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San Jacinto County News

Hitting 100- Shepherd Bank celebrates centennial

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psb 250Special to the News-Times

SHEPHERD — Peoples State Bank, the oldest chartered bank in San Jacinto County, will hit the 100-year mark in October.

The event will be marked Oct. 2 by a barbecue, door prizes, giveaways and a concert with the Kenny Martin Band.

The bank was originally chartered as San Jacinto State Bank and opened in Coldspring on Oct. 11, 1907. On Sept. 21, 1921, the Guaranty Bank of Shepherd assumed ownership of the bank. In 1926, it changed its name to Peoples State Bank. 

In 1932, the bank merged with the Coldspring State Bank, but remained in the town of Shepherd and did not open a branch in Coldspring again until 1996. A third location in Livingston was opened in 1998.

The original location of the bank is where JC’s Pharmacy now stands. The bank then moved across the street to the building currently occupied by City Hall. The present location in Shepherd was opened in 1976. Since that time, it has been expanded and remodeled numerous times.

The bank has grown to more than $158,000,000 in assets since opening.

San Jacinto was organized as a county in 1870. It was named after one of the rivers that run through the county. The area was settled by colonists as early as 1830. Prior to that, the Alabama and Coushatta Indian tribes lived there, having been granted land by the Texas Legislature. The land was taken from them by the new colonists.

The Houston East & West Railroad came to Shepherd in about 1880 and made Shepherd its principal station. It served numerous sawmills and cotton and sugar plantations in the area. Products were shipped out of Shepherd by boat as well as by rail. Boats teamed down the Trinity River to the port of Galveston.

The city of Shepherd was established by B.A. Shepherd, who worked for the Houston East & West Railroad and was a good friend of Sam Houston. Mr. Shepherd later left Shepherd and founded the first trust fund in Texas and the nation. The B.A. Shepherd Charity Fund is still in existence today.

Peoples State Bank presently has three locations in the area, serving San Jacinto and Polk counties. They have locations in Shepherd, Coldspring and Livingston. All locations are in or near the vicinity of Lake Livingston, which is one of the largest man-made lakes in the state of Texas, comprising approximately 475 miles of shoreline.

Bank robbers take note: the bank has been robbed three times in its history and each time the thieves were caught and convicted. One of those robberies was during the largest flood in the country in 1973. Two robbers made off with their bounty only to find themselves trapped by mud and rising water and were unable to escape when they had to abandon their car due to the high water and mud.

San Jacinto County’s economy today is based primarily on tourism, ranching and the timber industry. There are two large state parks, one on the east and one on the west side of Lake Livingston. At one time, a large part of the town was consumed by fire, on the west side of the present railroad tracks. After the fire, the town basically rebuilt on the east side of the railroad tracks.

Clarence O. Ford was the longest-termed officer in the bank’s history. He was elected director and acting vice president on Dec. 11, 1928, and shortly thereafter, was named president. Ford tendered his resignation on Feb. 28, 1967, after 39 years of service. After his resignation, he remained an advisor to the Board of Directors.

CEO and Chairman of the Board Clifford W. Miller has the second longest tenure, with 28 years of service. Miller came to Peoples State Bank in January of 1987. 

Mark W. Hamilton has elected President, CEO and Chairman of the Board after Miller’s retirement.

Peoples State Bank is presently owned by Amtex Bancshares, which has its headquarters in Orange. They also own Bridge City State Bank in Bridge City and Pavillion Ban

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Numerous events are planned for the 74th annual San Jacinto County Fair

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2021 Jr. Queens

2021 Junior Queens Court

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — Numerous events are planned for the 74th annual San Jacinto County Fair, including a perennial favorite, the Queen Contest.

The 2020 SJC Fair and Rodeo Queen, Tori Matthews, will crown the new Queen from the following contestants:

  • Contestant No. 1, Bobbie McBride 16-year-old Junior at Texas Connections Academy of Houston, sponsored by Weiman Air.
  • Contestant No. 2, Leah Phillips, 14-year-old eighth-grader at Shepherd Middle School, sponsored by Hempel USA.
  • Contestant No. 3, Kaylen McAdams, 17-year-old Junior at Coldspring High School, sponsored by Coldspring Vet Clinic.
  • Contestant No. 4, Abigail Mosley, 13-year-old eighth-grader at Shepherd Middle School, sponsored by Magnolia Academy.
  • Contestant No. 5, Shelby Lee, 14-year-old Freshman at Coldspring High School, sponsored by Coldspring Farm & Ranch.
  • Contestant No. 6, Layla Howton, 13-year-old eighth-grader at Shepherd Middle School, sponsored by Last Chance Feed & More.
  • Contestant No. 7, Hayden Richards, 13-year-old eighth-grader at Lincoln Junior High, sponsored by Franklin's Feed.

