The Publisher Desk: Lois Henson's remarkable story of the Corner Lot

Recently I had the opportunity to interview Lois Henson.

It was such a pleasure — she has this great legacy in Dublin and so many interesting stories (read hers and many others in the Leading Ladies section in the Oct. 18, 2018 edition, Section C.) I couldn’t fit them all in. 

I wanted to share, in particular, the story of the Corner Lot.  

After she told me about how the community came together to help her after the shop burned down, she said Dublin stepped in again to help with a big project — the Corner Lot. 

Henson and Donna Hightower were Chamber of Commerce board members in 1996 when, walking down Blackjack Street, they were looking at the debris of a building that had burned down 20 years earlier but had been left untouched. 

“Before St. Patrick’s that year we made a tiny plant display as a message — something’s going to happen here,” Henson said. 

It wasn’t hard, she said, to mobilize the community to start volunteering work, plants and plans to what would become the Corner Lot. 

“There are too many helpers to name,” she said. ‘This community just helps.” 

When Henson and others decided it would be best to purchase the lot, the owner — a Stephenville lawyer — put up some obstacles. 

“He told us to get out or pay $50,000,” she said. 

The group was able to raise $30,000 but struggled to make the remaining amount. 

“That’s when Billy Kloster came to the rescue.” 

He offered to pay the $20,000 remaining if he could put a swinging Pretty Peggy Pepper on the Corner Lot. 

The Corner Lot Gang agreed. 

The Texas Department of Transportation required the group to name the park after something Dr Pepper in order to put a Pretty Peggy in, so they named it Pretty Peggy Pepper Park. 

After all these years, Henson is glad to report the lot is basically complete. 

“The trees are big, the pond it bubbling — it’s mostly finished now, other than maintenance,” she said. 
Maintenance, and some help repairing the gazebo is needed. For those interested in helping, reach out to Henson and the Corner Lot Gang.
 
Scott Dykowski is the publisher of the Dublin Citizen and can be reached at 445-2515 and publisher@dublincitizen.com.

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