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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Roscoe State Bank to be Sold

The Roscoe State Bank.

The Board of Directors of the Roscoe State Bank has agreed to sell the Bank to Cornerstone Home Lending, a family-owned Houston-based mortgage company that has operated successfully since originating in 1988. The merged organization will be known as Cornerstone Capital Bank, although the Roscoe State Bank name will continue to be used in Nolan and Bastrop Counties. This unique merger is subject to approval by federal and state regulators, which is expected to occur in the 4th quarter.

The acquisition will give Cornerstone a bank charter that allows it to greatly expand the financial products and services it can provide to new and existing customers that they cannot do now as a mortgage lender. This includes offering all types of consumer and commercial loans along with various deposit products, including state of the art electronic/mobile banking services. For the Roscoe State Bank, it will allow for a transition of ownership while continuing to operate under its current policies, procedures, and existing management. Most importantly, all of the RSB employees will remain intact and continue to serve customers as they always have in their same friendly and responsive manner. The employees will also have the opportunity for future growth with a much larger, rapidly growing organization. RSB President John Jay will stay on as Chairman of the Loan Committee and will remain involved with the merged entity. He will also serve as a shareholder and Board member of Cornerstone Capital Bank.

Initially, RSB customers will not see any major changes. The products and services will stay the same, customer’s accounts will not change, the branch locations will remain open, and the Bank will continue using its existing loan underwriting guidelines and approval process. In the future, any changes that occur will be enhancements in products and services, including more robust mobile and electronic banking functionality that will further benefit customers.

Jay says he has received significant interest in recent years from other banks interested in acquiring RSB. After careful consideration, he decided to entertain a few select offers he believed would be the best cultural fit for the Bank and that would meet his transaction goals. After reviewing multiple offers, he and the RSB Board selected Cornerstone as it preserves the Bank’s successful business model and its ability to continue taking care of its customers. The Cornerstone transaction also satisfactorily addresses Jay’s goals of taking care of the employees and the communities served by the Bank.

In order to answer customer questions about the various bank services, the bank has posted an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page on its website that provides details about possible concerns. It can be accessed by clicking on this link:

Almost all questions are answered on that page, but for ones that aren’t, Jay says he’ll be happy to discuss them or see that they are answered.
Editor's note: This is Cornerstone Home Lending's official press release of June 14, 2021.


HOUSTON, TEXAS /PRNewswire/— Cornerstone Home Lending, one of the nation’s premier independent residential mortgage companies, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire The Roscoe State Bank of Roscoe, Texas.

These two family-owned companies with nearly 150 years of collective operating success will combine to create an organization holding approximately $2 billion in assets and more than $300 million in equity capital.

“For more than 33 years, Cornerstone’s daily mission has been to use and improve upon our God-given talents to make a positive difference to the lives of our team members, customers, shareholders and the people who provide services to us. This combination of two great teams will allow Cornerstone to significantly expand product and service offerings to our hundreds of thousands of customers and referral sources throughout the country, will provide a vast array of additional home lending products and services to the customers and communities served by The Roscoe State Bank, and will produce additional growth opportunities for team members at both Cornerstone and Roscoe,” said Marc Laird, Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Cornerstone. “With advanced digital technologies and the support of caring team members who are committed to friendly service, we will continue to uphold our key Core Conviction of providing a remarkable experience for every family we serve, whether through mortgage lending, commercial banking or digital banking services,” added Judy Belanger, Vice Chairman, President and co-founder of Cornerstone.

The Roscoe State Bank boasts 115 years of exceptional service to Texans in Roscoe, Sweetwater and Bastrop, with the last 46 years of successful operations and service under the leadership of Clyde Jay and current Chairman and CEO John Jay. The Roscoe State Bank is known for its superior banking experience for consumers and small businesses. John Jay is expected to join the resulting board of directors at closing and will remain active with the merged organization going forward, including with its commercial banking loan committees.

"I am very excited about our transaction with Cornerstone, and I believe they are the perfect fit for our bank as we combine two family-owned organizations that share a similar culture and a commitment to building long-term relationships,” commented John Jay. “I have been so impressed with the Cornerstone family and the successful business model they have achieved.

Their respectful approach to integrating our own successful business model makes me confident that this deal will result in stronger growth and investments in markets we currently serve, and in expansion markets. We are very proud of Roscoe’s history of serving our communities through every economic cycle since 1906, and we look forward to bringing that legacy to the national stage through this transaction.”

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.


Otteson Shapiro LLP served as legal advisor to Cornerstone, and Scott Almy served as its business advisor. Piper Sandler & Co. served as financial advisor to The Roscoe State Bank in connection with the transaction, and Thompson Knight, LLP served as its legal counsel. 
About Cornerstone Home Lending 
Founded in 1988 in Houston, Texas, Cornerstone has assisted families on over 430,000 home financing transactions, including 49,266 home financing transactions in 2020. Cornerstone originates mortgage loans in 39 states plus the District of Columbia. Cornerstone’s 1,900 team members are guided by a non-negotiable Mission, Vision & Convictions statement. Cornerstone is known for its commitment to closing mortgage loans on time; its refreshing culture; caring, passionate and experienced team members; a comprehensive array of innovative mortgage lending products and services; and a workplace that is recognized year after year as a “Top Workplace.” For more information, please visit

About The Roscoe State Bank

Founded in 1906, The Roscoe State Bank is a respected community-based bank with three banking centers in Roscoe and Sweetwater in West Texas, and in Bastrop near Austin, Texas. The bank believes in service to others and convenience banking. Roscoe offers an array of products and services, including business checking, personal checking, internet banking, online bill pay, mobile banking, mobile check deposit, and telephone banking. For more information, please visit



Mike and the Moonpies
Final preparations are underway for Saturday’s big July 4th Celebration, and event organizers are planning a day to remember.

