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experience the great outdoors of

Vernon Burnin’ Historic Rodeo Hunting & Outdoors Honorable Veterans

2019 Community Guide supported by Wilbarger Realty

Come Visit

Vernon, Texas Vernon, Texas has something for everyone. We have a full calendar of events every year from our Historic Santa Rosa Roundup Rodeo in May to the always exciting Summer’s Last Blast Car Show and Cruise Night in August. Stop in on your way through North Texas and Visit Vernon!

Eat *Benito’s Italian Cafe & Pizzeria 4201 College Dr., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-9970

Bevo’s Drive-In

4000 Wilbarger St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-2570

Bradford’s Fish Haus

1601 US HWY 287 E., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 473-5079


4220 College Dr., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-9849

Brown Cow

3205 US Hwy 287 W., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 553-3322

Chicken Shack

3901 Wilbarger St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-6464

China Buffet

2424 Wilbarger St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 553-1066

Downtown Coffee Shop

1900 Pease St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-2206

Duncan’s Smoke House

829 Wilbarger St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-2764

Burn-out Contest

1605 Main St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 228-1009

Fred’s Corner Grill

Good Morning Donuts

809 Hillcrest Dr. , Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 553-4489

Huddle House

2822 Hwy 287 W, Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-2512

Little Caesar’s Pizza

909 Hillcrest Dr., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 473-5040

4112 Hillcrest Plaza, Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 553-1987

Taco Casa

4200 College Dr., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 553-3144

Taqueria Jalisco

3511 Wilbarger St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-5825

Thai Cuisine

2128 Main St., Vernon, TX 76384 (806) 445-6795

*Three Hearts Steakhouse

1722 Pease St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-0803

Toro Japanese Steakhouse

3108 US Hwy 287 W., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 886-7480

Vernon Burger

2330 Wilbarger St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 553-3111

Vernon Livestock Cafe

6170 Bus. Hwy. 287, Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-9928

*Vernon Parts Sports Bar & Grill 1701 Marshall St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-9933

Yes Way Deli

4016 Wilbarger St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 553-1663

* Indicates Live Music

For Heavens Confections

2327 Main St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-2402

Summer’s Last Blast

Taco Bell

Comfy hotels, cozy bed and breakfasts!


Lupes II

American Inn

*Main Street Grill

Budget Host Inn


Days Inn

Mic’s BBQ

Green Tree Inn

Mr. Jim’s Pizza

Hampton Inn

Pizza Hut

Holiday Inn Express

*Rusty Spur Steakhouse

Hotel Vernon

Sonic Drive-In

La Fonda Motel


Pecan Grove Bed & Breakfast

Sweet Sammies

Super 8 Motel

529 Hwy 287 E., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-2622

31110 ½ US Hwy. 287 W., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-2758

1726 Main St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 839-9327

715 Wilbarger St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-2531

801 Hillcrest Dr., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 553-1881

3110 Frontage Rd. Hwy. 287, Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-2639

3011 US HWY 287 W. Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-9190

3029 Morton St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-5421

3926 Wilbarger St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-0095

4131 Western Trail Dr., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-2100

2230 Wilbarger St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 553-1806

700 Hillcrest Dr., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-0200

1117 Hillcrest Dr., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 473-5055

1615 EXPY 287 E., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-5417

4004 Wilbarger St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 553-4733

1004 Wilbarger St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 553-1533

4123 Hillcrest Plaza, Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-2227

1904 Houston St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 553-3827 (940) 838-8622

3723 Wilbarger St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 886-6778

1829 HWY 287 W., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-9321


Allingham Park

Nabers St., Vernon, TX 76384

Christine Lyday Park

Dawson & Houston St., Vernon, TX 76384

D.L. Green Park

300 Wilbarger St., Vernon, TX 76384

Doan’s Crossing (Great Western Cattle Trail) 19980 Co. Rd. 111 N., Vernon, TX 76384

Hillcrest Country Club Golf Course 4400 Country Club Rd., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-5406

Nightmare on Main Street (Oct.) 1620 Main St., Vernon, TX 76384

Orbison Park

4400 Sand Rd., Vernon, TX 76384

Live Music

Orbison Aquatic Center

4400 Sand Rd., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 552-0038

Red River Valley Museum

4600 College Dr., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 553-1848

Roy Orbison’s Birthplace

Corner of Pease St. & Deaf Smith St. Vernon, TX 76384

Sunshine Park

Indian & Eagle St., Vernon, TX 76384

Three Rivers Foundation for the Arts & Sciences 4187 FM Rd 654, Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 684-1670

Vernon Plaza Theater

1717 Cumberland St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 553-3999

Wilbarger County Historical Museum 1826 Cumberland St., Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 886-7993

Enjoy free live music, attend one of our legendary events, tour one of our exceptional museums and see Roy Orbison’s birthplace all in Vernon, TX!

r Aquatic Cente Santa Rosa Roundup

Events May

- Doan’s Picnic - Santa Rosa Roundup Parade & Rodeo


- Summer’s Last Blast - Vernon Burnin’


- Christmas on the Western Trail Festival & Parade

Go to and Visit Vernon TX Facebook page for a full calendar of events!

Christmas Parade



Bret McCormick, Publisher

Christi Jouett, Graphic Artist

Clint McCormick, Assistant Publisher

Teri McCormick, Bookkeeper

Daniel Walker, Managing Editor

Jennifer Rodriguez, Circulation Supervisor

Shelby McCormick, Content Editor

Karla Hendrix, Classified Representative

Joyce Ashley, Family Editor

Charles Ashley, Production/ IT

Don Smith, Advertising Sales Representative

Stephen Brown, Pressman



Guide Contents HISTORY.........................................................8 HEALTH & WELLNESS.........................13 EDUCATION...............................................21 MEMORIALS & MUSEUMS................23 WWII VETERANS....................................24 OUTDOORS & RECREATIONS..........32



When it’s time to sell or buy your home... Call som eone you can trust.

Jim Surber



Wilbarger Realty Inc. Sue Ann Streit, Owner/Broker

3119 Wilbarger | Vernon, TX 76384 | 940-552-0000




What’s in a

Name? Vernon , which eventually became the county seat of Wilbarger County, was not the first settlement in the county. That distinction went to Doan’s, a community near the Red River, where the Doan family had established a trading post. In 1879, a mail line was established from Wichita Falls to points north through Doan’s. A mail route was also established south to Seymour in 1880 and settlers began to move in very rapidly.


Eagle Spring by Tonkawa Indian Scouts because of eagles nesting in the cottonwood trees beside the fresh water spring. Later, a trading post was located at Condon Springs (now Hill Crest Country Club) and a community was established called Eagle Flat. The post office department later declined the name due to too many other towns with “Eagle.” The town’s name was then changed to Vernon. It is not clear exactly how the name was chosen.

Wilbarger County was officially organized on Oct. 10, 1881 and named for bothers Josiah and Mathis Wilbarger. The county government was established, and Vernon was incorporated in 1889.

Some accounts report that it was in honor of Washington’s home, Mount Vernon with the “Mount” dropped as there were no mountains in the area.

The exact origin of the town’s name is somewhat of a mystery. In the early beginnings, the village to be known as Vernon was first called

Another more colorful story suggests the town was named after “Vernon Brown,” a whiskey drummer, who left free samples of his wares.



he t f eo m o H





C Come see why h everyone is i raving i about b our fresh and delicious Mexican food!

940-552-2622 529 Hwy. 287 E. , Vernon, Tx Tuesday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Monday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

City of Vernon Directory Doug Jeff rey, Mayor

Lori O. Adams, Judge

Marty Mangum, City Manager

Mamie McArthur, Associate Judge / Court Clerk

Marsha Jo Stone, City Secretary / Human Resources

Darell Kennon, Public Works Director

Tony Dehoyos, Parks Superintendent

Amanda Lehman, Tourism & Main Street Services Director

David Pilcher, Community Development / Code Enforcement & Inspections

J.J. Oznick, Fire Chief Randy Agan, Chief of Police

Dee Boatenhamer, Finance Director 1725 Wilbarger St. Vernon, TX 76384

Ph: (940) 552-2581 Fx: (940) 552-0569 Emergency: 9-1-1

Monday -Friday 8 a.m. -5 p.m.

City Commissioners: Justin Marsh Pam Gosline Don Aydelott Britt Ferguson


Tourism Advisory Board: Gary Branin, Chairperson Jimmy Surber Carolyn Randel Guy Randall Boyd Jim Gryseels


Planning & Zoning Commission Board: Bob Beazley, Jr. Sandra Holley Charles McArthur Tisha Moore Sandra Parmer Maurice Rosalez Cheryl Townson

Housing Authority Board: Linda Kennedy James Foerster William Noble Rita Martin Lloyd Bridges

Board of Adjustment: Rick Graf Tip Igou Cory Curtis Pete Guerrero Brian Fritz Mark Haynes, Alternate Ty Brady Coffee, Alternate


EVENT VENUES Facilities for both indoor and outdoor events are available in Vernon.

Wilbarger Memorial Auditorium For banquets, parties, club meetings or other special occasions, Wilbarger Memorial Auditorium at 2100 Yamparika offers excellent facilities. Wilbarger Memorial Auditorium consists of three banquet rooms, three kitchens, a meeting room, and a main auditorium suitable for professional concerts, plays, pageants and other presentations. The large Empire Room seats 300, and the Westerner Room seats 90. The Forum Room seats 50. The Sky Room seals 20. The large main auditorium seats over 1,980. The professional stage, lighting and sound system make the auditorium a top-quality facility for any presentation. For additional information and rental fees call 940-553-3901. Covered Event Center The newest of the county-owned facilities is the $1,260,000 multi-purpose covered events center which was completed in 2008 and hosted its first events in early 2009. The Wilbarger Covered Events Center is located at 301 Wilbarger and is adjacent to the Bradley 4-H Arena and the Wilbarger County Exhibit Building. It includes seating for 400 people and space for indoor equine events such as rodeos, horse shows and other activities that can be held year-round regardless of the weather, along with various other events. It has been the site of the Cowboy Mounted Shooting competition, Oklahoma and North Texas Little Britches Rodeo, Sparkles and Spurs Women’s Ranch Rodeo, NBHA barrel racing, a number of 4-H events, high school rodeos, and the Battle of the Red Cow Dog Trials. Information on the Events Center is available by calling 940-552-7362. Wilbarger County Exhibit Building The Wilbarger County Exhibit Building, located at 2215 Harrold, includes a large indoor exhibit area utilized for livestock shows and other events. It also includes facilities such as a dining room, kitchen and meeting room, which can be rented for banquets or other occasions. Rental information is available by calling 940-553-4422. Bradley4-H Arena The Bradley 4-H Area, located next to the Exhibit Building, is a large outdoor arena with stadium seating and space for rodeos, horse shows and other events




Comfortable Living

When it’s time to sit back and enjoy the rewards of many years of hard work, Vernon is an ideal community in which to spend those retirement years. Affordable housing is available with a slower paced lifestyle, friendly atmosphere, many recreational opportunities as well as exceptional medical services. There are also quality living facilities for those who need care in their daily lives, as well as assisted living facilities for those who can pretty well manage on their own but just might require a little additional help in their senior years. Vernon also has a number of home health care agencies, offering in-home care, and of course, Wilbarger General Hospital is located right in Vernon to offer quality medical assistant. Vernon is fortunate to have a number of doctors and specialists, saving seniors the time and expense of having to travel to other towns for many of their medical needs. On the social side, the Chaparral Senior Activity Center is a hub of activity for seniors. Located behind the Vernon College campus, the center offers a variety of programs and activities for local senior citizens, including computer accessibility,


| 2019

exercise programs, cards and dominoes and other fun events and programs. A hot, nutritious meal is served at noon each day, and those attending enjoy the opportunity to socialize with others. Iva Belew serves as the center’s director. Information on programs and activities is available by calling Belew at 552-6114. For residents who live at home but need some help, such as with meals, the Wilbarger County Meals on Wheels program is available. Sylvia Hinojosa is director of the program and can be reached at 940-552-6114 for information on how to qualify for this service. Wilbarger County’s Senior Citizen Transportation is another service available to senior citizens, offering rides for doctor’s appointments, beauty shop, grocery shopping, Chaparral Center and other excursions. For information, call940-8395574. For the ladies over 50, local Red Hat Societies offer social entertainment. The groups offer fun, friendship, fellowship, fulfillment, fitness and other social benefits with regular meetings and outings held monthly.


