Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

February 20, 2014

Oil Baron’s Ball has new home

Corsicana — Last year’s inaugural Oil Baron’s Ball was success in every way that counted. The fundraiser garnered just under $30,000, which was split between Derrick Days and VOICE.

So, that puts more pressure to make this year’s ball just as good or better. The first year was about curiosity. This year is about proof.

Proof that it wasn’t a fluke.

Proof that it can attract a crowd.

Proof that it’s a good time worth the $150 a ticket.

“I think it was such a success last year that people will be eager to come again,” said organizer Mary Steely. “And they’ll want to see the new venue.”

Last year’s ball was at the Offices at Pocket Park, Jimmy Hale’s renovated Art Spot space on Beaton Street. The offices weren’t completed, but there was so much curiosity about the building that people overlooked the unfinished surfaces.

“All I need are floors, paint and bathrooms,” Steely said, counting down on her fingers.

This year, the committee is holding the ball in yet another work in progress — the former Smith’s General Store at 215 E. Fifth Avenue in downtown Corsicana.The event is taking place at 7 p.m. on April 25.

More than 100 years old, the building is entering a new phase of its life as an entertainment spot. The new owner is renovating it into a permanent place for the Corsicana Opry.

“When people come in they’re going to know it’s a work in progress,” Steely said.

Despite the new venue, some things will still be the same as last year’s ball.

Dallas caterer 3015 at Trinity Grove will be doing the cooking again, with heavy hors d’oeuvres such as tenderloin, paté, shrimp and mini pastries. Steely found the Dallas caterer through her work organizing social functions for Barbara Hunt.

Pharis Corder will bring his big band sound to the party, but expanded with more horns and three vocalists.

Then there are the little things that make the Oil Baron’s Ball special — the cognac bar, the bar and nice wine selections, valet parking and red carpet.

Inside, the building is massive, easily more than 20,000 square feet, much of which is open space with ceilings 50 or 60 feet high, topped with antique skylights. Taking up the center of the enormous floor is a stage for bands and entertainers, but the rest is wood floor, smoothed by a century’s worth of feet and perfect for dancing.

Despite the enormous space, Steely is still limiting the number of ball tickets in an effort to keep it special. Her target number is about 165 people, which is slightly more than last year, but not much.

“I think it will be a good one, and if we make some money that’s all that matters. VOICE is a good cause and so is Derrick Days,” Steely said. “We need to keep it going.”


Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail:


Text Only
Latest News
  • Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — A jury has awarded former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura $1.8 million in his lawsuit against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle.

    July 29, 2014

  • Texas school trustee penalized in cheerleader case

    SAN MARCOS — A Central Texas school board has ordered a trustee to attended professional conduct training after parents and teachers said he used his position to get his daughter onto a cheerleading team.

    July 29, 2014

  • Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors

    WASHINGTON — More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-29-14 Lassiter.jpg Lassiter named new Calico director

    Brittany Watkins-Lassiter has been named the new Calico Director for Corsicana High School. Lassiter replaces Amy Tidwell, who resigned to become the dance squad coach at Sachse High School.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29-14 McManus.jpg County OKs mall lease

    The question of where many county courthouse offices would move during the three-year historical restoration of the Navarro County Courthouse was officially answered Monday.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • City approves new building rules

    The Corsicana City Council eased somewhat the standards for masonry buildings on highways when the group met in regular session Monday.

    July 28, 2014

  • Local Beat

    A listing of meetings and events of interest from throughout Navarro County.

    July 28, 2014

  • FAA proposes to fines Southwest Airlines $12M

    WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it is proposing a $12 million civil fine against Southwest Airlines for failing to comply in three separate cases with safety regulations related to repairs on Boeing 737 jetliners.

    July 28, 2014

  • Jury says it is stuck in Ventura case after five days

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — The jury weighing former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's defamation lawsuit against "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle has told the judge they don't think they can reach a unanimous decision.

    July 28, 2014

  • City, county start week with meetings

    The Navarro County Commissioners Court and the Cosicana City Council both have meetings set for Monday.

    July 28, 2014

AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Twitter Updates