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Photo by Geoff Horn, Navasota

www.VisitNavasota.com www.NavasotaGrimesChamber.com


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a navasota grand slam! In the words of amateur golfer, Bobby Jones, co-founder of the Masters Tournament, “Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots - but you have to play the ball where it lies.” WRITTEN BY CONNIE CLEMENTS

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ontractor and developer James (Jim) Hassell is the quintessential self-made man. It began in 2002 when a golf course business venture took a “dogleg” and Hassell went from builder to owner. He fell in love with the game at age 67, and his newest development is taking Navasota’s Pecan Lakes Golf Club and the surrounding area to the next level. Pecan Lakes Golf Club is located off SH 105, 2.5 miles west of downtown Navasota, and is open to the public seven days a week with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Its close proximity to Bryan-College Station and reasonable fees make the Club an ideal regional golf destination. Adjacent to the Navasota Municipal Airport, Pecan Lakes Golf Club ranks high with Aggies who fly in for game day and want to drive a bucket of balls or play a round before or after the game. The 18-hole regulation course designed by golf course architect Jay Riviere features 6,922 yards of course from the longest tee for a par 72 on Bermuda grass. Among clusters of elm, oak and pecan trees are sand traps with water hazards on 15 of the 18 holes. The rolling terrain is walker-friendly but rental carts are available. Don’t be surprised to run into owner and golfer Hassell who plays “three times, four times a week when I can.” When you’re ready to play a round of golf, the Club welcomes walk-ins and also hosts a user-friendly website that makes scheduling tee times easy. The website keeps golfers abreast of daily Internet specials and upcoming events, as well as provides information on annual memberships available for individuals, families, seniors (60 and over) and students (current TAMU or Blinn ID required). It also includes information on membership rates and inclusions—such as tee times available 10 days in advance, GHIN handicap, unlimited range balls, MGA membership and a 10 percent discount on all Pro Shop merchandise.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMILY BOONE Pecan Lakes Golf Club friendly and professional staff members are available to assist with everything from check-in to bar and grill service to event or tournament planning. Regular events on the Pecan Lakes Golf Club calendar include a Thursday Night Scramble and Sunday Skins Game. The Pecan Lakes Golf Club is the site of a number of competitive tournaments throughout the year. Adjacent to Pecan Lakes Golf Club is the future home of Pecan Lakes Estates, developed by partners Hassell and Harlan Jochen of J&H Navasota Development. This upscale community of 75 homes, including eight patio homes along the 18th hole, is designed to attract golfers, pilots, retirees, and families looking for peaceful country surroundings. Remodeling is already underway at the Pecan Lakes Golf Club and design changes include expanding the clubhouse upward as well as outward, plus the addition of an exercise room, a sauna, men’s and women’s locker rooms and showers. The bar and grill will be expanded into a full service restaurant. Also in the works is the formation of a women’s golf league and a “ladies day special” with reduced fees. Pecan Lakes Golf Club’s Jim Hassell has made quite the impact in Navasota. His passion for golf turned a previously flat pasture into the manicured greens Pecan Lakes Golf Club is today. The man who started with a shovel and built his construction business from his garage, and is ever improving on what he has built, believes that even in this day and time success is still attainable regardless of education level. “It depends on the person. It depends on how ambitious you are. How you are going to strive to succeed. Nothing beats working hard for success and reaching for success.”


09 NAVASOTA

Pecan Lakes Golf Club Ratings

Blue box tee: 73.8 with slope of 135 White box tee: 70.5 with slope of 126 Red box tee: 65 with slope of 110 Pecan Lakes Golf Club 2001 Fairway Drive, Navasota, Texas, 77868. For general information, to schedule an event or to book a tee time, call (936) 870-3889 or visit www.pecanlakesgolfclub.net. Like us on Facebook!


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MAGAZINE STAFF CONNIE CLEMENTS Editor

LAURIE J. PEARSON

Pecan Lakes Golf Club

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Letter from the Editor

11

Welcome to Navasota

22

The History of Navasota

25

Leon Collins

28

Gotta Sing the Blues

30

Frank Hamer

33

TRACY MILLER

A Family Legacy

34

JOSEPH SONNIER

Roots Deep in the Heart of Texas

40

SCOTT SCHEINFELD

Ballet Del Sur Navasota

43

La Salle’s Tragic End at Navasota

46

Artists Bring Life to Horlock House

48

Patouts Finds Sweet Success

50

Eat More Beef

53

Gardening with the Masters

56

ErgoGENESIS

58

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

First Aid

60

Show Time

62

Steinhauser’s

64

Flying the Skies of Navasota

66

River Haven - Country Estate Living

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SPINNER AVIATION EMILY BOONE CONNIE CLEMENTS RUSSELL CUSHMAN GEOFF HORN RHONDA KUYKENDALL BERT MILLER SHARON MURRY KATHLEEN TERRELL

Where Texas Became Texas

70

Heavenly Places

74

Jollisant Farms

76

Principal

Navasota Area Chamber of Commerce

80

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Calendar of Events

82

713-302-0555 WWW.OURTEXASTOWN.COM

So Much, So Close

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From Mayor Bert Miller

Art Director

KATIE MECHAM Graphic Designer

JOHNNY MCNALLY Chamber Consultant

PRODUCTION STAFF SHAY TIDWELL Production Manager

BONNIE M c FERREN Bookkeeping Accounting IT Consultant

Printing Coordinator

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS CONNIE & MICHAEL ARDEN SHARON BRASS CONNIE CLEMENTS JESSICA CLEMENTS RUSSELL CUSHMAN SCOTT MCDONALD JACLYN RITTER

REAL PROPERTY LUXURY GROUP, LLC GEORGE LANE

© Copyright 2016 - Real Property Luxury Group, LLC All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.

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11 Each Texas town has its own unique story but they all share a common thread – their founders had a pioneering spirit and braved the unknown to put down roots. In Navasota, we want to share our story with you.

A native-born Houstonian, I am fortunate that my move to Navasota in 2009 had a better outcome than that of French explorer Rene Robert Cavelier de LaSalle who you will read about. From there it only got better as Judge James Nolan, the “Father of Navasota,” put out the welcome mat on Washington Avenue complete with a blacksmith’s shop, a tavern and quite the unusual entertainment – you’ll have to read the full story to learn more! Much has changed since those early days, but the welcome mat remains for residents and businesses alike. We are delighted that corporations like ErgoGenesis have responded to Navasota’s business-friendly environment. Likewise, the close proximity of Navasota’s municipal airport with its 5,003-foot runway that serves private jets and small and large turbo props makes it especially attractive to those doing business at Texas A&M University and the nearby biomedical corridor. Moreover, Navasota is poised for growth with the addition of its newest subdivision, the upscale Pecan Lakes Estates.

NAVASOTA M

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In this inaugural issue of Navasota we are proud to share with you the life stories of heroes like Frank Hamer and entrepreneurs like the Patouts and Terrells who brought commerce to Navasota but left their footprint worldwide. And when you read about Generation X siblings Josh, Jennifer and Jon C. Fultz, who choose to continue their family legacy of service here at home in Navasota, you’ll find comfort knowing that our town’s future is solid.

It has been a great honor for me to be a contributor to this magazine and we are grateful to our advertisers. We also are especially grateful to you, the reader. We invite you to become part of Navasota’s history—and future—by planting your own business or family roots here with us. If you are not ready to make the move permanently, make us your starting point for a day or a weekend as you fan out to see what’s in Navasota’s backyard. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

L ETTER F ROM THE

As a transplant from the Big City seeking the peace and quiet of a small town, I found life in Navasota to offer the best of all worlds. Take a look at our Navasota – So Much, So Close map and you will see that our town is ideally situated for the enjoyment of arts, culture, recreation and sporting events - all within a half-hour drive. And if you have a hankering to satisfy those rustic cowboy roots Saturday morning, the Navasota Livestock Auction and Cow Talk Café are just down the road.

Photography by Connie Clements


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We want to help you build your history in Grimes County - one closing at a time just as we have for others in over one hundred years of history.

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Title Production Manager

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Greetings and welcome to Navasota, Texas! No matter if you are new, just visiting, or have lived here for many years, thank you for spending time with us. We have a close, friendly, caring community of people who live and work here and our roots go back well over 170 years when the city was founded by cotton farmers and ranchers and later the arrival of the railroads. You can find us easily, on State Highway 6 between College Station & Houston. Navasota has several new housing subdivisions to choose from, as well as senior housing options, live theatre, a historic movie theater, a large number of city owned parks for outdoor entertainment, golfing at Pecan Lakes Country Club, great downtown shopping, and a wide variety of dining options as well as senior activities, and numerous youth sports programs year-round. Navasota was awarded Train Town USA in 2012 by Union Pacific Railroad and has been certified by the Texas Department of Agriculture as a GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Community. We were also recognized by KaBoom! as a Playful USA community and the Texas legislature designated us as “The Blues Capital of Texas”, as Navasota is where blues songster Mance Lipscomb was born and lived. You can visit bronze statues of Lipscomb, along with famous French explorer LaSalle and Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, who was city marshal here and who led the search and eventual demise of Bonnie & Clyde. Navasota boasts the employment of well over 1500 in our industrial park where companies produce items that are shipped all over the world. Manufacturing, research & logistics are just some of the industries located here, including one that is the world’s largest manufacturer of drill pipe and another that located their world headquarters right here in Navasota. Navasota takes pride as a clean, relaxing, historical & safe community and is a growing suburban area where commercial development, along with residential communities, grow and prosper while keeping that small town life very much alive. Many folks visit to see the beauty of the landscape, including the stately oaks among Victorian & Gothic style homes. We have a quality school district, home of the 2012 & 2014 state football champion Rattlers as well as local medical facilities, and close access to metropolitan areas. I also invite you to enjoy our annual festivals like Home for the Holidays, the Navasota Blues Festival, Independence Daze, Texas Birthday Bash, Lamborghini Festival or nearby at the Texas Renaissance Festival. We also have a six flags display that is the gateway to Washington-On-The-Brazos State Park, where Texas independence was signed. We want to be the place you call home. You can find out even more about Navasota by visiting our website at www.VisitNavasota.com or www.NavasotaTx.gov. Sincerely,

Bert Miller Mayor of Navasota


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25 NAVASOTA

the history of

WRITTEN BY RUSSELL CUSHMAN

Photo courtesy of Russell Cushman


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greatest mystery of all about Navasota is the origin of its poetic sounding name. It is probably a Native American phrase. In the Yoeme dialect, a

southwestern

culture

that

once

traveled and traded all over Texas, the words “nava” and “sota” easily translate into prickly pear and pot. To a Native American, a storage pot of prickly pears was the symbol of prosperity. The prickly pear was a major source of food for most of the nomadic coastal tribes who especially sought and enjoyed the prickly pear fruit known as tunas. Navasota is a good location to establish the easternmost native range of this anciently important natural resource.

Opportunity knocks “Judge” James Nolan was the “Father of Navasota” and could have been the inspiration for many legends of the Old West, similar to Judge Roy Bean. Nolan’s little outpost on the LaBahia Trail was called Nolanville. It sat at the crossroads of a Native American hunting trail called the Coushatti Trace and the LaBahia Trail blazed by the Spanish, and the fork of Brazos and Navasota Rivers – which now rested in the path of the Houston & Texas Central Railroad. While the statesmen and captains of industry at Washington argued about the future of Texas and the pros and cons of rails, the frontiersmen across the river made schemes of their own. Suddenly Washington was out of the picture, and in another date with destiny, Nolan was sitting on the geographical hot spot of Texas. “Old Washington” as they called it, turned out to be just a caterpillar curling up in its own self-imposed cocoon while Nolan’s river bottom refuge became its butterfly. An opportunistic innkeeper, Nolan hosted the only place within a day’s ride to find refuge in a vast wilderness where buffalo and panthers and a few Native American Indians still roamed. Judge Nolan was the self-appointed sheriff, judge and criminal justice system of his own chiefdom. An early historian of Navasota wrote that Judge Nolan had his “double log house” on the eastern edge of town where there was a blacksmith shop and a very small store. His cotton fields surrounded the town extending to the lots now occupied by the various churches on Church and Holland Streets.

An old Indian trail renamed the “Houston Road” intersected the LaBahia Trail around where Church Street dead ends into Washington Avenue. Here was the original crossroads of town – somewhere near the Navasota Medical Center – where Judge Nolan had a blacksmith patching wagon wheels and a bear on a chain to entertain customers while they waited. He took bets on wrestling matches between the bear and his customers. He had a few groceries for sale and trafficked in whatever might be traded in those times: hides, cotton, beef, tobacco, horses, slaves and especially whiskey. You could find lodging in one of his outbuildings if you were not too picky. The Judge owned a crude tavern, which was basically a flop house where all walks of life found a small uncomfortable place to sleep. Nolan’s ruffians built the town of their own dreams and that meant stores, hotels, saloons and few brothels in between. Slowly the area became famous for prime river bottom farmland and wide-open opportunity. A tourist resort, one of the first in Texas, was established east of Navasota at Piedmont called Piedmont Springs where Sam Houston and his associates would meet, dine, dance and soak themselves in the healing natural saunas of its sulfurous springs. There was the Camp Inn and Freeman Inn, and Henry Fanthorp had built a two-story stagecoach inn in Anderson, which still entertains visitors today at Fanthorp Inn State Park. The H&TC rails were completed in Navasota in 1859, and as the first flat cars full of celebrating passengers arrived, Judge Nolan set off the “firing of an anvil” that was supposed to send an anvil hundreds of feet into the air. Instead the thing misfired and the box exploded like a makeshift bomb. Luckily, there were no casualties.

