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(The following is an account from Reporter Iva Votaw on her perspective of small-town life in Kenefick, Texas, since 1967. She quite pleasantly relates not only her personal feelings but also the cohesive spirit of Kenefick Activities Club and all that they have accomplished and continue to do since the creation of the club.)

Kenefick is a small community located five miles north of Dayton, Texas. It has beautiful little hills with lots of pine trees and you cross three little creeks if you travel to Kenefick from Dayton.

I moved to Kenefick in March of 1967. It was a quiet community with friendly neighbors and there was one little store run by Maggie Simmons and her son, Gordon and his wife, Clarabelle. Everyone knew you by your first name, and if they didn’t, they would make it a point to get to know it. We had party lines and everyone knew what was going on in the community. Sometimes, you had to wait your turn if you were on an eight-party line. I was always thankful that we didn’t have to climb up the telephone pole to make calls like they did on Green Acres.

Not too long after we moved out here, there was another store built, and it was called the Kenefick General Store, so Kenefick was starting to grow. Things were beginning to change, and several subdivisions were being built, but people still seemed to know their neighbors and passed the word if there was a need for a family. We had two children, Kevin and Karla, and they enjoyed growing up in Kenefick. As parents, we were very worried when it was time for them to start driving because by the 1980s and 90s, our little community had tripled in size and FM1008 was pretty scary at times. I checked the information on the computer on Kenefick History, and it states that we most likely have 5,000 or more people living in the area. We still do not have a Post Office.

I had people ask, “Where did Kenefick get its name?” That is a good question, and George (my husband) was reared out here and knew the answer. I had heard it before, but I looked it up and Kenefick is a family name from Ireland. Part of that family founded a railroad construction company back in the 1800s. It was in the mid-1800s, the Kenefick Construction Company ran a railroad through. We found out that years ago, there is also a Kenefick, Oklahoma. Several of George’s relatives worked on the railroad, and George was born here in Kenefick in the Section House, and Dr. E. R. Richter came out and delivered him.

I joined the Kenefick Activity Club in 1968. It was previously called the Home Demonstration Club of Texas. The original purpose of this club was to work with organizations to teach young women in rural areas homemaking and social skills. In our area, it became a group of ladies that worked together on projects and took food to those who were sick, or if there was a death in the community, they made sure the family had food and anything else they might need.

These ladies were a great inspiration to me as I had always been taught to “love my neighbor as yourself.” I felt like it was practiced often in our community and is still very much that way today. Many changes have taken place since 1968 when I joined the Activity Club. I was an active member for ten years, and then I went to work until 2003.1 have been an active member for the past 16 years. There are only four members left that were members before I went to work in 1978. Most have passed away, and a few have moved, but we still have a membership of 25, and for most meetings, we have nineteen or twenty ladies who show up each time. Sometimes, we have provided meals for three or four families in a couple of weeks, and when “Harvey” came through in 2017, our Community Building was opened up for flood victims to stay in, and there was food provided as well as blankets and other necessities.

We always begin our meetings with a prayer. We remember those who are ill, those who serve our country so that we can keep our freedom and the police who work so hard to keep us safe on a daily basis, and the firefighters who are volunteers in our community. It is wonderful to live in a small community where we share each other’s burdens and rejoice when good things happen to our friends and neighbors.

It takes one back in time to walk into one of the local stores and hear a couple of friends talking while drinking a cup of coffee and reminiscing. It makes us appreciate our community.

I always feel like it takes very little energy to smile at those we meet each day and take time to ask them, “how are things going for you” Everyone enjoys a smile and a friendly greeting.

Iva Votaw

Kenefick Activities

Club Reporter


The Liberty Rotarians are carefully adhering to guidelines for Covid-19 and encouraging everyone to shop local as often as possible. Rotarians are collaborating with other service organizations. FASOLT Board will meet virtually on Monday, April 26, 2021, at 7:00 pm. Individuals interested in Fine Arts should contact President Bonita Davis for the link.


The Fine Arts Society of Liberty Texas fosters the arts and provides scholarships to students majoring in Fine Arts in college. Each year, the Society grants scholarships to such students. The contact person for scholarships is Mrs. Christie Bean of Liberty High.


While they cannot physically meet at the City Hall, they are a closely-knit group who is a model of service for other Lions Clubs. In addition to servicing and supplying needs for the local community, Liberty Lions are always helping with various District, State and International Lions projects and charities, including the Texas Lions Camp (For disabled and diabetic children). Liberty Lions distribute American and Texas flags.


Dayton Noon Lions meet each 1st and 3rd Thursday at the Kountry Kitchen in Dayton. The group is happy to be back serving the community.


Hardin Lions used their portion of District 2-S2’s 2021Texas Winter Storm Emergency Grant to provide relief supplies to four families. The families were identified by Hardin Elementary School Nurse Kimberly Booker RN. Lions filled the bags with cleaning supplies, paper goods, household items and fresh fruit. Hardin Lions are planning special activities for both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Anyone who would like to contribute to this effort may contact Hardin Lions President Savannah Ardoin at 936-776-6427 or or Hardin Lions Secretary Bonita Davis at 936-334-9058 or


District 2-S2 and the seven counties of Lions which it represents, invites anyone interested to come and join the fun! Saturday, April 10, from 8 am -10 pm, District 2-S2 will host its District Convention at the Houston Marriott North 255 Sam Houston Parkway E, Houston Texas 77060. We would like for all of our community partners to attend as well as Lions. It will be an exciting day of entertainment, motivational speakers, awards for excellence in service, and the speakers are awesome! KOPE President Kimberly Haynes will be here from Illinois, District Governor/Dr. Javier Morales of Odessa will be a speaker, and the capstone will be Past International President Bob Corlew, who came to Liberty County during Hurricane Harvey to oversee relief efforts! District 2-S2 is looking for hard-working members who are interested in joining KOPE 2-S2 Cyber Lions Club. KOPE is community-facing, and we want to touch the world. The club will meet online and perform real-life service activities. For more information, contact District Governor Bonita Davis at

Houston Royal Oaks Lions were led by President Brandon Lam and Past President Emee Nisnisan (also a Task Force member) in a massive effort to provide relief for the 2021Texas Winter Storms. In 5 days, the club members untied to give to the survivors of an apartment complex fire in Houston. This involved shopping for needed items between and after work hours, packing food items, staying late until midnight Friday, March 5. Also, Lions often have to use their own funds or credit cards until they are reimbursed. This took amazing guidance and was aided by $4,000 from District 2-S2’s LCIF Emergency Grant. HROL also brought much of the items to complete the baskets. During this time, they were also able to help Pelican Point Assisted Living Center. This club is always ready to show the world, “Where there is a need... There is a Lion.”


Hardin Helping Hands is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Hardin Helping Hands sponsors several community-based projects, including food drives and the Students First Program, which provides new clothing and other essential needs to students in Hardin ISD several times throughout the year.