Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


July 25, 2011

History of Service

Corsicana YMCA celebrates leaders on 125th anniversary

Join the discussion on this story by using the Facebook app to the right.

CORSICANA - It was a night of old friends reminiscing, familiar faces reunited, and thanks for over a century of service.

The Corsicana YMCA — now known as “The Y” — celebrated its 125th anniversary Saturday with a banquet at the Corsicana Country Club. Leaders of the organization, both past presidents and directors, filled the dining room at the Country Club as they joined to commemorate decade upon decade of service to the youth of Navarro County.

Chartered in 1886, the Corsicana YMCA actually started in 1884, the first such organization of its kind in Texas. Dallas, however, holds the distinction of being recognized as “first” due to the fact it received its charter before Corsicana did.

E. Wiley Johnson was the first president of the Corsicana YMCA in 1884, and his great granddaughter, Seley Fuller, was present at Saturday’s gathering. She was presented a gift bag and a commemorative book outlining the history of both the local and national organization, as were family members and past presidents in attendance themselves.

Other family members representing the past history of “The Y” were Mary Love Sanders, daughter of Ted Ferguson, president in 1935; Hugh Stroube, son of Renaud Stroube Jr., who was president in 1959; C.L. “Buster” Brown III, himself a past president from 1977 and 1994, accepted the honor for his late father, C.L. Brown II, who was president in 1960.

Also recognized were Janie Clark, wife of the late June Clark, president in 1968, along with their son Matt; Bruce Robinson, president in 1990, also accepted a gift on behalf of his father, William Bruce Robinson, president in 1970. And, B. Lynn Sanders III, president in 1987, was represented by Mary Love Sanders.

Other past presidents who were in attendance for the banquet and their years of service: David Brown, 1967; Glenn Langford, 1979; Walter Holmes, 1980; David Owen, 1982; Dr. James Price, 1983 and 2000; Terry Means, 1984; Jim Wood, 1985 and 2003; Peggy Campbell, 1986 (the first woman board member and president of the Corsicana Y); Dr. Happy Settle, 1988; Randy Dill, 1989; Larry Morrison, 1991 and 2007; Dr. John Smith, 1992, 2001 and 2008; Bill Maupin, 1993; Alan Bristol, 1999; Larry Turner, 2006; Rusty Hitt, 2010; and current president, Fred Biltz.

Also honored at Saturday’s event were three men who have served as executive director for the Y, with their service between them spanning the last 48 years.

Gene Bullard served from 1963 to 1975 when the position was known as “general secretary.” He was followed by Ed Jezek, who was executive director from 1975 until 1992. Terry Seth, current executive director of the Y, took over in 1992.

“It’s been an unbelievable two days we’ve had,” said Seth following the banquet. “All these past presidents who came back to celebrate with us ... it’s great to see old friends and supporters of our YMCA.”

A Friday golf tournament and a Saturday open house highlighted the anniversary celebration, all well attended, he said.

Seth said the involvement of community leaders, some very prominent through the years, all played a role in helping the YMCA thrive and survive through the years.

Larry Morrison pointed out the longevity of the Y’s leadership as a key to success.

“Gene Bullard, Ed Jezek, and Terry Seth - that’s three people that have led this YMCA for nearly the last 50 years. That says a lot for the organization and what it’s done,” he said. “We’re lucky to have them. You have to go a long way to find a better ‘Y’.”

Former Corsicana Mayor C.L. “Buster” Brown III said the organization has played a vital role in the community.

“The YMCA is something that Corsicana is proud of,” he said. “Any recruitment that is done, it’s the first place they show them. It is a center for not only health activities and sports activities, but something we’re proud of ... it’s a wonderful organization.”

Bruce Robinson, one of three family members to have served as president along with his father and sister, Beth Chapman, echoed the sentiments of most in recalling the “Y” and its history.

“It’s an incredible organization,” he said. “It’s a great ‘melting pot’ for the community between the kids playing basketball, the men’s health club and the cardio room ... it’s a great place to be.”

Seth also recognized the members of the anniversary committee who had been planning Saturday’s event for the past two years, with special recognition for Vicki Winningham and the work she did on the commemorative history book put together for the occasion.

“It started out as a scrapbook, and then every time I turned around, she said ‘I have to put this in,’” he said. “It really turned out good and she did a great job with that.”

