orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

May 18, 2014

Local historian honored with room dedication at Vidor Public Library

VIDOR — A local woman with a penchant for history was honored Friday morning for her contributions through the years as an educator, librarian and historian.

Vidor resident Theo Houston was recognized at a special ceremony on Friday morning as the Friends of the Vidor Public Library held an open house event for the public to introduce the newest addition to the library, the Theo Houston Room.

The Theo Houston Room contains a large collection of Texas history and genealogy, especially photographs and exhibits.

Houston has always enjoyed being in the background or working behind the scenes while piecing together her extensive collection.

“I’m appreciative of everyone for this honor, but I don’t need the recognition,” said a very humble Houston. “I really enjoy doing this. The fun part for me is doing the work. The collection is not finished yet, it is a work in progress.”

Houston, who has worked as an educator at Vidor Junior High and a librarian, has always enjoyed history.

“When I was a student in school at South Park, I had three favorite subjects and those were history, journalism and art,” she said. “I taught Texas history as a teacher. As a librarian, I tried to build a Texas history collection. We started with a small room and had to expand as things grew.”

The room also contains a large amount of photographs and images of the city of Vidor, including old buildings, such as the Vidor Rural School on Old Highway 90 and the first Vidor Library, which no longer exist.

Houston, who is also a published author and has several books with photographs from early Vidor history, said there is a purpose for having this included.

“Vidor does not have any historic buildings to speak of,” Houston explained. “So, with this collection, we have tried to have something for future generations to look back at and see what Vidor was like. I’m already working on my next book, volume six, and I hope to have it out in the fall.”

According to Gayle Nagai, President of the Friends of the Vidor Public Library, the opening of the new Theo Houston Room will serve the community for years to come while recognizing Houston for her contributions to the library and the community.

“We wanted to have a place to store our extensive Texas history and genealogy collections,” Nagai said. “We wanted to be able to show it off and give people a place to see it and research information. There is a lot of information about the town of Vidor here too that people will appreciate.”

The Theo Houston Room was constructed through a grant from the Houseman Charitable Trust and a small grant from the Foundation of Southeast Texas.

Houston, as much as she enjoyed Friday’s activities, would not take all of the credit.

“Everything I have done has been with the help of Gayle Nagai and her family and Belle Eaves,” Houston said. “Those people deserve just as much of the credit.”

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