Family Pharmacy Family Pharmacy has been in Vernon since 1996. Its history began when Jim Spears opened Spears Pharmacy downtown many years prior. That pharmacy then transitioned into the Gibson’s pharmacy. In January, 1996, Jim Parmer, Pam Caldwell, and Terry Spears opened Family Pharmacy, while maintaining the Gibson’s branch. “We knew after a while that we would have to shut down the pharmacy inside of Gibsons,” Terry Spears said. Since then, Family Pharmacy has expanded to Altus, Okla. and Quanah. But not only has it expanded its locations, the Pharmacy has expanded its resources and coverage area. Family Pharmacy, for the past six months, has become a specialty pharmacy. This means it can offer services on specialty medications for things such as Crohn’s Disease, Hepatitis C Virus, HIV, Hypercholesterolemia, Multiple Sclerosis, Oncology, Osteoporosis, Psoriasis, Rhuemetoid Arthritis and Ulcerative Colitis. The pharmacy now provides help in determining your


insurance and coverage and co-pay amounts, utilizing co-pay cars and making sure you pay the lowest amount possible. Helping you to learn how to properly inject medicine, and calling when it is time to refill on all of the above special medications. Since its beginning, Family Pharmacy has also been a compounding pharmacy. “We are able to identify a patient’s specific needs and we customize that pharmaceutical product to fit their needs,” Spears said. “Whether it’s a dosing regimen or if it’s a particular product. Some products are no longer available but a doctor might want to use them.” They have taken a medicine used to treat nausea that is typically taken orally or as a suppository and have created an alternative that allows patients to use a gel applied at the wrist which is absorbed trans-dermally. Spears said they have continued to expand their home infusion business, or Vital Care. Vital Care offers a comprehensive scope of home parenteral services including: IV Antibiotic Therapy, IV Hydration Therapy, TPN Therapy, and Pain Management Therapy.



Wilbarger General Hospital Hundreds gathered in June 2019 to help Wilbarger General Hospital celebrate 50 years of service to the community. Rev. Irl Holt opened the Golden Jubilee event with a prayer, giving thanks for the vision of the community to build the hospital and asking divine oversight for the hospital’s future. Hospital CEO Dennis Jack received a commemorative 50year plaque from the Texas Hospital Association and a flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol from U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry. “We want to thank the people that came before us. The people that had the vision fifty years ago to start this. The doctors that have helped it grow, the nursing staff, the rehab staff, the lab, the wonderful housekeepers, the people in our dietary department and you -- the public that supports our hospital. We couldn’t be here without you and we plan on being here 50 years from now. Thank you very much” Jack said. “Not only is this a 50th anniversary celebration for the hospital, it’s also a 50th anniversary in another sense because Wilbarger General has been a member of the Texas Hospital Association for 50 years. We are here to congratulate you on a big day. Keep up the good work,” Al Go forth, of the Texas Hospital Association said. “On behalf of congressman Mac Thornberry, I’d like to present this flag to you that was flown over our nation’s capital in honor of your 50th anniversary,” Mike Lytle, representative from Rep. Thornberry’s office said. Food trucks, games, activities, two helicopters, and free snacks were available -- with a performance from the Chris Shackelford Band. History of WGH On March 8, 1965, The Wilbarger County Commissioners ordered an election for the creation of a Wilbarger County Hospital District as authorized by Senate Bill 65, passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. John Connally. The action came after a petition with 300 signatures was presented to the com-mission. On April 10, 1965, Wilbarger County voters approved the creation of a hospital district, and authorized taxes to construct and operate a general hospital. The election margin was almost 4 to 1 in favor with 1,722 votes cast.



“Mayor J.R. Wright, who played a key role in the hospital movement, through the creation of the County Commission’s creation of the Vernon Hospital Authority, said of the action by voters: I think it is about the most wonderful thing that has ever happened in Vernon. We can’t expect Wichita Falls to take care of our people all of the time, and that was what we were getting into.” County Judge Henry Scott commented: “I am certainly pleased to see this wonderful response to a critical need. When the people of Wilbarger County see a real need for something, they rise to the occasion.” A Hill-Burton grant will finance half the cost of the building and equipment but the grant cannot be used to purchase a site. Dec. 6, 1965: Directors of the Wilbarger County Hospital District gather at 2 p.m. today at the county courtroom for a meeting with financial advisor CN Burt of Dallas concerning sale of bonds voted here earlier this year to finance a general hospital for this area. In other developments concerning the hospital, the hospital board Monday sent by registered mail a letter to Boyd Barjenbrich of Bowie, executor of the S.R. Crim Estate, that the hospital board plans to exercise its option to purchase some 23 acres of land northwest of Vernon as a site for the hospital. Jan. 10, 1968: Plans for opening a street along the south side of the site for the new Wilbarger General Hospital, now under construction in northwest Vernon, were agreed upon Tuesday by members of the Vernon City Commission and hospital directors. Hospital directors voted to dedicate their half of the street -30 feet along the south edge of hospital property - if other property owners will do the same in order to open a direct east-west street between Hillcrest Drive and the new U.S. 70 Expressway to the west. Directors said that the Hospital District would pay its half of paving costs. Proposed location of the street is immediately north of Peace Lutheran Church. City commissioners authorized City Manager Sam Phelps to begin efforts to secure right-of-way pledges from other property owners.


June 25, 1968: Directors of the Wilbarger Hospital District Tuesday morning toured with architects James Killebrew and Jim Cupit of Wichita Falls the new $3 million general hospital the district is building northwest Vernon. They found the site a beehive of activity and saw indications that construction is reaching a stage that the weather-plagued project can no longer be halted by outside weather conditions. More than 50 days have been lost on the project so far due to inclement weather. Brick work is underway on the main building and has already been completed on the mechanical building, with heavy boilers, emergency generating units and other similar heavy equipment now installed. Duct work that fi lls a heft y mezzanine area between the fi rst and second stories is nearing completion. Metal lath workers are busy laying out fi rst-story room and hallway partitions, so that interior plastering can start soon.

Photos feature the 50 Year Celebration of WGH

Most impressive about the building is its size. The fi rst story portion of the building will be about the size of a square city block, with the two additional stories of the central tower jutt ing above it. Dec. 6, 1968: J.L. (Bud) Cummings, superintendent for the general contractor on the new Wilbarger General Hospital construction project, says a good many of the sidewalk supervisors who show up at the site have expressed concern about the white paint now being put on the building’s exposed concrete. “The hospital is not going to be white,” Mr. Cummings says reassuringly. The paint now going on the exposed concrete beams and louvers is a smoothing and undercoating fi nish. A fi nal coat which more nearly matches the brick of the building will be applied later. A contrast will be achieved between the color of the louvers and the other concrete, however, and every indication point to the prospect that the building will be among the most beautiful in this section of Texas. June 9, 1969: Several thousand people during an afternoon open house viewed Wilbarger County’s new medical showplace, which guest speaker Milliford O. Rouse of Dallas, a 1918 Vernon graduate and immediate past president of the American Medical Association, described as a hospital “that equals any and surpasses most that I have seen.”





Photo feature the 50 Year Celebration of WGH

Wilbarger General Hospital Continued ... Automobiles jammed parking areas and overflowed into much of the unpaved grounds near the hospital and both side of Hillcrest Drive. Last of the open house visitors completed their tour of the building around 7 p.m. Hospital administrator Guy A. Hamilton who advised a waiting crowd outside the massive new 100-bed, three-story facility to “save all your adjectives because you are going to need them when you see the inside of this hospital,” reported that some 5,000 brochures were passed out during the hours local and area residents were present at the hospital site. “Wilbarger General Hospital is a credit to the citizenry of this community and it gives me sincere pleasure to give tribute to your civic leadership and to the administration and staff of this hospital. It is a proud monument to your determination to provide the best in hospital care,” Dr. Rouse told the open house audience.







Thank you for choosing

We want to be YOUR choice! 920 Hillcrest Drive


Vernon, Texas 76384

Serving Wilbarger County and the surrounding area for 50 years!

Our facility features a 24-bed Med/Surg unit located on the newly-renovated 3rd Floor for inpaƟent medical and surgical services.

Wilbarger General Hospital oīer specialized services like our AlternaƟves Program, located on the second Ňoor, geared toward helping seniors in our community who may be suīering from depression, anxiety, grief, and other mental health issues. Hospital Home Health is the only locally owned home health agency in Vernon. We provide skilled nursing, Physical, OccupaƟonal, Speech therapy, and MSW services. Therapy services are provided by the rehab staī of Wilbarger General Hospital to ensure conƟnuity of services if a transiƟon to outpaƟent rehab services is required. Hospital Home Health serves Wilbarger, Foard, and Hardeman counƟes. Other services include Radiology, Laboratory, RehabilitaƟon and Emergency Departments. The Radiology and Laboratory Departments feature state of the art diagnosƟc equipment, and the RehabilitaƟon Department oīers a full line of physical, occupaƟonal, cardiac, and speech therapy services. The Emergency Department is a Level IV Trauma ER with a doctor on duty in the ER 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.



The Vernon Independent School District emphasizes academics, extracurricular activities and citizenship to enable students to obtain the best education possible. The district consists of three elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. The elementary schools include McCord Elementary School (pre-kindergarten through first grade) at 2915 Sand Road, Central Elementary School (grades 2-3) at 1300 Paradise, and Shive Elementary School (grades 4-5) at 3130 Bacon. The secondary-level campuses include Vernon Middle School (grades 6-8) at 2200 Yamparika and Vernon High School (grades 9-12) at 2102 Yucca Lane. The district also administrates and staffs the educational program for the North Texas State Hospital Adolescent Forensic Program (AFP). In addition to the school campuses, other district facilities including the Vernon School Administrative Center at 1713 Wilbarger, a Disciplinary Alternative Education Program (DAEP) on London Street south of VMS, Transportation Department at 1401 Main and the athletic complex at VHS that includes the recently named Leo Brittain Field at Lion Stadium, a field house, tennis courts, softball and baseball fields along with the D.O. Fulton Gym. There are also gymnasiums at VMS and the three elementary school campuses.


| 2019

In addition to the academic offerings, the district offers many opportunities for students to participate in fi ne arts programs, career and technical programs and academic contests. All of these programs have had many successes and all have had students advance to state level competition. VISD’s fine arts program consists of the Vernon High School Roarin’ Lion Band, which consistently has students advance to state level competition in the solo and ensemble competition. The band program also added a flag corps to enhance the marching shows. The district’s choir program has grown into an excellent competition group and provides several performances throughout the year for the community. The drama department consistently advances past the district level and participated in state competition for a number of years. The visual arts program offers a wide variety of classes for students. Students can compete in a multitude of academic contests ranging from social studies to speaking starting at the elementary level. These contests sponsored by the University Interscholastic League (UIL) are an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their skills and talents.


Superintendent’s Welcome I am extremely honored to be the Superintendent of Vernon ISD (home of the Lions and Lady Lions). We serve the students of Vernon, Texas, (Wilbarger County) and the surrounding areas. Vernon ISD’s number one priority is to ensure a safe, secure, and positive learning environment for all students, and our staff members. We absolutely have the best kids in the state. We have dedicated administrators, an outstanding group of teachers, and supporting staff members who love and care about our students. The district’s goal is to be proactive in not only the student’s educational needs, but also aid the parent in preparing their child for future success. In partnership with parents and the Vernon community, all students will graduate with the skills needed to be career ready.


