Living Legacy Award
At 97 years young, Robert (Bob) Warren is the very definition of a living legacy. Bob was born in Frisco in 1921, when the town was only 19 years old. He graduated from Frisco High in 1938, Texas A and M University and is a veteran of World War II. Bob returned to Frisco after retiring from Exxon in 1981. He served on the Frisco city council from 1983 until 1989, when he was elected mayor, a position he filled until 1996. Bob was one of the voices who helped make plans for the growth of Frisco and historic preservation. He became the founding member of the Heritage Association of Frisco and served as the first Vice President.
An author with a keen wit and nearly a century of memories to reflect upon, Bob has written a column for Frisco Style Magazine called "Frisco, Now, and Then" for many years. He shares his childhood recollections of a Frisco filled with farms, fields, dirt road, and life moving at a different pace. He still authors this popular feature and the collection of articles has been published in book form in two volumes.
Bob campaigned to have the 1912 calaboose moved to the Frisco Heritage Center, but when engineers deemed it impossible, he spearheaded a drive to build a replica which was dedicated in 2015. Preserving the history of Frisco is very important to Robert (Bob) Warren. and Bob is a very important part of Frisco.
Loydell Seward has made many contributions to historical education and preservation in Collin County. She was the founding member of the Farmersville Historical Society and served as president from 1997-1999. Loydell wrote text for a Farmersville coloring book and organized Farmersville 1900 with a Farmersville Elementary fifth grade teacher as a week-long study of the city in 1900. Each student dresses as a Farmersville child in 1900 and participates in activities at the Bain-Honaker House. She was chairman of the Farmersville Main Street Program for two years.
On July 17, 2017 Loydell Seward was recognized by the Collin County Commissioners' Court for 20 years of as a member on the Collin County Historical Commission. She served a chairperson for several years. Loydell organized the first county-wide tours highlighting different quadrants of the county. In addition she helped organize and direct the county-wide Historic Assets Survey which identified over 500 historic sites and catalogued them in a database. Her contributions to historic preservation has stimulated interest in all age groups in Collin County.
Excellence in Historical Education Award
Susanne Kerley has reached thousands of Collin County residents and visitors through providing countless tours to schoolchildren, social groups, and drop-in visitors in the 10 years since the Frisco Heritage Center first opened. The Center sees all Frisco ISD 2nd graders each year, a program developed by Susanne with the Frisco ISD Social Studies Department and Jane Whitledge. Susanne wears a historical costume and comes in the persona of Grandma Kerley. Beyond schoolchildren, she takes special interest in leading new recruit tours for first responders within the Frisco Police and Fire Departments.
Susanne Kerley has volunteered and contributed in every area of the Frisco Heritage Center operations, from selecting Collin-County-specific history books and other educational materials for all ages of visitors in the gift shop, documenting and caring for historical objects on display and in storage, contributing to exhibit development, and enhancing the visitor experience during Third Sunday Open House events.
Susanne has been an active board member of the Frisco Heritage Association, including a recent term as President. Her involvement has included organizing speakers for the monthly member meetings, contributing to planning the Shawnee Trail Cowboy Trail, continually recruiting and helping to train new docents, and actively promoting the preservation of Frisco and Collin County's history through educating the community about how Frisco came to be the city it is today.
When Paula Ross moved to Allen Texas in 1978, she brought with her a life-long love of history and historic preservation. Paula became involved with the Allen Heritage Guild in 1997, just one year after it was formed. She has been president of the Guild for fifteen years. During her tenure she has led in developing a historic driving tour and brochure of Allen, developing the Allen Depot into a museum, restoring the historic St. Mary Church, and worked with the City of Allen to develop the Allen Heritage Village—four of the structures are restored completely and hosting various free public events to share that history, a Civil War encampment, Christmas Thru the Decades, Flag Day Celebrations and the Depot-Sam Bass/Railroad History Day.
Paula served on the Collin County Historical Commission for two three-year terms in the 1980's. In 2008 she was reappointed to the commission and chaired several committees which included Preservation Celebration, Carry Along Collin, workshops and county markers. Paula Ross served as vice chair and then chair of the Collin County Historical Commission from 2011-2016.
During her five years as chair Paula worked to develop a fair method of tax abatement for all county historic properties. Another project that flourished under her leadership was the county Historic Assets Survey, and Paula has reached out to adjoining counties to develop a dialogue to share information that will be beneficial to all participants. The Collin County Historical Commission received the Texas Historical Commission Distinguished Services Award for well-rounded programs of history, education and preservation related projects all five years in office. Paula still serves on the Collin County Historical Commission today in various roles.
Brett Adams is a history professor at Collin College who volunteers at the Heritage Association of Frisco, including a term as president. Brett created the "Saturday at the Museum" lecture program, which features topics that cover state and local history as well as some that are national in scope. These lectures are scheduled three times each year at the Frisco Heritage Museum Theater. With his connections in the higher education community, Brett has been able to bring in authors and educators who are experts in their field. Last year Bret was able to secure a grant which enabled him to expand the program into an all-day event featuring a lecture by Richard B. McCaslin about Washington on the Brazos, a photography exhibit by local students and an afternoon screening of the "The First Texan." This series has grown and attracted a following of attendees from Frisco and the surrounding communities.
Gloria Barotta has volunteered at Chestnut Square in McKinney for almost 10 years and recently chaired the annual Fashion Show. As host of the show, Gloria did extensive research into the 1920's and 1930's (this year's highlighted decades). Under her leadership, the fashion show has evolved into an event that focuses on one to two decades each year, providing guests with a comprehensive history. Gloria's vision has rejuvenated volunteers, staff and the community while using the fashion show as a platform to better educate and engage the public. In addition, Gloria is one of Chesnut Square's most knowledgeable and skilled docents. She is often seen volunteering during school tours where she teaches students about life in the 19th century, typically in period appropriate fashion.
Young Visionaries Award
Boy Scout Troop 1814 of Nevada, Texas, has been involved in several clean ups, restoration and commemorating projects in the Bear Creek Cemetery since March 2013. Their first project was to help clean grave markers -- by the end of the day the scouts had cleaned well over 100 markers. In 2014 the scouts helped Bear Creek Cemetery mow, weed, trim, haul away brush, and level markers. In 2015 Dyllan Bramlett led the troop in an Eagle Scout project installing a flag pole with a solar light. In 2017 another scout, Walter Barr, from troop 1814 led the scouts in a project of leveling areas in the cemetery that were large sink holes by bringing in a very large amount of dirt. This addressed a safety hazard and helped to make mowing easier. Through it all the scouts have gained a love and appreciation for this cemetery.
Anjali Shashidhar is a teen volunteer who shows up prepared and does whatever the Heritage Association of Frisco asks of her. The Association hosts an open house on the third Sunday of each month throughout the year at the Frisco Heritage Center. Anjali, who is a student at Independence High School in Frisco ISD, has been volunteering for this event since 2015. Her duties usually involve working with children and their parents in the craft area at the replica of the Depot. She has taught children to play old-fashioned games. She works well with other volunteers and helps educate them about the Frisco Heritage Center. Her main job is programming, but she has also assisted with docents.
Frisco's teen volunteers sign up online through the city web site. On some Sundays many teens sign up and then not show up. It isn't unusual to have only Anjali and one or two other more dedicated regulars show up. Those adults who work on planning the Third Sunday Open House often find themselves saying, "Thank goodness, Anjali will be here."
American Heritage Girls TX Troop 0131 has volunteered several times at the Collin County History Museum in McKinney. Their first project was assisting with was the World War II luncheon. They helped greet guests, serve at the luncheon and made blankets for World War II speakers. One veteran used his blanket every day until his death. The girls helped with historical hauntings on Scare on the Square by dressing in costume, representing the World War I pilot the Red Baron, and told his story to hundreds of children and parents. Troop 0131 prepared the museum for Christmas by decorating the 13-foot tall Christmas tree in the main gallery. They decorated the outside handrails and put up the outside tree. The girls also made a special gift that will be given to museum visitors during May 2018 during National Poppy Month. They sewed handmade poppies out of red felt and black buttons. They added a poem about Flanders Field and added a note to explain the significance of the poppy.
Young Men's Service League Allen Chapter completed their projects on October 14 and 21, 2017, at the Allen Heritage Village. The first structure, the garden, was dug out and built quickly and finished the first morning, while another group worked to set up and build the outhouse. Then came the chicken coop and clothesline, which was slowed down a bit because of digging out the foundation for the supports. Concrete was not used, just deep holes for the posts. The next Saturday became completion day when the chicken coop was finished- complete with a chicken run, and the clothes line was built and strung. The projects enhanced the look and feel of Heritage Village. The homestead area was a big hit with the visitors at the Christmas Open House. The Young Men's Service League used reclaimed wood to finish the outhouse and the chicken coop and they truly look like structures that have been there a long time. The garden continues to change as the seasons d, and will be growing Texas crops this spring.