Local Legends

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2021 Local Legend Selection Committee

Applications for the 2021 Local Legend Selection Committee will be accepted until January 1, 2021. Appointments will be made at the first Historic Preservation Commission meeting of the year. More information about the Selection Committee is posted below.

About the Local Legend Awards 

The Local Legend Award recognizes individuals, families, businesses, groups, publications, or organizations that have had a positive and lasting impact on the culture, development, and history of Round Rock. Each year’s Legends receive a certificate and are honored by the City Council.

Local Legends are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Importance to the City’s founding or growth
  • Association with an historic place or event
  • Impact of service to the community’s history, development or culture
  • Achievements that have brought honor and distinction to the City of Round Rock

Nominations

Each year’s Local Legends are selected late summer, but nominations for future awards are accepted year-round. If you would like to nominate someone to be honored as a Local Legend, please complete a nomination form (Wordfill) and email to locallegend@roundrocktexas.gov, or print and mail to:

The Historic Preservation Commission
c/o Planning and Development Services Department
301 W. Bagdad Avenue, Suite 210
Round Rock, TX 78664

Selection Committee

Local Legends are selected by a volunteer committee appointed by the HPC. The Committee is responsible for outreach to encourage nominations, reviewing nominations to select the Local Legends, and assisting with the award presentation to the City Council.  If you are interested in being a part of the Local Legend Selection Committee please send a completed Selection Committee application to either:

  • Send a completed pdf copy (or just send that info on the application in the body of an email) to locallegends@roundrocktexas.gov or
  • Print and mail to: Planning & Development Services Department, 301 W. Bagdad Ave. Ste. 210, Round Rock TX 78664

 

2020 Local Legends Awards 

The Round Rock Historic Preservation Commission announced five Local Legend Award honorees at the City Council meeting on Thursday, November 12.  Charlie Culpepper, George White, Juanita Jewel Shanks Craft and St. Paul A.M.E. Church were honored for their contributions to the culture, development, and history of the community. Historic Preservation Commission Chair Sharon Whitaker, Vice-Chair Pamela Sue Anderson and Selection Committee Chair Jen Henderson presented the awards and highlighted some of the accomplishments of each of the award recipients.

As in the past, Local Legends were awarded a certificate of recognition. Recipients are also recognized on a plaque that lists all past honorees since the program’s inception. This year Congressman John Carter also sent each recipient a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition.

Charlie Culpepper

Charlie has served the city of Round Rock, the state, and its residents for over 43 years. His remarkable leadership, vision, and impact have left a remarkable legacy of achievements and an indelible mark on this community. 

Charlie moved to Round Rock in 1977 with his wife Kathy after graduating from the University of Texas and serving in the Navy Reserves. At that time Round Rock had a population of 5,000 one traffic light, and one 2A high school.

He was elected to the City Council in 1989 and then Mayor in 1993. As Mayor Pro-Tem and Mayor he helped the Legislature work out details of enabling legislation to allow the sales tax arrangement that clinched Round Rock as the new headquarters for Dell Computers. Today Dell is the city’s largest generator of sales tax revenue while bringing over 12,000 jobs to the area.

In 1995 he negotiated a partnership agreement to build Mickie Kresbach swimming pool on land owned by the school district.

In 1996 Reid Ryan contacted Charlie about bringing minor league baseball to Central Texas. Knowing that voters would not support building the stadium with property tax funds, Charlie suggested incorporating a conference center to the stadium, allowing both to be built with hotel occupancy taxes instead. Voters approved the measure by 74%. The first Pitch at Dell Diamond was thrown in 2000 and that year the Round Rock Express set an attendance record on 660,110.

After leaving office, Charlie has served on 15 different boards or community development committees that have served Round Rock. During this tenure, the population has exploded tenfold, Round Rock has become home to 20 major employers, and has become an integral center to the success of the Texas Triangle of DFW, Houston, and San Antonio.

Charlie Culpepper was present to accept the award.

George White

For over two decades, George White has demonstrated superior leadership and selfless dedication to many organizations that have greatly improved our Round Rock community.

George and his family moved here in 1998 for a position at Abbott Laboratories, where he rose to become Director of Operations for the Austin Area. Before this he received an MBA from the University of North Carolina and served as a US Army officer in Vietnam, where he received the Bronze Star.

