City of Madisonville

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Jeremiah 33:3 Jeremiah 33:3

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Dear Neighbors: I hope this letter finds you in good health and high spirits as we begin the winter season. It is with great honor and pleasure that I take a moment to connect with you and extend an invitation from our beautiful city of Madisonville.

Warmth and Hospitality Madisonville is renowned for its friendly residents who embrace visitors with open arms. When you visit, you’ll find yourself welcomed as a friend, not just a guest.

While Madisonville and neighboring cities may be separated by a stretch of Texas landscape, we share the common values of community, growth, and camaraderie. In the spirit of building bridges between our communities, I would like to offer an open invitation to our neighbors in surrounding communities near and far to explore the charm and allure of Madisonville.

Cultural Diversity Experience a rich tapestry of cultures and traditions in Madisonville. Our community events and festivals celebrate our diversity, showcasing a vibrant blend of customs.

Madisonville is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of East Texas, and it holds treasures for everyone who ventures through its welcoming doors. Here are a few reasons why you should consider making Madisonville your next destination: Natural Serenity Escape the bustling city life and immerse yourself in the tranquility of Madisonville’s natural surroundings. We boast picturesque parks and a pristine lake, providing the perfect backdrop for outdoor adventures. Community Spirit Madisonville is more than just a place; it’s a close-knit community. Our residents are the heart and soul of our city, and their warmth and friendliness are unmatched. Join us at one of our community events, and you’ll instantly become a part of our extended family. Community Events Throughout the year, we host a variety of events that bring our community together. From our annual Mudbug Music Festival in April, 4th of July event, Texas Mushroom Festival in October, to the Christmas parade in December, there’s always something happening in our city.

Proximity Madisonville is conveniently located within the region, making it an ideal day trip or weekend getaway destination. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore a neighboring gem. I invite you to engage with our city in the way that resonates most with you. Whether it’s participating in community events, exploring our natural wonders, or simply sharing a friendly smile with a neighbor. For the latest information on upcoming events and attractions, please visit the city’s website at, follow us on Facebook, or contact City Hall at 936-348-2748 or Our friendly staff will be delighted to assist you. Thank you for considering Madisonville as your destination. We look forward to welcoming you and creating lasting memories together. Warm regards,

William L. Parten, Mayor


City of Madisonville

A little bit about






adisonville is a laid-back town that’s perfect for unwinding and de-stressing. With fewer than 5,000 residents, you will never have to content with big-city lines or traffic, regardless of what you decide to do. Madisonville is conveniently located halfway between Houston and Dallas and about 40 miles northeast of College Station. The city of Madisonville was named in honor of the fourth president, James Madison. However, Its nickname, “Mushroom Capital of Texas” derives from the presence of the Monterey Mushroom facility, and – as most people know it – its hosting of Texas’ biggest annual celebration of the mushroom. Held annually in October, the mushroom festival kicks off with the Shiitake 5K Run/Walk in downtown Madisonville. Be sure and join in so you work up an appetite for all the food and drink there will be to enjoy throughout the day; From fajitas made with Monterey mushrooms to Texas wine and craft beers. There is also an auto showcase, art and photography exhibits, a kid’s zone, quilt show and live entertainment and so much more. By the end of the day, you will agree that Madisonville’s nickname is well deserved.

WE HAVE A LOT TO OFFER Play on Lake Madison At 75 acres, Lake Madison may not be the largest lake in Texas. However, it does offer more than its fair share of things to do in and around the water. If you’ve got a boat, get out in the water and fish for bass or catfish; lie on the deck and soak up the sun’s rays. The lake is located inside the larger Lake Madison Park, which has been updated throughout the years to make it one of the most fun places for kids and families in town. There are baseball and softball fields, walking trail, playscapes, basketball court, a fishing pier, grills for picnicking, a covered pavilion and more.

