SUGAR LAND CHAUTAUQUA TALKS
Second in Series
Tuesday, February 12th 7 PM - 9 PM
Sugar Land Auditorium, 226 Lakeview Dr.
Transition From a Company Town to an Incorporated City
William A. Little, Speaker
Former Mayor of Sugar Land
Come remake history as the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation partners with the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation to continue reviving a noteworthy part of our history - the Sugar Land Chautauqua Talks.
We are very fortunate to have William A. "Bill" Little speaking to us regarding the transition of Sugar Land from a company town to an incorporated city. In 1962 Bill was elected the second mayor of the incorporated city of Sugar Land and he served until 1964. During this time he was Merchandise Manager for Sugarland Industries. His credentials regarding his work in Sugar Land are quite unique as he has held various executive titles both with Sugarland Industries and Imperial Sugar Company beginning in 1957.
The Chautauqua Movement began in New York State as an adult educational movement in the late 19th century. It spread across rural America 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. One of its purposes was to have a place to hold the Chautauqua talks. What a treat for many who attended school here to have this beautifully restored facility to return to and enjoy in such an historical way.
SLHF ARCHIVIST'S CORNER
You may recall that an article in the November newsletter reported on the cataloging project Chris Bohannan, Lead Archivist, and Chuck Kelly, Assistant Archivist, are performing on the Museum collection. They are systematically identifying, organizing, and entering items in the Museum's data base in anticipation of future public exhibition. They have made significant progress, but they have not completed the survey. In fact, the Museum expects to receive a large number of new items in the coming months, so the initial phase of this project may be pushed further into the future. Although the collection will grow significantly in the near future, Chris and Chuck have already found many interesting items in the collection. This short article introduces three items from the maps collection, which was the starting point of this project.
The first item is a map of the Ellis Plantation, which is now the location of Sugar Land Airport, Central Unit, Telfair, and New Territory, dating from sometime in the late 19th century. The landowner, Colonel Littleberry Ellis, named the small community on his plantation and the nearby railroad depot 'Sartartia', after his oldest daughter. The name appears on this map and locals referred to the area as Sartartia long after the plantation disappeared.
It is 18" wide by 36" long with calligraphic titling, color features, and linen backing. The map's general condition is very good, but it will require conservation because constant rolling over many years has put creases in it. Numerous annotations indicate the map was used for practical purposes over the years. The map's provenance is unknown, but the Museum acquired it from Imperial Sugar.
The second item is a drawing of Mayfield Park dating from 1953, when Sugarland Industries began selling residential lots in that area of town. This drawing is 18" wide by 32" long. It shows Mayfield Park and the Imperial refinery complex within the loop of Oyster Creek. Lot lines and identifiers are clearly marked. The drawing's condition is very good; it requires little or no conservation.
The last item is a drawing of The Hill dating from 1919, when the owners of Imperial Sugar Company and Sugarland Industries began improvements to the town. The drawing is 20" by 36". Its condition is good. This drawing shows lot lines and property identifiers. It also shows The Hill's original street names, which have changed considerably over the years.
Maps and drawings are very effective presentations of Sugar Land's historical development and visitors to the Museum will enjoy inspecting these items when they are put on public display.
HISTORIC VIDEO AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING AT OUR MUSEUM
Moving the Depot
The mission-style Sugar Land Depot had to be moved or it would be torn down, so the Sugar Land Heritage Society (precursor to the present Sugar Land Heritage Foundation) took action. In February, 1985, KPRC-TV's The Eyes of Texas, narrated by Ron Stone, filmed the depot's move from Kempner Blvd. to its current home on Commerce Green. Pat Pollicoff, Communications Director for the City of Sugar Land, located the video at the Woodson Research Center, which is part of Rice University's Fondren Library, and Pat graciously donated the fee for obtaining a copy of the video.
There are some restrictions on its use: KPRC has generously agreed to let us use the video for educational purposes, but it may not be sold nor put in the public domain. However, it is available for viewing at our Museum, which is open 9:00 - 1:00 every Saturday. T. C. Rozelle and Jane McMeans are both interviewed as part of the story and the old fire truck has some folks along for the ride during the move. Come visit the Museum and see the depot roll down Highway 90-A!
WHO'S WHO IN SUGAR LAND HISTORY
William H. Louviere
1893 - 1975
A True Pioneer of the Cane Sugar Industry
From L to R: A. H. Weth, W. H. Louviere &
B. H. Varnau
A colorful international figure in the sugar business, William H. Louviere was born in 1893 in Houma, Louisiana. He began his career on a Puerto Rican sugar plantation after receiving a degree in Sugar Technology from Louisiana State University in 1915. During World War I he served overseas as an officer with the American Expeditionary Forces.
After the war he worked with several major sugar companies as a chemical engineer and in administrative positions. Louviere joined Imperial Sugar Company as Assistant Vice President in 1946. In 1949 he was made Vice President of Imperial, and was elected to the Board of Directors in 1950. During this time his executive duties included not only directing the refinery's operations, but supervision of the company's $4 million dollar expansion and improvement program.