Sincerely, Jeff Byrd - Superintendent of Schools Vernon ISD

My roles and responsibilities at Vernon are vast. I am responsible for High Reliability Schools, AVID, School Improvement, Gifted and Talented program, ESL and LAPC, 504, Dyslexia, as well as the curriculum alignment and implementation. I provide professional development to the instructional staff at Vernon. This includes the New Teacher Academy, Mentor Academy, and New Instructional Staff Academy. Additionally, I oversee our Inclusion program.


Vernon ISD offers a great education for our children. I look forward to working with our staff, students, and community to continue to improve and promote Vernon ISD.

Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction



High School Principal

Middle School Principal

2102 Yucca Ln Vernon, TX (940)553-3377

2200 Yamparika Vernon, TX (940)552-6231

Central Elementary Principal Position is currently open 1300 Paradise Vernon, TX (940)553-1859




Shive School Principal

McCord Elementary Principal

Wilbarger County Shared Services Director

2915 Sand Vernon, TX (940)553-4381

1713 Wilbarger Vernon, TX (940)553-1900

3130 Bacon Vernon, TX (940)553-4309


We invite you to visit your child’s school and we welcome you as a partner in educating our students, as well as supporting our Lions and Lady Lions in various contests throughout the school year. Our administrative office is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please visit our district homepage at for more information. If you need to speak with me, please feel free to stop by 1713 Wilbarger Street, call the office at 940-553-1900, or email me at



VISD has met the Texas Education Agency’s highest achievement rating of Met Standard. VISD is lead by a caring and compassionate Board of Trustees with the best interest of the District as its foundation. VISD has an outstanding group of teachers on all five district campuses; McCord (Pre-K-1st), Central (2nd-3rd), Shive (4th-5th), Vernon Middle School (6th-8th), Vernon High School (9th-12th), and the NTSH (AFP) campus. Our maintenance, custodial, transportation, and cafeteria staffs all strive to provide a safe, clean, and efficient environment for our students.

The Carnegie Library “Be Carnegie City-County Library has been serving Vernon and the area since 1916. The library has grown from offering books to the public to now making available a number of services, including publications, books on CDs as well as offering wireless internet and public computer services as it keeps up with the latest technology. In addition to its countless shelves filled with books including current best-sellers to old favorites, educational and research books, the library offers an exciting and informative summer reading program for youngsters, and each month, Storytime is held for the children. In 2012, the library underwent an extensive expansion process which increased the overall space from 8,000 square feet to 12,000 square feet and allowed more room for expanded services including facilities such as a computer room, book store and study room along with renovations to the circulation desk area, work room and the addition of a community meeting room. The expansion was made possible through a generous gift by Jim and Marian White. Jim White had a career few men will ever know. As a barnstormer, crop duster, Trans-World Airlines pilot and Lockheed test pilot,

White’s love for flying spanned a colorful 30 years with White being at the forefront of the then-fledgling jet age and becoming one of the very first jet test pilots. The Wilbarger County native retired from his career in 1966 and passed away in 2006. But his legacy lives on - not only in his numerous aviation achievements, but also in another notable way. It was a generous bequeath from White and his wife Marian that has made possible the renovation project at Carnegie CityCounty Library. Displays at the front of the main room of the library tell the Whites’ story as a tribute to the generous couple. Located at 2810 Wilbarger, the library first began with an idea proposed by L.K. Johnson, a Vernon banker. Johnson shared this idea with the Young Men’s Business League, and the group secured a donation from the Carnegie Foundation. On Jan. 8, 1915, the City of Vernon accepted the Carnegie Foundation’s grant of $12,500, contracting to furnish a building and site for the library and to contribute annually for its maintenance at 10% of the amount of the original grant. A two-story brick structure was erected as the corner of Pease and

Cumberland with the first librarian, Miss Flora Lowrey, assuming her duties on July 1, 1916. Miss Lillian Newton became librarian exactly one year later and remained so until 1950. By 1920, approximately 4000 volumes had been collected with a yearly circulation of about 16,000. The library housed approximately 8,000 volumes when a fire destroyed the building in February 1928. The building was rehabilitated and with the 1,500 books that had been saved from the fire, the library reopened in September of that same year. In 1941 a children’s department was opened in the basement of the building. In August 1978, papers were signed for the purchase of the TG&Y building located at 2810 Wilbarger Street. This building was remodeled and still houses the current library. The library is funded equally by the City of Vernon and Wilbarger County. Librarian is Beth Railsback, and other staff members are Nes Cooper, circulation librarian, and Hannah Cooper. The library board consists of Joni Streit, president; Meg Filbey, vice president; Lou Byrd, treasurer; Kathy Handley, secretary, and members Pat Word, Sherry Spears, Derrel Wall, Ellen Coffee and Raji Bolton.

Vernon College Vernon College is an accredited two-year community college with the home campus located in Vernon and the taxing district of Wilbarger County. Vernon College operates the home campus as well as learning centers in Wichita Falls and Seymour focusing on extending a wide scope of educational opportunities to students in a twelve-county service area.

transfer courses, the college offers a number of programs in allied health and workforce/ technical areas to prepare students for the local, regional, and statewide workforce. Vernon College offers day and night courses in 8 and 16 week terms during the fall, spring, and summer. Fall 2014 enrollment for Vernon College including all locations was around 3000 students.

In addition to traditional academic

The Vernon Campus offers a Student


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Residence Center, recreational facilities, and food service for a complete campusliving experience. It is also the home of the Chaparral Rodeo, softball, baseball and volleyball teams. Tuition, fee and book expenses for Vernon College are approximately $2,500 per semester for a full-time student, but vary by program. Information: call 940.552.6291 or visit the website at www.


Memorials & Monuments Vernon is the county seat of Wilbarger County, and both the city and county have a long and distinguished history. The Great Western Trail passed through downtown Vernon on its way north to the Doan’s Crossing at the Red River. Several monuments lay out the history of the area and the cattle trail. In addition, the Rotary Club of Vernon placed a marker recognizing the Western Trail’s route through Vernon. The marker is on the southwest corner of the courthouse square. County residents have fought in every conflict from the Civil War up to modern times. The Doughboy statue was originally dedicated in December 1926 in Allingham Park to county residents killed in World War I. It was cast by Ernest Viquesney and titled “Spirit of the American Doughboy.” It bears the names of 17 men killed in the war. It was moved to its current location at the courthouse in April of 1994. It was restored in 2011 to replace a missing gun. There were 138 of the doughboy statues originally made, but some been lost either as scrap metal, hit by cars or destroyed by vandals. There are currently nine of the statues in Texas with the Vernon statue as the oldest.


Also located at the courthouse square is the county’s War Memorial. Inscribed on it are 73 names honoring those who were killed in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and in Iraq. The courthouse is also home to the Confederate War memorial and a small cannon. The statue was dedicated in 1916. It is a fulllength figure of a Confederate soldier. He wears a jacket, trousers and brimmed hat. A canteen hangs on his proper left hip and a bedroll drapes across his proper left shoulder and over his back. He holds a rifle barrel with both hands. The butt of the gun rests on the ground in front of his feet. The granite sculpture stands on a squared granite pedestal. The front face of the pedestal features a bas-relief Confederate flag. Allingham Park is home to the statute “Justice” and was crafted sometime after 1902 and is believed to have originally been dedicated as a drinking trough. It is a full-length female figure, classically dressed in long, flowing robes. Her hair is pulled back in a bun. In her proper right hand she holds a pitcher or urn. The painted metal sculpture stands on a slightly rounded block which sits on top of a rectangular pedestal. The pedestal ends at the back of a long, horizontal granite slab. The front half of the slab is hollowed out for a drinking trough or basin.



We Remember Their Sacrifice Memorial Day is held to commemorate the sacrifices made by American military men and women. There are 116 names on the war memorials at the Wilbarger County courthouse honoring those who were killed in the line of duty. Of those, 91 died in World War 2, and at least five names on the wall have a fate that was never certain – they are the missing in action. With no grave, the wall is one of the few places they are remembered. Eight Wilbarger County sailors died in World War 2, four of those were reported as missing in action. Jack Edwin Haynes, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Haynes, was born in Lockett on Feb. 4, 1924. He enlisted at Fort Worth in the Navy exactly one year after Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1942 at the age of 17. He was attending Vernon High School, had lettered in football that fall and then left for the service prior to graduating in the coming spring. Haynes along with five of his friends from the Five-in-One community left Vernon on the 9:50 a.m. train on Dec. 1 to enlist together in the Coast Guard. But they ended up in the Navy. Going with Haynes to enlist were Five-in One 1941 graduates and Texas Tech students Boyd D. Burelsmith, Ray Price and Elbert C. Carter, Five-in-One 1940 graduate and all-county basketball star Steve Clark and another graduate Dewitt Edwards, Jr. All but Edwards went to basic training together at Great Lakes Naval Station. Edwards is listed as having to have a “major surgery” and was not accepted. After completing basic, those five newly christened seamen were reported home visiting their parents on leave in February 1943. Then they went their separate ways. Haynes left for torpedo school in March, 1943 at New London, Conn. graduating in September 1943 with his twin dolphin pins. He sailed for Hawaii in late 1943 and spent the next year on active duty on the USS Swordfish in the Pacific. In 1945, Haynes was a Torpedoman’s Mate, Third Class, assigned to the USS Swordfish. On January 13, 1945, the Vernon record ran a salute to Wilbarger County service members, running Haynes photo and his duty stations. In all likelihood, he was already dead. The ship was officially reported lost at sea on March 16, 1945 somewhere near Yaku Island off of Kyushu Japan. There were 89 men aboard. During the war, the Swordfish had a distinguished service including assisting in the evacuation of the president of the Philippines. It sank 21 enemy ships. The Swordfish left Pearl Harbor for its last mission on Dec. 22 1944, to carry on its 13th patrol in the vicinity of Nansei Shoto. The ship stopped for fuel at Midway on Dec. 26 and left that same day. In addition to the regular patrol, the Swordfish was ordered to conduct photographic reconnaissance of Okinawa’s beaches in preparation for an amphibious assault. After patrolling, on Jan. 9, the ship was directed to Okinawa to carry out its recon mission. The mission was expected to take seven days and then the ship was to return to Midway. The ship never returned. It was believed that on the recon patrols, the ship hit a mine in the waters around Okinawa.


