"Lone Star Historian 2" is a blog about the travels and activities of the State Historian of Texas during his second year. Bill O'Neal was appointed to a two-year term by Gov. Rick Perry on August 22, 2012, at an impressive ceremony in the State Capitol. Bill is headquartered at Panola College (www.panola.edu) in Carthage, where he has taught since 1970. For more than 20 years Bill conducted the state's first Traveling Texas History class, a three-hour credit course which featured a 2,100-mile itinerary. In 2000 he was awarded a Piper Professorship, and in 2012 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wild West Historical Association. Bill has published over 40 books, almost half about Texas history subjects, and in 2007 he was named Best Living Non-Fiction Writer by True West Magazine. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by his alma mater, Texas A&M University - Commerce.
The East Texas Historical Association held its Fall 2014 Meeting on October 2-3-4 on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University. Participants totaled 256, just five short of the all-time record. Dr. Scott Sosebee, ETHA Executive Director, and Secretary/Treasurer Christal Gill worked on arrangements that greatly aided the large crowd.
|Scott Sosebee, ETHA Executive Director and|
Secretary/Treasurer Christal Gill
Meetings were held at the Baker Patillo Student Center on the SFASU campus. The Board of Directors met on Thursday morning, and sessions began that afternoon. One of the opening sessions was Remembering Archie McDonald: A Panel of Friends Reminisce. Dr. McDonald was a highly regarded author and teacher, and the longtime director of the ETHA. Panelists were associates and friends of McDonald: Portia Gordon, Dan Utley, and Richard Berry, Provost of SFASU. Late in the session there was time for audience members to relate their own stories about a remarkable historian and friend to us all.
|Dan Utley, Portia Gordon, and Richard Berry |
reminisce about Archie McDonald.
|JoNeita Kelly mans the TSHA table.|
The Max and Georgiana Lale Lecture was held on Thursday evening. The speaker was Paul Carlson, Emeritus Professor from Texas Tech University. A distinguished historian, author, and speaker, Dr. Carlson’s topic was “Painting Tom Sawyer’s Fence: Lessons from Literature, History, Sports, and the Humanities.” Friday evening activities were held at historic Millard’s Crossing, and began with the Fellows Reception. Yvonne Frear, Robert Robertson, and Paul Sturdevant were named as new Fellows of the ETHA. The Reception was followed by a barbeque supper and the Presidential Address. ETHA President Gene Preuss spoke on “East Texas and the Battle for Texas’ Past.”
|Ron Chrisman at the UNT Press table|
On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday there were 26 sessions featuring nearly 80 speakers and panelists, a splendid history buffet. The Fall Meeting ended with the Awards Luncheon and Business Meeting. Two Ottis Lock Book of the Year Awards were presented, each with a $500 stipend: Lens on the Texas Frontier, by Lawrence T. Jones, III, and The Other Great Migration: The Movement of Rural African Americans to Houston, 1900-1941, by Bernadette Pruitt. The Educator of the Year Award, carrying a $1,000 award, was presented to Rajonia Carnley, a dedicated and gifted teacher of fourth grade Texas history at Van Alstyne Elementary School in the Van Alstyne ISD. Mrs. Carnley’s students stay busy with a number of imaginative ad stimulating assignments, and each year she leads a field trip to Austin, a walking tour of the historic sites and architecture of Van Alstyne, and a visit to the Mesquite Rodeo while studying Texas cowboys (two years ago the State Historian was invited to present a program on cowboys just one day prior to the Mesquite Rodeo visit).
|Debbie Liles presenting at the West Texas |
Historical Association session
Dr. Mary L. Scheer of Lamar University assumed the ETHA presidency at the close of the meeting. After receiving the gavel from outgoing President Preuss, she issued an invitation to the Spring Meeting, February 27-28, 2015, at the Sam Houston State University Center at the Woodlands.
|Dr. Eric Gruver of Texas A&M University|
introducing the TAMUC session on
their new "East Texas War
and Memory Project"