All roads led to Navasota The first framed residence on the main street was built by J.T. McNair who served meals for 25 cents but it inevitably became a saloon. Almost everyone else lived in tents or makeshift shelters. Soon the P.A. Smith Hotel was constructed out of native sandstone on Railroad Street. Not to be outdone, Judge Nolan built a bigger tavern out of hand-hewn timbers at the tracks. Investors built huge warehouses all along the tracks in anticipation of the big business that was to come. Right before the war, Railroad Street had become the heartbeat of Navasota with a hotel, grocer, jeweler, restaurant and various professional offices. Judge Nolan’s strip ran along Washington Avenue with a tavern, barber shop, “ten pin alley,” post office, restaurant and other necessities. The stagecoach came from Huntsville and Anderson every day as all roads led to this major crossroads of Texas.


Ferry crossing the Navasota River Photo courtesy of Russell Cushman

Soon many train cars loaded with supplies and general merchandise began to arrive in Navasota, and for a short time Navasota provided everything to most of central Texas. Ox-drawn wagons came from all directions carrying fresh hides, bales of cotton, grain, wool, meat and lumber to be processed and crated and shipped to Galveston. Dr. Kilpatrick, an early doctor and historian, noted that with such plentitude came the greedy and predators… “In those days, where there assembled such crowds of men, many of whom were rough, passionate and full of wickedness, there were many scenes of crime and lawlessness.” Of course, there was a large stable of doctors to patch them up and even more lawyers to keep them out of jail.

Ravages of war Then came the Civil War and all of the progress in townbuilding halted. Still, telegraph lines were erected in 1862, probably as a military necessity. During the Civil War, D. Smith produced barrels for the war effort and organized the local ladies in sewing uniforms for the soldiers. While a Confederate camp guarded the railhead 10 miles north of Navasota at Millican, cotton bales from the Brazos Valley littered the streets awaiting shipment. Arms were produced in Anderson and sent to Galveston. And as Navasota became a relay and storage facility for the Confederacy, a great deal of military supplies were stored in local warehouses. So it was the presence of the railroad that spelled imminent disaster for the town in its infancy.

Navasota endures The town chose to rebuild and officially incorporated in 1866. Yet there were more terrible fires – significant town fires in 1868, two in 1869 and then again a serious holocaust in 1873. Each time the town licked its wounds and built on top of the ruins. There was an occasional loss of life but nothing compared to the yellow fever epidemic in 1867. Still rebuilding after the disastrous fire in 1865, Navasota was struck with a deadly outbreak of yellow fever, providing its worst setback ever. It began with the shock of 15 deaths in August of that year. Two-thirds of the approximate population of 3,000 evacuated, including the public leaders and the mayor. Of those that remained, 20 percent died. All that remained were the sick and dying and those caring for them. In September, 119 perished. Strangely, the African American residents seemed to be immune. In October, another 39 fell to the disease. By November it was finally over but such a mysterious and deadly plague had sent the healthy population in all directions. The death toll was easily over 200 and still Navasota endured. The people returned. And new people filled in where others had fled.

Photo courtesy of Russell Cushman

27 NAVASOTA

At the end of the war, hundreds of wandering and homeless Confederate veterans congregated at Navasota, the proverbial “end of the line.” General Custer was brought in with troops and stationed in Hempstead to keep the peace. When the scavenging soldiers discovered the Navasota warehouses packed with war provisions, clothing, weapons and gunpowder, and they had just lost the war due to the lack of these things, they began to look upon those warehouses with suspicion and contempt. There has never been a good explanation for how it happened, but somehow Parker Smith’s warehouse, which was loaded to the gills with gunpowder, was set on fire and exploded in 1865. Cotton, grapeshot and bundles of bayonets went in every direction and half of the downtown business district was burned to the ground. While other towns in Texas had escaped the ravages of the war, Navasota felt it full force and found herself starting almost from scratch.


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WRITTEN BY CONNIE CLEMENTS PHOTOGRAPHY BY CONNIE CLEMENTS uch has been written about Navasota’s local street artist Leon Collins. To be honest, I don’t know that I can add much more. But what I can tell you that you might not know is that he is 54 years old and he is Leon “the third,” named after his daddy, and his daddy’s daddy. Leon is a fixture on Washington Avenue – the main drag of downtown Navasota – usually found at Tejas Antiques or Blues Alley, sometimes painting and sometimes just sitting and watching the world around him.

Leon was in a sitting mood when we talked. It was a hot Sunday afternoon but I wasn’t about to suggest we go into the air conditioning when I could sit with him in his element. Sitting on the bench in front of Blues Alley, feeling the summer heat, taking in the sounds of traffic and trains, and listening to Leon’s slow, deep voice, I was feeling life in a way that you just can’t experience under fluorescent lighting and in an air-conditioned space.


29 NAVASOTA

Leon described his life through a series of vignettes. While the circumstances varied in place and time, their common thread was “Big Mama,” Leon’s great-grandmother on his mother’s side. After several forays into painting in California in 1971 and again in Navasota in 1992, Leon finally found his muse and inspiration painting what was closest to his heart. If Leon is the man behind the painting, Big Mama is the woman behind the man. “I used to love to write stories so I would write down everything she told me about her life and what went on with me living with her and my greatgrandfather. I compiled about 9,000 pages of Big Chief tablet stories. One day I decided to start putting those stories to life through my painting. That’s what really brought it on,” shared Leon. When asked if he has ever refused to sell a painting, he said he hadn’t. “I never have refused because of one factor – I haven’t finished my book yet. I mean to take all those stories and put them into paintings where it will be a multitude of paintings that tell the complete story from beginning to end.”

Leon calls living with Big Mama the closest to Heaven he will ever be. He recalled a time as a teenager when he left California to come back to Big Mama. “I got to Brazoria and the bus station, stopped and got me an RC soda. I’ll never forget it…an RC soda and three packs of cigarettes. I ducked in the woods and looked like lightening I was movin’ so fast. I guess it was about mid-December. It was pretty cold. I had a wool sweater on and blue jeans but I could smell that old wood in the air. Now, you keep in yo’ mind that everybody back there in them woods had wood heaters and they was all burning at the same time but I could smell the wood that was burning in Big Mama’s old heater. I know where it be coming from. I crossed that old ditch, and Lord have mercy that was Heaven! Close as I thought I’d ever be. If I never made it to Heaven, that was close enough for me.” Leon continued, “I could see her a mile away with that old green apron on and she could see me. When I got closer, she said ‘What you doin’ here? I thought you was going to stay in California and graduate and make something out of yo’ self.’ I said ‘Big Mama, I made something out of myself the first time you put your arms around me and said I love you.’” Recovering from clearly an emotional moment, Leon said, “She always told me to do good toward other people because that’s for them. ‘You don’t worry about nobody liking you. You picture in your heart why you like them,’ she would say.”

A tragic event in Leon’s life was the death of his younger brother. “My brother died and that was my world, too. Georgie died at 11 years old trying to stop our neighbors from fighting with butcher knives in the backyard” - in a fight that spilled over to Big Mama’s. “We had a great big 100-year-old dropwell made out of them big boulders. We heard a commotion and they was fighting. Georgie ran out there trying to separate them. He slipped, fell into that well, and was dead before he hit the water. Big Mama took a chain and put it around my waist and lowered me down into that well to pull his body out. That was the most tragic time in my life.” Sadly, Leon experienced another tragedy recently when a house fire destroyed everything he owned. “Unfortunately, when my house burned down, I lost all of my stories. Now it’s painstaking to go back in my mind and remember everything and write down everything, and that is what I’m starting to do all over again. That happens. It’s called life.”

The attraction to Leon’s primitive, vibrant artwork inspired by words in a Big Chief tablet has spread far beyond the confines of Navasota’s Blues Alley. Collectors can be found in New York, Rhode Island, New England, California and New Mexico, and includes a top executive for a South Africa international oil and gas company. So what exactly does Leon contemplate sitting on the bench? “Most of the time I be thinking about past time, past life and enjoyment that I had during my life, and most of all being thankful that God is letting me be here today. Worrying about stuff adds not another day to my life. Every day of my life is the very best day I ever had.”


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Blues Fest Honors Songster Mance Lipscomb WRITTEN BY CONNIE CLEMENTS Beau De Glen Lipscomb was born April 9, 1895, at Michelborough Farm on the Navasota River a few miles north of Navasota. It’s been said that Lipscomb changed his name to Mance as a play on the word “emancipation.” In the environment that existed 30 years post Civil War, it might have been difficult to predict his popularity as a world-renowned musician 65 years later.

“Myself as an example”

Photo Courtesy of Russell Cushman

in 1960 by Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records. His debut at the 1961 Berkeley Folk Festival made him an overnight celebrity.

From 1973 to 1979, fellow musician Glen Alyn interviewed Lipscomb, transcribed 1,600 pages of taped conversations and compiled an oral autobiography titled, “I Say Me a Parable,” loosely meaning “I use myself as an example.”

Alyn wrote, “Mance traveled all over the country playing his music and influencing such musicians as Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal. But he always remained rooted in the life of Navasota.”

Alyn wrote, “Mance grew up in the days of steam locomotives, mule-drawn wagons and plows, and horsedrawn buggies. Airplanes did not exist. By his death (in 1976) he had flown on airliners to gigs all across the United States and had seen a man walk on the moon, via television – a medium of communication that not even Jules Verne had imagined in 1895. He was born in an era when African-Americans were denied the right to vote. He lived to witness the enactment and enforcement of the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.”

In the early 1990s, Alyn and other musicians paid tribute to Lipscomb by funding a scholarship for a Navasota High School graduating senior, thus beginning The Mance Lipscomb Scholarship Fund. In 1996, Navasota hosted its first Navasota Blues Festival – a labor of love in memory of Lipscomb by Alyn, Mark and Nancy Bingham Bouliane, Richard Chase and John M. Fultz. The festival continued with the support of citizens, businesses and blues lovers, and in 2004 it became The Navasota Blues Fest, Inc. (Fest).

Except for the two years when he worked in Houston, Mance spent his entire life farming in the area he called his “precinct,” the confluence of Brazos, Grimes and Washington counties and the location of Allen Farms.

In 2005, the Texas legislature named Navasota “The Blues Capital of Texas” in honor of Mance Lipscomb. Over the past 20 years, Fest has awarded 23 scholarships to graduating seniors, and Fest Director Jo Crawford reports attendance figures of 1,000 to 1,200 people each year. These attendance numbers allowed organizers to increase The Mance Lipscomb Scholarships to $1,000 and the Mance Lipscomb Continuing Education Scholarships to recipients who stay in college to $750. Previous scholarship winners’ areas of study include dance, education, microbiology, music, nursing, premed and social work. The scholarships are awarded each year at Fest, the second weekend in August, by Jimmy Lipscomb, grandson of Mance Lipscomb.

From songster to Texas bluesman The son of a professional fiddler, and nephew and brother to other musicians, Lipscomb received his first guitar at age 11 from his mother. He learned to play and then joined his father, eventually going out on his own. Lipscomb considered himself a “songster” rather than a blues musician. Songsters pre-dated the blues and performed a wide variety of folk songs, ballads, dance tunes and minstrel shows when African-Americans were able to travel and make a living after the Civil War. Though Lipscomb was a prolific songster in central Texas and had rubbed shoulders with other early recording artists like Jimmy Rodgers, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Blind Willie Johnson, he was officially “discovered”

Mance’s legacy

For scholarship information, email scholarship@navasotabluesfest.org Visit Fest on the web www.navasotabluesfest.org


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33 NAVASOTA

WRITTEN BY CONNIE CLEMENTS

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avasota probably owes its law-abiding, peaceful existence to former city marshal and Texas Ranger Frank A. Hamer. Hamer served as Navasota’s city marshal for only two years but in that time brought order to where “the lawless element of the town was among the worst anywhere.” Hamer was born March 17, 1894, in what is now Floresville, Texas. As a youth he found himself at a crossroads of good versus evil a couple of times but April 21, 1906, at the age of 22, he joined the Texas Rangers. John H. Jenkins and H. Gordon Frost in their biography of Hamer’s life, “I’m Frank Hamer,” described the 6 foot 3 inch, 193 pound Hamer as a crack shot, agile, wiry with muscles hardened by the hard work of blacksmithing, having an inherited intelligence with an Indian’s cunning and animal’s senses.

Frank Hamer during his tenure as Navasota’s city marshal

duty, and many of the town’s wide-open dice and poker games quietly closed down. The horse races and cock fights moved away. Quietly and thoroughly, Frank cleaned up the town” and was said to have “singlehandedly made Navasota a safe place to live” by the end of 1910. On April 20, 1911, the man with a reputation of “being quiet, steady and a gentleman” resigned his position as Navasota city marshal to work as a special officer for Houston Mayor Baldwin Rice.

When the Navasota city Over the next 44 years council approached Hamer, Hamer was engaged in they were desperate to solving crimes of that era – find someone to take the patrolling the border and job because the previous intercepting arms to Pancho marshal stayed only Villa, apprehending whiskey one week. The Navasota A statue of Frank Hamer stands on the grounds of Navasota’s city hall. It was sculpted by Navasota painter, sculptor, historian and runners on the border during Examiner-Review reported blogger, Russell Cushman, who called it “the greatest commission of my life.” Photo by Bert Miller. prohibition and investigating that there were “literally communist organizers on dozens of shoot-outs in the Texas’ docks and oilfields in the 1930s. The most notable country during 1906, 1907 and 1908, and at least 100 event of his remarkable career was the relentless 102 citizens had met violent deaths.” day pursuit of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker and Hamer’s first day on the job was Dec. 3, 1908, and he was ending their murderous crime spree. immediately tested by a member of one of Navasota’s Texas Ranger Captain Frank A. Hamer died July 10, old families on its “muddy, rain soaked main street.” In 1955, at the age of 71 remembered for his fearlessness, that incident and others where residents thought their integrity, intelligence, his dedication to law enforcement status put them above the law, Hamer administered and refusal to quit until a case was solved. justice swiftly, without favor and his protection extended to Navasota’s black residents living in the era of Jim Crow and segregation. According to Jenkins and Frost’s biography, it took only a few such incidences and “word spread that Navasota had a city marshal who was not afraid to perform his

Photo Source: “I’m Frank Hamer” by John H. Jenkins and H. Gordon Frost


WRITTEN BY CONNIE CLEMENTS PHOTOGRAPHY BY CONNIE CLEMENTS

rmed with college degrees and the optimism of youth, many small town sons and daughters leave their rural life for the bright lights of the big city to blaze new trails. However, for three Navasota siblings, Josh, Jennifer and Jon C. Fultz, the desire to stay in Navasota far exceeded their desire to leave. Why did they come back? Why do they feel such a strong need to give back to the community? For them, there really is no place like home.

