An Humble Man - Texas Governors Series LbNA # 44197
|Placed Date||Oct 25 2008|
|Last Found||Apr 25 2010|
This box is missing and retired. It has been replaced with "An Humble Man - Texas Governor Series.
ROSS SHAW STERLING, the 31st governor of Texas, was born near Anahuac, Texas, in 1875. It was his fate to become governor just as the full force of the Great Depression hit Texas. He attended public schools and farmed until about 1896. He opened a feed store at Sour Lake in 1903. An entrepreneur from a young age, Sterling was founder and president of the Humble Oil and Refining Company, which was named for the Humble Field just east of the town of Humble. Humble Oil eventually became the Exxon Company. In the 1920s, he sold his interests in Humble and became a real estate developer and newspaper publisher in Houston as owner of the Houston Post. In public life, perhaps his finest achievements came as chairman of the Texas Highway Commission in 1930, where he was instrumental in the development of the highway system in Texas. In the early 20th century, very few public roads in Texas were paved, and roads took many twists and turns as they went around obstacles such as hills, trees, and boulders. Road work was backbreaking manual labor, and in most counties could only be accomplished by requiring all able-bodied young men to give several days a year for roadwork. The arrival of the automobile made better roads a necessity. The State Highway Department (now the Texas Department of Transportation) received authority to construct a state highway system in 1924. Work got underway in earnest during the Great Depression as many men were put back to work on highway construction projects. After leaving the governorship, Sterling made another fortune in oil and other businesses, and was also a noted philanthropist. He gave his La Porte home to the Houston Optimist Club for a boys' home, established a boys' camp in memory of his son, Ross Sterling, Jr., who died in 1924, and contributed $100,000 to Texas Christian University. Ross Sterling died in 1949 and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Houston.
The name of the town where this box is located can be found in the title of the box and the oil company which was founded by Ross Sterling. From Highway 59, go west on FM 1960 to Kenswick Drive and turn right. This will take you where you need to be. Park your car and walk to the Nature Center. Study the map of the park. Take the time to visit the pioneer homestead and recreated Indian village. There is also a very nice playground for the kids and canoeing is available on the creek.
To the box:
This park has not been letterbox-friendly in the past, so please donít tell anyone there that you are looking for a letterbox. From the Nature Center, head toward the rest rooms. Youíll pass them and go to the Canoe Launch Trail across the street. Youíll be looking for a trail on the left exactly .32 miles from the Nature Center that goes to a Cypress Pond Overlook. There are other cypress ponds, including one on the left about halfway that has a foot bridge that you can stand on and feed the fish or turtles. When youíre almost to the canoe launching area, youíll see the trail on your left. On the back side of the trail sign, itíll tell you that you are .32 miles from the parking lot. Take that trail a short distance and pass the overlook on your right, then duck under a magnolia tree that leans over the trail. Immediately go right to the base of that tree and look for a hollow. Thatís where youíll find the box, covered with a concrete rock and forest debris. Youíre going to need a stick to poke around in the hollow for safetyís sake. Replace the rock when youíre done to keep the box hidden and secure.