People, Places & Events




Kids get hands-on look at crime scene investigation

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Kaufman County Deputy Sheriff Sgt. Richard Gaddis shows a group of girls how fingerprints can be coaxed to appear on a glass or jar during a “Crime Scene Investigation” camp Thursday. The camp, which opened Monday, is part of the Mabank Independent School District’s summer enrichment camps. Wednesday, campers visited the Henderson County Jail and district attorney’s office in Athens, where they were able to view actual crime scene photographs.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Sgt. Tim Moore shows Central Elementary fourth-grader Carly Manning (left) and fifth-grader Kamrie Johnson how an ultraviolet (UV) light and special glasses will enable crime scene investigators see normally invisible fingerprints fluoresce. Carly and Kamrie were among a group of third- to fifth-graders taking part in a “Crime Scene Investigation” summer enrichment camp at the Central Elementary campus, which wound up Thursday.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Sgt. Tim Moore uses a brush to remove dirt from a plaster mold of a footprint. An expert eye can tell if the person who made the footprint was male or female, short or tall, approximately how much they weighed, and whether he/she had any impairments affecting their walk, Moore explained.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Alden Marshall uses a soft brush to gently dust the outside of a glass jar to reveal fingerprints under the close supervision of Sgt. Richard Gaddis.

Corsicana history discovered down under
By Pam Petty
Special to The Monitor

CORSICANA–No, I don’t mean in Australia either. I’m talking about Navarro County on Beaton Street in downtown Corsicana.
While renovating for the opening of the city’s newest restaurant, work crews discovered a basement underneath the building below street and sidewalk level.
On June 12, they determined the basement is 100 feet in length, 24 feet wide and eight feet from floor to ceiling.
They were curious and continued to dig underneath the building to see what else they might find.
Many different items have been unearthed.
Eight large (old) Buckeye Pottery Co. jugs manufactured by the Macomb Illinois Pottery Co. which was in business in 1882, an Anheuser-Busch 1880 glass bottle, a late 1870’s champagne bottle, Knoxit bottle and several small glass bottles were found in the days that followed.
“Some other items that were found, but unfortunately have been stolen were a set of maps, an old coin and an old bottle,” said Rick Hocker, owner of the soon-to-be opened Jack McCanless Steak House & Saloon on Beacon Street.
“Most people who come by are curious and are respectful of what we are trying to do and just are interested in seeing a part of history as it is being discovered,” he added. To date, more than 5,000 people have dropped by to take a look at what’s going on, he told The Monitor.
Hocker hopes to get a camera in the basement to record the day-to-day digging and perhaps get a website started to record the progress.
The find, dating back to the 1870-1880, coincides with a piece of history Hocker had already planned for his saloon. An antique bar built in 1876 which measures 42 feet long and 14 feet high will take up the whole side of the room. The Honduras Mahogany structure, painstakingly and lovingly restored by Maurice Beale, will hold 80 bottles of wine and champagne.
“This is no ordinary bar. This bar was originally in Dodge City, Kansas with perhaps the likes of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp “bellying” up to it back in its younger days,” Hocker said.
It has also been in the Crystal Palace in the care of proprietor Marshal Bill Tillman.
The bar was relocated to a theme park in Florida, where it was used in many western-type scenes, and ended up for sale on E-bay.
Now, Hocker is the proud owner of this big, beautiful bar which will take center stage at his steak house and saloon.
“It took William Parsons and me two weeks to dismantle the bar and almost a year to bring it from Florida to Corsicana,” Hocker recounts.
There are many other interesting items to view in the saloon as well, such as the large, red Mobil Pegasus sign, that watches over the stage. Various other old metal signs, which came from Navarro County, are hung on the walls throughout the restaurant and bar.
Another very unusual item is a very large old safe, which may have once belonged in a jewelry store. It is now an interesting addition to the restaurant that is sure to be a topic of conversation.
Restaurant visitors will have the choice of enjoying a favorite beverage either at the famous bar, a traditional style table with chairs, or at one of several wine barrel table and chair sets located across from the bar.
Also gracing the walls is a wooden mantel that will surround a large flat-screen TV.
The saloon area has 44 tables, 25-30 bar seats, and when it is not in use featuring local talent, comedians on center stage, or used as part of a mystery dinner night, the stage will seat up to 20 guests.
“I haven’t decided what the basement will become at this time. It may either become a private dining room, outside garden seating and dining, or a museum showcasing the artifacts found,” Hocker said.
A late-July or August opening is foreseen, Hocker said.
Hocker would appreciate any information or old photos depicting downtown Corsicana during the 1871 time period to help him learn more about this building. You can e-mail this information to or call (903) 879-3008.
“Thank you to all of the people who have come by and to all of those who have helped dig, bucket-by-bucket, the dirt out from underground,” Hocker said.
Many have expressed thanks to Hocker for digging up some Corsicana history.
Many are excited to have “the Bar” brought to Corsicana. A bar this size should only be in Texas.
Just imagine what famous people may sit at it today and connect with the past patrons who “bellied” up to the bar back in 1876.
When asked if he ever tires of telling the same story over and over to the many people who have come by to view this historic discovery, Hocker replied: “I am passionate about history, the bar and the Black Jack McCanless Steak House & Saloon becoming a reality and telling the story never gets tiring.”

