Dayton Historical Society resumes meetings

Docents for the Dayton Historical Society have continued work throughout the pandemic even while monthly meetings were canceled. Pictured are (seated, left to right) Janette Frick, Mary Ellen Conner, Bobbie Howard, Aline Parker, Cathy Harbour, Caroline Wadzeck; (standing) Lester Ray Wisegerber, Alan Conner, Lee Krigar, Susan Simmons, Wes Williamson and Danny Bode. Not pictured are Jo and Ken DeFoor, Kathy Fry, David Parker, Susanne and Squeaky Hicks, Robert and Chase Ripkowski, and Larry Wadzeck.

Despite the rainy weather, a resilient group of Dayton Historical Society members and a few guests met for a ‘Meet, Greet, and Eat’ event on Monday evening, June 28, at Parker Hall.  

President Danny Bode welcomed everyone back after meetings had been canceled for over a year.  After the prayer given by Johnny Miller, all enjoyed a hot dog dinner with all the trimmings and homemade cookies and ice cream for dessert. 

The highlight of the evening was a program presented by Sam Addington, who showed the documentary film he recently made for the City of Galveston about the history and meaning of Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery.   

Juneteenth commemorates General Order No. 3 which was issued by Major General Gordon Granger, who arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865. The issuing of this order and the arrival of Federal troops in Galveston effectively ended the Civil War and emancipated those confined to a life of slavery.  This order came a couple of years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation which declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” 

Everyone was impressed with Addington’s informative and well-produced film, the first he has undertaken for view.  Addington is the son of Brett and Susan Addington and a recent graduate of Texas A&M.  He will begin studying for his Masters Degree in the fall.  His next documentary undertaking is one that involves Dayton’s history. 

Even though The Old School Museum was closed for several months, the work never stopped.  Several people were recognized for their contribution to maintaining the grounds and building needs.  They were John Johnson, Squeaky Hicks, David and Aline Parker, and Josh Townsend. The museum is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. thanks to many docents who give their time for that purpose.

The next meeting of DHS is Monday, July 26, 6 p.m., at Parker Hall, located behind The Old School Museum at 111 Houston Street.  The public is cordially invited to attend. 

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