The Round Rock Historic Preservation Commission announced five Local Legend Award nominations at the City Council meeting on Thursday, Oct. 8.
Rufus Honeycutt, Bonnie Horowitz, St. William Catholic Church, Washington Anderson and Barbette were honored for their contributions to the culture, development and history of the community.
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.
Historic Preservation Commission Chair Jerry Hodges and Vice Chairperson Pamela Sue Anderson presented the awards and highlighted some of the accomplishments of each of the award recipients.
Rufus Honeycutt is recognized for a lifetime of service to country, church, and community. A Vietnam veteran with a 30-year engineering career, in retirement he coordinated blood drives, became a Troop Support Coordinator, received a Presidential appointment to the Selective Service System Board, and served on Congressman John Carter’s Veterans Advisory Board. In Round Rock, he has served on the City Council and led many City and County commissions and service organizations. Recently he and his wife Margaret created the Arts Development Fund to promote the fine arts and cultural events in Round Rock.
Bonnie Horowitz is recognized as a Local Legend for her service and advocacy in support of the Friends of the Round Rock Public Library and the Literacy Council of Williamson County. Over 28 years, she has donated thousands of hours to support the library and to help residents get a GED, find employment, learn English, become citizens, and support their families to build a strong Round Rock community.
St. William Catholic Church
Round Rock’s first Catholic congregation was organized in 1916 by recent immigrants who had fled the Mexican Revolution. Since building its first church 75 years ago, the church is now the largest parish in the Diocese of Austin. Last year its St. Vincent de Paul Society served more than 5,500 people in need through its food pantry, direct financial assistance, and intervention and counseling services.
Washington Anderson was one of Round Rock’s founding settlers and an unsung hero of the Battle of San Jacinto. Anderson helped establish Williamson County, sold land to the railroad that became downtown Round Rock, and built two homes that are now Registered Texas Historical Landmarks.
Vander Clyde Broadway (Barbette)
Barbette was the stage name of Vander Clyde Broadway, an aerialist and female impersonator from Round Rock who became the toast of the Parisian avant-garde in the 1920s and 30s. He would perform as a woman on tightrope and trapeze, then remove his wig and strike manly poses. He later became an aerial choreographer and consultant for several circuses and films, also coaching Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis on gender illusion in Some Like It Hot. The Texas Historical Commission recently approved a marker to be placed at his gravesite in Round Rock Cemetery.
The Local Legend Awards program was established in 1990. To date, 64 recipients have been honored. Award recipients in the past have included not only people, but organizations, places like Lone Star Bakery, 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 Kami Barron, Martha Chavez, Jesus Franco, Jennifer Henderson, Dana Oglesby, Dora Owens, Dale Ricklefs, and Audrey Simmons. After reviewing nominations, the committee made its recommendation to the Round Rock Historic Preservation Commission in August. The Library’s volunteer Genealogy Advisor, Jacqui Wilson, identified descendants of the deceased honorees.
Local Legend Award nominations are accepted throughout the year by the Planning and Development Services Department of the City of Round Rock. For more information, contact Joelle Jordan at 512-218-5422 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information on this year’s recipients, past recipients and photos are available on the City’s website at: www.roundrocktexas.gov/locallegends.