Log in

Top Stories        News         Sports

Trinity County News - Breakout

Concerns for jail mounting

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Trinity Countyseal 200By Tony Farkas
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

GROVETON — There is no question that that county needs to build a jail, but there are many questions as to the path to that goal.

At the Feb. 8 Trinity County Commissioners Court meeting, hours of discussion resulted in no action either on building a temporary jail facility or hiring a contractor for consultation services.

The consultation would deal only with preliminary information, such as population measures and site recommendations.

Sheriff Woody Wallace said that the contractor firm — Brinkley, Sargent and Wiginton Architects of Waco — would be able to provide information such as water tables, utilities use and more.

County Attorney Colton Hay said that given the information is necessary, if the county did not contract with the firm, what firm would it contract with to get the necessary work done?

“We’ll lose momentum if we don’t jump at this right now,” he said. 

County Judge Doug Page said there have been questions about this being the only firm, and that other firms needed to be given the opportunity to bid, and Commissioner Mike Loftin said the court needed more than one option to consider.

However, Wallace said that was the purpose of the Jail Committee, since the committee had met with other architects already.

“We’re going to kick this can down the road and end up in a huge bind,” Wallace said.

Wallace also said that hiring the contractor was not hiring for jail construction, but only for preliminary investigation, which has to be done.

Commissioner Neal Smith said that the county will build a jail, but in a cautious manner, and the final vote will be up to the people of the county.

Wallace cautioned again that the county is facing a time limit, and it needs to stop kicking the can down the road.

In a related matter, the county also tabled building a temporary jail on county land near the Groveton Fire Department.

Page said that the more it’s talked about, more he is opposed to building such a structure.

“Why spend money for a temporary jail and then jump to building a new jail?” he asked. “We need to build a jail, but there is a process.”

In other business, the court:

• tabled a request from Apple Springs Volunteer Fire Department for funds;

• tabled a request from Pennington Water Supply for money for projects;

• tabled the purchase of a spacesaver roller unit for file storage;

• approved the sale of a pickup truck for $3,200;

• hired a part-time clerk for Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Richard Steptoe through the Texas Workforce Commission;

• approved a contract position for the District Attorney’s Office;

• approved the demolition of a county-owned building adjacent to the Groveton Fire Department; and

• discussed the county’s portion of a settlement from an opioid lawsuit, which will be more than $100,000.

  • Hits: 341

Railroad spur to be removed

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

021722 trinity cityA section of an old railway spur will be removed after the Trinity City Council approved a measure on Thursday. Courtesy photo

By Tony Farkas
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TRINITY —Deemed a traffic hazard as well as drainage issue, the Trinity City Council on Thursday approved removing a spur of railway on Pinecrest Road.

City Manager Steven Jones said the rails belong to Union Pacific but have been abandoned for some time.

“When there’s a train coming through town, people use the back roads (including Pinecrest),” he said. “Vehicles hang, we constantly have to fill in potholes, and it’s drainage hazard, which ultimately causes an issue of the quality of the roads.”

Jones said that former city manager Buddy Drake had the paperwork prepared but never finalized. It will be finalized and removed, he said, now that the council has given its approval.

The city currently is looking to begin program of street repair, and this is one glaring issue the city has, Jones said.

In other business, the council:

• discussed repairs at the city baseball fields, which includes the restrooms and the playground;

• heard a presentation from Pineywoods Trash about taking over trash service for the city, which would mean a 10 percent increase in costs. No action was taken;

• tabled a discussion about security cameras;

  discuss contracts for the city’s $4.2 million infrastructure grant, which when signed will allow the city to move forward on construction and design; and

• approved order of election, which will be held May 7.

  • Hits: 2540

The John Henley Hill Family - Part 2

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

020322 history hill house 9.doc

Editor’s note: This is the second of three columns detailing the information surrounding the John Henley Hill House.

John Henley Hill, an Indiana Quaker, was born Nov. 30, 1839, in Richmond, Wayne County, Ind. He married Phoebe E. Branson on April 16, 1861, in Wayne County, Indiana. To this union brought two daughters, Olive, born in 1864, and Bertha, born in 1867. 

John H. Henley is enumerated in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Wayne Township, Richmond, Indiana, living with his parents, Harmon and Mary Hill, and his two young daughters, and his profession was listed as a farmer. 

