WHO'S WHO IN SUGAR LAND HISTORY
LONNIE GREEN PARK
Lonnie Green Park was dedicated in memory of the only resident of Sugar Land to die in World War I and is a beautiful green space with a children's playground area at Wood and 1st Street on The Hill. It was originally located on the plot of land bounded by Main on the west, Wood on the east, 4th Street on the south, and 5th Street on the north. This is the same plot of land that Imperial Sugar Company donated a corner to each of the four churches in Sugar Land - the Baptists, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, and the Roman Catholics. As the need for employee housing increased, Lonnie Green Park was moved to the open land just south of 1st Street. At the entrance to the playground area, there is a marker:
Lonnie Green Playground. A Land and Water Conservation Fund Project, Sponsored by: City of Sugar Land, Sugar Land Jaycees, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service, U.S. Department of Interior, March 1, 1979.
There is another marker, just west of the playground area:
In memory of the former students of Sugar Land High School who gave their lives in World War II that future generations might enjoy free education.
Joe. W. Boston, Jr.
Earl G. (Jack) Hill
R. C. Lisenby
T. J. Williams
William (Sam) Wright
Sugar Land PTA....No Year is given
This brought up the question, "Who WAS Lonnie Green?" Bruce Kelly dove right in and wrote a wonderful article that you can read in its entirety in the Ultimate Fort Bend section of the Houston Chronicle on November 8th, and on our website, slheritage.org later this month.
Here is a VERY condensed version of that article.
Lonnie Green - A Brief History
Alonzo Richmond Green, known as Lonnie, was born in Sebastopol, Mississippi, on December 21, 1892, and moved to Sugar Land with his family sometime between 1912 and 1916. His family lived and worked in Sugar Land, but Lonnie worked independently on a farm near town.
He, along with his parents Albert and Anna and his brother, Lee, and sister, Emma, attended the organizational meeting of the First Presbyterian Church of Sugar Land in 1916. Lonnie aspired to be a Presbyterian minister and had been accepted into a seminary. His religious studies were supposed to start the very day he left for Camp Travis in San Antonio for his army induction.
Lonnie Green became a sergeant in the machine gun battalion of the 180th Texas Brigade, part of the 360th Infantry Regiment of the 90th Infantry Division. He was destined to participate in some of the fiercest fighting of the entire war.
There are no known specific details concerning Lonnie's battle experience, but as a member of the 360th Infantry Regiment, he would have participated in the St. Mihiel Offensive and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
There is no record how and in what battle Lonnie received his wound. However, we do know he didn't die immediately following his injury. The exact date in not clear, but shortly before Lonnie died, he had a chance encounter with his brother Lee, who served in the 45th Division.
Lee had served five months in the Machine Gun Company before being transferred to the Motor Supply Train as a truck driver. Lee was waiting for his truck to be unloaded in France one day when he saw Lonnie going by. Lonnie had already been wounded. At the time, neither man considered his wound serious; nevertheless, Lonnie died on November 3, 1918.
Lonnie was buried in France just seven weeks shy of his 26th birthday, with thousands of other young American soldiers at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery near Romagne and is listed on the World War I Honor Roll. His mother, Anna Green, applied to the World War I Mother's Pilgrimage for a trip to France to visit her fallen son's grave.
In 1920, his brother Lee, living with his wife in Sugar Land, worked as a laborer for Imperial Sugar. By the 1930s, the Green Family had left Sugar Land for the Houston Heights.
Today, Lonnie Green Playground on the Hill in Sugar Land...along the waterway in front of the Sugar Land Auditorium on Lakeview Elementary campus...is named in his honor.
SUGAR LAND CHAUTAUQUA TALKS
BEGIN NOVEMBER 13TH
The Chautauqua Movement began in New York State as an adult educational movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It spread across rural American to the small town of Sugar Land.
In response to the movement, The Sugar Land Auditorium was designed and constructed in 1918, not only to serve the school, but the entire Sugar Land community. The townspeople held dances and other social events on its tiled rooftop terrace. Inside they enjoyed various traveling shows and Chautauqua talks.
Come remake history as the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation partners with the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation to revive a noteworthy part of our history - the Sugar Land Chautauqua Talks.
Chautauqua Talk One
"Sugar, the Essential Building Block of Sugar Land"
Harvesting sugar cane.
Leon Anhaiser will start our series, answering many of our questions about sugar and Sugar Land. Learn how the sugar cane plant was discovered and became domesticated for our use; how it came to Sugar Land; how methods of extracting the sugar from the cane evolved over the decades; how the methods of refining sugar were transformed over the years, and the variety of products processed throughout its history.
Leon is uniquely qualified to present this material. He is a native Sugar Lander (graduate of Sugar Land High School, Class of 1957) with 45 years experience in the sugar industry and is a former Imperial Sugar Vice President of Operations Development. Leon has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sugar Engineering from LSU. He began working as a process engineer and eventually became Imperial's Vice President of Refinery Operations. He was plant manager at C&H Sugar's liquid sugar facility in Hawaii and served as the Executive Director of Sugar Industry Technologists, Inc, an international organization dedicated to sugar refining, scientific research and sugar processing equipment.
This rare presentation - suitable for adults and school-age children - will be held at no charge in the historic Sugar Land Auditorium, located on the Lakeview Elementary Campus, 226 Lakeview Drive, Sugar Land, on November 13th from 7:00 - 8:30 pm.