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Langlinais receives Historic Preservation Award

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Photo by Judith Pannebaker
Merry Langlinais, 2015 recipient of the Historical Preservation Award, and Roy Dugosh, chairman of the Bandera County Historical Commission

Historian and author Merry Langlinais received the 2015 Bandera County Historical Commission Preservation Award. Historical Commission Chairman Roy Dugosh presented Langlinais with the prestigious award during a recent meeting of commissioners court.
A sixth generation Texan, the Medina resident has been a member of the Bandera County Historical Commission for 11 years. Her first task for the commission was to provide photographs for the historical volume, Pictorial History of Bandera County. Published in 2006, the sesquicentennial edition commemorated the county’s 150th anniversary.
Additionally, Langlinais was selected by her peers to serve as editor of the Bandera County Historical Commission “Historian” in 2010. As editor, she conducts and records interviews and oral histories of local residents. The "Historian" is published quarterly each year and Langlinais not only serves as editor for the softbound editions, but also as researcher and graphic artist.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Medina Dam, she scanned, digitized and archived century-old photos, which chronicled the dam’s construction. Developing a PowerPoint presentation that featured the historic photos, Langlinais delivered an anniversary presentation at the dam site in August 2012.
The PowerPoint “construction file” was later presented to the Frontier Times Museum in Bandera and included in the book, “History of Bandera County,” written by Museum Director Rebecca Norton and Karen Ripley of Lakehills.
Langlinais also undertook the task of scanning, digitizing and securing all historical commission materials and records previously stored at the Bandera County Public Library. Described as a “huge project for one person,” to date the digitized file has now reached 4,400 images – and the count continues. Donations from readers of the “Historian” have been used to purchase archival sheets, slips and boxes to preserve historical photographs and newspapers.
In addition to her duties maintaining the archives for the historical commission, Langlinais also serves as commission volunteer on Native American History and Culture.
Not content to remain a “dry historian,” Langlinais combined her love of history with interesting circumstances surrounding her ancestors. In 2012, she introduced her first novel, “Silenced Only by the Dawn: A Gallant Woman and Her Carpenter,” a true story about her great-grandparents, Wiley John Prickett Jr. and Addie Doughty Gates Prickett.
“Silenced Only by the Dawn” recounts the Langlinais’ family’s Southern heritage and their participation in the Civil War and opening of lands in the Indian Territory.
It also details the couple’s life in Hondo Canyon and their experiences in 1904 that included driving 400 head of angora goats 1,000 miles from Texas to northern New Mexico in a single covered wagon with eight children.
“I want to congratulate Merry Langlinais for all of her work. She does a good job and we appreciate it,” said County Judge Richard Evans when her name was announced as the 2015 Historical Preservation winner.