Thursday, February 22, 2018

ETHA Spring Symposium

On Saturday, February 17, the East Texas Historical Association held a Spring Symposium at The History Center in Diboll. Diboll was founded in 1893 as a company town by timber magnate T.L.L. Temple. One of the civic philanthropies provided to Diboll by Temple Industries is The History Center, which opened in 2003 and which features an excellent museum and archival collection. Indeed, early in my tenure as State Historian, my wife Karon and I came to Diboll to create a blog on The History Center.

Behind the main building of The History Center
is a well-preserved lumber train.

One of the statues on The History Center grounds is of Arthur Temple, Jr.
Standing in front of one of the excellent museum displays
The theme of the ETHA Spring Symposium was "The Presidents Speak Again." Two past presidents of the ETHA, Milton Jordan and Dan Utley, have compiled a book that has just been released by the Stephen F. Austin State University Press: The Presidents Speak: Addresses from the Leadership of the East Texas Historical Association, 2000-2016. Each year, at the ETHA Fall Meeting, the Association President delivers a presidential address, and Jordan and Utley have collected these addresses since 2000. The Presidents Speak was introduced at the 2018 Spring Symposium, and a panel of the presidential contributors was assembled at The History Center to discuss their addresses and to answer questions from the audience. The official presider was Portia Gordon, an ETHA board member and the longtime aide to former ETHA Executive Director Archie McDonald.


Dan Utley and Milton Jordan with their book, The Presidents Speak, which provided the theme for the ETHA Spring Symposium

 
Portia Gore (standing at right), longtime ETHA secretary and board member, presided over the panel.


Milton Jordan at the speaker's stand

Former Texas State Historian Light Cummins (left) with ETHA board member Monte Monroe from Texas Tech
 
There were about 40 ETHA members in attendance, and we enjoyed refreshments provided by The History Center. Following the presidential panel, we divided into two groups and, led by History Center staff members, we were toured through the museum and the archival collection. As always, it was a pleasure to visit with friends and fellow ETHA members. 


ETHA Executive Assistant Chris Gill makes these events work.

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