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Texas Historical Commission honors O'Connor

By Sonny Long
March 23, 2012 at 5:03 p.m.
Updated March 22, 2012 at 10:23 p.m.

Louise O'Connor, second from right, is honored Friday with a Historic Texas Lands Plaque from the Texas Historical Commission. Taking part in honoring O'Connor were, from left,  Bill Birmingham, Museum of the Coastal Bend volunteer; Jeff Durst, regional archaeologist with the Texas Historical Commission; and Kai Buckert, O'Connor ranch foreman.

MUSEUM OF THE COASTAL BEND

The mission of the Museum of the Coastal Bend is

to enhance the appreciation and enjoyment of the region's heritage. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday. To learn more, call 361-582-2511 or go to http://www.museumofthecoastalbend.org/. You can also learn more about the Historic Texas Lands Plaque at http://www.thc.state.tx.us/archeology/aaplaque.shtml.

Louise O'Connor was honored Friday by the Texas Historical Commission.

O'Connor received a Historic Texas Lands plaque for allowing archeological research on her property.

"The research efforts have contributed significantly to our knowledge of Texas' past," said Sue Prudomme, director of the Museum of the Coastal Bend, where the awards ceremony took place and where artifacts found on the O'Connor property have been curated.

The museum and the Coastal Bend Archeological Logistics team nominated O'Connor for the award.

Jeff Durst, regional archeologist for the Texas Historical Commission, made the award presentation to O'Connor.

"I am extremely pleased and honored to be here today to present this award to Louise O'Connor," Durst said. "As many of you know, Louise comes from a family of preservation minded individuals and she is obviously carrying out the family tradition."

O'Connor accepted the plaque and said, "It's an honor to be able to help in any way with the presentation of our history and archaeological artifacts.

"I also want to thank the Museum of the Coastal Bend and Bill (Birmingham), in particular, for their interest, time and energy in preserving this valuable group of artifacts. You're always welcome on my land."

Birmingham, a volunteer, is a member of the museum's archaeology laboratory staff.

O'Connor ranch foreman Kai Buckert also spoke and praised O'Connor.

"There are lots of land owners who wouldn't do what you do. You're not the first, but one of many generations and you are training the next," he said.

"From the first day on, it's been a pleasure dealing with everyone who has come out there. Thank you for taking care of the land like we all have done for many generations."

The Historic Texas Lands Plaque has previously been awarded to four Victoria County landowners - Don and Bette Burris, John and Judy Clegg, John and Sue Gibbs and John and Frances McNeill. Louise O'Connor is the fifth Victoria County landowner to receive the designation.

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