FRANK LaRUE JR. - Farmers Branch history buff
Dallas Morning News, The (TX) - Friday, December 27, 2002
Author: RAE DeSHONG, Staff Writer
Services for Frank LaRue Jr., who helped establish the Farmers Branch Mustang
Trail, will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Carroll-Lehr Funeral Home in Athens,
Mr. LaRue, 69, died Monday of pancreatic cancer at his home in Athens. He will
be buried in Athens City Cemetery.
The police officer, who lived in Farmers Branch about 12 years, was a member of
the Farmers Branch Landmark Preservation Committee and
Colony Historical Society.
"He was very active back in the 1970s establishing historical markers throughout
Farmers Branch ," said Derrick Birdsall, the city's historical park
superintendent. "In fact, I was going through files last week, and his stack [of
correspondence] was about 6 inches."
The 9.3-mile Mustang Trail is a circular route through Farmers Branch that
passes 22 historic points beginning and ending at the city's historic park. Mr.
LaRue designed the patch that is given to people who complete the trail, said
his son Scott LaRue of Denver.
"When he died, it was like the library burning down," his son said. "I can't
believe how much stuff he got done in the years he had."
Mr. LaRue also donated Indian artifacts to the National Scouting Museum in
Irving, and he talked about his finds on recent visits to the park.
"He and a buddy went out and discovered an archaeological site right when the
interchange was going up at [Interstates] 635 and 35," Mr. Birdsall said. "He
basically found American Indian campsite remains and artifacts.
"He and his buddy would be picking stuff up, dodging construction equipment.
Now, all work halts, but it didn't then."
The history buff made a living in law enforcement, serving for more than 14
years as a police officer in Texas, working in youth services in Colorado and
Texas, and finally directing juvenile services for Henderson County.
He also worked for historical preservation in that area, which is where his
family roots lie, his son said. He was a founder of the Henderson County
Historical Society Museum in Athens and a member of the Henderson County
Mr. LaRue was a member of many more organizations, including the Farmers Branch
Lions Club, Texas Juvenile Detention Association, Texas Police Association,
Henderson County Peace Officers Association, Athens Rotary and Lions clubs, and
the East Texas Chamber of Commerce.
Survivors include another son, Michael LaRue of Philadelphia; daughter, Julia
LaRue of Denton; his mother, Dorothy LaRue of Athens; and three grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to the Wofford House, in care of the East Texas Arboretum,
P.O. Box 2231, Athens, TX 75751-2231.
Dallas Morning News - Friday 27, 2002
Submitted by Edward Lynn