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On Feb. 4, 1946, the Vernon Record reported the Haynes family had received a message from Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal. It read: “Your son, Jack Haynes, topedoman’s mate third class, USNR, has been carried on the official records of the Navy Department in the status of missing in action as of 29 January 1945. He was serving on the Swordfish when that submarine failed to return from patrol operations in the Pacific area. “On 22 December 1944 the Swordfish departed from Pearl Harbor territory of Hawaii, took aboard fuel at Midway Island on 26 December 1944 and proceeded to her patrol area in the vicinity of Okinawa. On 3 January 1945 a message was received from the Swordfish, but the submarine failed to return to Saipan on or about 29 January 1945, in accordance with her schedule and no further information has been received by the Navy Department concerning the fate of the submarine or her crew. “In view of the length of time that has now elapsed since your son was reported missing and because there have been no official nor unconfirmed reports that any of the personnel of the vessel survived or were taken prisoner of war, I am reluctantly forced to the conclusion that your son is deceased. “I extend my deepest sympathy to you in your sorrow. It is hoped that you may find comfort in the knowledge that your son gave his life for his country, upholding the highest traditions of the Navy.” THE OTHERS FROM FIVE-IN-ONE The others from Five-in-One that enlisted with Haynes survived the war. Following basic, Haynes went to submarine school while Price, Carter and Clark all were sent to hospital school for a sixweek training course. They graduated April 9, 1943 as part of a class of 464 to become pharmacist mates. Price served at the Miami Naval Air Station and Clark in the Pacific. Burelsmith served on a minesweeper with two years active duty in both the Pacific and Atlantic theaters. Burelsmith’s sister married Carter’s brother. Clark wrote a letter to the Vernon Record in November 1943 from somewhere in the South Pacific: “After being without for four months, I received five Vernon papers today. I tell you I was really happy. I am living for the day that I will walk down the streets of good old Vernon. Tell that Sammie Pierce of the Vernon football squad to keep those touchdowns rolling, for I believe he inherited some of that drive from me. How it would thrill me to play another football or basketball game at Five-in-One high school. The Japs gave us a bad time on the island here for awhile, but they have slacked up some now. We, the people on this island, have gone through 225 Japanese air attacks. I am sorry to say that some of our boys over here will not go back to their mothers. I am with the Naval operations base on this island. There are a lot of natives here, and they are all friendly. They have been educated by the American missionaries. They can talk fairly good English. They are pro Ally, too. Tell the Greenbelt people we are thankful for what they are doing toward the bond drive. The Japs know we have them beaten, but they are to stubborn to admit it. If you like coconuts, just let me know and I will send you a train load of them. Tell all the people that the U.S. Navy is riding high and will fight to the last man to win this war. Admiral Halsey says our next liberty will be in Tokyo, I hope he is right.”


Burelsmith, Price and Carter served as pall bearers in 1947 for another Five-in-One 1940 graduate. Tommy Boyd was an airman. He married just before leaving for Europe in December, 1942. He wrote his wife Lucy a letter that he was issued a heavy coat and thought that meant he was about to sail.

recent telegram confirming the death of your husband…. The official causality report states that your husbands death was due to enemy action. His remains were interred in Ivigut, Greenland.”

Boyd wrote his parents a poem for Christmas, received in Vernon on Dec. 8, 1942.

Boyd had been aboard an American transport that was sunk by a German submarine on Feb. 3, 1943. The Vernon newspaper reported in April 5, 1943 that his wife had received a purple heart and a communication from General Ulio that further information would be supplied later.

Around March 10, 1943 his wife received a letter from major general J.A. Ulio: “It is with profound regret that I confirm my

His body had been buried in Greenland, and his body was repatriated in November, 1947 and buried at Eastview Cemetery.





by Daniel Walker D-Day was 75 years ago. On June 6, 1944, U.S., British and Canadian forces invaded the coast of northern France in Normandy. The landings were code named “Operation Overlord.” It was the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe intended to bring World War II to an end.

At least three Vernon soldiers were paratroopers that landed behind German lines on D-Day.

On that one day, the Allies landed around 156,000 troops in Normandy. Of that, he American forces numbered 73,000: 23,250 on Utah Beach, 34,250 on Omaha Beach, and 15,500 airborne troops.

Vernon’s Floyd Baker also was killed on D-Day. He was a paratrooper medic.

More than 4,400 Allied troops died on the first day of the invasion – not to mention the 10,000s that died in the ensuing days of fighting off the beaches. By the end of that first day, the Allies had established a foothold in France and within 11 months Nazi Germany was defeated. Many Wilbarger County men stormed those beaches – and some paid with their lives. Ensign Jack David Thompson was a landing craft operator. He was assigned to the LCT-486 -- used to land troops on Normandy. The ship was crewed by one officer and 10 crew members. Thompson was killed by enemy fire during the Utah Beach landing on June 6. The craft hit a mine the next day in route back to Utah Beach and sank with two more sailors lost. Thompson received his commission in February, 1944, received his training at Saluma Branch, Md. And was shipped to England on May 16, 1944. Raymond Towles was a bomber pilot during the invasion. He was listed as a twin-engine pilot training in Lubbock in 1943, graduating as a flight officer in April. He was reported missing in action over Normandy on June 10, 1944 and officially declared killed on July 27.

Jack Haynes

Steve Clark


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Ralph S. Blackman, listed in the newspaper as the son of Stella Blackman, earned a bronze star fighting in Normandy.

PFC. Thurman Keeler was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne. Keeler quit school in the eighth grade and went to work for the Ray brothers in Vernon, where the family was living. In a past interview with the Vernon Record, Keeler told of his service in the military: “I was working at the Day and Night Market on Fannin Street,” he said at that time. “All of my friends were going into the military. I wanted to go, too.” Keeler was sent to 14 weeks of basic training at Camp Joseph Robinson at Little Rock, Ark. Originally, he was training to be a medic, but that didn’t really appeal to him. He joined the 101st Airborne, starting out as a machine gunner and was first sent to Long Champs, England where he suffered his first “war” injury. “I broke five toes playing baseball. The doctor told me I would never dance again. He was wrong,” he laughed. The training was tough, but Keeler said jumping was “a piece of cake…it was a pleasure.” On June 6, 1944 in Normandy, France, Keeler was in a Douglas C-47, when he jumped into enemy territory during a blinding fog. It was 4 a.m. when he bailed out of the airplane. “They dropped us about 20 miles from where we were supposed

EC Carter

Boyd Burelsmith

Melvin Tommy Boyd


to be dropped. A lot of us landed in the trees, and so did I. It was dark and foggy. I decided if I could just stay up here, I’d be okay.” Keeler couldn’t see the ground because of the fog, so he was forced to stay put, dangling 20 feet above the terrain. When he heard movement below him, Keeler used the metal cricket clicker issued to the troops to help them identify one another. “When you clicked it, it sounded like a cricket. If you clicked it and heard two clicks back, that meant the other person was an American,” Keeler explained. When Keeler clicked the device, however, there was no response. “So those must have been Germans that I heard below me.” Keeler managed to free himself and found other American troops. They were supposed to secure the bridges and highways for the heavy equipment coming in from the beach. “It took a while for us to get assembled. We used hand grenades and a bazooka to secure the area. Bazookas were our walking artillery. The 327th Glider Infantry was in the same vicinity where we were dropped. They came in on gliders. Some of them burned when they crashed. They had their hands full, too.” The division then went to Carentan, France where their job was to clear the highways for the tanks. After being sent back to England, Keeler transferred to the message center. “We ran messages from the headquarters company to the battalions and different regiments. We were on the front where they were fighting.”

“But they gathered up enough of us to send us up there. It was tough. We lost a lot of guys.” At one point in the war, Keeler was declared Missing in Action but was later found in a hospital being treated for wounds he suffered while fighting in the Netherlands. Keeler was honorably discharged from the military on Dec. 25, 1945. He came back to Vernon and went back to work at the Day and Night Market. “After the owners retired, my brother, Paul, and I took the store and ran it for eight years.” Keeler later worked at a store in Chillicothe for Roy Keith and Betty Moore. “I worked with them for about two years, then came back to Vernon and stayed with my mother who was in bad health. I helped Bobby Baldwin at the old Vernon Food Store for a short time.” He also worked at Central Market and a convenience store here in Vernon at one time. He retired in 1987. Heroic engineers Two Wilbarger County soldiers earned a Presidential Unit Citation for their work on building an advanced emergency landing strip on the beach during the invasion, while the battle raged around them. Olyne Greathouse, a corporal from Oklaunion, and Carl C. Kent, a private from Vernon, were both in the Ninth Air Force engineering battalion

The citation states that the engineers landed on the beach three hours after the invasion began and “found that the area for the proposed site for the strip was still partially On Sept. 17, 1944, Keeler was the first man occupied by the enemy. But they proceeded to jump behind enemy lines in Holland, on their mission in spite of the obstacles landing in an apple orchard. The USS Swordfish on maneuvers off of Mare and dangers and worked on the strip while Island, California in 1943. The mission was to seize the highway US Navy photo under continuous enemy fire. At one point, running north to the Rhine river so the the engineering equipment was working Allied tanks could advance into Germany. within 200 yards of active enemy artillery The highway was known as “hell’s highway,” and paved the way for emplacements. the Allied advance. Keeler’s job was to set up a yellow marker so “The strip was completed by sundown on D-day and on the that the other paratroopers would know where to jump. Two days following day the detachment was pushing forward behind the later, he took a sniper’s bullet in his back. advancing invading troops and beginning work on a field farther “I was carrying a radio, and I think he was actually trying to hit the inland.” radio on my back, but he missed and hit me in the left shoulder,” Wounded Keeler explained. “Our guys shot him and later interrogated him.” The injury left Keeler with chronic back pain, and also affected his ability to hold his head up straight. The wound, however, did not result in Keeler’s being sent home. “I was laid up about two weeks and then sent back to the front. We stayed at the front for 77 days.” Keeler also fought in the Battle of Bastogne in Belgium around Christmas of 1944. “We were trucked up there. We didn’t jump that time,” Keeler reported. His division wasn’t a complete unit because many of the men were in the hospital.


The first casualty reports from the invasion did not arrive until July 7, 1944. Two were in that newspaper. Staff Sgt. Aubrey G. Edwards had been slightly wounded in action, and he was now in hospital in England. He later received a bronze star and a distinguished service cross. Lt. C.V. Edwards III had been wounded in France seriously. A chemical officer, the report gave no information on how it occurred except it was serious. Pvt. Jack Bennett, of Vernon, earned a bronze star during the Normandy invasion. He also was wounded twice, receiving a purple heart with oak leaf cluster.







Wilbarger Wilbarger County County D-Day D-Day Soldiers & Sailors soldiers and sailors BURK GIBSON








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Others there Vernon’s Lt. Gerald Brewer flew two missions over France on D-day. Pvt. John C. Walker Jr. landed on Omaha Beach. John R. Allen Jr. survived the landing but was wounded in action days later as the Allies expanded their beachhead. Aubrey Hoffman landed in a later wave on the beach on D-Day. J.C. Riggins was in one of the later tanks that went ashore. Tech Sgt. Melvin Flowers and Connie Anderson were also there. Anderson was wounded a short time later working on repairing one of the destroyed bridges. Cpl. John C. Burk and Tech Sgt. Noel Sitz were both in planes fighting over the skies above the beach. Willie H. Cole, son of Mollie Cole was there too. He survived the invasion and was wounded four months later while fighting in France. Sailor Thomas D. Thompson served as a top gunner on a small patrol torpedo craft that battled with German shore batteries to provide support for the landing troops. James Gibson operated one of the landing crafts. Gibson wrote the newspaper in 1943 from his training base in Idaho: “I’m a Texas boy in training way beyond the hills in Idaho. Just a few lines to let you know the Navy is fine. Farragut Naval Training Station is about the toughest in the States. You can take my word for it, it’s plenty rough. Here in a few weeks boys are transformed into men, ready for action. Company 175-43 is composed of 45 Texans. I’m the recruit chief petty officer of this company and I believe the youngest RCPO in this station. From Farragut I don’t know where we will go, but Texas will be in our hearts and the courage of true Texans and Americans will be our guide. To you at home I say ‘Keep ‘em smiling and I will keep ‘em sailing.” Others were there that are not listed. Home front D-Day, the allied invasion to liberate France occurred 75 years ago Thursday, on June 6, 1944. The Vernon Daily Record reported the headline “Vernon observes Invasion Day.” The story reported: “News of the invasion of Western Europe came


to Vernon Tuesday morning at 3 o’clock. Most residents heard the fire siren and church bells, but some did not know of the Allied actions until newsboys woke them with shouts of “Extra! … Extra!” “Thirty minutes following the signal, churches began special prayer services. Most churches had large congregations of silent, calm worshipers, with here and there a tear-stained face as some mother or father or wife prayed for a loved one in the battle area. “The majority of churches remained open throughout the day for those who wanted to pause a moment during their work to say a prayer for the safety of our men our allies. “One of the most touching sights of the morning was the young sailor who was waiting at one of the churches when the doors were opened. Tears rolled down his face throughout the brief prayer service for he was home on leave and his ship and his buddies were in the midst of the battle … without him. Outside the Methodist Church he explained his misery: “”My ship is over there right in the middle of things and I have to be here at a time like this, it’s heart breaking.” “Howard Blum tuned in on an English commentator via shortwave as soon as he heard the alarm. Mrs. Frank Ozment, Jr., with her mother, Mrs. P.W. Hendrix, stayed by the radio from 2:30 to 6 a.m. Mrs. Ozment’s husband, Captain Ozment, is stationed in the U.S. Army Air Corps in England. “Leta Mae Kimbrew, receptionist at the Vernon Hospital, woke when the first whistle blew. Her first move was to turn on the radio, and she spent the next hour walking the floor and listening to the news. “The first Frank Wendt, county farm agent, knew of the invasion was when he saw the lights at the First Baptist Church while taking Mrs. Wendt to the train station. “The beauty of the Stars and Stripes struck Mrs. E.A. Vernon anew as she walked to work Tuesday morning, after hearing invasion reports. She said she was walking along, worrying about the many boys she knows stationed in England, when she looked up and saw the flag rippling in the early morning breeze. “’It struck me very forcibly then that flag waving on high is really the most important thing after all,” she said. “Cadets at Victory Field were first informed of the invasion by Maj. L.C. Schubert, commanding officer of the field at reveille.”



