Margaret Lorine Jones
Lorine Jones Lewis was the first president of
the La Retama Club. She was the eldest daughter of Woman’s Monday Club
member and third president,
Lou Ella Jones, and W. W. Jones. She
spent her childhood in both Corpus Christi and San Antonio, and received her
formal education in Staunton, Virginia. Lorine married Marshall Spoonts of
Forth Worth in 1907 and lived there until his death in 1923. Then Lorine
returned to Corpus Christi and remained until 1940 when she married Frank
Lewis of San Antonio.
Throughout her life, Lorine was very active in
club and civic work. She was president of the Corpus Christi Chamber of
Commerce from 1927 to 1928. At that time she was the only woman president
of a chamber of commerce in the nation. She was a charter member of
the Texas A&I University Board of Trustees (now Texas A&M University-
Kingsville) for 30 years, beginning in 1929. The woman’s dormitory, Lewis
Hall, bears her name. She founded the Junior Assistance Club of
Corpus Christi in 1937, which eventually became the Junior League of
Corpus Christi in 1944. Lorine gave the organization free office space in
the Nueces Hotel, which her family owned until 1961. In 1937 Lorine donated
her father’s home at 511 South Upper Broadway to the City of Corpus Christi
to house the La Retama Library. The library stayed in that location
until 1955, when it moved to the former city hall building on Mesquite
Street. Lorine was a member of the Order De Piñeda and a founder of the
Corpus Christi Symphony. Along with her sister, Kathleen, she owned
and operated the Jones Ranch in Jim Hogg County. She served as director of
the Corpus Christi National Bank until her death at the age of 77 on January
Lorine was a member of the Order
De Piñeda, and a founder of the Corpus Christi Symphony. Also, she served
as director of the Corpus Christi National Bank until her death, and along
with her sister, Kathleen, owned and operated the Jones Ranch in Jim Hogg
County. Lorine Jones Lewis died at the age of 77 on January 5, 1963.
Kathleen Jones Alexander was the president of the La Retama Club at the
inception of the La Retama Library project in 1909. She was the daughter of
Woman’s Monday Club member and third
Lou Ella Jones, and W. W. Jones.
Kathleen was married to Lee Blanchette from 1911 until his death in 1921,
Clarence McElroy Hocker from 1927 until his death in 1937, and Donald
Alexander from 1945 until his death in 1959.
Kathleen returned to Corpus Christi after finishing her college education,
she was elected president of the La Retama Club. Her college experiences
had filled her with progressive ideas for Corpus Christi. Mary Carroll said
years later: It was not long till Kathleen’s ambitions awakened similar
ambitions in all the members of La Retama. The club began to look about for
some way to help to better Corpus Christi. This was the decade of the
rising tide of women’s literary clubs, and Corpus Christi already had
several busy, not only at self-culture, but at some civic enterprise. Corpus
Christi had no library and La Retama girls decided that in building a
library for their town, they could achieve something of lasting value, for
they sensed that the road they wanted to travel would wind on and on—into
Kathleen operated her own ranching interests throughout her life and
co-owned the Jones Ranch in Jim Wells
County with her sister, Lorine Jones Lewis, after their parents’ deaths.
Kathleen was also a part of the
Texas oil industry, and
served as president of the Mestena Oil and Gas Company from 1937 to 1969 and
chairman of the board from 1937 to 1972. She maintained memberships in the
Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association and the Texas and
Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
Kathleen Jones Alexander died at the age of 93 on May 16, 1980.
Lucille Scott Pope was a
charter member of La Retama Club and a driving force in the club’s
formation. As the child of founding Woman’s Monday Club President,
Ella Dickinson Scott, Lucille grew up
around Corpus Christi’s first social clubs, which always included the names
of her parents, G. R. and Ella Dickinson Scott. Their other memberships
included the Holmes Club, the Fortnightly Circle, and
the Woman’s Monday Club, and
the all-male Myrtle Club.
Lucille attended the Corpus
Christi public schools and then received her higher education at Agnes Scott
College in Macon,
returning to Corpus Christi, she married her father’s legal
Walter Elmer Pope, in 1912. During her
life as a clubwoman, Lucille served as a member of the La Retama Club, the
Daughters of the Confederacy, the Daughters of the
of Texas, the Presbyterian Church Garden Club, and as president and member
of the Woman’s Monday Club.
When Lucille died at the age
of 73 on October 13, 1957, the Woman’s Monday Club cancelled their next
day’s meeting in honor of her accomplishments as a Corpus Christi clubwoman
and wrote the following tribute:
A TRIBUTE TO LUCILLE SCOTT
Lucille virtually belonged to the Woman’s Monday Club all of her life. Her
mother, a charter member, lived in club atmosphere for many years, and
Lucille knew all of the members from the beginning.
characterized her whole life. Her unselfish devotion to her parents was
emphasized especially during the years of her mother’s physical
Her pride in
every organization to which she belonged was evidenced by her faithful
attendance at the meetings and fulfillment of her individual
It was natural
that she would become president. As president, she took pride in conducting
the meetings with dignity and fairness.
the opening of the club with a prayer. This may always be a tribute to her
and her child-like faith.
wishes to express appreciation especially for Lucille contribution to her
own club. We shall miss her at every meeting.
Borden Savage was the only young woman of the La Retama Club’s four founding
forces whose mother was not a Woman’s Monday Club member. Her parents,
Sidney Gail and
Mary Sullivan Borden, were San Patricio County pioneers. Her father
Sharpsburg, Texas, in 1867. He
and his partner,
Darius Cyriaque Rachal,
built the first cotton gin in the area in the early 1880s, and were involved
in shipping, wine, gin, and ranching businesses. Sidney Borden was elected
San Patricio County’s Justice of the Peace in 1871 and county judge in
1881. Another of his accomplishments was the construction of the first
telephone line from Sharpsburg to Corpus Christi. Alice Borden Savage’s
great uncle was
Gail Borden, Jr.,
publisher, inventor, and founder of the Borden Milk Company and
was born in Sharpsburg, but lived in Corpus Christi most of her life. In
1902 she graduated from Ward-Belmont
Nashville, Tennessee. Alice married Russell Savage, who served as Corpus
Christi's city attorney during Mayor Roy Miller’s terms in office and as a
member of the Texas Legislature. He also designed “Peregrinoos”--“the
patron saint of the University of
1935 when the Fairview
School District merged with the
Corpus Christi Independent School District, a
small two-room school was named Alice Borden Savage Elementary. Reports say
that the school originally opened in 1885 as a “free” school, but in 1910
the county operated another school on the site under the name "Fairview."
The school was renamed after Alice because she was the first
and only woman ever to serve on the Fairview
Board. Soon after her appointment in 1949, she headed the movement to add
three rooms to the structure financed by $35,000 in office bonds. When the
Alice Borden Savage Elementary building was severely damaged by Hurricane
Celia in 1970, United States Federal
Woodrow Seals froze reconstruction until the resolution of a desegregation
Cisneros v. Corpus Christi Independent School District.
In 1978 Alice Borden Savage Elementary was closed because of its unsafe
structures and close proximity to the Corpus Christi refineries. The
school, located on 5025 Up River Road, closed in 1980.
Borden Savage died at the age of 90 on September 15, 1972.