First Scout Troops in Texas

Organized in 1912

Sea Scouting began.  BOYS' LIFE was purchased to become the official magazine of the BSA.  Membership during the year was 97,495.  There were Scouts registered in every state.

Troop 2 - First organized in October 1912, sponsored by the Second Christian Church.  Known as the “The Black Cats,” this troop met at the SEcond Christian Church, then Fullerton School, then the Fannin School.


Troop 2 dropped after many years of activity.  Troop 2 later re-organized under a variety of sponsors, including Group(s) of Citizens, the Central Baptist Church, and the Lawndale Baptist Church.  Bellaire Methodist Church became Troop 2’s sponsor in 1949.

Information was obtained from Jack Linn's SHAC History titled "In the Beginning: The First Scout Troops in Houston."


Troop 16 - First organized in 1912 at the Reagan School with W.T. Urguhart as scoutmaster.  The next scoutmaster was L.J. Pierce.  ASM John Wellborn (a plumber) became scoutmaster in 1913.


Troop 16 called itself “Houston’s Pride.”  Later sponsored by Woodmen of the World, and met a the W.O.W. Hall.


Must have disbanded; did not participate in the June 1929 Boy Scout Round-Up, but did re-establish itself sometime in 1929.  In 1931, the Northside Methodist Church owned the troop, with Frank A. Stamper as scoutmaster.


Mexican Baptist Church became sponsor in 1934.  A succession of sponsors followed, including the Sutton School and the Sutton PTA.  Troop 16 let its charter lapse for one year during the 1940s.


The sponsor in 1964 was the Garden Villas Community Association with John B. Harris as scoutmaster.

Information was obtained from Jack Linn's SHAC History titled "In the Beginning: The First Scout Troops in Houston."

Abilene In March 1912, a troop was organized at the Central Presbyterian Church in Abilene.  The Scoutmaster was R. M. "Bob" Wagstaff, who at that time was a senior in Simons College.  Luther Clark, a local barber, was his Assistant.  Bob's father, J. M. Wagstaff served as Troop Committee Chairman.  There were some fifteen Scouts in the troop, ages 14 to 16.  Go to:

A second troop was started around June 20th according to the Dallas Morning News.  This one was Troop 2 at the First Baptist Church.  Mr. F. G. Brunner was Scoutmaster with Rev. C. C. Coleman, pastor of the church, as Chairman of the Troop Committee.  By July 1912, the troop has 32 Scouts and was full.  Brunner moved to Houston in August of that year and Leon N. Haney took over as Scoutmaster.  Go to:

Information was obtained from "A History of Chisholm Trail Council, Boy Scouts of America," a thesis presented to the faculty of the Graduate School of Hardin-Simons University by Claude Olen Willis, August 1952. 

Cisco Dallas Morning News, March 30, 1912.  "Special to The News.  "Cisco, Tex., March 29 - Scoutmaster H. L. Winchell went to Abilene this week to organize a troop of of boy scouts.  Mr. Winchell has a large troop in Cisco, and much interest is being manifested in the movement.  Sunday at the First Presbyterian Church Rev. J. D. Leslie will preach a sermon to them.  Special music will be arranged for the occasion."
Plainview Hale County Hearld, April 1912.  According to both an April 1912 issue of the Hale County Herald and the 1937 book History of Hale County, Texas by Mary Lee Cox, the first Boy Scout Troop in Plainview was organized on April 24, 1912. 

"“The boys of Plainview met on Wednesday evening (April 24) at the City Hall and organized a patrol of Boy Scouts. James R. DeLay (Plainview’s mayor at the time) accepted the leadership of the boys as Scoutmaster."

The paper noted that 10 boys were present at that first meeting. Elected as officers
were Grady Vaughn, patrol leader; Gratz Hunter, assistant patrol leader; Harold
Krupp, secretary; and Walter Thatcher, sergeant-at-arms. Future meetings, according
to the Herald, would be held on Tuesday nights inside City Hall.

Shiner "In May, 1912, when I was fifteen years of age, a local troop of Boy Scouts was organized here (in Shiner, TX) and I became a charter member.  The motto, 'Be Prepared.' became my watchword, and it was the height of my ambition to work my way up in the greatest movement ever started for the elevation of the American boy," wrote W. E. Merrem of Shiner, Texas, the "First Eagle Scout West of the Mississippi." For more information on Merrem got to:
Coleman Dallas Morning News, June 10, 1912.  "Special to The News.  "Coleman, Tex., June 9 - A company of Boy Scouts was organized here by Rev. T. O. Perrin of the Presbyterian Church.  While they are organized under the auspices of the Presbyterian church, the membership is not restricted to that denomination.

"There were twenty boys enrolled at the first meeting.  Another meeting will be held next week when plans will be perfected for some preliminary 'hikes,' and a summer encampment discussed.  The boys are very enthusiastic over the organization and expect to add others to their list."

Arlington "Troop 1 was established in Arlington during the month of August 1912. This first unit Arlington was established by Arlington educator J. A. Kooken, whom Kooken School was named after, and Colonel W. A. Bowen, who owned the local newspaper. 

"Arlington Troop 1 was organized that August day at the home of Colonel Bowen, where J. A. Kooken was elected as the first Scoutmaster. It was a groundbreaking day as Twenty-Three scouts from our small town were enrolled as founding members of the troop. Regular meetings were held at the location of Hightower-Garten’s Plumbing Shop in downtown."  Information provided by Steve Barnes of Arlington, by a booklet he is writing on " Early Scouting in Arlington."

Jacksonville Dallas Morning News, August 29, 1912.  "Special to The News.  Tyler, Tex. Aug. 28 - Fourteen boy scouts from Jacksonville, under the command of Rev. Thomas Dean, were here yesterday for several hours.  They were dressed in suits of drab khaki.  There ages ranged from 10 to 18 years.  Each boy carried a roll containing a blanket across his back.  Since leaving home they have visited Longview, Big Sandy and intermediate points. they are now on their return trip and will reach home tonight or tomorrow morning. They stated that the best roads they had encountered on the trip were those in Smith County."
Athens The late Joe Owen reported that the first troop in Athens was founded at the First Christian Church in 1912.  He was too young to be a Scout, but said they sort of made him their mascot.  One achievement of the troop was the planting of the elm trees, donated by Mr. LaRue, on the courthouse lawn. The troop disbanded in 1917 during World War I. For more information go to:
Claude According to records, it appears that Troop 1, now Troop 17, of Claude, Texas, received its first charter from the Boy Scouts of America, dated September 30, 1912, and aside from 1989-1993, has been continuously chartered and is active today. The first Scoutmaster was  Dr. William Warner who organized the troop.  For more information to go:
Last undated:  July 30, 2017

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