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  History of the Central Texas Chapter
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History of the Central Texas Chapter of TSCPA

Preface: Information in this account has been taken from two publications written by James A. Tinsley

Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, A History 1915-1981" and "History of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, 1915-1981".; the "TSCPA Year Book, 1946-47"; "Austin Chapter History" interviews with Central Texas Chapter past presidents and written records in the Chapter archives.

There may be discrepancies in the account for which we ask your indulgence. Any documents which you may want to donate to the Chapter Archives and permanent files would be greatly appreciated. - L.G.K.

The history of the Central Texas Chapter must begin on May 22, 1911 when 17 public accountants and six junior staff accountants met at the Tremont Hotel in Galveston and formed the Texas State Society of Public Accountants.

At the next meeting of the Society, July 10, 1911, Horace Pickett of Waco was admitted to membership. Then, at the first annual meeting, Oct. 21, 1911, Charles G. Morgan, Sr. of Waco was admitted as a fellow and Arthur Upleger of Dallas (later of Waco) was admitted as an associate member.

The Society began pressing in the state legislature for a State Board of Public Accountancy, which would regulate the accounting profession and issue certificates to those who passed an examination. On March 22, 1915 the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy was established by law. On October 27-28, 1915 the Texas State Society of Public Accountants became the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. The Texas State Board of Public Accountancy granted a net total of 50 waiver certificates without examination to (1) accountants then practicing who had a minimum of three years in public practice, the last two in Texas and (2) those who held certificates from other states, provided the application was made prior to January 1, 1916.

Two CPAs deserve special mention in this history because without them the Central Texas Chapter, The TSCPA, and the State Board of Public Accountancy would not be what they are today.

Arthur C. Upleger (1883-1969) received waiver certificate number 42 June 20, 1916. Born in Michigan, he graduated from New York University and them came to Dallas Texas in 1911. He moved to Waco Jan. 1, 1913 where he practiced under the company name of Upleger & Falk, with Falk being a silent partner in Denver, Colorado. Upleger served on the steering committee that engineered the passage of the Texas Public Accountancy Act. He served the accounting profession with distinction in the following capacities; 1921-25, Texas State Board of Public Accountancy; 1926, President of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, chairman of many committees for the above organizations. In 1953 he was awarded an Honorary Fellow of the TSCPA. In 1979 the third TSCPA Graduate Fellowship was named in his honor.

Frank L. Wilcox (1896-1977) is the other early giant of the profession in the Central Texas Chapter. Wilcox was born in Alva, Okla.. He attended Oklahoma University after which he came to Waco in 1915 to work as a bookkeeper for Anheuser-Busch. Wilcox was a self-taught accountant, having studied many of the leading accounting textbooks. He was awarded Certificate number 141 in 1923. From 1929 to 1939 he served on the Board of Public Accountancy, during which time he was secretary-treasurer (1929-33) and Chairman (1933-35). He was president of the TSCPA in 1949-50 and vice-president of the AICPA in 1950-51. He also served the AICPA as chairman of the committee on professional ethics for three years. The TSCPA has honored him with the following awards; 1961-62, Meritorious Service to the Public Accounting Profession in Texas; 1965-66 Honorary Fellow; 1974-75, Fifty Year Continuous Fellow.

We have no written record of the activities of the CPAs in Central Texas before 1939, other than the writings concerning Upleger and Wilcox as recorded in the history of the State Society. The Austin Chapter History states that on January 19, 1939 the Austin-Waco Chapter was formed at a meeting in Austin at which there was a total of eight CPAs present. These chapters separated Aug. 13, 1940.

World War II was probably the reason for there being no Central Texas Chapter until after the war. The first record of a Waco Chapter is found in the TSCPA Year Books for 1946-47 where nine chapters in the state are listed. Eleven CPAs from Waco (10 in public accounting and 1 in the Comptroller’s office) listed were: Leonard Bateman, Walter Briscoe, Price Cheaney, Jr., Ben Milam, Charles Miller, R.D. Pattillo, Harry Roberts, William Smith, Arthur Upleger and Frank Wilcox. Officers were Charles Miller, President, and Price Cheaney, Jr., Secretary.

There was no chapter activity in the years 1947-49.

The year 1949-50 marked the beginning of a continuous chapter in Central Texas. Cameron Talbert, Jr. was president. Talbert recalls that the first meeting was held in his home and other meetings were in homes or offices. There were between 15 and 20 members in attendance and the main project was getting the chapter activated.

The year 1950 marked the entrance of women CPAs in the Central Texas arena, when Donna McMillin (now Denton) became the first woman to receive her certificate in Waco and the first woman to join the chapter.

R.D. Pattillo was president in 1951-52 when the chapter opened a bank checking account and the first Bylaws were written by Shelby Scott and Scott Heltzel. Meetings were irregular and were still held in offices, homes, or around coffee at cafes.

In June of 1951 Waco hosted the 37th annual meeting of the TSCPA, which was held at the Roosevelt Hotel and had 75 CPAs from across the state in attendance. Cameron Talbert, Jr. was chairman of arrangements for the meeting.

Sometime in the mid-50’s the chapter began meeting at Bertrand’s Restaurant on 26th street, where it continued meeting until about 1969 when meetings were held at the City Club and Nick’s Restaurant.

In 1961-62, Rodney Brown president, saw the publication of the first Chapter Directory with Homer Dickson in charge. In the directory were listed 42 members. The Board of Directors included Brown, Charles Voth, Reginald Evans, W.M. Parrish, Sr., Jack Boling, Emerson Henke, Robert Timmons. The Bylaws were revised and dues were set at $10.00 a year. Chapter meetings and/or socials were held each month with speakers from Dallas, Houston, Austin, Fort Worth and Baylor University.

