|As part of the former
Centennial Celebration of the Boy Scouts of America in 2010, an effort
was made on this website to document the first Scout Troop in each community
in Texas. Several Troops, over the years have claimed that they were
the "First Troop West of the Mississippi," or the "First Troop in Texas,"
and most certainly the first troop in their county or community, the longest
registered active troop in their council, etc. Being as the Boy Scouts
of America do not keep records of all these "firsts," nor in many cases
did the troops actually registered with the Boy Scouts of America, we have
no way of documenting who was first, second or third for that matter.
The only attempt that we have made, here on these web pages, is to try and document some of these early troops. In many cases they were just a patrol or two, and some did not last very long. We do want to give them credit for being one of the possible earliest troops in their community in the State of Texas. Now, we know that some troops were organized prior to 1910, the year that the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated, but we have no record of these troops and whether or not they got their charter from England, Baden-Powell or whoever. There are many claims, but few documents to determine who they were and when they actually were "chartered," vs just being "organized."
Many, if not most of the early troops in Texas, were organized by the Y.M.C.A. (Young Men's Christian Association), who were big players in getting these Troops going as part of their program. Local Rotary Clubs were another big player. And, of course, there were many other national organizations that started Scouting in the United States, a few in Texas. Among these were the "American Boy Scouts," started by William R. Hearst, later changed to "United States Boy Scout;" "Boy Scouts of the United States," organized by the National Highway Association; the "National Scouts of America," organized by Col. William Verbeck, principal of a Military School at Manlius, N.Y.; "Peace Scouts of California;" the "Y.M.C.A Scouts;" "Polish National Alliance Scouts of Chicago;" and the "Rhode Island Boy Scouts."
In addition to Scout Troops, Lone Scout Tribes were organized. The Lone Scout division of the Boy Scouts of America was utilized by the scout movement in reaching the rural boys and those city boys who, for any reason, could not join a troop. In this way many isolated boys were being reached by the scouting program formerly devoted entirely to the cities.
So, with that in mind, here is what we have been able to document at this time on the possible first Boy Scout troop in communities in Texas. We are open to others sending us additional information, with documentation of course, be it a newspaper story in their local community, a church history, a county history, actual copy of their charter, registration card or in rare cases, memories of the boys who were in that first troop. My e-mail address is found at the bottom of the front page of this website at:
Let me hear from you! With over 294 communities now identified, we have arranged them alphabetical so you can check on a specific community in Texas. Look at the three photos in 1910!
We have also arranged these troops by years and by the dates, if we knew them, in order they were started. You can see how communities embraced Scouting as the years rolled by in Texas. At the present time, we are going to stop at the end of 1930, twenty years after the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated. The Lone Scout Tribes are listed separately.