Texas Gulf Sulphur Rushing War Work

Article from the
Houston Post
from the Charles Brower collection

By Morris Frank

NEWGULF, March 17,1943 –Sp-

Down here at Newgulf and Boling where the gulf coast breezes blow, the winds are not only whispering but they are shouting bad tidings for Adolf Hitler and his gang. For the war effort here is roaring like a storm.

I recently spent a swell visit with the Texas Gulf Sulphur company here, which is the winner of an Army-Navy "E" award and is indeed playing a great part in the war effort.

You know, all of us can remember when sulphur and molasses used to be the favorite cure for colds or most any ailments and while I didn’t locate any molasses here, I did find plenty of sulphur—and it’s going a big way toward curing any ailments Uncle Sam might have.

Sulphur has many vital uses in the war effort and by far the greatest percentage of the sulphur here is directly for war work.

In addition to the direct war contributions of sulphur, the employees here are really burning things up in the purchase of war bonds while the prided Texas Gulf Sulphur Company Honor roll looms high like a sulphur mound.

The workers here live at Newgulf and Boling and a great family spirit prevails. Boling you know, is town that has produced those classy football teams, and Virgil Eikenberg, the Rice football star, hails from Boling—or at least he was a Boling boy when broke off on those touchdown runs. If he fumbled, the Boling folks said he was from Newgulf.

The Texas Gulf Sulphur company, of course, has proof of its great war effort with its Army-Navy "E" award, and the workers here are really bearing down to see that the stars will be added to the award.

I truly found the war effort going full swing in this Army-Navy "E" stronghold from the hard working, affable general manager, H. E. Treichler, to my old friend, H. L. (Pee-Wee) Brown, who is affable, anyway.

Pee-Wee Brown is the old semipro shortstop and when I saw that "E" button on Pee-Wee, I thought it stood for errors. He used to make so many, playing shortstop. But seriously, there are no errors in the war effort as far as these good folks down here are concerned and one look at the war bond box score proves that, and no kidding.

The thriving employees, in addition to garnering the Army-Navy "E", have also made it possible obtain the Minute-Man War Bonds flag. The bought well over 11 percent of payroll deductions last year, but you ain’t heard nothing yet.

For so far, in 1943, the employees here have put more than 15 percent of their earnings in war bonds, and if that isn’t a mark to shoot at, well, It’ll do until a better target is provided.

While the substantial Newgulf-Boling area might not have as many people as New York, still if some of the big city fathers supplied sons for the army in the same ratio these workers have, there would soon be a standing army of about 10 billion men or so.

A few of these families together have enough sons in the army almost to make a regiment by themselves.

For example. Pedro Sloss, a war worker here, has six sons in the armed forces. C. F. Cone has five, Marcos Reyna has four, L. A. Parra has four and Francisco Diaz, three.

Then the fathers with two sons battling for Uncle Sam are also plenty plentiful, if you might use that phrase. My old friend C. A. McGuire, the office manager, has two boys in the armed forces, as have C. R. Armstrong, L. A. Barr. Pedro Carranco, C. L. Cook Sr., S. A. Cortez, George DeLeon, K. M. Haggard, T. C. Hester, E. F. Mason, J. W. Norell, L. L. O’Neal Sr., William D. Pack, F. J. Rehak, L. L. Rudloff, M. C. Sansing, and George Schwebel.

Barbecue Passed Up

You know, I had always bragged about the size of the East Texas families, but when I discovered how many boys these folks had raised, I didn’t have much to say about the cornbread-and-pepper-sauce belt for once.

By the way, there is one worker here, Marcrana Ybarra, who is the father of 15 children. He doesn’t need a radio for noise around his home, does he?

But, speaking of cornbread and pepper sauce, to show you how all-out in the war effort the loyal folks here are, the employees voted to dispense with their annual barbecue and turned over the money, $2000, to the army-navy relief.

The boys here say that the heavy eaters as the 250-pound Levi Vincent and Earl Johnson should be given the Distinguished Service Cross for this attainment, as well as they love to eat.

This is a great football stronghold and they recount with pride the achievenents of the Boling football stars, and proud indeed are they of the one-time gridsters who are the oval for Uncle Sam these days.

