WINTERS - Randall Conner, a long time member of the Runnels County Historical Commission, was presented with the Distinguished Service Award during the second annual awards dinner held Saturday, July 29 at the Rock Hotel.

WINTERS - Randall Conner, a long time member of the Runnels County Historical Commission, was presented with the Distinguished Service Award during the second annual awards dinner held Saturday, July 29 at the Rock Hotel.

Conner who serves as vice chairperson for the RCHC, has worked on many historical projects, including the three volumes on Runnels County history about local schools, historical markers and the organization of the county. Conner has also been active in founding local museums such as the Z.I. Hale Museum and is currently working with the Southwest Collection on preserving editions of the Winters Enterprise, which was consolidated in to the Runnels County Register in January.

Runnels County Judge Barry Hilliard presented the award to Conner during the second annual Runnels County Historical Commission Awards Dinner.

Conner said receiving the award was "quite a surprise."

Members welcomed Tai Kreidler, deputy director of the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library of Texas Tech University as the guest speaker for the event. Kreidler is also the executive director of the West Texas Historical Association.

During the event, Kreidler presented the history of John Hittson, who was a Runnels County cattleman in the 1880s. He lived in the settlement of Picketville, located just outside of Ballinger on what is now Highway 67 and was known to be the first settlement in Runnels County circa 1862. According to the presentation, Hittson was known to have kept his cattle in the “picket fenced” settlement.

Chairperson Ruth Cooper and the Runnels County Historical Commission were the inaugural recipients of the West Texas Historical Association’s R.C. Crane Heritage Service Award for outstanding work in the preservation of cultural heritage.

Others who attended the event included Precinct 1 Commissioner Bobby Moore and wife Paula, Precinct 3 Commissioner Roy Mints and wife Marilyn, Runnels County Clerk Julia Miller as well as RCHC Reporter Beverly Teplicek and Dr. James Hays, Anthony Lange, Linda Duggan, Sally Spill, Wanda Brewer, Thomas and Judy Eaves and Cherry Luedtke. J’Lynn Cooper served as the photographer for the event.