Hawkins family’s Groesbeck influence going on 100 years
Because the Hawkins family ran The Groesbeck Journal for so long – 84 years – Groesbeck’s history became their history and vice versa. The Hawkinses, especially the late Jack and Euleta Hawkins and their son Tom, have been a significant influence in Groesbeck’s history and continue to be so to this day, since Tom Hawkins, editor emeritus, still writes a weekly column for the paper and often covers community events– extending the Hawkins influence to 87 years and counting.
On this, the 125th anniversary of the founding of The Groesbeck Journal, Tom Hawkins shares some of his memories of his parents and the newspaper that became so much a part of his and their lives.
Their family story started in Stephenville, where young Jack R. Hawkins grew up and worked at the town newspaper, The Stephenville Empire. Jack’s father, Wade Hampton Hawkins, was editor and publisher of the newspaper; and when Wade decided to retire, he sold the business. Apparently, the newspaper business bug had bitten Jack, because he moved to Groesbeck and bought The Journal in 1930, becoming its editor and publisher.
Meanwhile, pretty Euleta Sharp, who grew up in the community of Honest Ridge in the western area of Limestone County, graduated from Mexia High School in 1923 and went on to study at The University of Texas. Although she may not have gotten a degree, she earned the credentials required at that time to become a teacher. Returning to live in Limestone County, she began teaching, first at the Delia community, then at Shiloh.
At that time, there was only one superintendent for the whole county; and when Jim Barfield took that position, he offered the assistant spot to Euleta. She accepted and moved to Groesbeck to be near her work.
Jack and Euleta were probably destined to meet, but as it happened, someone who noticed young, handsome and available Jack and young, pretty and available Euleta stepped in to help matters along.
At that time, Tom Hawkins said, the two cemetery associations in town, Faulkenberry and what was at that time Glenwood – now Fort Parker Memorial Park – would produce hometown plays as fundraisers. Euleta was often a natural as the leading lady in the productions.
To read more of this story, pick up a copy of Thursday's edition of The Groesbeck Journal! You can also subscribe online or call 254-729-5103.
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