Presenting the 2008 Distinguished Service Award for the Texas Historical Commission
was Mark Wolfe (left), chief deputy executive director. Wolfe made the presentation to
Dolores Mode, Milam County Historical Commission vice-chair, Geri Burnett and Dee Dee
Green, co-chairpersons for MCHC.
Texas Historical Commission Press Release
Rockdale Reporter, page 5A, April 23, 2009
THC honors Milam County with award
AUSTIN—The Texas Historical Commission (THC) recently recognized Milam County with the
2008 Distinguished Service Award. The honor was presented during a special reception
Thursday, April 16 at the THC’s 2009 Annual Historic Preservation Conference in
The award recognizes county historical commissions (CHCs) that have demonstrated a
dedication to several of the THC’s programs as well as preservation efforts that lead
to a greater understanding of state and local history.
“The commitment of Milam County’s preservation efforts demonstrates an enthusiasm for
saving the real places of Texas,” said THC Executive Director Larry Oaks. “Your service
has helped to enrich the lives of others through history, ensuring the preservation of
our state’s past into the future.”
CHCs are a vital link in Texas’ preservation network and few other states have a built-
in mechanism that makes possible a preservation organization in every county. Some of
the exemplary efforts considered for the Distinguished Service Award include advancing
youth programs, overseeing historical marker applications, recording oral histories,
cemetery preservation and assisting local museums. CHCs work in a dynamic and positive
partnership with the THC to preserve Texas’ heritage for the use, education, enjoyment
and economic benefit of present and future generations. Other responsibilities
maintained by CHCs include the preservation of countless historic buildings, artifacts,
documents and other pieces of Texas history.
For more information about the Distinguished Service Award, visit www.thc.state.tx.us
or contact the History Program’s Division at 512-463-5853.
Dr. Lucile Estell receiving the John Ben Shepperd CHC Leadership Award from Mr Larry
Oakes, THC Executive Director and THC Chairman Jon T. Hansen
Stanley Graves (THC), Geri Burnett, Joy Graham, Dr Lucile Estell,
Dee Dee Green, Dolores Mode, Bratton Thomason (THC)
"Milam County Courthouse and its People"
Compiled by Mary Ann Eanes
Edited by Preserve Our Past
Milam County Historical Commission
Click HERE to order your copy today
April 30, 2009
THC honors Milam preservationist Estell
AUSTIN —The Texas Historical Commission (THC) recently recognized Dr. Lucile Estell of
Milam County with the John Ben Shepperd County Historical Commission Leadership Award.
The honor was presented during a special awards dinner on April 16 at the THC’s 2009
Annual Historic Preservation Conference in Lakeway.
The award is named for former Texas attorney general and civic activist John Ben
Shepperd, appointed to the THC in 1961 by Gov. Price Daniel. He served as chair from
1963–67. The award recognizes outstanding leadership necessary to carry out an
aggressive and well balanced preservation program. Many consider
Shepperd the driving force behind the THC’s historical markers program.
“Dr. Lucile Estell’s commitment to the Milam County Historical Commission demonstrates
her enthusiasm for saving the real places of Texas,” said THC Executive Director Larry
Oaks. “Her dedication as a preservationist to enriching the lives of others through
history has played an important role in preserving our State’s past, as well as
enhancing its future.”
Estell has been involved in numerous preservation groups and projects in Rockdale,
Cameron and Milam Counties. She served as chair of the Milam County Historical
Commission (CHC) from 2005–2008 and is on the El Camino Real de Los Tejas National
Trail Board of Directors. She was instrumental in obtaining Certified Local Government
grants to develop a countywide historic resource survey, a three-year project completed
in 2007. Estell also led the CHC in developing a strategic plan as well as establishing
the Milam County Historic Preservation Fund, which has awarded more than $30,000 for
preservation projects to date.
Estell also chairs the Tejas Art, Book and Cultural Festival, which attracts such
renowned authors as Liz Carpenter and Joaquin Jackson.
A dedicated teacher and educator, Estell helped organize Texas Archeology Month
activities in the schools for many years. She is also a member of the Brazos Regional
This marks the second time a Milam County resident has won the John Ben Shepperd Award.
Joy Graham, Reporter columnist who is still involved in preservation, was honored in
agency’s History Programs Division at 512.463.5853