It was leadership, Seth said, that is responsible for the organization’s success.

“Our YMCA is alive and strong because of the leadership of all the past presidents, board members, and directors ... with the community support we have, and of course, the donors that always give generously to our YMCA.”

The Saturday banquet was underwritten by the J. Tom Eady Trust at Community National Bank and Trust of Texas. Eady was president of the organization from 1944 to 1946.


Bob Belcher may be reached by email at Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email:

Text Only
  • 4-29-14 DD Car Show Main copy.jpg Shakers and Scrapers Car Show enjoys nice weather, big turnout

    The 11th Annual Shakers and Scrapers Car Show went off without a hitch Saturday thanks to the leadership of new event organizers Mustang Sally Productions (MSP).

    April 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • 3-27 Expo Steers Grand.jpg Three-peat: Blooming Grove's McGraw claims Grand Champion steer

    It was a year of repeats for students entered in the 2014 Steer Show at the Navarro County Youth Expo.Lainie McGraw, 17, of Blooming Grove FFA, won the Grand Champion steer, as she did last year and the year before; and Noah Grounds, 15, of Blooming Grove/Barry 4-H won Grand Champion Showmanship, as he did last year. He also won the top prize for showmanship in the heifer show this year. He won reserve champion in that category last year.

    March 27, 2014 4 Photos

  • 3-28 Expo Meat Rabbit Grand.jpg Clagett takes top pen in Market Rabbits Division

    Josiah Clagett of Corsicana FFA won Grand Champion in the Breeding Rabbits Division in 2010. It was his “rookie” year and first time to show.

    Clagett came full circle this year to claim the other top rabbit title. He took home Grand Champion honors in the Market Rabbit Division Thursday at the 56th Annual Navarro County Youth Expo. The winning pen was the only one he entered.

    March 27, 2014 4 Photos

  • 3-26-14 Expo Commercial heifers.jpg Curl wins first leg of Commercial Heifers

    Caleb Curl, 13, of Frost FFA, won grand champion of the commercial heifer show, the first leg of the commercial heifer overall prizes. Unlike a lot of the other animal categories, commercial heifers aren't show-things with smooth coats and stardust on their hooves. They're straight out of the pasture, a bit muddy and certainly not the lady-like, pampered creatures that will be led around the ring in the registered heifer show.

    March 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • football-generic.jpg LIVE BLOG: College football signing day

    Follow all the action on college football Signing Day with coverage from across the CNHI network as well as from the national sports media. Live coverage begins at 8 a.m. ET.

    February 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • 11-21-13 Annie.jpg ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ through Sunday at the Palace

    It’s the big musical, the one that makes me think of ‘cast of thousands,’ or in our case, dozens at least, and it’s here only for a few short days. ‘Annie Get Your Gun,’ is Irving Berlin’s candy box treasure of a play about Annie Oakley, the sharpshooter in love with a showman.
    It’s presented by the Warehouse Living Arts Center but because of its size is on stage at the Palace Theatre. Shows will be at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday, with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee.

    November 20, 2013 1 Photo

  • 11-21-13 Farmer of the Year.jpg Short named Farmer of the Year

    Agriculture businesses like farming and ranching are the backbone of Navarro County. Many farming families go back several generations.
    Since at least 1965, the Corsicana Rotary Club (Wednesday club) has recognized and said “thank you” to the unsung heroes of the soil.

    November 20, 2013 1 Photo

  • 11-21-13 Hospital.jpg New clinic open

    A new medical practice in partnership with Navarro Regional Hospital is now offering comprehensive occupational medicine services.

    November 20, 2013 1 Photo

  • Purdon man sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for gun violations

    Erik Willis, 31 of Purdon, was sentenced this afternoon by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to serve a total of 258 months in federal prison following his conviction at trial in July 2013 on three felony firearms offenses, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

    November 20, 2013

  • 8-6 Weather Graphic.jpg Heat Advisory issued for North Texas

    • Avoid the Heat. Stay out of the heat and indoors as much as possible. Spend time in an air conditioned space. Only two hours a day in an air-conditioned space can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related illness.

    August 5, 2013 1 Photo

AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Seasonal Content
House Ads
Twitter Updates
Front page
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide