By Jonnie Miller
The Newton County Historical Society Committee became an active organization in 1963 with Pauline Hines appointed chairman by County Judge Theron Gandy.
The committee met in January, 1968 and voted to begin a project of collecting items of historic value for a county museum to be housed in a second-floor room of the county courthouse. Judge Adams gave permission for the use of the courthouse. The first event sponsored by the committee was the dedication of a marker for Thomas C. Holmes, a Revolutionary War soldier who lived in the Newton County area. The site of the center is on land bequeathed to the county by Anne Howard along with money to build the Civic Center which houses the center, the library, the auditorium and the health department. She was specific about it being used as a place for the history of the county. It has been dedicated in memory of Anne and her sister, Iris.
In 1972 the commission won its first Distinguished Service Award from the state and has received an award every year since then. In 1982 it became a Texas Heritage Resource Center, a charter participant for source material for teaching Texas History.
The History Center & Museum’s 30th anniversary celebration will be August 8, 2018 from 1 to 5 p.m., with a book signing by Author Bobby Bean “Once An Eagle”. The public is invited.