Helen Ogden Widener of Irving has been appointed to the Dallas County Historical Commission according to Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia. Commissioner Garcia commented, “I am honored Mrs. Widener has agreed to serve as a member of the Dallas County Historical Commission. Mrs. Widener, is a respected author, well known for her knowledge of local history, a member of the Irving Heritage Society, and has the experience and knowledge that make her a perfect fit for the Dallas County Historical Commission.”
Helen Ogden Widener was born in Conway, Arkansas and is the fifth of ten children. Her father was a cotton farmer until the bole-weevils and drought destroyed the crops. The family moved to Texas in 1950 and to Irving in 1954 where Helen attended the Irving Public School. She graduated from Byrne’s Commercial College in Irving and has taken a number of accredited courses in subjects that interest her. Helen was married forty years to the late James F. Widener, a long time Irving Attorney.
History is Helen’s greatest passion. Helen has written four books of a historical nature which include: Scraps of Life, a historical book featuring a quilt made by Elizabeth Patton Crockett, wife of Alamo Hero David Crockett; James MacKay a Man to Cherish 1761-1822, a historical account of the man who drew the most complete map used by the Lewis and Clark expedition; a gift to the City of Irving’s Centennial Celebration, Irving Centennial Cookbook and Family Histories 1903-2003; and Hutchins of Pine Mountain 300 years of migration. Helen has always enriched the Wideners life with varied interest in antiques and anything historical. Also handcrafts, needlepoint, Ukrainian decorated eggs and cooking for holidays.
The Dallas County Historical Commission, consisting of 15 individuals appointed by the Commissioners Court, serves as the county’s primary advisory body on historic preservation matters. The Historical Commission is responsible for providing the first level of review of all state historical marker requests, and it conducts two-to-three special projects a year.