Hello Atascosa County! I hope this column finds you all well and happy. Well, things have been busy for us lately. We have been planning the Battle of Medina Ceremony, which will be held at our campus in Leming this year. It’s a change from years past but we believe it will be a very welcomed transition. All of our volunteers have been putting in the work and we expect a great event. See our Facebook page for details on the event. We hope to have a good crowd on August 14.
As far as the summer goes, I intend to nominate a business for the Texas Treasure Business Award before the summer is over. This is an honor awarded by the Texas Historical Commission after nomination. The business must have been in business in the same industry (or similar industry if an economic transition was required) for at least 50 years. So far in Atascosa County, there only exists 3 businesses that have been awarded the distinction.
Hurley Funeral Home has been serving Atascosa County since 1919 out of a mercantile store in the Ditto Community that sold everything a family needed, even caskets. Seeing that the county needed a funeral service, Millard Hurley completed mortuary science school in 1925, to become the first licensed funeral director in Atascosa County. Since then, the generations of Hurley Family have been serving Atascosa County as Funeral Directors, and active civic leaders. They were honored in 2015 with the Texas Treasure Business Award.
Center Pharmacy was started in 1961 by Frank Repka, R.Ph in a partnership with Dr. U.B. Ogden. Repka ran the pharmacy and Ogden operated the physician’s office next door. These two early Pleasanton businessmen purchased the city lots where Center Pharmacy currently sits to operate their new enterprise. Mr. Repka’s son Myron and his family currently operate Center Pharmacy. They were honored in 2020 with the Texas Treasure Business Award.
The Pleasanton Express has a storied history with Atascosa County, literally. The Pleasanton Express was founded in 1909 by J.T. Williamson. Since then, the newspaper has been under the ownership of seven other individuals. J.F. Andrews took over the Pleasanton Express in 1925, J.F. Andrews, Jr. in 1944 and Wally and Ruth Daetwyler in 1953. Since 1974, this publication has been owned and operated by the Wilkerson Family. Today, The Pleasanton Express continues to exceed the industry standards in journalism. The Pleasanton Express received the Texas Treasure Business Award in 2021.
If you know of a business that you think qualifies, please let me know. There is a catch, the business must meet the qualifications and the business owner(s) must be a cooperative member of the nomination process. We will have our feelers out in the coming months.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s column. Thank you for reading, until next time.
MARTIN GONZALES is the Atascosa County Historical Commission Chairman. If you have history to share, you may contact him at 830-480-2741.