Historic Preservation

City presents 100th historical marker to 1932 Southside home

(L-R): Councilwoman Linda Harvell, HPC Chairman Gerald Burgner, Emily Jane Cowen, Chris Cowen, Councilman Dennis Maloney, and Mayor Karl Mooney.

By Jay Socol, Public Communications Director

Let’s face it: Plenty of College Station residents were born before our city was officially incorporated in 1938. Still, honoring our history — albeit a relatively brief one — is essential. 

That’s why College Station’s Historic Preservation Committee had the vision to launch its Historical Marker Program in 1991. The effort recognizes qualifying homes, buildings, sites, events and other classifications significant to College Station’s earliest days.

The College Station City Council on Thursday honored the 100th residence to receive a marker: 603 Guernsey Street, which is owned by Chris and Emily Jane Cowen. The Cowens purchased their beautiful 1932 home in 2012 and later renovated the entire structure. They now have a numbered, cast-aluminum plaque bearing the likeness of an old College Station railroad depot to display on their home with pride. (more…)


Celebrating 80 years as the best place in Texas

By Lacey Lively, Marketing Manager

Friday marks the 80th anniversary of College Station’s incorporation as a city. What started as a tiny community of about 2,000 residents has grown into one of the country’s most desirable and fastest-growing cities.

College Station’s estimated population now exceeds 119,000, but it has found a way to maintain its small-town feel and charm. We’re widely recognized as one of the nation’s top places for business, jobs, families, and retirees.

Everyone is invited to celebrate our community’s birthday on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. at Richard Carter Park, located at 1800 Brazoswood Drive. The event will take place, rain or shine. Local organizations will have booths, activities, and tours for all ages that will focus on historic preservation, community service, and education.

Organizations joining the City of College Station include the College Station Historic Preservation Committee, A&M Garden Club, Daughters of the American Revolution: La Villita Chapter, Monarch Gateway, Texas Master Naturalist: Brazos Valley Chapter, Brazos Heritage Society, Texas Research Ramblers Genealogical Society, Wreaths Across America, and the Children’s Museum of the Brazos Valley.

Richard Carter Park is the homestead site of College Station’s earliest settler and was designated as an official state historical site in 1984. Carter’s original land grant from the Mexican government consisted of 4,428 acres and covered most of what College Station is today.

The park features an interpretive center with displays and a reconstruction of the original water well. A bronze sculpture by Albert Pedulla was installed in 1986 and symbolizes the staking of the claim by Carter, which resulted in the settlement of College Station and the Brazos Valley.

In 1991, the graves of Carter, his wife, and family members were relocated to the park from a nearby site.

Learn more about the anniversary celebration and College Station’s history at cstx.gov/heritage.

 


About the Blogger

Marketing Manager Lacey Lively has been with the City of College Station’s Public Communications Office since 2011. She previously worked as an internet marketing consultant for the Bryan-College Station Eagle and as a web designer. A native of Beaumont, Lacey earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism and communications from Texas A&M in 2009.


 

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Proud history moves Lincoln Center “forever forward”

1945 A&M Consolidated Tigers

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

People of all ages filter through the Lincoln Recreation Center for various activities and programs, but many don’t realize the building’s historical significance. With February being African American History Month, it’s a perfect time to take a look back at the proud history of Lincoln High School.

More than 2,000 people arrived in Brazos County as slaves. Formal education didn’t exist until the Public Schools Act of 1871. By 1923, 127 African-American students were enrolled in the A&M Consolidated School District. The district accommodated only elementary school students until it began busing pupils to Kemp High School in Bryan.

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Digging into College Station’s past at Carter Park

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By Ben Gracia, Heritage Programs Intern

College Station has an abundance of beautiful parks with playgrounds, athletic fields, and other amenities. Some also have interesting historical aspects, but one has particular significance for local history buffs.

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CS’s oral history project preserves veterans’ stories

veterans2

You probably know the City of College Station has a lot of its history preserved in the form of documents, maps and photos. But it may surprise you that we’ve also preserved our history by recording the stories of the people who lived it.

The city’s online historic database, Project HOLD, has a large collection of stories gathered through interviews with people who remember the city’s early days. The oral history collection focuses on the stories of our community’s veterans.

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History Blog: Masonic Lodge Hall, Rudder Center Dedications

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

This blog was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.

 

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NEW MASONIC LODGE HALL DEDICATED (Nov. 21, 1952)

NegromasonsVIP MusicThe item on the left from The Eagle on Nov. 20, 1952 tells of the planned open house and dedication ceremony to take place the following days for the new Masonic Lodge Hall.

The photos on the right were taken a few months ago, when I noticed the Masonic cornerstone of the building on North Texas Avenue at 18th CornerstoneStreet. The cornerstone is carved “Laid October 20, 1952,” but apparently things didn’t go on schedule and the ceremony was delayed one month.

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History Blog: World War I ended 95 years ago today

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

The following message was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.