Albert C. Hickey Albert Cleon Hickey, son of Kirby Pink and Sallie Hickey was born June 21, 1923 in Wilbarger County. When he was drafted into the Army, he was married to the former Roma Smith and had two daughters Mary and Marjorie, who were 1 and 3. He was a welder prior to his induction. He entered the service on June 1, 1944 and went overseas in December. He was assigned as a replacement, as a private in Company C of the 415th Inf. Regiment, 104th Inf. Div. He went missing in action on Feb. 23, 1945 in Arnoldweiler, Germany.

Vernon Daily Record reported: “PFC Ollie B. Hickey, 17, son of Mr. and Mrs. K.P. (Pink) Hickey, 2705 Sherman Street, and veteran of overseas fighting has been reported missing in Germany. “Word came in the form of a telegram to his parents late Thursday afternoon from the Adjutant General’s office in Washington. “He joined the Army on Jan. 12, 1944 and sailed over seas on Oct. 20, 1944 with the 106th Infantry. “ For four months the family received no news of Ollie’s fate -- and for two months dealt with having two sons missing in action.

Hickey’s parents had also dealt with a similar message just two months earlier.

The family got a bit of good news in April, 1945. The April 4, 1945 edition of the Vernon Daily Record reported: “PFC lOlie B. Hickey, reported missing in action in Germany is a prisoner of war of the German Government, according to a letter received by the parents here Tuesday. The letter was written by the Vernon soldier and was datelined from a prison camp in Germany.

On January 12, 1945 the

“It had the first news

The March 16, 1945 Vernon Record reported: “Pvt. Albert C. Hickey, 21, is reported missing in action on the German Front since Feb. 23, according to a War Department telegram received by his wife, Mrs. Maggie Hickey, of 2407 Sherman Street, Friday.”


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the parents had of the missing soldier since the War Department telegram informing them that he was missing in action.” Hickey had been part of a green American unit guarding a quiet sector. The Americans were surprised by three German armies attacking in blizzard conditions in what became known as the Battle of the Bulge. The 106th had been encircled by the Germans in late December 1944, resulting in the capture of more than 6,000 American soldiers. The unit history notes that the POWs captured in the Bulge suffered enormously. “They were in bad shape when captured, hungry and suffering from frostbite. Many died on the way to the camps. Stuck in boxcars for days, they were bombed by the Allies as they sat in rail sidings. It took a month for the POWs to be processed and placed in stalags. Conditions at the camps had only gotten worse as the war went on. They were overcrowded and the lack of food was becoming a crisis. Best estimates say that around 180 died

Ollie Hickey

in captivity. Noted author Kurt Vonnegut, a member of the division, vividly described his experiences during the Bulge and as a POW in his classic work, Slaughterhouse Five.” Ollie Hickey’s daughter, Hope Chesser remembered: “Our Father suffered horrific trauma and had to live with the problems of severe frostbite of his hands and feet until his death. Even though he suffered from frostbite pain, he never regretted his service to his. Country at all cost. I am very proud of him for his undying patriotism. The newspaper continued reciting Hickey’s letter, which was probably written under duress to disguise the true extent of sufferings.: “Private Hickey wrote that he was eating good and being treated fairly. He said that he had plenty to eat and was sleeping in a good warm bed. “Mr. and Mrs. Hickey have another son who is still missing in action. Private Albert Hickey was reported as missing Feb. 23 of this year and no further news has been

received.” The news on Albert would not be good. On Feb. 23, 1945, at around 3 a.m., according to Army reports, Hickey was in a wooden rowboat with 12 other men attempting to cross the debris-filled flooding Rohr River under heavy machine gun and mortar fire when the boat overturned. His body was never recovered. In 1954, the American Legion announced it would erect crosses for local servicemen killed in World War 1 and Korea. One name was left off, Hickey’s, because he was still listed as missing in action, not killed. The newspaper reported the oversight was brought to the attention of officials and corrected. Hickey’s widow remarried to Delbert Harrison and they remained in Vernon. At the U.S. cemetery in Margraten, Holland, there is a Wall of Missing Soldiers -- it runs the length of the cemetery. Albert Cleon Hickey’s name is inscribed on that wall.



AQUATICS CENTER Orbison Park Family Aquatics Center is open during the summer and will close the day after Labor Day. Open to the public 6 days a week, weather permitting.

Hours of Operation Tuesday-Saturday 12pm - 6pm Sunday 1pm - 6pm Closed Monday for cleaning


Vernon and Wilbarger County offer some of the best hunting opportunities in Texas thanks to an abundance of open grasslands, mesquite pasture and rugged, forested river bott om land. It’s not just deer. Dove hunting in this area is one of the most plentiful anywhere. Those lands are home to not only white-tailed deer and dove but also wild hogs, turkeys, ducks, geese, game birds and occasional mountain lions. There are thousands of acres of hunting land available and river bottoms are open to the public for hunting. Area rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and tanks can produce monster catfish as well as other fish.

river. Deep soils and sub irrigated grassland flats provided forage and a bluff on the north side of the river offered protection from the wind in winter.

The Red River

The river was a major Comanche highway through the heart of their territory (Comancheria). On the river, in December 1860 west of present day Vernon, future Sul Ross led the Texas Rangers in a raid that rescued Cynthia Ann Parker (mother of Comanche chief Quanah Parker).

The Red River is the northern boundary of Wilbarger County and also the boundary between the states of Texas and Oklahoma. It earned its name from the red color of the water. Every early explorer, regardless of his language, called it “Red” -- Rio Rojo and Rio Roxo in Spanish, Reverie Rouge in French, and Red River in English.

The region’s buffalo herds and sheltering canyons allowed the Comanche to thrive. The U.S. Army waged decades long war with the Comanche at the end of the 19th century, pushing the Comanche onto reservations. Even then Vernon remained a primary trading center for the Comanche for decades and many of Parkers descendants continue to live in the area.

Even though the river was dangerous and sometimes a real menace to the early traveler because of its variable current and quicksand bottom, several important gateways developed along its length. One of the more famous of these is Doan’s Crossing in northern Wilbarger County, it was the exit point from Texas for northbound cattle drives. Even though the river is the state boundary, the river itself is considered to belong wholly to Oklahoma. An Oklahoma fishing license is required.

Copper Breaks

The Pease River The Pease River flows just to the north of Vernon on its way to the Red River. It begins in the caprock escarpment that separates the Rolling from the High Plains. The river begins as three branches -- the North Pease, Middle Pease and South Pease before heading east through the mesquite and prickly pear flats of northwest Texas. The three rivers join as one and eventually flow and join the Red River north of Vernon. The river is named for Elisha Pease, twice governor of Texas in the 1800s. For centuries, the buffalo herds roamed the banks of the


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Copper Breaks State Park is located about a half hour west of Vernon. This 1,933-acre state park offers camping, picnicking, and hiking and equestrian trails year-round. Fishing is allowed on the 60-acre Lake Copper Breaks. The park, whose name was derived from the copper deposits scattered throughout the area and the rugged, broken terrain, contains a visitor center with exhibits on bison and the Comanche. The park is also home to a Texas longhorn herd. A hunting license is required of any person, regardless of age, who hunts any animal, bird, frog or turtle in this state (except furbearers, if the hunter possesses a trapper’s license). No license is required for nuisance fur-bearing animals, depredating hogs or coyotes. Non-residents under 17 years of age may purchase and hunt with the Youth Hunting License. For further information about Texas hunting regulations and licensing requirements, check out the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website at


Golf Course, Theatre

Lakes, State Parks Lake Kemp, a popular North Texas fishing and recreational site, is located approximately 25 miles south of Vernon. Cara Blanca Park, the recreational park surrounding the lake, is owned by W. T. Waggoner Estate. The reservoir covers an area of over 16,540 acres. Tracts of land around the lake are leased on an annual lease rental basis. Entrance to the park area may be gained through either of three toll gates: Flippen Creek Gate Entrance and Moonshine Gate Entrance are directly off highway 183/283 approximately 28 miles south of Vernon; Pony Creek Gate Entrance is seven miles north of Seymour off Highway 1919. Highway signs mark the route. For a minimal daily fee, visitors may enjoy fishing, boating or relaxing in the sun. There are several public boat ramps on the lake. Copper Breaks State Park consists of 1898.8 acres, and is located 38 miles west of Vernon, 12 miles south of Quanah or nine miles north of Crowell, in Hardeman County. Activities include camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, mountain biking, swimming, wildlife viewing, backpacking, kite flying, summer educational/interpretive programs, horseback riding (horse rental not available), astronomy, and natural and historical exhibits. A portion of the official Texas longhorn herd is maintained at the park. Call 940-839-4331. The Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus is located about 15 miles west of Crowell and 45 miles west of Vernon as part of the Three Rivers Institute (3RF). Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus (CSAC) offers an array of observatories, telescopes and other viewing equipment. All star parties are free to the public. Contact 940-684-1670. Quartz Mountain State Park is located some 65 miles north of Vernon in southwestern Oklahoma on the western shores of Lake Altus-Lugert. Call (580) 563-2238.

Hillcrest Country Club has been in operation for more than 80 years, the country club encompasses an 84-acre site that includes a nine-hole golf course, three tennis courts and a swimming pool. The golf course is open to members and their families for unlimited golfing while nonmembers can golf at nine or 18-hole rates. Hillcrest Country Club also includes a golf house with a pro shop, which stocks golf balls and tees along with a variety of snacks and drinks. Membership applications are available at the club. For additional information, call 940-552-5406

Residents and visitors don’t have to go far for recreational opportunities in and around Vernon. There are four public parks, including a state-of-the art aquatic center in Vernon as well as other activities within a short driving distance offer many recreational fun and opportunities.

Vernon has four city parks with shaded picnic areas, barbecue pits, playground equipment, and a clubhouse and pavilion available for rental from the City of Vernon (940-552-2581). The parks are Allingham Park, 2700 block of Yamparika; D. L. Green Park, 201 Wilbarger; Orbison Park, South Sand Road, and Christine Lyday Park, located at the corner Houston and Dawson. Additionally, the ’55 Park on Main Street provides a shaded area for visitors to enjoy as well as scenery kept up by members of the VHS Class of 1955.


