Discovering history: "Honor Roll" found under picture
While the adage says â€œOne manâ€™s trash is another manâ€™s treasure,â€? a recent discovery of a piece of history dating back to the early 20th century could easily change that adage to â€œOne restaurant chainâ€™s trash is the countryâ€™s treasure.â€?
Madisonâ€™s Avado Brands bought the Don Pabloâ€™s restaurant chain in the early â€˜90s and, shortly thereafter, closed the Bedford, Texas corporate office, according to Malene Marshall, Avado Brands buyer. Following the closing, the Bedford office shipped items, including dÃ©cor, from the office in Texas to Avado Brands in Madison.
Among the items shipped to Madison was a framed photograph of a Seniorita with a rough, yellowed matte behind it, placed there in an effort to make the picture appear older.
When Avado Brands held an auction last year, Jeff Sears, the companyâ€™s purchasing director bought the photograph, matte and frame. When he got the item home and took it apart, he found that the matte wasnâ€™t a matte at all. Instead, it was a patriotic-looking list of names, some with crosses next to them, titled â€œHonor Roll,â€? with stenciling of an eagle surrounded by an American flag above it. The picture had been covered by the photograph of the Seniorita, which had been glued to the front of the list to make it look like a matte.
Recognizing the potential historical significance of the list, Sears brought it back.
â€œHe brought it back to me thinking it was local vets,â€? Marshall said. â€œI didnâ€™t recognize any names. So the picture sat in car, the house, the kitchen tableâ€¦Finally. I took it to Mr. NeSmith.â€?
NeSmith, commander of Madisonâ€™s Calvin George Post 37 of the American Legion, taken aback by the find and, recognizing the fact that the item needed to be preserved as soon as possible, immediately toted the picture to Creative Mark to have it framed.
After that process was finished, NeSmith took the picture to an American Legion meeting. However, no one recognized any of the names.
NeSmithâ€™s next step was to take the picture to the Americanâ€™ Legionâ€™s historian, â€œWoodyâ€? Williams, for research.
â€œIf anyone can find anything, Woodyâ€™s the one,â€? NeSmith said.
Williams was able to go online and match the more unusual of the names on the list to years as well as a general location.
As it turns out, Williams was able to date the â€œHonor Rollâ€? back to World War I and the names back to Bexar County, the San Antonio area of Texas.
Apparently, Williams found that, at the time, all of the counties surrounding Bexar County had to report to San Antonio for processing. Because of this, it is not known where, specifically, the picture originated, but NeSmith plans to get the picture back to where it belongs.
NeSmith is traveling to San Antonio to present the â€œHonor Rollâ€? to the American Legion district commander there.
â€œI am taking it to the district commander for the American Legion in San Antonio, Texas,â€? NeSmith said. â€œHeâ€™s going to find where it goesâ€¦He will probably print the list of names and send it to posts in Texas for them to identify.â€?
NeSmith and Marshall hope that, eventually, the â€œHonor Rollâ€? will end up in the American Legion post closest to where it came from. Until then, however, the list will wait to be claimed.
At least, now, it gets its own frame.