 

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ARMISTICE SIGNED – BRYAN MAYOR DECLARES A HOLIDAY (Nov. 11, 1918)

With today being Veterans Day, it’s appropriate that we look back to the end of The Great War, or World War I as it’s known now. The armistice was signed on Monday, Nov. 11, 1918, and was such a greatly anticipated event around the world. The front page of The Eagle ran the headline “Armistice Signed; War Ended Six O’Clock” and carried a holiday proclamation and parade call from Bryan Mayor John M. Lawrence. (more…)


History Blog: College Station incorporated 75 years ago this month

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

The following message was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.

 

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NOTE: Boy, I feel dumb for missing one of the biggest anniversary dates of the year last week. Being on the College Station 75th anniversary planning committee makes it even worse!

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CITIZENS VOTE TO INCORPORATE COLLEGE STATION (Oct. 19, 1938)

I don’t have a copy of The Eagle or Battalion from last week in 1938, but these clippings from The Eagle are in the scanned College Station publicity notebook on Project HOLD.

Incorporation clipsThe item on the right from Oct.18, 1938 tells of an informational meeting at the A&M Chemistry lecture room on Monday, Oct. 17. I believe the “school situation” mentioned refers to the City of Bryan’s recent southward annexation, including part of the A&M Consolidated school district known as Union Hill. (more…)


History Blog: Joe Orr, Inc., helped make College Station into what it is today

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

The following message was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.

 

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JOE ORR INCORPORATES HIS SURVEYING/ENGINEERING BUSINESS (Oct. 14, 1963)

LicenseThis history topic is more important to me than most others, but I’ll try to make it interesting and demonstrate its strong connection to our local history.

After receiving his degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M in 1922, Joseph A. Orr worked on railroad projects in South America before joining the A&M faculty in 1928. He taught civil engineering for the next 40 years, and served on the College Station City Council for more than 25 years (1939-1966). He later served on the planning and zoning commission.

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History Blog: A different kind of drought ended in 1971

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

The following message was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.

 

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COLLEGE STATION BECOMES FULLY WET (Oct. 9, 1971)

The headline below that appeared on the front of The Eagle, on Sunday, Oct. 10, 1971, was probably a hot topic after church services that morning. The results of this election allowed liquor stores and the sale of alcohol in the form of mixed drinks. This was the birth of the thriving nightclub business in College Station such as the Northgate bars and clubs. The issue was divisive to the community, but the anti-LBD groups seemed to have accepted what the majority of citizens voted for:

Eagle_Oct10_1971P01_CS-Liquor-election[2]

Eagle_Jun06_1956P01_Bootleggers-Moist-County[1] (more…)


History Blog: Old Hrdlicka home had long, storied history

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

The following message was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.

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FORMER HRDLICKA/FUGATE FAMILY HOME BURNS (Sept. 22, 1988) 

The history book that chronicles the College Station Fire Department’s first 25 years (1970-95) includes the following under notable fire calls from 1988:

“September 22 — A house was totally destroyed at Luther Street and Wellborn Road. The house was near collapse from the intense fire on CSFD’s arrival.”

This home and associated businesses have a rich history. In a 1995 interview archived on the City of College Station’s Project HOLD website, Marilyn Hrdlicka Fugate said she was born in the home on Feb. 22, 1922 and that it was built around 1919 by her father, Ed Hrdlicka. It was located on the west corner of a few hundred acres of land owned by the Hrdlicka family. Marilyn and her husband, Jack Fugate, raised their own family there following World War II.

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History Blog: Solving the puzzle of A&M’s Veterans Village

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

The following message was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.

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VETERANS VILLAGE DUPLEX HOUSES FOR SALE (Sept. 17, 1953)

Duplex clipI had heard of the Texas A&M project houses on Jersey Street (now George Bush) and the married-student College View apartments, but I was puzzled about exactly where Veterans Village was located. In the course of my research, I ran across the ad at the right from The Eagle published on Sept. 17, 1953, which refers to duplex houses.

BlackberryadI also found several classified ads (left) for items for sale by Veterans Village residents. Most ran in the late 1940s. (more…)


A fitting week to celebrate the Bear’s 100th birthday

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

The following message was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.

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PAUL BRYANT IS BORN IN ARKANSAS (Sept. 11, 1913)

Bear BryantI’m not sure if this is something to celebrate in College Station — especially this week — but former Texas A&M and Alabama head football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant would be 100 years old on Wednesday. Fittingly, the Aggies play top-ranked Alabama on Saturday at Kyle Field. The Crimson Tide’s only other visit to College Station was on Dec. 1, 1988, but it was a non-conference game that had been postponed due to the threat of Hurricane Gilbert.

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Remember when Aggie football tickets were $4?

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

This blog was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.

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BRYAN SCHOOLS ORDERED TO INTEGRATE (July 30, 1963)

This article from the front page of the The Eagle 50 years ago is self-explanatory. The stair-step method mentioned allowed the integration process to be phased in by grade levels to allow the school district to make facility, staff and acceptance adjustments more gradually. In College Station, the stair-step method had started but after a few years, Lincoln School burned and the remainder of the integration process was implemented immediately. (more…)


History Blog: Much has changed in my 50 years in BCS

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

This blog was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.