Local physician sails ‘Old Ironsides’
Special to The Monitor
KAUFMAN–Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman (PHK) medical staff physician Stephen McMahon embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime journey last weekend when he sailed the Boston harbor aboard USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world – commissioned by President Washington in 1794.
The ship was taken out of its berth Saturday, June 9, in honor of Military Appreciation Day, and Dr. McMahon and his son were among a select few civilians chosen by lottery to board the ship in celebration.
“We sailed around Boston harbor as a band played ‘Yankee Doodle,’ and sailors went about their duties dressed in 1812 uniforms,” Dr. McMahon said. “It was a surreal, unforgettable experience that my son and I will always remember.”
VIPs boarded the ship to the sound of drums and fifes.
Upon reaching Castle Island – the old fortress guarding Boston Harbor – the USS Constitution shot its cannons in salute.
McMahon learned of the event from the US Navy website,
He wrote the ship’s commander in March to enter the lottery and received a reply one month later inviting him and his son aboard.
“Old Ironsides” is open for tours daily, but it rarely leaves its berth – embarking only a couple of times a year.
McMahon brought home one of the U.S. flags flown onboard ship Saturday.
He plans to give the flag to his father, who served in the Navy.
The USS Constitution has served the Navy and America for more than 209 years. The ship and her crew regularly make news because of community service and involvement.
“The ship itself is beautiful,” McMahon said. “I am proud that the United States has preserved this part of its heritage.”

Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

My name is Princess. I am a beautiful female Terrier mix. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control, so I have no history. So far I am a little shy but I am also friendly. I have just been recently fixed and now current on my shots. I am a good girl looking for a wonderful new home.

My name is Shelby. I am a beautiful female Sheltie mix. I was brought to the Shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I am now fixed and current on my shots. I seem to be a little shy, but also friendly. I am a beautiful girl looking for my forever home.

My name is Toyo. I am a cute male Chihuahua. I am fixed, I am housebroken and I am a friendly little guy. I do have a slight skin condition. I am a wonderful little critter looking for my new forever home.

My name is Reverse. I am a beautiful male Min-Pin mix, 2-4 years old and fixed. I walk on a leash and absolutely ADORE people and I get along with other animals. I was adopted last year and brought back to the Shelter by animal control. I love to lay in your lap and am just a wonderful boy. I do get a little upset when left alone, as do a lot of Min-Pins, so I sometimes chew things. It would be best to have a fenced yard or large run/crate to keep me in when you’re not home. Unfortunately, I am heart worm positive. I need a little weight to be put back on and attention to my coat. I would make a wonderful pet to someone of any age. I am a wonderful boy in need of a wonderful loving family who would take care of me this time.

Pictured are just a few animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals. The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220 County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

For further information visit our website at