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On July 23, 1884, the newly organized Commissioners Court authorized a contract to build a calaboose to be used for a jail. The calaboose was built of "good and substantial material" but it was used for only two years. A new jail was built in 1886 and constructed of the same locally made red brick as the courthouse. On April 8, 1911, voters approved the issue of a bond for the purpose of building a new jail. Local labor was used to build the brick building. Work progressed slowly, but on February 2, 1912, the jail at 2705 College Avenue was received by the Commissioners Court. There was even a trap door as a hanging gallows.
The first floor of the 1912 jail housed the jailer and his family. Prisoners and even a hospital were located on the second and third floors.
Little was done to remodel or change the jail until 1950 when modern plumbing and heating were installed. The brick has been covered with stucco.
In 1978, the jail at 1300 26th Street was opened. The 1912 jail was vacated.
In 2009, the Commissioners Court voted to build a modern law enforcement center that would meet mandated state requirements. It opened in 2011.
In March 2011, Bernhard Bartels, the Texas Baptist Church Builders and Historic Scurry County, Inc. began the project of building a replica of a historic church using recycled redwood lumber. Acquisitions from communities within Scurry County have made the chapel complete. A dedication ceremony was held on October 2, 2011.
Early records indicate that in 1913 a small city jail was built for the town of Hermleigh. There are no records in the county commissioners' minutes that any county funds were appropriated for the building. It must, therefore, have been financed by the citizens and was probably built by volunteer labor.
The jail building was only an 8' x 10' structure with a small open window with iron bars in each end. It was made of 2" x 4 " boards laid flat so that the walls were four inches thick. The roof was wood covered with tin, with a one-way slant. The door was heavy wood with an iron latch. The structure was never painted. It was crudely built, but it was strong. It was in use until 1920.
In the early 1920's, Mr. and Mrs. D.R. Laymen traded a cow for the building and moved it to their property to be used as a storage building. In 1971, the calaboose was moved to the west side of the Hermleigh Community Center which was only about one hundred yards from its original site. In 1972, an official Texas Historical Marker was awarded. It is located on Wheat street in Hermleigh, one block east of Highway 84 and one block north of FM 644.
In 1993, concerned residents of Hermleigh requested that the jail be moved to Heritage Village. They felt it would be more visable in that location and represent a period in Hermleigh's history. The medallion awarded the jail building in 1972 is displayed in a kiosk nearby.
In 1923, Scurry County's first producing oil well, the J.J. Moore No. 1, was drilled near Ira in the San Andres formation. This area, known as the Sharon Ridge field, has produced oil from over 2,200 wells.
The 'pump-jack' located in Heritage Village is much like those used in the early 1920's. It is a gift from Ira Pump and Supply.
The gasoline pump was manufactured between 1924 and 1929 by the Wayne Co. which continues to be in operation today (2011). It is the gift of Thom and Ann Falls.
The "Dog House" was donated to the village by the Fluvanna Young Farmers of Texas. This is a "workover unit dog house" that is a steel sided trailer mounted building for the primary purpose of coffee break and lunch room, clothing changing, and protection from the weather. It would most often have lockers for storing the crews clothing, lunches, tools and paperwork. This dog house was pulled to each workover rig location.
The see-saw was made from old pipe and tractor seats. It was made for Pat Falls for his great-grandchildren Matthew and Neilan Garcia. It is the gift of Thom and Ann Falls.
The Fluvanna Barber Shop was a project of the Young Farmers of Texas. With borrowed money, lumber from an abandoned church, and personal labor, the club built Fluvanna its first barber shop.
After the shop was built, members "scoured" the countryside looking for a barber willing to work in Fluvanna. Finally, Richard Skelton of Snyder happily agreed to be available at least two days a week and more if business would justify it. "At first my reaction was much the same as the other barbers. I visited Fluvanna and talked to these young farmers. Then I only wished they had enough business to keep me busy five days a week. I'd move to Fluvanna." Skelton said.
Opening day was something to see as the young farmers put up screens, painted the outside and cleaned the area. Most of them were looking somewhat "shaggy" after weeks of waiting for their next haircut in their "own" barber shop.
The barber shop was a gift from the original members of the Young Farmers of Texas and was moved to the Village March 26, 2010. A dedication ceremony was held on June 5, 2010 during the Fluvanna Five Year Reunion. There were 13 of the original 18 Young Farmers in attendance.
Donated by Thom and Ann Falls
The Cornelius-Dodson House, the oldest residence in Snyder, was built in 1883 by Dr. J. C. Cornelius, a retired Confederate Army Surgeon who came west following the Civil War. The house is referred to as a Tennessee Cumberland Style house having a sloped roof with a fireplace in each of the two front rooms. Dr. Cornelius built much of the house himself, using lumber shipped by rail from Fort Worth to Colorado City, about 20 miles away, then hauled to Snyder by wagon. The original flooring remains in the parlor and the bedroom. The bedroom also has its original tongue and groove ceiling. Wood used in the other rooms during restoration was milled to match
The Cornelius-Dodson House is an interpretive restoration since no inventory of the original furnishings was available. The bedroom is furnished with items of the 1880 period. The kitchen is furnished in the pioneer period of early Scurry County settlers. The dining room and parlor are of a later period, circa 1910.
On April 6, 1981, the house was moved to the present site. (Scurry County Heritage Village) With the completion of the restoration, a formal opening was held in June of 1984 to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of Scurry County.
The Dermott School, originally located in the town of Dermott, was built in 1923-1924. The town was about twelve miles northwest of Snyder on US Highway 84. A settlement named Dark began in that area in the 1890's and the students in the area attended a one-room school called "Bookout" before the Dermott school was built. The Dermott school was used from 1924-1949 when the Dermott school district was consolidated with the Snyder Independent School District.
The school originally had two classrooms. One of the rooms is now furnished as a classroom might have looked when students occupied it. The other room is furnished with chairs and folding tables and is used for meetings, receptions, luncheons and similar gatherings. A partition was added to this room to provide space for a kitchen. Most of Scurry County's rural schools closed when good roads provided easy access to Snyder with its larger school system. The Gilmer-Aiken bill passed by the Texas Legislature required that teachers hold college degrees and this put an additional burden on small school districts like Dermott.
The Dermott School was moved to the Heritage Village in 1988. It was renovated through the efforts of Historic Scurry County, Inc. and the Scurry County Historical Commission with the assistance and support of the community.
Between the Western Texas College Coliseum and the entrance to the Heritage Village sits Engine No. 5, the last steam locomotive belonging to the Roscoe, Snyder and Pacific Railroad. The engine was donated to the city and in March, 1956 was placed in Towle Memorial Park. Adults and children alike lined the streets and delighted in the procession of flashing lights from the police escort as the No. 5 was moved to The Coliseum.
The Official Texas Historical Marker is erected near the engine. The inscription reads: Old Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railroad Engine No. 5.
A Baldwin locomotive of the Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific - the railroad that reached Snyder in 1908 with passenger and freight service, and contributed greatly to growth of the city and the area.
This engine (a coal burner, converted later to fuel oil) was built in 1920 in Philadelphia
The bunkhouse was built in the early 1900's and used on the Diamond M Ranch for the cowboys working for the McLaughlin family. In 1948 it was moved by house mover Gib Tatum from the Diamond M to the Eliza Rollins Ranch. Mr. & Mrs. Rollins had three sons who then used the bunkhouse as their sleeping quarters. The bunkhouse, at that time, had a screened-in porch that enclosed the entire front and provided a cooler place for sleeping during the hot West Texas summers. Joe Rollins married Doris Hataway in 1954. The newly married couple made the bunkhouse their home for about one and a half years before purchasing another home nearby. The Rollins Ranch was sold on the death of Mr. & Mrs. Eliza Rollins to Mr. & Mrs. Pat Falls. Mr. & Mrs. Falls then made the bunkhouse into a guest house for their grandchildren who had many fun adventures while sleeping there.
The bunkhouse was moved in July 2010 to the Heritage Village. It was renovated and preserved as an example of the living quarters for cowboys working on the cattle ranches in Scurry County.
This information is from the Snyder Daily News July 1, 1984.
In 1984 as Scurry County was realizing 100 years of existence, J.A. (Snooks) Merritt was realizing a dream. At one time there were 1,700 windmills in Snyder, a fact that led to it being coined the "windmill city". Mr. Merritt, turning 70 on his next birthday, wanted to bring back water beneath the shade and rhythmic "clink and creak" of an Eclipse windmill.
