On Saturday, the Howe Area Chamber of Commerce will host the annual Christmas Parade which will begin at 4:30 pm. The best place to watch from will be near downtown where music will play. A parade will have an emcee which will be located in front of the chamber office at 101 E. Haning Street (see route below).
Santa will arrive in Howe early Saturday morning to take part in the Howe Fire Department’s Breakfast with Santa which will begin at 8 am at the fire station.
Santa then will head to the Howe Community Library at 10:30 am for Story Time with Santa.
After the 4:30 pm parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will then head to Summit Gardens at 100 E. O’Connel St. to meet and greet kids. The event is free to the public.
Those that want to enter a float in the parade also can do so at no charge. The chamber will be selling hot chocolate at the Meet Santa event at Summit Gardens and will also be raffling off a shotgun at the chamber office before and after the parade.
Those that have entered a float in the parade so far are Howe Police Department, Howe Fire Department, Pride of Howe Marching Band, Mantua Masonic Lodge #209, Eva’s All Season’s Glass, Ron’s Roadside Repair, “Freedom” – the veteran truck, Howe Pack 45 Scouts, Pristine Towing & Roadside, Jeff Whitmire for County Commissioner, Precinct 4, Bob Douglas for Constable Precinct 4, Daniel Moores for Constable Precinct 4, Texoma Classic Cars, Leader Auto, Katherine Ruiz Diaz, Ron West, Airview A/C & Heating, Good Fellas Barber Shop, Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, Kings Trail Cowboy Church, Howe ISD Police Department, Howe Girl Scouts, and Grayson County Republican Party.
2020 will be our second time to host this event. It’s an event for all non-profits of Howe to raise funds and have a great time in a family atmosphere! Water slides, home run derby, cornhole, basketball goal, slip n slide, dunk booth, fire trucks, and food food food.
2020 will be our 4th Annual Downtown Howe-lloween Festival. It’s a chance for kids to Trick-R-Treat from vendors in Downtown Howe and a chance for vendors to promote their business. Spaces are available. Downtown Howe will be blocked off.
Interurban Alley has been given to the stretch of US Highway 75 in the growing North Texas region between McKinney and Sherman. This is a partnership between four chambers from Melissa, Anna, Van Alstyne and Howe.
The Texas Electric Railway is a historic interurban railroad that operated from Dallas, Texas, to Denison, Corsicana, and Waco. It began operation in 1908 and through the merger of several companies became the largest interurban railway operator in the South before its demise in 1948. The interurban ran through the heart of Melissa, Anna, Van Alstyne and Howe during this time.
In 1901 the Denison and Sherman Railway opened as the first interurban rail line in Texas, connecting the towns of Denison and Sherman with ten miles of track. This line was purchased in 1911 by the Texas Traction Company, who had constructed a sixty-five-mile line of their own from Dallas to Sherman and began operation in 1908. Seeing a need to expand in other directions, the owners of the Texas Traction Company purchased a twenty-eight-mile line from Dallas to Waxahachie in 1912. Built by the Dallas Southern Traction Company, the company became known as the Southern Traction Company and the rail line extended to Waco in 1913. A separate fifty-six-mile line from Dallas to Corsicana was also completed. In 1917 the Texas Traction Company and the Southern Traction Company merged to form the Texas Electric Railway Company and became the largest interurban railway in the South with more than 200 miles of track. The interurban became a vital link for communities until the popularity of the automobile caused a decline in revenue. The Dallas-Corsicana branch was discontinued in 1941 and the Dallas-Waco and Dallas-Denison branches closed in 1948.
Today several pieces of infrastructure still remain:
The wood frame passenger depot in downtown Plano and its attached brick electric transformer section remained in use until December 31, 1948. The Plano Station building now hosts the Interurban Railway Museum where a restored Texas Electric Railway car may be seen and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Monroe Shops (1914), once the maintenance facility for Texas Electric’s vehicles, was restored in 2011 and now serves as headquarters to the DART Police Department.
The Dallas Interurban Building (1916), once serving as the main Dallas depot, now houses residents and retail.
On Saturday, Dec. 14, the Howe Area Chamber of Commerce will host the annual Christmas Parade which will begin at 4:30 pm. The best place to watch from will be near downtown where music will play. A parade will have an emcee which will be located in front of the chamber office at 101 E. Haning St.
Kids can meet both Santa and Mrs. Claus immediately following the parade at Summit Gardens. The event is free to the public and those that want to enter a float in the parade also can do so at no charge. The chamber will be selling hot chocolate at the Meet Santa event at Summit Gardens and will also be raffling off a shotgun at the chamber office before and after the parade.
Donal Gilstrap, a first-time nominee, was most known for his position as Howe High School principal during three different decades. While also serving as the elementary and middle school principal, it was his gentle yet stern approach to leadership that won his respect among students and peers. Gilstrap grew up picking cotton in the 1940s and was not able to attend school until all of the cotton was picked, which was usually around November. His mother had a sixth-grade education and his father received no education at all, but he was a hard worker. Strength was a family trait as Gilstrap used his ability in football to earn a college degree at Hardin-Simmons University. Post college, he spent four years in the Army including a free vacation to Korea. While stationed at Lawton, Oklahoma, he met the love of his life Barbara whom he married in 1959. Together, they had two children, Catherine and Patrick. He was recruited to Howe by six school board members who drove to Lubbock to recruit him.
Jean Norman, nominated for the second straight year. She will go down in Howe history in much of the same regards as Mame Roberts and Norma Wallace – a truly iconic figure among all of Howe’s finest ladies. Her fingerprints of leadership are seen throughout the community from Bonham to Dorchester and especially from Ponderosa to Farmington. She was instrumental in forming the Howe Public Library and eventually the Howe Community Library. Her leadership helped breathe life into the former Howe First Christian Church, not once but twice. Norman was a key member of the foundation and the formation of the Howe Historical Society in the 1980s and 90s and renovated the church previously to house a museum. Serving most recently as president of the Save the Church organization, the group has raised enough money to transform one of Howe’s oldest buildings into a beautiful wedding venue. The longtime school teacher has also been a longtime member and church leader at the First Baptist Church of Howe. She was named the 1992 Norma J. Wallace Citizen of the Year and 25 years later was nominated once again for the award.
J.J. Chisum, nominated for the second straight year, was perhaps the most loved man in Howe from the time he opened Chisum’s One Stop Grocery Store in July of 1957. He was called the “One-Man- Chamber of Commerce” as he helped give information to anyone that asked. Mr. Chisum often ran open tickets for families knowing well he would never get paid. His response was always that he couldn’t stand to see anyone not have food on their table. Mr. Chisum was the Norma J. Wallace Citizen of the Year in 1985.
Bob Walker, most known for operating the Howe Enterprise. He put out a weekly publication for 421 consecutive weeks from 1966 to 1974. He was instrumental in reforming the Howe Chamber of Commerce in 1972 and served as the chairman of the Howe Centennial Committee which was a week-long festival and celebration of the city and its fine history. He was elected as the Howe Chamber of Commerce President in the 1970s which saw the volunteer organization run at its full peak of operation at that time. Mr. Walker also served on the Planning and Zoning Commission of Howe. After selling the Howe Enterprise, he went on to own and operate Allied Office Supply in Downtown Howe for a number of years until his retirement in 1989.