TSCPA records show that membership had increased to 68 members by 1965. In the next year, 1966-67 Allen Greenstein, Chapter president, was awarded one of the two Outstanding President awards given by the TSCPA. The early pattern for this award was a president who received the award for the outstanding record which his chapter had made during his tenure.

By 1972-73 meetings had moved to Ridgewood County Club in Waco, with one meeting each year being held in Temple.

Two chapter presidents in succession received the TSCPA award Outstanding President-Small Chapter. These were Edgar Moody, 1974-75, and Roderick Holmes, 1975-76.

In June 1976 the Chapter once again hosted the TSCPA annual meeting. Rod Holmes was general chairman of arrangements.

As the chapter become more prosperous a business savings account was opened in August, 1977 with an amount of $2,524.48 taken from the checking account. G.W. Sanford, Jr. was president and W.M. Parrish,Sr., treasurer.

During Johney Williams presidency in 1979-80 the Chapter was very active in the political arena. Legislation adversely affecting CPAs and their clients was before the State Legislature. Members of the Chapter were very diligent in personally contacting the 16 legislators from Central Texas area. As a result 100% of the legislators voted for the TSCPA position. In that same year the Chapter gave two scholarships of $500 each to outstanding accounting students at Baylor University and May-Hardin Baylor University. Once more the Chapter’s president received the TSCPA award Outstanding President-Medium Size Chapter.

In 1981 the Chapter communication became a newsletter The General Journal. By 1983-84 membership had reached 224. In that year the bylaws were revised; dues were raised from $15.00 to $25.00; Derral Parks, CPE chairman, began an intensive program of Continuing Education offerings at chapter meetings and breakfast seminars in order to help the Chapter member get the now required 40 hours per year of CPE.

In 1985-86 the Chapter commissioned artist Bill B. Barrick to paint a picture (cost of $2,300) of the Waco Suspension Bridge to be given to the new TSCPA building. A thousand dollar contribution was made to the Roderick Holmes Endowed Chair of Accountancy at Baylor. Also this year, Curtis Logan president, the Chapter created the part-time position of Executive Director. Increasing membership and required CE credit caused a need for paid administrative personnel. Mrs. Keith Kent (Louise) held the position until July 1989, when she was succeeded by Mrs. Jack Ard (Mary). Mrs. Bob Yarbrough (Ernestine) succeeded Mary in 1990. Mrs. Adam Feind (Ann) followed Ernestine in 1991.

Thomas Branyon’s tenure in 1986-87 brought many changes; membership reached 349 which gave the Chapter a third director of the TSCPA Board of Directors; the Chapter was incorporated May 28, 1987; the first chapter membership application was put into effect; the Board approved a Travel Expense Reimbursement policy, dues being raised to $30.00 for the following year, and the selling of ads in the annual directory.

At the June 1988 TSCPA annual meeting Curtis Logan was named the Outstanding Committee Chairman for his work on the TSCPA Member’s Insurance Committee. Also at the June 1988 TSCPA annual meeting R.D. Pattillo was given the Meritorious Service to the Accounting Profession in Texas award. Pattillo had served as president of the TSCPA in 1977-78 and was at that time serving the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy and the AICPA Board of Directors.

In 1988-89, Derral Parks president, the Chapter established The Central Texas Chapter of CPAs Scholarship Fund,an endowed fund, interest from which will provide scholarships to deserving accounting students at the senior or graduate level in Central Texas area. The Bylaws were again revised to bring them into conformity with State Society Bylaws.

The 1989-90 president was Jack Compton and the 1990-91 president was Vince Palasota. During these years the Chapter continued emphasis on providing quality local CPE. The 1991-92 president was Wilson E. McGregor. The first annual community-wide luncheon was held this year. The speaker was John Sharp, Comptroller of the State of Texas.

The 1992-93 president was Beverly Pettigrew. She was the first woman to be president of the Chapter. Meetings were held in the southern part of the region this year, committee member pictures were added to the directory, and the newsletter was enhanced and lengthened. Kraig Fields was the recipient of the first ever “Presidential Award” for his outstanding service and dedication as chairman of the CPE committee from 1991-93.

The 1993-94 president was Jim Hudson. Dues increased this year to $40. The 1994-95 president was David Nemec. Frank Andrle was the 1995-96 President, and this year the Chapter began joint dues billing with the TSCPA. Bob Spence served as President in 1996-97. This year, membership increased by about 140 due to joint dues billing with TSCPA. Also, chapter meetings were combined with CPE seminars and a drawing was held at each meeting for $100 cash prize. The cash accumulated until it was eventually given away at the last meeting of the year. The 1997-98 president was K. Kraig Fields and the 1998-99 president was James Mobley.

Through the years the Chapter has provided social gatherings for its members and families in the form of Christmas parties, family picnics, Casino parties, and golf tournaments with members of other professions. It has maintained an alliance with the universities in its locale by holding joint meetings with the Beta Alpha Psi Accounting Fraternity and by coordinating the awarding of the TSCPA Accounting Excellence award to students at Baylor and Mary-Hardin Baylor. The Chapter awarded the first annual scholarship awards of $500 to students at Baylor and Mary-Hardin Baylor in 1995.

Membership has grown from the 11 recorded members in 1946-47 to 451 at the close of the 1998-99 year.

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