Navasota siblings Jennifer, Josh and Jon C. Fultz on the stairwell of their grandparents former home now the office of Fultz and Fultz, Attorneys at Law.

Navasota’s newly elected city councilman, a 1996 graduate of Navasota High School and Sam Houston State University alumni may have physically left Navasota for a while but his heart never did. Josh explained that after his parent’s divorce at age 4, his weekdays were spent with his mother in Conroe where “I was one in 70,000!”

Serving where the heart is He described it as a place of anonymity where you went to the movies, to the grocery store and “nobody has a clue who you are.” His weekends in Navasota with his father were a different story. “When I came to Navasota on the weekends…I saw everybody that I knew and that’s not even really getting out. On a trip to Wal-Mart, you see a lot of people. A lot of people went to school with my parents, knew my grandparents, know all my cousins. There is something comforting in that. That is what keeps me wanting to be here.” Josh is also the father of 9-year old Jadyn who was diagnosed with Charge Syndrome, an extremely complex syndrome involving extensive medical and physical difficulties that differ from child to child. The comfort Josh found growing up in Navasota now extends to his daughter.

The former home of Artie Fultz Davis.


Josh Fultz being sworn in as Navasota’s newest city council member

The seeds of service to others were sown by his parents, John M. Fultz and Patti Sexton, as well as his grandmother, Artie Fultz Davis. Josh said, “I come from a very different background with my father being an attorney and my mother being a single mother. I was shown two lifestyles – one less concerned with money and one that was pinching pennies. That combination is what makes me who I am. My mom has always taught me to serve others and be a servant. She worked for the Montgomery County Women’s Center and had us work with her and give out food during Christmas, really helping spiritually, while my dad was always helping folks with legal issues. Both of those things are what gave me insight on how to connect well with different people.” Of his grandmother Artie Fultz Davis, Navasota’s first female mayor and the only female county attorney in Grimes County, Josh says she was gentle, treated everyone with respect and “tried to instill into us grace.” “I’d say that having a servant’s heart and unconditional love are the things that I keep with me when I’m working or dealing with people.”

As a 10-year-old boy, Josh was often seen riding his bicycle through the neighborhood to volunteer at the Navasota Theater Alliance (NTA). Later, at age 17,

he became the youngest NTA president. Josh has been an active supporter of the Navasota Blues Fest, is a Mason and currently the vice president of Texas Chargers, a support group for parents of children with Charge Syndrome. His “servant’s heart” and his philosophy that “everybody has feelings and you don’t know what their shoes are like until you get in them, and there is no way to get in them so there is no way to know” has prepared him to be an adviser and encourager to new parents coming into the Texas Chargers “family.” Reflecting on those first few days and weeks of Jadyn’s life, Josh said, “It wasn’t until about three or four weeks being there (at Texas Children’s Hospital) that we finally saw a doctor who said ‘congratulations on your new baby.’ It’s a much different experience with a newborn so every time a new family comes to our organization, the first thing I tell them is ‘congratulations’ because I know they don’t hear it.”

Josh’s advice to people floundering in life is to “get out and become involved.” Josh said, “I would encourage folks who feel the community is not reaching out to them to reach out to the community. Get involved with something - theater alliance, the schools, the library - you get so much more back when you’re giving to other people. To me, community service is important because your community is only as good as the people that serve it. Giving back gives you a sense of ownership. That is the fulfillment that I get – as much as I put into it, I get out of it.”

After graduating from Navasota High School in 1999 and Cum Laude from Texas A&M University in 2003 with a BBA in Management, Jennifer Fultz’s life working for a nonprofit in the Dallas area would only be temporary. The soft-spoken but purposeful young attorney said, “I was not a big city girl. There was no sense of community. I always knew I wanted something like Navasota where I could plant my roots.” She continued, “This community has been home to me and it was where I wanted to be long term, partly because my family is here and partly because I like the feeling of going into Brookshire Brothers and seeing people I know.” Jennifer‘s heart was in serving a nonprofit but when her grandmother Artie Fultz Davis died, she decided to study law and discovered the affinity for the law her grandmother had foreseen. The family home of her grandmother now serves as the law office of Fultz & Fultz Attorneys at Law, and Jennifer treasures the unique opportunity to practice her craft in the room that once belonged to her aunt, Bonnie Fultz Armstrong. Her brother Jon offices in their father, John M. Fultz’s childhood bedroom, and their father’s office was formerly his parent’s bedroom.

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“Now with my daughter I feel like I have the whole town as my cheering squad. Any time I put Jadyn on Facebook, people say, they can’t believe she’s doing that. Although I left to go to college in Huntsville, I’ve just not really thought of being anywhere else but here.”


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Attorney Jennifer Fultz enjoys the family scrapbook celebrating the accomplishments of her grandmother Artie Fultz Davis.

Jennifer is on the board of the Navasota ISD Education Foundation and serves on the City of Navasota’s Economic Development Committee. However, “with a heart for Navasota ISD” she and friends Melissa Fogarty, Sarah Korpita and Martha Russell asked themselves what they could do to make a difference in the Navasota community, but specifically in the Navasota Independent School District (NISD). The four friends formed the nonprofit, For the Love of Grimes County, and embarked on a literacy campaign supporting NISD’s Read 20 program that fosters an awareness of the importance of reading and encourages adults to read to, or with, a child 20 minutes each day. For the Love of Grimes County also sought to simplify the school volunteer process by assisting school administrators in pairing willing volunteers with volunteer opportunities. Since formation, the organization has hosted two successful STEM Nights (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) that have brought children and parents together with local business leaders, Texas A&M University students and a host of volunteers for a fun and unique way of learning about those subjects. Jennifer’s advice to students and their families is that education is the key and needs to be a priority made by families from generation to generation.

Jennifer believes everyone benefits from being held to expectations. On children and education, she said, “If we believe that good enough is good enough, that is the message they are receiving.” For local businesses this means a clean, customer-friendly atmosphere with competitive prices. For residents, it’s taking pride in their neighborhoods. ”If we look at every aspect of our community and we say more is required, and that is what we’re asking, I think it is what people will give. It requires us to say we want more from our leadership who then wants more from their staff who provides more to the community.”

Jennifer is visibly moved when talking about the determination of their grandmother who grew up picking cotton in Iola but wanted more for her family. In 1928, 20-year-old Artie Fultz Davis became the youngest woman to ever pass the Texas State Bar exam - without formal law school training. Jennifer said of her grandmother, “She changed the course of our family. She is the example of drive and determination that made a difference for herself and us. The example was ‘you can do whatever you want to do.’ When you grow up with that expectation there is no limit to what you can do.” Reflecting on the family’s legacy of service, Jennifer said, “There are people who are less fortunate and need someone to stand up on their behalf. What I’ve been taught from our family is - that is who we are. We fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. We’re not alone here. We’re part of this place and we’re charged with making it a better place.” Maybe that was the expectation for us - that we would be part of the growth and life of the community.”

Artie Fultz Davis Houston Chronicle November 12, 1980

A career in law was not a foregone conclusion for this 1990 Navasota High School graduate. That kinship was felt six years later after graduation from Texas A&M University when “Jon C.,” as he is called, said he “came of age” at South Texas College of Law in Houston. Now a partner at Fultz and Fultz Attorneys at Law and current Grimes County Attorney, Jon says, “In my final days at South Texas I realized that I had a gift that had been given to me by my grandparents who started this firm in the 1930s. Our firm was always one that wanted to help the little guy.” Jon continued, “When a case comes in here, my heart is thinking I want to solve your problem. If I can get it done in five minutes and you pay nothing, I want to do that. I recognized that about this firm, about how my grandmother had worked so hard for this community for so long and just enjoyed being a member of the community. Navasota has always been a neat place to me.”


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Jon C. Fultz, the Grimes County Attorney in the family’s law library at Fultz and Fultz, Attorneys at Law.

Honesty and helping others are just two of the values Jon learned from his family. “Knowing our practice had been one that helped people, where you’d take chickens as payment or you take payment plans, or sometimes you are OK with not getting paid - it’s heartwarming to help those people who are appreciative,” he explained. Jon acknowledges that it is still a business. “You’ve got to pay the bills but it gives you an opportunity to be able to help folks who really need the help.” Has this humanitarianism balanced out? According to Jon, it certainly has. “Absolutely! I’m able to take care of my family and pay the bills we have. I live a modest life,” referring to his 1996 pickup truck with 240,000-plus miles. “It’s very rewarding. Yes, it balances out.”

Jon is a former president of the Navasota ISD Education Foundation and a Mason, but he may be remembered most for his decision to donate part of his liver in 2007. “I had a friend beginning to suffer the ill effects of a liver disorder. It wasn’t hepatitis or cirrhosis. It was idiopathic but his liver was failing. If you had a friend who was dying and you could do something about it, it’s a no-brainer. You just do it,” shared Jon.

Jon’s familial ties to the Grimes County attorney’s office are visible in photos in the hallway and in the archives at the Grimes County courthouse in Anderson, Texas. His grandfather, Joseph D. Fultz, was elected in 1941 and 1957. His grandmother, Artie Fultz Davis, twice completed Joe’s terms of office – once when he left during the 1940s war years and again when he died in 1964. On maintaining the boundaries as county attorney and his private practice, Jon said, “The county is my priority, but knowing that I could help my father keep the doors open on a firm that was started in the 1930s is something I wanted to do. I can offer folks assistance in a way that’s totally different from what I do at the county. Never is it a question of do I reduce the amount of effort that I give the county. It is always a question of how do I limit what is done here.” Despite frustration with the “organizational structure our framers gave us,” Jon said serving as county attorney has opened his eyes to “what counties look like, the deficiencies of the law when it comes to counties, how hamstrung they are.” As elected officials, Jon stated, “It’s certainly important that we all be willing to be reasonable, be willing to listen and at least consider what other folks have to say. That we see in their eyes our own humanity, and that we try to determine what is best for the people who put us in the position - what is best for the little segment of humanity that is Grimes County and Navasota.”

Jon strives to instill in his children the same values his parents and grandparents instilled in him. He tells his two children, “Show up early, stay late, have a happy face on, do the right things, take care of people and don’t be consumed with the burden work is to you but with the opportunity to engage with other people and it will work out.” For those struggling to succeed, he advises, “Develop a sense of ownership in what you do, become invested and understand the gravity of being the face of the business.” According to Jon, “If you find something you are passionate about and at the same time you can take care of other people, you can’t go wrong.”

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Sixty percent of Jon’s liver was transplanted at the Mayo Clinic and his remaining 40 percent regenerated itself. He said, “That was operation No. 60 (performed by the Mayo Clinic) and there have been over 200 now with a pretty good success rate and no fatalities. It seems to me there really wasn’t a choice.”


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WRITTEN BY SCOTT MCDONALD PHOTOS COURTESY OF KATHLEEN TERRELL HE CIVIL WAR. The Battle of San Jacinto. “Remember the Alamo” cry. Pallbearer for Texas A&M University’s first Reveille mascot. What do all of these have in common? Navasota resident Kathleen Terrell and her family’s rich, local history. In fact, Kathleen’s Navasota roots go so far back that the family cotton business precedes the Civil War. Her multifaceted life has an equally, if not more, colorful history.

It all began in the 1840s when the Terrell family traveled from Georgia to Texas and settled in Grimes County between Navasota and Anderson. As cotton farmers, they worked the land for about 50 years before moving the entire farming operation to Allen Farm in the Brazos Valley along the Brazos River; the Terrell Farm still operates there today. From 1890 to 1940, the Terrell Brothers - E.H. Terrell, Rob Terrell, William Terrell and A.P. Terrell - lived and worked in the Navasota area in a number of industries. They were cotton farmers, bankers, lawyers, real estate developers, cotton ginners and merchants.

In 1942, Kathleen’s father, William J. “Billy Joe” Terrell, graduated from Navasota High School as valedictorian and attended Texas A&M University in the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets. It was during this time that Billy Joe served as a pallbearer for the original Texas A&M University mascot, Reveille. One of the brightest engineers in the country, Billy Joe worked for Gulf Oil in the Beaumont/Orange/Port Arthur area known as Texas’ Golden Triangle from 1947 to 1953, before returning to Navasota to help run Terrell Farm from 1954 to 2013. In 2010, he was recognized for his lifelong dedication as an Aggie and contributor to The 12th Man Foundation during the third quarter of a Texas A&M University football game. He also has served as the Navasota School Board President, was named Citizen of the Year, and held various office positions for local nonprofit organizations.

Kathleen Terrell’s maternal side of the family (Stanley) came to Texas in the 1830s and settled in Washington County, where they still own a farm outside of Burton. Kathleen’s great, great, great-uncle Jesse Billingsley was a military captain who fought in the Battle of San Jacinto and led the first Texas soldiers into Santa Anna’s camp. Famed writer J. Frank Dobie attributed the call “Remember the Alamo … Remember Goliad” to Billingsley’s emotional speech to his men.


