live, they believed an organization needed to be formed to contribute leadership to stimulate business activities and promote an increase in population … the census figure showed 6,130 inhabitants. In 1912, the Young Men’s Business Association was initially organized, considered to be Brenham’s original Chamber of Commerce. R.B. Elmore was the first president. One of its first projects was an attempt to get hard surfaced paving for the city streets. It was in early 1917 that the

6 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas

group was formally organized and named the Brenham Chamber of Commerce, with Arthur Wangermann serving as president. There were 14 directors at this time, and meetings were held in the City Hall. The city prospered as a general retail trade center and the development of a fine wholesale grocery market was begun. Unfortunately early records of the chamber’s meetings and endeavors have become lost; however, we are assured through newspaper items and information from “senior citizens,” the chamber’s contribution and successful efforts in working with the businesses, agriculture field and educational centers of the community, helped make Brenham known as a progressive town with splendid business system and beautiful homes. Free of labor troubles, the city was ideal location for manufacturing purposes. Their interest and efforts also HISTORY continued on page 7

History Continued from page 6

involved the cultural, social and civic life of the city and they gave support to and participation in many clubs, organizations, and social functions and projects — all aimed for city improvement and betterment of the community. On Sept. 12, 1938 an official Charter of the Brenham Chamber of Commerce was filed with the Secretary of State. Its purpose was stated to advance the agricultural, business and professional interests and welfare of the people of the community; to initiate, join in and further all public movements for the upbuilding and progress of Brenham and Washington County; to procure, keep and disseminate information and statistics, and generally conduct a chamber of commerce. The number of directors was set at 21. The corporation was established as a non-profit organization. The Junior Chamber of Commerce of Brenham and Washington County was also organized and worked along with the chamber in promoting all activities. It became inactive during WWII, but was re-organized at the end of the war with Frank Wood II as president. It became known as the Brenham Jaycees and worked independently from the chamber for many years. The organization sponsored projects for community betterment. On March 2, 1951, an amendment to the Brenham Chamber of Commerce Charter was filed with the Secretary of State showing the name officially changed to Washington County Chamber of Commerce together with a constitution and by-laws. The chamber invited rural representatives to meetings and proposed to have rural representatives shown on ballots for election as board members. Farm membership minimum dues rates were $6 annually. The change of name to Washington County Chamber of Commerce was approved on Jan. 3, 1951, and the constitution and by-laws were revised, March 7, 1951. The number of board directors remained at 21.

The reason for the name change was to improve relations with the countywide community; to demonstrate that the chamber belongs to the entire community that hubs on Brenham; to show the chamber has an interest and concern in all of Washington County citizens and their well-being; and to encompass promotion for improvement and progress for better economic living conditions. On Oct. 5, 1953, the Brenham Industrial Foundation was formed and the cost and managing was assumed by the chamber. It originally was known as the Industrial Relations Foundation and/or the Industrial Development Foundation in 1952. It was proposed that the chamber cooperate to the extent of allowing its manager to work as executive in the separate organization and to do investigation and organizational work, if the Industrial Foundation so desires. Businessmen organized the Brenham Industrial Foundation to counteract the diminishing market available to Brenham merchants because of population loss on the farms due to many young people moving to urban areas where opportunities were more lucrative in the employment field. The Industrial Foundation became a free-standing organization over the years. On Nov. 21, 1995, the Industrial Foundation name was changed to Economic Development Foundation of Brenham and is a separate non-profit corporation from the chamber with its own board of directors. On Nov. 18, 1971, the Blue Blazers club was formed. It is known as “the public relations arm of the chamber” and they are an important volunteer group for the chamber and all of Brenham and Washington County. The Blue Blazers act as official greeters for community events; serve in all membership drives scheduled by the chamber; are responsible for ribbon cuttings of new businesses and in providing a warm welcome to new residents. They actively participate in all functions/activities of the chamber, community organizations, civic and cultural. In 1983, the chamber became a recipient of the city of Brenham’s first collection of

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Hotel Occupancy Tax funding and launched a Convention & Visitors Bureau to implement tourism promotions and publicity programs. The CVB is a department of the chamber and now has a 30-plus year history of successful promotions to attract visiting individuals, groups and journalists to boost the local economy. In 2007, a joint Brenham and Washington County Hotel Occupancy Tax Board was formed that continues to contract with the Chamber-CVB to conduct annual tourism marketing. The website www. showcases the CVB’s promotions. In 2010, the chamber launched the Washington County Young Professionals Organization, called the “YPO.” The mission of the YPO is to foster relationships, promote career development, and encourage community involvement among its members. It is open to anyone who lives/works in Washington County between the ages of 21 and 45. They meet regularly at social gatherings and for luncheons/workshops with various industry professionals. Also in 2010, the Chamber became the host location for Keep Washington County Beautiful, a chapter of Keep Texas Beautiful that has a volunteer board of directors and community members. The mission of Keep Washington County Beautiful is to educate and engage Washington County citizens to take greater responsibility for keeping our historic county clean, safe, and beautiful, through litter prevention, waste management, beautification and recycling. The Brenham/Washington County Chamber of Commerce continues to conduct annual activities that provide vision for the growth of this community and a positive economic impact. In 2017, the chamber grew to 825 members. Members enjoy benefits and promotions that give them added credibility, a competitive edge, leadership development, networking, and involvement in the betterment of this community. Find full details online about chamber membership and programs at www.


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washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas | 7

CHEERS TO 100 YEARS! Chamber holds Centennial Celebration

A special Centennial Celebration Picnic was held March 24 at Fireman’s Park in Brenham. Everyone in the community was invited and, despite torrential rains that forced the event to be held inside the American Legion Hall, more than 200 people attended. The Washington County Chamber of Commerce board of directors, staff and Blue Blazers enjoyed seeing local business leaders, employees, and their families at this fun, free event. Brenham Wholesale was a signature sponsor of the event along with KTEXKWHI. Together with these other picnic sponsors, they joined in extending an invitation to the whole community to attend: Bank of Brenham, Blue Bell Creameries, Goodwill and Independence Coffee. At this 100th Anniversary picnic in the park, guests enjoyed a live remote with KTEX-KWHI and the chance to spin the wheel for prizes. Lunch was served free including chili dogs, popcorn, Blue Bell ice cream and more. Every guest at the picnic received a free ticket to place in their choice of “bucket drawing” containers. There were dozens of fabulous items, gift baskets and gift certificates to win, thanks to generous donations from local Chamber member businesses. Another special feature was the Centennial Celebration Guest Book, where all guests were invited to sign their name and business/organization name. This guest book was placed into a time capsule at the end of the centennial year, to be opened for the community to view in the future. CENTENNIAL continued on page 9


First Christian Church

Welcome To Washington County!

Congratulations to the Washington County Chamber on 100 years

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8 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas

Centennial Continued from page 8

The chamber board formed a Centennial Celebration planning committee two years prior and one great idea was to bring back together as many past chairmen and chairwomen as possible for an event. The past chairs reception that was held was a festive time for those who were able

to attend. Live music was provided by Jack Carr, and everyone enjoyed the fellowship and talking about Washington County’s past and future. Of the 41 past chairs still living, 27 attended the reception. City of Brenham Mayor Milton Tate and Washington County Judge John Brieden were present to express appreciation for the service of the illustrious group of volunteer leaders,

along with current members of the chamber board and staff. Everyone’s favorite part of the “100th year” has been the special focus on taking a look back, stopping to reflect, and seeing how much has been accomplished to make this community special. There is a legacy of leadership that has been passed down from year to year, from volunteer to volunteer. There is a saying that “the

Chamber does things that other people think just happen.” And it’s true. Some projects don’t reveal their impact for years, and sometimes you wonder if all the time spent in meetings will matter. Every year, the volunteers who meet, plan and then implement ideas deserve a lot of credit for their vision and perseverance. Thank you, Brenham and Washington County leaders.

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washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas | 9


ACU of Texas continues rich tradition Rich in history and unceasing excellence in service, Associated Credit Union of Texas who merged with Carbide Employee Federal Credit Union, continues to offer its members a unique and beneficial way of banking. Chartered in February 1949 the novice financial institution had a total of 13 members with assets totaling $1,339. Then known only as “Associated Credit Union,” in less than a year grew its assets to $11,409 and by December 1959 the credit union had gained 962 members and grew its assets to nearly $500,000. Around the same time period, Carbide Employee Federal Credit Union had grown from a small credit union in Texas City to acquiring 3,000 members with assets of more than $2 million. By the time disco and bell-bottoms rose to fame in the 1970s, Associated Credit Union had increased its membership to 2,617 with assets at more than $6 million. Carbide Employee Federal Credit Union experienced a record growth in nearly every area of operations. Both financial institutions ended a tumultuous era with

growth and quality enhancements to members by offering modern products and additional marketing materials. In 1993, Associated Credit Union continued to grow. Assets increased to nearly $25 million; a growth of about $1 million from 1992. The field of memberships had also opened up to more than just the chartering companies allowing any person in a member’s extended family to be able to join the credit union. By 1997, Associated Credit Union introduced the VISA Debit Card providing a more convenient way to make purchases safer and reliable.

In 1995, President/CEO Ben Levisee of Carbide Employee Federal Credit Union, had announced his retirement ending the chapter of a very successful career. Before he left the credit union’s assets had grown to more than $110 million and the number of members had grown to 21,000. Leveisee had led the financial institution through many changes and helped provide low-cost effective financial service. Associated Credit Union had entered the new millennium as a strong, full service financial institution, providing our members a profes-

10 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas

sional, efficient, and friendly staff to respond to members needs. The end of 2003 saw another big change for Associated Credit Union and the beginning of a tremendous growth. The process began to merge in Galveston County Federal Credit Union with Carbide Employees Federal Credit Union. The mission of the merger was to form one large, well-capitalized, stable credit union from two smaller ones. Associated Credit Union and CEFCU also wanted to create a strong, progressive, regional credit union to provide quality products and services to its members. The merger was finalized in 2004 and resulted in a new credit union named “Associated Credit Union of Texas.” Today Associated Credit Union of Texas is a full service credit union whose membership includes all of Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, Burleson, Lee, Fayette, Austin, Waller and Washington counties. ACU of Texas currently has more than 38,000 members with 16 branch locations and more than $380 million in assets.


‘Little creamery’ keeps cranking out flavors It was a hot day late in August 1907 when the Brenham Creamery Company opened its doors in the small town of Brenham. In the beginning, it made only butter, churned out of the excess cream provided by the many dairy cows in the area. Four years later, the company cranked out its first two gallons of ice cream, made in a wooden tub filled with ice. By 1919, however, the creamery had fallen on hard times and had been operating in the red for three years. In February, the president of the company, H.F. Hohlt, offered the position of manager to E.F. Kruse, a graduate of Southwest Texas State Teacher’s College who had just completed his military service. At the time the manager’s job was offered to him, Kruse was also considering an offer to become a superintendent of schools in Burton, about 12 miles from Brenham. After some consideration, Kruse decided that the job at the creamery represented an interesting challenge. Within a short time, the company was starting to show a profit. In fact, he did not cash his first few paychecks in order to keep the company’s bottom line safely in the black. In 1930, Kruse changed the name of the Brenham Creamery Company to Blue Bell Creameries after his favorite Texas wildflower, the bluebell, which blooms in the hot summer months — just like the ice cream business. In the summer of 1941, Kruse started his two sons, Ed and Howard working at the ice cream plant. After graduation from Brenham High School, both boys attended Texas A&M University, majoring in dairy science. In 1951, Ed went to work full-time for

