Busy Betty Oglesbee


Betty Oglesbee stays busy. Recently, the matron of the city and county — both named San Augustine — joined with others to push for a playground at the county’s Children’s Services Building. It could join a list of her successful projects through the years: restoration of the 1927 county courthouse, expansion of the public library, and construction of the city’s civic center.

Her efforts cover many decades. She and her now-deceased husband, John, started supporting the 1717 Mission Dolores site in the 1970s. This past April, she helped turn the 1919 county jail into a law enforcement museum and Texana research library.

She still deflects any praise. “After decades of being involved, I continue to be amazed at the wisdom, insight, and willingness of our East Texas citizens to move forward toward achieving positive goals in a wide variety of endeavors.”

Additionally, Oglesbee is author or co-author of 10 books and several historic plays, all based in East Texas.

“I’d say I’ve got a good idea for a new project and my husband would say, ‘Oh my gosh. What are you getting yourself into?’ Perhaps this is a perspective inherited from those first pioneers who traveled the historic El Camino Real [trail] as they entered Texas nearly 200 years ago,” she says. “I can help do the things that get things done.”

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