The treasured Humble Christmas ornament for 2016 has been selected and it is – The City of Humble’s Water Tower!
The beloved symbol of the City of Humble, rising 150 feet in the Lake Houston-area sky, can be clearly viewed by northbound commuters on Interstate 69 as they enter the Humble city limits.
“Each year we try to identify a person, place or structure that is unique and has historical relevance to Humble,” said Juanita Steagall, member of the Humble Beautification Committee.
Humble’s Water Tower, constructed by Rheiner & Elder General Contractors of San Antonio in 1934, holds 125,000 gallons of water and is still a key part of Humble’s water system.
In Humble’s early days, the tower provided cheap entertainment for the brave souls who climbed it, recalled Humble Mayor Pro Tem Norman Funderburk.
Funderburk recalled Eddie Crain, Humble High Class of 1965, “…who was somehow motivated enough after football practice one August day to climb the tower with classmate Carl Panzarella and leave his mark, ‘Eddie loves Connie’ at the top for all to see.”
Funderburk can validate Crain’s declaration about Connie because Funderburk, Larry Martin and Johnny Warren saw the words when they climbed to the top of the water tower a couple years later.
And, yes, Connie eventually said “Yes” and married Eddie. They’re celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.
The Humble Beautification Committee selected the water tower for the ornament last June. The silver ornament with Humble Wildcat Purple print will feature the water tower on one side and a celebration in words of the 25th anniversary of Humble’s Christmas Parade on the other side.
The ornament will be be available for sale during the parade that the beautification committee sponsors each year, Humble’s 25th Anniversary Christmas Parade of Lights on the evening of Dec. 6. This year’s parade theme is “Silver Bells.”
More than 100 organizations are expected to parade down historic Main Street and at least 5,000 folks and their kids will line the streets to watch Santa Claus enter Humble and begin the holiday season.
The water tower ornament joins a prestigious list of Humble’s famous and notable.
The first ornament, a collector’s item issued in 1993, was a blue matte with a white print featuring the late Dr. Haden E. McKay, a local physician and City mayor for 24 years. The McKay ornament is out of print.
The list of other ornaments includes the Jewel Theatre, Pangburn Building, Bender High School, the Artesian Well, even Pleasant S. Humble, the original founder/settler who gave the City its name.
Previous ornaments are available for sale.
“If we have ‘em, you can order ‘em,” said Margaret Jo Byron, a member of the beautification committee. “Your best bet is to come down to City Hall.”
Proceeds from sales of the ornament help to fund the beautification committee’s many projects.
“One of our key projects is upkeep of the Humble Cemetery on South Houston,” said Gwen Key Willis, committee chair. “On holidays we dress it up, adding wreaths and flags. We added a wrought-iron fence. We’re especially grateful to Jess Fields of Rosewood Cemetery who helps us keep it tidy.”
The committee also sponsors the annual Spring Clean-up each April, scouring Humble’s streets clean for a couple of hours.
“Eventually, we hope to organize socials and entertainment on Historic Main Street,” said committee member Chris Green.
The Humble Beautification Committee includes Chair Willis, Byron, Steagall, Green, Arliss Bentley, Sharon Mittag, Diane Pierce, Margie Parker and Dr. Polly Heil-Mealey. Humble City Council Members Allan Steagall and David Pierce represent the Council on the committee.
The 2016 Water Tower ornament will be available after the 25th Annual Christmas Parade of Lights at City Hall and at the Humble Museum. The cost is $10.