Madison County Museum Learn the history of Madison County, including the colorful background of the Madisonville Sidewalk Cattlemen’s Association. Past exhibits have included “The Greatest Generation”, offering looks at medals and artifacts from local World War II heroes, a quilt exhibit and “Madison County Christmas Through the Years.” Located at 201 N Madison Street, Madisonville, TX 77864 Phone: 936-348-5230

The Splash Park is adjacent to the lake, providing a safe place for youngsters to get wet and wild, while you relax in the shade. Located at 1215 E Collard Street, Madisonville, TX 77864 Phone: 936-348-9333

To really mingle with the locals, stop at one of eateries on the downtown square for hearty old-fashioned favorites like chicken fried steak, peach cobbler, bread pudding and sweet tea.

As drivers anywhere along Interstate 45 are no doubt well aware by now, Madisonville boasts a Buc-ee’s location, stocked full of all the Beaver Nuggets and quirky Texas souvenirs your heart desires.

Stop by and see us!

PUBLISHER Ana Cosino EDITOR Richard Sirman



PUBLISHER The Madisonville Meteor 205 N. Madison Madisonville, TX 77864 936.348.3505 • ON THE COVER

Lake Madison by Brianna Williams, Director of Marketing & Tourism for the City of Madisonville

COMMUNITY MARKETING CONSULTANT/ADVERTISING Gage Matthieu BOOKKEEPER Leslie Williams EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Lyndie Dunn - Editorial Assistant Connie Clements - Reporter

MADISONVILLE Official Guide is published by The Madisonville Meteor, a Granite Media Partners Publication. All rights reserved. No portions may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher. | 5



adisonville CISD is a rural school district which attributes its success to its students, teachers, staff, campus administration, and its Board of Trustees. Maintaining a student population of approximately 2400 students provides the opportunity for small student to teacher ratios resulting in an outstanding education. The students of MCISD are given the opportunity to reach their fullest potential through quality instruction. High expectations and quality educational opportunities are designed to prepare each student for college and/or career success. For example, Madisonville CISD partners with Blinn Junior College to provide students with dual credit courses. Also, the district currently offers approximately 80 Career & Technical Education (CTE) courses between the Junior High & High School. MCISD has seen great success with 95%

of students leaving high school certified in a CTE program of study. MCISD’s various extracurricular activities and co-curricular organizations are successful on the local, state, and national levels. The success of our students and these organizations are in large part due to strong community and parent support. These activities, along with quality instructional programs develop well rounded students. Madisonville CISD is a safe and orderly district. Teachers, staff, students and stakeholders work together to build positive relationships. This family environment fosters the ability for enhanced teaching and learning. Madisonville CISD is a proud member of the Madisonville and surrounding communities. We encourage you to learn more about Madisonville CISD. Please contact the district office with any questions or for more information.


MADISONVILLE MUNICIPAL AIRPORT Winner of “Most Improved Airport Award 2018” Located approximately 3 miles southwest of Madisonville off FM 1452. The airport property accommodates one runway designated 1/19 with asphalt surface measuring 3,202 by 50 feet, hangar access taxiways, and aircraft tie-downs. The airport covers an area of 40 acres of land owned by the City of Madisonville. The airport offers a self-serve LL 100 and Jet A fuel. AIRPORT SERVICES The Airport services corporate, governmental, recreational, residential, student and private pilot activities. The airport continues to be an essential component in the economic development of the City of Madisonville and Madison County. The Madisonville Municipal Airport is 4 miles Southwest of Madisonville off F.M. 1452 East.



Lazy 8 Flight School BY CONNIE CLEMENTS • MADISONVILLE METEOR REPORTER Look no further than the Madisonville sky if you dream of a career as a commercial pilot or flying for fun! Lazy 8 Flight School, 2207 Airport Lane 51R in Madisonville, provides the opportunity to earn a pilot’s license close to home and at a more affordable rate than larger flight schools in urban areas. At the age of five, founder Wanda Collins knew she wanted to be a pilot, and she’s flown for the past 37 years – 24 years for major airlines, including her current employer United Airlines.