Stars in Army Now

The likeable Jerry Sadler, the former Boling High football mentor, is now in the marines, as is the assistant mentor, popular Melvin Reimer.

And among the former Boling grid aces who are now dealing the deuce and worse to the Axis are George Hevener, G. G. Savage, Elmer Hill, L. L. O’Neal Jr., Jesse C. Cox Jr., and Preston (Huck) Holcomb. And besides there are at least four sets of brothers, all former Boling football stars, who are now pasting the Axis in double doses.

The brothers are Roy Shafer, one of Boling’s greatest backs, and his brother, Clinton Shafer: Joe Nevil Cook, classy center, and his brother Arthur Roy Cook, and the Schwebel brothers, Lee and Shelby, who have been in the thick of the action at Midway and elsewhere. John Norrell and Bill Norrell are another brother twain spilling the Axis.

With all the football coaches gone Boling High nevertheless won’t have to worry about the coaching angle.

For some of the greatest masterminds of the bleachers that I have ever known redound in this friendly little city.

Finds Armchair Members

Not to mention the widely known and popular Harry (Pint) Webb, the Texas Gulf Sulphur company executive assistant, who coached the Texas Longhorns every year up until the T. C. U. game. I found such great armchair mentors here as G. C. (Slim) Brown, a World War veteran, Green Savage and F. L. Rider.

If they could have a chat with MacArthur and give him the same advice they used to shout at Coach Jerry Sadler from the grandstand, they’d be drawing up the peace treaty right now - for the war would be over.

There are lots of sportsmen here at Newgulf and Boling - perhaps that’s why they lay it on the line so freely for war bonds and shove in all the chips on the war effort- for they don’t hold anything back in this enterprising place toward getting the job done.

Red Cross Active

The Red Cross chapter is very active in Newgulf and Boling. Mrs. C. S. Ferguson is the chairman, Mrs. J. W. Schwab is vice chairman. Mrs. J. W. Simon is in charge of material and Mrs Guy T. McBride is the chief instructor of the bandage course.

The boys here say that the Red Cross, which is doing a swell job, can bandage anything in this area but Catfish Tiner’s lip.

The popular Catfish, one of the most widely known baseball players to ever perform in these parts, is back at Newgulf after being in the army. The age limit got him. The loquacious Catfish has come back with more bear stories than Davy Crockett ever thought of and while Davy Crockett might have slung a rifle over one shoulder he wasn’t near as good at slinging the conversation over both shoulders as the one and only Catfish.

Finds Many Baseball Players

When the baseball fans read that even Catfish is working hard here, you can truly understand why the Texas Gulf Sulphur company received that Navy E.

Not only Catfish, but many others of the old time ball players who back in 1928 represented Newgulf so spiritedly in the Gulf Coast league are doing a fine job of war work so that the United Nations pennant will wave forever.

All kidding aside, also working hard is my old friend, Pee-Wee Brown, who comes from Ty Cobb’s home town in Georgia. Pee-Wee previously admits that lots of people ask about Cobb ALSO when they come through his home town.

Among the former diamond greats now taking their cuts for Uncle Sam in the great war effort here are Lee Crews, Chick Churchill, the old catcher, Pitcher Bill Pyle, and Outfielder Lender Buller and Phil Krause.

Fast Ones for Adolf

Krause could go and get that rock as the ball players say, but when it came to hitting that curve ball, well it is doubtful if the genial Phil could hit a sulphur mound if it curved the least bit.

However, not only the ballplayers but everyone in this spic and span community is doing their doggondest to curve Adolf and his gang. In addition to sending a great number of boys to fight all over the world for the United Nations and besides a great showing in the war bond drive along with its Red Cross and other activities, Newgulf-Boling residents are also raising food for victory, for victory gardening is evident on every vacant lot in these parts.

I just wonder though, if one of the quickest ways to dig ups the victory gardens would be to let Ed Sloan and Al Glidden do their digging with a mashie. The dirt would really fly in all directions then, and no fooling.

