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A Volunteer Historian

It wasn't the reward that mattered or the recognition you might harvest. It was your depth of commitment, your quality of service, the product of your devotion -- these were the things that counted in life. When you gave purely, the honor was in giving, and that was honor enough.
--Captain Scott O'Grady

The Creative Gene has given us a topic for the 1st Carnival of Genealogy of 2010 - that of Volunteerism.

I have been negligent in keeping up with the COG and my own vow to contribute to all the carnivals. I now realize that it is too much to ask of myself to turn in a submission for each one. But I especially liked this one because I have just this past year taken on a volunteer job that I believe is worthy of my time and energies, and I’d like to tell you about it.

In 1984, the old High School in my home town was threatened with demolition. This wonderful structure that was part of so many of our lives for decades was saved due to the tremendous efforts of a group of concerned citizens and former Mineral Wells High School students.

Today the Mineral Wells High School 50 Year Club promotes and preserves our many high school reunions, each year inducting a new class of alumni who have reached the 50 year anniversary of graduating from Mineral Wells. The organization now owns the old high school building and the surrounding facilities and is working on restoring them and creating a National Historic District.

Plans are being made for the historical restoration of the original structures of the old, three-story high school building and amphitheater facility, the Rock School House, and the Home Economics Building. The interiors will be refurbished for use as a Community Historical Complex.

1931 Mineral Wells High School

When I was appointed Historian of the 50 Year Club, I eagerly looked forward to the challenge and adventures I'd find along the way. Little did I know how much of a challenge faced me! I am not saying it is an impossible challenge, just one that will keep me very, very busy for quite some time. I have already appointed one committee and anticipate one or two others.

My charge as Historian was to organize and protect the large amount of memorabilia that has already been donated to the 50 Year Club over the years. I follow after other dedicated and competent Historians that served their fellow graduates well.

As a graduate of MWHS in 1962, I have followed the progress of Mineral Wells with interest. I look forward to serving the 50 Year Club as their Historian this year. While visiting with the Executive Director, Dr. Jessie Teddlie, in her office when first accepting the challenge, I was impressed, first, by the enormity of the job before me, and then by the vision of the club and its members.

I will do my very best to preserve and prepare the photos, news clippings, albums, yearbooks, items of vintage clothing, and other memorabilia for the enjoyment and use of those who come after us.

Some days the task before me seems insurmountable, but I know that slowly plugging along will eventually bring me the results I need. You can see some of those efforts at Mountaineer Heritage Park Blog. I do hope Mother Theresa was right!

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.
- Mother Theresa

This post was written for the 88th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy at Creative Gene. The COG poster provided courtesy of the footnoteMaven.


Kristyna, Energize Inc. "Especially for Leaders of Volunteers," (Online: accessed January 8, 2010.


I love your new blog design. I've awarded you the "Happy 101 Award". You can read about it and pick it up here:
I have enjoyed reading your family stories for quite awhile. I too awarded you the "Happy 101 Award.
Thank you so very much, "Taylorstales"!
J.M. said…
Wow, it sounds like quite a job! Great going in undertaking it!
Thank you, J.M. Yes, as I mentioned in my post, it seems a little overwhelming at times! But I have some great help from others, so have confidence the job will get done.
I appreciate your comment.
What a great blog post, and what a job you have undertaken.

I know that you will do a great job, and that they are lucky to have you to do it, but it does seem a daunting task!
Thanks, Debbie, for stopping by. Yes, I may be working on this for years! They (the office) just keep putting more in my in-box! ;p

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