|The St. George Hotel. Judging by the automobiles, the picture seems to have been taken around 1912.|
As curator of the Roscoe Historical Museum, I am always on the lookout for photos, images and information of early day Roscoe, and my searches on the Internet have occasionally been rewarded with finds that illuminate aspects of the city’s history that I previously knew little or nothing about.
One example is the old photograph at top left from a collection at Hardin-Simmons University showing a large two-story depot under construction. The description that accompanies it says it was in Roscoe, Texas. However, it looks pretty grand for Roscoe, and I might have questioned the location if I didn’t have a Dallas Morning News article from August 27, 1898, that says the Texas & Pacific was building a new depot in Roscoe to replace the old one that burned down—and that the new one “when completed, will be an ornament to the town.”
At the same time, I did doubt the accuracy of another old photograph from the same collection also described as being from Roscoe. This one, shown above, is of a fine-looking building with three floors (counting the attic) called the St. George Hotel.
In stories I’d heard from my father, my uncle Marion, George Parks, Mary Edna Worthy and other local historians, I’d heard of several hotels in Roscoe—the Turk, the Bourland, the Kern, and the Rex—but never had I ever heard mention of anything about a St. George Hotel, especially considering that it would have been bigger than any of the others.
Likewise, Sid Gracey, in her 1924 essay on the early history of Roscoe, mentions other early Roscoe hotels, but says nothing about a St. George. So I figured someone had made a mistake, as sometimes happens with old photographs, and forgot about it.
Then, a few days ago, I learned that the Fire Department owns a scrapbook containing fire department information that goes back to the incorporation of the city in 1907. Naturally, I was interested in what it contained, so, after getting permission to look it over and scan some of its pictures, I took it home and went to work. One of the first photographs in the scrapbook is this one of east Roscoe, said to be taken in 1908:
And, lo and behold, there on the left-hand side of the picture is a big hotel—the St. George, and the caption below the photo specifically mentions it by name.
Moreover, on the same page of the scrapbook is a copy of the December 15, 1908, minutes of the City Council, which contains the following:
Be it ordained by the City Council of Roscoe that no frame buildings shall be constructed or built or moved within said limit without a permit from Council; said limit to be bounded on north by T&P Railroad, on east by St. George Hotel, thence south to 3rd Street, thence west to Moon Shop.
So, the evidence seems conclusive. There was indeed a St. George Hotel in east Roscoe, apparently on Broadway and Pecan. But if that is the case, why wasn’t it a part of the general memory of the city’s history? How could such a nice, big hotel be apparently forgotten? When was it built, who owned it, and whatever could have happened to it?
I asked several people about it but, like me, none of them had ever heard of it—not my mother, not Arlon Wayne Orman, who’s pretty knowledgeable about Roscoe history, not Harold Duvall, who also knows quite a bit, nor anyone else that I asked.
Yesterday, however, while on a visit to my mother over at the rest home in Sweetwater, I ran into Pauline Heine, who’s lived in and around Roscoe practically all her life. Like my mother, she is 104 years old and still clear-headed.
I asked her if she’d ever heard of the St. George Hotel, and she said no, she didn’t think so. I said it was on Broadway in the early days over in the east part of town, and she said, “It was a pretty big hotel, wasn’t it?” I said yes, and she said she seemed to remember it. I asked her if she knew anything about it or what happened to it, but she said she didn’t.
So, if you know anything at all about the St. George, a fine old hotel that used to be in east Roscoe, please let me know. I’d be happy to learn anything you can tell me.
COMMUNITY CENTER LOOKING A LOT BETTER AFTER CLEANUP
The Roscoe Community Center got a facelift last week as volunteers gave it a good cleaning. On Wednesday and Thursday Coilla Smith brought a group of high school students, who took out all the old ceiling tiles and replaced them with new ones, which wasn’t a clean or easy job. The Community Center is about 6,000 square feet, and the tiles were all covered with dust and insulation—and if you’ve ever worked with fiberglass insulation, you’ll know what a pain that is to deal with. Nevertheless, the students got it all done, earning the highest praise of Mayor Pete Porter and other city officials.
Then on Saturday a group of adult volunteers gave the inside a good cleaning and straightening up, removing all the old debris and making the kitchen and other areas spic and span. The only task that remains is to buff the floor, and that will be done soon.
NOLAN COUNTY STOCK SHOW SCHEDULE, JANUARY 18-21
The annual Nolan County Livestock Show is under way at the Nolan County Coliseum in Sweetwater. Here is the schedule of events:
Wednesday 6:00pm - Steer Show, then Heifer Show
Thursday 4:00pm - Goat Show, then Lamb Show
5:00pm - Rabbit Show, then Broiler Show
Friday 4:30pm Swine Show
Saturday 10:00am - Honorary Show
11:00am – Barbecue
1:00pm – Awards, Premium Sale
PLOWBOYS END LOSING STREAK WITH VICTORY OVER ROTAN, BUT FALL TO HAMLIN
Move over, Indianapolis Colts. After going winless for fifteen games, the Plowboys’ basketball team broke the streak Friday night with a close victory over Rotan 33-32, making them 1-1 in district play. Jesus Leanos led all scorers with 19 points while Dillon Freeman had 6. Roscoe led at halftime 18-12.
However, they weren’t able to make it two in a row. Against Hamlin last night, they fell by a score of 43-34. Leanos was again the high scorer for the Plowboys, this time with 14, while Freeman had 8. The score at halftime was 21-17.
The Plowboys are now 1-2 in district play and will face Stamford here at home on Friday night.
PLOWGIRLS DEFEAT ROTAN 42-26, LOSE TO HAMLIN 50-35
Like the Plowboys, the Plowgirls took care of business against Rotan on Friday but were unable to do the same against the undefeated Lady Pied Pipers last night, falling by a score of 50-35. Hamlin is now 22-0 on the season and 4-0 in district play, while the Plowgirls are 11-12 overall and 1-3 in district.
High scorer for the Plowgirls was Lynnsi Moses with 11, followed by Stina Willman with 6. The halftime score was 24-17.
The Plowgirls also face Stamford at home this Friday.
It was a week of normal winter weather with sunny skies and high temperatures in the 50s and 60s and lows in the 30s. Sunday and Monday were springlike with 70° afternoons, but a cold front blew in yesterday dropping temperatures down into the fifties yesterday afternoon and the low twenties last night. However, the forecast for the next few days is for warmer weather with highs in the sixties and seventies. No rain is predicted.