Collins said, “We have the resources to take someone from their first lesson all the way to a career at the major airlines. We can do everything to get them there and it’s way more affordable than the big schools.” Lazy 8’s bang for the buck Lazy 8 Flight School boasts seven instructors, a dispatcher and contract mechanic along with five planes and a flight simulator. Among the seven is partner and Lazy 8 Senior Flight Instructor, Leif Mauritzson, who


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retired from commercial airlines after 30 years. While Collins intends to increase the number of instructors to 10, her current crew with its diverse backgrounds and certifications is equipped to meet the rising demand.

According to Collins, there is a worldwide shortage of pilots which was exacerbated by COVID when the airlines incentivized approximately 2,000 older pilots not to return.

Collins said, “Even though we’re in the middle of nowhere, there is a demand. A lot of pilots don’t mind driving out in the country to get peace and quiet. There’s a lot of benefit to coming here because you don’t have all the traffic and the wait to take off.”

She said, “Now that COVID is over, people are traveling more than ever because they were cooped up so long. We’re feeling the shortage but it’s a good time for people to get into aviation. Because of the shortage, you know you’re going to get a good job.”

We have the resources to take someone from their first lesson all the way to a career at the major airlines. We can do everything to get them there and it’s way more affordable than the big schools.”

She continued, “You can just get ready, start the engine and be airborne in 5-10 minutes. At some of the busier airports, it can be a half-hour before you get in the air. While you’re sitting there, the engine is running and you’re paying over $200 an hour for the engine to be running. Here, you get more bang for your dollar because you’re not sitting here waiting.”

Collins said, “The number of women in aviation is creeping up but it’s not 50%.” Collins also hopes their rural location will expose career possibilities to students with limited financial means. She said, “Maybe if those kids came out and flew, it would change their life.” Over the years, Collins has swapped work at her ranch or cleaning airplanes at the airport for flight instruction. She tells them, ‘If you want money, work anywhere. If you want to fly, this is good for you.’ She continued, “I make them work for everything. Write down when you start, when you stop and what you did. It’s very rewarding to see a young person do their first flight.”

Regardless of the motivation for flying, Collins says everyone starts with the private pilot certification/license. She said, “That’s fine for the hobbyist but to fly commercially, the next step is to get the instrument rating.”

Up to this point, training is in a single engine plane but multiengine instruction comes next. Collins continued, “Before you can go into industry, you need to build a lot of hours. One popular way of doing that is flight instructing or pipeline patrol. There are a lot of jobs you can do to build hours.”

Flight training • Gift certificates Discovery flights • Scenic flights

Collins said, “I really enjoy teaching but I’m also an instructor pilot and an examiner for people to get their license.” According to Collins, there aren’t many examiners and teaching allows her to give pointers which benefit her students down the road. Testing costs approximately $1,000 and the lack of examiners results in a backlog. Collins said, “Pilots have to go through a lot of those tests to get all of their licenses.” Lazy 8 Flight School can also accommodate those on the ‘fast track.’ From private pilot testing to flying for SkyWest Airlines, it can be done in about 14 months but “they have to be really dedicated!”

Madisonville Airport • 2207 Airport Lane 936.285.6162 •



1829 Of numerous early settlements, only three flourished. Midway, the oldest town in Madison County, was settled in 1829 by J.H. Young. It was located in the eastern end of the county, approximately three miles from the Trinity River and named Midway in 1855 when Professor Joseph A. Clark arrived from Midway, Kentucky.

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The judicial Madison County was formed on February 2, 1842, from Montgomery County. (Judicial counties were later declared unconstitutional because they had no legislative representation.) Because residents of the northern parts of Walker and Grimes counties lived forty to fifty miles from their county seats, they petitioned the legislature for the establishment of a new county. The formation of Madison County from Grimes, Walker, and Leon counties was approved on January 27, 1853, and organization followed on August 7, 1854.

1854 Madison County, reported to have been “wild and wooly” before and after the Civil War, was referred to as the “Free State of Madison.” Between 1854 and 1873, the county lost three courthouses to fire, and in 1967 yet another courthouse burned to the ground. The present building was completed in 1970.

The raising of beef cattle, long a major activity in Madison County, remains the primary source of agricultural income. The county had 16,110 head in 1860 and maintained a similar number through the 1920s; cattle declined by 1930 to 9,876. The 1940s saw the beginning of a recovery in the industry; 54,288 cattle were enumerated in the county in 1950, and 31,919 in 1987.

1903 The railroad reached Madison County in 1903 when the International-Great-Northern Railway Company extended a branch line from Navasota to Madisonville. In the 1980s, the county was served by the Joint Texas Division mainliner running between Dallas and Houston, operated by a partnership of the Burlington Northern and Chicago, Rock Island Pacific lines. By the early twenty-first century, the line was operated by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe.




The construction of Interstate Highway 45 through Madison County, which began in 1962, brought a short period of prosperity to the county. A substantial decline occurred after its completion in 1965, however, as jobs and trade that had been generated by the construction were lost.

1980 The oil boom of the 1980s again brought temporary prosperity to the county. Oil was discovered in 1946, and the county has generally ranked in the middle range of producing counties in Texas. In the early 1980s, the county ranked in the top third of Texas counties in oil production, yet still substantially below the largest producers. As the market fell off, however, Madison County’s petroleum-related activities shared the decline of the rest of the Texas oil industry. Almost 416,000 barrels of oil and 8,683,569 cubic feet of gaswell gas were produced in the county in 2004; by the end of that year, 32,985,267 barrels of oil had been taken from county lands since 1946.

In the early twenty-first century, agribusiness, oil production, and a state prison were key elements of the area’s economy. In 2002, the county had 890 farms and ranches covering 244,524 acres, 52 percent of which were devoted to pasture, 38 percent to crops, and 8 percent to woodlands. In that year, local farmers and ranchers earned $15,829,000. Today Madison County is crossed by Interstate Highway 45 and has a road network that in 2002 totaled 507 lane miles. One public airport provides service to the county. Madisonville (population, 4,708) is the county’s seat of government and largest town; other communities include Midway (236), North Zulch (600), and Normangee (668, mostly in Leon County). The scenic Texas Brazos Trail runs through Madison County, and Madisonville hosts the Texas Mushroom Festival in October. This information was provided by the Texas State Historical Association. More information on the history of Madison County can be found at Texas State Historical Association’s website,

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EVENTS The Madison County Chamber of Commerce holds its annual Christmas Parade, bringing the entire town together in celebration.

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EVENTS MADISONVILLE’S TEXAS MUSHROOM FESTIVAL Madisonville is home of the annual Texas Mushroom Festival, an event that regularly draws thousands from all over Texas and typically takes place in October. Madisonville is known as the Mushroom Capital of Texas, with Monterey Mushrooms—one of the largest nationwide mushroom distributors—having a production facility there. The mushroom plant employs hundreds of people, and Monterey Mushrooms is a staple of the community.




THE MADISON COUNTY LION’S CLUB GUN SHOW The Madisonville Lion’s Club hosts an annual Gun Show, drawing enthusiasts from all over. A substantial portion of the proceeds from the event are allocated toward awarding scholarships to deserving seniors from Madisonville schools.



Local banking focuses on local people There’s a saying small-town Texans understand better than most: “If you know, you know”. That’s a concept that applies exceptionally well to locally-owned banks like Normangee State Bank, according to Chief Executive Officer Joel Shaw. “We know everyone on a first name basis. We treat everyone the way we want to be treated,” Shaw said. “We can tailor our decisions around what the customers’ needs may be because we don’t have all our rules and regulations set in stone like big corporate banks.” Those who didn’t grow up in small towns sometimes don’t realize there is a difference in how a locally-owned bank operates, Shaw said. Local banks can react to a community’s needs, can get to know their customers and make decisions based on individual cases. “We make our own decisions. We don’t have to get approval from another main office or corporate committee,” the CEO said.

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NORMANGEE STATE BANK 202 Main Street Normangee, Texas 77871 Phone: (936) 396-3611 Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Normangee State Bank opened as First National Bank in 1913, then received its State charter and changed its name in 1962. In 1967 it was purchased by four local businessmen. One was Royce Shaw, who still serves as chairman of the board, and whose son Joel has worked at the bank for 38 years. The new owners changed the character of the bank, and it has been locally owned and operated ever since. Under the direction of the Shaw family, the bank has adhered to a philosophy that strives to make loans available across a wide section of people, not just for a few, keeping in mind the fact that a bank prospers as its customers prosper. Now Normangee State Bank is the only locally owned and operated bank in the Leon and Madison county area, and is recognized as one of the financially strongest banks in Texas. Normangee State Bank offers all the services of a big chain bank, including mobile banking, retirement accounts, farm and ranch loans, personal loans and online bill paying services. And while the bank enjoys being an important part of Normangee, the leadership has realized that customers and employees are driving in from other towns to be able to experience locally-focused banking. Now, the bank is opening its first satellite branch in Madisonville. The new location is slated to begin service in February, 2024. “Half of our staff here is from Madisonville so we feel like it will just be an extension of everything we do in Normangee, but in Madisonville,” Shaw said. “We have a large customer base currently from Madisonville. We just look to serve more of the area, make it more convenient for them to bank locally by having an office locally.”

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The new location will feature some familiar faces, with bank President Jack Hunter, Vice President Jake Shaw, Vice President Cody Collins and assistant cashier Lindy Kelly all slated to welcome customers to the Madisonville branch. Shaw believes this will be the first of many more branches as people start to experience the difference. He said that especially in these tough financial times, people feel more secure when talking to people that they know, and being able to communicate with people they have a relationship with is a hallmark of personal banking. “We just hope more of our neighbors come and try our style of banking out. I think they’ll all be pleased with it and it will give us an opportunity to show them how we can be a benefit to the community and people of Madisonville.” New Madisonville location opening soon at 401 N. May St. Check for updates.



Co-op the spirit of community Texas is known for its friendly people, as well as its folks who want to live the rural country life. So it only makes sense when there’s a problem, those friendly country folks get together and fix it. That’s the story of MidSouth Electric Co-op and Fiber Internet. “MidSouth was establihed in 1940 by rural citizens to run electricity to areas where investor-owned utilities would not run electricity,” said Stacey Forgason, communications manager. “They needed electricity out in the country to their barns and their wells. So they ran their own lines, and eventually started their own utility company.” At MidSouth, the people who rely on the company for electrical service have a say in how the company is run, because they are technically the owners of the company. The utility is a not-for-profit organization that is hyper-focused on the needs of the rural electric customer, and one of those needs is to never face a power shortage. “Our MidSouth customers don’t lose electric service, to be honest,” said Forgason, who credits the owners’ willingness to invest in infrastructure. “Stability of electric power is a big issue right now throughout the State. Most of the time power outages are because of infrastructure: the wires, poles, out-of-date equipment, not having the newest tech. We have state of the art tech and top of the line materials across our grid to make sure we maintain a reliable power source to all our members,” she said.

MIDSOUTH ELECTRIC CO-OP AND FIBER INTERNET 9409 N Hwy 6 Loop • Navasota, TX 77868 936.825.5100 Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 to 5:00 services, such as solar-powered electricity. It also means MidSouth participates in and sponsors a lot of community events. “We employ local people and support community events like the county fair, the school system and other non-profit organizations that help the community be who they are. We give scholarships to graduating seniors. Sponsor a youth tour program to Washington D.C. for 10 days with all expenses paid. Sponsor the local youth fair and those types of things. Anything they ever ask us to do, we do it. The list is long,“ Forgason said. While supporting the community is paramount to members, MidSouth never loses sight of its mission. “We know, especially in our rural community, there are homes and also lots of small businesses that count on stable electricity,” Forgason said. “And it is critical to the heart and soul and backbone of our community to keep the power on.” 936-825-5100

In 2019, MidSouth members made their voices heard regarding another hard-to-find service in rural areas: dependable, high-speed internet. Now the company offers fiber-based internet to homesteaders, farmers and in-town customers alike. “We began adding fiber internet lines to deliver reliable and fast-speed internet into areas where larger companies did not want to provide service, like in Madisonville, where the reliability and speed were just brutal,” Forgason said. “We got into the fiber business because we’re based around providing what the community needs, rather than making money.” The company recently completed the fiber construction that will allow customers within Madisonville who are not co-op members to enjoy the same quality service the company’s member-owners receive. “We know they didn’t have a fast enough internet to work from home and do school work and play games. People who live outside of town and in small towns need access to modern conveniences,” Forgason said. Since co-ops are member-focused and community-focused, they are driven not by the money they could make but by supporting the community that owns them. That means the company occasionally adds new in-demand

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A museum dedicated to anything with a motor, Bray’s offers a variety of experiences you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. Drive classic cars around the outdoor track, spend an afternoon looking at the vast collection of cars, and much more.

Let the good times roll.

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304 S. May St., Madisonville, Texas (936) 348-9190 / (936) 348-9218 Toll Free (866) 617-6853 Follow us on Facebook! MADISONVILLE OFFICIAL GUIDE | 18

MADISONVILLE CHRISTMAS COMPANY Opened in 2023, Madisonville Christmas Company aimed to be the one stop for all things Christmas, and they nailed it. With a sports bar, a candy store, a restaurant, and a Christmas theme on top of it all—this is an experience you’ll want to make the trip for.

POPULAR RESTAURANTS n TEXAS LEGENDS – AMERICAN 115 S Madison St Madisonville, TX 77864 936-348-3927 n WALKER’S CAFÉ – AMERICAN 112 W Main St Madisonville, TX 77864 936-348-2672 n LALO’S MEXICAN GRILL – MEXICAN 102 S Elm St, Madisonville, TX 77864 936-241-5007 n WOODBINE INN & RESTAURANT – AMERICAN 209 N Madison St, Madisonville, TX 77864 936-241-5003 n MR. TACO & TEQUILA BAR – MEXICAN 3305 E Main St, Madisonville, TX 77864 936-245-1017 n JOE’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT & PIZZA– ITALIAN 1608 E Main St Suite 123, Madisonville, TX 77864 936-241-5006 n LARRY’S COUNTRYSTYLE BBQ – BARBEQUE 710 W Main St, Madisonville, TX 77864 936-348-7487 n LE’S KITCHEN – VIETNAMESE 1610 E Main St #145, Madisonville, TX 77864 936-348-4669 n TX BURGER – FAST FOOD 2902 E Main St Ste 104, Madisonville, TX 77864 936-348-2723 MADISONVILLE OFFICIAL GUIDE | 19


RENTALS Lake Madison Park consists of 172 acres of park land, 75 acres of which constitutes Lake Madison, which serves a dual function of providing flood control along with recreation space. The park offers various facilities including baseball fields, softball fields, t-ball fields, soccer fields, basketball courts, restrooms, playscapes, splash Pad, covered picnic areas and an approximately 2.4 miles walking trail. Stocked with bass, catfish and sunfish, the lake provides opportunities for fish and boating.

LAKE HOUSE AT LAKE MADISON PARK 1215 East Collard Street, Madisonville, TX 77864 Maximum Capacity: 75 People • Refundable Deposit $150.00 • Rent $125.00 Per 4 Hours - $25 For Each Additional Hour (For additional hours contact City Hall • Permit to Serve Alcohol $50 Per Day • Bounce House Electric $25 Per 4 Hours • Water Slide Water & Electric $25 Per 4 Hours • PayPal Fee 5% will be added to Total Amount Due • Access Code will only be active for the paid time period *Non-Profit Organizations: Please call for rates* CANCELLATION POLICY: Deposit and Rental Fees are FULLY REFUNDABLE if cancellation is made before 30 days of reservation date. Rental Fees are NOT refundable if cancellation is made less than 30 days prior to reservation date. Deposit Fees WILL be refunded if cancellation is made less than 30 days prior to reservation date. NO EXCEPTIONS.