The celebration begins at ten o’clock when the parade comes down Broadway, followed by the Plowboy Mudbog at George Parks Field beginning at twelve.

During the afternoon, street vendors will be open and selling food and other wares along Broadway, Cypress, and Old Town Park, and the Roscoe Historical Museum will be open for visitors.

The Roscoe Express will be available to shuttle people free of charge between downtown and the Plowboy Mudbog during the afternoon.

Music will begin “on the bricks” of Cypress with Lyndall Underwood and the Dusty Creek Band at 6:00pm, followed by Kody West at 7:00. Then, Mike and the Moonpies will take the stage at eight and play until 9:30, followed by the ever-popular fireworks show beginning at about 9:45.

Here are more details about the various events of the day:

Once again, parade organizers invite your participation. They are looking for creativity and variety. Float awards will be presented to best overall, best western, and most patriotic. Prizes will also be awarded to the best antique vehicle, best motorcycle, best bicycle, and best semi. Anything is welcome!

The parade will start at 10:00am.  Line-up will be on West Broadway at 9:30am, and judging will be at 9:45am.

For more information, call Valerie Pruitt at 325-338-4666.

This year’s Plowboy Mudbog at George Parks Field will once again feature mudboggers from all over. Registration for entrants begins at 9:30am Saturday morning at the northwest corner of the baseball field at Second and Sycamore Streets.  The driver entry fee is $30.

Entries will be in five classes, possibly six:
1.   Street: 35” tires and under with limited engine modification.
2.   Super Street: 35” with engine vac under 13”.
3.   Modified: 36” to 39” with limited engine modification.
4.   Super Modified: 36” to 39” with engine vac under 13”.
5.   Open: 40” and over.
6    (Tractor Tire: If enough entries for separate class)

Since there’s an advantage in going last rather than first, each mud vehicle makes two runs, with the second run in reverse order from the first.

The public gate will open at 11:00am with mudbog action beginning at noon. Admission is free of charge. The concession stand will be open.

Time permitting, there will also be a Plowboy Mudbog “Dash for Cash,” an entertaining event featuring kids running through knee-deep mud.

Spectators are encouraged to bring sunblock, mosquito repellent, canopy, and lawn chairs. For more information, see the Plowboy Mudbog Facebook page, or contact Felix Pantoja at 325-514-8384.


The music stage will be set up on Cypress Street downtown between the Roscoe State Bank and Old Town Park.

Lyndall Underwood and the Dusty Creek Band will open the show at 6:00, followed by Kody West at 7:00. Then at 8:00, he will be followed by this year’s feature act, Mike & the Moonpies, who will play until 9:30 or so.

The fireworks show should once again be a memorable event that fittingly tops off the day.

The show begins at about 9:45pm and will last about twenty minutes.

Those who are still not done celebrating can then go to the Lumberyard, where until 1 o’clock there will be dancing with live music provided by Lyndall Underwood and the Dusty Creek Band free of charge.

So, if you're in the area on Saturday, make plans to attend, bring lawn chairs and coolers, and help us celebrate the country’s independence!



Once again, we are having some trouble with burglaries. Take proper precautions, keep safe, and call in anything suspicious. Phone 325-235-5471.

Felix Pantoja
Roscoe Police Chief

The new Roscoe Police vehicle--with decals.



Jace Arnwine and Jayton Boston were both on division-winning basketball teams in the Southwest Hoops Tournament in Abilene this past weekend. Both are members of the Abilene Select Basketball Program, which offers basketball training for several age groups and travels the state playing in tournaments.

Jayton will be in the 6th grade this fall at Highland, and Jace will be in the 8th at Roscoe Collegiate.


Yesterday's evening sky.
The latter half of last week saw windy days and continued heat.  Wednesday through Saturday had mostly sunny skies and strong southerly winds with highs from 95° to 98° and lows in the mid-seventies.

Then, on Saturday evening a norther blew in, and since then, we’ve had a return to cooler weather along with light northeasterly winds, humidity, and more rain.  The rain began with a light, intermittent downfall around 9:30 Saturday night. Then, around 1:20 early Sunday morning, it began falling harder, and by 7:30am I had 2.35” in my rain gauge. Another tenth fell that morning in a light, steady sprinkle, so my total came to 2.45”. Roscoe weatherman Kenny Landfried recorded an official 2.00". Others west of town and Champion got 2.5" or more.

Monday, there were more hard showers in the Roscoe area, but not here in town. When I returned in the afternoon from a trip to Lubbock, I found .33” in my rain gauge, and Landfried had .15". However,  I came through a hard shower between Hermleigh and Inadale and talked to someone who also said a hard shower fell between Sweetwater and Roscoe. Then, yesterday I had almost nothing in my gauge but Landfried had .67". In any case, with the extra rain we got this week, the entire area is now pretty well saturated.

Along with the rainclouds and northerly winds, temperatures have been noticeably milder. Sunday’s high was 84°, Monday’s 80°, and yesterday’s 86° with lows dropping into the sixties.

Today’s high should also be around 86° and tomorrow’s 89° before a light front moves in on Friday dropping the maximum to 85° with clouds and scattered thunderstorms and a 36% chance of rain. Saturday’s high should be only about 82°, which should make for a pleasant Plowboy Mudbog as long as we don’t get rained on. The chances of rain Saturday are 39%, on Sunday 36%, and on Monday 37%, so we may get another shower or two before this time next week.