The Vernon Plaza Theatre successfully completed a major overhaul in 2015 as new digital projection technology was installed. Movie-goers can enjoy the latest and best movies without having to travel out of town. First built in 1953 on the ruins of the Vernon Opera House, the Plaza Theater was the crown jewel in the Interstate Theater Company’s line of movie houses, which included the legendary Paramount Theater in Abilene and the Hippodrome Theater in Waco. Taking full advantage of the latest technology of the time, the Plaza was the first 3-D movie theater built in Texas. With special features like stereo sound (a new innovation at the time), a “Cry Room” for mothers to take their unruly children and a 1,200 seat capacity, there wasn’t anything like any other movie house in the state of Texas—or anywhere else, for that matter. Over the years, a number of stars and celebrities made their way across the stage to meet and greet the citizens of Vernon. The last such appearance was by Sonny and Cher, and a great many of our older residents recall fondly seeing them here in person. Those stories, and many others, prop up the walls of the Vernon Plaza Theater. First dates, wedding proposals, anniversaries, celebrations of all kinds, and a whole bunch of “family nights” are what make institutions like the Vernon Plaza Theater so important in small towns. Movies are our common “escape” from the sometimessobering real world. We visit Oz, Middle Earth, galaxies far, far away, and we laugh, we cry, we jump, and we melt, together. The Vernon Plaza Theater has been vital to the imaginations of the folks in Vernon for 60 years now.



Vernon is home to two great rodeo traditions... The Vernon College Rodeo has been held annually for 34 years and features more than 500 contestants from 15 colleges and universities competing in nine events. And for over 70 years, the Santa Rosa Roundup has brought the excitement of rodeo to fans. It was in 1945 that E. Paul Waggoner decided that Vernon needed to spotlight the cowboys. By then, rodeo was a popular sport as well as a big business. The Rodeo Cowboy Association had been founded to police the sport and give it respectability. The RCA also set up a fair and accurate way to determine national championships in the sport. Waggoner dreamed of presenting an annual rodeo and quarter horse show that would dazzle the spectators. At the time, however, World War II was still being fought, so Waggoner held his plans in abeyance. In 1946, Waggoner began construction of the rodeo plant, considered one of the finest ever built. Plans of rodeo grounds throughout the United States were studied to incorporate the most modern and complete features of the time. The first performance was held May 29-June 2, 1946 with two afternoon and four evening performances attended by some 50,000. The event was held in conjunction with a homecoming for the men and women of World War II and was dedicated to their honor. The Santa Rosa Roundup is a premier event on the rodeo circuit. A big four-day event gets underway on Wednesday with a massive parade through downtown Vernon followed by the first night’s performance in the rodeo arena. The rodeo continues through Saturday night with a full schedule of events, including bronc riding, bareback riding, calf roping, team roping, barrel racing and bull riding. The arena is located just south of Vernon and includes a covered seating area to protect rodeo spectators from the weather with a seating capacity of 3,500 general admission seats. Kenneth Dockery took over the rodeo arena in 2008, purchasing it from Grady Kent Stowe and John Mikkelsen, who had owned the grounds since 1974. Dockery’s daughter, Mary Kay Riley of Amarillo later assumed ownership in 2015. The rodeo was put up for sale in 2014. The Santa Rosa Rodeo committee established a fund to Save the Santa Rosa and were successful in their efforts with the support and generosity of some large contributors, individuals, the Tourism Committee, City of Vernon, Wilbarger County and the Santa Rosa Palomino Club, funds were raised to purchase the rodeo property. The final purchase was completed in February 2016, and the rodeo has continued since, bringing thrills and excitement to rodeo fans and contestants as the tradition continues.


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led audiences for over The Santa Rosa Palomino Club has thrilled 66 years now with fast-paced performances, ces, color, spirit and a dedication to maintaining a tradition off being perhaps the finest non-professional riding club in thee nation. ill be As in years past, the Palomino Club will try suited up and saddled up to offer pageantry and tradition to the 72nd annual Santa Rosa Roundup. It’s a sight to stir the heart as the club takes to the arena for an exciting performance that will thrill old and young alike. he David Fisher is the current president of the prestigious riding club with Gene Tyra ass drill captain. Other officers are Haven Rose, vice asurer. president; Larry Drennan, secretary-treasurer. Directors are Bobby Cerda, Larry Drennan, Maurice Rosalez, Gene Tyra, Kelly Neel, Toby Kitchens and Freddie King. Current members of the club are Joe Bacon, Donnie Goodrum, Curtis Graf, obert Joe Smith, Gene Tyra, Terry Carlton, Robert Kimbrew, Paul Chandler, Jeff Bearden, Terry axter, Joe Rutherford, Larry Drennan, Kenneth Baxter, dict, Freddie McCurley, Fred Wilkinson, Mark Benedict, her, Bobby Joe King, Haven Roe, Odell Roe, David Fisher, ndy Sharp, Britt Cerda, Brian Horn, Maurice Rosalez, Andy


Ferguson, Monty Bentley, Cody Bell, Cheyenne Sharp, Skipper an Toby Kitchens. Sheppard, Kelly Neel and The Palomino Club was honored in 2012 to ride in the R Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., and nam to the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of was also named addi another achievement to their long Fame, adding list. w in 1949 that the late John Killough, It was m manager of the Vernon Chamber of Commerce, and the late Walter Heard, w were returning from a rodeo in who Am Amarillo, discussed the feasibility of havin a riding club in Vernon that would having promote the community and the Santa Rosa F Roundup. From this conversation, a meeting of 16 hel and the idea received an unanimous men was held, endorsem endorsement. Com Committees were appointed to select ma matching shirts, hats and chaps, and it was decided that each member would ride a palomino to give the club a di distinctive look. John Biggs Bi was elected president of the club. cha Other charter members were Drew Cartwright, Youngb Elzy Youngblood, Judge A.D. Green, Earl Walker, Kenn Wolfe, I.W. Traxler, Wylie Bill Bond, Kenneth Sweatman, Mark Neal, N Jess Hancock, Ervin LeBus, Walter Heard, Fred H Hanna, John Killough, and L.H. (Shorty) Wall.



Palomino Club History For 65 years, the Santa Rosa Palomino Club of Vernon has thrilled audiences with its fast-paced performances, color, spirit and dedication to maintaining a tradition of being perhaps the finest non-professional riding club in the nation. Each performance of the Santa Rosa Roundup features the famed club, which traditionally sets the pivots for the massive grand entry and then offers its own breath-taking performance for rodeo-goers. It was in 1949 that the late John Killough, manager of the Vernon Chamber of Commerce, and the late Walter Heard discussed having a riding club in Vernon that would promote the community and the Santa Rosa Roundup. From this conversation, a meeting of 16 men was held, and the idea received an unanimous endorsement. Committees were appointed to select shirts, hats and chaps, and it was decided that each member would ride a palomino. John Biggs was elected president of the club. Other charter members were Drew Cartwright, Elzy Youngblood, Judge A.D. Green, Earl Walker, Bill Bond, Kenneth Wolfe, I.W. Traxler, Wylie Sweatman, Mark Neal, Jess Hancock, Ervin LeBus, Walter Heard, Fred Hanna, John Killough, and L.H. (Shorty) Wall. The group made its first ride in 1950 in Childress with 29 riders. For the next two years, the club won first place trophies wherever it appeared. However, members wanted to create a uniqueness for the club unequaled by any other, so in 1953, club president M.K. Berry, who had a background of calvary training and mounted drill from his years as a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute, instituted a series of maneuvers which evolved into the precision drill for which the club became famous. The drills, which have changed little over the years, have become a trademark of the club’s performances. Since its inception, some 200 men have been members. They are completely self-supporting with each man supplying his own horse and equipment and bearing his own expenses. The club, with its distinctive uniform, matching palomino horses and spectacular drill, has become well known and sought after. They have represented Vernon and the Santa Rosa Roundup from Tucson to Birmingham and from Houston to Cody, Wyo. The horsemen have earned over 400 first place parade trophies and in the two times they have entered the competition, they have both times won the title of National Drill Team Champions. The Palomino Club has ridden in two inaugural parades for the governor in Austin, ridden in two Cotton Bowl parades, an International Lions Club parade and appeared on the Today Show as well as on ESPN and TNN. When performing for the Houston Stock Show and Rodeo in the Astrodome, the group received a standing ovation from 37,000 cheering fans. In 1989, the House of Representatives of the Texas Legislature proclaimed the Santa Rosa Palomino Club as the official “Ambassadors on Horseback” for the state of Texas. In 2010, the Palomino Club was honored in Austin with the passage of HR 909 by then-State Rep. Rick Hardcastle, congratulating the club on its 60th anniversary. Also that year, the Palomino Club was named the official “Ambassadors of the Great Western Trail.” In 2012 the group was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame. The famed group also participated in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. in 2012, as part of the Rose Bowl Parade’s “Happy Trails” celebration of the King of the Cowboys, Roy Rogers.




Holy Family

Catholic Church 2200 Roberts Vernon, TX 76384 940-552-2895


5:00 PM English Mass 6:30 PM Spanish Mass


11:15 AM English Mass




Certified Public Accountants


We Believe: That faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life; That the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations; That economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise; That government should be of laws rather than of men; That earth s great treasure lies in human personality; And that service to humanity is the best work of life.

John T. Truelove, CPA Douglas A. Pharis, CPA Scott Meyers, CPA Amber N. Marsh, CPA 2402 Texas Street P.O. Box 1331 Vernon, Texas 76385-1331 (940) 552-5481

Vernon has been home to at least two legends in the world of music. Jazz great Jack Teagarden and rock and roll legend Roy Orbison were both born in Vernon.

Jazz great Jack Teagarden A museum to honor jazz great Jack Teagarden is currently in progress in downtown Vernon. The museum will be located in the former Goodyear building on Wilbarger Street. Teagarden was born Weldon Leo Teagarden in Vernon on Aug. 20, 1905, to Charles and Helen Teagarden. His father was an oil worker and his mother a piano teacher and church organist. All four Teagarden children became musicians. Teagarden’s father was an amateur brass band trumpeter and started young Jack playing the baritone horn. By the age of 10, Teagarden had switched to playing trombone. His mother gave him piano lessons as well. The trombone, however, would become his trademark. He made his first professional appearance playing duet with his mother at the local movie house in Vernon and later played in Chappell, Neb., where the family moved after the death of Jack’s father when Jack was 13. At age 16, he played with a quartet group at the Horn Palace Inn in San Antonio led by drummer Cotton Bailey who gave him the nickname, “Jack.” In the late 1920’s, his career soared when he joined the Ben Pollack Orchestra while beginning a prolific recording career, singing with notable band leaders and sidemen as Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Bix Beiderbecke, Red Nichols, Jimmy McPartland, Mezz Mezzrow, Glenn Miller and Eddie Condon. He was featured on most of the major recording companies including RCA Victor, Columbia, Decca, Capitol and MGM discs. Among his most famous recordings were “The Sheik of Araby” “Stars Fell on Alabama” and “Basin Street Blues.” Teagarden had a fledgling movie career with several appearances in “The Birth of the Blues, “The Glass Wall” and “Jazz on a Summer’s Day”. Teagarden joined the Paul Whiteman band in 1933, and Louis Armstrong’s All-Stars. Teagarden later left Armstrong and formed the Jack Teagarden All Stars Dixieland band in 1951. He died in 1963 and was inducted posthumously into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1985.