"The Eclipse was patented in 1867 by a Reverend Wheeler," Merritt said. "After they stopped making them, three other companies jumped on the bandwagon with the same design. But the mill I'm restoring is a true Eclipse." The historic 28 foot tower and 10 foot wheel were originally placed in Towle Park where a well was drilled. This completed the "dream" of Mr. Merritt to offer 'water right out of the ground' to the present and future youngsters of Scurry County.
In June of 2011, the once again restored Eclipse windmill, was moved to the Scurry County Heritage Village to be preserved for future generations.
As fate would have it, a 70 mile per hour wind in 2013 sent the 10 foot wheel tumbling from its tower. The community was saddened that the center symbol of the Village lay in disrepair on the ground. Paul Cowley of Ropesville, Texas was contacted and though retired, he agreed to remake the broken parts. Jim Brooks re-assembled and repainted the wheel and Bennie Marricle installed the wheel once again. On June 7, 2014 the windmill was once again in place and the community celebrated its restoration and return to the Heritage Village.
The outhouse is a gift to Heritage Village from Johnie and Tommy Riley, who moved it from the athletic field of the Scurry County Boys and Girls Club, to which it had been given by Tommy's father. It was built sometime between 1935 and 1943 by carpenters in the WPA (Works Progress Administration). About 2.3 million of these outhouses were built by the WPA workers during the Great Depression, all based on the same basic design, which called for a concrete floor and pot with a tightly-fitting lid and a T-shaped screened ventilation system to keep out flies and other pests. The official WPA insignia is stamped into the concrete floor just inside the door.
Cisterns have been around for at least 2,000 years. Evidence of rainwater collection systems dates back to at least 3,000 BC. In West Texas, cisterns were used to have an alternative water source. Drought has accentuated the need to capture natural rainwater.
The cistern located at the Cornelius-Dodson House in the Heritage Village was donated by Aline and J.B. Parks. This cistern dates back to at least 1891 since that date is etched into the concrete cap. The cistern was relocated and reconstructed at the village by daughter and son, Paula Fulford Parks and Whit Parks. It was the wish of the Parks family that it be used in a historical context. During tours, special attention is given to educate visitors of the importance of rainwater collection systems. Today, tanks may be made of concrete, steel, fiberglass, or other materials.
Dunn Post Office - Adopt a Mailbox
Dunn, Texas, in southern Scurry County, began as a change station for teams of mules hauling goods north after the Texas and Pacific Railroad reached Colorado City in 1881. As the town developed, mail was dropped at the home of Mr. and Mrs. A. T. Dunn. The post office, granted in 1890, was given their name. Mr. Dunn was the first postmaster.
This Dunn Post Office structure (circa 1950's) was donated to the Heritage Village by John Young Stewart II and relocated with assistance from E.D. Walton Co. and Rusty Fargason. After extensive renovations and restorations, the structure was dedicated on June 7,2014. The post office boxes and counter window, currently in the building, were located by Lynn Fuller and purchased by History Scurry Co., Inc. to replicate those that had been removed. Numerous photographs and collected memorabilia regarding the history of Dunn, Texas have been assembled by Lynn Fuller and are now on display.
At one time, black children in Snyder attended Lincoln School’s elementary through high school grades. The school closed in 1965 following the end of segregation. The flag pole was removed when the school was demolished.
It is a gift to the Heritage Village from the C’Eller Harrison family and was erected with the help of Mark McClain and Big Country Electric. It will once again fly the flag of the United States of America as a symbol of the heritage of our black community as an important part of our country’s history.
Thirty years ago, the dream was to find a new home for the oldest house in Snyder. It had a historical medallion and it was worth the efforts of the community to preserve it. Together, the county found some land and the city found some money, and the people of Scurry County joined together with fundraisers to make the dream come true. All of this happened because a few people had the dedication to see the dream become a reality.
After thirty years, to recognize the dreams and dedication of the Heritage Village founders, honor benches were placed throughout the village where visitors may stop and rest and contemplate the history that is visible before them. Individual benches bear an inscription with the names of the 1981 Judge and Commissioners Court, the 1981 Mayor and City Council, and the tireless devotees to Historic Scurry Co., Inc. We salute their dreams and dedication.
The benches were dedicated on October 2, 2011.
Trees have been planted around the village “In Honor’ or “In Memory” of individuals to beautify and provide shade for visitors touring the village.
