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Chapin honored as 80th Reunion Pioneer Queen


Reigning as queen of the 80th annual Clay County Pioneer Reunion and Rodeo is Carolyn Chapin of the house of Calloway. Pioneer Association President Jack Bevering crowned Chapin in front of the Thursday night crowd at Tex Rickard Memorial Arena.

Queen Carolyn Chapin, Henrietta

Queen Carolyn was born June 10, 1936 in the Stanfield Community of Clay County.  Her parents were Ancel B. Callaway, Sr. and Viola (Davis) Calloway.  Queen Carolyn is representing the community of Henrietta.

Queen Carolyn attended elementary school in Petrolia and graduated from Petrolia High School.  She attended college at Texas A&M and Midwestern University receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration.

Queen Chapin married John S. Chapin on September 5, 1954 at the Petrolia First Baptist Church.  John held a PhD in soil chemistry and was employed at Tarleton State University in Stephenville at the time of his death in 1975.  John Chapin was also a native of Petrolia.

Queen Chapin has two sons, Randall and wife Carolyn of Round Rock and Rodney and wife Lori of Southlake.  She has one grandson, Will, and three granddaughters, Emily, Sarah and Shelby. Attending Queen Chapin Thursday evening will be Will and Emily.  Friday morning will be Sarah, and Saturday morning will be Will, Emily, Sarah and Shelby.

Queen Chapin worked for Retail Credit Company from 1954-1957 in El Paso, Norfolk, Va., and in Lubbock.  She worked in the county treasurer’s office in Manhattan, Kan., from 1957 until 1959, Allen Military Academy in Bryan from 1960-1963, Citizens Bank of Richardson from 1963 until 1966, the Department of Public Safety, Stephenville, from 1971-1976, Clay County Treasurer’s and County Judge’s offices from 1984-1985 and as the Henrietta ISD secretary to the superintendent from 1985 until 1999.

Queen Chapin is a member of the First Baptist Church where she has sang in the choir for many years, taught Sunday school and served on various committees, at present serving on the CD ministry committee.  She has been treasurer of the board of directors of the Petrolia Alumni Scholarship Association since its inception in 2004, Junior Delphian Club member for 25 years, past member of Clay County Hospital Auxiliary, Member of Family and Consumer Science Committee, T.A.E.S., Clay County, member of the Clay County Historical Society, member of the Clay County Pioneer Association for six years, team member of Imagination Library, Clay County, Elementary School Mentor for four years.

Queen Chapin counts herself to be very blessed that she was able to raise her sons in such a caring and loving community and for having been born and raised in Clay County.

Queen Chapin has great appreciation and gratitude for the pioneers who first came to this county, known as Clay and who made great sacrifices in order for us to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.  May we never forget nor fail to honor them.

Gearldyne (Gerri) Gill, Bellevue

Representing the community of Bellevue is Duchess Gearldyne (Jerri) Gill from the house of Hatton.  She was born March 17, 1926 in Moran and came to Clay County in January 1953.  Her parents were Omar Archie Hatton and Ora Rumfield Hatton.  She married Gordon Lee Gill Aug. 17, 1947 and was married for almost 59 years before his death.

Duchess Gill attended Hodges Oak Park Elementary School in Ranger and graduated from Ranger High School.  She attended Brantley Draughon Business School in Fort Worth working on a business degree.  Duchess Gill worked in the transit and bookkeeping department at the Fort Worth National Bank.  She also worked beside her husband Gordon in their family dairy and eventually established Gill’s Angus Cattle and still has this business today.

Duchess Gill is a member of the American Angus Association and the First Baptist Church of Bellevue.

Duchess Gill has two daughters, Marcia Ann Miller and husband Gary of Vashti, and Carol Sue Dickerson and husband Bob of Plano.

Duchess Gill’s husband Gordon was born and raised in Clay County.  They both had the desire to move back to Clay County and raise their family.  They sponsored classes at school and worked to improve their community as members of the Bellevue Improvement Association.  Duchess Gill also taught sewing classes for 4-H groups in Bellevue.

Duchess Mary Lee Herrin, Byers

Representing the community of Byers is Duchess Mary Lee Herrin from the house of Warren.  She was born Aug. 11, 1923 in Byers.  Her parents were T.F. Warren and Pearl (Shields) Warren.

Duchess Herrin attended Byers Elementary School and graduated from Byers High School.  She attended Denton Teachers College receiving a teaching certificate.  She taught school at Byers High and also worked as a draftsman for Southwester Bell Telephone in Fort Worth, a draftsman for the FAA Corp of Engineer and worked in soil conservation in the Perrin field and is now retired.

Duchess Herrin married Gordon L. Herrin on Dec. 28, 1942 in Byers.  She has one daughter, Gay Agan and husband Bill of Richland Hills, and a son, Tommy L. Herrin of Plano.  She has three grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Duchess Herrin is a member of the First Baptist Church of Byers.

Duchess Glenna Janell Reese, Dean

Representing the community of Dean is Duchess Glenna Janell Reese of the house of Hughes.  She was born May 2, 1939 in Byers.  Her parents were Max and Leota (Seal) Hughes.

Duchess Reese attended Byers Grade School and graduated from Byers High School.

Duchess Reese married Bobby Lynn Reese on Oct. 2, 1962 in Byers.  Husband Bobby has served on the Nine Man Board for the Clay County Pioneer Association.  They have two children, Rodney Lynn Reese of Dean, and Angela Kay Hicks of Wichita Falls.  They have eight grandchildren.

Duchess Reese is a member of the Dean Baptist Church and sings in the choir.

Duchess Reese worked as a clerk typist at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls for nine years and was secretary for Reese Builders Hardware Company in Wichita Falls for 15 years.

Duchess Reese loves the great outdoors, fishing and camping.

Duchess Emma Lee Simons Clarihew, Shannon

Representing the community of Shannon is Emma Lee Simons Clerihew of the house of Hilburn.  She was born Nov. 19, 1930 in Shannon.  Her parents were Wesley and Nora Covington Hilburn.

Duchess Clerihew attended grade school at Shannon and graduated from Antelope High School.

Duchess Clerihew married Coy Simons in November 1946.  They were married until his death in 1992.  Duchess Clerihew married Oliver Clerihew in her home in April 1998.  Duchess Clerihew has one daughter, Sandra Liggett and husband Kenneth of Vashti.  She has nine grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.  One daughter, Tammie Richardson died in 2007.

Duchess Clerihew is a member of the Baptist Church.  She has always been a homemaker and helped her husbands wherever there was need.  Duchess Clerihew has a collection of over 3,000 Santa Clauses and has been featured in the Times Record News displaying her collection.  She opened her home for many years as Christmas for the public to enjoy.


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The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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