Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a site you could visit that provides invaluable historical information for many subjects? A place where you could search for information on various places across Texas, including Humble? And (better yet), if such a site was free to use?

Well, I’m glad to tell you that such a site does exist! It’s called the Portal to Texas History, and it is one of the Lone Star State’s greatest achievements. The Portal to Texas History contains historical materials from private collectors and collaborative partners, including libraries, museums, archives and other historical groups. The Humble Museum has sent our Humble Echo newspaper collection to the University of North Texas to be scanned for the Portal. The University of North Texas Libraries began work on the Portal in 2002. Over the years they have partnered with various organizations and other projects to expand the capabilities of the Portal. The Portal currently has over eight million digital images in its collection, and receives over one million users each month.

What would you find if you pulled up the July 10, 1942 issue of the Humble Echo? Many things, including (1) a meeting was being held at the high school about civil defense with Col. W. B. Russ as the principal speaker; (2) young Sheila Issacks had the mumps (which is why she wasn’t in church); (3) George Turner had appendix surgery and returned home from St. Joseph’s infirmary; and (4) “The Male Animal” starring Henry Ford was playing at the Lindell Theatre.

What about the Oct. 25, 1962 issue? You would read that (1) Kay Triggs is 5 feet 7 inches tall and has brown eyes and brown hair, is a senior, and has been a cheerleader for three years; (2) Mycol R. Wisenbaker of Humble was promoted to airman first class in the United States Air Force; (3) the Humble Chamber of Commerce was hosting Jackpot Days … with a cash prize drawing of $250; and (4) in the classifieds, you could rent a three-bedroom unfurnished house on 3/4 acre of land with a shed for $60 per month.

But it’s not just Humble you can read about. The Portal has an incredible collection of newspapers from small towns all across Texas. And not just newspapers. There are yearbooks, photos, scrapbook clippings, books, maps and even musical manuscripts. It’s an amazing collection! Want to read about Clyde Barrow, of Bonnie and Clyde fame? Well, you can see wanted bulletins about him, read radio scripts from news stories about him, and view lots and lots of photographs (mug shots, pictures of him and Bonnie, and even photos of his body in the morgue!).

Don’t hesitate … go find some cool stuff to look at! You can visit the Portal to Texas History at: texashistory.unt.edu.

 

Robert James Meaux
Author: Robert James MeauxEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a native Houstonian and grew up in the Aldine area, as well as Humble (where my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents lived). A graduate of the University of Houston, I spent most of my career as a high school and college marching band director. With additional degrees in educational leadership, computer programming and history, I spend my days working for Humble ISD, writing educational management software, and exploring the history of Humble and Harris County. I currently serve as the president of the Humble Museum board of directors.

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