While serving on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Greater Williamson County, George became the voice of the Y’s leadership and served as unpaid interim CEO for six months while spearheading the nationwide search for a permanent CEO. He received the Y’s highest award when he was named to its Triangle of Honor.

George’s dedication to our military continued as Commander of the Round Rock Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9078. He was named an All-State and All-American commander for 2010-2011. He serves as committee chairman of the David Hood endowment at the Greater Round Rock Community Foundation, whose mission is to support veterans and animal welfare.

In 2016, Congressman John Carter awarded him the Congressional Veterans Commendation Award for his unparalleled dedication and service.

George served on the Board of Directors for St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center for ten years including five as its chairman. He has been the Secretary of the Rural Capital Workforce Development Board, served as President of the Round Rock Noon Rotary Club and as a member of the Round Rock Police/Citizen Review Board. As chairman of the Brushy Creek Regional Utility Authority, he secured a long tern water source for Round Rock. He is a member of the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce and was named Citizen of the Year in 2005. George served on the City Council of Round Rock for eight years, the last two as Mayor Pro-Tern.

George and his wife Sally have been married for over fifty years. They have two children and seven grandchildren.

George White was present to accept the award.

Juanita Jewel Shanks Craft

Juanita was born in Round Rock in 1902 to David and Eliza Shanks, both teachers in the local segregated schools. After her mother died of tuberculosis in 1918, Juanita finished high school at Austin’s Anderson High School while her father moved to Columbus for a principalship. She attended Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College, then returned to Austin for a teaching certificate from Samuel Huston College (now Huston-Tillotson University). By 1925 she had moved to Dallas, where she met and married Johnny Edward Craft in 1937 .

Her activism began she joined the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) in 1935, becoming its membership chairman, and later field organizer. Over 11 years she and Lulu Belle White of Houston traveled the state organizing 182 branches of the Texas NAACP and fundraising for litigation. Supreme court Justice Thurgood Marshall once observed that “what the NCAAP accomplished in Texas could not have transpired without her.”

Her work as Youth Council Advisor became a prototype for other NAACP youth groups throughout the country. She led the youth group picketing lunch counters, restaurants, theaters, public transportation, and the State Fair of Texas to protest segregation and discriminatory admission policies. Following the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 she worked to integrate the Dallas Independent School District, North Texas State College, and the University of Texas Law School.

Her service has been recognized with many awards, including the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award in 1984. In 1969 she received Dallas’ highest civic award for helping end fraudulent recruiting by Dallas trade schools.  The Dallas Parks Department dedicated the Craft Recreation Center to celebrate her 72nd birthday in 1974.

She was elected to the Dallas City Council in 1975, championing measures to reduce drug and alcohol abuse, obtain fair housing, and strengthen code enforcement and historic preservation. After her death in 1985 her foundation donated her home to the Dallas Parks Department to become the Juanita Craft Civil Rights House Museum.  She had no children but is quoted as saying “I had no children, so I adopted the world.”

Shirley Shanks Walker and Barbara Shanks Corzine accepted the award on Ms. Craft’s behalf.

St. Paul A.M.E. Church

St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1885 as the first African American church in Round Rock and the second in Williamson County. It was operated and attended by residents of Round Rock and surrounding communities.

The church was founded by the Sauls, Mays, Dixon, Washington, Wheeler, Freeman and Earl families. The original location of the church was just south of the original Old Settlers Park, which at the time was located at the southwest corner of RM 620 and Interstate 35, where Sprouts and McDonald’s are currently located. The original church was constructed of wood from an old barn donated by a local farmer.

When Interstate 35 was built the church had to relocate to its present location on North Sheppard Street. The Sauls brothers secured a $500 loan with Farmers State Bank to purchase the land from a sister to build the new church, and the new building was completed in June 1958. The church members were able to re-use some of the original church’s lumber, the windows, lightning rods, pews, altar, pulpit and piano in the new building.  A large iron bell was stolen by local teenagers during the move, so it was not re-installed in the new steeple.

The congregation of St. Paul A.M.E. has served the Round Rock community and dealt with adversity and obstacles throughout the 135 years it has existed. St. Paul has had a number of notable ministers, including Reverend Mrs. Johnnie Mae Fulton from 1940-1965, who was the one and only female ordained minister in Central Texas at the time.

