Charity

Friends of the Fort Bend County Historical Commission

Friends of the Fort Bend County Historical Commission is a non-profit organization which raises funds to support County Historical Commission projects. The Fort Bend County Historical Commission is part of our county government and is, therefore, prohibited from raising funds from the public. The Friends and its board of trustees are enthusiastic about our county’s history and are committed to preserving our historical and cultural heritage.

The Historical Commission routinely approaches the Friends board about projects which merit funding. For example, the Friends are currently funding a project to excavate an 1850s cistern in Richmond. The Fort Bend Commissioners Court has provided funds for the project, but the Friends have provided supplemental funds to ensure a thorough analysis of the historical site.

The Friends have raised funds to finance reprinting two replica books: A. J. Sowell’s History of Fort Bend County and Pauline Yelderman’s The Jaybirds of Fort Bend County. These books are helpful resources for persons interested in exploring our county’s past. Proceeds from sales of these books have funded the Historical Commission’s extensive effort to collect oral histories from a comprehensive cross-section of county residents.

The Friends have recently provided seed-funding for a digital tour guide, called DiscoverFortBend.com. This app will serve as a unique geographical portal into events and locations of historical interest. Using a mobile device like a smart phone or tablet, a ‘time traveler’ can stand on the spot where Santa Ana’s army camped in Richmond in April 1836, or the location of Walter Burton’s grave in Morton Cemetery, or the site of Jane Long’s boarding house and access images, video, audio and textual resources that explain the historical significance of the ground on which they stand.

Possibly the most signifcant donation to date were funds to purchase a ground penetrating radar unit, which allows the Historical Commission to search for lost cemeteries, abandoned grave sites, and other historical assets lying belowground.  Fort Bend is one of the few, if not the only, county whose historical commission owns a ground penetrating radar device.

The Friends fully support the wide array of projects and activities the County Historical Commission pursues as part of its mission. The breadth of these projects and tasks are evident in the 7 principal committees within the Commission:

  • Archives, which curates documents and objects from the past, as well as those generated by the historical commission in its effort to preserve local history.
  • Cemetery, which researches and monitors historic cemeteries and relocates burial sites lost over time.
  • Cultural Resources, which ensures historic assets are not damaged by modern development.
  • Historic Preservation, which identifies and protects historical above-ground structures.
  • Oral Histories, which records personal histories of Fort Bend County citizens.
  • Public Affairs, which promotes the activies of historical and cultural organizations in Fort Bend County.
  • Research & Markers, which assists organizations and private citizens in their requests to the Texas Historical Commission for state markers.

The Friends of the County Historical Commission appreciate generous opportunities like this one to raise funds for the preservation and promotion of Fort Bend’s history to generations of residents and visitors.

Honorary Event Chairs:

Evalyn Wendt Moore

Richmond Mayor Evalyn Wendt Moore has deep roots in Fulshear, where she spent many happy years growing up and visiting her maternal grandparents, Judge and Mrs. Hunter Harris.   Hunter Harris was a local business leader and served as a Fort Bend County Judge in the 1930s.

Evalyn was affectionately known as “Sugar” by Fulshear residents.  She recalls picking pecans and cotton on the sprawling family farm where Weston Lakes is now. And she recalls wandering through fields of bluebonnets where the new Churchill Fulshear High School has been erected.    Her parents, Billie Harris Wendt and Jack Wendt, were active civic leaders in the community. Jack Wendt managed the Fulshear farm for many years.

As wife of the late Richmond Mayor Hilmar Moore, she supported and assisted him in business and political activities for almost 30 years until his passing in 2012.   Evalyn’s community activities include being a past board president and longtime docent for the Fort Bend County Museum, trustee of the Southwest Cattle Raiser’s Association,  director of the OakBend Medical Center,  director of the Polly Ryon Foundation Board,  director of the Fulshear Cemetery Board, and past president of the Garden Club of Richmond.

She currently serves as a director of the Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council and the Development Corp. of Richmond and is a member and former officer of Friends of the Fort Bend County Historical Commission, for which she twice conducted open-house fundraising events at her residence.

Since becoming mayor of Richmond in late 2012, she has been a guiding force in changes such as adoption of a home rule city charter and its planning and zoning article.   Under her leadership the city will soon have a surface water treatment plant that will provide water for the foreseeable future.  She assisted in drafting the new Unified Development Code, and the city’s comprehensive and Trails master plans, both of which have won awards.  She was instrumental in landing the new Texas State Technical College campus and testified in Austin before committees to get state approval for its funding.

Also under her leadership, Richmond will have two new master planned communities, one by Johnson Development and one by The George Foundation.

 

Carole McCann

Helping to raise money for the Fort Bend County Historical Commission through its nonprofit Friends support group is just one more way Carole McCann contributes to the enhancement of county life.

To facilitate a Friends benefit, the longtime Fulshear resident and benefactor opened up her 1960s ranch house on the Bar O ranch one crisp evening last fall. She then escorted guests on a  tour of the house, built by her late husband Michael’s parents and given many loving touches since.

Carole was in her element: recounting past times and personalities while introducing guests to the younger family members; talking up Fulshear; and playing a lead role in philanthropy.

