ROWENA – It was balloons, barbecue and fanfare Saturday, July 1 when the official historical marker was unveiled and dedicated in Rowena.

ROWENA – It was balloons, barbecue and fanfare Saturday, July 1 when the official historical marker was unveiled and dedicated in Rowena.

The Texas Historical Commission officially recognized the small community and its significant contribution to Texas history the “Meet You at the Square Celebration held at the intersection of Edward and Mary streets, where the marker was unveiled.

Ruth Cooper, chairperson for the Runnels County Historical Commission, served as the mistress of ceremonies for the event.

“It was a very, very successful day,” Cooper said. “It was very special.”

Father Ariel Lagunilla offered the invocation and Commissioner Richard Strube welcomed the crowd to the event.

Cooper said that descendants of the early settlers in the community were on hand for the unveiling.

Those who participated in the unveiling included Beverly Teplicek, LeRoy Schulmann, Terry R. Neff, Marla Fisher Sklenarik, Grant Teplicek, Carle J. Wilde, Betty Zentner and Mark Zentner.

Brad Teplicek read the inscription on the marker, which tells the story of how Rowena was laid out by Paul J. Baron in 1897. The community would later be dubbed Baronsville. The Barons officially changed the name of the town to Rowena in 1904. Many of the early residents of Rowena were of Czech and German descent and as the town grew, it became a trading point for those involved in the agricultural industry. And, the marker references Rowena as the birthplace of the infamous bank robber Bonnie Parker, of the Barrow Gang.

Kathleen Howard and Allison and Norma Sharp performed several musical selections during the event. Other participants and speakers included Commissioner Richard Strube and John Multer, commander of VFW Post 9196. The benediction was offered by Wayne Walther, a Lutheran minister from Lockhart.

The ceremony ended with the release of red, white and blue balloons.

Also during the event, the Rowena Lions Club, led by Pat Lange, prepared barbecue. There was also a barbecue cook-off held to commemorate the event.