Mears, Mildred Watkins

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Mears, Mildred Watkins

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Mildred Watkins Mears (25 August 1888- 7 October 1975), known as "Minnie," was the daughter of a pioneering family who, in 1867, settled in Pidcoke Texas, a small town in Coryell County, Texas. In 1894, after the death of Mildred Mears' father, her mother, Rosa Belcher Watkins, remarried and, in 1902, the family moved to nearby Mound, Texas. In Mound, Mears' interest in the historic past of the area was nurtured, as she spent time during her childhood exploring the ruins of the old Fort Gates.

The Mears family relocated to Gatesville after Mildred Mears' step-father won a seat in the State legislature, and sold the farm in Mound. Thus, though Mears began her formal education in a one-room school in Pidcoke, she ultimately graduated valedictorian of the Gatesville High School class of 1909. After graduating from the University of Texas, Watkins returned to Gatesville to teach mathematics, a position she held from 1910 to 1925.

During World War I and World War II, Mears served as boy's basketball coach of the high school, manager of the Gatesville Chamber of Commerce, assisted the Draft Board, worked for the American Red Cross, and was a member of the U.S.O. She was also named an honorary member of Delta Kappa Gamma, a national teachers organization.

In 1936, Mears was a representative from Coryell County to the Texas State Centennial Board and later, in 1954, served as advisor to the Coryell County Centennial Council. In 1960, she wrote a historical play, "Our Christian Heritage," which was performed in the Gatesville public schools, and won an award nomination from the Valley Forge Freedom Foundation. Mears served for many years in the Gatesville Historical Society and, in 1963, published the 253-page Coryell County Scrapbook published in Waco at the Texian Press.

Mildred Watkins was married to lawyer and legislator, Thomas Robert Mears, who died in 1967.


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