Museum Archivist Lisa Neely gathered photos and information from the King Ranch History Archives, to piece together the story of Kingsville's beginnings and journey to its 100th birthday. The exhibit includes photos of Captain Richard King and others whose dream of a city and a South Texas railroad was finally realized after the completion of the first successful artesian well in 1899 on King Ranch, Neely said.
traced the city's beginnings and recounted the daily lives of those working to cultivate a growing society. "The story just unfolded before me and that is how it came together," Neely
said. The exhibit documents the connection between King Ranch and the founding of Kingsville
. "I related the ranch to Kingsville
because that is why Kingsville
is here," she
said. The exhibit weaves Kingsville's past with the city that perseveres today and corrects many misconceptions that have carried on for generations. Neely began working with the King Ranch Museum in 1991 and was promoted to archivist in 1996. She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and English and earned a Master of Arts in History with minors in English and Political Science, all from Texas A&I University in Kingsville. Neely
encourages visitors to enjoy history because it is a part of everyone's daily life. "I didn't like history until I got to college," she
said. "I had Dr. Beth Baker (for a class) and she
said that Dr. Conner, who was a professor, needed someone to spend time with his
father, who was John Conner of the Conner Museum
spent time with the elderly man, who was then over 100 years old, and gained a great interest in the subject from listening to his
old stories. "I changed my major from pre-vet to history after that," she
said with a smile. Neely took a lesson from an old college professor and has made it one of her own.
"When students come in here I ask them if they like history and most say ‘no'," she
said, "so I tell them that everyday that you live, when you go to bed and wake up in the morning, the day before is a page in history." The photo exhibit will be up through the end of the year. The museum's regular hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Evans' book offers a variety of vignettes on life in Kingsville
and South Texas, particularly how the railroad influenced the history and development of the area. Evans was assisted in her project by some guest writers, including Bud Andrews, Raul Garza, Lucy Kruse, Neely
, Dr. L.E. Ramey, Bob Regan, Less Roper and Dr. Julia Smith.