The church has regularly scheduled Sunday services, prayer services and opens its doors for community meetings and prayer vigils. St. Paul A.M.E. welcomes everyone and holds true to their mission to “provide spiritual and religious teachings and fellowship to the community and all who enter”.

Rev. Sharian Brown Taylor and Tina Steiner accepted the award.

The Local Legend Awards program was established in 1990. To date, 79 recipients have been honored. Award recipients in the past have included not only people, but organizations, places like Round Rock Donuts, and a book, “Historical Round Rock Texas”, written by local authors.

Award recipients are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Importance to the City’s founding or growth
  • Association with an historic place or event
  • Impact of service to the community’s history, development or culture
  • Achievements that have brought honor and distinction to the City of Round Rock.

This year’s nomination and selection process was assisted by a citizen volunteer committee that included Brently Brinegar, Chris Cantu, Jesus Franco, Jennifer Henderson, Richard Parson, Ella Sauls Morrison, Sherry Richards, Audrey Simmons, and Tracie Storie. After reviewing nominations, the committee made its recommendation to the Round Rock Historic Preservation Commission in September.

Local Legend Award nominations are accepted throughout the year by the Planning and Development Services Department. For more information, contact Joelle Jordan at (512) 218-5422 or Kerstin Harding at 512-218-5421.

Previous Local Legends

2019 Local Legends

Faye Johnson
The Sauls Family
The Tonkawa Tribe

2018 Local Legends

T. Nyle Maxwell Jr.
Waymon Ferrell (1894-1980)
The Water Tower

2017 Local Legends

Vera and Joe Bloomer
Jim Boles
El Amistad Club of Round Rock

2016 Local Legends

James W. Carothers (1923-2004)
Jon E. Sloan
The Immortal Ten

2015 Local Legends

Rufus Honeycutt
Bonnie Horowitz
St. William Catholic Church
Washington Anderson (1817-1894)
Vander Clyde Broadway “Barbette” (1899-1973)

2014 Local Legends

Lambert Peterson
Sharon Prete (1943-2013)
Sheriff James Milton Tucker (1843-1907)
The Texas Baptist Children’s Home

2013 Local Legends

Rev. Freeman Smalley (1790-1881)
Jack Jordan (1872-1959)
Bob Bennett
The Stagecoach Inn (built 1848-1853)

2012 Local Legends

Dr. Thomas Kenney & Kenney Fort
Elmer A. Cottrell (1910-1979)

2011 Local Legends

Louis Henna (1914-1990)
Oliver Leppin, Sr. (1917-1993)
Robert L. “Buck” Egger (1896-1973)
Jacob M. Harrell (1804-1853)

2010 Local Legends

Judy McLeod
Martin & Francinn Parker
Dr. Robert Peters (1933-2012)
Nancy & Virg Rabb

2009 Local Legends

Rose Marie “Posey” McClung
Earl Palmer (1928-2013)
The Nelson Family
The Avery Family

No awards 2007 & 2008

2006 Local Legends

Thomas C. Oatts (1815-1885)
“Historical Round Rock” (book) by
Jane H. DiGesualdo & Karen R. Thompson

 

No awards between 2003-2005

 

2002 Local Legends

Hester Family

2001 Local Legends

Allen R. Baca (1921-2002)
Laverne Reinhardt (1924-2010)

2000 Local Legends

Bunky Whitlow
Ellen Davis
Marcia Hilsabeck

No awards in 1999

1998 Local Legends

Lone Star Bakery
Robert G. Griffith
Florentino Hernandez

1997 Local Legends

Trinity Lutheran Home
Ben Salazar
Grace Telander

1996 Local Legends

Harriet Rutland
Tom Lopez
Pete Correa

1995 Local Legends

Betty Porter
Xenia Voigt
Lt. Col. William Todd

1994 Local Legends

Garfield McConico
Lerlene Ward
O. F. Perry
Noel Grisham
Joanne Land

1993 Local Legends

Claude Berkman
Billie Sue Henna
Rudolf Pettersen
Eugene Quick

1992 Local Legends

Mrs. Tiny McNeese (1902-1998)
The Rubio Brothers (Mack and Lorenzo Rubio)
Mrs. Genoveva Rendon

1991 Local Legends

Joe Lee Johnson
David Carlin Sr.
Rev. Oliver Berglund
The Domino Players
The Old Settlers Association