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South Texas Living

Historians teach retirees

Historians teach retirees
LaJuana Newnam-Leus, president of the Wilson County Historical Society (from left), Gene Maeckel of the Wilson County Historical Commission, and Nancy Traeger

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April 17, 2013
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Wilson County Retired School Personnel’s April meeting was a lesson in the history of our county. Gene Maeckel of the Wilson County Historical Commission; LaJuana Newnam-Leus, president of the Wilson County Historical Society; and Nancy Traeger, Dewees-Remschel House curator, shared fascinating facts about our community.

Gene began the program by encouraging local residents to share their treasures with the historical society. Anyone with letters, contracts, photos, or memorabilia may contact the Wilson County Historical Society. If the information is relevant, members will be glad to pick up and archive items. He also suggested that community members check out their website and newsletter, “Historic Moments.” After a brief overview of local ranching and farming, he discussed the location of several trails and river crossings. Two historical markers are in the works as well.

Nancy shared information about the 144-year-old Dewees-Remschel House, which was moved from Gonzales to its location on 130 acres outside Poth. She talked about the excitement of finding Claribel Dewees’ wedding dress and having it lovingly restored. Weddings and celebrations are a big part of the Dewees-Remschel House. Stories of memorable weddings captivated her audience.

LaJuana completed the history lesson with compliments to county Librarian Nicki Stohr, along with Shirley Grammer, Maurine Liles, and Roy Monroe. They have worked diligently to catalog, research, and share information. She also reminded everyone that the Floresville Opry is a fundraiser for the historical society. The next Opry is Thursday, May 2, in the Floresville Event Center. Viola Henke is the dynamo behind the Opry.

Retired educators received good news from attendees at the Texas Retired Teachers Association Day at the Capitol. Legislators in Austin were supportive of bills favorable to retirees. Members were asked to contact legislators to thank them for their support. Perhaps 2013 will be a historic year for retirees who have not received any cost of living increase in a dozen years.

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