Two special trees have been gifted to Historic Scurry Co., Inc. In the front yard of the Cornelius-Dodson house is a “George Washington Red Maple”. It is grown from seeds collected from a tree planted at Mount Vernon during the lifetime of Washington. It is donated by the Martin Preuitt Jr. Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. It is dedicated to the chapter’s founding regent, Virginia Clark.
A second special tree is the “Lady Bird Johnson Magnolia”. It is planted between the Cornelius-Dodson House and the Dermott School. The tree grew from a White House tree-seed that Lady Bird Johnson brought back to Texas. The tree from which the seed was taken is known as the “Andrew Jackson Southern Magnolia” because Jackson planted it at the White House for his wife Rachel. It is a gift from Ed and Judy Barkowsky.
As an Arbor Day project in 2010, 51 Crepe Myrtle trees were planted “In Memory” or “In Honor” of Scurry County residents and friends by the community. The project was made possible with the assistance of The Secret Garden and owners Ricky and Julie Fritz.
Once located at the intersection where the Roscoe, Snyder and Pacific railroad tracks crossed 26th Street between Avenue O and Avenue Q, the crossing signal and control box were relocated to be displayed with Engine No. 5. The railroad discontinued service to Fluvanna in 1941. Those rails were taken up in 1942 and sold for scrap to aid the war effort. Passenger service to Snyder was discontinued in 1953. The line was a connecting link with the Santa Fe and Texas & Pacific Railroad. Today this short line rail (31 miles) has a remarkable growth story as a connection and gateway for transcontinental traffic. It moved 20,000 cars yearly.
These acquisitions were the gift of Bruce Kallemeyn and Ricky Miller. Their relocation was arranged by David Holt with the assistance of Walton Construction Company.
Single-Bottom Breaking Plow: Most of the farmland in our country was put into cultivation by a curved one-sided blade that broke the soil loose and turned it over, hence “Breaking Plow”. This plow is an original single-bottom ox-drawn "sod-buster" which had no wheels but had two handles by which it was controlled by the farmer while walking in the plowed furrow.
Donated by Randy Lambert
Two-Bottom Breaking Plow
Over time, the original "sod-buster" was improved by adding wheels and a seat on which the farmer could ride. This was pulled by a team of oxen, horses or mules. This particular model plow that we have does not have a seat and has forward leaning handles indicating that the farmer sat on the back end of an early-day tractor quite possibly to Fordson which was designated for that type of operation.
Donated by Tom Jones.
R.E. Cozart used this Russell Grader, commonly known as a Fresno, on his farm. During the Great Depression, working for WPA (Works Progress Administration) he graded and maintained county roads. He used two mules to pull the grader.
Donated by Stanley and Linda Cozart
Used by R. E. Cozart on his farm to cut cotton stalks and corn and maize stalks. He used one horse or mule to pull the cutter. Usually his son or brother ran the Stalk Cutter because it was relatively easy to use.
Donated by Stanley and Linda Cozart
In 1878 when a buffalo hunter and trader, William Henry (Pete) Snyder (a native of Pennsylvania) built a trading post on the banks of Deep Creek, other hunters were attracted to the post and a colony of buffalo-hide dwellings grew up around it. The trading post was the first established business in the town that was named for Pete Snyder.
To commemorate the birthday of the city of Snyder (132 years), the organization of Scurry County (130 years) and the formal opening of the Scurry County Heritage Village (30 years), employees of the city of Snyder constructed the Pete Snyder store to showcase the beginning of the history of the town. This was accomplished with the assistance of Mayor Terry Martin, City Manager Merle Taylor, and employees of the city under the direction of Eli Torres. The wood for the store was removed from a structure that was approximately 100 years old and donated for the project by Debra and Richard Hester.
A roof unit was constructed by HSC, Inc. in April, 2013 for the protection of two mid-1900 gasoline pumps, an oil storage tank, a floor jack and a 1950 Chevrolet pickup. A pipe enclosure can be (is currently) mounted on the bed of the pickup to allow for the hauling of livestock which was a common practice prior to the popularity of stock trailers. These items were donated to the Heritage Village in February of 2013 by former Snyder resident H. P. “Bo” Brown Jr. The bricks used to make the floor were originally part of the street around the Scurry County courthouse. They were donated by the Janelle Hammack family.
This backstop was constructed in March, 2013 of 100 year old posts from the town of Ira. Chicken wire was attached to complete the structure. Stephen Couch, a Snyder Academy student, spear headed the project with other students who have partnered with the Heritage Village on several projects.