Sallie & Nadine Woods To Be Featured In Historic Cemetery Tour

LIBERTY, October 2, 2014 - The Liberty County Historical Commission will hold its 2nd annual historic cemetery tour and re-enactment in the Liberty Catholic Cemetery.  “Whispers From the Past….Tales and Tours in the Liberty Catholic Cemetery” will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 25th and 26th with two tours each day at 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.  Reservations are limited and sold in advance for a $10.00 donation to the historical commission to be used for projects in historic preservation in the county.  Three prominent citizens of Liberty featured in the tour are Sallie and Nadine Woods and their mother, Gertrude LaCour Woods.  They will be portrayed by re-enactors Jackie Hartel, Jerre Delaney and Deborah Pickett.

Sallie and Nadine Woods, along with their older sister Dell, were victims of muscular dystrophy, a progressive disease which eventually took their lives.  The Liberty natives’ determination to find a cure, led them to establish the Liberty Muscular Dystrophy Research Foundation which was chartered in 1950 and was the first nationwide organization to support research to cure the crippling disease.  Prominent national and state supporters joined their cause including such dignitaries and personalities as Mrs. Dwight Eisenhower, movie stars John Wayne, President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie, Dale Evans and Roy Rogers.  Their caring friends and family in Liberty assisted them in their travels to promote the foundation work even going to Europe for an audience with Pope Paul.  They were tireless in their day to day activities to stay in contact with other muscular dystrophy victims, research doctors and benefactors.  The Woods sisters were responsible in 1960, for having the first replica of the Liberty Bell cast in London as a symbol of “Liberty from Dystrophy.”  The bell was formally dedicated at the Liberty Courthouse where movie actor John Wayne tolled the bell the first time.  The sisters and the bell traveled widely to promote the cause.  In spite of their physical challenges, the Woods sisters enjoyed entertaining in their home and were engaged in genealogical and historical research.  They compiled much of the information on the history of the Catholic Cemetery, their final resting place and that of many of their ancestors.

Their mother, Gertrude LaCour Woods was a 6th generation descendant of Nicholas LaCour who brought his family to Louisiana from France in 1705.  In 1845, her family members led the Creole immigration from the Red River Valley of Louisiana to Liberty County.
 
Join the Liberty County Historical Commission as they present, “Whispers From the Past…..Tales and Tours in the Liberty Catholic Cemetery” on October 25th and 26th and meet the Woods sisters, their mother and many interesting characters and citizens from Liberty’s past!  There will be tales of hardship, valiant struggle, love affairs, and scandal included in the history of many of the pioneers of the community.  Do not miss this popular event which was a “sell out” last year.  Tickets are reserved in advance by contacting Ticket Chair, Sandra Sterling at 936-336-3716 or email: sandrasterling35@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

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