LAKE MADISON PARK PAVILION 1215 East Collard Street Madisonville, TX 77864 Booking Information Include your hours needed within the NOTES section of the order. • Refundable Deposit $50.00


• Rent $25.00 Per 4 Hours - $25 For Each Additional Hour (For additional hours contact City Hall)

111 W Trinity Madisonville, TX 77864

• Bounce House OR Electric $25 Per 4 hours • Water Slide Water & Electric $50 Per 4 hours

Maximum Capacity: 75 People Booking Information

• PayPal Fee 5% will be added to Total Amount Due

Include your hours needed within the NOTES section of the order.

*Non-Profit Organizations: Please call for rates*

• Refundable Deposit $150.00 • Rent $250 Per 4 Hours (For additional hours contact City Hall)


• $25 For Each Additional Hour

213 Martin Luther King Drive

• Permit to Serve Alcohol $50 Per Day |

Madisonville TX 77864

• PayPal Fee 5% will be added to Total Amount Due

Booking Information

• Access Code will only be active for the paid time period

***Include your hours needed within the NOTES section of the order. • Refundable Deposit $50.00 • Rent $25.00 Per 4 Hours - $25 For Each Additional Hour (For additional hours contact City Hall) • PayPal Fee 5% will be added to Total Amount Due *Non-Profit Organizations: Please call for rates*

*Non-Profit Organizations: Please call for rates* BASEBALL FIELD The baseball field is available to rent out for tournaments so long as it does not conflict with the Little League schedule. For more information call the City of Madisonville.



Nettles Country Store BY CONNIE CLEMENTS • MADISONVILLE METEOR REPORTER Behind the wagon wheels, rustic Texas stars and colorful yard art at Nettles Country Store, lies a business steeped in cowboy culture and history. The store at 1087 Nettles Lane, west of Madisonville on SH 21, opened in 2009 and owners Gala and Ronnie Nettles are as unique as the handcrafted, trademarked stirrups they sell. The couple have been married 45 years and a word frequently used by Gala to describe their journey is “blessed.” Ronnie is well-known as a cutting horse trainer and winner of the 1984 National Cutting Horse Association Futurity and recognized worldwide for inventing the Nettles Stirrup. Earning her degree from Baylor University, Gala planned to be an English teacher but writing was her passion. Covering shows and competitions with Ronnie, she became a prolific book and magazine author in the equine industry and has written about “life” in her Madisonville Meteor column, ‘Round Town for more than 30 years.

From pain to gain It was Gala’s request for a handmade, wooden rocking horse that changed the equestrian tack industry. In his line of work training cutting horses, Ronnie experienced pain and discomfort with traditional steel stirrups. Gala said, “Pushing those steel stirrups would leave his legs raw and sore. That particular year, I wanted an heirloom rocking horse and he made the stirrups and saddle.” Inspired by the small oak stirrups he created, Ronnie built a pair out of wheelbarrow handles and laminated them for extra strength. Gala said, “Wood is a thing that lives. The design has so much to do it.” Ronnie wasn’t alone in the demand for comfort. News of Nettles Stirrups spread “totally 100% by word-of-mouth” among ranchers and others in the equine industry. Today, thanks to its online presence, Nettles Stirrups has an international following and ships worldwide. Eleven employees handcraft Nettles quality wood and leather stirrups in the workshop behind the store. The shop itself and each step in processing was designed by Ronnie. Gala said, “I counted every time a person put their hands on them and I counted 100 steps – that’s because they’re handmade! They are very detailed. They have to be perfect. They go through four gradings. If we find any little thing wrong, they go out and are repurposed.” The stirrups come in a variety of styles, colors and finishes and even include petite. Ronnie’s patented Leveler provides foot stability. Looking ahead According to Gala, the store evolved as a more attractive way to display Nettles Stirrups. A well-placed lamp and a chair or two grew to include candles, rustic serving pieces, purses, wood furniture, cowhide rugs and antler chandeliers. A little revamping may be in the store’s future in order to highlight more of the products designed from repurposed stirrups such as their popular 100% handcrafted, signed towel holders. Though decorating trends come and go, Gala thinks there will always be interest in western décor and the country’s western roots.

