History of the Dumas Noon Lions Club from members handbook.
The Dumas Noon Lions Club, who sponsor and operate the Dumas Dogie Days, are the senior civic club in Moore County, tracing their roots back to 1930. For over five decades the active club has operated Dumas Dogie Days, the largest annual Moore County, Texas celebration, which has grown tremendously over its history. Profits from this activity fund a long list of Lions programs as well as local Moore County charities. The club has grown, along with its largest project, and is now recognized as the 5th largest Lions Club in the International Lions Organization with 230 members in 2015. It truly is a club with a tradition of spirit and action. The number of members were quite smaller when the Dumas Lions met for the first time on August 27, 1930… with 23 members listed. The noon luncheon meeting was held in the Butler Cafe, the Lions' home for several years. Julius Weidling, a Dumas real estate dealer, was the first president. Noel McDade, was the first vice president. Gayle Crigler was the secretary/treasurer. H.A. McHenry, the Tail-Twister, and I.E. Walker the Lion Tamer. Directors were Bob Powell, K.A. McAdams, and Floyd Elliott. There were 33 members by the time the club's charter night banquet was held on September 29, 1930. Lion’s delegations from Amarillo, Dalhart, Stratford, and Spearman attended the gala affair. It was the social event of 1930. Charter members included are as follows: R.C. Anthony, Wiley Fox, R.E. Ponce, B.E. Bard, S.H. Haile, Walter Powell, M.A. Brown, A.F. Harvey, Bob Powell, Lucian Burnett, Charles Jameson, K.A. McAdams, J.H. Butler, E.W. Kimbill, Noel McDade, V.R. Crabtree, George E. Lewis, Rev. H.A. McHenry, Gayle Crigler, E.S. Makeig, F.W. Reid, Guy Dillingham, Ralph W. Miller, M.A. Turner, Charles W. Divelbiss, J.V. Mills, E.E. Walker, Floyd Elliot, A.E. Moore, abd Julius Weidling
Charter night, incidentally, came three days after Dumas residents voted 78 to 2 to incorporate the city. The year 1930 saw a number of major advances in the small village that was growing into a town. Lions District Governor, Sam Braswell Clarendon publisher, headed up the charter night program, also held at the Butler Café. President Potter Underwood of the Amarillo Lions was on the program along with the presidents of Lions Clubs at Stratford, Spearman, and Dalhart. There were singing groups from the Amarillo and Dalhart Lions, along with singers from the Dumas schools. Vice President McDade welcomed the visitors to Dumas and President Wielding accepted the club's charter in a short talk. The next week the Dumas Lions were into another civic project... sponsoring a citywide cleanup of the newly incorporated City of Dumas with some 640 residents. This was the first of hundreds of public programs in which the Dumas Noon Lions has figured in 68 years in Moore County, TX and with the International Lions. President Weldling, an enthusiastic civic booster, also was an accomplished pianist, able to liven up meetings with his skill. Mr. and Mrs. Tom Mills was an early musical program for the club, he on the violin, and Mrs. Mills playing the guitar. The weekly meetings, then as now, furnished a forum for public projects. An October 1930 meeting had Dumas school growth and needs explained by Supt. J.W. Reid, a longtime club member. At another, a discussion centered on the city's muddy streets... the newly incorporated city had no paving and few streets were even graded. Boss Lion Weidling proposed that the club sponsor a lighted Christmas tree for the holiday season. They did even more than this...Christmas week the Lions erected a large tree at Dumas Avenue and Andrews Street, (now Seventh Street), along with strands of lights out from this intersection. The club was well underway when the Depression came in force, and activities were suspended. The simple cost of dining out and club membership dues were too much for many members and the club took a hiatus during the hardest days of the Depression. The Dumas Noon Lions Club were reinstated by 1937, when Ed Berg was president, and has grown steadily since. For a time, they met at the old First Christian Church building in west Dumas. The women of the Church prepared and served the weekly meal.
The basement of the old Masonic Hall on Eighth Street, just south of the courthouse served as a meeting place for a couple of years during World War II. Shortly after the war, the ambitious club acquired a surplus army barracks and moved it into Morton Park, apparently with an agreement with the City of Dumas that the building serve as something of a community center. Both the Boy and Girl Scouts had part of the large frame building as a regular meeting place.
In the 1950's the club acquired a special membership chairman. Mrs. Ruth Beck, who for some 25 years prepared and served the Dumas Noon Lions with their weekly family style luncheon that, was a highlight of the member's week, and a diet-buster. Membership grew steadily to its present 230 plus, helped during the first 25 years by Mrs. Beck's ample servings and a expanding program of civic work.
The Dumas Noon Lions picked up a long-standing, but intermittent pioneer celebration called the "Old Settler's Reunion and Rodeo" that was renamed Dumas Dogie Days in 1946 by Lion Mutt McMurry. A "Dogie" is a motherless calf, pronounced "Dough-gee", like in the phrase, "Get along little dogie." This celebration grew with the club's active management and with members assuming special duties for the event, particularly during Dogie Days week. Then, as they now do, Dumas Noon Lions erected a midway, ran games and concession stands, and manned the traditional Dogie Days Barbecue.
The stupendous outdoor feed, held for many years on the courthouse square, has served up to 10,000 persons, most of them with tickets bought in advance. The tickets also give holders an opportunity to win a new automobile or pickup truck, a major feature of the annual event.
The old barracks building served the club well for some 20 years, but was replaced in 1968 with a new and modern brick structure at 6th and Porter.
The club first acquired an old building and site on Dumas Avenue, the former Hazel's Cafeteria building. When this site increased in value in the 1960's, it was sold for enough profit to acquire debt-free, the 6th & Porter tract, a quarter of a block. A special monthly membership assessment was made for years to build a fund for the building, apart from the substantial Dogie Days earnings which are earmarked for over two dozen Dumas Noon Lions charities and programs.
The proud new building was completed in 1968 and Boss Lion, Bill Spann, longtime Dumas Demon football coach, was the first president to serve in it. The building's meeting hall is used frequently for other community functions. The Dumas Noon Lions had another major change in 1977, when Dogie Days were moved from the courthouse square to McDade Park in south Dumas. Another event, which was met with much controversy, began in Lions International in the mid 1980's...the question of whether to accept women as Lions Club members. This issue was finally decided in a U.S. Supreme Court case brought about by women trying to enter Rotary International. The Supreme Court ruled that service clubs could not discriminate on the basis of sex and as a result of this ruling, Lions International voted to open membership to women. Delia Trexler, who had served the Dumas Noon Lions Club as a paid bookkeeper and assistant secretary for many years, was admitted and installed as a full-fledged member on July 6, 1987. Her sponsor was Wayne Smith, immediate past president of that year. The "new" Dumas Noon Lions Club building came full circle on November 15, 1988, when Boss Lion John Grist and Treasurer Bart Templeton lit a match to the 20-year note for the building. Ironically, less than 30 days later, work began to completely remodel the kitchen area, located in the north end of the building. When this project was finally completed (the work was done between December 15, 1988 and January 17, 1989) the cost almost matched the entire cost of the original building...such is the price of progress! The Dumas Noon Lions Club use funds generated from Dogie Days and other fund raisers for the preceding projects. Lions are quick to emphasize none of the funds they make from Dogie Days or other projects are used for building additions or improvements. The Lions Motto... "WE SERVE"...means just that to Dumas Noon Lions members and with the continued support of the Dumas community, will keep on providing aid to those less fortunate and serving our community.