It appears that the record-breaking heat and drought out west are being offset by the cooler, wetter weather we are getting here in Texas.


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Lifestyle Changes in the Fifties: ACs and TVs

A happy 1950s housewife with air conditioning. (Photo from Internet)
Two technological advances that changed life in the 1950s were air conditioners and television. In the beginning of that decade, almost no one had air conditioners. Houses were hot places during the hot summers, and after our family had eaten supper, we went outside to catch the evening breezes, and our neighbors did the same. We lived across the street from the Bowens, old people who sat in chairs on their porch and always waved when we came out. We kids ran around and played while our parents sat in lawn chairs and talked. Many people went for walks in the evening. When they came by our yard, they would greet my parents and sometimes stop to talk for a few minutes before continuing on their way. When it got dark, we’d go back inside and often listen to the radio programs while our parents did things with their eyes and hands, such as my mother knitting or sewing, or my daddy fixing something or other. At other times, they read newspapers or magazines and talked to us kids.

On hot summer nights—and there were plenty of those in the drought years of the early fifties—we kids slept under the stars out in the back yard. We had a roll-away bed and cot that we kept in the garage and brought out at bedtime. My younger brother and I slept on the roll-away bed, and my older brother on the cot. It was much cooler outside at night and actually got chilly in the early mornings. At some point during the night, we would get under the cover, which we’d ignored when we went to bed. Our dogs, sometimes we had one and sometimes two, had learned not to bother us while we were sleeping, but our cats—we usually had about three—came around at times during the night for naps on the bed with us.

Me and my brother David in the back yard, about 1953.
My brothers and I wore as few clothes as possible during the summer. We didn’t wear shirts and ran around barefooted except on Sunday mornings, when we went to Sunday school and church. We slept in our briefs, and in the mornings when we woke up, we slipped on a pair of shorts and were ready for the day, often not going into the house until our mother called us in for breakfast. Since kids ran around loose in those days, we were often awakened by one of our friends who was already up and had come around to play or ride bicycles.

When I was about nine years old, my dad bought an evaporative cooler and put it in one of the north windows in the living room so it would be in the shade on hot summer days. These early air conditioners, also known as “swamp coolers” with “squirrel cages” worked by evaporating the water that dripped down through the shredded wood pads lining the walls of the air conditioner box and blowing the resulting cool air into the house. In order to save on electricity, my mother turned it on only when the temperature reached 100°F outside. She would close all the living room windows and doors so that it cooled off just that room. We kids could go in there only if we sat in front of the air conditioner to cool off. No toys or running around were allowed, so we usually didn’t stay in there long before going back outside.

Over time, though, air conditioners came to be used more and more, especially when the compressor types got cheap enough to buy and run. The result was that people didn’t sit out as much in the evenings and so did less visiting with neighbors and passersby—or enjoying the sky with its sunset and coming of the stars.

Happiness was a TV set in the living room. (Photo from Internet)
Television had much the same effect. Although TV was becoming common in the cities as early as 1949 or 1950, it was unknown in west Texas because there were no broadcast stations in the area until KRBC-TV began in late 1953.  The first television set in Roscoe was at Medlock’s Furniture store, which also had them for sale. It was placed in one of the show windows and turned on, and in the evenings a crowd would gather on the sidewalk outside to watch this wondrous new invention. People often stood there for an hour or more watching programs like “I Love Lucy” or “The Honeymooners” with Jackie Gleason.

At first, TV sets were too expensive for most people to afford, costing about $500, which was more like $5000 in today’s money. They had small black and white screens and came in a large console with many tubes in the back that had to be replaced when they burned out. They also required a large TV antenna on the roof of the house, so it was easy to see who had TVs and who didn’t.  Although the knob on the set had settings for twelve normal channels and one UV, the only channel available in this area was channel 9, KRBC-TV. It didn’t really matter to anyone, though. TV was such a novelty that most people would watch whatever was on. Broadcasting started in the morning at six or six-thirty and closed at ten-thirty at night. If you got up in the morning before broadcasting began, you would sometimes sit and watch the test pattern until it did. In the evenings, you didn’t turn the TV off until you listened to the national anthem while watching a waving flag and fighter jets fly in formation.

One of the first TVs in town was in the Boys Club hall, which was in the back of the City Hall building. It had comparatively excellent reception because its antenna was placed atop a telephone pole behind the hall and was larger and a lot higher than the ones on houses. On Saturday afternoons in the summer, the baseball “Game of the Week” was broadcast, and old men would come around and sit in the metal lawn chairs placed in a semi-circle before the TV. Along with the kids, a dozen people or more might be there watching and commenting on the game, no matter which teams were playing. And during the World Series, the crowds were even larger, and we all basked in the wonder that such a thing was even possible and we could watch it for free.

Watching television when there was only one channel—or even later when KPAR-TV, channel 12, began broadcasting in 1956—was a shared community experience even for those who were watching in their homes. Not only was the entire family gathered around the television, but the next day at school or work, one of the main topics of conversation would be the programs that had been on TV the night before since everyone was watching the same ones.  Favorites were "Gunsmoke,” “Have Gun Will Travel,” “Life of Riley,” “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “Dragnet,” “Wrestling from Chicago,” and others. On Saturday mornings, kids watched “Howdy Doody,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Superman,” “Lassie,” “The Little Rascals,” and “Mr. Wizard.”