Country Store Country Store 3 miles miles West West of of Madisonville Madisonville e Square S q ua r e On On HWY HWY 21 21

She said, “From my end of the industry, it’s always been there. You take a room full of people and they will all migrate to their interest. It’s the same way with home décor but what we’ve found out is everyone has a little bit of history in them.” MADISONVILLE OFFICIAL GUIDE | 22


Krystal Carroll, CPA BY CONNIE CLEMENTS • MADISONVILLE METEOR REPORTER Personalized service tailored to meet the needs of each client, tax expertise in a broad range of businesses and heartfelt investment in the community are guiding principles for Krystal Carroll CPA, 1308 E. Main Street in Madisonville. Owner Krystal Carroll, a 2002 Madisonville High School graduate and self-confessed numbers junkie, said, “I’ve always been interested in business. As I got older, I’d find myself wondering how businesses worked, like running the numbers. You can’t help yourself, your brain is kind of wired that way.”

In addition to the required 40 hours of continuing education, Carroll is a member of Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, American Institute of CPAs and the National Federation of Independent Business, a national small business association which lobbies for small businesses. Information of benefit to Carroll’s clients is shared through the firm’s monthly newsletter. As more urban dwellers migrate to Madisonville’s peaceful surroundings, Krystal Carroll CPA is prepared for potential growth.

That penchant for numbers and her life experiences have paid off for Carroll, her staff and clients. Armed with a Master of Science in Finance with a concentration in Accounting, Carroll’s firm has been meeting the needs of its client base for 10 years. Those needs are as varied as the nearly 500 clients they serve and range from tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll to providing outside chief financial officer services.

She continued, “We’re from here, we understand here and we give back here. We understand the farm and ranch, the USDA and small business. A lot of what I hear from clients is they never had a conversation with their prior CPA - they couldn’t get past the front desk. They never had a conversation with the actual person who prepared their taxes, and I have no intention of letting it get to that point. I want to continue to provide the level of care that we provide now.”

Carroll said, “We deal with a lot of farm and ranch, which is reflective of the community we’re in. We help people navigate the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), monies that come in and how it’s taxed, USDA loans, loan forgiveness and how that’s taxed.”

Your Success is Our Business!

She continued, “One thing that makes us unique is that I have owned other businesses. My husband and I have a construction company together. We used to own an insurance company. I’ve had a retail location before. I understand things not just from a tax standpoint but from operating a business and having staff. We lend that understanding to our clients as well.” As an outside chief financial officer, Carroll can act as a mentor or be that go-to person for newer businesses. She said, “We sit down with you on a monthly basis, go over your financial statements, talk about your concerns as a business owner and where we see you might be having some issues. Sometimes it’s tough talk, things you don’t want to think about, separating the business from the personal and finding that balance.”

From bookkeeping to taxes to full CFO services, Krystal Carroll, CPA is here to take care of you!

Carroll continued, “We also have rental property so we help people figure out if a property is worth renting. Sometimes it can be a good deal if you want to buy a house to live in but not a good deal if you want to rent it out.” Staying ahead of change, growth Staying on top of local ordinances and state and federal legislation that can impact her clients is a priority. Carroll said, “I’m the Director of Finance for the City of Madisonville so I’m very aware of what’s going on at the city level.”

1308 East Main Madisonville, TX 77864 • (936) 349-0237


Where the Best Begins!

Madison County is one of Texas’ best kept secrets!

Support your neighbor

SHOP LOCAL Support your local



Country Living at its best!

MADISON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 113 West Trinity Madisonville, Texas 77864


Courthouse 1896

Courthouse 2020 936.349.0163 113 W. Trinity St. PO Box 1392 Madisonville, Tx 77864

A good place to visit... a great place to live.

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