Louise Hagood

Louise Hagood stands November 2014 at the downtown plaza next to the clock she donated in her husband’s memory.

Known for her love of history and of Paris, Louise Wimberly Hagood died Friday at the age of 99 years and eight months.

“Paris has a lot of history, and it deserves to be remembered,” the much loved civic leader said in April shortly after her 99th birthday, an occasion recognized by Paris City Council with a proclamation in her honor, which noted her long service to the community.

“I often say Paris is the center of the universe,” she said in April. “I love it here, and I wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else.”

Hagood served on the committee to rewrite the Paris City Charter in 2007 and has served on other city boards and commissions in addition to 10 years on the Lamar County Appraisal District Board, serving as the only female member.

Born April 20, 1920, in Houston, she moved to Paris in 1948 with her late husband, Thomas M. Hagood Jr., and taught history at Paris High School for 22 years, retiring in 1982. After her husband’s death in 2008, Hagood placed a 15-foot tall Verdin street clock on the eastern side of the Plaza in his memory.

“Everyone downtown knows the exact time because of her gift to the city of the Hagood clock,” Lamar County Historical Commission Chairman Suzy Harper said. “We will always be grateful for her contributions and support.”

For many years, Hagood served on the Lamar County Historical Commission, writing applications for state historical markers as well as penning several local histories.

“Louise was a valued member of our historical community,” Harper said, noting she was responsible for the Texas Historical Marker for the cotton press, located at the corner of 1st SW and Brame streets. “She wrote histories of the Central National Road of the Republic of Texas and historic Fitzhugh Street.”

She also wrote an application commemorating the 1916 Paris fire and an application for the historical marker at Central Presbyterian Church, where she attended regularly. She served as volunteer treasurer of Central Presbyterian Day School for 44 years, a role she continued until her death.

Long-time friend and fellow church member, Pat Bassano, said Hagood was respected as an educator and dedicated church member.

“She appreciated the history of Lamar County, and was always a valuable source in making important decisions. Her input and leadership has made a positive impact in our area,” he said.

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at mary.madewell@theparisnews.com.

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