The leader of the Montgomery Historical Society, Duncan, was often called upon for his wisdom.

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During most of the Republic of Texas era, 1836-1846, the community of Montgomery was the county seat of an area stretching from the Brazos rivers to the Trinity rivers, from west to east and in 1840 from Spring Creek north of San Antonio Road, now essentially Texas 21. Grand was the town, a favorite site for visitors such as then President of the Republic Sam Houston and historical events in the area before. and during the Republic era were important.

It is an honor of the highest historical reputation to preside over a historical society whose roots go back to this historical period. For about a dozen years, Billy Ray Duncan occupied this coveted office in his hometown, the home of Charles Bellinger Stewart, Texas first secretary of state and officially recognized designer of the Texas Lone Star Flag.

Given the city’s historic presence, it’s no surprise that the Montgomery Historical Society has been researched as a historical source across the United States. Some examples began in 2010 when Billy Ray received a call from the president of the State History Society of Arizona who was then preparing a document to celebrate his state’s upcoming 100th anniversary. The man was looking for information on a small community called Arizona somewhere in Texas. After exhaustive research, Billy Ray discovered that the site was just northeast of Huntsville near Riverside – and on the property of his wife’s brother, Esther, also of Montgomery.

Another call led him to trace the story of a marshal of the law in the city of Carthage, north Texas (the hometown of famous country singer and Conroe radio star, Mary McCoy). These are just a few examples of Billy Ray’s service as a visiting scholar.

Locally, the Montgomery Historical Society is the essential custodian of many of the city’s historic structures. Examples include the Simonton Museum, the epicenter of historic Fernland, and the famous Nat Hart Davis Museum on Main Street, as well as adjacent and additional structures to this museum. Nat Hart Davis was a famous district judge during the Montgomery era as the backbone of the region. Some of the other structures supported by the company include the Old Baptist Church, the Post Office and Pharmacy as well as the historic Addison-Gandy House.

This is a small sample of the intrigue and excitement surrounding the presidency of the Montgomery Historical Society. This is a big business that suits Billy Ray, a 1960 Montgomery High graduate after a years-long adventure picking cotton at $ 2.50 / hundred pound, a day’s work for a young boy. Billy Ray used the money to buy his school clothes and other items, before moving to Houston for a time to work for a brokerage firm specializing in cotton.

Montgomery, history and Billy Ray Duncan, remarkable man, famous town, famous historical society, all the historical wonders of our county.

Dr. Robin Montgomery is a native of Montgomery County and historian, retired professor, author and columnist for The Courier.


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