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In the News

Tony Widner, President
Covered wagon museum exhibit
Shannon Plowman Potts, Treasurer

We’re in the News!

The Young County Museum of History and Culture [YCMHC] is one of 15 museums that make up the Regional Museum Alliance [RMA], based in Wichita Falls. The YCMHC does not officially have a home yet but does house many of the museum’s artifacts in the old Radford Wholesale Grocery and Warehouse in Graham, Texas.

Tony Widner, president of the Board for the YCMHC and Shannon Potts, Board treasurer gave a tour and interview about the new museum. Widner and Potts have been the key backers in getting the museum plans going and are the driving force in propelling the museum into a place to learn all things about Young County history.

According to Widner and Potts, the museum is currently housed in Radford Wholesale Grocery Store and is more than 100 years old. It has a rich history all its own. Widner says the railroad tracks ran directly behind the grocery store and offers deliveries of all the groceries and goods for the entire region. Grocers would come from all over to pick up their orders at the Radford Grocer. The location houses a great many artifacts and is under consideration to permanently house the museum. Currently, the place is only open to tour by special appointment.

Widner and Potts said the museum’s goal is to focus on Young County history and later add in local artists’ work. In addition, the duo says they want to shine a brief light on all the other museums in Young County to pique visitors’ interest and then send them to the museums located in other towns in the county to learn more in-depth about that town’s history.

Potts said, “We were told to start small, which is very wise. So, we’re starting small with the stories, and as we get the stories out, we’re hoping to get more to exhibit. We also want to tell how Young County got started and the industries in Young County, such as ranching, farming, oil and gas. There are so many stories to tell in those alone.”

The museum is a 501(c)(3) and is still in the planning and developing phase. The board hopes to have the main website up soon. The website will help build excitement for the museum to come and attract donors and volunteers.

Widner explained a little more about where the museum was at as far as planning and the focus of the museum.

“We still are working on our master plan. Right now, the strategic plan is getting everybody interested in the history part to make them want more and then with that. We’re also looking at putting together a mobile museum to take it all to Newcastle and other towns. Loving impacts this [Mobile Museum] with some of the people in loving, they’re wanting to give us some of their stuff from their community center because they’re going to be doing some changes there. We can take it around to all the places so that everybody in Young County will see what has happened here. You know I’ve been to Tombstone Deadwood Cheyenne. A lot of these western towns and have one story. They have one or two groups of people that they have told the story over and over.”

Young County has a rich history with many, many stories to tell, according to Widner. To learn more about the YCMHC, please visit their Facebook page at, Young County Museum of History and Culture.

Story by Will Sadler | Photojournalist
Published 9 September 2021