Blue Bell. Later that year, E.F. died, and Ed became manager and treasurer/secretary. After college graduation, Howard served two years in the armed forces during the Korean War, and then returned to Blue Bell in 1954 to supervise the ice cream production area. Together, the brothers developed “Blue Bell Supreme,” (now Blue Bell Ice Cream) which quickly became known as a superior ice cream. In 1958, Blue Bell stopped producing butter and the company was able to focus entirely on ice cream and frozen snacks. In 1960, an enterprising young graduate of the University of Texas, John Barnhill, who had also worked for Blue Bell as a youngster, began to sell Blue Bell Ice Cream on the outskirts of Houston. By 1962, the company had its own branch office in Houston, and Barnhill was named Houston branch manager. By 1963, Blue Bell had finally reached $1 million in annual sales. Barnhill (now retired from the company since 2000) and his growing staff established a pattern of service to retailers, which remains unique in the food industry. Blue Bell products, unlike most other product lines, are always delivered directly by Blue Bell employees to supermarkets, convenience stores and other retail outlets. Blue Bell driver salesmen work in these stores every day of the week, either delivering ice cream or making sure that the freezer cases are freshly stocked and that Blue Bell displays are always neat, clean and attractively arranged. This extra commitment to service means that the consumer gets ice cream and snacks that are in a peak state of freshness and well cared

for by those who know the ice cream best. In 1969, Howard Kruse developed Homemade Vanilla, produced from a recipe that is still the company’s most closely-guarded secret. The flavor was designed to taste like hand-cranked, homemade ice cream. That same year, Lyle Metzdorf, then president of Metzdorf Advertising, developed the company’s advertising campaign, “The Little Creamery in Brenham,” using local Washington County settings and sometimes local residents to represent the down-home, made-in-the-country, fresh quality of Blue Bell products. Ed, who had been serving as president since 1968, was elected chief executive officer (CEO) and chairman of the board in 1986 and Howard became the company’s president. In 1989, the first branch distribution center was built across state lines in Oklahoma City, Okla. Growth has continued over the years to the point that Blue Bell is now sold in 19 states: Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming. Blue Bell is distributed to branch facilities from one of its three manufacturing plants located in Brenham, Broken Arrow, Okla., and Sylacauga, Ala. In 1993, Howard was elected CEO and Ed continued as chairman of the board. Paul Kruse, Ed’s son, became CEO and president in 2004. In 2015, Ed passed away at the age of 87. In 2017, Paul retired from Blue Bell after 30 years with the company and Ricky Dickson was chosen to be the next president.

washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas | 11


Dealership continues to outpace industry Brenham Chrysler Jeep Dodge is one of the oldest Chrysler dealerships in the state of Texas and is owned by Jeff and Greg Hazlewood. It was opened in the early 1930s by the Appel family as Appel Garage and was bought by the Hazlewoods in 2009. More than 80 years later the dealership is still thriving and has grown to more than 50 employees. The dealership is run by family as a family. They take pride in customer satisfaction and have been recognized by Chrysler for their outstanding service. In appreciation of the support the local community gives them, they are glad to give back supporting many local charitable organizations and activities such as Brenham ISD, the Chamber of Commerce, the Washington County Fair, the Peace Officers Association, first responders, and a long list of others. They are very proud to be a part of the Brenham community and Washington County. To all current and past customers they sincerely thank you for the business. And to everyone else they invite you to come by and see why they continue to outpace the industry in growth. They look forward to another 80 years. 12 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas


Customer satisfaction key for BNB

Brenham National Bank began its existence in 1933 as Farmers National Bank at the corner of Main and S. Baylor Streets. In 1949, the bank moved across the square into the building which housed the Day Cotton Company and the Double Dip Ice Cream Co. at Main and South Park streets. That location was renovated and expanded many times to meet the growing needs of the bank and the community. After a major remodeling event in 1975, U.S. Rep. J.J. “Jake” Pickle and former Texas Gov. John B. Connally spoke at the grand opening of the remodeled building. A time capsule was placed in the floor of that building and it remains there today. During this same time period, the bank changed its name from Farmers National Bank to Brenham National Bank. In 1980, Brenham National was the first to bring ATM service to the community as part of the PULSE network. In 1986, the company moved to its current location at 2211 South Day Street. In 2006, they expanded into a new market by opening a branch in College Station located at 2470 Earl Rudder Freeway. In 2009, opened another branch location in Chappell Hill located at 9005 U.S. 290 East. Although the bank has grown in size and footprint over the years, we have always prided themselves on being the best at knowing our customers. They are proud to be the only locally owned bank in Brenham and we do everything in our power to better the financial position of our customers. The motto beneath our logo says, “Our People, Our Service, Our Best.” They strive to provide the best in financial services to all of its customers at all times. The core of their business has always been having local bankers make local decisions. Through this personal service they can adapt to meet the needs of their customers. Brenham National Bank provides its customers with the most updated banking technology available. Today they offer a complete mobile banking package with a mobile banking app and mobile check deposit. The bank’s internet banking for both households and businesses is second to none. For households, we have a state of the art bill pay system. For businesses, they offer first class direct deposit (ACH) payroll and cash management capability. Brenham National Bank is proud of its history and tradition of service in Brenham and Washington County. They are also proud of being long time members of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and congratulate the chamber on its Centennial Celebration. The chamber is a pillar of this community and they are honored to be members.





washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas | 13


Germania: Tradition that still stands true Germania Insurance is known as the “Insurance Texans Trust” and has a deep history of more than 120 years of providing fair and honest insurance protection to Texans. The company’s founding principle, “bear ye one another’s burdens,” still stands true today. Germania was organized in 1896 as Germania Mutual Aid Association in Perry, Texas. It was under the leadership of Otto Rau, the first president. He was a respected businessman and banker of German heritage. Germania was originally formed to provide protection for rural farm property against losses due to storms, fire and lightning. At that time insuring property in rural and small community areas was virtually impossible. A natural disaster could destroy a farm in an instant and the farmer needed someone they could turn to for help. The 31 founding members, including Rau, saw the need for dependable mutual insurance and committed to the principle that bearing one another’s burdens made them all stronger. In 1960, Germania’s name changed to Germania Farm

Mutual Aid Association to comply with the state’s requirements. In 1982 the name changed again to Germania Farm Mutual Insurance Association (GFMIA). Germania moved its headquarters to Brenham in 1898. Germania’s current Home Office location opened in 1980. Today, GFMIA is known simply as Germania Insurance. It is the largest farm mutual in Texas with more than 200,000 members/ policyholders. Through the years Germania has formed subsidiary companies to provide more coverages to policyholders: Germania Insurance Company (1978), Germania Fire and Casualty (1986), Germania Life Insurance Company (1983), Germania General Agency (1980), Germania Select Insurance Company (2002), and

Texas Heritage Insurance Company (2006). In addition, Germania Credit Union was form in 1989 as a financial resource for Germania Insurance members and their families. The Association’s success is due to the established relationships between members and their Local Chapters (agencies) and the growth across the state. The leadership, under the direction of President Paul Ehlert, responds to policyholder needs. Germania continues to thrive due to the longevity of relationships with its members and Local Chapters. Germania only insures property in the state of Texas. Germania is unique because our members have a voice in their Association, and are an essential part of the company. They reinforce

14 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas

the membership-owned farm mutual concept which sets Germania Farm Mutual Insurance Association apart from most other insurers in Texas. Germania has grown tremendously in the last five years and currently has more than 450 employees. These employees work throughout the state, in the Brenham corporate office, and at the Dallas Remote Service Center. In addition, the company has more than 350 active Local Chapter/ agencies throughout Texas. Germania’s mission is to provide fair and honest insurance protection through competitive products and responsive service. It remains committed to the principle of building a stronger future for our Members by maintaining our Association’s strength.


