The oldest man to attend the Texas County Fair and Old Settlers Reunion in 1963 was 91-year-old J.C. Garrett. He was shown in the Herald with his 87-year-old wife, who wasn't named in the photo caption. The "oldest settler" award that year went to 90-year-old J.C. Hearn, of Houston, who had lived in Texas County (as the caption said) "every year of his life except one."

What is annually the biggest event locally each year is once again underway, as the 52nd Texas County Fair and 105th Old Settlers Reunion runs through Saturday.

Years ago, the fair featured numerous attractions and elaborate displays, and even circus-like acts. Thanks to the efforts of officials with the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce and others, this year’s version will bring back a taste of those days, with the likes of motorcycle stunts and professional wrestling on the schedule.


(According to articles in the Houston Herald archives)

•In 1955, Henson’s Hollywood Rodeo performed and the annual square dance was “still the biggest attraction of all.”

•In 1962, a female Himalayan bear named Lulubelle and her trainer Clark McDermott entertained “free acts audiences.” The team was called in as a late fill-in after male magician V. Roy (of V. Roy & Co.) had to undergo surgery).

•In 1963, there was a large decrease in exhibits of fruits and vegetables. Fair superintendent Doyle Jones attributed the big drop to the fair being staged in early September – at the end of growing season.

•In 1968, the fair was staged in Emmett Kelly Park. The general admission fee for ages 13-and-over was 50 cents and a “seasonal pass” could be purchased for $1.

•In 1981, the fair ran for five days – July 7-11.

•In 1983, 12,000 people attended the fair, an increase of 1,000 over 1982.


(According to articles in the Houston Herald archives)

•25 – Number of cents required in 1972 to ride any of the Razorback Shows Carnival’s eight “major rides” or five “kiddie rides” during a “Saturday matinee” period from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

•55 – Number of animals entered in the Junior Dairy Show in 1985.

•187 – Number of entries in the Flower Show in 1983.

•2,774 – Number of dollars taken in from gate receipts in 1963. That was down from 1962, but the fair was cut from four days to three days that year.

•12,000 – Number of people attending the fair in 1983 – an increase of 1,000 over 1982, according to a Texas County Fair Board member.

•22,000 – Number of people attending the fair in 1965.

•40,000 – Number of dollars spent on “capital  improvements” that gave the fair a “dramatic new look” in 1980.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply