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Historian Dawes Awarded the First William Harley Gandy Award

            The Montgomery County Historical Commission is pleased to announce that Kay Lynn Dawes has been selected as the first recipient of the William Harley Gandy Distinguished Service Award.  Ms. Dawes, an active member of the East Montgomery County Historical Society, will receive this award on Tuesday morning, February 28, 2017 during the Montgomery County Commissioners Court meeting.

Courtesy Photo
Historian Kay Lynn Dawes has been selected as the
first recipient  of the William Harley Gandy
Distinguished Service Award

        The William Harley Gandy Distinguished Service Award is presented at the discretion of the County Historical Commission to individuals, corporations or organizations who exhibit distinguished leadership, initiative and dedication to the preservation of the History of Montgomery County.  The winner of the award must have shown significant accomplishments in the field of historical preservation and research. Such achievements must be notable and have made an important contribution to the preservation and/or advancement of the History of Montgomery County.

        The award is named in honor and memory of William Harley Gandy, who was appointed in 1953 as the first chairman of the Montgomery County Historical Commission.  Mr. Gandy wrote his Master’s thesis on the “History of Montgomery County, Texas” while attending the University of Houston.  This paper is considered today to be the definitive work on the history of Montgomery County.  During his lifetime, Mr. Gandy was instrumental in preserving several important historical buildings in the county.  He also was recognized for his exemplary teaching of history at both the public-school level and at Sam Houston State University.

        The County Historical Commission has selected Kay Lynn Dawes for this prestigious award because of her numerous important contributions to the preservation of the history of East Montgomery County, its communities, families and cemeteries.
From her research have come books on the histories of Splendora and Fostoria.  She is presently working on books for New Caney, Porter and Grangerland.

        Ms. Dawes is a charter member and was instrumental in the founding and organization of the East Montgomery County Historical Society. She has held many offices in the organization and is presently Vice President.  She has helped plan and organize several Confederate grave marker dedications in Montgomery and Robertson Counties.  Her love of research extends to East County family histories from which she has written two books:  The Needham Family History and the History of the Mayer Family.

        In preparing programs for the East Montgomery County Historical Society, Kay Dawes has also done extensive research on White Oak and Enloe Cemeteries which were made into books.  Her books on Presswood and Skinner cemeteries are presently being finalized.  Ms. Dawes has an extensive collection of photographs of East County which she has obtained from descendants of the area.  Using these photographs, she has developed numerous power point presentations to inform the public of the local history of East County.

        Kay Dawes is a devoted lover of history and a tireless researcher who has worked diligently to help conserve and preserve the history of East Montgomery County for future generations.  The Montgomery County Historical Commission is therefore delighted that she has been selected as the first recipient of this prestigious award.

        The award presentation ceremony will be conducted during the regular Commissioners Court meeting which begins at 9:30 am on Tuesday morning, February 28, 2017. The Commissioners Court room is located on the Fourth Floor of the Alan B. Sadler Building, at 501 North Thompson and West Phillips (Highway 105) in downtown Conroe. The public is welcome to attend the ceremony.


Larry L. Foerster, Chairman

Montgomery County Historical Commission
414 West Phillips, Suite 100, Conroe, Texas 77301


Conroe Courier
February 19, 2017
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