Phoebe Branson Hill died in 1870, and John Hill then married Phoebe’s sister Susanna on March 12, 1871. 

The Hills apparently were prominent people with Harmon Hill showing a property value of $2,000 and a personal estate value of $2,000. This Hill family is also shown in the U.S. Hinkshaw Index to Selected Quaker Records 1860-1940 database online. 

Isaiah Branson, father of Phoebe and Susanna Branson, was born in 1799 in Stafford County, Virginia. He and his family had moved to Wayne County from Uniontown, Belmont County, Ohio, in 1852. It was in Uniontown that Mr. Branson, with strong convictions against slavery, helped a fugitive family to liberty, which caused him a four-year lawsuit. 

Their home in Belmont County was always a refuge for fugitive slaves. The Branson family were all well-educated; in 1876, John and Susanna Hill participated in demonstrating a knitting machine at the Centennial International Exposition of 1876, held in Philadelphia. It was the first official World’s Fair held in the United States. 

It was there that they met Col. George W. Grant, who was from Huntsville, Walker County, Texas, and was the benefactor of a freedman’s colony known as Grant’s Colony, sometimes also known as Harmony Settlement.

This colony was located two miles east of Huntsville in Walker County. It was planned model farming community on 8,000 acres belonging to Col. Grant. Grant provided the land for a school and two churches, and the colony was predominately a freedman’s village. 

Col. Grant described his project at the Colony and persuaded John and Susanna to come to the Colony to manage it. 

After one year, in about 1877 or 1878, the Hill’s left Grant Colony and moved to Trinity. It is not known where the Hill’s lived upon arriving in Trinity but in 1880 John H. Hill purchased 200 acres from S.T. Robb.

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Trinity County shows John H. Hill, wife Susanna, and children living in Trinity County. There is another man named Wm. Faulk, born in Pennsylvania with the profession of “mechanic,” in the Hill household. 

In 1908, John H. Hill sold 100 acres, where the home was located, to R.M. Martin and Hill and his daughters moved into Martin’s home in Trinity. John Hill became Trinity’s postmaster in 1906 and served until 1913. 

Later, in 1908, R.H. Martin sells the Hill house and property to J.D. Autry. Autry sells the property to W.J. Dykes in 1919. In 1925, the property is sold to John C. Lott. The house and property remained in the Lott family until the present owner, Bill R. Thomas, bought the house and property in 2013. 

Susanna Hill died in 1892, John H. Hill died in 1916, and both are buried in Trinity Cedar Grove Cemetery in Trinity. 

Compiled by Susanne Waller of the Trinity County Historical Commission.

  • Hits: 681

Honoring those who serve

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive


TRINITY — The Trinity Volunteer Fire Department honored their hardest working members of a hard-working crew on Jan. 27.

The crews also paid tribute to Chaplain Hayne Huffman, who passed away last year.

In all, the TVFD responded to 157 fires and held 23 drills and 11 meetings.

  • Hits: 309

Local student captures win at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

021022 kembro

Special to the

FORT WORTH — Anderew Kembro, a 4-H member from Trinity, captured Polled Hereford Reserve Champion Junior Yearling Heifer with LJR MS Womanizer 2799H at the 2022 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo on Jan. 22. 

The 2022 Show is hosting junior exhibitors from across Texas competing for awards and more than $4,280 in Polled Hereford Heifer premiums.

With 4-H and FFA members from 239 of Texas’ 254 counties competing in livestock shows, judging contests and other competitions, the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo takes pride in providing learning opportunities in agriculture and livestock production. 

Their experiences not only enlighten them on the importance of stewardship and helping feed the world, they help provide the means to attend college and enter exciting career paths.

“Of everything we do, opening the minds of these amazing youth to the important role livestock production serves for the benefit of society is probably at the top of the list,” said Stock Show President and General Manager Bradford S. Barnes.  “With each passing Stock Show, I’m more convinced that the future is in good hands, especially when it comes to instilling character in our youth and the role they’ll serve in securing our nation’s food supply.” 

The 2022 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is Fort Worth’s largest and oldest public event. Go to www.fwssr.com for information and to purchase tickets. 

  • Hits: 283