City of Heath Mayor?s Column| May 2013
While we spend a great deal of time in the City of Heath planning for the future, there is tremendous interest in our past. That was confirmed to me last month when my column about Heathís history resulted in many positive comments and requests for more information from citizens. Therefore I thought it would be fun to follow that article up with another on the same subject. A picture really is worth a thousand words, so Iíd like to follow up with a few photos that illustrate our history.
Below is photo taken in the early 1900ís in front of Heathís school.
Residents formed the Heath Independent School District in 1902, and the school building was constructed on what is now the Heath City Hall complex. The Heath school was a focal point of activity for the busy community. Besides six large classrooms for 10 grades of students, there was an auditorium and stage where many meetings and gatherings were held.
After 10th grade, students could continue at Rockwall High School, but many had to drop out and work full-time on the family farm. Cotton really was king in the 20ís and 30ís, and Heath had itsí own cotton gin owned by John Vaughn. This was another busy place during the fall ginning season. According to his daughter, Addie Faye Vaughn Edwards, the facility served other purposes in the off-season including a giant roller-skating rink and tennis courts.
However, time for recreation was short in Heathís early years for farming families, such as the Golemanís shown below, and the Pickens, Smirlís and Cullinís.
Other families ran bustling enterprises, such as the Isbellís General Merchandise and Grocery Store, the Laurenceís Drug Store and the McCoulskey-Bourn Hardware Company, purchased by the Darr's.
The legacy of these families and others is preserved in Heathís Cemetery, shown to the (insert placement). This cemetery has been maintained by multiple generations of Heath families. In fact, Heath Department of Public Safety Chief Terry Garrett helped his father, Charles Terry, tend the grounds as a boy.
The Heath Cemetery is located next to First Baptist Church of Heath, 224 FM 1140. If youíre looking for a place to learn more about our Cityís heritage, I encourage you to visit. Itís an intriguing and educational glimpse into our past!
Mayor Lorne O. Liechty