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Kathleen’s notable family history also includes ancestors who fought in the Civil War in the Hoods Brigade, as well as a cousin, Kathleen Blackshear, for whom she is named, who taught art history at the Chicago Art Institute. Blackshear is well-known worldwide for her paintings of local African-American Navasota citizens from the 1930s to the 1960s. One of those paintings hangs in Kathleen’s office on Washington Avenue to this day.

Growing up in Navasota, Kathleen herself was a cheerleader, editor of the Rattler Yearbook, member of the National Honor Society, and the 1969 Navasota High School class valedictorian. She attended Texas Christian University–it was rare for females to attend Texas A&M University during this time—where she majored in English and minored in journalism, and 16 years later earned her law degree from South Texas College of Law.

Another of Kathleen’s cousins, William Bizzell, served as President of the College of Industrial Arts, now known as Texas Women’s University, as well as Texas A&M University and The University of Oklahoma. He was Administrator for the Navasota Independent School District and NISD Bizzell Academy is named in his honor.

Kathleen has three children who have also all built successful families and careers. Celeste Carter Blackburn is a criminal defense attorney in The Woodlands, Texas, where she’s married with two children. Matt Carter, attorney, is owner of Guaranty Title Company and a partner with Kathleen in the Navasota law firm. Terrell Carter James lives in Chicago, Illinois, and is manager of the International Immunization Department at the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Another relative, Mary Terrell, was a concert pianist, and grandmother Ruth Terrell held the highest national position possible for a woman in the Presbyterian Church. Her father moved to Navasota in the early 1900s to pastor the First Presbyterian Church of Navasota. In more recent history, the successful Brazos Valley wine market owes its existence in part to Kathleen’s mother Jane Terrell. In the 1980s Jane planted the second vineyard in the area and sold her grapes to Messina Hof well into the 1990s. The Texas A&M University Horticulture Department experimented with fruit and nut varieties at the farm and Jane often received international visitors from as far away as Japan and Russia. Jane died in 2005.

Kathleen is a partner at Terrell & Carter, P. C., a general practice law firm specializing in real estate, banking, corporate estate planning and probate, and the building in which Kathleen’s office is located was the mercantile store owned by her grandfather, Percy Terrell, in the 1930s. Frequently, you will find Kathleen at work accompanied her 11-year old chocolate Chihuahua, Mr. Percy Terrell, but most times he waits for “mom” at home - a home loaded with a wealth of Texas history!


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WRITTEN BY CONNIE CLEMENTS PHOTOGRAPHY BY CONNIE CLEMENTS mid the sultry soul of Navasota’s Blues Fest and the Western Club’s Saturday night Texas Swing comes the color and pageantry of Ballet Folklorico, Mexican folkdances that tell stories through costumes, music and choreography. Navasota resident Maribel Perez created this opportunity for the community to enjoy and learn the stories told in the expressive dance derived from the roots of Navasota’s residents of Hispanic heritage. Growing up in Alice, Texas, Perez began dancing ballet folklorico at the age of 9 and began teaching it at 16. Perez said, “When we moved here [to Navasota] there wasn’t a whole lot going on for our children to appreciate both Hispanic art and culture.” Once Perez shared her idea of forming a folklorico group in Navasota with a few local families, it formed very quickly. As of June 1, 2016, there were 21 children and three adults, ranging in age from four to 62 years old; three participants are boys, which Perez calls “very exciting.” Perez explained that the word folklorico alludes to stories of the people.


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“The whole point is to establish a knowledge base about the culture and history.” She says, “The whole point is to establish a knowledge base about the culture and history.” Each costume represents a different state or region of Mexico, but one costume can tell multiple stories. “The children tell the stories when they dance,” she said. For instance, the “Train” dance tells how goods, merchandise and animals were moved across Mexico. “Revolution” tells of change. “Jalisco” is the more familiar mariachi style. Perez does her own choreography and said, “When the children learn the dances, I don’t want them to just entertain, I want them to tell the story.” The music of some regions is older and is discernible by the instruments used. “Revolution” has a violin influence, whereas the music of “Vera Cruz” is less common and is played with a harp and a 5-string guitar. Music around the northern border of Mexico has a country sound and are called polkas. Perez treasures her own childhood memories dancing in Alice where the folklorico group performed at multiple venues. She said, “Regardless of whether it was a strawberry or bluebonnet festival, we were always invited to perform.” In Alice, she taught as many as 68 students and, in 1994, the Ballet del sur Alice performed for the Hispanic Caucus in Washington, D.C. Two years later, they performed at Epcot Center, Disneyworld. Here in Navasota, dancers commit to one 45-minute practice session per week at the Navasota Center and perform locally on occasion. Unfortunately, outdoor performances in the Texas summer heat are limited because the dresses can get hot; some containing as much as 22 yards of fabric. Currently, Perez is working on acquiring nonprofit status to seek sponsorships for performance fees and travel, while parents are responsible for the cost of the dresses. Always on the lookout for an opportunity for her kids to dance, Perez said, “I want nothing more than to represent Navasota.”

Jalisco dancers (L-R front row) Alejandra Rodas, Katalena Ybarra and Anna Palacios. (L-R back row) Diana Sandoval, Saul Sandoval, Lizbeth Sandoval.

Vera Cruz performers (L-R) Miriam Baeza and Concha Sandoval.


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Tragic End at Navasota

WRITTEN BY RUSSELL CUSHMAN

P

robably no person in Navasota’s history relished this place less or has been celebrated more than LaSalle. There has been expansive speculation for decades about the possible travels and tragic demise of Rene Robert Cavelier Sieur de LaSalle the French explorer who made an extraordinary mark on North American history - including his claim for France of the whole Mississippi Valley. But regardless of all of that, Navasota is the only town in America that features two statues of the ill-fated Texas colonist. The bronze monument in the Washington Avenue esplanade near downtown was commissioned by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1930. The stone bust at August Horst Park was given by the French Government in 1976, in much the same spirit as the Statue of Liberty.

The ill-fated journey It all began to go badly for our French hero in 1687 when LaSalle became confused in the Gulf of Mexico and could not find the mouth of his claim to fame, the Mississippi River. After searching the Gulf Coast and finally wrecking one of his ships, his colonists set up a crude fortification on Garcitas Creek near Matagorda Bay and LaSalle went about trying to survive and figure their whereabouts. When the rest of ships were lost and all else failed, he took his most trusted officers, a dozen men and couple of priests on a desperate march to the nearest French fort on the Mississippi River. The indefatigable adventurer had no idea that this trek could be one thousand miles.

Photo by Connie Clements


Treachery ahead LaSalle had suffered mutinies before. But he seemed to never know when he had worn-out the patience of his followers. He shot one member of his party to convince the Indians of his remorse over their violation of their hunting agreement. This did not set well with his men and soon a plot was hatched to rid themselves of their leader who, arguably, had not done such a great job. While the plotters plotted, they were forced to silence some of the party, permanently, and wisely hunted down and ambushed LaSalle before he could find out their treachery. Ironically, it was the expedition’s doctor who did the deed. And he did not live long after the fact as the Frenchman plotted and killed each other all the way back to civilization.

Accidental trailblazing When the Spanish finally reacted to LaSalle’s settlement on the coast and came in force to arrest the French, the little Fort St. Louis on Garcitas Creek had been abandoned and everyone killed or taken captive by the Karankawa Indians. The Spanish diligently followed LaSalle’s trail and Indian guides led them to present day Navasota. This was inadvertent blazing of the historic LaBahia (The Bay) Trail between Matagorda Bay and Nacogdoches which became a major Texas thoroughfare. Meanwhile, the French priests and a few others straggled into St. Louis many months later with a sad tale of poor seamanship, mutiny, massacres and the loss of one of France’s greatest visionaries.

Photo courtesy of the Russell Cushman collection


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WRITTEN BY CONNIE CLEMENTS PHOTOGRAPHY BY CONNIE CLEMENTS In this age of reuse, recycle and repurpose, the City of Navasota has breathed new life into one of the town’s historic Victorian homes. A treasure from the late 19th century, the property now hosts the Navasota Artist in Residence (NAIR) Program a unique program providing three artists a place to live, work and exhibit their craft. The program is a partnership between the City of Navasota and the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley utilizing the hotel/motel occupancy tax (HOT funds).

The Horlock House, built in 1892 by successful businessman and civic leader Robert Augustus Horlock, has been described as Eastlake or “Stick Style” – an architectural bridge between the

Gothic of 1840s and 1850s and the more ornate Queen Anne. Horlock and his wife Agnes raised eight children in the home, and it remained in the family for nearly 100 years before it was donated to the Grimes County Heritage Association (GCHA) in 1981; the GCHA donated it to the City of Navasota in September 1999.

In its capacity as a museum with tours led by volunteers, the city documented just 20 visitors over a six-month period. And according to the Navasota Examiner in April 2013, City Manager Brad Stafford reported an annual expenditure of $14,720 on the house with an undetermined


In just a few short months, the house was renovated to provide living quarters for each artist, a studio and gallery space. In February 2014, the Horlock House welcomed its first wave of new artists and, as of June 2016, has hosted 14. The artists specialize in various forms ranging from oil painting and photography to fiber art and neon. The NAIR program is unique and generous with its six-month residency and the artists can display their work in Bryan-College Station galleries in addition to the Navasota open house. Most artists also become very engaged with the Navasota community, contributing to city events and the Navasota school district. Thanks to creative thinking, the more than 120-year-old Horlock House has found new life and purpose within its walls again.

The Horlock Art Gallery and History Museum 1215 E. Washington Open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, contact the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley (979) 696-2787 or the City of Navasota (936) 825-6475.

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amount of repairs needed. As a result, the city felt compelled to consider the offer of a buyer who wanted to turn it into a bedand-breakfast. Despite low visitor turnout and the looming financial responsibility, the Navasota city council expressed their high regard for the home’s historical significance - so city staff went back to the drawing board. By December 2013, the NAIR program had been conceived and was a few months away from reality, providing a new solution – and function – for this historical property.


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PATOUTS FIND In America WRITTEN BY SCOTT MCDONALD

I

t’s no secret that French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier de La Salle was killed by his own men right here in Navasota. But what many don’t know is that one prominent Navasota family has ties that go back to France’s first emperor – Napoleon Bonaparte. The Patout family began their American journey when a long-distance relative, Pierre Simeon Patout, made the trek from France to New Orleans, Louisiana, in hopes of growing grapes and starting his own vineyard. “I think he was a big supporter of Napoleon,” said Jared Patout, a lifelong Navasotan. “It was a good time to get out of France and he heard that Louisiana had a mild climate to grow grapes.” This wasn’t long after Napoleon sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States, and New Orleans was the port of entry. But a mild climate? He couldn’t have been more wrong.

Upon arrival, the Frenchman quickly realized that South Louisiana had a hot, humid, sub-tropical

The Navasota Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1 – After the parade April 21, 1909, Capt. R.A. Patout in foreground. Photos from “Reflections of Grimes Country, Texas” 1994 by The Examnier.

climate suited more for rice and sugar cane than grapes, so he started a sugar cane farm on a plot of land near modern-day New Iberia. Patout’s farm grew into a space with a general store and post office, and the area became what is now known in Louisiana as Patoutville. Years later as the sugar cane business continued to grow in Louisiana, Rivers Aristide Patout made the move to Navasota, Texas, to manage the famous Mistrot Brothers clothing store in town, which was owned by his two brothers-in-law. The Texas brothers established stores at train stops along the route from Waco to Galveston, including the one in Navasota. Rivers eventually became manager of that location. When the Mistrot brothers decided to exit the business and sell their stores some time later, Rivers was given the opportunity to purchase the store in Navasota. Several partnerships existed before it became R.A. Patout Company. “My grandfather had a real good sense for selling clothes,’ Jared said. Rivers knew his clientele and shopped with them in mind so that no two prominent women wore the same dresses. Rivers’ business approach proved successful as the Patout store

A Saturday in the summer of 1936 on Washington Avenue in Navasota. Left to right, E.M. Perry, R.A. Patout Co. and Camp Drug Co.


brought in customers from all over the state. The Patout family’s clothing store thrived in Navasota as did the sugar cane in Louisiana. Years later, Rivers, Jr. who was born in 1907, graduated from Rice Institute (now Rice University) before getting his Masters in Business Administration from Harvard University. He practiced accounting in Houston and Galveston before returning to Navasota in the 1940s to help his father in the clothing store. Rivers closed the store in the mid-1970s despite pleas from his children to keep it open.

R.A. Patout float, Navasota parade, Washington Avenue, March 21, 1943

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Jared Patout, a graduate of Navasota High School, the University of Notre Dame and Texas A&M University, still lives in the same house his grandfather R.A. Patout, Sr. built in the 1920s. Most of the original structure and brick still stands but it’s not nearly as old as the oak trees in his yard – both front and back. The large oak tree in the backyard was once deemed the largest in Texas with a certificate to prove it. Jared sat on the board of directors for the sugar business. His grandfather and father both served as board chairman, a position now held by his brother. The company M.A. Patout & Son, LTD, LLC, is the oldest completely family-owned and operated manufacturer of raw sugar in the United States. The company comprises Enterprise Plantation and three subsidiaries: Sterling Sugars, LLC, Raceland Sugar, LLC and Patout Equipment Company, LLC. Enterprise Plantation was founded in 1825 by Simeon and Appoline Patout. The combined capacity of the three mills is approximately 4.6 million tons of cane annually. The main distribution of sugar from the company goes to Domino Sugar, a national brand that refines and sells packaged sugar. Despite the demands of such a large operation, Jared still serves on several boards in Navasota and surrounding counties.

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Photo by Connie Clements

Rivers and Azzalie Patout had this wildcat mounted to serve as the mascot for the George Washington Carver High School in Navasota. Photo taken in the gym May 5, 1964.


