The Frankston Citizen — Year 2007 in Review

It started with the clean-up from a rare winter tornado in Poynor.

It saw water over the Lake Palestine spillway for the first time since 2005.

It ended with a new Long Range Study Committee looking at Frankston school facilities for a possible bond election in the future.

It was the year 2007, by any standards a most eventful time in the history of the Frankston area. Here’s a quick look back:


The year 2007 began with Poynor cleaning up after the tornado that tore through the town on Dec. 29. The twister damaged a number of houses along Hwy. 175 and ripped into a neighborhood, destroyed several structures, and uprooted trees, but no one was killed by the off-season winds as a number of heroic acts were recorded by area citizens.

During the Poynor tornado, the City of Frankston attempted to set off its alarm sirens only to have one of two sirens unable to sound the alarm, and that got city officials planning to fix that problem.

The storms also weakened the land under the historic Milner Grist Mill in Poynor, and on Jan. 15, it slipped into the creek as residents worried it might be lost forever.

The Texas Department of Transportation announced that the widening of Hwy. 155 south of Frankston would begin in the fall.

The City of Frankston realized in January that it no longer had a contract animal control officer and began considering options to find another one.

Larry and Norma Paxton purchased the Lake Palestine Campground and renamed it the Lake Palestine Resort with plans to upgrade the facility.

As a very rainy year started, Lake Palestine flowed over its spillway on Jan. 15 for the first time since Aug. 25, 2005.


After coaching basketball for 41 years with 19 in Frankston, Robert Loper noted his 400th win in a game against Malakoff.

Joe Beard of Smokey Joe’s Kidd Jones convenience store in LaRue chased off burglars with the aid of his dog named Dog, and it turned out to be connected with a burglary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Lodge in Frankston and others in the Tyler area.

After an upset of touted New Boston, the Frankston Indian varsity boys’ basketball team finally lost in the regional quarter finals to Arp.


Coach Les Rhea won the “biggest loser” weight contest at Fankston High School.

The Neches School Board called a $5.25 million bond election to build a new elementary school to replace the 70-year-old one currently being used.

Terry and Billie Bacon opened their new 7-B Ranch Restaurant in downtown Frankston.


The last dairy farm in Anderson County was closed by Travis Brown. The dairy farm had operated off County Road 320 since his father started dairy farming in 1954. It was the last of nine dairy farms in the county.

Taylor Kirkpatrick, 11, of Frankston began his quest to win a spot on ABC Television’s Extreme Home Makeover program. The youth needed to widen doors in his home for his wheelchair.

Fires had a big impact on the Frankston area in late April. The landmark restaurant, Coffee Landing, on Lake Palestine burned to the ground in the early morning hours of April 25. Fire also destroyed the Bo Fail family residence at 599 Weldon.


The fire that destroyed Coffee Landing Restaurant was ruled accidental by the Smith County Fire Marshall’s Office, and owner Tony Herrington said he would not rebuild the facility because of his age.

Darin Wood was named the new pastor at First Baptist Church of Frankston. He and his wife, Julie, moved to Frankston and took over duties at the church in June.

The United Methodist Church of  Frankston opened Rainbow House at the corner of Main and Welborn Streets across from its Family Life Center. Rainbow House provides a community-based food pantry.

A monument unveiled at the baseball park in Berryville honored Louis Chalk for his years of volunteer work at the baseball park.

In the May elections, two incumbents won reelection to the Frankston School Board. They were Junior Mascorro and Joe N. Reed II. The newcomer who won a seat on the board was Ali Atwood.

Neches voters approved the selling of $5.25 million in bonds to build a new elementary school in the Neches Independent School District. The vote was 152 for the bonds, and 41 against.

Incumbents also won in the City of Coffee City election. Voted back on the council were Betty Gaile Davis and Henry L. Thirkill.

Honor graduates at Frankston High School were Lo’Renda Hill, Trey Mascorro and Adam Moore, while LaPoynor’s top graduates were Daniel Gibbins and Stephanie Hutchins.


Masonic Lodge 312 in Frankston hosted its first annual Rally on the Square for antique automobiles.

The Parks Board to operate the Berryville Baseball Fields (the Lenore Berry Memorial Park) was reorganized and headed by Britt Bacon. Mark Chalk was vice president, and Paige Krajca was serving as secretary-treasurer.

Tommy Sharp Sr., owner of Sharps Auto Body in Poynor, pulls the historic Milner gristmill out of the creek and onto dry land where it can perhaps someday be restored to grind again.

The City of Frankston receives a $250,000 grant from Texas Community Development to upgrade sewer facilities on the southeast side of the community.

The City of Berryville also received a $250,000 grant to work on its city water system.


Oscar “Cheetah” Burks opened a youth center on County Road 307 near Wofford Cemetery. He named it Eastside Center since it was located in the old Eastside Elementary School.

Marc and JoAnn Hanna closed the old Poynor General Store on July 4th after it had been many kinds of businesses for almost a century. The building was first a bank opened in 1914.

Wes Wood, originally from Athens, became the new principal at LaPoynor High School. Trent Cook became principal at Neches High School.


Lake Palestine Resort announces that it will construct a 4,000 square foot float-in café and store on the water’s edge near the Hwy. 155 south bridge on Lake Palestine.

Frankston and LaPoynor schools change to an eight-period school day.


Work begins on the widening of Hwy. 155 south of Frankston to connect with the already four-lane road some 10 miles south of town.

Frankston City Secretary Laura Griffith resigned to accept a post as business manager of the Frankston Independent School District replacing Larry Weesner, who will retire in January.

Father Joseph Ezharath, a native of India, became the first resident priest of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Frankston.

The City of Frankston installed a new warning siren system that officials said can be heard all over the city area in case of a storm and can be set off remotely by police or firemen. The old system was to be installed in Berryville.


Clayton Carnes Emily Bizzell became Little Mister and Little Miss Square Fair.

Jan Hamilton was named city secretary for the City of Frankston.

Shawnee Elliott and Kelton Baxter were named homecoming queen and king at Frankston High School as Square Fair draws hundreds of people to the downtown Frankston park.

The Frankston High School Maidens volleyball team went undefeated in District 20AA competition to win district and win bi-district before losing in the first round of the regional tournament.


The Frankston High School Indian football team becomes co-district champions and advances to the state playoffs before losing to Elysian Fields at the Tomato Bowl in Jacksonville.

Keith Bristow and Bob Palmer announce that they will open Poynor Road House (formerly Judy’s) in Poynor early in 2008.

The Frankston Independent School District forms a Long Range Planning Committee to study facility needs of the schools. The committee elects Jerry Beard as its chairman and recommends that a professional facilities study be conducted by the Texas Association of School Administrators.

A group based out of the First Baptist Church of Frankston begins “Mission Frankston,” an effort to repair and rebuild homes of needy families in this area. One of the first houses redone was the one for Taylor Kirkpatrick across from the Berryville City Hall.


A men’s auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Chapter 5073 of Frankston is organized by Rick Miller and Tom Grayson.

Four new homes built in Berryville with Housing and Urban Development grants are opened in December.

Joe and Mary Beard announce that they will reopen Smokey Joe’s Hickory House Barbecue on Hwy. 155 North in Frankston in February. The couple had been running the LaRue convenience store, called Smokey Joe’s Kidd Jones. The LaRue store was to be closed at the end of December.

The City of Frankston’s efforts to have a contract animal control officer faced starting over again when the person who had been schooled for the job apparently decided not to do it.