The Duncan Banner

September 15, 2013

Velma collecting pieces of its past for museum

Mike Smith
The Duncan Banner

VELMA — VELMA — The town is off to a good start collecting pictures and pieces of its past to be put on display at Town Hall and perhaps someday in a Velma museum.

The Town Council has designated September as Velma History Month and as part of that, people have been asked to bring anything related to Velma’s past to Town Hall. Some folks have obliged.

“We have lots of photos and a lot of articles about the town,” said Mayor Shawn Enloe. “There is a lot of significant history here. I grew up here in the 1980s and I’ve seen a lot change in just that time.”

Enloe said any documents or items brought in would only be on loan to Town Hall and could be returned anytime. He said copies of any articles or documents will be made for future keeping.

He said the historical pieces would entail the whole Velma “community,” which he says includes nearby Alma and even Loco to the south in Stephens County.

According to the late Donald Scott, a longtime Velma resident and historian, some members of the Dragoons — an elite corps under command of Brigadier Gen. Henry Leavenworth — camped near present day Velma in 1834 on a mission to visit plains Indians.

A store was built in the area in the 1880s and a post office was established in 1886 and named Velma after Velma Dobbins, the daughter of a man who had once operated the store.

There’s a lot more history in between and since then, of course, and room to display more at Town Hall.

“We have people coming in every day,” Enloe said. “If it’s something that picks up we might look to make something permanent out of it. We would have to find another location, obviously ... or it might something we can add on to Town Hall someday.”

Questions can be answered by visiting Town Hall or calling at 580-444-3393.