There was also a lot of local programming with many shows emanating from the studios in Abilene. One of these was “The Slim Willet Show,” brought to you by Western Chevrolet. Slim Willet was an Abilene disc jockey who was also a country singer. He became famous with two hits, “Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes” and “Tool Pusher from Snyder.” Every week he would tell jokes, sing a couple of songs with his band, and showcase local talent. Another local show was “On the Farm” with Harry Holt, who always talked about area farming and ranching conditions.  Another was “Cooking with Virginia,” which came on in the mornings. Virginia also occasionally showcased local talent and once invited the Roscoe Boys Club trampoline team to be on her show. As one of its performers, I felt very privileged to see first-hand what the TV studio looked like and how the shows were made. Later on, when KPAR-TV had their studios outside Sweetwater, we also performed on a March of Dimes Telethon and got to see what their studio was like.

As in other small towns all over Texas, television killed the local movie theaters. I don’t remember when the Joy Theater finally closed its doors, but it was only two or three years after the TV broadcasts began. The drive-in theaters, such as the Midway, between Roscoe and Sweetwater, hung on longer than that, but eventually, they too closed down for lack of customers. Television also had the effect of keeping people inside their own homes in the evenings, and, as more channels became available in the 1960s, this effect became even more pronounced. Even community social gatherings like church or the baseball games saw attendances steadily fall as time went on.  

In the early and mid fifties, pro football games were available only on the radio because they were played on Sundays and were therefore considered somewhat scandalous for being on the Sabbath. I think it was 1958 before they regularly played on television in west Texas and other places. However, after Texas got the Dallas Cowboys in 1960, that all changed, and preachers soon learned to have the morning service over by twelve o’clock in the fall so people could get home in time to watch the Cowboys game.

In short, air conditioning and television were both rightfully hailed in the fifties as great technological innovations that improved people’s lives, but in doing so they also diminished the social life of the community and, over time, increased the isolation of families from their neighbors and from nature itself.

Editor's note: The original version of this article ran in the February 22, 2017 Roscoe Hard Times.



Roscoe's girls' basketball teams will conclude their summer basketball games on Monday and Tuesday. Here’s the final schedule.

 All games will be played at Snyder Junior High.

Monday, June 28th, High School Division
Gym 1- Junior High                                Gym 2- Junior High    
4:45     Roscoe JV vs Post JV                 Blackwell V vs Highland V
5:30     Post V vs Hermleigh V              Snyder JV vs Roscoe 9th
6:15     Rotan V vs Blackwell V              Post JV vs Roscoe 9th  
7:00    Borden Cty JV vs Ira JV            Roscoe V vs Snyder V
7:45     Ira JV vs Roscoe JV                   Borden County V vs Post V
8:30     Snyder V vs Hermleigh V         Rotan V vs Ira V          
9:15     Roscoe V vs Borden Cty V         Highland V vs Ira V    

Tuesday, June 29th, Junior High Division
Gym 1- Junior High                              Gym 2- Junior High
5:00   Borden Cty JH vs Roscoe 7th   Snyder JH vs Ira JH
6:00   Snyder JH vs Roscoe 8th          S'water JH vs Hermleigh JH
7:00   Ira JH vs Hermleigh JH            Rotan JH vs Roscoe 7th
8:00  Hermleigh JH vs Highland JH Borden Cty JH vs S'water JH
9:00   Borden Cty JH vs Roscoe 8th   Highland JH vs Snyder JH      



Summer sky.
We’ve been getting summer heat for the past couple of weeks, but summer didn’t officially arrive until Father’s Day on Sunday. The exact moment was 6:32pm CDT. That’s when the sun reached its farthest northern point in the northern hemisphere. It was also the longest day of the year from sunrise to sunset. Here in Roscoe, the sun rose at 6:35am and set at 8:52pm, so we had 14 hours, 16 minutes, and 51 seconds of sunshine that day. So, since Sunday, the days are now getting shorter.

Sunday was also the hottest day of the week, reaching 101°F that afternoon. It followed several days when the high temperatures reached 96° or 97°. However, on Monday afternoon a norther blew in with strong winds, dropping temperatures into the seventies for a couple of hours before climbing back to 87° later that afternoon. Yesterday felt hot and sticky although the temperature never got above 91°, as humidity and lack of wind played a part.

There was no rain this past week, so the farmers who didn’t already have their cotton planted probably do now. Conditions are good for a good start this year with plenty of deep moisture from the rains we’ve had since the last week of April.

The forecast is for continued heat for the rest of this week with clear or partly cloudy skies. The high should reach 99° today and 98° tomorrow and Friday. Saturday’s high will be only slightly lower at 95°, and nightly lows should be in the low seventies.

Scattered showers are possible starting early Sunday morning as a cold front moves through. Forecasters are currently giving us a 36% chance of rain during the day on Sunday, 42% Sunday night, and falling to 30% on Monday.  



A funeral service for Reta Cooper, 92, of Roscoe was held yesterday, June 22, at First United Methodist Church with Pastor Doug Downs officiating. Interment followed at Roscoe Cemetery directed by McCoy Funeral Home. She went to be with Lord and Savior on Tuesday, June 15, at Ascension Seton Highland Lakes Hospital in Burnet, Texas. Family members were present at her bedside, praying and singing her favorite hymns.

Reta Cooper and her twin sister Reba Kidd were born in Roscoe on January 11, 1929, to the late Grover and Louella Hanes. She married Weldon Cooper on July 25, 1953. Reta and Weldon lived in Roscoe most of their lives, raising four daughters. They were members of Roscoe First United Methodist Church. Reta was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Family was extremely important to her. She devoted her life to caring for her family.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Grover and Louella Hanes, and her husband, Weldon Cooper, and his parents, Herbert and Hattie Cooper. She is also preceded in death by two of her children, Jimmy Lawson Cooper and Rebecca Cooper Morgan, as well as her siblings Jewell Michael, Grover Morris Hanes, and John Hanes.