HTCP agency on upward path Heritage Texas Country Properties was started in 2001 in Round Top with Frank Johnston at the helm. Cathy Cole joined the real estate company at that time. She asked that he consider opening another office in Brenham because of the growth and the professionalism of the company. In 2003, Cole became the sales manager and the Brenham office was opened in its current location on Austin Street. The company headquarters is now housed in the Brenham office and is the largest of the five offices of Heritage Texas Country Properties. Cole purchased the business from Johnston in 2014 and it is when Brenham became the home office. The house was built in 1935 by the Robert Schroeder family, then the Robert Barnes family, purchased by Tommy Head and sold to the owners prior to HTCP purchase. The unusual instance was that Cole and her now passed husband Mike were honored to have been given an engagement party in the building when the Barnes’ owned it. Deja vu? Perhaps! The company now has nearly 40 agents, six employees and five locations. On a growth patch Cole and her family of staff and agents know they are the “Company to watch!”

‘Happy Trails with the Dirt Girl’ Known as the “Dirt Girl,” Cole is energetic and enterprising with more than 26 years of experience buying and selling private residences and some of the region’s most spectacular farms and ranches. During that time, she has amassed a record of success that includes over 100 Top Producer titles, and the South Central Board of REALTORS recognized Cole as their first two-time REALTOR® of the Year 1997 and 2005. In 2013 and 2014 she was awarded the People’s Choice Award for Best Realtor and Heritage Texas Country Properties was awarded the same award for Best Real

Estate Company in the south central region. She is owner of Heritage Texas Country Properties and knows that being a graduate and a trainer of Texas Realtors Leadership Program is being put to full use now more than ever. Cole serves as current President of the Texas Chapter of REALTORS® Land Institute, the most trusted, accomplished and highest performing land experts across the state. Cole serves on the Realtors Land Institute’s Government Affairs Committee the National Institute. She is also a founding member and past Director of the Texas Land Brokers Network, an organization dedicated to networking and education of land professionals. Cole has also been a member of Political Involvement Committee for the Texas Association of Realtors for five year and serves on the Land Use Committee. In addition to serving on several committees, and for three years on the Washington County Chamber Board of Directors, Cole served on the Texas Association of REALTORS® Professional Standards Committee for eight years. Cole serves on the Texas Association of Realtors Nominating Committee and is a Government Affairs representative.

washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas | 15

• Blinn’s academic transfer rate consistently ranks among the top ten in the nation. • Blinn’s diverse selection of technical and career training programs put students on the fast track to high-demand, high-wage careers. • Blinn students can save almost $3,500 in tuition and fees each year compared to the average Texas public university. • Blinn graduates can earn an average of $9,000 more per year than employees with only a high school diploma 16 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas

Community Timeline It is thanks to the vision and leadership of so many great citizens in Brenham/Washington County over the last 100 years that we have the thriving community that we all enjoy today. Listed on pages 18 through 25 are some highlights, facts and milestones from the past century that have shaped our local business community. Many important economic events happened in the years prior to the Washington County Chamber of Commerce being chartered including the establishment of the railroad line and merchants around the Brenham square in the 1850s, the incorporation of the city of Brenham in 1858, Brenham Fire Department being founded in 1867, The Banner-Press newspaper in 1866, Brenham ISD founded in 1875 and Blinn College in 1883, the first hospital built in 1897, Germania Insurance opening in Brenham in 1898, the Methodist Church in Chappell Hill rebuilt after the great storm of 1900, Brentex Cotton Mill opening in 1901, the Brenham Creamery opening in 1907 and starting to make ice cream in 1911, the Cotton Gin built by a co-op of German farmers in Burton in 1914, and Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park opening in 1916, to name a few.

The streets of downtown Brenham weren’t paved until 1922.

Thank You Washington County Chamber of Commerce Our Community’s Local Business Advocate for 100 years and counting.

We are working to provide city services that help make Brenham a great place to work, live and visit. | 979.337.7200 washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas | 17

1920 The Banner-Press opens

Cost of U.S. Postage stamp: 2¢

building at corner of Main and Market streets

1917 Brenham Chamber Loaf of bread cost: 7¢

of Commerce founded on March 24

1917 Average cost of house: $5,000


Germania Insurance establishes Brenham as its home office


1917 Population in the

Brenham Creamery changes name to Blue Bell Creameries

City of Brenham approx. 5,000, Washington County 26,000

1923 First National Bank

Average cost of car: $400

built on Alamo Street

Congratulation Washington County Chamber on 100 years!


1808 Hwy 105 Brenham, TX 77833


18 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas

1933 Farmers National Bank


Blinn becomes the first county-owned public Junior College in Texas

founded, now Brenham National Bank

1931 St. Jude Hospital opens



1932 Bohne Memorial Hospital opens

Monument erected in Washington in memory of delegates at Constitutional Convention who declared Texas free, organized a Republic and framed the constitution (100th anniversary)

1939 Washington County Tractor founded

Congratulations to the Chamber on their Centennial Anniversary!