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PERSONAL MILESTONE HIGHLIGHTS ST. JOSEPH’S HISTORY 

Pardon me for imposing my personal history on you, but Tuesday is a historic day fo me. I was born June 18, 1963 at St. Joseph Hospital in Bryan.

The hospital was located west of downtown Bryan and opened as Bryan Hospital in 1913. It was reopened as St. Joseph Hospital in 1936. The building is still standing and used as apartments, I believe.

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History Blog: The King ruled College Station in the summer of ’73

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

This blog was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.

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PETTY WINS ALAMO 500 AT TEXAS WORLD SPEEDWAY

Richard “The King” Petty, driving well-known Dodge number 43 for STP, won NASCAR’s Alamo 500 at the Texas World Speedway just south of College Station on June 10, 1973. Darrell Waltrip, still a rising star in the sport, came in second in the Winston Cup race. 

This was the last NASCAR championship race at the four-year-old superspeedway until the 1979 Texas 400, which Waltrip won. The Wikipedia site for Texas World Speedway has great information on its history, and all of the track’s races are listed on the Ultimate Racing History website.

Richard_Petty[2] (more…)


This Week in Brazos County History

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

The following message was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.
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PETITION FOR INCORPORATION PRESENTED TO COUNTY
(June 2, 1938)

Petition for CS incorporation

In continuation of College Station’s 75th anniversary timeline, we have come to the anniversary of when the petition for incorporation was presented to Brazos County Judge John M. Ferguson. After the 165 signatures were received from residents of the A&M campus and surrounding area, it would be up to the judge to set a date for citizens to vote on the issue of incorporation.

This historic 14-page document can be viewed and downloaded from the city’s online library database at http://docarc.cstx.gov/DocView.aspx?id=298540&dbid=1.

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This week in Brazos County history

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

This blog was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble a series of history-themed messages for email subscribers. To subscribe to Henry’s series, click here.

 Cornerstone for Sbisa Hall installed with Masonic ceremony on May 26, 1913

cornerstone

cornerstone2

Sbisa

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This week in Brazos County history

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

This blog was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble a series of history-themed messages for email subscribers. To subscribe to Henry’s series, click here.

Easterwood Field dedicated on May 22, 1941

The new A&M College airport is dedicated and named for Class of 1910 Aggie, Jesse L. Easterwood, who died in a plane accident almost exactly 22 years earlier on May 19, 1919. He had served heroically over Europe in World War I, but died shortly after the war. (more…)


This week in Brazos County history

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

This blog was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s series, click here.
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FDR gives commencement address at A&M College (May 11, 1937)

The following photos from the A&M Cushing Library Flickr site capture President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s arrival, his parade to Kyle Field and even him standing at the A&M commencement ceremonies of May 11, 1937.

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The greatest B-CS song you may have never heard

 There are plenty of songs about Texas towns.  A few that come to mind:

“Abilene,” by George Hamilton IV
“Ding-Dong Daddy from Dumas,” by Bob Wills (among others)
“El Paso” and “El Paso City,” by Marty Robbins
“Galveston,” by Glen Campbell
“LaGrange,” by ZZ Top
“(Lubbock) Texas in My Rearview Mirror,” by Mac Davis
“Luckenbach, Texas,” by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson
“Houston (Means I’m One Day Closer to You),” by The Gatlin Brothers

But did you know Bryan-College Station belongs on that list, as well?  It’s true, but to learn about its origins and heyday, you have to flash back 50 years.

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This Week in Brazos County History

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

The following message was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.
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PADDLE STRIKE AT AGGIELAND
(April 8, 1937)

Paddle Strike at Aggieland (image)I found the following news story (shown right) from the April 9, 1937 Mexia Weekly Herald.  I do not know the rest of the story, but three years later in 1940, Frank G. Anderson became the second mayor of College Station.

TERRACING JUMPS INTO SPOTLIGHT
(April 9, 1942)

Also in the Mexia Weekly Herald on April 9, 1942 was an article on terracing. The top photo shown with the news clipping is a sign from Taylor, Texas.

First, I want to mention that AAA stands for the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, which was an organization set up to administer the Federal Agricultural Adjustment Acts.  These New Deal programs included soil and water conservation programs which are still active state and federal efforts.  The Dulie Bell Building at the corner of University Drive and Wellborn Road is still known by many as the AAA building.  Built in 1942, it was the second AAA building on the A&M campus.

 
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This Week in Brazos County History

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

The following message was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.
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PETITION FOR INCORPORATING COLLEGE STATION BEGINS CIRCULATION FOR SIGNATURES (March 23, 1938)

News clippings (March 1938)The long, two-column article shown in the pictured news clippings is from The Bryan Eagle newspaper published Wednesday, March 23, 1938.

This petition was the second official step toward the incorporation of the City of College Station. A few weeks ago, I presented the history of the March 4, 1938 letter, which was authored and delivered by several citizens to the Texas A&M Board of Directors, asking if they would object to incorporation procedures. I will give more information on the results of this petition in a few months on the anniversary of its presentation to the Brazos County Judge and Commissioners.

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