She is survived by her twin sister, Reba Kidd, and three daughters, Cynthia Duncan of Sweetwater, Janice Harris of Davenport, Florida, and Debbie Downs and husband Doug of Burnet. She is also survived by eight grandchildren, Luke Downs, Sarah Gutierre, Dustin Harris, Anne Parrish, Tyler Morgan, Bryce Morgan, Luke Morgan, and Rachel Morgan; and six great-grandchildren, Alianne, Chaska, Nabi, Isaac, and Mateo Downs. She met her newest great-granddaughter, Bailey Gutierre, before her passing.

Reta was truly the matriarch of her family. She leaves behind many beloved family members and friends. She will be deeply missed by everyone. She was filled with child-like faith. God received his angel home on June 15, 2021. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Pallbearers were Luke Downs, Dustin Harris, Tyler Morgan, Bryce Morgan, Charles Morgan and Albert Solis.


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Bicentennial Celebration of 1976


This shot of the notorious H&H Gang, wanted in several states for train holdups and bank robberies, was snapped Saturday as they emerged from a brushy hideout northwest of Roscoe to hold up the RS&P Bicentennial Passenger Train and terrify its occupants.

Name of the one who took the picture, the first ever made of this band of desperadoes, is withheld for fear of retaliation by the desperate crew, believed wanted in 5 states and Mexico. This is the only known photo of the badmen.

Rumors say the gang has been working around Roscoe, caring for cattle at the H&H Feed Lot while planning their escapades.

Standing, left to right: Kenneth Reed, Larry Cornoyer, Johnny Jay, Doug Richards. Mounted: Byron Byrne III, Barney Barnett, Zenaido Sanchez, Marcus Box.

Not pictured, although a participant in the holdups, was Keith Bowen.

Editor's note: This photo and caption are as they appeared in the July 9, 1976 Roscoe Times.



For a town its size, Roscoe has always been remarkable for its outsized celebrations of July the 4th. Its parades, community activities, sports competitions, fireworks shows, and other events have always drawn people in from the surrounding area to come and help us celebrate the holiday.

Now, as the big day once again approaches, this might be a good time to look back at Roscoe’s biggest July 4th holiday of all—the Bicentennial Celebration of 1976, when our country celebrated its 200th birthday.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t here that year to witness the event as I was living in Austin, but I do remember the bustle of activity as local people prepared for the event. As they had done in 1957 for Roscoe’s Golden Jubilee, or fiftieth anniversary as a town, many women made and wore outfits that brought the earlier time to mind, in this case, long-skirted dresses and mob caps such as Betsy Ross might have worn. Men got into the spirit by participating in the Roscoe Jaycees’ beard-growing contest, and practically all the local organizations worked on patriotic floats for the parade. Exhibits were prepared, and arts and fashion shows planned. It seems that almost everyone was doing something to get ready for the holiday.

Roscoe’s largest business at the time, the Roscoe, Snyder & Pacific Railway, prepared what turned out to be the most memorable activity of all, train rides in vintage passenger cars brought in especially for the occasion. Tickets were $3, and the rides were packed with both adults and children, many of whom were riding in a train for the first time.  

The result was an outstanding success that was claimed at the time to be the biggest celebration in the town’s history, which is most likely true. Since then, nothing has matched it for size or involvement and participation of its citizens.

So, rather than try to describe the occasion from the point of view of someone who wasn’t there to witness it, I will leave its description to the following articles that appeared in the Roscoe Times the following week. Written by George Parks, the paper’s editor and publisher, the descriptions provide the details and impart some of the excitement that characterized the celebration.

From the Roscoe Times, July 9, 1976.


Roscoe's long-awaited Bicentennial Celebration finally arrived last weekend and turned out to be a smash hit surpassing the fondest hopes of even the most optimistic of its planners.

From its opening flag-raising ceremony at the Roscoe State Bank, at 7 p.m. Thursday, to the closing appearance by Uncle Sam In Action, and the worship service at Howard Park Sunday, the program moved like clockwork, always with big enthusiastic crowds.

Hundreds of visitors coming “back home” for the event, or from other area points, brought in what many claim to be the largest crowds ever recorded here.

The big parade at 1:30 p.m. Saturday was a case in point—having not only hundreds of people in it, but thousands on the sidelines to view it.

Crowds were large all day Friday and Saturday at the various exhibit rooms, and continued even Sunday when the main events were at the Park.

Even a light rain at the height of the parade failed to dampen enthusiasm Saturday, and both ones in the parade and ones watching paid no heed to the raindrops.

Of course the largest crowd, but one that would be impossible to estimate, was the one that viewed the fireworks display Saturday night. Although the crowd at the ball field is large, it makes up only a small per cent of the total, since most Roscoans see the display from their homes, and all parking areas, streets, and roads near town are covered with cars of those who cannot get any closer. The number would be pretty large if the total could be known.

Anyway, the entire Celebration was a great event in Roscoe's history, superbly planned and carried out.

Ronnie Graham, general chairman of the event, and his helpers did a great job in its planning and execution.


The Times has always felt that when Roscoe people start out to do something, they can do it as well, or better than, anybody.

The Bicentennial Celebration of last weekend proved that point again, with a performance that would have done credit to a much larger community.

The art show, the displays in various windows, the antiques, the parade, the fashion show at the park, the poster contest, the Jaycee barbecue, well, just the entire thing, was so well planned and executed that right now this column can find nothing that could have been improved upon.

So many worked upon all of the committees and groups that arranged the fine event that getting the names of everyone who had a part in it would be difficult, if not impossible—so we'll just say it was a fine community effort.

The general feeling seems to be "Let's do it again next July 4th."

