PaperCity Magazine

Round Top_June 2021

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families. On July 4, 1851, Round Top hosted its first Fourth of July parade, with Hamilton Ledbetter as grand marshal. This red, white, and blue tradition has never missed a year since its inception, including the years of the Civil War. One hundred and seventy years later Round Top's celebration is recognized as the longest continuously running Fourth of July parade west of the Mississippi. Tales from the Past In 1873, the men of Round Top, celebrating good marksmanship, organized a shooting club, the Round Top Schützen Verein. Between 1881 and 1882, German craftsmen built the Rifle Association Hall. Basic hand- held tools were used to erect the foundation, which was held together by wooden slotted pegs. The club's constitution was formally adopted in 1888. Today, the Round Top Rifle Association — housed in a century- old German-style dance hall dating from 1912 — hosts celebrations, including the popular post-Fourth of July barbeque buffet lunch. In 1885, Edward Henkel donated land across from the Town Square for the construction of a wooden courthouse. That building burned in 1924, and a new one was constructed in 1925 in the middle of Town Square, where it stands today. Ten years later, a group of women organized the Do Your Duty club — known as DYD — to beautify the courthouse square and raise money for special projects. DYD even bought the first fire truck for the town. Across from the courthouse is Henkel Square, which boasts two original buildings: the Apothecary Shop (built in 1888, currently the retail stop Wimberly) and Henkel House (now Royers Pie Haven). All who know Round Top recognize the importance of the Festival Institute to this small community. No other rural area in the United States is home to such a place. Miss Ima Hogg, James Dick, and Faith Bybee, 1973 Concord Missionary Baptist Church and School with teacher Madison Knotts, circa 1900 Edward Henkel, circa 1880-1890 Round Top, pre-automobile 63

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