Most council offices, in the very early days of Scout Councils, were either free or rented at a very low cost. They usually consisted of one or two rooms as they only had the paid professional in the office. Later, as they employed additional men, and even a secretary or two, as the council grew and expanded its services, so did the need for office space. They began to build their own offices, or remodeled a building they bought or was donated to them, to better fit their needs. This is the story of some of offices of the Comanche Trail Council.
The Comanche Trail Council office has been located in several different places over the years. We know that the Scout office for the Oil Belt Council was located in Eastland in the Chamber of Commerce building and a “desk space office” was maintained in each of the Chamber of Commerce offices in the council.
offices of the Pecan Valley Council was located in 1928 in the old
American Legion Hall located in the basement of the Brown County
Courthouse. The Comanche Trail Council, following the merger of the
two councils, was for many years in the same place as the rent was
free. The office served the purposes of the council until the very early
50's The space became too small for their expanding staff, so they
rented space at 500 E. Depot and moved there. Pictured above is A.
R. Hochhalter standing in front of the outside entrance to the basement
office. The space is now used for storage of courthouse records.
The council office was moved near where the Brownwood Bulletin office is now and behind the Adams Street Community Center at 500 E. Depot sometime between 1950 and 1951. They, along with the Girl Scouts, rented space from the Red Cross. It was an old two story building. The office had to move in February 1965 to 409 E. Lee St. when the Red Cross decided to sell its property rather than stand the expense of moving the building to a new location.
The Council stayed in the building on Lee St. from 1965 until March 1967when they had to move once again because of the impending demolition of the building that they were in. This time they rented their new office space from Smith Bell at 807-B Center Street. They remained at this place until they built their new office on East Adams. The new office was the first office that was built specifically for use as a Scout office and designed with all the features that were needed.
The present office, located at 602 East Adams, was built in 1980 and occupied in November 1980. The land is leased from the city for fifty years at $1 per year. The office cost $104,826 to build and was built while Eldon Sehnert was Scout Executive.
The council received $25,000, from the will of Cecelia Low Garten, for the purpose of building a new office building. They saved the money in a bank account, and after three years the United Way was asking questions about why they had not used the money in the operating budget. So they thought they had best use the money to build an office.
The council had been looking for a site for the office for sometime when someone recommended a block of land, which belonged to the city, located across the street from the Adams Street Community Center and just a couple of blocks from their present location. The Brown County Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Comanche Trail Council went together on the project.
Architects James Orr and Jeff Adams, Scouters of Brownwood, drew up the plans for the buildings as a donation. They designed an eye-catching geometric design for the two buildings which were connected by a breezeway.
W. O. Kelcy and Son Paving Contractors Company donated several days of work to clear the block. Title work for the site was donated by the Conner Scott of Brown County Abstract Company. The land was surveyed by King Land Company and the general contractor was Waldrop Construction Company.
An open house was held by both the Red Cross and Boy Scouts in the new building on Sunday, February 8, 1981. Troop 39 of Stephenville did the flag ceremony and mothers of Brownwood’s Troop 22 furnished the refreshments. George Crews and B. C. Drinkard were responsible for gathering up most of the money for the building. Crews served as Master of Ceremonies at the open house.
An official BSA Scout Shop was added to the office in August 1991. For the first time, the Council could now sell Scout uniforms and camping equipment along with the badges and literature they had in stock. Since that time the Council has doubled the amount of merchandise it keeps on hand for units, leaders and boys.
The Comanche Trail Council consolidated with the Chisholm Trail Council on January 1, 2003, to form the Texas Trails Council. The headquarters for the new council is in Abilene in the former Chisholm Trail Council office. Then the Comanche Trail Council office served as a branch office of the Texas Trail Council. A Trading Post clerk and the Senior District Executive for the Kickapoo District worked out of this branch office until the Texas Trails Council closed the Trading Post part of the office in December of 2004 and let the clerk go.
In 2007, the Texas Trail Council closed the office and turned the building over to the City of Brownwood with a quitclaim deed on April 23, 2007, being as they did not own the land and could not sell the building. Since that time, the buiding has been vacant, except that the Pecan Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross stores their emergency supplies in the former garage. Because of a serious mold problem, due to the council not fixing the roof, the City of Brownwood has decided to soon tear the building down as they are unable to use it as it is and it is too expensive to repair.
At noon, September 4, 2009,
the City of Brownwood demlished the Scout office down to the slab.
Updated: September 4, 2009