Welcome to the

Hopkins County Genealogical Society
Sulphur Springs, Texas
Where history and heritage meet.

We invite you to browse our extensive collection of Hopkins County records and consider becoming a member of our society. Our latest additions feature newspapers, maps, and a searchable probate index.

Exclusive member access unlocks a wealth of records, enriching your Hopkins County genealogy research.

HCGS is proud to be a Partner Society of the Texas State Genealogical Society.

Our library will be closed Monday to honor those who served and died and to celebrate the beginning of summer.  We will reopen on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, at 9:30 a.m.


From Hopkins County History

Sunday, October 7, 1990, page 1
By Bob Merriman [edited here by ChatGPT AI for brevity]
News-Telegram Staff
Sulphur Springs: A Safe Haven for a Bomber Crew in 1944
In the spring of 1944, amidst the chaos of World War II, a B-24 Liberator bomber made an emergency landing in Sulphur Springs during a heavy rainstorm. Gordon T. Hatcher, a gunner-photographer from Scottsboro, Alabama, recalled the harrowing experience after returning from a recent reunion in Pueblo, Colorado. The crew was on a training mission for deployment to the Southwest Pacific when they ran low on fuel and had to consider bailing out.

Their flight had started at Will Rogers Field in Oklahoma City. They flew south to the Texas coast for navigation training over the Gulf of Mexico, then landed in New Orleans due to bad weather in Oklahoma City. After attempting to return via Memphis, they found conditions had not improved and had to change course. Navigator Thomas R. Daniel, from Amarillo, set a southwest course. However, the storm spread, and the B-24 couldn’t find a landing field as fuel ran low. Eventually, they picked up a radio beacon from Sulphur Springs Municipal Airport, which then had only grass landing strips.

Pilot Howard D. Levinson decided to land the aircraft, despite the poor visibility and heavy rain. The bomber landed in a pasture, sliding across the grass until the landing gear buried in two feet of mud. The pilot used the last of the fuel to move the bomber to a hardstand. The crew notified headquarters in Oklahoma City and stayed in a local hotel on the square. Due to the muddy field and lack of fuel, the B-24 couldn’t be flown out immediately. The Army Corps sent ground transportation, and the crew’s guns and ammunition were transported back to Oklahoma City. Three men—Marty E. Zincaro, Barnard Seglin, and Leonard D. Garrity—stayed with the plane.

County Judge Joe Pogue recalled passing the landing field daily on his way to school, noting the plane’s wheels were buried in mud. The B-24 became a focal point for War Bond sales, with buyers getting tours of the plane. Once the ground dried, another crew flew the bomber back to Oklahoma City. Hatcher marveled at how the pilot managed to avoid the trees during takeoff, attributing it to the engines being revved up to full RPMs. The B-24 crew continued their duties, flying reconnaissance missions over Java, Sumatra, and the South China Sea from their base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, in the western Philippines. Hatcher mentioned that some crew members, including navigator Daniel, had since passed away.

At the squadron reunion in Colorado, Levinson took each crew member for a flight in his twin-engine airplane, a far cry from the emergency landing they once had to endure.

One-of-A-Kind Book For Sale

Compiled by Rhonda Bechhold and Carole Ann Smith, the cover is an accumulation of photos of some markers found at Mel Haven Cemetery, including veteran markers and some ornate hand-tooled markers. The book is bound using the Unibind system with clear covers allowing the front and back of the book to be seen.

The table of contents shows the progression of the work done regarding Mel Haven Cemetery. Within the 93 pages of this book is a history of the cemetery, tracing it back to the deeds of land both purchased and gifted to the cemetery. While weaving together the history of the cemetery, it was discovered that the first person buried in what became the “Colored Cemetery” was a personal servant of a local Civil War veteran. Also included are color photographs documenting “Operation Restore,” involving a clean-up of the cemetery. All the graves in Mel Haven Cemetery have been indexed, sorting the ones with markers and the ones without markers.

The price of the book is $30.00.  You may purchase it in person at at the library, by emailing hcgstx@suddenlinkmail.com or by calling HCGS at (903)885-8523. Please include an additional $5 for shipping, if applicable. Cash, Check, or PayPal payments are accepted.

Back Issues of Hopkins County Heritage

We are now offering for sale  ALL of the Hopkins County Heritage back issues on a single flash drive!! (Includes every issue from the beginning in 1984 to June 2017). Each flash drive contains two folders – one folder contains individual issue PDFs and one folder contains a single PDF of the complete set. It is word searchable so that you can easily locate surnames or search terms in any single issue or in the complete set! And travels with you easily to libraries or on research trips!

The cost is $50 (plus $4 for shipping and handling) and can be purchased by contacting  the HCGS library.

Sulphur Springs Montage

The Society was one of four Sulphur Springs locations chosen to sell the amazing new Sulphur Springs montage. It is approximately 17 1/2 inches x 22 1/2 inches.  The montage depicts businesses, events, and many historic buildings along with several early civic leaders. The artist  created it in two versions. The prints sell for $10 and the signed  & numbered Collector’s Edition sells for $100.  Please come by the HCGS library to see this beautiful work of art!

About The HCGS Research Library

Over 8,000 Titles

The HCGS Research Library houses original county records, maps, family collections, scrapbooks, 1000’s of photographs, and numerous original materials. Note, current Saturday hoursopen 2nd Saturday of each month from 9:30am to 1:00pm.

Click here for more details about the HCGS Research Library.


FamilySearch.org Affiliate Library

The HCGS Research Library is an affiliate library of the LDS in Salt Lake City, Utah, which houses millions of digitized restricted records covering most counties in the US as well as worldwide. These restricted images, viewable from our computers, allow our patrons to travel to locations and view many records including court house records such as deeds, wills, probate cases, etc. from the convenience of our HCGS library. Use their catalog to discover what records might be of interest. (FamilySearch Help Center topic 55954 helps to explain how to use their catalog.) And if your county/country of interest has not yet been digitized you can contact FamilySearch to request that they digitize specific films. You may request up to 5 rolls of films in one interaction. For specific details on how to do this by phone, chat, or email go to FamilySearch’s Help Center and view help topic 469883.

Hopkins County Texas Research Guide

Professional genealogist and former Hopkins County resident Cyndi Harlin has graciously shared her Hopkins County Texas Research Guide. This expertly created guide gives numerous tips  and areas to explore to help aid your  research in Hopkins County. Check out this useful and  beautiful booklet by clicking here.

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