Rock ‘n roll legend Roy Orbison Born Roy Kelton Orbison on April 23, 1936 in Vernon, Roy Orbison changed the sound of rock and roll music with his distinctive voice. His career spanned over four decades and included such hits as “Only The Lonely,” “In Dreams,” “Oh, Pretty Woman,” “Crying,” “Blue Bayou,” “Candy Man,” “Uptown,” “Leah,” and countless others, many of which are still played and enjoyed today. Orbison’s mother, Nadine, was a nurse, and his father, Orbie Lee, an oil field worker who gave him his first guitar. The first song Roy learned to play was the 1939 standard, “You Are My Sunshine,” written by former Louisiana governor Jimmie Davis. By 1944, Roy had written his first song, “A Vow of Love,” in front of his grandmother’s house in Vernon. Orbison performed on KVWC Radio in 1945 after winning a contest. In 1946, the Orbisons moved to the West Texas oil town of Wink, where, at the age of 13, Orbison formed his first band, “The Wink Westerners.” He graduated from Wink High School in June 1954 and, before long the Wink Westerners were regulars on local television and radio programs. Though he initially passed on “The Teen Kings,” Phillips signed Roy Orbison to Sun Records after hearing Orbison and the Kings’ version of the Clover’s “Trying To Get To You” and “Ooby Dooby,” a single they’d recorded at Norman Petty’s studio in Clovis, N.M. Roy Orbison and the Teen Kings re-recorded “Ooby Dooby” for Sun Records on March 27, 1956, and the single peaked at #59 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in June 1956, giving Orbison his first commercial success. Orbison’s string of hits made him one of the most popular rock ‘n roll singers of the time. Orbison performed his final concert in Highland Heights, Ohio in late 1988. He died of a heart attack on Dec. 6, 1988 in Nashville. A large colorful sign at the site of Christ the King Hospital, where Orbison was born, was dedicated on his birthday in April 2013, and a birthday celebration is held each year at the site to honor the famed rock ‘n roll legend.



On the second Saturday in December, Vernon celebrates Christmas with a western twist. “Christmas on the Western Trail” involves a number of activities, including the arrival of Santa Claus that afternoon along with downtown festivities from horse rides to motorcycle rides, activities at a number of locations around town, vendors set up around the decorated courthouse with crafts, art and other items, giveaways and drawings, and a host of other attractions for the enjoyment of residents and visitors of all ages. That evening, the Lighted Christmas Parade winds its way through downtown Vernon with floats, antique and classic cars, bands, horses wagons, carriages and various other entries, all brightly outlined in lights and the long-anticipated arrival of Santa Claus on a colorful float. The parade lights up the December night as it makes it way past spectators who gather in downtown Vernon for the exciting event. It’s a very distinctive way to celebrate the holiday and bring a sparkle to the eyes of the spectators. Prizes are awarded to the best decorated floats. The parade is sponsored by Vernon’s Christmas Parade Committee.


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The annual Holiday Spirit Thanksgiving meal is served on Thanksgiving Day, from 12 noon to 2 p.m., in the Empire Room of Wilbarger Auditorium. A Christmas meal is also served on Christmas Day. Nearly a 1,000 people annually enjoy the community get-togethers. They are made possible by the efforts of hundreds of volunteers The event, which offers frees meals at both Thanksgiving and Christmas to all who wish to attend, was begun in 1987 by Vernon residents Pat and Glenna Bryant as a way of saying “thank you” to the community for their livelihood, their health and that of those they love. Since then, records show over 37,000 meals have been served to the community. In 2017, the Bryants passed the responsibilities for the meals program to Sharon and Billy Goins, and the event has been just as successful as it has since the first year. “We’ve loved doing this, but now it’s time to pass it on,” Glenda Bryant said. “They are younger and have new ideas. They know a lot of people, and we’re confident they are the perfect ones to continue this.” Sharon Goins noted that she and her husband, Billy, have been involved in the program over the years by helping to deliver and assisting in the kitchen. “We feel blessed to be able to do this,” Sharon Goins said. “My son, Brantley McCarty, was the first one in the family to get involved way back when Jerry Lou Schmoker would come get him to help. Then we started helping. Now we’re stepping it up even more.” Goins said she and Billy want to make sure the program continues. “It’s something that needs to go on,” she noted. The Holiday Spirit Meals began the Thanksgiving of 1987. So many people wanted to assist when the news spread, that donations


started coming in, and the Bryant’s opened a special account. As it turned out, there were so many donations and assistance that the special account was untouched that first year. Since 1987, the attendance and deliveries have continued to grow, as well as the volunteers. Some volunteers have been with the Holiday Spirit meals since the beginning, some have passed on, and new volunteers show up every year. “Every part of this effort is a large part,” Goins said. “There are no small parts because it takes everyone to make it the success that it is.” Goins said it is a good feeling to see someone there to eat with the crowd, rather than be at home, alone for the holidays or to see the twinkle in a small child’s eyes when Santa gives them a small toy for Christmas. A lot of work goes into the preparation for each meal. “There is bread to be crumbled, bagged and frozen for the dressing; cornbread to bake, eggs to be cracked; beans and gravy to make, tables to decorate the day before each meal, toys to gather and organize for Santa to hand out at the Christmas meal, desserts to cut and plate…. Just think about what your Grandmother and Mother have done for your family get-together’s at your homes and multiply that times a lot,” Goins said. The Thanksgiving meal includes the traditional turkey and ham along with dressing, giblet gravy, red beans, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, fruit salad, pickles, onions, bread, dessert, tea, coffee or water. Fresh fruit will in place of a dessert for delivered meals. Those eating at the auditorium have the opportunity to visit with others and enjoy the fellowship of Thanksgiving. Carry-out meals are also available.



Since 1884, the Doan’s Picnic has offered a time of celebration, heritage and tradition. On the first Saturday in May, hundreds of visitors gather beneath the tall trees on the lawn of the Doan’s adobe north of Vernon for the oldest continuous celebration of its kind in Texas. The adobe, which still stands and serves as the site of the event, is the oldest structure in Wilbarger County. The Doan’s picnic grew out of a time when the pioneer Doan’s family celebrated May Day with a picnic in nearby Watts Grove. The group repeated it the next year, and the picnic then became a tradition. The late 1880s was a time of cowboys and cattle drives, Indians and pioneers when land was being settled, homesteads were carved out of the wild country, and thousands of longhorns were taken down the Western Trail through what is now Vernon. The cattle were taken across the Red River near Doan’s Crossing, so called after the establishment of the Jonathan Doan’s trading post nearby. Although the once thriving community is gone, the picnic continues as a tribute to early-day settlers, cattle drivers and pioneers. In 1880, C.F. Doan took over the store and built a 30-by50-foot building for the trading post. He also constructed corrals, branding chutes and furnaces for the trail drivers. Within a few years, he had his store in a large double building, and the firm of C.F. Doan and Company was doing a successful business. In fact, when the town of Vernon was settled, a branch store was opened. In 1881, an adobe home for the Doan family was built. The structure, which underwent refurbishing in the 1990’s, still stands today as the oldest house in Wilbarger County. It is located at the end of FMR 924, six miles north and east of the intersection at Hwy. 283 between Vernon and Altus. The adobe building was approved in 1977 for listing in the National Registry of Historic Places and is marked with a medallion from the Texas State Historical Commission. At one time, Doan’s was a thriving community with

several homes, the Bat Cave Café, McBride Hotel, Doan’s store and adobe warehouse, Louie’s blacksmith shop, Dr. F.C. St. John’s drug store, Hufstedler’s wagon yard, Charles Cleveland store, the Cowboy Saloon, headquarters and warehouse of Bar-H Ranch, churches, schools and other buildings. Doan’s was said to be the largest supply house outside of Fort Worth in 1892. Trail drivers, cowboys, buffalo hunters, pioneers, settlers and Indian made Doan’s their stop along the trail. But gradually the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad approached the prairies, and freight cars eventually replaced the trail herders to northern shipping points. Eventually, the community became deserted and now only a few homes occupy the land. The adobe house and granite markers pay homage to the history of the area. The picnic for many years included a variety of event and activities including horse racing, carnival rides, political speeches, music, food and even airplane rides. Crowning of a queen began in 1911, and a king was added in 1939. In 1968, the Doan’s Picnic Association began honoring a man or woman of the year, which changed some 10 years later to honoring both a man and woman. The traditional picnic was held for many years at the original site of Watts Grove, but due to flooding some years back, the event has now been moved to the spacious lawn which surrounds the Doan’s adobe. There visitors can settle beneath the shade of many large trees and watch as a Doan’s Picnic king and queen are crowned, pioneer ranch brands are recorded, Northside High School serves up taste-tempting Texas barbecue right on the spot, and visitors can still walk through the adobe and sign the guest book there. While the picnic is a much simpler event today than it has been in decades past, it remains as a celebration of heritage, tradition and honor of those early pioneers whose fortitude and determination settled the land.

In 1990, the Vernon Street Machine and Classics Association sponsored an event they called the Vernon Super Cruise. Thirty-seven cars showed up, and very few of them actually cruised. Those first efforts, however, have evolved over the past years into an event that brings thousands of vintage and classic cars and vehicles and their owners to the streets of Vernon while an additional several thousand spectators line the curbs to watch, listen to music, host tailgate parties, and enjoy a full schedule of activities. The year 2014 marked the event’s 25th year, and Summer’s Last Blast continues to explode onto the scene each August, drawing visitors from all across the country. In the week preceding the Summer’s Last Blast weekend, concerts, car shows and even a “Redneck” car show are all held at various businesses, while the weekend traditionally kicks off on Friday evening with a rocking concert in Wilbarger Auditorium. In the past, such well-known artists as the Crickets, The Vels, Classic Rock All Stars, Crew Cuts with Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, The Crystals, Kraig Parker, the Legend Lives On, 1964 Beatles Tribute, The Cowsills, The Return Beatles Tribute and Johnny Rogers have been among those entertaining the concert-goers.

Following the concert, Burnout Contests heat up the streets as drivers show off by “smoking their tires” for prizes. Another popular feature at the Burnout site on Friday night has been the BMX Extreme Air Show with demonstrations and high-flying action by the bikers. On Saturday, vintage vehicles and classic cars fill Orbison Park, headquarters for the event, as cruisers wait for the Nostalgic Cruise, the centerpiece of the weekend. The restricted Cruise, for vehicles 1978 and older, begins at 7 p.m., Saturday, filling Wilbarger Street from one side of town to the others while spectators line the curbs with live bands, vendors and a chance to view some of the finest classic, antique and vintage vehicles around. The success of Summer’s Last Blast, which now draws multitudes of visitors of all ages from throughout the United States, is the result of careful planning and dedication by members of the sponsoring organization. Vernon Street Machine and Classics Association members have deliberately stayed focused on their original goal: to bring a quality car event to Vernon. While there are similar car happenings around the country, Summer’s Last Blast remains one of the premiere, “not-tobe” missed events.

2020 OKLAHOMA FREEWHEEL begins in Vernon Texas!




For more information contact

Trevor Steward Co-Owner, Director 918-344-5987


Register at

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s t n e m o M s u o i c e r P g n i r u t p a C

940.261.0198 3515 Paradise St, Vernon, TX

Remembering Terrible Tuesday

by Daniel Walker

completely gone.”

Tuesday, April 10, 1979 seemed like a perfect spring day – right up until a tornado appeared seemingly out of nowhere, cutting a path through Wilbarger County and Vernon that left 11 dead, dozens injured and millions of dollars of property destroyed.

“I was in the middle of the pack and things were flying everywhere when we ran outside. My glasses just lifted off my face (I never found them). The truck driver -- Tony Robinson was the last one out. The wind picked him up at the doorway and threw him. He hit face first into the guardrail. It tore him up real bad.

