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In the early days of Scouting there were no councils for troops to charter with. They had to correspond with the National office for all their needs including chartering. Troops were active in this West Texas area since 1910. They had difficulty staying alive as there was no one to come help them when they lost their leader. They had to organize their own summer camps and had to order their books, badges and uniforms from the National office.
But help was on the way. By January 1, 1920, an office was set up in Dallas and designated as Region 9 with Jim Fitch as its Regional Executive, a job he held for twenty-six years. There were three states in Region 9, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico with fifteen councils and fifteen executives, 853 Boy Scout troops and 19,126 Boy Scouts. Over half of the troops were located in rural communities not covered by the fifteen councils that existed at that time. The job of organizing councils in West Texas was begun now that there was a person with the knowledge of the Scouting organization and the ability to get the job done..
At that time there were only two short paved roads in the three states, all the rest were dirt roads. During rainy weather it was almost impossible to travel on these roads by car so the train was the means of travel in those early days. Most hotels, except in the largest cities, still had a pitcher and bowl in each room for washing and still had outdoor plumbing. The trains in the area ran only once a day each way. Local towns were not interested in the communities around them, only in their own community. So town, county and district councils were organized.
In the early twenties, the second class council, run entirely by volunteers, was organized along with first class councils, run by a paid executive. There were town councils, county councils and district councils. Area Councils, which encompassed more than one county, came into being also. Councils, of any form, were not organized in West Texas until the twenties except for a brief council in Midland, Texas in 1913. This is the story of those councils and when they got started. Some did not survive the depression and merged to form larger Councils.
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Last Updated: June 12, 2004
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