53 NAVASOTA

Navasota Live Auction – Bringing Buyers and Sellers Together for 50 Years WRITTEN BY CONNIE CLEMENTS

PHOTOS BY CONNIE CLEMENTS

RICH IN AGRICULTURAL HISTORY

Photo courtesy of the Navasota Public Library.

JUST THREE MILES NORTH

of downtown Navasota on SH 90 is the Navasota Livestock Auction (NLA). Built by P.P. Prescott and opened in 1966, the sale barn has brought buyers and sellers together for 50 years. NLA’s trade area encompasses a 150-mile radius that extends far beyond the bounds of Grimes County.

Owner Greg Goudeau has agriculture and auctioneering in his blood. Raised in Hungerford, Texas, around the auction barns of Wharton and El Campo, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science in 1990 before completing a course in auctioneering at the Missouri Auction School in 1997. Between Goudeau and auctioneers David Richards and Jeff Brown, there is approximately 45 years of experience in agricultural auctioneering. Office Manager Donna McDonald brings 48 years of experience to the corporation as bookkeeper and secretary/treasurer since 1968; she is truly a valuable source of NLA and agriculture information to Grimes County residents.

KEEPING PACE WITH TECHNOLGY Much has changed since the NLA opened its doors back in 1966. Though technology has modernized the livestock auction business, the NLA has kept pace. Their


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website, www.navasotalivestock.com, provides up-to-date market reports, notices of special sales like female and bull replacements, and a “virtual tour” photo gallery of what happens with consignments on sale day. For those who can’t get to the sale, NLA provides a live broadcast where buyers can view online at www.DVauction.com. In the business office, a software program exclusive to auctions has streamlined checkout, balancing, invoicing and gives staff the ability to email files to buyers to drop in their software programs after the cattle are shipped to them. McDonald said, “When I started here, everything was done by hand. Invoicing is so much neater and easier to read now.”

McDonald said a lot of small auction barns began opening in the 1950s but they were “very, very small – very different from what we look like today. If someone had a big group of cattle to ship, 100 or 200 head – which was probably the norm then compared to now – they would ship them in one big group to the stockyards.” Later, cattlemen used trucks to transport them to terminal markets in Houston.

CHANGING THE LANDSCAPE OF RANCHING

MOTHER NATURE’S WRATH

According to Goudeau and McDonald, today’s average consignment is five to six head of cattle. A typical Saturday sale consists of 200 to 300 consigners bringing livestock for sale. In the not-too-distant past, consignments averaged 10 to 15 head, and the largest total consignments on record at NLA was 5,300 head of cattle in October 1977. Goudeau said, “Very few families earn their living ranching anymore; probably less than one to two percent depend on ranching for their livelihood.” Goudeau explained that as some children inherit their parent’s property, they may divide the land up or sell it. If they sell it, they’re liable to sell in three or four different parcels. Two may go into the cattle business and two don’t. If they had 100 head on that property before, now they have 50 because it’s been cut in half.”

Weather is the wild card in the cattle industry and droughts have a big impact, particularly the drought of 2011. McDonald said, “A lot of producers were selling one-third to two-thirds of their herd just trying to hold on because there was no hay or water. It was not unusual to have anywhere from 700 to 1,000 grown cows being liquidated each Saturday. If slaughter houses out of state had not been coming to buy these cows, I’m not sure there would have been a market.”

COW TALK In addition to a live cattle auction, the NLA operates Cow Talk Steak House, which serves up a full menu of food and beverage items for customers whether they’re attending the auction or not. McDonald agrees that the original Cow Talk Steak House, located inside the auction barn was “definitely a draw!” It’s proximity to the arena added to the ambiance and was very convenient for the ranchers who had traveled a ways to be there. Unfortunately, a kitchen fire temporarily destroyed the legendary eating establishment in 2009, and Goudeau remodeled the charred remains into office space. But across the driveway Cow Talk reopened in its own freestanding building and continues to serve up delicious steaks, seafood, burgers and more throughout the week.

THE 20TH CENTURY CATTLE DRIVE Before the NLA built its arena in 1966, getting cattle to market was a page from a western novel, at least until the development and manufacture of the modern cattle truck. McDonald said, “From the 1930s to the 1950s, a lot of cows were driven to rail in Navasota and shipped (via train) to terminal markets and the big stockyards in Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston.”

The Navasota Livestock Auction 7846 SH 90 South Navasota, Texas (936) 825-6545 www.navasotalivestock.com

Photo:@IStock.com/AngelaDukat


56 Grimes County is in USDA Hardiness Zone 8b, 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit for minimal survival, and Texas Gardening Zone III. A hardiness zone is a geographically defined area in which a specific category of plant life is capable of growing, as defined by climatic conditions, including its ability to withstand the minimum temperatures of the zone. There are variables in addition to the zone you live in. Other factors to consider for growing flowers, trees and vegetable gardens include frost protection, soil preparation, watering measures, planting locations for optimum sun or shade and timing of planting. One important lesson to remember is that gardening is about experimenting… just because the gardening books say it won’t grow in your zone doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try! Bugs, rabbits, snakes, aching backs, weather and the expense can challenge your gardening efforts but the reward and satisfaction come when you eat home grown tomatoes or smell the jasmine bush growing next to your patio.

with the WRITTEN BY MICHAEL AND CONNIE ARDEN Grimes County Master Gardeners & Certified FireWise Landscape Specialists

PHOTOGRAPHY BY SHARON MURRY Grimes County Master Gardeners

The Grimes County Master Gardeners program is an educational volunteer program conducted by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service of the Texas A&M University System. Grimes County Master Gardeners have been in existence since 2002 and, as members, are representatives of Texas AgriLife Extension Service and follow the research based recommendations of the AgriLife Extension Service. We are members of the local community and county and take an active interest in lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers, gardens and the citizens of Grimes County.

Much of Grimes County lies in the Texas Blackland Prairie and the Texas Claypan Area type of soil. These soils hold more water due to their clay content – good for plants but it can be hard to work the soil. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services has developed a program called EARTHKIND which promotes energy and water conservation, reduction of fertilizer and pesticides and the reduction of yard waste going to landfills. Certain plants have gained “superstar” status for their hardiness relative to the above qualifications. Some examples include the annuals Larkspur, Mari Mum and Laura Bush Petunia. Perennials include Texas Columbine, Gold Lantana and Turks Cap. Others suitable but not certified as “superstars” yet include Flame Acanthus, a great hummingbird bush, and Fall Aster. Grimes County is fortunate to be a short drive from College Station where construction of Texas A&M University Gardens and Greenway began in early 2015. The multiphase project scheduled to be completed in 2017, will include 14 themed gardens, an outdoor classroom, an event lawn, a pavilion and vineyard.


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Grimes County Master Gardeners spent time at the Plantersville VFD distributing fruit trees to the public in collaboration with Keep Navasota Beautiful and the Texas Forestry Service. Pictured: (L-R, kneeling) Sharon Murry and Marti Luedtke. (L-R, standing) Michael Arden, Connie Arden, Jami Bruns, Dianna Westmoreland, Kathy Laughlin and Martha Bragdon.

What really sets Master Gardeners apart from other home gardeners is our special training in horticulture. In exchange for our training, we contribute time as volunteers to provide horticulture related information to the residents of Navasota and Grimes County. The Master Gardeners host educational seminars, monthly meetings with outside speakers, social events and field trips. Our members serve the county through our Speakers Bureau sharing their experiences and knowledge by speaking to clubs, schools and other organizations. In response to the devastation of recent wildfires, Master Gardeners in conjunction with the City of Navasota, Grimes County and the Texas Forestry Service gave away saplings to county residents along with training on how to plant and maintain them. Master Gardeners support Ag Day when fourth-graders are exposed to our “Good Bug, Bad Bug” plant identification or compost building education programs. Senior Day at the Grimes County Fairgrounds is always a delightful time for the Master Gardeners when we hear gardening and other folk tales from the seniors passing through the exhibit hall.

Grimes County Master Gardeners at book signing with Dr. Mark “Merriwether” Vorderbruggen, author of “Idiot’s Guides: Foraging.” Pictured: (L-R, sitting) Kimberly Hertan, Dr. Vorderbruggen (L-R, standing) Lou Morgan, Alice Bonds-Kocian and Connie Arden.

Grimes County Master Gardeners are enthusiastic, willing to learn and help others and are able to communicate with diverse groups of people. We meet the second Tuesday of each month at the Go-Texas Building at the

Grimes County Fairgrounds at 9 a.m. at 5220 FM 3455 in Navasota. Join us then or call the Grimes County Extension office at (936) 825-0465 to speak with an agent. Be sure to Like Us on Face Book!


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ergoGENESIS

ERGONOMIC WORKPLACE SOLUTIONS WRITTEN BY JESSICA CLEMENTS PHOTO BY CONNIE CLEMENTS

In a study of the body in its natural form in weightlessness, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) found a naturally open posture to which one’s body will conform. The discovery of this natural, relaxed and non-stressed position was the inspiration behind the award-winning BodyBilt® chair, manufactured and distributed by the Navasota-based ErgoGenesis Workplace Solutions, LLC (ErgoGenesis).

Doyle added that the company knows how important the community is and tries to be a good corporate citizen for the area. He explained, “We donate chairs to a lot of different charities and a lot of different groups. For example, we’ve done the Grimes County Business Expo—we normally have a giveaway at it—and some of the local churches. We also donate to Boys and Girls Club.”

ErgoGenesis moved to Navasota in the mid-1990s when it outgrew its facility in College Station, Texas. Now, its corporate headquarters sits on just over nine acres off Highway 6, with nearly 73,000 sq. ft. of office, warehouse, manufacturing and dock space.

APPLYING THE PRINCIPLES

LOCAL PRODUCTION IN FULL FORCE ErgoGenesis Vice President and Chief Financial Officer William Doyle affirms that Navasota is a great location for the company. “Navasota’s been great! We’ve been able to pull employees from the area; our production workforce is pretty local with most being from Navasota, Brenham, and other Grimes County towns.” Employees in the Navasota facility manufacture many of the components, and they assemble all the chairs in-house. “If you want a standard chair without special sewing and we have the components, it would probably only take two to two-and-a-half hours,” said Doyle. According to Doyle, the Navasota headquarters employs approximately 90 personnel locally with a total of 125 around the nation. ErgoGenesis is a business-to-business (B2B) company, so its sales and business development professionals work from various offices around the country, while some customers simply purchase products on the company’s website (www.ergogenesis.com).

ErgoGenesis is perhaps best known for its BodyBilt ergonomic seating. The first principle of ergonomics, according to Dan MacLeod, Ergonomics Consultant, is to work in a position such that your body is in a neutral form. This takes into account the “S-curve” of your spine, neck alignment, and elbow and wrist positions. The BodyBilt chair does just that. “Our chairs are designed to put you in a more ergonomic position so that you don’t have the aches and pains that go along with carpal tunnel or stress disorders on your back or arms and legs,” said Doyle. He noted that ErgoGenesis can accommodate special orders in addition to standard designs. “We can fulfill special orders by taking general measurements of height and inseam to determine how high your chair needs to be. It’s custom made. We have nine different seat pans to accommodate from 80 pounds to 700 pounds, and six to eight different backs that can be put on a chair. “You can have an upholstered back or a mesh back. A lot of people have gone to the mesh seating where it’s open and you can see through it, but it still supports your back and everything,” he added.


ONE-STOP-SHOP CONVENIENCE

EXTENSIVE CUSTOMER BASE ErgoGenesis is a nationwide organization that sells products to customers throughout Europe, the Middle East and the United States. Doyle estimates that the company sells to a vast majority of some of the most successful U.S. businesses. “If you look at the Fortune 500 list, we’re probably at 90 percent of those companies, whether standard or special needs and custom products.”

In the last few years, ErgoGenesis has expanded its product range to include office accessories. This enhanced offering provides customers with a convenient one-stop-shop experience whereby they can purchase ergonomic chairs, height-adjustable tables, standard desk accessories and more from a single supplier.

Although primarily a B2B operation, individuals from U.S. Presidents and Governors to CEOs and professional athletes are also customers. In fact, ErgoGenesis products have been on magazine covers and traveled the world with their owners.

Furthermore, the uniquely modular design of BodyBilt accessory products allows customers to expand and adjust their workstations easily and at less cost.

ErgoGenesis Workplace Solutions LLC One BodyBilt Place, Navasota, Texas 77868 For more information or to place an order, visit www.ergogenesis.com 1-800-364-5299

Doyle reiterated the health and safety benefits that an ErgoGenesis BodyBilt chair provides. “I think everybody should be sitting in a BodyBilt chair just because of the health benefits that you gain out of it. I’ve been in the same chair now for 12 to 15 years, eight to 10 hours-aday, and I’ve never had any issues with a back problem or carpal tunnel or anything like that.”

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Along with the general measurements required for a custom order, Doyle explains that certain medical issues can also impact the type of seating that is best for a person. He states, “If you have any medical issues—like tailbone issues—we can design a chair so you don’t have any pressure on your tailbone. If you have back issues, we can design the back of a chair so it supports your back better than a standard chair.”


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WRITTEN BY CONNIE CLEMENTS PHOTOGRAPHY BY CONNIE CLEMENTS

I

t is no secret that life in rural or small town America has its pros and cons. While accessing quality health care can be a challenge for some, residents in and around Navasota have one less thing to worry about. Besides its location within a half-hour of the growing Brazos Valley biomedical corridor anchored by the Texas A&M University Health Science Center, Navasota is home to CHI St. Joseph Health Grimes Hospital. Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) is the second largest Catholic health system in the nation with 103 hospitals and 30 criticalaccess facilities.

Counseling for dietary changes due to illness or medication is available through the facility’s dietitian. Jackson said, “All of health care is going to more preventive care and wellness. We have really expanded our therapy group to be wellness oriented,” and that includes the Wellness Center’s flexible hours for exercise. Jackson said CHI St. Joseph Health has promoted wellness in the community through weight loss challenges, school advisory committees, and is collaborating with the Navasota ISD and Blinn College to provide volunteer opportunities for students interested in health care professions.

