ACISD Alumni Wall of Honor Program Outline
Inductees September 28, 2018
John Barton, Class of 1981
Mr. Barton is a 1981 graduate of Archer City High School. Growing up in Archer City, John was active in church, band, One Act Play, football, basketball and tennis. His love for our community holds true as he remains an active member of First United Methodist Church, Archer City today although he resides in Aurora Colorado.
John attended Midwestern State University and then Texas A&M University where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. John’s career as an engineer began working on the hot highways of Archer County as a summer employee of TXDoT and eventually to the position of Deputy Executive Director of the Texas Department of Transportation where he retired after 30 years of service. Upon retirement, John served as a professor of practice at Texas A&M where he also held the title as assistant vice chancellor (for strategic initiatives) and was instrumental in creating and leading the development of the new RELLIS campus focusing on autonomous transportation. He currently serves as senior VP and leader of National Departments of Transportation Market Sector with HNTB Corporation working with all Departments of Transportation across the United States.
John has served on numerous national boards including the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, Southwest Research Institute and the Safety Advisory Board for Uber.
It is with great pride we present to you John Barton, our Distinguished Alumni Award and induction into the Archer City High School Wall of Honor!
Joe Douglas, Class of 1955
Joe Douglas is our second honoree this evening. Mr. Douglas, a 1955 graduate of ACHS, was also well-rounded in his activities active in band and athletics. Mr. Douglas currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Mr. Douglas went on to Texas Christian University on an athletic scholarship where he received degrees in Education and Athletics. His senior year he was named the 3rd best in the nation for the 880 dash and 4th in the NCAA. The sport of track as both competitor and coach has brought notoriety to Mr. Douglas. He was the founder of the Santa Monica Track Club and the Los Angeles Track club where he coached many Olympic athletes. Among the famous athletes in his care was Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis.
Mr. Douglas’ coaching career boasts medals in 66 American titles, 33 World events and 27 Olympic medals. Stack.com refers to Joe Douglas as “the greatest track mind of all times.”
Royal C. “Bingo” Kinder, Class of 1932
Royal “Bingo” Kinder graduated from ACHS in 1932. He passed away in 2002.
Mr. Kinder went to the University of North Texas where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree and was a track standout and student leader. Bingo was named Who’s Who in American Colleges and earned Lone Star Conference Track Champion titles 3 times as well as qualifying for the Olympic trial finals. Mr. Kinder taught school and coached at Daisetta High School winning 43 straight football games. He was inducted into the UNT Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.
Mr. Kinder was a veteran of the US Navy serving during WWII in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Asiatic-Pacific Theatres. Mr. Kinder returned to Archer City where he made his home in rural North Archer County. He served on the Archer City ISD School Board for 6 years, elected President for 4 years. He was active in many other community organizations including the Archer County Livestock Association, the American Legion Post and the Wichita Valley Water Supply board. He was a faithful member of the First Christian Church of Archer City. When Bingo was just a young boy, the Royal Theater was named after him.
“Bingo” Kinder’s legacy remains an influential part of our community today through his generous contributions to both students and community grant funds. Over $800,600 in college scholarships to graduates of Archer County have been awarded in his name since 2004. Numerous community organizations in Archer County have also received grant funds totaling over $834,000 in his name.
Larry McMurtry, Class of 1954
Larry Jeff McMurtry is a Pulitzer Prize, Oscar and Golden Globe winner. He also a 1954 honor graduate of Archer City High School. Mr. McMurtry grew up in rural Archer County on the family ranch. He currently resides in Tucson, AZ and Archer City. While attending ACHS he was active in band, basketball, baseball, track, 4H, Hobby Club, Newspaper staff as Cat’s Claw Editor and the junior play.
Mr. McMurtry attended Rice Institute (later Rice University) on an academic scholarship. He graduated from what was then North Texas State Teachers College, but then returned to Rice for a Master’s degree. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a Stegner Fellow.
Locally he has supported many civic organizations including the Archer Public Library, He has been instrumental in establishing Archer City as a hot spot for rare used books among his bookstores also located in Washington, D. C. and Houston. He was once quoted as saying,
'The bookshops are a form of ranching; instead of herding cattle, I herd books. Writing is a form of herding, too; I herd words into little paragraph-like clusters.'
Mr. McMurtry’s works have earned 26 Academy Award nominations (10 wins), 26 more Emmy nominations. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal by the President of the United States in 2014.
Graham B. Purcell, Jr., Class of 1937
Judge Graham B. Purcell was an Archer City native graduating from ACHS in 1937. He passed away in 2011. He attended Texas A&M University from 1937 to 1946 with a break during active duty in the United States Army where he earned the rank of major. During World War II, he was commissioned with the class of 1941 into the United States Army’s Horse Calvary. He reported for duty at Fort Riley, Kansas, and shipped overseas to Italy in 1944, later serving as Company Commander of the IV Army Corps Headquarters Company. He received the Army Silver Star which is awarded for gallantry in action. He continued to serve his country as a member of the Army Reserves.
After the war, Purcell returned to AM and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Husbandry in 1946. He graduated from Baylor Law School in 1949 and practiced law in West Texas and Wichita Falls.
Among his many accomplishments, he was instrumental in restarting the Congressional Prayer Break. He also played a critical role in bringing the NATO Pilot Training Program to Sheppard Air Force Base.
Judge Purcell served several judicial courts in Wichita County before being elected US congressman to the 13th Congressional District of Texas in 1961 where he served through 1972. Judge Purcell engaged in private law practice in Washington, D. C. from 1973-1988. He returned to Wichita Falls in 1988 and presided as a visiting judge from 1988-2000.
Graham Purcell was a man of utmost integrity. His passion and gift for storytelling was matched by his genuine and sincere interest in others. An outstanding listener, encourager and role model, he naturally brought out the best in everyone.