Lake Life

& Such

Boy Scout Troop #398 meets at the Cedar Creek Bible Church from 7-8:30 p.m. each Tuesday. For more information, call (903) 498-5725 or (903) 498-3830.
Cedar Creek Art Society meets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the last Thursday of each month at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. A $3 donation per artist is asked.
Cedar Creek Domino Club meets each week on Wednesday at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. For more info, call (903) 498-4351.
Cedar Creek NAR-ANON meets at 8 p.m. on Tuesday at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405.
Cedar Creek Narcotics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m., Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points. (903) 432-2405. Saturday is a 10 p.m. candlelight meeting.
Cedar Creek 49ers Club meets every Thursday and fourth Saturday for fellowship and dancing. Doors open at 6 p.m. The club is located off Arnold Hill Road in Seven Points. Call for more information, (903) 432-3552.
Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Wednesday at The Jalapeno Tree in Gun Barrel City, except the second week of the month, when the club meets Thursday in conjunction with the area chamber of commerce luncheon.
Cedar Creek Optimist Club meets every Tuesday at noon at the Dairy Queen in Seven Points. For more information please call Danny Hampel at (903) 778-4508.
Cedar Creek Republican Club meets every fourth Thursday. For more information call (903) 887-4867.
Cedar Creek Rotary Club meets at noon each Friday at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant. For more information, call Dee Ann Owens at (903) 340-2415.
Cub Scout Pack #333 meets at the First United Methodist Church of Mabank the second and fourth Monday at 7 p.m. For information, call Mary Harris at (903) 451-5280 or Tonya Capley at (903) 498-4725.
Girl Scout Troop #112 meets at the First United Methodist Church in Mabank the second and fourth Monday at 7 p.m. For more info, call GeriLeigh Stotts at (469) 323-7943 or Malisa Bilberry at (903) 340-7451, or email
Disabled American Veterans Chapter 101 meets the second Monday of each month at the Senior Citizens Center on Hwy. 31 in Athens.
Girl Scout Troop 2667 meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Aley United Methodist Church. For more information, please call Suzann Smith at (903) 887-3889.
Gun Barrel Quilter’s Guild meets from 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. For more information, please call (903) 451-4221.
Kaufman County Republican Women’s Club meets the third Saturday of each month at the Farm Bureau Insurance Company, located at 2477 N. Hwy. 34 in Kaufman. For more info, call (972) 287-1239 or (903) 880-6770.
Kemp Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Tuesday at the Nutrition Center in Kemp. For more information, please call Dr. Jim Collinsworth at (903) 887-7486.
Lake Area Council of the Blind meets at 6 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month at West Athens Baptist Church.
Lake Area Democrats Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at Dairy Queen in Seven Points. Everyone is welcome. Email  for more information.
Mabank/Cedar Creek Area Lions Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. Call (903) 887-5252 for info.
Mabank Garden Club meets at 2:45 p.m. at the Tri-County Library on the third Tuesday of every month (different times in May and December).
Oak Harbor/Tanglewood Crime Watch meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the R.T. Beamguard Community Center in Oak Harbor.
Roddy Masonic Lodge meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday each month. Call (903) 887-6201 for info.
RootSeekers meet at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in the Tri-County Library in downtown Mabank. The public is welcome to attend.
Southeast Kaufman County Senior Citizens Center Board of Directors meets at 1 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the center, located at 300 N. Dallas Street in Kemp. For more info, call (903) 498-2140.
SUICIDE SURVIVORS GROUP for those grieving the loss of someone by suicide, meets every Monday at 6:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Mabank.
TAMARACK LADIES CLUB meets at 11 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the TLC Hall.
TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meet at 6 p.m. each Monday at the First Baptist Church of Mabank. Contact Gaye Ward at (903) 887-5913 for more info.
TVCC Singles meet at 7 p.m. each Monday in the Nutrition Center at TVCC, located off Park Street near the Athens Country Club. This is a support group for singles of all ages and is supported by TVCC. For more info, call Hilda Anding at (903) 489-2259.



Historical marker recalls St. Paul Industrial School
Monitor Staff Reports
CANEY CITY– Local dignitaries from Caney City, Malakoff and Athens, former students and board members met in a solemn ceremony to dedicate an historical marker for St. Paul Industrial Training School in Caney City recently.
Courtesy Photo
Unveiling a Texas Historical Commission marker recognizing the former St. Paul Industrial Training School are (from left) corporation executive director and counsel Sidney J. Braquet of Houston, Lester Byrd of Pearland, Veronica M. Frazier of Dallas, Benjamin Smothers of Palestine, board chairman James R. Handey of Spring, Nina Jackson of Missouri City, Caney City Mayor Joe Barron and Sim Stokes III of Duncanville. All except for Smothers and Barron are board members.