Director of Support Services Vicky Jackson has been employed with CHI St. Joseph Health since 2006 and said, “I am so proud of all that we do and how we’ve expanded the services - and not expanding just for the sake of expanding. We offer things you need in a rural area.” Physical therapy services allow knee and hip replacement patients to recuperate closer to home. Two welcomed additions to therapy services are pulmonary and cardiac rehab, previously available only in Bryan. Patients benefit from the occupational and speech therapy services also offered locally.

Regional health status assessments across the Brazos Valley reveal transportation to and from health care is a concern for rural residents. For those without transportation, CHI St. Joseph Health has supported the Grimes Health Resource Center (GHRC), which offers a free transportation service for those in need of help getting to health related appointments as one of its community services. Jackson said, “That is why CHI St. Joseph Health made the conscious decision to help and promote the GHRC by providing space, phones and Internet service. There are still gaps, but we’ve made great strides to meet a lot of people’s needs.”


CHI St. Joseph Health Grimes Hospital’s lab services are available 24 hours a day without an appointment. Imaging services include CT scans, X-rays and ultrasound. Wound care and infusion therapy are also offered as an outpatient service. Describing the typical inpatient admission, Jackson said, “We see patients with everything from pneumonia to patients just going downhill with various medical conditions. From uncontrolled diabetes to cardiac related conditions. A lot our patients require skilled nursing. Some patients come for skilled nursing to rehab post knee or hip replacement. We have patients who come here for advanced wound care or long term antibiotic therapy.” The skilled nursing designation allows patients to go from receiving acute care to skilled nursing care in the same facility without ever having to change rooms. The Senior Renewal Program is in all three of the CHI St. Joseph Health critical access hospitals in the Brazos Valley and offers solutions for those dealing with grief over the loss of a loved one or the ability to do things they used to do, general depression or anxiety, and

Jackson credits the average 5-1 ratio of patients to nursing staff for their high patient satisfaction rate. “We don’t have a lot of turnover in our nursing staff. We have a very stable team, very loyal physicians and everyone is used to working together. A lot of our patients are community members. It’s a little more vested effort because it’s our community. As part of a faith-based organization, we treat the body, mind and spirit. We pray with patients. We offer them communion if they want it. We coordinate getting a minister of their choice to counsel them. We understand how to work with different faiths so that all of their needs are met, not just their physical needs.”

CHI St. Joseph Health Grimes Hospital is part of the CHI St. Joseph Health system. 210 S. Judson, Navasota, Texas, 77868 936.825-.6585 www.chistjoseph.org.

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Jackson said the 24-hour emergency care center has a board-certified physician on-site around the clock and treats 600-800 patients per month. The local Emergency Department is a Level III Stroke Support Center and a Level IV Trauma Center. The emergency care team in Navasota follows the same processes and plans of treatment as the Regional Hospital in Bryan. Additionally, should patients need a higher level of care they can be transferred to Level II Trauma Center or Primary Stroke Center at Regional Hospital by ambulance or AirMedical quickly.

access to individual and group therapy. Based on an individual assessment, they may also qualify for therapy up to three times per week with a social worker. This program is also reimbursed by Medicare.


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Navasota’s Live Theatre Connects with Audience WRITTEN BY CONNIE CLEMENTS PHOTOGRAPHY BY CONNIE CLEMENTS

A

IN NAVASOTA: •

Live theater in Navasota began in 1885 with The Dramatic Club that performed at local opera houses until 1898 when it suspended production because of the Spanish American War.

The NTA as we know it today was founded 100 years later by Kim Parks in 1985.

In the NTA’s 31 year history, over 600 people have performed in 150-plus productions.

nother star in the crown of Navasota’s growing entertainment culture is its live community theatre, the Navasota Theatre Alliance (NTA). Formed in 1985, the nonprofit volunteer organization has entertained audiences from near and far with family-friendly comedies, dramas and mysteries for the past 30-plus years. The NTA has provided many local residents, seasoned actors, youth performers and Brazos Valley acting troupes the opportunity to hone their craft and make a connection with their audience in the small, intimate stage setting of the Sunny Furman Theatre.

The Sunny Furman Theatre in historic downtown Navasota is the home of the Navasota Theatre Alliance.


ENTERTAINMENT FOR ALL AGES

LANTERNS AND LEGENDS In 2013, the NTA partnered with the City of Navasota for what has become one of its most popular special events - Lanterns and Legends. Performed live in Navasota’s Oakland Cemetery in late October beginning at twilight, Lanterns and Legends is a guided walking tour that brings to life the stories of men and women who left their mark on Navasota history and now “rest” in Oakland.

Rising Star summer campers practice look of surprise backstage.

NTA volunteer staff research and write each season’s show a year in advance, striving to be as historically accurate as possible. The stories are then told through a series of vignettes from the perspective of the featured historical figure by NTA actors in period costume.

YOU TOO CAN BE A STAR!

Photo courtesy of Navasota Theater Alliance

Teri Gerst portrays Jane Levy, wife of Meyer Levy, who arrived in Navasota in 1877.

Lee Roy Lipscomb, left and Jimmy Lipscomb, right grandsons of Navasota Blues singer Mance Lipscomb. Photo courtesy of Navasota Theater Alliance

To contact the Navasota Theatre Alliance for a schedule of events or to learn more about performing, purchasing individual or season tickets, or donations and sponsorships, visit NTA on the web at www.navasotatheatre.org, or by email at navasotatheatrealliance@gmail.com 936-825-3195

NAVASOTA

Rising Star Summer Campers practicing for Disney’s 101 Dalmatians.

The NTA offers four main stage shows each year, as well as summer theatre camps for children, outreach troupe activities and other special events. Recent main stage productions included Ten Little Indians, Father of the Bride, Witness for the Prosecution, M*A*S*H and Cactus Flower. Some of the more popular youth productions included Winnie the Pooh, Beauty and the Beast and 101 Dalmatians.

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64

• Steinhauser’s •

Three generations of Service & Quality WRITTEN BY Jaclyn RitteR, PHOTOGRAPHY BY Rhonda KuyKendall

Family owned businesses are the backbone of our American economy. According to Business Week, about 40% of U.S. family owned businesses become second generation businesses. Surprisingly, only 13% are passed down successfully to a third generation. Steinhauser’s, a modern-day general store for those who live and love the country lifestyle, has earned the right to include themselves in this rather small percentage. What’s the secret to their success? Good ‘ol hard work driven by deep rooted passion.


in the grain – crawling, tunneling and burying themselves in it. For them, Steinhauser’s was an endless playground.

H. H. Steinhauser was the very best business man. He put his whole heart and soul into his seed store in Flatonia, Texas. Mr. Steinhauser was not out to make millions, he just wanted to be the best in his business. Customers were friends and his store was the hot spot in town. His son Lloyd grew up watching his dad educate customers on proper techniques and identifying the proper merchandise to raise healthy horses and livestock, as well as maintaining thriving lawns and gardens. Lloyd learned the “ins-and-outs” of the business at an early age.

As they got older, the children found themselves acquiring more and more jobs around the store. After school it was straight to the store to pick up a few hours. As David recalls, this was the routine all the way through high school. The day after graduation, David found himself back at Steinhauser’s, only this time he was a fulltime employee. “This is truly all I’ve known,” David notes. “It is not a glamorous job by any means, and you don’t get into the feed business to get rich, but it is what I really enjoy.”

In 1965 the Sealy Oil Mill went up for sale. H.H. Steinhauser purchased the mill, not with the intention of running it, but in helping his son start his own business. Originally a cotton seed processing business, H.H. expanded it to a retail feed store in 1969. In 1971 Lloyd was ready to take the reins and purchased the business from his father. Lloyd was proud to run Steinhauser’s. His entire childhood prepared him well for the road ahead. The journey was not always an easy one, but he and his wife Virginia’s strong work ethic and business skills pulled them through. Together, the couple passed these positive attributes on to their four children.

• S e rv i c e Pa r t n e r e d w i t h Q u a l i t y • H.H. Steinhauser insisted on carrying nothing but the finest feeds in the industry. Not only that, he also provided first class service to all of his customers. Lloyd, David and Mike Steinhauser have continued the family tradition of service and quality at all nine of their locations. In fact, if you do not see what you are looking for in store, they will do their best to find it and order it. They even have you covered for all of your bulk feed and delivery needs! “We know that we are not the only people doing what we are doing – there are other places people could go and buy our products,” says David Steinhauser. “People often choose where to shop based on quality of service over anything else, and we want to be the one customers choose.”

Mike, Kyle, Lloyd and David Steinhauser

David and Mike Steinhauser have chosen to follow their father Lloyd and join the family business. “From a very young age I knew that this is what I wanted to do,” says David Steinhauser. “I never really considered anything else.” The love and pride the Steinhauser family has for their business shows to any and all who walk through their doors. How else can one open nine successful locations in such a short period of time?

• G r ow i n g u p i n t h e S t o r e • David Steinhauser cherishes the time he spent growing up in the store. His dad was his idol. “I can remember getting up each morning as a kid, excited to join my parents at the store for the day,” shares David. At the beginning it was all in fun. David and his siblings had no problem keeping themselves entertained while their parents were busy with customers. They enjoyed playing

Steinhauser’s knowledgeable employees are able to answer questions and point you in the right direction. They provide so much more than just a product, they share experience and tried and true practices.

• Learning from the Best • The success of the Steinhauser brand is attributed to strong family ties. While Lloyd, Mike and David run different locations, they operate as a team when overseeing the company as a whole. “My grandfather was one of the hardest working people I have ever known,” remembers David. “He truly came from nothing and in turn created a life for himself and future generations.” H.H. Steinhauser never expected instant gratification. He knew that success comes from hard work, passion and sacrifice. David says proudly, “Mike and I learned what it takes to run a successful business from our father and grandfather.” With their dedication and attention to service, Steinhauser’s will certainly continue the legacy and see a fourth generation! d

SteinhauSeR’S • Built by Quality Products & Great Customer Service • www.steinhausers.com

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• A l l i n t h e Fa m i ly •


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WRITTEN BY CONNIE CLEMENTS PHOTOGRAPHY BY SPINNER AVIATION

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ROWING IN POPULARITY for its strategic location in the Brazos Valley is the Navasota Municipal Airport. Located a short 2 miles from historic downtown Navasota, the airport is within 30 minutes of Texas A&M University and an hour from Sam Houston State University.

airport in 2009. Attempting to find hangar space close to the university where he was employed at the time, the Aggie grad encountered waiting lists two years long. Moreover, he was told that the hangar he would personally construct would become property of that city after 10 years!

Built in 1963, the airport expanded the 3,200 foot runway to 5,003 feet in 2013 in order to accommodate private jets, in addition to the small and large turbo props that had been visiting from the start. Lights were added to the runway to aid nighttime operations. Other enhancements included wide jet-friendly ramps, a Jet-A and 100LL AvGas fuel farm at reasonable prices, land available for lease for privately owned hangars, modern instrument approaches from both directions and a full time mechanic to service the needs of private plane owners.

Lenox began researching other area airports and was pleased with Navasota’s indefinitely renewable leases and attractive lease rates. Within a half-hour of visiting the airport, Lenox had completed the lease agreement and obtained a permit to begin construction on his own hangar. Lenox said, “I became a huge fan of the City of Navasota! They had it together.”

CITY MEETS AVIATION NEEDS Dr. Mark Lenox, chairman of the Airport Advisory Board to the City of Navasota and a principal partner at Lenox Engineering, first became acquainted with the

AIRPORT DESIGN SCORES BIG WITH PILOTS Although the airport is not manned 24-hours a day, Spinner Aviation, the fixed base operator, is available with short notice to assist with fueling and other ramp needs while Navasota motels provide shuttle service to and from the airport which is situated in a secure zone with high fences and locked gates.


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“It’s an ideal airport for private owners. There is a fair amount of charter service that comes in here,” shared Lenox, citing “zero delay” and the ability to get in and out quickly. He added, “This is a very popular airport for people who do flight training because it’s a long runway. It’s a smooth runway. It’s well oriented to the wind. Overall, the design of this airport is exceptionally good. There are a lot of people in the pattern practicing takeoffs and landings. A lot of the flight schools will take off from David Wayne Hooks, Coulter and Easterwood and they fly out here to what use to be a sleepy quiet airport but now it’s as busy as it can be.” INVESTED OWNERS Interest in aviation in Texas, according to Lenox, is very popular with more personal aircraft per capita than

the lower 48 states combined. The only state with more per capita is Alaska “where they can’t get anywhere without airplanes.” Lenox said, “One of the benefits for the city for allowing land leases at a place like this is that you have private individuals who are now invested in the facility. I have a personal financial interest because I own real estate here. That building has value. You have a group of people who are interested and know what they need. For a town the size of Navasota to have a facility that is as nice as it is, is great!” Lenox’s assessment of the Navasota Municipal Airport was straightforward, “The city doesn’t shortchange anything here. They’ve done an excellent job. For owners of aircraft, it is a great place!”


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RIVER ✯HAVEN

Country Estate Living

WRITTEN BY RUSSELL CUSHMAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY RUSSELL CUSHMAN

if a majestic Texas river and an artist were forged together in the midst of a wilderness corridor in the rolling hills of Grimes County? For Michael Havens it was as if God gave him an empty canvas and he began to see the colors and shapes form inside his mind. For him it became where art meets life. Michael Havens

Havens might argue that art is life in this charming place where, for over a decade, most of his days have been devoted to shaping and embellishing his subdivision – as an artist would sculpt a monument. Havens came to Navasota with a wagonload of visions. He looked across a cow pasture and saw an idyllic suburban landscape surrounded by Cedar Creek and the serene Navasota River. And he is a man who has a passion for detail. Limestone structures delightfully adorn the land. A stately gazebo, storybook bridge and native stone boulders were placed as equestrian guides. “It was such a great thrill to take off and explore the nature in the subdivision on horseback... it just transports a person back in time!” Havens explained enthusiastically. That after all, may have been his original intent.