He was named President of Imperial Sugar Company in 1953 and remained in that position until his retirement in 1963. At that time he was made Vice Chairman of the Board and Special Consultant to the Company, a title he held until 1973. It is noteworthy that he was the first president of Imperial who was not a member of the Kempner Family.
In an impressive retirement speech, Louviere gave credit for the company's achievements during his presidency to the employees. "The most important thing about this company is its personnel," he said. "I have never worked with as fine a group as we have at Imperial, and anything I have accomplished is due to you all".
Bill Louviere's distinguished career brought him recognition as one of the nation's outstanding sugar engineers and technologists. Some of his honors include: serving as U.S. Advisor Member of a World Sugar Conference at Tangier, Morocco in 1959; was appointed by President Eisenhower to the White House Conference on Industrial Safety in 1960; was the only representative of the sugar industry to be invited to address the 51st Annual Meeting of The American Institute of Chemical Engineers in San Juan, Puerto Rico; was awarded Alumnus of the year in 1965 at Louisiana State University, his alma mater; in 1966 the Sugar Industry Technologists selected him for the Honorary Award of the Year and in the same year he was recipient of the Dyer Memorial Award as Sugar Man of the Year.
Bill and his wife, Betty, had two children, William, Jr. and Yvonne, who both reside in Sugar Land. There are five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. At this time there are three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren living in Fort Bend Country.
SUGAR LAND CHAUTAUQUA TALKS
Chautauqua Talk One
"Sugar, the Essential Building Block of Sugar Land"
Leon Anhaiser, Speaker
Harvesting sugar cane.
The first of the Chautauqua Lecture Series presented by the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation in association with the Sugar Land Cultural Arts Foundation on November 13, 2012, was held in the Sugar Land Auditorium on the Lakeview Elementary School Campus.
Susan and Cliff Wagner sent us a wonderful review of the lecture. We had to edit it for lack of space in the newsletter so if you would like to read the entire article please see it on our website
Following is a much shorter version of their review:
Sugar Land History is all about sugar. And who would be more qualified to talk about sugar and its history than Sugar Land's very own Leon Anhaiser, former Imperial Sugar Company Vice President of Refinery Operations?
Mr. Anhaiser guided the audience through the discovery of sugar thousands of years ago, through the development of various sugar growing techniques, raw sugar processing methods and refining processes, ending his lecture with the production of sugar in Sugar Land and the history of two companies which had become synonymous with Sugar Land, Imperial Sugar Company and Sugarland Industries. He explained with the help of some "light chemistry" how Imperial made and distributed sugar, the importance of the Sugar Land Railway and the growth of the company town we now call home. Mr. Anhaiser's lecture was rich with photographs and other visuals which made his lecture more like a nostalgic walk through history rather than an academic presentation.
Sugar is in Sugar Land's roots and it provided the infrastructure and was the "building block" of Sugar Land. It's been said the only thing certain is change, but there is one thing that cannot change and that is history. Our city's roots were bathed in sugar and Sugar Land's tree is now fruitful. And for all those who will no longer be able to "taste sugar in the air" there are presentations such as the Chautauqua Series to show us our roots and the "Sugar Land Then and Now" exhibit at the Heritage Foundation's museum to explain the heritage of which we are now a part. It is our city's history and the legacy of those who have come before us.
|"NEWS" Flash! The NEWS section of our website has been updated recently. There you will find Bruce Kelly's complete article about Lonnie Green and the park named after him, Cliff & Susan Wagner's full review of the first Chautauqua talk and other information. Visit our web site here!
Join us for a walk through some of Sugar Land's history! Docent-led walks are held the 2nd Saturday of each month and are $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for 12 - 18, and under 12 are FREE! Our walks take about 1-1/2 hours and we stroll about 1-1/2 miles, part in sun and part in shade, so we recommend you bring your own water. We make a stop at the historic Sugar Land Auditorium where a docent from the Cultural Arts Foundation will tell us about the auditorium and give us a tour of the interior. Our next three walk dates are January 12th, February 9th, and March 9th. We start the tour at the Heritage Foundation office, promptly at 10:00. If you have a group that would like to take the walk during the week, please contact Marsha Smith, email@example.com, to schedule a week-day walk.
GIFT SHOP GOODIES
Mouse Pads....Scenic view showing Oyster Creek, old company homes on creek, Char House, old buildings of refinery area, old bridge on 90-A, and water tower in the background. $15.00
Ceramic Cup....White ceramic coffee cup with the old town in horse and buggy days, a beautiful picture of the Char House and part of the old Eldridge Home $15.00
| The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation offers historical presentations at your school or to your group. One of our volunteers will come to your site with an engaging power point presentation accompanied by personal narration. The program for children is 30-40 minutes long. Entitled "Sugar Land: Then and Now", it teaches history by showing what is standing now and what was at that location "back when". We also have a slightly longer program geared for adults which captures the unique history of Sugar Land. Please contact Jane Goodsill at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Sugar Land Heritage Foundation
Board of Directors
Roy Cordes, Jr.
Rev. Martin Nicholas
9:00 - 1:00
Sugar Land Heritage Foundation Museum
9:00 - 1:00
2nd Saturday of each month at 10:00
$10 for adults
$5 for 12 - 18
Free for under 12