People, Places & Events


Graham named to All Star Rodeo team
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–Leaders of the National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA), the oldest youth rodeo organization in America, appointed Lauren Graham of Mabank to the Wrangler High School All Star Rodeo Team, the first-ever corporate-sponsored youth rodeo team.
The Wrangler High School All Star Rodeo Team is fashioned after Wrangler’s Champion Pro Rodeo Team.
Lauren earned a position on the Wrangler High School All Star Rodeo Team based on leadership qualities, academic eligibility and athletic achievements.
She received a Wrangler All Star Shirt, two pair of Wrangler jeans and a $750 scholarship.
Graham is a member of the Texas High School Rodeo Association Region 4.
She competes in Cutting, Breakaway Roping and Queen’s Contest. Lauren will be representing Region 4 at the THSRA Finals in Abilene June 9-17, in the queen’s contest.
She will be judged on horsemanship, speech, modeling, appearance, impromptu question and interview. Lauren also qualified for state in the cutting competition and will compete against the top high school cutters in the state of Texas.
Graham has won many titles this past year including 2005 Henderson County Livestock Show Queen, 2005 Shelby County Rodeo Queen, 2005 Hunt County Rodeo Queen, 2006 THSRA Region 4 Queen and 2006 Miss Teen Henderson County.
Lauren would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for their support in her quest to become the new Miss Texas High School Rodeo:
Gaddis Chiropractic, Henderson County Horse Committee, Henderson County Fair Board, Machinist Tools and Supplies, Inc., Teresa and Marcus Emmons, Jeff and Monica Gaddis, Stanley and Charlotte Graham, Delores Holt, Mark and Wendy Holly, Mark and Stephanie Johannesen and Jason and Donna Lindsey.

Hamburger cook-off is back for another great year
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–After the success of the past two years, Uncle Fletch Burger and Bar-B-Q Cook-off organizers are bringing in more new things this year!
Athens, home of the original hamburger, will host the Uncle Fletch Burger and Bar-B-Q Cook-off Saturday, June 10, at the Lake Athens Marina and RV Park on Farm-to-Market 2495.
Sponsored by What-a-burger and the Central Business Association, proceeds will go toward the continuing efforts for the downtown area, and toward the Trinity Valley Community College Scholarship Fund in Athens.
Also sponsored in part by Texas Yes! Make your getaway...and for more information on Texas Yes!, visit
Gates open at 11 a.m. at the Lake Athens Marina and RV Park.
This year, there is a Battle of the Bands, starting at 11 a.m., and refreshments will be available.
Tickets are $7 at the gate, or $5 pre-sale for adults, which includes a hamburger meal. Children 8 and under get in free.
A special unveiling of the Hamburger Poster will be at the Cook-off this year.
Rick Vanderpool, known for his posters all over Texas, has done a Hamburger Poster, commemorating Athens as the “home of the original Hamburger.”
He will be there all day Saturday, with copies of his poster.
Cook-off teams will compete in four categories: hamburger, brisket, ribs and chicken.
Friday, June 9, starting at noon, check in and set up will begin.
Cooking can begin after the 5 p.m. chief cook meeting.
Judging for hamburgers will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, and barbecue judging will be at 4 p.m.
Trophies will be awarded in each category for first, second and third places.
Anyone interested in participating on Cook-off teams, or needing more information on rules, can contact Michael Neill at (903) 675-5165, or Nathan Geick at (903) 520-3595.
Athens earned the title of “home of the original hamburger” back in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair.
Before his death in 1984, newspaper columnist and folk historian Frank X. Tolbert researched the history of the hamburger.
He traced the beginnings of one of America’s few authentic gastronomical delights to Athens at the turn of the century.
Athenians of that era were so impressed with Uncle Fletch Davis’ innovations they raised funds to send him to the 1904 fair.
There it was introduced to the world. Tolbert featured the hamburger story in his Tolbert’s Texas, published in 1983.
He attributed his research to the archives of the late Dallas millionaire businessman Clint Murchison.
It seems that “Old Dave” began experimenting with different sandwich ideas during the late 1800s.
He discovered the right mix – “ground beef between two slices of bread spread with mayonnaise and mustard, then garnished with a big slice of Bermuda onion and sliced cucumber pickles.”
To further give the story credence, the historians at the McDonald’s Hamburger University researched the story and claim the inventor of the hamburger was “an unknown food vendor at the St. Louis Fair of 1904.”
There is an historical marker on the north side of the square in downtown Athens, that states “On this site in the late 1880s, café owner Fletcher (Old Dave) Davis (1864-1944) innovated and made the first hamburger sandwich.
“Encouraged by Athens’ enthusiasts, he introduced the sandwich at the 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair.
“Dave’s nephew, Kindred Miller, Sr., Clint Murchison Jr., and the files of McDonald’s Hamburger University helped Frank Tolbert in research for this memorial.”
Several towns in America have tried to dispute Athens’ claim, but so far, have not succeeded.
In fact, Akron, Ohio, will have a National Hamburger event in August, to determine if Athens, Hamburg, New York, Seymour, Wisc. or New Haven, Conn. is the true ‘home of the original hamburger.
The first ever Uncle Fletch Davis Memorial World Hamburger Cook-Off was held in 1984 at the Cain Center.
It was moved to Central Park on South Prairieville in 1987, for a few years and then was held in downtown Athens for a few years.
“The move to Lake Athens Marina last year was a great choice,” co-chairman of the event, Nathan Geick, said.
Anyone wanting to help, including volunteering on Saturday, June 10, can contact Michael Neill at (903) 6785-5165 or Nathan Geick at (903) 520-3595.