“It was just a regular old day. It didn’t seem like any storms were in the area. They didn’t even blow the storm sirens till it was at the highway department,” remembered Jessie Appleby. Appleby was working at Cardinal Equipment in east Vernon. He and his coworkers were finishing up a break at the Canton Café around 3:30 p.m. “We always took our break from 3 to 3:30 and went over to the Canton. When it was over, I went to the bathroom. If I hadn’t had to go to the bathroom their might of been a lot of people dead,” Appleby said. “The west overhead door was open and it was bright daylight. I wasn’t in there two minutes and when I came out it was black. I looked out and there was a black wall cloud. “Oh my gosh, there’s a tornado. I immediately ran to the back of the shop and hollered ‘There’s fixing to be a tornado.’ I said, ‘Everybody get to the bar ditch.’ No one gave me any flak or thought I was kidding we just ran. “Just at that time a guy pulling into Vernon came running up, he said ‘I’ve got to use your phone.’ I said, ‘You don’t have time.’ And kept running. He ran inside. That’s where they found him, right where the phone used to be. The building was


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Some of those employees with him were Nathan Christian and secretary Charlene Galloher. He said four people died near where he was at, but none of the employees. He said combines at the business were rolled up into little balls, one was split in half. Wheat straws were driven through cast iron wheels. He said there had been a Coke box machine with 10 cases of bottled coke. When the storm passed the Coke box was gone but the cases were still there. Except each bottle was half filled with mud, while the caps were still on them. “There are so many things you can’t believe could happen,” he said. Appleby and the employees ran for cover as the tornado destroyed the buildings behind them. “We dove over the guardrail and rolled down the hill into the bar ditch and dug into the grass to hold on. “It sucked me up. “Time looked like it stood still – everything was moving in slow motion. I guess I was only conscious for about 20 or 30 seconds but it seemed like a long time though.


“While up there it was clear as it could be. I saw a cow, a pig and a swing seat just rotating around with me. Then something hit me in the back of the head and I blacked out. “It dropped me near Donna Goodrum’s back lot is now. I lay there unconscious till I felt something falling on my face. It felt like snow cone ice hitting me in the face. “I heard a sound like a cannon go off. I looked over and the 369,000-volt high line wire was down and laying next to me.” (Appleby gestures that it was about three feet away.) “’Oh God,’ I thought, ‘I’m about to be fried.’ Three times it popped then it tripped a breaker. The good Lord was with me. “I saw this truck driving right towards me and I thought it was going to run over me. It slid right up to me and stopped. A farmer, LV Hrncirik jumped out. He said, ‘Jessie what are you doing laying on the ground.’ I said, ‘I can’t tell you but I know I can’t move. My right leg is broke for sure. “He carried me in the back of his pickup to the hospital. About 30 o4 40 minutes later they loaded us two at a time into ambulances heading for Wichita Falls. I heard the driver say it looked like the storm was running along beside us. About the time we got there was when a tornado was about to hit Wichita. I said, ‘Hurry up and get me inside. I done been through this once.’ “I looked like I had been run over by a truck – black and blue all over but I lucked out – 31 days later I got back on my feet again. Walking with canes. It took forever to get the wood fragments and glass out of my body. It was an ordeal.” Appleby says that in recent years he’s had to have two back surgeries, two neck surgeries, lost his equilibrium and has arthritis really bad. “I can’t say for sure but I’d guess it has something to do with my health problems,” he said. The psychological scars lingered too. “It doesn’t bother me anymore, no nightmares. It did for a few years. I thank God everyday he brought me through it, it changed my life a lot,” he said. Appleby gives severe weather a wide berth these days. “It’s something you don’t ever forget. I don’t want to go through it again. I’m not going to give it a second chance. When there is a chance for bad weather, I keep an eye on the sky and I give it plenty of room. I don’t take anything for granted.” He offers the same advice for those who don’t take storm warnings seriously: “If you see a cloud coming, don’t let it catch you. Don’t take the weather for granted, that it will be okay.”




Vernon offers a wide variety of dining experiences The city’s location, as a historic crossroads, means that a variety of cultures converge here. This is ranching country and steaks are an integral part of that cultural. Several local restaurants offer great steaks at affordable prices. There are also multiple national and regional chain restaurants. Then there are the pizzas, burgers, catfish, BBQ, Mexican, ethnic, breakfast options -- Vernon has many choices for any taste.



Huddle House, 2824 US-287 W | (940) 552-2514 Good Morning Donuts, 809 Hillcrest Dr. | (940) 553-4489 Herring Bank Coffee Shop, 1900 Pease St. | (940) 553-4200

MEXICAN Arcos Mexican Grill, 5115 College Dr. | (940) 553-7034 Lupes Mexican Restaraunt, 529 US 287 | (940) 552-2622 Brown Cow Family Restaurant, 3205 Expy 287 S | (940) 553-3322 Taco Casa, 4200 College Dr. | (940) 553-3144 Taqueria Jalisco, 3511 Wilbarger St. | (940) 552-5825 Taco Bell, 4112 Hillcrest Plaza | (940) 553-1987

ORIENTAL China Buffet, 2424 Wilbarger St. | (940) 553-1066 Thai Cuisine, 2128 Main St. | (806) 445-6795 Toro Japanese Restaurant, 3108 US-287 W | (940) 886-7480

Bevo’s Drive-In, 4000 Wilbarger St. | (940) 552-2570 Fred’s Corner Grille, 2327 Main St. | (940) 552-2402 McDonald’s, 801 Hillcrest Dr. | (940) 553-1881 Vernon Burger, 2330 Wilbarger St. | (940) 473-5115 Sonic Drive-In, 4004 Wilbarger St. | (940) 553-4733 Braum’s Ice Cream & Burger, 4220 College Dr. | (940) 552-9849 Chicken Shack, 3901 Wilbarger St. | (940) 552-6464 Subway, 4123 Hillcrest Plaza | (940) 552-2227 Sweet Sammie’s, 3723 Wilbarger St. | (940) 886-6778 United Deli, 2900 Wilbarger St. | (940) 552-6551

PIZZA & ITALIAN Mr. Jim’s Pizza - 3926 Willbarger, (940) 552-0095 Pizza Hut, 2230 Wilbarger St. | (940) 553-1806 Little Caesars Pizza, 909 Hillcrest Dr. | (940) 473-5040 Benito’s Italian Cafe & Pizzeria, 4201 College Dr. | (940) 552-9970


CONTINENTAL Punjabi Dhabba, US-287 | (940) 414-2640


Duncan’s Smoke House, 829 Wilbarger St. | (940) 552-2764 Mic’s BBQ, 3011 US-287 W | (940) 552-9190 Cody’s Cowpunchers, (940) 655-8499

Bradford’s Fish Haus, 1601 US-287 | (940) 473-5079

STEAKS Rusty Spur Steakhouse & Saloon, 1117 Hillcrest Dr. | (940) 473-5055 Three Hearts Steakhouse, 1722 Pease St. | (940) 552-0803


| 2019


Quality & Affordable Lodging For The Entire Family Joe Rogers and his wife Joanie own and operate the two largest hotels in Vernon. Rogers Lodging opened Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites in October 2006 - The hotel has been completely remodeled in April 2018 to the New Formula Blue Design for all Holiday Inn Express Hotels and Suites. Rogers Lodging Management and Ownership team is a second-generation family owned business. Sharon and Keith Rogers moved to Vernon in 1974 with three of their children. They purchased and managed the former Best Western Village Inn. Joe Rogers grew up working for his parents where he learned to manage the hotel. After graduating high school, he attended Texas Tech University. After five years, he returned to Vernon to manage the Best Western. Today the business is owned and managed by Joanie and Joe Rogers. They own and manage the Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn in Vernon Texas.


Budget Host Inn, 715 Wilbarger | (940) 552-2531 Days Inn, 3110 U.S. 287 | (940) 552-9982 Green Tree Inn, 3029 Morton | (940) 552-5421 Hampton Inn, 4131 Western Trail | (940) 552-2100 Holiday Inn Express, 700 Hillcrest | (940) 552-0200 Hotel Vernon, 1615 U.S. 287 | (940) 552-5417 La Fonda Motel, 1004 Wilbarger | (940) 553-1533 Super 8 Motel, 1829 U.S. 287 | (940) 552-9321 Pecan Grove Bed & Breakfast, 1904 Houston | (940) 838-8622

Both hotels have earned numerous awards. Newcomer, Quality Excellent, Torchbearer, Best of the Best Executive Housekeeper of North America and Vernon Chamber of Commerce Beautification Award are on that list. The Hampton Inn, built in 2011, is decorated with art from a single photographer. Wyman Meinzer, named so in 1997 by the Texas State Legislature and then Gov. George W. Bush, an honor he still holds today. The Rogers have invested deeply in the community of Vernon through the construction and operation of Vernon’s largest hotels. Joe Rogers has also served the city as Mayor since 2012. The Rogers family welcomes you to Vernon. We know you will be comfortable in our beautiful hotel. Together with our staff we are ready to welcome you to Vernon and assist you in your stay here in Vernon. Have a great time here stay a night or forever.



Your Hometown Gym Since Get the body you’ve always wanted. We’re here to help you achieve your fitness goals and improve your overall health. Our experienced staff members have flexible schedules 1996 to fit your busy life. We have a safe and secure facility with a member-only access door

scan system & 24 hour live stream security system. A playroom for children is also available. No contracts or late fees. Daily rates are available. Ask about our State and Military discounts.

Gymof Bob’s Texas

2428 MAIN VERNON, TX (940) 414-2089 OPEN 24/7

3214 Wilbarger Vernon, TX 940-552-5454 m




“Caring for you and about you”

“No one cares like family”

1720 Hillcrest Drive, Vernon, TX 76384


Services & Techniques At Champions Clinic, we take pride in providing the finest chiropractic wellness care to our patients. Here is a sample of the diverse care that we offer.

In traditional medicine, the focus is to treat the disease once it occurs. At Champions Clinic the focus is on improving your health to reduce the risk of pain and illness. Most would rather be healthy and avoid illness instead of waiting to treat whatever sickness sickne occurs. This is a large part oof why there’s been a larg surge of interest in large C Champions Clinic.

Most neck and uppper back pain is caused by a combbination of factors: • • • •

Poor Posture Chiropractic Suubluxations Stress Disc Problems

Chiropractic Care

We provide advanced spinal correction using advanced chiropractic techniques. With these newer techniques, we can offer a level of help and expertise that was impossible before. They are also safer, more comfortable, and more effective than ever before.

Corrective Exercises

Everybody has their own unique problem that a generalized solution can’t address. We provide our patients specifically tailored exercises that will strengthen their bodies and correct their problem. These exercises can be performed in your home and will improve the effectiveness of your spinal correction by as much as 40%. Not only will this help skeletal misalignment issues, thee exercises will help muscle and connective tissues that are strained by improper alignment and use.

Lifestyle Advice

Many times patients need advice in regards to what kind of activities they should avoid or do differently to avoid aggravating their particular health problem. We want every patient to achieve a fulfilling life filled with with the activities that they enjoy most.

Nutritional Counseling People are recognizing the benefit of seeking an alternative to traditional medicine. They understand that it will help them achieve and maintain optimal health. Take the time to meet the doctor, team, and wellness network that are all dedicated to helping you achieve your wellness objectives.

We offer specific guidance to nutritional supplements and healthy food choices to facilitate your return to wellness. Champions Clinic can provide a structured nutritional program based on your individual needs.

Physical Rehabilitation

To enhance the effects of specific chiropractic adjustments, Champions Clinic also provide the following therapeutic procedures: • Ultrasound • Interferential electrical muscle stimulation • Microamperage neural stimulation • Mechanical traction • Cryotherapy • Diathermy • Moist heat therapy • Work hardening rehabilitation program

Custom Orthotics

How healthy are your feet? Foot imbalances or flat feet can lead to shoulder pain, back pain, hip pain, knee pain, and foot pain.

Dr. Rensay Davis Dr. Chris Beaver, DC

Champions Clinic

Mon.-Thurs. 7:30am-5pm; Fri. 7:30am-Noon; Closed Sat. & Sun.

2934 Kemp Boulevard Wichita Falls, TX 76308 940-264-1960

Have you considered individually designing your own custom orthotics? Here at Champions Clinic we can help perform a foot scan and show you how the imbalances in your feet can lead to pain. This scan will also show you the functionality of the orthotics and how they will help the imbalance you possess.

Let us sell your home! Whether large, medium, or small



Sue Ann Streit Owner/Broker

Jim Surber Agent

Ed Garnett Agent

Becky Johnston Agent

Wilbarger Realty 940-552-0000 Sue Ann Streit, Owner/Broker

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Vernon Texas  

Vernon Texas