Growing with you, Every step of the way! The oldest locally owned bank in Brenham! – Since 1933

Chappell Hill

Brenham College Station College Station

washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas | 19

1950 Brenham Country

Cost of U.S. Postage stamp: 3¢

Club grand opening

Loaf of bread cost: 9¢

1947 KWHI-AM radio


signs on the air


Average cost of house: $3,775

Boettcher Building Center opens

1944 W.B. Hasskarl Average cost of car: $920

B R E N H A M ,

1951 The Brenham Maifest Association is established

serves as Chamber President


Population in the City of Brenham 6,941; Washington County 20,542


stewart POLICES


Milton Y. Tate, Jr., President R. Hal Moorman, Vice President Chris Cangelosi, Vice President

Cheryl Beckermann - Manager/Escrow Officer Mary Kay Hurta - Examiner/Escrow Officer Brenda Duebbe - Escrow Officer Kay Larson - Abstracting/Escrow Assistant Terry Compton - Escrow Officer Kellie Goessler - Escrow Officer Assistant Jill Nice - Receptionist

WCAC@WCABSTRACT.COM 20 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas

1959 The Bowlerama opens 1965 First H-E-B

1957 Brenham Clinic

opened in Brenham

1967 Gates closed on the Somerville Dam


Association is founded

1953 The Brenham Industrial Foundation was founded


Washington County land value was $140 per acre

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washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas | 21

Cost of U.S. Postage stamp: 5¢

1969 Chromalloy American


bought the “Old Cotton Mill”

Loaf of bread cost: 25¢


Silver Wings Ballroom opened in December

1970 Population in the City of Brenham 8,922; Washington County 18,842

1976 Bandstand at Washington County Courthouse dedicated

County land value was $345 per acre

Average cost of car: $2,600

County land value was $995 per acre

cream plant opened at new location on FM 577

1969 Washington

Average cost of house: $15,500

1978 Washington

1972 Blue Bell ice

1971 Brenham State Supported Living Center built (originally Brenham State School)

Serving Central Texas since 1939

22 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas

1977 35 acre Southwest Industrial Park breaks ground

1978 Four Corners Shopping Center built

1983 Chamber starts the Convention & Visitors Bureau

1980 Germania

1981 Murray Rubber

Insurance built new headquarters in Brenham on U.S. 290


Population in the City of Brenham 11,952; Washington County 26,154

1992 Mount Vernon bought Brentex Cotton Mill

Washington County

plant (Longwood) anchors the new Southwest Industrial Park


1981 Brenham Police 1981 Austin Chalk

Department opened on Chappell Hill Street

1992 KTTX-FM radio

oil and gas boom hits Washington County

signs on the air


1980 Population in the City of Brenham 10,966; Washington County 21,998

Trinity Medical Center is founded by the consolidation of St. Jude and Bohne Memorial hospitals

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Cost of U.S. Postage stamp: 29¢

1992 Camp For All

2004 Lowes and


Home Depot opened



Loaf of bread cost: $1.34


Chamber adds on Conference Room and more offices to building

Construction completed of five Welcome to Washington County highway signs

2000 Brenham Business

1993 BIF name changed to

2009 New Brenham Police

Center, a Class A industrial park on U.S. 290 opens

Economic Development Foundation (EDF)

Average cost of house: $124,900

Department built on Longwood Drive

2004 Boys & Girls


Club of Washington County opens new facility

City of Brenham rejoins the Main Street program for downtown revitalization

Average cost of car: $11,580


Blue Bell Aquatic Center holds grand opening

Animal Friends Co s t Low

Spay • Neuter • Wellness Clinic

Congratulations YEARS A ANIM



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24 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas


2010 Chamber-CVB began

Cost of U.S. Postage stamp: 49¢

operating Visitor Center inside the restored Simon Theater


2010 A.W. Hodde Jr. Technical

City of Brenham opened new Pet Adoption Center

Education Center at Blinn College opens

2010 Scott & White

2011 Young Professionals

Hospital-Brenham opens after acquiring Trinity Medical Center

Organization of the Chamber (YPO) is begun

2017 Centennial Celebration of the Brenham/ Washington County Chamber of Commerce

2010 Population in the

2016 City of Brenham

City of Brenham 15,760; Washington County 33,756

grand opening for expanded Public Library

Loaf of bread cost: $2.37

2017 Average cost of house: $172,600

Average cost of car: $34,968




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Blue Blazers celebrate 47 years of tradition CURRENT CLUB MEMBERS

Tammy Jaster

Barbara Wilganowski

Kathy Randermann

Dr. Henry Boehm Jr.

City of Brenham Blue Bell Aquatic Ctr.

Recording Secretary

Points Secretary

Spherion Staffing

KTTX 106.1/KWHI 1280

Honorary Lifetime Member

Coy Fontenot

Wendy Frazier

Eddie Harrison

Kruse Village

Associated Credit Union of Texas

Retired Municipal Judge


Christy Schlottmann

Randy Weidemann

Christy Schlottmann Farmers Agency

Van Dyke Rankin Insurance

Michael Branton

Darlene Denman

Joyce Dickschat

Seidel Schroeder

Brenham ISD

Brenham National Bank

Crystal Locke

Brice Milliorn

Michelle Panko

Linda Pipes

City of Brenham

Edward Jones

Barking Ranch Pet Resort

Retired Teacher

Matt Wellmann

Debra Wenckens

Kristie Wensel

Wellmann Insurance

Brenham State Supported Living Center

Brenham State Supported Living Center

Shelby Wiesepape Bank of Brenham

Blue Blazers Founding Members 1971 Sam Bentke, Alfred Boeker Jr., Skipper Dippel, Bill Gaskamp, Glen Klussmann, Ed Lehmann, Lonnie Landgraf, Charles Moser, Don and Sue Muzzy, Duane Olney, Joe Al Picone, Milton Tate, Eddie Van Dyke and Jerrell Weir. 26 6 | washington wa a sh s in ngt g on county count t y chamber ch c h am mbeer of commerce com o merce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas

LIST OF BLUE BLAZERS ——— since 1971 ———

Blue Blazers continue to be welcoming arm of Chamber The Blue Blazers is a local club that supports the mission of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce. The volunteers in the club act as official greeters and hosts of our community.

Their activities include monthly meetings, serving as greeters at Chamber functions, recruiting new Chamber members, and scheduling and conducting ribbon cuttings and grand openings for new members.

