Brownwood Scout Council - 1921
"Second Class" councils, of which there were some 181 in America at the time, were run by volunteer commissioners who supervised the Scout movement in their community or county. Some of them employed commissioners or executives. The Brownwood Council decided to employ a part-time person each summer.
At that July meeting, P. A. Glanville was elected as the new President of the Council and James C. White remained as Scout Commissioner. Later in the month they began to have a series of Sunday afternoon meetings of all the Scout Troops, rotating between the churches that sponsored troops, and over 100 boys attend these meetings. By now there were four troops: Troop 1, First Methodist Church; Troop 3, First Presbyterian Church; Troop 4, Coggin Avenue Baptist Church; and Troop 5, Austin Avenue Presbyterian Church.
Three patrols had been organized at the First Presbyterian Church in town. They were the Eagle Patrol with David McCullough as leader, Bob White Patrol with Bo Muse as its leader and the Fox Patrol with Robert Muse as the leader. Several troops had already planned for their summer camps at the close of school, each troop planning its own location for that camp. It had been agreed that the camps would be informal in character and would not undertake to follow the regulation of Scout requirements. Each camp was to be regarded as merely a church camp for its own boys and not a regulation Boy Scout Camp. Most of the camps were to be near Brownwood.
James Hiner, Jr.
S. E. Chandler was selected as President of the Council and James C. White as Scout Commissioner.
They had three active Scout troops in May 1921. There were Troops 1, T. H. Cantrell, Scoutmaster, First Methodist Church; Troop 3, Dr. W. B. Gray, Scoutmaster, First Presbyterian Church; and Troop 4, J. L. Childs, Scoutmaster, Coggin Avenue Baptist Church.
A series of city-wide Patrol Leader meetings were held at the Chamber of Commerce during that same period of time in 1921 with some twenty-four Patrol Leaders and Assistants attending to learn organizational skills and First Aid. By July 1921 there were six Scout troops in Brownwood, each sponsored by a local church.
During the fall of 1921 the Scouts had Friday night swim activities at Lakewood with several of the troops spending the night. One of the Scoutmasters, Judge E. M. Davis of the Austin Avenue Presbyterian troop, directed their activities.
Court of Honor
Members of the Brownwood Fire Department and Boy Scouts appeared in this photo taken in October 1921 by Daniel Studios. Note the flag for Troop 4. The Boy Scouts were helping the Fire Department in their annual Fire Prevention campaign. Photo from the Brownwood Bulletin in 1956.
Troop 3 of the First Presbyterian Church left on May 30th for a week long camp on the Ellis Ranch. The boys, having had a great time at the council's camp the previous year, chose to go to the Ellis Ranch again for their annual troop camp. The council ended the summer's activities by having another Brownwood Council Scout Camp from August 21-28, 1922. After looking at several different camping sites near Brownwood, the committee also decided to go back to the Ellis Ranch for their camp even though it was further away. Some ninety boys went to this camp at a cost of $4.75 each.
"The six Scout troops must reorganize. The old Coggin cabin that was moved by this club to Coggin Park must be fitted up as a Scout cabin. A summer program must be outlined, and a directing head chosen. Summer camp must be arranged. A lot of other work for the Scouts, including arrangements for a new annual charter and the re-registration of five of the six troops must be attended to.
"At the present time there are six troops, with a total membership of 170. A year ago there were 153 Scouts in the six troops. There is room for at least two additional troops, possible for three.
A Suggested Plan
"Let the Rotary Club assume the duties and responsibilities of the Local Scout Council, and undertake actively to direct the Scout work of the entire City. Let the Rotary officers become officers of the Council, and such committees as may be necessary be appointed from Rotary's membership.
Such a plan would give an active organization to direct the Scout activities, an organization which would function. Rotary is already sponsor for Scouting in Brownwood, must guarantee that the bills are paid and that the work is continued, and it is difficult to do these things so long as a Scout Council is in control and is not functioning properly.
"Mr. Glanville, President of the Scout Council, has been invited to meet with us this week and discuss this plan, to which he gives his unqualified endorsement. Let every Rotarian think about the matter and come to the meeting with the purpose of offering suggestions for the welfare of Scouting during the summer."
James P. Fitch, the Regional Executive of the Boy Scouts, Dallas, was invited to come to Brownwood in April to spend a week and help get things going. Unfortunately, he became sick and was unable to make the trip to the city. This delayed any organization of the Council for several months.
The Rotary Club continued their support and had a series of three benefit baseball games with the local Lion's Club to raise money for the summer program during May and June. The Lions won the first two games and the Rotarians won the last game. The games were well attended by the local citizens.
Troop 3 Continues
Troop 1 - 18, Troop 2 - 39, Troop 3 - 31, Troop 4 - 3, Troop 5 - 21, and Troop 6 - 30.
A story in the Brownwood Bulletin on June 30th said “The Scoutmasters who have conferred with Mr. Johnson express appreciation of the assistance being given them in developing their work, and it is expected that within the next two weeks practically all troops will have made ready for re-registration.”
Johnson called a meeting of all Scouts and interested adults for the night of July 2nd at City hall. Unfortunately there is no further record of the results of that meeting nor is there a record in the Brownwood Bulletin of any Scout activity that summer, including a summer camp.
However, there was a story in the paper in late October that said that the Scouts would take part in the Armistice Day parade in Brownwood, so some of the troops remained active. There were some troops that remained active during the year even though the council did not have a paid person involved in the local area.
A. J. Lawrence
The regional office told the committee that they would only consider a first-class council since there were only two second-class councils in the three state area and neither one of them was successful.
Howard Payne offered the use of its gymnasium to the new scout council as temporary headquarters until they could find more permanent headquarters in the city.
The Boy Scouts of Troop 3, who were sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church, were very happy about the prospects of having a first-class council and offered to help with the West Texas Chamber of Commerce convention in May to make the people there feel at home.
A meeting was called for all Scoutmasters on March 6, 1924, in the lobby of the Southern Hotel to do a survey of possible Scouts in the city. J. Wesley Loftis, Scoutmaster of Troop 6, First Baptist Church, was elated over the prospects that there would be a first class council in Brownwood.
According to the records, there were the following six active troops at this time: Troop 1, Scoutmaster Ragsdale; Troop 3, Scoutmaster Neale; Troop 5, Scoutmaster Rogan; Troop 6 , Scoutmaster Loftis and Troop 7, Scoutmaster O. B. Stanley. Troop 7, sponsored by Central Methodist Church, was the only troop on March 22, 1924, that was registered with the National Headquarters in New York.
Apparently supporters of
Scouting were unable to raise enough money to retain the Scout Executive
as no activity in Scouting was reported for the remainder of the
year. This is the last mention of anything about the council until
the Pecan Valley Council was organized in 1928.
Information for this page was taken from various stories in the Brownwood Bulletin, from the book "The History of the Boy Scouts of America," by William D. Murray, 1937, "History Of Brownwood , Texas Rotary Club, March 19,1920 - January 1, 1955," "Ninety Years of Service - A History of Comanche Trail Council, 1910 -1999," by Frank T. Hilton