Humane Society names new officers
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

SEVEN POINTS–About 15 concerned volunteers chose a new board of directors for the Humane Society shelter, located on Forrest Acres in Seven Points.
Janeen Gledhill, a general building contractor who has helped make repairs at the shelter, was named president, Rebecca Meyer, vice president, Jerry Hazelip, treasurer and Shannon Hazelip, secretary, during a meeting held Monday at the Alamo restaurant.
More board members are being sought to fill four standing committees, which would oversee operations and maintenance, volunteer coordination, pet adoptions and fund-raising.
The new group of officers are having to begin from scratch, as the former board has been inactive for about two years, those present heard.
Gledhill agreed with others extermination services are desperately needed to control rats and roaches, and needs to be set as a priority.
The shelter processed 338 animals in May and 1,530 since Jan. 1.
About 138 adoptions were completed for the same period, with 30 to 40 coming through on a monthly basis.
A review of stock on hand revealed the shelter has 50 cages and at the present a shed, filled to overflowing with pet food, mostly courtesy of Wal-Mart.
Pallets would be useful to the shelter in keeping supplies off the ground, the group heard.
The shelter’s bank account may have $4,000, Hazelip reported. However, employee taxes are due this month, which will use up a little over half that amount.
A call to the East Texas Health Department Animal Control officer James Wright strongly suggested that a records-keeping system be strictly adhered to, and a tour of the Tyler animal shelter be taken to see what other improvements can be made.
The two staff employees reported most days there are only three people to tend to 100 animals or more on a daily basis.
“It’s hard for us to do everything we’re supposed to do,” they said.
Lengthy discussions for the need of additional veterinarian assistance, the disposal of euthanized animals, and contracts with city and county animal control entities took up a good portion of the meeting.
It was decided to meet twice monthly at 5, p.m. the first and third Mondays at the Alamo with its next meeting on June 19 to solve some of the many problems plaguing the shelter and its volunteers.
All interested persons are invited to attend and lend their support, ideas and expertise.
“If the shelter is closed, where will the communities of Crandall, Mabank, Kaufman, Kaufman County, Kemp, Trinidad, Log Cabin, Seven Points and Tool take their stray and lost animals?” Gledhill asked.