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White Hall celebrates 150 years

November 29, 2023 - 00:00
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Last Saturday was a great day for White Hall. Approximately 200 people attended the festivities. Planning began when Mark Walz asked me if I would help coordinate a White Hall 150-Year Celebration because he thought this special time should not be overlooked. He invited Pat Dunaway, and I asked Leslie Long and Debbie Addicks to join. With no budget and no bank account, our ideas became reality with the help of many people.

Pat suggested we elect a queen and the decision to name Mrs. Eleanore Feldmann queen was unanimous. Our unplanned trip to the store to tell her was a surprise. She was somewhat speechless, but the smile was there. Mrs. Eleanore is the face of White Hall. She is a lifetime member of this community with many family ties. She also has a wealth of White Hall history and is able to share information on the spot while most people would have to make a trip to the county to research.

The event was held at the gin. Mrs. Eleonore’s Uncle Gus Schroeder bought the gin in 1953, rebuilt it in 1956 and it shut down in 1969. This was a reminder that White Hall represents cotton farming. The lighting, queen chair and backdrop were added for her royalty.

I don’t know who decided if people or businesses wanted to donate by check, that checks be written to White Hall Taxpayers Association to assist with the maintenance of the building. The idea was a gracious offer. What better way to honor Mrs. Eleanore who maintained the bookings for the community center for years and remains an honorary member.

The community center began as a Navasota ISD school. The White Hall School opened in 1913 and closed in 1949. In 1954, the building and property were deeded to the White Hall Taxpayers Association. It was raised and a new community center was erected on the site in 1959 using some of the wood from the original building. There is a historical marker at the entrance. My Great Aunt Edna went to school there and when the first Birthday Bash was held, she was honored since it was right before her 100th birthday.

There was a lot that went into the planning including booking bands, securing vendors, cleaning the venue. Getting donations etc. Having never worked together as a team, I think we did pretty good.

We also had the 1954 Mack fire truck which was originally owned by Roger Lieder, one of the founders of the White Hall Community VFD. Prior to his death, he donated the truck to the Edmonds Museum. Thank you, Mr. Butch Edmonds for completing our dream of having a fire truck at the event. Roger again managed to help White Hall.

The fireworks were awesome. Thank you, Mr. Frank for your generous donation of fireworks plus everything you did to help celebrate White Hall and especially, Mrs. Eleanore. Mr. Frank recently sold the White Hall Grocery to the Kirk Ross family and son John will be managing it. A big thank you to the Ross family for all their donations to make this possible. Brothers John and Logan graciously drove Mrs. Eleanore in her carriage to the front door and escorted her down the red carpet.

Fun fact, George and Richard White owned the grocery store and at one time there was a dance hall on the second floor. Thus, White Hall.

Many people were present that I didn’t know but they were very complimentary and thankful for our efforts. Special thanks to all the people and donors who helped to make this a successful day including Mayor Charlie and his family, the dedicated committee consisting of Mark Walz, Pat Dunaway, Leslie Long, Debbie Addicks and myself.

Upcoming Birthdays and Anniversaries

Dec. 3 – James Brak, Lance Simon, Jordan and Kaleigh Fields; Dec. 4 – Judy Loden, Patrick Malek; Dec. 6 – Wanda Schroeder, Lawrence and Brenda Finke; Dec. 7 – Ricky Clepper, Carlie Jo Finke; Dec. 8 – Barbara Gorney, Johnny and Susie Busse, Dec. 9 – Jack Rimes. Congratulations to each of you.

Upcoming Calendar Events

Each Monday of the Week, Clothes Closet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Grimes St. Joseph Hospital. Clothes may be dropped off Monday-Friday at the hospital.

Each Tuesday, FREE Bingo at the VFW Post, 5:30 p.m. Food is available for purchase.

Dec. 2 – WHCVFD BBQ sandwiches, 11 a.m. until sold out.

Dec. 4 –WHCVFD Business meeting, 7 p.m. at the station.

Dec. 21 – Sonshine Sisters.

Dec. 21 – Grimes County VFW Post 4006 meal and business meetings, 6:30 p.m.

If you have any information you wish to share, call, 936-870-5284 or email me, and I will be happy to add to my column.