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History of E. K. Fawcett
Erasmus Keyes (E. K.) Fawcett was born at the F. T. Scott plantation in Kemper County, Mississippi on June 15,1865.
The family moved to Gonzales County Texas in January of 1867. In September and December of 1867 his parents died.
His sister Brancie who later married John W. Carson raised him. His brother Frank then took over E. K’. s upbringing and became his legal guardian.
At age of seventeen years he obtained work with Richardson and Ames driving a herd of sheep to West Texas. Arriving at the mouth of Dolan Creek on Devils River at 12:00 midnight on July 24,1883. Making his home in a cave nearby for several months before building a log cabin above the mouth of Dolan Creek. His bosses left him shortly and he stayed there and took little salary and preferred to be paid in sheep thus starting his livestock and ranching enterprise.
He accumulated approximately 70,000 acres in his lifetime. In December of 1902 he married Francis Eliza Baker and they raised six children at the ranch.
E.K. as people called him was very interested in a new organization known as the Boy Scouts of America and was very instrumental in obtaining this camp, which was named after him. He served as president of the Southwest Council and was vice president of the Concho Valley Council at the time of his passing. One of his favorite pastimes was to attend every summer session at Camp Fawcett to camp with "HIS BOYS" (his referral to Boy Scouts). A tent for the president would be erected and a large sign that read "E. K. FAWCETT, PRESIDENT, SOUTHWEST TEXAS COUNCIL" would be placed before the tent.
E. K. Fawcett was one of the great Scouters of the Southwest Council and the Concho Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America. He served not only as President of the Southwest Council for six years, but served as Vice-President and Camping Chairman of the Concho Valley Council.
E. K. Fawcett passed away on September 21,1941, lying in state at his home in Del Rio with honor guards of Boy Scouts standing at his casket. On the trip to Westlawn Cemetery there were uniformed Scouts at every intersection standing at attention saluting as he passed. On his head stone are carved the Boy Scout badge and the Silver Beaver Award.
History of Camp Fawcett:
The below information on the history of Camp Fawcett was accumulated over time by and is posted on his website titled ‘West Texas Scouting History' http://www.westtexasscoutinghistory.net
The compiler has a long history with Camp Fawcett first serving as Camp and Program Director for over 16 years and later as Field Director with the Concho Valley Council.
We would like to thank this website for graciously allowing us use information from his website.
Camp Fawcett was the summer camp for the old Southwest Texas Council, head quartered in Uvalde, Texas. This camp later became one of the summer camps of the Concho Valley Council and was used by them until 1996. Summer camp was again held at Camp Fawcett starting in the summer of 2001.
Early in 1928, at the 3rd Annual meeting of the Southwest Texas Council, President George E. Love explained to the council the need for the council to have its own property for a campsite and that a temporary site would by needed for the coming summer. He appointed a committee composed of I. Q. McCorkle, A. B. Ewing, both of Del Rio; A. F. Smyth, Uvalde and W. L. Guyler, of Eagle Pass to select a temporary campsite for the summer and report back to H. B. Palmer, Scout Executive.
J. Q. McCorkle, Chairman of the committee, made the report of the campsite location committee to the board on March 20, 1928. He stated that a site on the Nueces river, one mile from Barksdale and forty-seven miles northwest of Uvalde on the Rocksprings Highway, had been selected, as this site met most of the twenty-one requirements of the National Office.
The people of Barksdale offered the site to the council for a summer camp without charge, and they had offered their cooperation in every way possible to make the camp a success. He added that the camp would be above high water, in a beautiful pecan grove with two fine swimming holes within a short distance of the camp.
A well was to be dug on the site by the folks of the community for the Scouts. Upon hearing the report of the committee, the board voted to have the summer camp between August 1-7, 1928, and that the name of the camp be "Camp Fawcett on the Nueces."
One hundred and fifty boys spent a week at the camp. K. N. Clapp of Lubbock ran the waterfront and Chief Red Eagle of Roswell, New Mexico, who had helped out at Camp Cypress the year before, was there to assist. H. B. Palmer, Scout Executive, was the Camp Director. An ex-army cook, and his corps of assistants provided the meals for the camp.
At the end of the week of camp, 1,500 attended a picnic there on August 7. Their regular quarterly meeting of the Council Executive Board was held at the camp on the same day as the picnic.
At the meeting of the Council Executive Board on August 7, V. A. Brown, chairman of the Boy Scouts and Camp Fire Girls' Locating Committee of the Rocksprings Chamber of Commerce, expressed the sentiments of Edwards County to contribute freely to the purchase of the present site of 380 acres at $20.00 per acre, the money to be raised in the ten counties of the council. He stated that one hundred acres across the highway could easily be sold and that a thirty-day option on the tract had already been obtained.
