Gwen Key Willis, president of Humble’s Beautification Committee, and Mayor Merle Aaron present Dr. Polly Heil-Mealey with a plaque commemorating the 100th anniversary of the building her wellness center is located in. Photo by Sarah Mertins

Humble had much to celebrate on Thursday, April 25. In addition to the unveiling of a Texas Historical Marker noting Humble ISD’s 100th year of existence, the City of Humble Beautification Committee dedicated plaques to three different 100-year-old (or more) buildings in historic downtown Humble. The city and its people are known for not only honoring their past but embracing it with occasions such as these.

Mayor Merle Aaron, who attended the dedication along with other city council members, was effusive in praising the committee’s ongoing commitment to the city. “You’re outstanding in all the events that you endeavor to do and you do it so well; that’s what so amazing,” he said. “Whether it’s the Christmas Parade or some item that we need to take care of or Good Oil Days; it’s just amazing. I can’t say enough; I served on this committee for several years and I was the small spokesperson. Thank you for doing an awesome job and you’re so appreciated by our city.”

Gwen Key Willis, the president of the beautification committee, then presented the first plaque to Dr. Polly Heil-Mealey, owner of Abundant Health and Wellness Center. “The first plaque that we have here today is for the 323 Main St. Building. This building was erected in 1918, so we are celebrating that it is 100 years old,” she said. The building is best remembered as the A&P Grocery Store.

The two other buildings recognized with plaques were the Humble State Bank building at 218 E. Main Street, built in 1912, and the Pangburn Building at 200 E. Main Street, now home to Humble City Café, built by William Pangburn in 1914.

According to committee historian Margaret Byron, the beautification committee began as a preservation committee under the former Humble Chamber of Commerce in the late ‘90s. Their biggest function of the year is the Christmas Parade, which had more than 100 entries last December. Their most recent big event was the Great American Cleanup on Saturday, April 29, when several citizens came together to clean up the city.

The committee is always seeking new members in its quest to keep the city pretty and clean as well as honor its history. It meets the first Wednesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. in the upstairs break room at Humble City Hall.

Sarah Mertins
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I grew up on a farm in New Mexico and miss eating hot chile and having four seasons. I didn't start college until I was already a mother and double majored in English and anthropology. I received an Honors B.A. from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and was named “Outstanding Student” in English. My honors thesis is titled “The Enduring and Ever-Changing Legend of La Llorona.” I worked as a police reporter for a bit before staying home in Kingwood to raise my two daughters. My hobbies include reading, gardening, cooking and traveling.