"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.It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as State Historian of Texas. During the last two years I’ve had a grand time traveling throughout the Lone Star State as an ambassador for Texas history. I’ve had the delightful assignment of visiting – or revisiting – one historical site after another, and of interacting with old and new friends who agree with me that Texas has the richest and most colorful history of any state in the Union.
|Dr. Powell opens the ceremony.|
|With Chris Paddie and Karon|
It is fitting, therefore, that the ceremony launching my second term as State Historian be held in the Murphy-Payne Community Room on the Panola College campus. Our state representative, Chris Paddie, agreed to administer the oath of office. KGAS Radio in Carthage broadcast the event and interviewed participants. The ceremony was open to the public, and close to 200 friends and colleagues and family members were in attendance. My brother Mike drove to Carthage from Denton. My daughter Berri came from Irving. My daughter Causby and her family – husband Dusty and daughters Bailey and Kendall – came from Van Alstyne. My wife Karon teaches math at Panola and already was on campus. Many of those in attendance were former students of mine. Mr. and Mrs. Foster Murphy were honored guests.
|With Mr. and Mrs. Murphy and granddaughter Ryan Murphy|
At three o’clock on the afternoon of October 22 – exactly two years and two months since I was sworn in at the State Capitol – Dr. Powell began the second investiture with a gracious introduction of State Representative Paddie and State Historian O’Neal. Karon stepped forward with a Bible which my mother gave me more than half a century ago. With my hand on the Bible, Representative Paddie administered the oath of office. I made a few remarks, expressing my gratitude to Representative Paddie, Dr. Powell, and most especially to Mr. and Mrs. Murphy. Afterward a reception was held, featuring a table piece of Yellow Roses of Texas – and appropriate refreshments of pecan pie and peach cobbler – with Blue Bell ice cream.
|Receiving a plaque from the History Department|
|Dr. Powell, Mike O'Neal, Causby Henderson, Kendall,|
Karon, Bailey, Dusty Henderson, Berri Gormley
|John Crain, August Harris, Mark Wolfe|
|With Mark Wolfe and August Harris|