Rosenberg resident Carole Owens met Michael McCann in her hometown during the annual Fort Bend County Fair. Mike’s dad Kenneth G. “Red” McCann was an executive with Superior Oil Co. in Houston, in charge of its exploration division. He and wife Anna Ruth also had the ranch in Fulshear.

Mike and Carole married while Mike was going through veterinary school at Texas A&M University. He then enjoyed success with Lakeside Animal Clinic in Houston while Carole was raising their family of three girls. Soon, though, Carole was out of the house in various volunteer roles to assist county programs.

Her civic activities included aiding Fort Bend County Mental Health and Calvary Episcopal School. She also had a long association with the Fort Bend County Museum, starting with the chairmanship in 1991 of the nonprofit’s spring fundraiser, the Lone Star Stomp — only the second Stomp held. Carole was an active member of the museum board from 1998-2002, culminating in a term as president.

Following the death of his parents, Mike and Carole in 1992 moved into the ranch house and quickly immersed themselves in learning and aiding the Fulshear community. Mike’s illness and his death in 2007 changed Carole’s life forever, but it did not dampen her desire to help others. A year later, the family formed the Michael McCann Foundation. Bike for Mike was begun as a fundraiser for the foundation, and today the event is a major Texas bike ride as well as a lasting tribute to Mike.

Daughter Kristi Stephens was quoted in Fulshear Magazine in 2014: “Being able to donate our proceeds in support of programs directly in Fulshear is definitely gratifying, whether it be the library, Arts Fulshear, Faith-FULL kids at Huggins Elementary, the volunteer fire department, the police department, the Brookwood Community, local Boy and Girl Scout troops, or the newly formed Family Hope.”

Bob Crosser

Bob Crosser is proof that you can come home again. Bob moved to Richmond and Thompson as a young boy in 1939. He left in 1942 to complete his high school eduation in Houston and get his degree from Texas AMU in 1950. His professional career took him across the globe. For example, Bob was managing the establishment of a data center in Kuwait in August 1990 when Sadam Hussein’s army invaded.  Bob and Ann were among the evacuees who fled south to Saudi Arabia ahead of the Iraqi invaders– it is quite a story.

Bob retired in 1991 and began devoting his time and attention to Fort Bend County history. He is a charter member and first president of the Fort Bend Archeological Society, which organized in 1992 as an adjunct of the Fort Bend County Museum Association. Bob is also a Texas Archeological Steward, a certification that signifies his competence as an avocational archeologist.

Bob began his affiliation with the Fort Bend County Historical Commission in 1992.  In 2003, he contributed his skills and experience in a commission project to re-inventory the historical markers and cemeteries of Fort Bend County. Back in the 1980s, Virginia Scarborough, Wincie Campbell, Willie Ann McCulloch, and others conducted the first survey. More than 20 years later they helped update the original inventory.

Virginia, Wincie, and Willie Ann are outstanding examples of commission members who work on the Cemetery Commission for which Bob serves as Chairman. There are 25 active committee members who research, search for, monitor, and record the historic cemeteries across Fort Bend County. To date, over 170 have been found, recorded, and reported on the Internet for public reference.

Bob Crosser’s remarkable dedication was officially recognized in 2009, when he was awarded the Historical Commission’s first annual award, now known as The Bert Bleil Heritage Award, for meritorious service in preservation of Fort Bend’s historical legacy. The Friends of the Historical Commission are very proud to honor Bob in 2017.

Ken Stubbe

Ken Stubbe traveled the globe before establishing roots in Fort Bend County. He grew up in rural Wisconsin and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, becoming a radar technician. He spent three years in Australia and then returned to the U.S. to earn a B.S. in Civil Engineering from California State University at Los Angeles.

Once he launched into his professional career, Ken continued his world-wide travels.  At different times for different companies, he worked as a draftsman, designer, project controls engineer, project engineer, and project manager. H worked on oil and gas projects on the North Slope of Alaska and in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 1989, he and his family moved to Plano, Texas and continued working on international engergy projects in far-flung places like Ecuador, Yemen, Qatar, Indonesia, and other oil patches across the globe. While on the move, he even found time to secure US Patent # 4,584,918!

Ken and his wife Karen moved to Fort Bend in 2000 while Ken continued project work in Kazakhstan, Mexico, and Angola.  He retired in 2006, and as everyone knows, a busy person needs something to do.  The Fort Bend County Historical Commisison is so happy Ken found his way to us.

Ken served as an election judge in the Fulshear area, and through that experience, connected with local citizens seeking a state historical cemetery marker for the Fulshear Black Cemetery. He voluntarily assisted them with critical survey and research work. This led him to the County Historical Commission’s Cemetery Committee, which mushroomed in to other volunteer roles that took advantage of Ken’s computer and organizational skills. He is the commission’s go-to man for software design, system & hardware administration, and coordination with the county IT department.

The Fort Bend County Historical Commission would not be nearly as effective if Ken were not a member. We appreciate his skills and talents, but we equally appreciate his enthusiasm and commitment to Fort Bend County history.