Schedule of events

Thursday

5 -8  p.m. BBQ early bird move-in, move in per Doug Lilley, Concessions/Vendors move in

Friday

8 a.m.-6 p.m. BBQ Team move in

6  p.m. BBQ Cook-off Activities, Campers move 

Saturday

10  a.m. Parade

Noon Baby Contest Registration

1  p.m. Baby Contest

4  p.m. BBQ Contest Winners Announced

5  p.m. Queen's First Horsemanship Pattern

6  p.m. Tame the Beast Bull Riding

9  p.m. Dance- Matt Mercado Band

Monday

3-5  p.m. Swine Check In

4-7  p.m. Educational Barn Projects Check-In

5-6  p.m. Poultry and Lamb Check-In

6  p.m. Poultry Show Begins

7:30 p.m. Lamb Show Begins, junior and senior

Tuesday

5-5:30 p.m. Rabbit check-in and inspection

5-6  p.m. Goat Check In

5:30 p.m. Rabbit Show Begins

7  p.m. Goat Show Begins, junior and senior

Wednesday

9  a.m. Fine Arts/Handicraft interviews

3-5  p.m. Steers and all heifers check-in

TBA Carnival

7  p.m. Market Swine Show- Jr then Sr

Thursday

9  a.m. Horticulture/Food Interviews

9  a.m. Ag Mechanics Judging

TBA Carnival

7:30 p.m. Rodeo and Queen's 2nd Horsemanship

Friday

9  a.m. Breeding Heifer Show, followed by Commercial Heifer Show, followed by Market Steer Show

1  p.m. Auction set up. Volunteers appreciated!

2  p.m. Species Chair Notify Sale Committee of Non-Sale animals 

After show until 4  p.m. Non-Sale Animal check-out

TBA Carnival

7:30 p.m. Rodeo

Saturday

10  a.m. Exhibitors to pick up Sale numbers

10:30 a.m. Awards and Recognition

11  a.m. Youth Auction

TBA Carnival

7:30 p.m. Rodeo and Crowning of 2020 Queen

Sunday

8 -10  a.m. Mandatory Exhibitor Grounds Clean up, buyer/add-on verification, and animal check-out, Ed Barn Exhibitors/projects included

7-11 a.m. Concessions/Vendors move out

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Pirates plunder Trojans

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Coldspring quarterback Luke Monroe (No. 8) looks for the pitchback during the 18-14 Coldspring loss to Shepherd in the battle of San Jacinto County. (Charles Ballard Photos)Coldspring quarterback Luke Monroe (No. 8) looks for the pitchback during the 18-14 Coldspring loss to Shepherd in the battle of San Jacinto County. (Charles Ballard Photos)

By Charles Ballard
SJNT correspondent

SHEPHERD — The Pirates won the “Battle of San Jacinto County” on Friday by downing the Coldspring Trojans 18-12.

Coldspring put the traveling trophy on the bus with the expectations of bringing it back to Coldspring, but the Trojans missed an entire week of practice due to problems with COVID and were not as sharp on the field as previous games.

Shepherd Head Coach Miles Robison said It was a heck of a game.

H.D. Green, (No. 1), Junior QB for the Shepherd Pirates, looks down field for an open receiver during the 18-14 victory over the Coldspring Trojans.H.D. Green, (No. 1), Junior QB for the Shepherd Pirates, looks down field for an open receiver during the 18-14 victory over the Coldspring Trojans.“We’re just glad we came out on top,” he said. “It could have gone either way, but came down to the final tick before determining the winner. This is the way the Battle of San Jacinto should be played every year. It was good to play quality opponents and see how we would stack up against schools that are similar to us on size.”

Coldspring Coach Ken Stanley said he was very proud of his kids overall. 

With only minutes off the clock, Shepherd Pirates QB H.D. Green slid off the left tackle of the offensive line and scooted through the backfield of the Coldspring Trojans for the first TD of the night. 

The Trojan Defense just could not keep their focus on the quick-moving offense of the Pirates, and the first quarter ended on a 12-0 score. The Trojans put up their first points with at the 5:46 mark in the second quarter, and the score was 12-6 Pirates at the end of the first half.

The Trojans grabbed their only lead of the game with 2:05 on the clock in the third quarter with a score, putting them up 14-12. Then with 7:42 on the clock during the fourth quarter, the Pirates managed to push across the goal line one more time to push their lead to 18-14. 

The Trojans were marching down the field in order to take the game and the win when the Pirates managed to cause a turnover and the Trojans could not stop the Pirates from running the clock out.

Robison said the defense played outstanding, being led by Preston Stephens, Tanner Lacey, Miguel Martinez and Alberto Tovar. 

“I think it just came down to us not turning the ball over and eliminating some of the penalties,” Robison said. “We still have a lot to work on but the effort was great all night.”

The Trojan offense was led by Easton Dean with 95 yards on 17 carries and 2 TDs, followed by Eddie Brown with 88 yards on 15 carries, and Luke Monroe had a 2-point conversation pass to Rickey Lewis.

The Pirate offense was led by Green with 150 yards and 2 TDs. Preston Stephens added another TD.  

