Remembering Ozona's History 7/6/23

by Lizzie Bassett

Remembering Ozona’s history

Ozona—Even as we work for the day and plan for the future, it can be good to take a moment and remember yesterday.

25 years ago…

The official opening of West Texas Rehab Center (WTRC ) took place on June 23, 1998. During the opening ceremonies, the facility was dedicated by WTRC president/CEO Jim Pethis. The center served physical therapy patients.

The ceremony was attended by many, including Oscar Kost, Rob Whitesides, Jan Van Shoubrouek, Lee Pfluger, Lefty Walker, Billie Proctor-Shaw, Jeffrey Sutton, Jo Davidson, Kelly Jackson, Dick Kirby, Shirley Kirby, and Marla De La Rosa, seen in the photo.

The week of July 1, basketball player Amber Tarr led the South All-Stars to victory in a 75-62 South win. Tarr, the senior class of ‘98 valedictorian at OHS, was instrumental in turning the game in her team’s favor, scoring 10 total points.

50 years ago…

A historical marker honoring the ghost town of Emerald was installed on June 26, 1973. Mr. Truett Latimer, executive director of the TSHSC, led the dedication ceremony. Many Ozona residents are descended from Emerald families.

Mattie Noyes Roach, a Crockett county pioneer, wrote of the “good Texas Climate” Emerald and Ozona offered. The marker is located at the Circle Bar Truckstop and reads, “Emerald Townsite, the first platted town in Crockett County.”

On the weekend of June 29-July 1, the undefeated Ozona National Bankers won their 12th straight game, also winning the county Little League championship. Many members of the team were selected to play on the county all-star team in Sonora on July 16.

The team included players Freddie Garza, Kelly Buckner, Jeffrey Young, Wade Beasley, Kim Tambunga, Jeff Hill, Danny Sewell, Shane Fenton, P, G. Fikes, and Thomas Parker, as well as coach Johnny Meyers and manager Jamie Pagan.

In 1973, construction began to be cleared for the path of Interstate 10 through Ozona. The demolition route included many buildings along 14th Street, including Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Lockett Pool, Powell Field, and the Little League park.

100 years ago…

July 4-6, one of the first Ozona independence celebrations took place; its size rivaling all those of local towns. The celebration included goat, calf and rabbit roping contests, horse racing, and three baseball games between Ozona and Rocksprings.

Ozona July