Tiffany Abrams, Lynn Alexander, Charlotte Allen, Doug Baker, Sam Bentke, Dr. Henry Boehm Jr., Alfred Boeker, Travis Boeker, Becky Bosse, Michael Branton, John Brieden, Bill Briley, Marci Chertok, Bob and Debbie Cox, Jolene Curtis, Sam Davis, Jackie Dayoc, Darlene Denman, Joyce Dickschat, Tieman “Skipper” Dippel Jr., Norman Draehn, Susan Ebel, Bob Effinger III, Becky Ehlert, Mary All Ellermann, PJ Ellison Kalil, the Rev. Larry Embry, Steve Fairchild, Johanna Fatheree, D’Dee Fowler, Coy Fontenot, Wendy Frazier, Bill Gaskamp, Charles Gaskamp, Pam Green, Bob Handley, Rebecca Hansen, Eddie Harrison, Jared Hartman, Bill Hildebrand, Mike Hopkins Sr., Don Hoffman, Jim Tom House, Bob Hungate, Lisa Irving, Barbara Jacobs, Chris Jackson, Jerry Jackson, James Janik, Tammy Jaster, Kimberley Jozwiak, Florence Julian, Val Kieke, Mike Koehn, Dollie Kokemore, Glen Klussman, LaVerne Krumrey, Lonnie Landgraf, Ed Lehmann, Crystal Locke, Jeanne Luedemann, Bob Lukeman, Herb Maddock, David Majewski, Roy Marshall, Charlie Matejowsky, Bill McAdams, Janice McClendon, Melissa McCune, Cecil Meekins, Brice Milliorn, Charles Moser, Don Muzzy, Sue Muzzy, Duane Olney, Michelle Panko, Mark Patranella, Joe Al Picone, Diane and Lloyd Pieper, Linda Pipes, Mike Probst, Kathy Randermann, Whitney Reynolds, Charlotte Roemer, Beth Rothermel, Gary Rothermel, Barbara Saunders, Lindsay Scheel, Christy Schlottmann, Gertrude Schroeder, James Schroeder, Harvey Skinner, Bob Smith, Donald Spiess, Don Stafford, Sandy Starnes, Stephen Stuckert, Susan Tappe, Milton Tate, Julie Tiemann, Eddie Van Dyke, Don Voelter, Tim Walther, Randy Weidemann, Jerrell Weir, Matt Wellmann, Debra ‘’Leroy’’ Wenckens, Kristie Wensel, Alesia Whaley, Shelby Wiesepape, Barbara Wilganowski, Don Wilhelm, Rodney Williams, Mary Lou Winkelmann and Woody Woodward.

{( Probably) True

History of Ribbon Cuttings The history of ribbon cuttings probably dates back to BC times in Israel (Palestine back then) where goods by land from the East (Asia) and by sea from the West (Roman Empire) came into rooms or “chambers” to market to customers. They would have thin ropes blocking the entrances to keep people out of the chambers until the goods were ready to sell/barter/trade. When it was time to begin, they would lower and/or cut the ropes ergo, ribbon cuttings. This is also one of the early beginnings of Chambers of Commerce. At least that is what we’ve been told by Eddie McBride the renowned leader of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, who said he heard it from chamber executive Paul Ellsworth almost 20 years ago. McBride says the story may or may not be true, but he was shown this diagram that we are sharing with you. washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas | 27



Blue Blazers over the years 1980




1999 28 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas


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washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas | 29

Past chamber chairman are, pictured seated from left, Bill Neinast, Deanna Alfred, Tamy Metzger, Mary Lou Winkelmann, Susan Cantey, Howard Kruse, Charles Moser, Joe Al Picone and Robert Wright; standing from left, Julie Renken, Kurt Podeszwa, Gracie Slattery, Barney Loesch, Cathy Boeker, Hal Moorman, Tee Dippel, Brice Milliorn, Don Voelter, Brett Smith, Charlie Matejowsky, Jeff Ehlert, James Schroeder, Shirley Herring, Kurt Alfred, Jeff Appel, Jay Alexander and Wesley Brinkmeyer. Not pictured are Larry Arnie, Becky Bosse, A.W. Hodde Jr., Herbert Faske, Clarence Gaskamp, Clarence Gerke, Gene Herrmann, Liz Hopkins, Leroy Loesch, Kyle Merten, Donny Roberts, Steven Stuckert, Larry Urquhart, Ray Weiss and David Yeager.

Past Chamber Chairs Honored

TOP PHOTO: Page Michel (center), president and CEO of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, pictured with past chamber chairmen Kurt Alfred and Howard Kruse. RIGHT PHOTO: City of Brenham Mayor Milton Tate speaks during the Past Chairman Reception at the Blinn College Student Center.

The Centennial Celebration planning committee wanted to provide an opportunity to bring back together as many past chairmen and chairwomen as possible for an event. The Past Chairs Reception that was held was a festive time for those who were able to attend. Live music was provided by Jack Carr, and everyone enjoyed the fellowship and talking about Washington County’s past and future. Of the 41 past chairs still living, 27 attended this Centennial reception. Newsletters, magazines and brochures from the past decades were on display at the event, and it was a nostalgic time for all of the leaders who gathered. They were asked to share memories from their time leading the Chamber board. Below are some excerpts: HONORED continued on page 32

30 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas








524 W. Main Bellville, TX 77418

605 S. Austin Brenham, TX 77833

103 N. Main La Grange, TX 78945

203 N. Live Oak Round Top, TX 78954

1748 Interstate 10 Weimar, TX 78962







washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas | 31

Honored Continued from page 30

Howard Kruse 1969 1969 was full of activity – building membership, developing business, community improvements. Our new executive president Meryl Harris had a time with the pronunciation of some of our familiar names: Pflughaupt, Tomachevsky, Draehn, and Reue. He adapted to our membership. Together with Urban Renewal, we proposed a community center next to Fireman’s Park. It did not come to fruition. One day we may have a community center. Joe Al Picone 1977 Things were quite different when I was President of the Chamber. Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe was my speaker at the annual banquet. Merle and I picked up the Briscoes at the Brenham Airport for a reception and the banquet, which was held at the Brenham State School. Hal Moorman 1981 Gov. William Clements was our speaker for the Chamber banquet. He sat between me and my wife Lucy who was pregnant at the time with our second child.