69 NAVASOTA

“It’s the best kept secret in Grimes County,” he reasons, “with all this privacy and beauty and yet such convenient proximity to Navasota, the quintessential small Texas town.” As the subdivision took shape, complete with parks and bridle trails, Havens began construction of the rest of his dream. This included two event centers, a café, campgrounds and a small vineyard – all on his land adjacent to River Haven. Havens has built the most beautiful music venue ever beheld in these parts, hosting glorious Texasstyled weddings and parties for celebrants all over the Brazos Valley. Hand-carved logs hold up a huge banquet hall that once served as the region’s cattle sale-barn.

Light fixtures made of elk horns illuminate handmade cedar dining tables. Havens has overseen creation of every stick of furniture, every cactus garden and every detail with devoted craftsmanship. River Haven is a place where a man’s art has become the dream of a lifetime. And for those who aspire to follow their own dreams, River Haven welcomes them! For information on River Haven or Navasota River Halls, contact Michael Havens (936) 499-8699


W a s h i n g t o n 70

O n

T h e

B r a z o s

W here T exas B ec a me

Texas Written By SHARON BRASS

What was once one of Texas’s most important cities is now a tiny dot on the map – one that you won’t want to miss.

T

he dot representing Washington, texas, on the west side of the Brazos river, is so small on today’s maps that GPS devices have a hard time locating it.

It’s difficult to imagine that Washington was a booming business center in early history. On 19th-century maps the “Washington” dot was one of the largest in texas. Washington began forming in 1821 when Texas was still a Province of Mexico. It was to this part of Texas that Stephen F. Austin brought the first 300 American settlers, known as the “Old 300.” A group of these settlers traveled up the Brazos River from the Gulf of Mexico and landed on the west bank, where the river intersects La Bahia Road. The centuries-old La Bahia trail had previously been used only by Indians and early explorers from France and Spain. Now it was the primary route being used by the Old 300. The American settlers threw-up tents on this strategic site and named their encampment “La Bahia.” Andrew Robinson, one of the first residents, quickly established a ferry to help La Bahia travelers cross the Brazos. Within three years he had built lodging accommodations including a place of “entertainment” at the ferry landing.


Texas in early 1836, a Province of Mexico .

In 1836 the cities of

Washington and

san Felipe de austin were the only population centers in austin’s Colony, a large part of Texas. Robinson’s son-in-law, John W. Hall, was also among the Old 300. The Halls joined Robinson in operating the ferry and other businesses, and they quickly recognized the commercial possibilities of La Bahia. In June, 1835, Hall organized the first town association with four others. One of the partners was Asa Hoxey from Washington, Georgia, and he suggested renaming the town for his home town. “La Bahia” became “Washington” and some settlers added “on the Brazos” to differentiate it from the “Washingtons” back in the States. the Washington town Association arranged for land, along the Brazos, to be surveyed into a town site. The lots sold quickly and by 1835 Washington was filling with saloons, merchants, doctors, lawyers, black smiths and carpenters. The business men in Washington were ambitious and, in the fall of 1835, they offered the Texas Constitutional

Convention a free meeting place in their city. The Convention had met earlier at San Felipe de Austin, the Texas Capital further south on the Brazos. They planned their fight for freedom against Mexico’s oppressive rule and recent attacks. They also debated the security of their position in San Felipe, with Santa Anna’s troops in the area. the offer of a safer meeting place, with access to the Brazos as an escape route, was too good to refuse. In December of 1835 Washington was chosen as the site for The Convention’s March meeting. The delegates were elected in February of 1836 and they met on the first day of March in Washington, making it the Texas capital by default. the accommodations were no comparison to those enjoyed by the men who had declared independence from England just a few decades earlier. At Washingtonon-the Brazos the meeting place was an unfinished building without doors or windows. The window


72

“Washington is a rare place to hold a national convention in. They will have to leave it promptly to avoid starvation.” - Willia m Fairfax Gray -

March 1836 diary entry while at the Constitutional Convention

openings had been covered with cloth, but that was no protection from the 33º temperature. Living accommodations for the delegates were a little better, but not much. The youthful town then contained only one house large enough to accommodate this body of distinguished men. William Fairfax Gray, an observer at the Convention, noted in his diary that he stayed at a house in which “the host’s wife and children and about thirty lodgers all slept in the same apartment, some in beds, some on cots, but the greatest part on the floor.” The food was equally primitive. Gray wrote, “Supper consisted of fried pork and coarse cornbread, and miserable coffee.” He concluded that “Washington is a rare place to hold a national convention in. they will have to leave it promptly to avoid starvation.”

?

That was life in the capital city of Texas. However, that was life in most of texas at the time. the delegates wasted no time crafting the texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico and the Texas Constitution, giving birth to a new nation, The Republic of Texas. After Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna at San Jacinto a few weeks later, peace was quickly restored in the colonies. Washington continued to grow and thrive. One of the major growth stimulants was river boat traffic which brought many settlers and supplies, and enabled local products to be sold downriver at the Gulf of Mexico and beyond.

The market for the burgeoning cotton crop in Washington County was the cloth-weaving industry on the U.S. east coast and Europe. Ocean-going vessels were the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to feed that market.

Did you know?

WASHINGTON WAS:

• One of Texas’ first Anglo settlements. • One of Texas’ first important economic centers. • One of Texas’ first transportation hubs. • Texas’ first inland sea port. • A two-time capital of Texas. • The inauguration site of the first and last presidents of the Texas Republic. • The place where Texans risked their lives to write the Declaration of Independence from Mexico and the Texas Constitution, giving birth to a new nation – the Republic of Texas.

At times, one could see as many as three river boats docked at the Washington landing. In 1842, the arrival of the Mustang marked a milestone for local cotton growers. The flat-bottomed steamer was the vanguard of river boats with capacity for 300 bales of cotton. The year 1842 was fateful for Washington in another way. in March of that year, Mexican troops again entered Texas and occupied San Antonio for a short time. Austin, then the Texas capital, was on the edge of the frontier and its primitive log cabins were vulnerable to Mexican attacks. The government was relocated to Houston for a short time, causing a dispute among Texas citizens. Under pressure, President Sam Houston moved the Texas capital back to Washington. Accommodations for the government in Washington were little better than those described in Gray’s diary six years earlier. The Senate met in the attic above a saloon until the government was moved back to Austin in 1844. By 1845 Washington was a bustling, growing commercial center. In addition to Brazos and La Bahia Road traffic, there were several popular stage coach lines to


During the next decade the town’s population grew to 750 residents, the height of its heyday. This population supported four churches, the Washington Female Academy, two hotels, and two Odd Fellows chapters. By this time there was a commercial section of Washington with brick buildings of two and three stories. The robust river trade prompted the creation of the Brazos Steamship Association in 1848. Although the Association’s prime purpose was to improve navigation on the Brazos, it also bought two steamboats, the Washington and the Brazos. However, the flourishing river commerce, the life-blood of Washington, proved in the end to also become its death knell. The community had centered its economy around the Brazos, and was heavily invested in the ferry and river boat operations.

When offered an

By 1875, a mere decade after Emancipation, Washington’s population was estimated to be only 175 people. Buildings were abandoned and weeds grew in the streets. A 1912 fire destroyed most of the remaining structures.

T o d ay, i t i s difficult to find

any trace of the original city of

Washington, Texas . However, there are plenty of artifacts, exhibits and 19thcentury adventures to be found at Washington On The Brazos State Historic Site. Visitors can see how our hardy forefathers lived, and learn how they risked their lives for our freedoms.

opportunity

So set your GPS and see if you can find that “Washington” dot. When you get there, you will relish the heroic stories, and you’ll be even more proud or your Texas heritage. D

to participate in railroads, city fathers l acked the

Special thanks to Washington On The Brazos State Historic Site for their help with this story.

foresight to s afeguard their

future . In 1858 the Houston and Texas Central Railroad Company (H&TC) offered to include Washington in their plan for new tracks, to connect to the main line from Galveston and Houston. Washington officials refused to pay $11,000 for this rail branch, not realizing that it would be a fatal decision for the city. As a result, Washington was bypassed by the railroad and Brenham became the H&TC western terminus. Texas’ economy shifted, and Brenham quickly became the most important center in the state for transportation, communications and commerce. Almost simultaneously with the 1861 arrival of the railroad in Brenham, Texas joined the Confederate States of America. The ensuing Union blockade in the Gulf of Mexico put an end to cotton traffic on the Brazos, and Washington further faded as a commercial center. Then came Emancipation on June 19, 1865, when slaves in the Southern states were freed. Many slaves lived on cotton plantations surrounding Washington, and their freedom brought failed crops and economic devastation for local plantation owners.

Photo courtesy of Washington On The Brazos State Historic Site

73 WASHINGTON ON THE BRAZOS

Brenham, Independence, Chappell Hill and Austin. The city was home to three newspapers and a Masonic Lodge.


74

The Painted Church of St. Mary’s

Painted Church Blends Past and Present WRITTEN BY CONNIE CLEMENTS

l

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CONNIE CLEMENTS

The 20-plus “painted” churches of Texas began capturing the imagination of tourists about 15 years ago. While they may look like simple country churches on the outside, on the inside nearly every inch of surface contains colorful murals, stenciling and gold leaf, preserving memories of Texas’ German and Czech settlers of the late 1800s. Grimes County is fortunate to have one such painted church just 17.5 miles east of Navasota in the community of Plantersville – St. Mary’s Church. I looked forward to meeting Father Ed Kucera, the “institutional memory” of St. Mary’s, the shepherd to 1,100 families and the energy behind St. Mary’s phenomenal 2002 restoration. Walking to the church sanctuary, we were accompanied by a playful beagle that Father Ed explained was Bridget #5. Despite her status as a “rescue” beagle, Father Ed said this particular Bridget, unlike her predecessors, was “unappreciative” and had a mind of her own. Bridget got bored with us as we reached the front of the 1920s rectory, Father Ed’s residence, which he speculates was originally a Sears “house in a box.” An older parishioner told him that as a child, he and his father traveled to the railroad station to pick up the lumber for the house and it was in boxes.

Country Gothic

The grounds of St. Mary’s are well maintained and in a comfortable, cottage garden style with roses whose scent will turn your head. Ceramic chickens and farmrelated yard art pays homage to St. Mary’s agricultural past and present. Father Ed refers to St. Mary’s style as “country Gothic.” Just past the rectory is a “prayer labyrinth” with a fountain and a cross that is engraved with the names of parishioners who contributed in any way to the church’s recent restorations, as well as a Texas Historical Commission marker.

Preserving the past

The original church was built in 1894, but was totally destroyed in 1917 when lightening struck the bell tower. Father Ed said the resourceful parishioners rebuilt the church in less than a year and stenciled their names around the door. During World War II, the farmers painted over their names because they didn’t want to be identified as German. Years later, when the 2002 restoration began, painters scraping paint found the names and German inscriptions on the walls. One read,


75

Planning for the future

The 1917 church was smaller than the present day structure. In 2010, the church was split in two sections and a third section was added for an extra 30 feet, 4 new windows and 20 more pews to accommodate 150 more worshippers. Donell Hill, an ecclesiastic master conservator from Artemesia of Houston, Texas, who was commissioned for the 2002 restoration returned for the expansion. The church may look like its 1935 photo, but it is equipped with modern conveniences such as a defibrillator, which Father Ed says they have had to use. When replacing the original clear glass windows with stained glass, the windows were not sealed and can be opened for storm days when they may lose power. Vintage 1935 photo used as a guide in the restoration of St. Mary’s Church

Ukrainian Easter egg!

Father Ed summed up the restoration by saying, “It was like the twilight zone…like the church was crying out to be restored.” The turquoise blue arches filled with gold and silver stars that symbolize Heaven, the detailed stenciling and the gold leaf sunburst original to the 1917 church will take your breath away. Gesturing to the narthex, Father Ed said, “St. Mary’s is a Ukrainian church. This is like walking into a Ukrainian Easter egg!”

St. Mary’s Church 8227 CR 205 in Plantersville, Texas, 77363 For information, visit www.smsj.org (936) 894-2223 to schedule a tour The rectory, Father Ed’s “house in a box”

PLANTERSVILLE

The gardens and fountain of St. Mary’s Church

“Come to me all ye who work hard and have a burden and I will give you rest.” Father Ed said, “Farmers worked six days a week, sun up to sun down. When they came to church and saw that (the inscriptions), it meant something.” The inscriptions are prominently displayed in the main entrance. He explained that great effort was made to remain authentic to the colors and the designs seen in a 1935 postcard photo of St. Mary’s. “Everything all matched up to what we found. We didn’t try to change anything so that someone from 1935 could walk in and recognize it. That was our goal.” As the restoration continued, church artifacts that had been sold in church bazaars years ago and found hidden away in dusty attics were donated back to the church. Father Ed, with a sharp eye for authenticity, has also bought period items at the Warrenton Antique Festival and even on an online marketplace.


76

WRITTEN BY CONNIE CLEMENTS PHOTOGRAPHY BY CONNIE CLEMENTS

J

U ST WHEN Y OU T HI NK Y OU ’ VE MIS S E D IT, you see the homemade wooden sign that reads “strawberries” encouraging you a little further down the road. Near the end of CR 203 outside of Plantersville and a short 20-minute drive from Navasota, you finally reach your destination. Jollisant Farms, formerly a 300-acre dairy, is a pick-your-own organic farming operation that began with patriarch Larry Jollisant’s desire to eat healthy after a heart attack. Since then, it has grown into a destination place for quality family time and teaching the next generation the “back-to-basics” of food production.

