News and Events - February 2022



February 2022



News and Events from

The Museum of North Texas History











Dear Members,


If you haven’t already, please consider becoming a member of the Museum of North Texas History! Membership is one of the easiest and best ways to support your local non-profit.


Your membership allows the Museum to continue serving the North Texas Area by collecting, preserving, and collecting and exhibiting the history of the North Texas Area.


At the end of 2021, Douglas James, Byrle Graham, Leland Turner, and Evan Knobloch rolled off the board. We are so thankful for their years and in some cases, decades of service to the Museum of North Texas History. We will miss y'all!


We are excited to welcome three new board members this year! Paul Bata, Whitney Beeson, and Joshua Ysasi will be joining the Board of Directors. Rejoining the Board is Paul Fleming, who will serve as our Treasurer.


We have some great things planned for 2022! Currently scheduled exhibits range from Rural Texas Women to Charlye Farris to German-Texas settlers to the 100th Anniversary of Midwestern State University Texas.


In 2022, the Museum is excited to offer several new exhibits to visitors. We will also be open for After Hours Art Walks and other downtown events.  


We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at the Museum this year!









Continues through February!



Women of Wichita County, Texas




In early December, MoNTH sponsored a signing of the book “Women of Wichita County Texas.” Thanks to everyone who attended. The authors were pleased to see the number of women who were included in the book who attended the event. Happily, all the copies of the first order of the book were sold!

The second printing was received in early January. The books are available during the Museum’s regular hours, Thursday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. If you are unable to come by the Museum for a book, please give us a call and we can make special arrangements. 



Current C.D.C. Mask Guidelines












Membership for the Museum of North Texas History extends from January to December. Now is the time to renew your membership. You should have received your membership envelop in the mail-out of the January newsletter. If you didn’t receive your newsletter, please let us know!!

You can renew your membership in multiple ways. You can return your check in the membership envelope. Memberships can be dropped off at the Museum during regular business hours. The easiest way to renew is through the links provided at the Museum of North Texas History website.

Your membership is the “energy” we need to keep the Museum “running.” Thanks for keeping us on the move!!


Renew your membership online.









Thanks to the Museum of North Texas History, the Wichita County Archives display watercolors belonging to the museum. They are changed out once a year to prevent fading. Last year’s portraits were of the Wichita County Courthouse and the construction scene of downtown Wichita Falls in 1919.

The new portraits are of the Pavilion at Lake Wichita and a street scene in downtown Burkburnett during the Oil Boom. Just so everyone knows….. the Archives are more than boring documents and old photos. We can be “artsy artsy” as well.



Bit of History



Each month we will highlight "bits" of North Texas history.














Semi-professional baseball first came to Wichita Falls in 1905, thanks to the sponsorship of the Cremo Cigar Company. Professional teams of the Texas-Oklahoma League played at a field located between Lamar and Scott and 13th and 14th Street. In 1920, a group of investors bought the Waco franchise of the Texas League, brought them to Wichita Falls, and renamed the team "The Wichita Falls Spudders". (Spudder was a piece of oil field equipment.) Wichita Falls had a population of approximately 40,000 and was financially well set, thanks to the oil boom. Athletic Park was built north of the downtown area as the Spudder's home. Fires in 1922 and 1924 burned the grandstands, but they were rebuilt. The Spudders were the Texas League Champions in 1927. In 1930, the New York Yankees came to town to play the Spudders. Babe Ruth showed the small town fans his big league skills with two home runs. However, the Yankees lost the game to the Spudders with a score of 9-6. After changes in ownership and league affiliations, the Spudders were sold to a group in Longview in 1957 and baseball has not returned to Wichita Falls. 

In August of 1955, a group of entertainers toured through Wichita Falls as part of the Louisiana Hayride. The group included a young singer, named Elvis Presley, who had performed in Wichita Falls on April 25, 1955. Elvis performed from a stage, constructed at 2nd base, using a flatbed truck.

Nothing remains of the grandstand at Athletic Field. Today, the area is known as Spudder Park, with a picnic area and a baseball diamond filled with memories of yesterday



The Nat's Hat Project





The Museum of North Texas History is excited to announce our latest effort to preserve our area’s history, The Nat’s Hats Project. When the Cow Lot Western Wear closed in 2006, owner Nat Fleming donated the over 500 “used” hats that had decorated the walls of the Cow Lot to the Museum of North Texas History. Thanks to the work of many board members, the hats have been displayed in Heritage Hall in the Museum since 2007. Executive Director of the Museum, Madeleine Calcote says “Nat’s Hats is the heart of the Museum’s collection, and we can’t wait to learn more about the amazing people represented in this collection of hats.”


Along with the North Texas Genealogy Association and the Wichita County Archives, the Museum of North Texas History wants to tell the stories of these hats and further preserve the history of our area. If you, a family member, friend, or neighbor has a hat in the exhibit, we would like to talk to you. Please contact the Wichita County Archives ator email for more information.








“Rural Texas Women at Work” pays tribute to our rural grandmothers and their families in the middle third of the 20th century. Industrious and enterprising, rural Texas women performed the common tasks of housewives everywhere—cooking, housekeeping, and doing laundry. In addition, they raised large gardens, tended flocks of poultry, canned and preserved foods for their families, made and repaired furnishings, picked cotton, drove tractors, and took over the men’s work during World War II. 

(Photo and text from Humanities, Texas)



Charlye Farris received her law degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1953. During her final year, Farris’ class worked on the landmark racial desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Charlye was sworn in on Nov. 12, 1953 as the first Black woman to be licensed to practice law in Texas. Charlye started a solo practice in Wichita Falls, becoming the first Black, male or female, to actively practice law in Wichita County. Charley faced many obstacles and much discrimination in Wichita County and within the legal profession. However, in 1954, Farris was selected to serve as county judge pro-tem, making her the first black person to serve as a judge in the South since Reconstruction. (Photo courtesy of Farris family; text Texas Historical Commission marker)




Wichita Falls Junior College opened in September 1922, the second municipal junior college in Texas. It was operated by the Wichita Falls Independent School District and superintendent Randolph Lee Clark. Its liberal arts curriculum drew fifty-five freshmen that fall. Classes met in the high school on Broad Street. What a change 100 years brings!

(Photo from MSU Texas; Text from Texas State History Online)



German-Texas Settlers

The largest ethnic group in Texas derived directly from Europe was persons of German birth or descent. As early as 1850, they constituted more than 5 percent of the total Texas population, a proportion that remained constant through the remainder of the nineteenth century.

From their first immigration to Texas in the 1830s, the Germans tended to cluster in ethnic enclaves. A majority settled in a broad, fragmented belt across the south-central part of the state.

(From Texas State History Online)






Paula and Gordon Elmore's names were not included in our 2021 Membership list in the January 2021 newsletter. We extend our sincere apology.








Museum of North Texas History








Jenny to Jet


Wichita Falls Municipal Airport


4000 Armstrong Drive Wichita Falls, Texas 76305



Museum of North Texas History

Officers of the Board of Directors


President: Tim Swagerty

Vice President: Lindsay Barker

Secretary: Bryce Blair

Treasurer:  Paul Fleming


Executive Director: Madeleine Calcote

Curator: Leanne Ray

Newsletter Editor: Becky Trammell, Ph.D.



Museum Hours

Thursday - Saturday

10:00am - 4:00pm

Wichita County Archives

Located in the Museum

Hours: 10:00am - 4:00pm (By appointment)

Tuesday - Thursday

Bryce Blair, Archivist




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