He spent as much or more time talking to her as he did with me. He asked her all sorts of questions about her life, what she was doing and really made her feel important. I t was a great lesson for me to see that a great leader doesn’t impress you with his importance but he makes you feel important. Mary Lou Winkelmann Steinbach 1985 I was involved with the Chamber for many years as a Blue Blazer and on the chamber board. I marvel at the changes we’ve experienced in the last decades, and when traveling to other area towns, it fills me with pride to see the vibrancy of Brenham and Washington County. I had the unique distinction of being the first woman president of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce. It was a busy year with a slate of excellent board members. I remember our banquet being at Silver Wings Ballroom and the guest speaker was John Henry Faulk, a homespun humorist from Grimes County who was on the television hit “Hee-Haw.” My tenure focused on tourism and through the decades I am so pleased that Brenham and Washington County is no longer a town “on the way to...” but truly a destination for fun, food, history, business, employment, and wholesomeness. Mission accomplished!”

Don Voelter 1989 The year that I was Chair was the first year that we had corporate tables at the banquet which I think has been a good idea. I can probably take credit for it because there are few people still around that can refute it and those who are around can’t remember. Deanna Alfred 1990 Bryan Swedlund and I developed the first Leadership Washington County program. He had the idea, and we initiated it during my term as president of the board. I was a graduate of the first Leadership class, and the program still prospers today! Robert G. Wright 1994 Favorite memories of mine are my part in getting the Chamber office renovated, and my part in bringing Lois Kolkhorst back to Brenham. Shirley Herring 1996, 1997 In 1996, former President George H.W. Bush came as the guest speaker for a Chamber luncheon at Blinn College. His “payment” was Blue Bell Gift Certificates (courtesy of Howard Kruse), and we charged $25/person. HONORED continued on page 33

Past Presidents/Chairmen

1917-18 — Arthur Wangemann 1918-20 —T.W. Falkenberg 1921-22 — Henry F. Winkelmann 1923-24 — B.F. Teague 1925-26 — J. J. Marek 1927 — E. A. Eversberg 1928 — Fred L. Amsler 1929 — Wm. Seidel 1930 — E. N. Reichardt 1931 — J.D. Dobert 1934 — W. A. Stucket 1935-36 — Paul Darr 1937-38 — E.F. Kruse 1939 — C.D. Dallmeyer 1940 — T.A Low 1941 — Jack Elwood 1942 — Leslie D. Williams 1943 — W.J. Sloan 1944 — W. B. Hasskarl 1945 — Walter Holle 1946-47 — Louis Hausman 1948 — Gordon Langston 1949 — Richard Spinn

1950 — Dr. W. T. Neely 1951-52 — Gus Grabow 1953 — Ed Boettcher 1954 — Ben Schleider 1955 — William H Buske 1956 — Roy Wiese 1957 — Don Wilder 1958 — Elvis Jaster 1959 — Charles Noble 1960 — George Moorman 1961 — A.W. Hodde Jr. 1962 — Dr. W.F. Hasskarl Jr. 1963 — Leroy Loesch 1964 — M.L. Everett 1965 — Charles Machemehl 1966 — Paul LaRoche 1967 — Clarence Schoenvogel 1968 — Gerald Zlotnik 1969 — Howard Kruse 1970 — Thad Spencer 1971 — Bill Gaskamp 1972 — Julian Weisler II 1973 — Edmund Lehman

1974 — Gordon Parker 1975 — Herbert J. Faske 1976 — Charles Moser 1977 — Joe Al Picone 1978 — Clarence Gaskamp 1979 — Herb Maddock 1980 — Steven Stuckert 1981 — Hal Moorman 1982 — James Schroeder 1983 — H.E. Pflughaupt 1984 — Bob Ettinger 1985 — Mary Lou Steinbach Winkelmann 1986 — Jeff Ehlert 1987 — Larry Urquhart 1988 — Jeff Appel 1989 — Don Voelter 1990 — Deanna Alfred 1991 — Larry Arnie 1992 — Bill Neinast 1993 — Jay Alexander/ Carla Whitehead 1994 — Robert Wright

32 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas

1995 — Gene Herrmann 1996-97 — Shirley Herring 1998-99 — Susan Cantey 2000 — Charlie Matejowsky 2001 — Tamy Metzger 2002 — Donny Roberts 2003 — David Yeager 2004 — Ray Weiss 2005 — Becky Bosse 2006 — Gracie Slattery 2007 — Brett Smith 2008 — Tieman “Tee” Dippel III 2009 — Barney Loesch 2010 — Julie Renken 2011 — Cathy Boeker 2012 — Brice Milliorn 2013 — Kurt Podezwa 2014 — Liz Hopkins 2015 — Wesley Brinkmeyer 2016 — Kurt Alfred 2017 — Kyle Merten 2018 — Rev. Randy Wells

Honored Continued from page 32

This was unheard of at the time, but we sold out to capacity in 3 days. What an incredibly warm, smart, and approachable man....and his appearance single-handedly restored the bank account at the Chamber! Susan Cantey 1998, 1999 During my tenure on the Chamber Board and as Chairman, we employed a native daughter of Brenham who had returned to home to live. I speak of Lois W. Kolkhorst, currently our State Senator. Her charge was to pump up the chamber and improve its prospects. To this end a whole cast of city leaders was enlisted to participate. The time period was the mid to late 1990s, and Brenham had not yet embraced cell phones; they were not in general use. However, we had a board member who had latched on to the service and made use of his phone at every opportunity. That included during board meetings, luncheon meetings, walking in the door, whenever. To his credit he whispered. But that actually made it worse...everybody stopped to listen. It fell to me to educate this lovely man to silence his phone during our Chamber meetings. It took several attempts, but success was achieved. That episode served as a good reminder to others about the hazards of modern technology. Charlie Matejowsky 2000 Two things that happened during my term as President were: (1) Welcome signs on the highways were approved and the first one actually constructed. (2) Employees of the Chamber and Industrial Foundation were provided employee benefits for the first time