Of special significance was the attendance of Benjamin Smothers, the son of the school’s founders, James William Smothers (1896-1975) and his wife Alice Olenza Wingfield (1899-2000). He shared memories and photos of his parents and their work.
St. Paul Industrial Training School was founded in the 1920s and served area and homeless children of color, who would otherwise continue in ignorance and neglect.
It closed in the mid-1980s, but its legacy continues even today, as an organization providing monetary assistance to deserving students seeking higher education.
Some of its former students have risen to become prominent members of society, including Joe Barron, mayor of Caney City.
Barron attended as a youngster in the first through eighth grade, when education became desegregated, he transferred to Malakoff High School.

Courtesy Photo
Benjamin Smothers (right) and St. Paul Industrial Training School executive director Sidney J. Braquet hold photos of the school’s founders J.W. and Alice O. Smothers.

Barron was not one of the homeless children, he recalled how much he enjoyed working with his father at the Gulf station, pumping premium gas for 19.6 cents a gallon.
He said the teachers at the school taught as much or as little as a student could absorb.
“They taught to the student’s ability,” he said. “It was like another school before integration,” he added.
The school also taught local residents the benefits of vaccinating cattle and the fertilization of soil for more productive crops. Home economics, canning farm produce, reading, mathematics and maintenance of farm equipment were daily activities for students at St. Paul School.
It also offered social and educational services that were not previously offered through any state agencies or charitable organizations.
Courtesy Photo
Macedonia Church pastor the Rev. Lawanda Robertson (left) and St. Paul Industrial Training School executive director and counsel (right) flank 92-year-old Tommie Bolden, a former cook at the Caney City school, during a Texas Historical Marker dedication ceremony May 2.

Despite the threat of rain, about 60 people gathered May 2 to unveil the historical marker designation made by the Texas State Historical Commission in conjunction with the Henderson County Historical Commission.
The marker is erected at the entrance of the 10-acre campus site, which once housed the St. Paul School.
As much as the place, historical markers honor the people, who made the place a significant part of Texas history.
The Smotherses were pioneers of education, bringing opportunity to abandoned Negro children in East Texas.
“The work of educators like the Smotherses was integral in advancing the civil rights movement,” Texas Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson read into the U.S. Congressional Record April 23.
“They worked diligently to make sure every child had the opportunity to learn and succeed, and they felt that it was vital to ensure these youths had the ability to make a lasting contribution to society,” Johnson said.
Their story is about great personal achievement and unconditional love.

Courtesy Photo
Benjamin Smothers (left), the last surviving child of the school founders, marks the dedication of a Texas Historical Commission marker about the school with St. Paul Industrial Training School board chairman James R. Handy and Henderson County Historical Commission chair Sarah Jane Brown May 2.

James W. Smothers, one of eight children born in Mount Meggs, Ala. graduated high school as valedictorian and continued on in higher education. To him education was always an achievable goal, an attitude he carried with him as a professor at Sam Houston Public School in Huntsville and as principal of the Sauney School in Chapel Hill.
Alice O. Wingfield watched her father form the first black institution for underprivileged children of color in Greenville, Ala. So, at an early age, she became keenly interested in the welfare of children, especially those without a home.
She attended the Tuskegee Institute, founded by Booker T. Washington, a friend of her father’s.
As individuals, J.W. and Alice were strong, magnificent personalities, but as a team they lovingly touched the lives of countless homeless children—children they sheltered and educated.
  “I ask my fellow colleagues to join me in recognizing St. Paul Industrial Training School and its founders, Mr. J. W. Smothers and Mrs. Alice 0. Smothers,” Johnson concluded.
 The school’s threefold mission was to pursue the industrial arts, develop and enhance social skills and increase knowledge.
The school received no state funding, but was supported through private donations sought by Alice Smothers. In this effort, she garnered a stellar reputation among community, religious and political leaders throughout the state.
In spite of hardships, a tornado in 1947 and financial strain, the school continued to educate and provide guidance to thousands of students over six decades – students who may have otherwise slipped through society’s cracks.
During the summer of 1987, St. Paul and its directors restructured the program so assistance could be provided to the state’s many college and college-bound students.
The J.W. Smothers Scholarship is awarded annually to an exemplary high school student, and the Alice O. Smothers Scholarship is awarded twice annually to an exemplary college student.

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