Jollisant’s daughter Sandra Kuta said the family began organic gardening for their own health in 2008, after seeing documented improvement in her father’s health and that of her brother, who is ADHD. “He (Jollisant) felt it was his mission to have healthier foods and give families the resources to eating healthier. My brother…as long as he eats organic foods, we see a significant improvement in his behavior.” Kuta emphasized their commitment to farming organically. “We don’t use anything that can harm your body. We are using only things naturally grown. We use a lot of pest deterrents, not pesticides, and that makes a difference in how we grow - knowing to grow an herb or vegetable next to another to help deter certain pests.”

Kuta personally hand plants all their plants in seed cups, seed beds or jiffy pellets that grow in the high tunnel, a greenhouse-like structure, until planting time. Then they bring in labor to get the plants into the eight acres currently “under plow.” Kuta’s sister, Shelley Seacrest, raises free-range chickens for eggs and handles the accounting end of the operation. The dairy’s milking room is now a store offering fresh vegetables and an array of jams and canned and pickled vegetables made from the farm’s organic bounty. Farm honey is straight from the hive to the jar.


Jollisant Farms has blackberries, blueberries or strawberries available 10 months of the year. The next crop of their popular strawberries will be planted the last week of August. The farm purchases their strawberry plants from Canada. Kuta said, “When they get here and go in the ground, the ground is still warm because it’s September and October. They think it is spring and immediately start blooming. We start harvesting the week of Halloween and pick until the end of May. We have strawberries through the Texas fall and winter seasons.”

Q

Q

Kuta said, “Our goal is that we want our customers to come out and know us. We want them to feel comfortable; to come at any time to see what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. We enjoy educating them through jam-making classes and pickle-making classes. We will even help them set up their home garden. Our goal is to get the world eating the right way.”

JOLLISANT FARMS

11351 CR 203, Plantersville, Texas

In February 2013, the farm officially opened as “pickyour-own.” Their primary customer base comes from surrounding Texas cities such as Mongtomery, The Woodlands and Katy, with some customers from the Bryan-College Station area.

Stay up-to-date on events or get information on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jollisantfarm

Call (936) 894-2766.

77 PLANTERSVILLE

Outside, customers can pick their own asparagus, cucumbers, dill, green beans, lettuce, okra, squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes, zucchini, black eyed and purple hull peas, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and watermelon.

Kuta said, “We are bringing people into Grimes County.” As for the farm’s attraction, Kuta said, “I think that it is the wholesomeness, the peacefulness of the farm and enjoying being able to get out of the city and spend the day with their family. Picking is something a lot of families have no knowledge of. Most adults can’t tell you what a potato plant looks like. A lot of our customers are homeschoolers and they’re teaching their kids the value of growing, what plants look like, and how to pick. I think more families are trying to get back to the basics of what our country was built on.” The Jollisant’s encourage families to bring a picnic lunch and spend the day at the farm. A small play area was added in early 2016, and Kuta says “the next part of expansion is to grow the playground.” Birthday parties are held in the original dairy barn, and other activities include organically fed catch-and-release bass fishing and catfish that staff will fillet for take-home.


CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Have you ever heard the call of a small town? Felt it luring you -- the peace and quiet, away from the traffic and urban congestion? Someplace that is a great place to raise kids, and have a short drive to work, where you can experience a sense of community that is hard to find in larger cities. More and more people are discovering that way of life in towns like Navasota. The same is true of businesses that are interested in finding a convenient location, local amenities and a vibrant community that will welcome them. Navasota offers all of that and more, with the right mix of location, environment and people. These translate into a good location for business. Navasota is unique in its development of the Navasota Industrial Park and Navasota Business Park. We have a strong local workforce pool, which is important as our area is poised for growth from multiple directions with new housing and commercial developments underway. At the same time, we have maintained a strong link to our past through our historic downtown district. The City presents recreational and music events in the downtown district throughout the year. The area in and around Navasota is beautiful Texas countryside. Add to that our low tax rates and affordable housing plus our convenient proximity to Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio and you understand why we say “Navasota – So Much, So Close.” The Navasota Grimes County Chamber of Commerce is focused on education, promotion and economic development. We provide connections, resources and advocacy to support, strengthen and help grow our members’ businesses and our community. We hope that as you enjoy this magazine you will feel the call of the small town. Navasota is a special place and we welcome you to become a part of it.

Johnny McNally Executive Director Navasota Grimes County Chamber of Commerce

Photography by Geoff Horn, Navasota


THANK YOU TO THE FOLLOWING CHAMBER MEMBERS WHO HELPED MAKE THIS PUBLICATION POSSIBLE JAVA HOT SPOT

BEARD - NAVASOTA VETERINARY HOSPITAL

LINDLEY ROBERTSON HOLT FUNERAL HOME

BEDIAS BUNGALOW

MARTHA’S BLOOMERS

BERNHARDT WINERY

MARTIAL ARTS AMERICA NAVASOTA

BREWER, EYEINGTON & PATOUT

MCDOUGAL & CO.

BUSY BEE GRAPHICS

MILLER INSURANCE AGENCY

CAMP ALLEN

MILLER’S THEATRE

CITY OF NAVASOTA - HORLOCK HOUSE

NAVASOTA ABSTRACT & TITLE COMPANY

CLASSIC ROCK COFFEE COMPANY

NAVASOTA EXAMINER

COUFAL PRATER

NAVASOTA ISD

COW TALK STEAK HOUSE

NAVASOTA REALTY

COWGIRL COLLECTION COMPANY

NAVASOTA THEATRE ALLIANCE

CREATIVE SIGNS & GRAPHICS

NOTO’S HOME AND AUTO STORE

936-825-7555 - www.bbvacompass.com

936-870-5957 - www.facebook.com/JavaHotSpotNavasota

936-825-3877 - www.beardnavasota.com

936-355-0642 - www.bediasbungalowbnb.com 936-894-9829 - www.bernhardtwinery.com

936-825-6448 - www.lindleyrobertsonholt.com 936-825-7400 - www.marthasbloomers.com

409-682-6039 - www.facebook.com/maanavasota/

936-825-6507 - www.bepcocpa.com

936-825-3235 - www.mcdougalco.com

936-870-5014 - www.facebook.com/BusyBeeGraphics 936-825-7175 - www.campallen.org

936-825-6789 - www.millerinsurancetexas.com 936-825-3600 - www.millerstheatre.com

936-825-6475 - www.visitnavasota.com

936-825-6405 - www.navasotaabstract.com

classicrockcoffee.com/navasota-tx

936-825-6484 - www.navasotaexaminer.com

936-825-6575 - www.cptractor.com

936-825-4200 - www.navasotaisd.org

936-825-6993 - www.navasotalivestock.com 936-825-2441 - www.cowgirlcollectioncompany.com 936-825-8044 - www.creativesignsandgraphics.com

CRUISE PLANNERS - Kelley Austin

936-825-5094 - www.navasotarealtyinc.com 936-825-3195 - www.navasotatheatre.org 936-825-3578 - www.facebook.com/Notos-HomeAuto-183625024983056/

936-825-7001 - www.cruiseplanners.com

ONLY 1 RENTALS, LLC

ERGOGENESIS ERGONOMIC WORKPLACE SOLUTIONS

PECAN LAKES GOLF CLUB

936-825-2444 - www.only1rentals.com

936-825-1700 - www.ergogenesis.com

936-870-3889 - www.pecanlakesgolfclub.net

FULTZ & FULTZ LAW FIRM

REPUBLIC SERVICES

936-825-7833 - www.fultzlaw.com

979-277-0811 - www.republicservices.com

GRIMES COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS ASSOCATION

SIMPLE LIFE CHIROPRACTIC

936-701-1001 - www.simplelifechiro.com

936-873-3907 - www.txmg.org/grimes

ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH

GRIMES ST. JOSEPH HEALTH CENTER

936-825-7726 - www.stpaulsnavasota.org

GUARANTEE BODY AND PAINT SHOP, INC.

TEXAS A&M AGRILIFE EXTENSION OF GRIMES COUNTY

936-825-6472

936-873-3907 - grimes.agrilife.org

GUARANTY TITLE COMPANY OF GRIMES COUNTY

THE COMPUTER SPECIALIST

936-825-7322 - www.grimestitle.com

936-825-1963

HILCO METAL ROOFING SUPPLY & SERVICE

TRADITIONS EVENT DESIGNS

936-825-0500 - www.hilcometal.com

936-870-8974 - www.traditionsdowntown.com

INTEGRITY REAL ESTATE GROUP

WASHINGTON COUNTY TRACTOR

936-825-6585 - www.chistjoseph.org

936-870-5957 - www.integritygroupnavasota.com

936-825-7577 - www.wctractor.com

The Navasota Grimes County Chamber of Commerce 117 S. LaSalle Street, Navasota, TX 77868 (936) 825-6600 www.navasotagrimeschamber.com 2016 OFFICERS Meribeth Shimshack, President Ray Toler, First Vice President Marilyn Bettes, Secretary David Marlow, Treasurer

DIRECTORS Kathy Baldobino Theresa Clark Dia Copeland Josh Fultz

Jared Patout Melissa Vezurk Ben White

CHAMBER STAFF Johnny McNally, Executive Director Casey Ellis, Administrative Assistant

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

BBVA COMPASS BANK


82

JA N UA RY

J UL Y • State of the City Address • Grimes County Crime Stoppers Awards Dinner • MLK Day Parade • Go Texan Cook Off

FEBRUA RY

• Friends of Grimes County Gun Show • July 4 Parade • Navasota Daze at Navasota Center • Bernhardt Winery Sunday Concert Series • Grimes County Poor Boys

A UGUST • Navasota Blues Fest • Bernhardt Winery Sunday Concert Series • Ducks Unlimited

• Grimes County Republican Party Reagan Dinner • Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner

MA RCH

SEPT EM B ER • Texas Birthday Bash • Washington-on-the Brazos Texas Independence Activities • Community Easter Egg Hunt at New Hope Church*

A PRIL

• Friends of Grimes County Bubba Can Cook • Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament • Bernhardt Winery Sunday Concert Series • Plantersville Town Hall Car Show

OC T OB ER • Special Olympics at NISD • Keep Navasota Beautiful Annual Trash Off • Go Texan Crawfish Boil • St. Mary’s Church Quilt Show • Relay for Life

MA Y

• Lanterns & Legends • Treats on the Streets • Kiwanis Radio Auction • Kiwanis Navasota Monster Dash 5k • National Night Out • City of Navasota 150th Anniversary • Texas Renaissance Festival

N OV EM B ER • Annual Business Expo • Kid Fish at Patout Pond • NISD Scholarship Banquet • 1st Responders Day

JU N E

• Veterans Day Parade • Texas Renaissance Festival • NISD Education Foundation Dinner • Bernhardt Winery Sunday Concert Series

D EC EM B ER • Friends of Grimes County Denim & Diamonds Casino Night • Grimes County Fair • Navasota Summer Concert Series • Bernhardt Winery Sunday Concert Series

• Turner, Pierce & Fultz Tent Sale • Home for the Holidays • Christmas Parade • Navasota Grimes Chamber Toys for Kids Event


MH

Bryan College Station GB

21

CR244

23 miles

6

SW GI 50

105

FI

Navasota

SX

WB

MD

Washington

28 miles

Anderson 90

MB

HM

36

290

NAVASOTA

30

26 miles

WW

83

Carlos GC

17 miles

BH

CH

45

105

SM BW

Plantersville JF

6

1774

BB

Brenham

290

99

Martha’s Bloomers Nursery & M. Bloomers Café 8101 Texas 6, Navasota www.marthasbloomers.com (936) 825-7400 Shop Horlock Art Gallery & History Museum 1215 E. Washington, Navasota Six Flags Over Texas Monument & August Horst Park 400 Veterans Memorial Drive, Navasota (936) 825-6475

Messina Hof Winery 4545 Old Reliance Road, Bryan www.messinahof.com (979) 778-9463 Santa’s Wonderland 18898 Texas 6, College Station www.santas-wonderland.com (979) 690-7212 Museum of the American GI 19124 Texas 6, College Station www.americangimuseum.org (979) 446-6888

Jollisant Farms Pick Your Own Organic Farm 11351 CR 203, Plantersville www.jollisantfarm.com (936) 894-2766

Blue Bell Creamery 1101 S. Blue Bell Drive, Brenham www.bluebell.com (800) 327-8135

St. Mary’s Church (painted church) 8227 CR 205, Plantersville www.smsj.org (936) 894-2223

Windy Winery 4232 Clover Road, Brenham www.windywinery.com (979) 836-3252

Bernhardt Winery 9043 CR 204, Plantersville www.bernhardtwinery.com (936) 894-9829

Chappell Hill Lavender Farm 2250 Dillard Road, Washington www.chappellhilllavender.com (979) 251-8114

Fanthorp Inn 579 Main Street, Anderson www.wheretexasbecametexas.org (936) 873-2633

Washington on the Brazos State Park 23400 Park Road 12, Washington www.wheretexasbecametexas.org (936) 878-2214

Gibbons Creek Resevoir (fishing/camping) 9570 CR 171, Carlos www.gibbonscreek.com (936) 873-2424

Bluebonnet Hills Alpaca Ranch 32540 Courtney Road, Navasota www.bbhalpacas.com (979) 826-9931

George Bush Library 1000 George Bush Drive, College Station www.bush41.org (979) 691-4000

Mountain Dream Alpacas 11366 FM 362, Navasota http://www.mountaindreamalpacas.com/ (936) 825-6552


Located in Historic Downtown Navasota

Matt Carter & Kathleen Terrell, Owners

936.825.7322

www.grimestitle.com 211 East Washington • Navasota, Texas 77868

Profile for Real Property Marketing Group, Ltd.

Welcome to Navasota  

Welcome to Navasota