Parker County Today June 2017 - Page 21

Continued from page 14 and dinners. Headquarters of the Posse were moved to the American Legion building, but after operating there for months and paying rent, it was decided to purchase land and eventually construct their own headquarters. The membership was again raised to 60, comprising 50 active and 10 honorary members. About Those Sweethearts The first women to represent the Posse as Sweethearts were Dorothy Wheeler and Sammie Good Walker. The first parade participated in by the Parker County Sheriff’s Posse was the March 1947, Fort Worth Fat Stock Show Opening Day Parade. The first barbecue attended as a group was on the Crum-Farmer Ranch and their first rodeo participated in as contestants was the Saunders Ranch Rodeo. Other activities that first year of organization included was a matched Roping between members of the Posse and outsiders. Posse members won. The Posse also partici- pated in the Mineral Wells, Weatherford Lions Club and Ranger Rodeos. The year 1947 ended with the purchase of the present site of 37 acres for permanent head- quarters. When they closed on the property, it was a mesquite- infested abandoned peach orchard at 2251 Mineral Wells Highway, which was cleared mostly by Posse members on horseback with stout lariat ropes. The Posse still calls the place home. The land purchase was financed by one of the local banks with the loan backed by several of the members’ person- al guarantee of repayment. “The organization was young, but the members had already decided that it was going to be around for a long time and needed to put down deep roots,” wrote Phil Livingston in his book enti- tled, “Parker County Sheriff’s Posse — The First Fifty Years.” The original clubhouse was a 30’ x 100’ barracks building purchased from Camp Wolters in Mineral Wells. The Camp was being deactivated and the barracks were sold for civilian use. The all-steel sign that welcomes visitors was added in 1958. Hundreds of other improvements have contributed to the success of their annual events like the Frontier Days Celebration, Rodeo and Livestock Show 19