(Health Insurance, Retirement Plan and Optional Cafeteria Plan). Tamy Metzger 2001 Our Executive Board developed the present day mission statement. Troy Glasco insisted on including “while preserving the natural beauty and rich heritage of our county.” It was a pleasure volunteering with the wonderful people in this community. I’m proud of the mission statement used to this day: To provide a positive economic impact and quality of life while preserving the natural beauty and rich heritage of our county. David Yeager 2003 My vivid memory of the Chamber, through the eyes of working with the Board and Leadership, was the attitude and work ethic represented by Chamber members and Board members. I had no doubt of the impact this Chamber had on Washington County because the Board was committed, cared deeply about the community, had a remarkable concept of the history of Washington County, and a clear vision of the future. With the current leadership, the Chamber remains a strong and valuable part of this community. Becky Bosse 2005 It was a great year for me. I had the privilege of working with a wonderful board of

directors made up of some of the finest business men and women in this county. My executive board, which consisted of Gracie Slattery, Brett Smith, Jon Hill, Boo Christiansen and Ray Weiss, were an awesome support system for me. I saw staff changes which included the hire of a new President/CEO who is Page Michel. I witnessed the Chamber and EDF come together again. It made sense and I was glad it finally happened. Thanks for the vision of Paul Ehlert, chairman of the EDF, and that board in helping it come to fruition. Thank you for your confidence in me and allowing me to be of service. I was born and raised in Washington County. My grandmother Emma Dickschat, a child of German immigrants, settled in the small town of what we call Old Washington. There she met my grandfather W.H. Bosse and well… the rest is history. Each time I visit the graves of these cherished grandparents I am reminded about just how blessed I was to be able to run and play as a child in the most beautiful and historic place in Texas. Brenham and Washington County mean a great deal to me and the honor has truly been all mine. Gracie Slaery 2006 Memories of my tenure with the Chamber Board are seeing Washington County at its best.

Late 2005 saw both hurricanes Katrina and Rita, devastating events for our region. Washington County was a beacon for all who came this way. We fed, sheltered and loved those who needed help when evacuating throughout the fall of 2005. In 2006 we woke up to a County forever changed by those events. Changed for the better no doubt. Under the leadership of Page Michel and the Chamber staff, along with other organizations, we found positive ways to include all the evacuees who fell in love with Washington County and decided to call it home. The Chamber of Commerce was outstanding in drawing in the “newcomers,” recognizing their talents and growing the resource pool for our community. I was fortunate to be on the selection committee when a new President/CEO for the Chamber was chosen. Page Michel was an outstanding choice! Through her Leadership our Chamber has continued to grow and serve the business community in multiple ways. Most recently the transition to a Tiered Dues/Membership Levels format. The rising membership numbers are a direct reflection on the Chamber’s work under the direction of the Chamber team, including Jane Hinze! It was an honor to be part of the Chamber Board and my memories are priceless! I know in my heart greater things are ahead for our Chamber and our Community. We are so blessed!

washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas | 33

“Century Club� WELCOME TO THE

Proud supporter of the chamber from the beginning

The Banner-Press

2430 Stringer Street | Brenham | 979-836-7956

34 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas


Board of Directors 2017 EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS

Board Chairman Kyle Merten

Second Vice Chair Amanda Stolz

Treasurer Walter Jackson

First Vice Chair Rev. Randy Wells

Secretary James Pharaon

Immediate Past Chair Kurt Alfred


Chamber staff Page Michel

Jane Hinze

Shae Janner

President & CEO

Member Services Manager

Business Programs Manager

Terms expire December 2017 Pictured from left: James Pharaon - Germania Insurance; Tammy Jaster - City of Brenham - Blue Bell Aquatic Center; Kurt Alfred Brenham National Bank; Cyndee Smith - Oldham Goodwin Group; Rev. Randy Wells - Faith Mission & Help Center.

Jenny Mills

Courtney Powell

Jennifer Phillips

Tourism Director

Assistant Tourism Director

Visitor Center Coordinator

Dawn Konieczny

Cheryl Sevin

Candi Eaton

Communications Coordinator


EDF Project Manager

Jeanine Presswood

Nelda Snow

Cindy Ross

Support Staff

Support Staff

Terms expire December 2018 Pictured from left: Brad Stufflebeam - Home Sweet Farm Market & Biergarten; Jeannie Kroll - Brenham Clinic; Kristie Wensel - Brenham State Supported Living Center; Kyle Merten - Blinn College Foundation; Walter Jackson - Brenham ISD Superintendent; LaVerne Krumrey Brenham Monument Co.; Jenny Van Dorf - Blue Bell Creameries.

Terms expire December 2019 Edward Smith III - Ninety Six West, The Citadel; Lloyd Powell Brenham Police Department; Amanda Stolz - Seidel Schroeder; Gena Wilimitis - Miracle Farm; Darren Huckert - Jones|Carter; Edna Kennedy - Burton ISD Superintendent; Jim Kruse - Bank of Brenham.

Support Staff

Board & Staff photos provided by Scott Hill, Brenham Portrait Gallery

washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas | 35

Founding of the

Chamber March 24, 1917

March 29, 1917

March 30, 1917 36 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas

April 18, 1917

April 26, 1917 Articles were printed in the Brenham Daily Banner-Press

ON THE COVER: Large gathering of Young Men’s Business Association at Brenham City Hall in 1912. The group later became the Brenham Chamber of Commerce. Winkelmann Photograph Collection, e_wk_0029, The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

May 31, 1917

washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas | 37

St. Anthon y


ity Hall Brenham C

Chamber locations Throughout History

In its early years, the Chamber held meetings inside the Courthouse and City Hall. By the 1940s, meetings were held at the St. Anthony Hotel. In the late 1950s, the Chamber had its first location inside the Simon Theater on the first floor. In 1964, the Chamber bought its current property which was an old telephone company building the City had acquired, and originally the site of the Union Station Depot.

ite building s t r e b m a h C Depo current the Union s a w it n e wh

Simon the atre 3388 | wa w wash washington a sh shin ingt ton on county cou unty n t y chamber nt ch c h am a mb beer of of commerce co om mme mme mer rc ce & cvb c v b centennial cv ceen c nt t en e n nii al a l | 1917-2017 191 9177--220017 17 | brenham, br reenh ha am m m,, texas t e xas te xa x as


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washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas | 39

40 | washington county chamber of commerce & cvb centennial | 1917-2017 | brenham, texas

Chamber Centennial Publication in Banner Press January 2018  
Chamber Centennial Publication in Banner Press January 2018