Recognition of Linden Volunteer Fire Department

At some point in their lives, almost every child wants to be a firefighter and for good reason:  They are modern-day heroes, best known for their willingness to risk their lives to save others.

At the Linden Wildflower Trails in April the Linden Heritage Foundation Booth was organized to recognize that child’s dream.  The Linden Volunteer Fire Department provided the City’s 1957 Chevy Firetruck as a backdrop for photos.

To inspire fire safety, over 73 “junior” fire department hats were given to children with many taking photos with the fire truck.

Linden Kildare High School student, Morgan (Lizzie) Guy, created a drawing of a fire truck given to each child to color.

The 1939 Linden Firehouse was named by Preservation Texas to the 2016 Most Endangered Places list in the local public building category.  The Linden Heritage Foundation is actively supporting the restoration of the Firehouse, with plans to bring the building back into service as a commercial asset.

For more information on the 1939 Firehouse go to its page on our website and take an opportunity to donate to the Linden Old Firehouse Rescue Fund.

Special thanks for the Wildflower Trail success goes to Mary Jo Eller Ellison (for use of her building), Linden Volunteer Fire Department and Linden Heritage Foundation Vice President for Marketing & Development, Sandra Westbrook Skoog.

 

 

 

MEMORIAL DAY — 2017

Every year Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May. It was formally known as Decoration Day and commemorates all men and women who have died in military services for America.

The peaceful event of Memorial Day is commemorated with excitement, passion and enthusiasm.  It is a day to express our gratitude to those who have and are currently serving to keep our country free.

Welcome to Texas Main Street – Re-Imagine Linden’s Downtown

Have you thought about how to re-imagine Linden’s Downtown?

If so, your dreams came true when First Lady of Texas, Mrs. Cecilia Abbott, in official ceremonies on April 18th recognized Linden as a Texas Main Street.  Mrs. Abbott delivered a congratulatory address to Linden citizens and then unveiled an architectural rendering of a more vibrant and consumer-friendly street scene on the west side of the Courthouse Square. 

Entitled “View Along Main Street,” the rendering is the first of a series to be created for Linden by the Texas Main Street Design Team.

The Texas Main Street Program (TMSP) provides historic downtowns the opportunity to re-develop through public and private investment.  Operated in Texas by the Texas Historical Commission, TMSP is one of the oldest and largest in the nation, with 89 fully-designated communities.

After a rigorous and competitive application process, Linden was chosen in January 2017 as one of two designated Main Street communities.  In Texas, Linden is among the three with the smallest populations in the entire program.

TMSP’S mission is to provide technical expertise, resources and support for Texas communities in the preservation and economic revitalization of historic downtowns and commercial districts.

The First Lady was joined by state and local officials, local business owners, volunteers, and dozens of residents eager to see the Main Street vision for Linden. Ms. Abbott commented that Linden’s commitment to historic preservation is apparent, pointing out that the historic Cass County Courthouse was restored with funding assistance from the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Courthouse Preservation Program.

Texas Historical Commission (THC) Vice Chairman John Crain  stated in his remarks that “historic preservation isn’t just about the past – it’s about developing economic opportunity for the future”.  He announced that the Linden Heritage Foundation has qualified for a grant from the Preservation Trust Fund, also managed by THC, to develop a professional restoration plan for the Old Linden Firehouse.

Mr. Crain then announced THC’s new “Town Square Initiative” which uses an online portal – Downtowntx.org – to attract potential real estate investors/developers and business owners/entrepreneurs from other places who may want to consider under-utilized or vacant historic properties in Texas Main Street towns.  Linden has its own dedicated page on this website to feature available Main Street properties.

Twelve Main Street cities, including Linden, will help celebrate and promote DowntownTX.org by hosting local Imagine the Possibilities tours.  Linden’s tour will begin at the Linden City Hall on Friday, May 19th at 5 p.m..

Selected properties featured on each city’s DowntownTX.org page will be open and accessible to the public, and tour attendees can obtain additional information on downtown development and business resources at a central gathering point.