Has Fine Golf Course

Newgulf has a handsome golf course and such linksmen as Pint Webb, Chris Elliott, Steve O’Connor and W. A. Edmundson have brought home lots of trophies from golf meets- and I am not referring to bottled-in-bond trophies this time either.

In fact from my pleasant visit here, I am convinced that these good folks just about win in any undertaking they set out for, and that certainly includes the important war effort by a decisive margin. They are top fishermen here too, as evidenced by the "verbal" catches of R. T. Smith and Aubrey Bedford.

When it comes to conversationalists or "barbers" as wont to say, Newgulf also ranks at the top along that line. Forgiving the peerless Catfish Tiner a close call for laurels are such master word dispensers as Joe Thibodeaux, Destie Dubois, and Bill Genzer. Then there’s Ben Wooley who used to tell the big leaguer, Dickie Kerr, how to manage the ball team.

And when and if they should pause for breath, there are Charley Fulton a great football coach in his own name: M. C. Reed, Allen Gilbeaux and Doug Deshotels to take up the slack. And Jim Ater and Jack Hester aren’t what you would call strong, silent men, either. They’re just strong.

Finds Fishermen, Hunters

This is truly a great gang of folks here and they can do as much work, catch as many fish, and kill as many deer as any gang you ever saw in your life. Such other fishermen and hunters as Vic Watkins, Doc Drenner, Pat Kain, Assistant Manager H. A. Swem, George Riser, and C. S. Ferguson can catch enough fish and kill enough deer at one meeting at the general store here (without a fish hook or a gun in sight, of course) to feed the United Nations and then have enough to load every cold storage plant in America.

And no joking, just like they work or play, the Newgulf-Boling boys are fighting just as hard. In every branch of the service are the representatives of Newgulf’s prided honor roll. Among the many gone to war from this plant are Capt. Charley Drees, First Lieut. M. D. (Windy) Winchester , and Ens. V. B. Dorne.

Women Are Active

In the office you find a close tie-up in the war effort as you talk to the women workers. For example, the pleasant telephone operator, Mrs. J. D. Ater, has a son in the service. Then there’s Mrs. A. H. Kelly, Mrs. Harley Eikenberg and Mrs. E. O. Mason, all with husbands in the sevice. And in the Houston office of the Texas Gulf Sulphur company is Mrs. Loraine D. Guess whose husband is also off to war. Mrs. Guess is secretary to the executive assistant.

I had a great visit in this fine industrial center, where such a great war effort is being put forth, and it doesn’t take long to see that the army-navy "E" is truly deserved.

I had a swell luncheon at the fine lodge here too, with Mr. McGuire and Mr. Ferguson. I figured all the time, though, that I was going to get a free meal because if I hadn’t received another invite I was going to tell those ardent Texas Longhorn rooters, George Vick and Bill Orr, that the reason Texas won the conference last fall was because of the coaching that Jackie Field, the star Texas back received from them while he worked here at Newgulf a couple of summers ago.

Finds Old Pals

The field manager here, by the way, is F. M. Nelson and the traffic manager is F. J. Latter, and things are really rolling, too.

Of course while I was here I didn’t want to miss any sights in the office, such as brunet stenographer, Miss Ethel Clements, so I chatted with all the girls. Another office worker is Miss Annie Belle Franz, who has a brother in the marines, Miss Muta Serrill, who represented the employees when the presentation of the $2000 to army-navy war relief was made, also has a brother in the marines.

I ran into some old East Texas pals here, Dorsey Page and R. K. Gilbert from Jacksonville, while the war bond director is my old friend, H. W. Mecklenburg, who I used to know many years ago in Lufkin.

I know that somebody is having to figure up those percentages for my old pal, H. W., but anyway when you think about what Newgulf-Boling is doing in the war effort, with its army-navy "E" award, its 15.5 per cent participation in the war bonds so far this year, its large number of fighting men battling for all of us on foreign fields and its contributions along every line-you realize it’s all more than can ever be figured on any one slate.

And while I don’t know much about arithmetic, I do know that as we used to say around the corner drug store, Newgulf-Boling to put it in plain figures, is accomplishing a whole h—l of a lot, and I bet if Adolf knew about it, he’d turn yellower than the color of any sulphur mound, and no fooling.