By Will McClure
Stamford honored a long-time resident and a fixture in the history of the community On March 29, when it was proclaimed by Mayor Johnny Anders as Raymond Hollabaugh Day. Hollabaugh, a graduate of Stamford High School in 1951, has called Stamford home for himself and his family since 1967 when he started his own private law practice in the building that is now home to Scissor Tales. After only moving once to his current location since then, Hollabaugh has served in many roles for Stamford and surrounding areas, both in a law capacity and as a citizen of Stamford. Recently, Hollabaugh was able to talk a little more about his place in Stamford's history as well as the roles he has served since graduating from SHS in 1951.
Born March 29, 1934 in Jayton, Texas to parents Lester and Jewel Hollabaugh, Raymond Hollabaugh attended Stamford ISD from his sixth grade year until graduation. He would then attend John Tarleton Junior College in Stephenville, Texas from 1951 to 1954 before entering the United States Army in 1954. During his two years in the Army, Hollabaugh was stationed in Germany as a survey operator. Upon finishing his service, Hollabaugh returned to school, graduating from North Texas College in 1958 with a BBA in Insurance and South Texas College of Law in 1964 with an LLB degree. After serving as the Assistant District Attorney of Polk County and operating as an independent insurance adjuster, Hollabaugh, along with his wife, Elizabeth, and two sons, Raymond Jr. and John Sirman, moved to Stamford where he would set up his private law practice in 1967, which he continues to operate to this day.
When asked about one of the biggest changes he has seen in Stamford, Hollabaugh noted how the population has shrunk over the years, going from a population of 8000 to 3200. He stated that he could remember how on weekends it would be nearly impossible to find a parking space on the square, unlike now when the square only fills up on the weekend if there is an event going on.
However, even with the population shrinking, Hollabaugh still did his part to help where he could in the community. Along with serving as the City Judge of Stamford from 1970 to 1975 and again from 1980-1990, Hollabaugh served as the President of the Rotary Club as well as a member of the Stamford ISD School Board and as a Little League coach for 13 years. During his time as a part of the Little League program, Hollabaugh and others set out to help create what is still being used today.
"Six of us built [the little league field] after hours," Hollabaugh said. "We got the money and got the REA to put the lights up. We put the fence up ourselves and at that time there was a need for it. I was in it for 13 years as a coach and president...Howard Gross and I were the coaches and we won every year."
Although he has stepped out of the many positions he has had over his career, the one position that he has continued to serve on, outside of law, has been Director of the Texas Cowboy Reunion, a position he has held since 1967. When asked about one of the biggest changes that he has seen in the TCR, Hollabaugh said that he has seen entry fees change drastically over the years. He noted how, for example, the calf roping event had the participants pay $35 in the past to enter with the money going to the saddle presented to the winner; whereas today, participants pay a refundable $250 entry fee. He did note, however, that while many things have changed, some, like the Oldtimer's event which maintains an entry fee of $35, are still the same. Hollabaugh noted how one of his sons competed in the double mugging event, winning no less than three times and how one of his granddaughters was a former barrel race winner. Hollabaugh also mentioned that one of his granddaughters still trains horses, showing how the love of the rodeo has continued in the Hollabaugh family.
And so, as Raymond Hollabaugh continues to operate his practice to this day, it is clear how much of an influence he has had on the Stamford community. Whether it is practicing law, serving as TCR director, or being instrumental in building a baseball field, Hollabaugh has more than earned his place in Stamford history and deserves the honor of having his own day dedicated to him. Thank you, Mr. Hollabaugh, for all you have done for Stamford.