East Texas Regional Airport

An American Eagle flight, operated by Envoy, departs in January 2019 from the East Texas Regional Airport outside Longview.

The second of four new hangars at the East Texas Regional Airport will arrive soon. Meanwhile, a historical marker in downtown Gladewater is set to be moved to a new home.

Gregg County commissioners on Wednesday approved a ground lease agreement with Andrew Traylor Aviation that will allow for a new hangar to be built in the southwest area of the airport.

Also on Wednesday, commissioners voted to assist the City of Gladewater and the Gregg County Historical Museum with moving a historical marker from a downtown corner to the grounds of the Gladewater Museum.

The agreement for the new hangar is the second of its kind that commissioners have approved in recent weeks. On Dec. 14, commissioners approved a ground lease agreement with Daniel Filer that will allow Filer to build a hangar at the airport.

The new hangars are being made possible after work at the county-owned airport to install new taxiways, a perimeter road and fencing that has opened up the southwest aviation area for development.

In 2019, East Texas Regional Airport received a $1.5 million Federal Aviation Administration grant, matching locally with $150,000, to build a new taxiway at the airport.

The ground lease agreements for hangars allow other people to lease land at the airport, then they pay for the hangars to be constructed.

The agreement approved with Andrew Traylor Aviation calls for a base rent of $2,610 annually for five years. The lease can be renewed up to four successive times with each term being five years.

Regarding the historical marker, commissioners agreed to assist the Gregg County Historical Commission, City of Gladewater and the Texas Historical Commission in moving a historical marker in honor of John Ben Shepperd.

The historical marker is currently at 200 N. Main St. in downtown Gladewater, on the property of the former Capital One Bank. The bank property is now vacant and for sale, and the property is likely to be demolished in efforts to redevelop the downtown corner, according to documents provided by Elaine Roddy, director of the Gladewater Museum.

The City of Gladewater requested assistance in relocating the marker to the grounds of the Gladewater Museum, which Roddy said also houses an exhibit in honor of Shepperd.

Sheppherd, a Gladewater native, was a former state attorney general during the 1950s. In 1956, he was chosen as president of the National Association of Attorneys General and worked to restrict efforts of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Texas, according to the Texas State Historical Association.

From 1963 to 1967, Sheppherd served as chair of the Texas State Historical Survey Committee (now the Texas Historical Commission) and was a driving force in the development of the official highway historical markers program, according to the state association. He was organizing chairman of the Texas Commission for the Arts and Humanities and was appointed to three terms, on the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. In 1984, he was named Texan of the Year by the Texas Chambers of Commerce.

In 1992, the Texas Historical Commission placed historical markers on Shepperd’s gravesite and in downtown Gladewater. The state has approved moving the historical marker in downtown Gladewater to the Gladewater Museum grounds.

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