News and Events - July 2022



July 2022



News and Events from

The Museum of North Texas History












Dear Members,     

We hope that you enjoyed the Rural Texas Women at Work: 1930-1960 from Humanities Texas. We are so excited that we were able to bring this wonderful exhibit to the North Texas Area.

The Museum will be closed July 1-4 so that we can celebrate the 4th of July. We will be back just in time for the July After Hours Art Walk on Thursday, July 7! Stop by and cool off at the Museum!

We hope your summer plans include a trip to the Museum!





Downtown Wichita Falls - Art Walk





Thursday, July 7th



Holiday Hours for July 4th







Legends of North Texas Returns




The Museum of North Texas History is excited to announce that the Legend of North Texas event honoring Eddie Hill, retired American drag racer, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, October 12, 2022. The event occurs at 11:30 AM at the Forum, 2120 Speedway Avenue, Wichita Falls, Texas. Hill joins previous Legends honorees Nat Fleming, Joe Tom White, Robert Seabury, Roby Christie, and Arthur Bea Williams.

Mr. Hill has won numerous championships on both land and water. Eddie is still the only racer to have been the yearly championship winner and fastest drag racer on both land and water. He also concurrently held speed records in both venues. Eddie has won trophies and races in nine decades from the 1940s to 2020.

“We are excited to honor Eddie Hill as the 2021-2022 Legend of North Texas. Not only has he contributed to the racing world, but he is also a fixture in Wichita Falls with his business, Eddie Hill’s Fun Cycles”, says Museum Executive Director, Madeleine Calcote-Garcia.

(Photo courtesy NHRA)



Bit of History



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



Kiddyland - Fun Land



Mrs. W. B. Hamilton serves cotton candy on Kiddyland opening day.

Floating in the motor boats at Kiddyland



How old were you in 1960?

If you were in grade school in the 60s and 70s on into the 90s, you wanted to go to Kiddyland. Described as a “pint-sized amusement park,” Kiddyland was built on city-owned land in 1960.

Located at the corner of Weeks Park Lane and Southwest Parkway (then called Farm to Market Road 369), Ben G. Woody contracted with the city to install a boat ride, miniature train, merry-go-round, and similar amusement park facilities. The contract included reimbursement to the city as a percentage of the “nominal fee” required for admission.

The local neighborhood protested the building of the park. Woody described the operation as under the control of the city parks and recreation department and not loud or boisterous.

Woody and the City of Wichita Falls prevailed and Kiddyland opened in July 1960. According to a Times Record News article, over 100,000 ride tickets had been sold from July to September 1960.

Besides offering amusement rides, the park provided concessions, a covered area for parties, and catered birthday parties. During its early years, Kiddyland partnered with the Symphony Benefit League to raise money for an “acoustic” band shell for the orchestra.

The true draw to all the kids was the rides. Called the “old 369,” the Cannon Ball miniature train followed a mile-long track around the park. Helicopters would “fly” up and down circled a tall spire. Kids could drive a kid-sized tractor, pump a hand-car on the railway, and ride a “sports car.”

Many a school child spent a few hours at Kiddyland followed by a sandwich under the picnic shelter, celebrating the beginning of summer vacation. Kiddyland drew school children not only from Wichita Falls but from North Texas and Southern Oklahoma.

The park was a favorite for a family outing. Companies entertained their employees with a trip to Kiddyland. As Ben Woody said, the park could entertain people from 18 months to 80 years!

By 1974, the new park owner of the park, now called Fun Land, expanded to the east to add amusement opportunities.

By 1994, after entertaining children for over 30 years, Fun Land had seen better days. Newspapers reported a 9-year-old boy hanging upside down, 35 feet in the air, from a Ferris wheel car. Rescued by the police, the young boy was okay, but Fun Land was not.

Following the death of the current owner, the city couldn’t find another operator for the park.

Selling off the various rides, the corner of Southwest Parkway and Weeks Park was soon vacant except for the memories of many happy little children.

(Thanks to Wichita County Archives for photos and research assistance.)


Learning to operate the equipment at Kiddyland.

Hunter Jones and grandson, Kyle,

at Kiddyland opening.



Texas Association of Museums 2022




Excerpt from a presentation made to the Wichita Falls City Council on May 17, 2022:


Museums across the country are recalibrating Strategic Plans that traditionally leaned on tactics and metrics, but today, these plans lean into community impact, healing, and innovation. The American Alliance of Museums, our national accrediting body, through dialogue has developed these key areas of focus to shape our missions. Mission statements should be responsive to our audiences and to community needs. Our museums and collections are relevant, accessible, and giving, and it is up to us to show how! 








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)



Celebrating July





July 20th










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-Garcia

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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