Why not, indeed? A little work, and a little fun, never hurt anyone, we say.

It should be an annual affair. Not a Bicentennial, just a celebration because we feel like celebrating.



Approximately 600 persons took advantage of the opportunity for a train ride offered as a Bicentennial Celebration feature to Roscoe and Snyder by the RS&P Railway.

And ones aboard the train on each run from Roscoe to Inadale and back Saturday, especially the younger ones, got the thrill of their lives out of the old fashioned, true to tradition, holdups, staged by a crew from H&H Feed Lot.

“Don't shoot my mama,” one little fellow kept pleading with the badmen, forgetting his own danger in the face of the threat of his mother's safety.

There was considerable amount of consternation among the younger passengers, and even the oldest got a kick out of the performance. particularly their daring horsemanship as they boarded the train, and the true-to-character make-ups.

Cars stopped all along the highway to stare at the holdups, and people in other states are probably hearing by this time that “Texas is still as wild as ever. They still run trains here, and we saw one held up!"

The holdups here went over so well that Snyder came after the "H&H Gang" to hold their train up Sunday on its run to Hermleigh and back.

Even without the holdup, the train ride was a novel experience for the young, and a retreat into the past for the older riders.

It was a fine gesture by the RS&P and to the two cities whose name it bears.

The Railway leased the 3 restored passenger coaches in St. Louis, and they were pulled here without charge by the Santa Fe. The RS&P made nothing from the event.

Roscoe Lions and Jaycees sponsored the rides here, and after paying insurance charges for the coaches and riders, split the profits between the two clubs.



Roscoe Jaycees had another fine barbecue last Saturday, the second day of the Bicentennial Celebration, and fed close to 1200 persons.

The Jaycees started the day south of the school cafeteria as they began cooking, but the afternoon shower ran them inside the gym for serving the delicious meal.

The "Big Wheels Gang" entertained inside the gym, as they did everywhere they were needed during the 3-day affair.

And they were always good!

Editor’s Note: Does anyone remember who was in the Big Wheels Gang?

The Roscoe Collegiate ISD Board of Trustees and Administration invites the Community to join in an informational meeting to address community questions and concerns about Roscoe Collegiate ISD. The meeting will also keep the community informed about the school district’s goals, programs, and activities.

If you have concerns or questions you would like to see addressed, please submit them by Friday, August 6, by using this link: or send them directly to a School Board member:

Aaron Brown: or 325-829-8284
Jerad Alford: or 325-721-5266
Cheyenne Smith: or 325-260-6030
Allen Richburg: or 325-236-5666
David Pantoja: or 325-236-3680
Eloy Herrera: or 325-338-3811
Kenny Hope: or 325-455-6528

The meeting is on Tuesday, August 31, at 7:00pm in the RCISD Cafeteria.
We look forward to hearing from you and hope to see you there.



The Roscoe girls’ basketball teams—varsity, junior varsity, and 8th grade—will play in the I-20 Shootout in Merkel tomorrow and Friday.

I-20 Tournament Schedule
All games played in Merkel

Varsity Girls
Teams: Eula, Veribest, Jayton, Shockerz, Westbrook, Hermleigh, Roscoe, San Saba, Christoval, Cooper

Thursday, June 17
4:40 Roscoe vs Hermleigh (Elementary Gym)
6:40 Roscoe vs Shockerz (Elementary Gym)
Friday, June 18
10:40 Roscoe vs Jayton (Elementary Gym)
2:00 Roscoe vs Eula (Elementary Gym)
             4:00 Starts Bracket Play

Junior Varsity Girls
Teams: Jayton, Glen Rose, Eula, Greenwood, Hermleigh, Fredericksburg, San Saba, Roscoe, Merkel, Jim Ned, Wall 1, Wall 0, Veribest, Levelland

Friday, June 18
8:40 Roscoe JV vs Christoval (Elementary Gym)
12:00 Roscoe JV vs Eula (Aux Gym)
4:00 Roscoe JV vs Jayton (Elementary Gym)
8:00 Roscoe JV vs Veribest (Aux Gym)

8th Grade Girls
Teams: Jayton, Shockerz, Cisco, Roscoe, Merkel, Jim Ned, Wall, Comanche, Christoval
Thursday, June 17
9:20 Roscoe 8th vs Christoval (Elementary Gym)
3:20 Roscoe 8th vs Merkel (Aux Gym)
5:20 Roscoe 8th vs Cisco (Aux Gym)
8:00 Roscoe 8th vs Jayton (Elementary Gym)


The rain pours down on Monday morning.
On Monday morning, Roscoe got a surprise rain. Like many others around town, I checked the weather for Monday the night before and saw a forecast that gave the area a 20% chance for precipitation. Anyone who’s spent any time at all in west Texas knows that when a forecast is for a 20% chance of precipitation, that usually means in real terms about a 5% chance, if that. So, when we woke up Monday morning, the sky was overcast with what appeared to be normal morning clouds, and I’m sure others, like me, just assumed that the drying out that had been going on for over a week would continue and made preparations accordingly.

However, just before 8 o’clock the sky suddenly turned dark, and shortly thereafter there was a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder. Surprised, I went outside to see what was going on, and about a minute later, the rain began. And it wasn’t just a sprinkle, either—it was pouring, along with the occasional sound of a hailstone hitting a car or metal house roof. Thankfully, the hail never got any heavier than an occasional marble-sized stone, but the rain continued until 8:45 or so before letting up and turning to a light drizzle.
The storm was unusual in that it came from the northeast, and Roscoe was near its western edge. On the radar screen, it appeared that the rain was probably done, but around 9:20 or so, it started again, although this time much lighter, hardly more that a drizzle. Later, it came down harder for a while, and when I checked my gauge at 10:30, the total had increased to 2.1”.

