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Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke Clayton
April 16, 2024


Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke ClaytonThere was a time back when I was in my twenties and thirties that I thought I would be hanging…
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April 13, 2024

Close-to-home fun

Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
As an outdoors writer for the past 39 years, I’ve become accustomed to “gallavanting” around the country fishing, hunting and collecting material for my articles. Lately though, I’ve been sticking pretty close to home. Kenneth Shephard with a good “eater…

Celebrating Black History Month - Erma Johnson Hadley

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(Editor’s Note: This is the first of a multi-part series celebrating Black History Month by recognizing the service, contributions and achievements of some of Polk County’s finest.)

By Emily Banks Wooten
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ermajohnson2013mug 696x870Erma Jean Chansler Johnson Hadley (June 6, 1942-Oct. 1, 2015) proudly referred to herself as “the little girl from Leggett.” From humble beginnings, she paved the way as a pioneer and trailblazer in the field of higher education. She was a fierce champion for student success and believed that “every student should be given an opportunity to learn and lead in life.”

She was the second of three daughters born to Mr. and Mrs. Leon Chansler of Leggett and she was the valedictorian of her senior class at Dunbar High School in 1959.

While she may have been the second of three daughters, Hadley’s life actually became a series of “firsts.”

She was the first Black student from Leggett to graduate college. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business education from Prairie View A&M University and a master’s degree, also in business education, from Bowling Green State University. She spent her career dedicated to the belief that all Texans are entitled to a college education.

She was the first woman and first Black person to serve as chancellor of Tarrant County College. She was also the first woman named to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Board and the first Black person to serve as the board’s chair.

Hadley began her teaching career at Turner High School in Panola County and in a PBS interview, said that she had fallen in love with teaching.

“I fell in love with what I was able to do with students. I still say today, teaching is magical.”

On the statewide level, she served by gubernatorial appointment on the Trinity River Authority of Texas and the Texas Governor’s Committee on Volunteerism, as well as on the board of directors for Texas A&M University Research Foundation.

At the national level, she served on the J.P. Morgan Chase National Community Advisory Board and was elected to the board of directors for the American Association of Community Colleges.

Her commitment to education, community, leadership and service were recognized by numerous awards and honors. She was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 2010. She also received an honorary doctorate degree in education from Paul Quinn College in Dallas.

She was married to Lawrence Johnson, and later married Bill Hadley after Johnson’s death. She had one daughter, Ardenia Johnson Gould. She died at the age of 73 after suffering from pancreatic cancer.

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