Walter D. Wilkerson, Jr., MD
Montgomery County Republican Party
Never was the Montgomery County Republican Headquarters in Conroe more important than in the 2018 General election campaign as evidenced by the hundreds of visitors and the distribution of thousands Republican candidate yard signs, push cards and door hangers. This was just one gauge of the interest in the election and the subsequent mid-term election voter turnout which totaled only 29,296 votes fewer than the record 2016 General election turnout of 359,050. The Headquarters Committee under the leadership of Dorothy Woodall has recruited almost 60 volunteers, mostly Republican Women members, to man the Headquarters five days a week from 9AM to 5PM, except for holidays. She would welcome anyone interested in serving as a Headquarters Volunteer. Contact her at 936-597-6625.
Beginning in 1962, the Party operated a campaign Headquarters only during campaign season, but a fulltime site was opened in 1965, following the successful Headquarters operation during the 1964 presidential campaign. The decision was made to open a small Headquarters in the State Hotel, located in downtown Conroe on Collins (now Metcalf) Street, owned and operated by Dr. Paul Hicks, Sr.. Later the Norman Imler family, one of the few declared Republicans in the County, took over the hotel operation. The hotel was built by Dr. Hicks in 1931, during the oil boom in Montgomery County. The Party recognized that the Democrats already had a Headquarters, “known as the Courthouse”. In the solid one-party county it was not unusual to see Democrat campaign signs on office walls in the courthouse.
”Republican Headquarters” sign was proudly hung over the entrance after some delay when no sign painter would agree to paint such a sign. The same sign now hangs from the ceiling of the present Headquarters as a reminder of the tenacity and dedication of those brave enough to call themselves Republicans during the 1960s and 1970s. After the hotel discontinued business operations in 1993, the Party added the lobby space adjacent to the room that served as the Headquarters. This allowed space for meetings and receptions and houses the seven-foot paper Mache elephant built by Republican Women, known as “Miss Ellie”. During a complete renovation in 2010, a connecting entrance between the old Headquarters space and the lobby area was constructed. The old Headquarters space was converted to a business office that houses computer operations. A small room adjacent to the lobby space now houses an archival library that presently contains thousands of political items dating back to 1950. Librarian Alice Melancon leads this project. She would welcome anyone who would like to assist her. Contact her at 713-410-4399.
The Headquarters has now become known as the center of Republican activities. Both Republicans as well all voters desiring election information have benefited from this active site.