The board granted him 30 days in which to report on the purchase of the land. Brown placed $500 in escrow and had a contract drawn to send to the owners for a purchase price of $8,500, and which the Edwards County Chamber of Commerce would deed to these organizations as soon as the necessary papers could be drawn.
On Friday, January 31, 1930, at the Council's Fourth Annual Business Meeting, the council voted to close the deed for the Camp Fawcett property. Mayor V. A. Brown, mayor of Rocksprings and chairman of the Fawcett finance committee, reported that they were only $250 short of the needed money for the camp, but that he had assurance from the Del Rio Merchants that the additional money would be raised. The purchase price of the camp was $6,000 cash plus $50 for Abstract and $150 in attorney fees. Present for this meeting, in addition to the board, was Charles N. Miller of the Boy Scouts of America, New York; J. P. Fitch, Dallas, Regional Scout Executive; and H. B. Palmer, local Scout Executive. E. K. Fawcett chaired the meeting.
The summer camp was held during the week of August 4-14, 1930. That summer camp well had curbed the 32-foot deep and concrete topped to prevent contamination and a Fuller and Johnson engine had been installed to pump water from the well. The sanitary system had been installed and housed.
The first permanent building was completed in time for camp that same summer. A mess hall forty by twenty feet was built with a sixteen by twenty-eight foot kitchen and a storeroom. The mess hall was built of reinforced concrete, railroad timbers, and covered with corrugated iron along with tables and shelving. The kitchen was screened, but the mess hall was not. (The concrete floor for the dining hall was poured in July 1931. The neighbors and the men and boys furnished the unskilled labor from Buffalo Trail Council, Sweetwater, Texas, who helped with the concrete in return for use of the camp that summer. The floor finishers and the carpenter agreed to work for $1.50 per day. The original dining hall is still in use today.)
At the August 12, 1930, Executive Board Meeting, held at Camp Fawcett during summer camp, the board approved naming the dining hall as the "V. A. Brown Hall" in honor of Brown's efforts in obtaining the camp property. The camp fee was $8.00, or $1.00 per day. The first two days of the summer camp were set aside for camp leader training and the following eight days for the Scouts.
Pictured at left E. K. Fawcett and V. A. Brown.
C. E. Daly, nearest camp neighbor, offered his services to the board without charge to serve as property custodian and grounds keeper of the campsite. He was appointed by the board with the authority to protect the buildings and trees and to prevent any misuse of the campsite that would reflect on the Scout program. Mr. Daly was commissioned as a member of the council and was urged to use the road through the campsite in going and coming from the highway, in order to watch the property. He was to receive his instructions from President Fawcett and the Scout Executive.
The camp received electricity in time for summer camp in 1946. This allowed them to have refrigeration facilities. They also got new mess hall benches, tents, showers and a new road leading into camp. They had four weeks of camp that summer starting on June 2, 1946.
Summer camp was held at Camp Fawcett every summer from 1928 through 1996. The camp was not held from 1997 to 2000 as the summer camp program was held only at Camp Sol Mayer.
The summer camp program was once again held at Camp Fawcett in 2001. There was a total of 276 Scouts in the camp with 97 from other councils. Summer camp was held again at Camp Fawcett in 2002. The reason summer camp was held at Camp Fawcett these two years was because the electrical costs were too high at Sol Mayer.
Also, after Boy Scout Camp, they held two sessions of Cub Residence Camp in 2002. The camp was again not used for summer camp after 2002.
In 2012 a group of volunteers met with the council board to present a proposal to hold back to back summer camps at Camp Sol Mayer and Camp Fawcett with different programs that would complement the council’s scouting program.
After review the council board felt that due to the economics of a loss of $40k at CSM for summer camp of 2012 they did not wish to financially expose the council to more losses.
These volunteers went back to the council board with a financial benefactor that would guarantee the council “no monetary loss” should one occur for Camp Fawcett summer camp of 2013, provided these volunteers managed all aspects of summer camp under BSA rules and guidelines. The board agreed.
In June of 2013 summer camp was held with a 138 scouts, plus adults attending. All food was cooked in camp since the V. A. Brown Mess Hall kitchen was not up to code. Jim Maxiner was Camp Director and Humberto Torres, Jr. was Program Director, both of Uvalde. This summer camp provided a net profit to the council of near $9,000.00
Camp Fawcett Donors
J. L. Love
Susan M. Yeargan
J. K. & Betty Finegan
Duane A. Strother
John Keyes Finegan
Ernst & Julius Graw