I heard the frogs croaking again that morning. This has been a banner year for them. It’s not often that they get to celebrate as much as they have lately.

People I talked to afterwards reported totals of anywhere from less than an inch west of town to as much as 3 inches or more, with most having at least an inch. Roscoe weatherman Kenny Landfried reported an official 1.56” at his home in east Roscoe and 1.27" on his Cottonwood Creek farm northwest of town.

In any case, the drying out from the earlier rains was interrupted, and many farmers are waiting again for the fields to dry up enough for them to be able to plant their cotton.

Before the Monday rain, we had all been trying to get used to the summer heat. From last Wednesday to Sunday, the coolest high we had was Wednesday’s 98°F. Friday was our first triple-digit day with a maximum of 102°, Saturday dropped to 99°, but then Sunday was back up to 100°. Monday’s morning rain cooled everything off, and the high dropped to 87°. Yesterday was not that hot with a high of 93°, but it was very humid, so it felt hotter than it actually was.

The rest of this week is forecast to be like the latter part of last week—sunny and hot with highs of about 96° increasing to 102° on Sunday. Lows will be in the low seventies, and the chances of rain are almost nil.


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Mike and the Moonpies to Highlight July 4th

Mike and the Moonpies
Preparations are underway for this year’s Independence Day Celebration on Saturday, July 3, and once again the event organizers are planning a day to remember.

The live music lineup for this year’s free concert and street dance in downtown Roscoe will feature three great bands. Local favorites Lyndall Underwood and his Dusty Creek Band will kick off the show with their trademark traditional country sound. They will be followed by up-and-coming singer Kody West, who in turn will open for the evening’s headliners, Mike and the Moonpies.

Mike and the Moonpies, led by front man Mike Harmeier, got their start in Austin over a decade ago as a house band for the Hole in the Wall and later the Broken Spoke. Since those days, their music has become more sophisticated and is now what they describe as neotraditional country and Americana.

They have produced three new albums in the past three years, and one, Cheap Silver & Solid Country Gold, was recorded with the help of the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios in London, where the Beatles recorded Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Since 2010, they’ve produced seven albums, the most recent being Touch of You: the Lost Songs of Gary Stewart.

Notable singles include “You Look Good in Neon,” “Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em,” “Steak Night at the Prairie Rose,” “Road Crew,” and “Danger.”

Kody West
Kody West is an up-and-coming young country singer/songwriter from Denton. Best known for his album Green (2017), he has just released a new one entitled Overgrown

Popular singles include “Love Me Too,” “Million Miles,” and “For the Last Time."

Lyndall Underwood

Lyndall Underwood and the Dusty Creek Band are well known in the Big Country, frequently playing in area venues in Abilene, San Angelo, Sweetwater, Snyder, Roscoe, and elsewhere. They have been around for several years now and have a dedicated following for their traditional country dance music. Lyndall is a graduate of Roscoe High and a local cotton farmer.

Besides the free concert and street dance, the July 4th celebration will include the annual July 4th parade in the morning, the Plowboy Mudbog in the afternoon at the baseball field, street vendors on Cypress and Broadway, and conclude with the ever-popular fireworks show.

So, if you're in the area on Saturday, July 3, make plans to attend, bring lawn chairs and coolers, and help us celebrate the country’s independence in downtown Roscoe.



Roscoe Collegiate ISD is seeking Community Input on the Use of ESSER Funds.  ESSER Funds have been provided by the federal government to help schools recover from the COVID crisis.  

Please take a few minutes to complete this short survey ( and/or join us at 6:30 on Monday, June 14th, for a short community meeting to discuss the use of these funds.  The meeting will take place at the district admin building at 7th and Ash, or you can join via Zoom:

Roscoe Collegiate is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting:
     Meeting ID: 822 5167 7093
     Passcode: roscoe

Survey Link:

Andrew J. Wilson



City Manager Cody Thompson addresses the City Council yesterday.
At its monthly meeting in City Hall yesterday evening the Roscoe City Council heard updates from the City Manager and Chief of Police and acted on a number of agenda items.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported that all the problems at the City Swimming Pool created by the winter blizzard were successfully taken care of, and the pool is now open for the summer with Inez Leanas as manager. Pipes and fittings have been replaced and new sand put in the sand filter, and everything is working properly.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Water Development Board delays in waterline improvement plans for south Roscoe might possibly work out to Roscoe’s advantage if the federal government’s infrastructure plan is passed. If it is, first funds will go to shovel-ready projects and Roscoe’s water improvement project would be one of those.

The R. O. water treatment plant is running as designed and city workers are doing a good job with its day-to-day operation.

Recent rainfall has created rapidly growing weeds and grass, and mosquitos are proliferating. Residents are urged to eliminate pools of standing water, and city workers have already sprayed once for mosquitos and plan a second spraying by the end of this week.

Planning is underway for the July 4 celebration on Saturday, July 3.

Police Chief Felix Pantoja gave the Police Department report for the month of May. He said the Department had handled 80 to 90 calls and issued a number of citations, including one for operating after hours at the game room on Broadway. Indictments included one for a recent robbery at Stripes, but the Yesway holdup in March is still unsolved. The Department has also obtained a new police vehicle to replace the old one that was totaled while parked on the roadside of I-20 during a winter storm.

The Council then passed a number of routine agenda items and approved the addition of Coilla Smith to the Roscoe Community Development Board.



Roscoe Police have a new Chevy Tahoe. Decals are on the way.



