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Council History

The East Texas Area Council has a rich and storied history of activities and efforts that have successfully supported and influenced generations of young men and women through the Scouting program.

The East Texas Area Council was formed in 1930 through the merger of the Davy Crockett Council, the Pine Tree Council, and the Tejas Council.   The council was incorporated officially by Claude A. Williams, Secretary of the State, on March 24, 1939.   The legal name of the council is the "East Texas Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, Inc." 

Previous to 1930, there were many councils scattered throughout East Texas that made up the three that eventually evolved into the East Texas Area Council. 

The Tyler council served the city of Tyler only and was organized in 1922 with Mr. W. S. Barcus, Scout Executive.  At the close of 1922, there were ten troops with a total of two hundred twenty-two Boy Scouts.  In 1924, it increased to a three-county area and operated under the name of Kickapoo Council. Harry B. Wiles was Scout Executive in 1924.  This Council ceased to operate in 1925.

The Pine Tree council centered around Marshall, Texas, was organized in 1927 with W. D. Bryan as Scout Executive.   He served in this position until 1931.   H.F. Donnelley was Scout Executive until 1930. 

The Davy Crockett council was a merger in 1929 between limestone-Freestone county and Tr-An-Le-Ho council.  The Tr-An-Le-Ho council was organized in 1927 and was composed of Trinity, Houston, Leon, and Anderson counties.  Mr. Edmonds Knittle was Scout Executive until 1930. 

In 1927, the Limestone Council at Mexia was expanded to include Freestone county.  Mr. A. C. Williamson became Scout Executive and served in that capacity until it merged with the Tr-An-Le-Ho council in 1929.

The Tejas council with headquarters in Nacogdoches included five counties (1928).  Later that same year it expanded to include three additional counties.  The organization meeting for this council was quite an occasion because Dr. James E. West, Chief Scout Executive, National Council, Boy Scouts of America, was present as were Scout officials from Dallas, Houston and other areas.  When the application for council charter was presented to Dr. West it set forth the name of the council as the James E. West Council.  However, the application subsequently was returned by the national council with the request that another name be selected because of the policy against naming a council for a living person.  Dr. H. C. Tinney became Scout Executive of the Council in 1928 and served through 1929.  W. A. Zischang became Scout Executive in 1929 and served until 1930 when he resigned and was replaced with Mr. H. F. Donnelley.

The Region Nine report for 1930 states that in that year the Davy Crockett, Pine Tree and Tejas councils were merged and the East Texas Area Council was thus formed.  H. F. Donnelley who had just become Scout Executive  of the Tejas council stayed on for a few months as Scout Executive  before being named the Scout Executive of a council with headquarters in Cushing,Oklahoma.  The council office was in Marshall and remained there until it was moved to Tyler in 1933.

In 1933, there were sixteen counties that made up the East Texas Area Council.  On December 31 of that year, there were forty troops, eight hundred four Boy Scouts and one hundred ninety-eight   volunteer Scouters.  The council owned a camp namedCamp Kiwanis located near Rusk.

In 1939, Camp Tonkawa was officially opened.  "JC" Underwood became Scout Executive.

In 1947, money was raised and Camp Kennedy was built and officially opened.  The camp was designed to serve the African-American young men that lived within the East Texas Area Council.

The East Texas Boy Scout Foundation idea came about in 1947.  Records reveal that the East Texas Boy Scout Foundation was chartered by the State of Texas on May 15, 1948, by Mr. Kirk R. Mallony, Assistant Secretary of State.

In 1957, land was purchased as well as additional land leased for the purpose of building a new camp on the banks of LakeMurvall near Carthage.  In 1962 and 1963, a capital campaign was conducted for the purpose of building the camp. Robert Cargill served a Campaign Chair.

In 1960, a new Council office building was erected.  The East Texas Boy Scout Foundation owns the building and therefore is trustee of it.  Keep in mind, however, that the East Texas Boy Scout Foundation is a part of the East Texas Area Council.

In May 1966, "JC" Underwood retired as Scout Executive of the East Texas Area Council after having served twenty-seven years in that capacity.  Charles I. Lanham became Scout Executive of the East Texas Area Council on July 1, 1966.

In 1970, 100 acres was added to the George W. Pirtle Scout Reservation through the generosity of George W. Pirtle.

Homer M. "Smokey" Eggers became Scout Executive of the East Texas Area Council on October 1, 1971.

In 1972, the council Exploring division, was established.

In 1973, the E. A. Nelson Activity Center was constructed at the George W. Pirtle Scout Reservation.  The first Council Wood Badge Course, SC-1, was held and the first Troop Leadership Development Course.

In 1975, Don Adkins became Scout Executive of the Council.  The self-service center was built

In 1978.  Four-hundred acre was added to the Pirtle Scout Reservation.  The Family Camping Center was developed in 1981.  The Wood Badge Training Center was also developed and built.

In 1982, a camp site for Scouters with disabilities was dedicated.

In 1983, Dick Austin became Scout Executive.

In 1990, Myron Rosebrook became Scout Executive.

In 1997, Mike Ballew became Scout Executive.

In 2013, Dewayne Stephens became Scout Executive.