Robison said the Trojans play in Liberty on Friday, a team that runs the same offense as Coldspring. 

“Their defense has been very good this year,” he said. “Looks like it could be a very wet week, but we will prepare the best we can. I also believe that Coldspring and Diboll will be playing for a District Championship on the final week for their district.”

For Coldspring, the Tarkington Longhorns will host the Trojans. The Trojans should be favored to win this game, by double digits, if they can stay healthy and have a good week of practice. The game is scheduled for a 7:30 start on Sept. 17 at Tarkington High School Stadium. 

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Towering above

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The final assignment of the Tower Project involved students working together in groups to build their own towers out of pencils using the information they had learned. Shown from left are Mark Romagus, Stetson Faulkner, Landon Lane and Briar Leasman. (Photos by Courtney Bailes)The final assignment of the Tower Project involved students working together in groups to build their own towers out of pencils using the information they had learned. Shown from left are Mark Romagus, Stetson Faulkner, Landon Lane and Briar Leasman. (Photos by Courtney Bailes)

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — Coldspring Intermediate third-graders reached new heights during their recent study of towers in Courtney Bailes' gifted and talented class.

The Tower Project was a multi-level learning adventure that engaged students with fun activities even as they investigated and converted heights, created word problems, and geographically mapped skyscrapers around the world. 

The final assignment of the project involved students working together in groups to build their own towers out of pencils. The team of Mark Romagus, Stetson Faulkner and Landon Lane created the winning tower with a height of 37 inches.

"It is fun to turn students loose with a facilitated task and see where their own creativity and imagination takes them," Bailes said. "It's even more rewarding to see them proud of both their independent and collaborative ingenuity."

Coldspring Intermediate students reached new heights as they worked together to build towers out of pencils as part of the Tower Project in their third-grade GT class led by Courtney Bailes. The project engaged students with fun activities even as they investigated and converted heights, created word problems, and geographically mapped skyscrapers around the world. Shown from left are Briar Leasman, Evelyn Sanchez, Paisley Simmons and Aidan Sheyn.Coldspring Intermediate students reached new heights as they worked together to build towers out of pencils as part of the Tower Project in their third-grade GT class led by Courtney Bailes. The project engaged students with fun activities even as they investigated and converted heights, created word problems, and geographically mapped skyscrapers around the world. Shown from left are Briar Leasman, Evelyn Sanchez, Paisley Simmons and Aidan Sheyn.

The winning team of the final Tower Project worked together to build a 37-inch tower of pencils. Shown from left are Mark Romagus, Stetson Faulkner and Landon Lane.The winning team of the final Tower Project worked together to build a 37-inch tower of pencils. Shown from left are Mark Romagus, Stetson Faulkner and Landon Lane.

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Commissioners dismiss initial landfill concerns

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CountySealSJ 200By Emily Kubisch-Sabrsula
SJNT staff writer

COLDSPRING — Opening the meeting with public comment, Van Weldon, owner of a produce farm near the proposed landfill in the southern part of the county, wanted to know if commissioners were OK with the newest addition.

The court would not return comment, citing the matter was not on the agenda, though several times Weldon stated he had filed the appropriate paperwork with the County Clerk’s office to create an action item on the agenda.

Commissioner David Brandon, who wrote to TCEQ earlier this year regarding road conditions and “unwanted changes” nearby residents would endure as a consequence of the landfill, refused to give any statement or opinion when asked by Weldon.

When Commissioner Mark Netunno, also a DETCOG chairman familiar with the situation, was asked if he was for or against it, stated “I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be here. If you buy a piece of land you should be able to do anything as long as it doesn’t affect anyone else.” 

TCEQ has raised concerns over violations and erosion problems at the Livingston landfill, with concerns of similar happenings occurring at the proposed San Jacinto one since it would be run by the same company, Peach Creek Environmental. The cities of Shepherd and Cleveland have already signed resolutions stating they view the landfill as a public health concern. 

The company has made a $75,000 donation to fix and maintain a road leading up to the 2,000-acre property, despite not having obtained a permit yet.

A virtual public hearing will be held by TCEQ on Sept. 28. Without addressing the concern, the gentleman was dismissed by Judge Fritz Faulkner.

In a separate matter, after successfully applying, San Jacinto County will receive a $5.5 million grant from the American Rescue Plan. Since the program is new it is still being learned what can be done with the money, but objectives listed on the US Treasury’s website include replacing lost revenue, addressing public and economic challenges, and continuing efforts to decrease the spread of the coronavirus.

In other business:

  • Despite continued cases of the coronavirus, the San Jacinto County Fair will go on as it has in pre-pandemic years.
  • Citing several employees asking for a clarification on protocol, the county will outline covid procedures within its own workforce, including how to handle situation in which a family member has covid and paid sick time.
  • There is no update on census data for the county or the innovation center.

The next Commissioner’s court meet will meet Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 9 a.m. in the Emergency Shelter in Coldspring, across from the courthouse. Public comment can be made at the beginning of the meeting.

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