 The mild weather with highs in the 80s that characterized the month of May lasted until Sunday, which peaked at 91°F. But then Monday’s high rose to 98°, the hottest day of the year so far, and yesterday was almost as hot with a high of 97°. However, today and tomorrow’s highs should beat both of those with possible 100° readings. If not,  Friday will be our first triple digit day of the year followed by a weekend that will b even hotter. It appears that summer has arrived.

The rainy weather of May continued until last Thursday. I had .3” in my gauge when I got up that morning, and another shower added .3” more that afternoon. I was in Abilene and wasn’t here for the afternoon rain but was told that golf ball sized hail fell in south Roscoe but not downtown or in most other places in the area.

The first five days of June were also temperate with highs of 79°. 84°, 80°, 82°, and 86° last week with lows in the upper 50s or low 60s. But that will have to be just a pleasant memory with the summer heat we’re facing now. Saturday is predicted to reach 105° and Sunday 102°. So, it appears that the farmers who were praying for some sunshine to dry out their wet fields have got their wish—and then some.

A look at the Weather Channel’s forecast for the rest of June shows no more daily highs of less than 90°--and no more rainy days.


Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Roscoe Swimming Pool Opens Friday

Summer is for swimming.
Kids will be happy to know that the Roscoe Swimming Pool is scheduled to open for the summer this Friday, June 4.

Like last year, the pool is open Tuesday through Sunday, but the hours are slightly different. This year’s hours are 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Price of admission is $2.00 per day.

The pool may be rented for private parties beginning at or after 5:00pm. The fee is $80 for two hours, $120 for three, and $130 for four, all with a $40 deposit. The price includes an approved licensed lifeguard.

For reservations or additional details, contact Pool Manager Inez Leanas at 325-829-9066.



Hey! All you Roscoe High School Alumni!

This is the Big Homecoming Year!!
It is set for the weekend of September 24, 2021.

If you would like to help with the festivities this year, please let me know as we are in the process of setting an organizational meeting in the near future.

You don’t have to live in Roscoe to help. There are things you can do. We must verify addresses, and there are other tasks as well.

If you are interested in helping to update your class or several classes, please contact me, and we will email you a list.

Also, we are in desperate need of graduates and addresses from exes from the 2000 decade. For some reason we don’t have those in our database.

Thanks everyone, and please share this call with other RHS alumni!

Connie Baize
Or text to 325-338-1287



This new virtual video from RCISD school personnel features highlights of the educational innovations of our school district, which are being used as inspirations for other rural school districts in upgrading their own educational systems. It is 9:57 minutes long.  



(Basketball photos by Tique Hamilton)
Three Plowgirl teams, the varsity, junior varsity, and freshmen, participated in the High School Girls’ Basketball Shootout at Roscoe this past weekend, and all did well. 

The varsity girls went 4-1, which bodes well for next year’s team success, and the younger Plowgirl teams got some good experience competing with the other schools. The shootout was a feature of Roscoe Collegiate’s summer basketball camp.

Summer league play started yesterday. 

Summer basketball camp has had a big turnout.



Attention, Roscoe! We have some thieves working our area. They are going around stealing things from yards and garages with late night hits. Keep safe and call in anything suspicious. Phone 325-235-5471.

Felix Pantoja
Roscoe Police Chief



(Memorial Day photos by Jodi Kingston)
They say that neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays postal workers from their appointed rounds, and the same might be said of Roscoe’s American Legion members who performed their Memorial Day ceremonies despite the rain that fell on Monday.

In addition to the 7:00am flag-raising ceremony at American Legion Post 227, they then placed 364 flags on veterans’ graves at the Roscoe Cemetery. At noon, they raised the flag at the Legion to full mast, and that afternoon they picked up all the flags on graves before lowering the flag back at the Legion Hall.



There's a puddle at every cross street on East Broadway.
The frogs have been croaking for the third time in the past five weeks, as the Roscoe area got another big rain on Monday. At first, I thought it might miss us. The forecasters had given us 50%-60% chances of showers for the weekend, and a big cloud that hit Snyder with a downpour was headed right for us early Sunday morning but then dissipated just as it reached the Roscoe area. This does happen on occasion, especially for fronts coming at the area from the northwest.

But then, early Monday morning at about 4:30, a thunderstorm from the west passed over Roscoe, and this one dumped a substantial amount on us. When I checked my rain gauge at 7:30am, I had almost an inch and a half. Then the rain fell intermittently during the day, and by evening I had a total of 3.66”. Some people got less, others more. The range seemed to be about 2½ to 4
½ inches depending on location.

So, the rain gods have been good to us recently, breaking up what was the beginning of a drought. By my calculations, Roscoe got about 7 inches total in May, and when you add that to the 5.3” we got the last week of April, we’ve received about a foot of rain in the past five weeks, which is more than some entire years we’ve endured in the past.

As a result, we don’t need any more rain for a while, and farmers are now looking for some sunshine to dry out the ground enough for them to get into the fields to plant.

If we do get more rain in the coming week, it will most likely be today or tomorrow. This morning at 8:30 it rained again for about ten minutes and then sprinkled a while after that. I checked and had about .15" in my rain gauge. But it has stopped since then, so maybe that's the end of it for now.
The weathermen, however, are giving us a 40% chance of rain today and 50% tonight, and a 40% chance tomorrow. After that, the chances drop to about 25% every day until next Wednesday.

Temperatures will remain mild and skies cloudy to mostly cloudy for the next few days. Daily highs will be right at 80°F through Monday and lows in the low sixties. Winds will also be mild and from the east or southeast. So, the outlook is a nice one if Mother Nature will just ease up a bit on the rain for a while.


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