To get the Main Street ball rolling, the Linden Heritage Foundation hosted a series of field trips and community forums with Mount Vernon and San Augustine to spark initial interest for the program.  Main Street staff and board members from those two cities fielded a range of questions about how they have turned historic buildings into unique entrepreneurial successes, attracted tourism to their town centers, dialed up local sales tax revenues, and supported the property tax base.

By fully committing to Texas Main Street, Linden also can imagine – and ultimately realize – a whole new world of progress, success, and economic development for our downtown.

 

“Save the Day” Linden Heritage Foundation Donations begin April 10th

The Linden Heritage Foundation is participating in “East Texas Giving Day” organized by East Texas Communities Foundation.

A day of giving it provides critical funding for a 32 county area of nonprofits (including Cass).  The purpose is to bring the region together on one day and as one community, to raise money and awareness allowing citizens an easy platform to support the mission of a nonprofit they identify with.

The Linden Heritage Foundation “Giving Day Page” can be viewed at https://www.easttexasgivingday.org/1939FirehouseRescueFund

Once on the Linden Heritage Foundation “Giving Day Page”, to donate login on the link as a Donor and create your own personal profile with password.

Starting as early as April 10th, you can log on to contribute. Please use this link in any electronic marketing you do to your friends.

Donations may be made to the 1939 Linden Firehouse Rescue Fund at levels of either $50, $75, $100 or donor choice of not less than $20.

The Official “18-hour Giving Day” is Tuesday, April 25, 2017, from 6:00 a.m. to midnight, Central Standard Time.

 

 

“Trial in Church in Linden has Novel Features”

In November 1934 an article was published in the Dallas Journal titled:  “Trial in Church in Linden has Novel Features”   

(1927 Linden Methodist Church – photo courtesy of Charline Wiley Morris Collection)

 The article reported on the prosecution of a Dallas resident indicted for robbery committed in Cass County.  The primary source of information for the Dallas Journal publication was Fred Harris an attorney for the defendant who practiced in Dallas.  According to Harris when he reached Linden he learned that the trial would take place in the basement of the 1927 Methodist Church understanding the courthouse “had fallen in”.  He ridiculed the furniture provided for the judge, attorneys and jurors.  He claimed, during the trial 2 jurors got sick and the sheriff died creating unforeseen delays. In spite of the circumstances, Harris said he was not worried.  The jury did not convict his client but was discharged after voting nine to three for acquittal.  Harris said he expected the case not to be retried.

 Enraged by the unfair report in the Dallas Journal, County Judge Sam L. Henderson penned a letter to its editor republished with the Dallas Journal article in the Cass County Sun that demanded a retraction.

 He claimed about the only truthful statement in the Dallas Journal article was that “the District Court was being held in a Church” due to the Courthouse having been damaged by fire in 1933.   

 

(1933 photo of Courthouse fire – courtesy of Charline Wiley Morris Collection)

Most of its content was a “scurrilous and false attack” upon the citizens and the justice system of Cass County.  It is true when the evidence was closed and the case was about to go to the jury, the Sheriff, E. Lois Johnson, died of appendicitis.  The trial was delayed until the following week when his wife was appointed to serve the few remaining months of his term. (Technically, she was the first female sheriff of Cass County) According to Judge Henderson, all that happened should not imply there was no evidence of guilt against the defendant.  Although the trial resulted in a “hung jury”, Judge Henderson assured the readers that Mr. Harris’s client would be tried again in Linden, with courtesy shown to Mr. Harris, and felt, after conviction, his client would be turned over to other counties to be tried for other crimes.

 Judge Henderson requested his letter be printed in bold type under the heading, “Cass County Challenges and Answers the False Article Published in the Paper about Cass County”.

 After receipt of the letter, the Dallas Journal printed a retraction as requested by Judge Henderson.

 Credit is given to Gail Dorgan for providing this interesting history of Linden.  Transcriptions by Catherine Knapp and Joe Lovelace.

 Read the transcription of each publication in the Documents section (Dallas Journal) of this website.