The Angelina County Citizens Chamber of Commerce has contributed to the improvement of community life and to business, industry and professions.
One of the principle organizations in Angelina County, the Citizens Chamber was organized in April 1940 by F.W. Thomas, who was the principal of Dunbar High School.
Thomas became the chamber's first president and during his first term, a number of oustanding speakers were featured during chamber meetings.
The efforts were aimed at encouraging better community relationships and improving the standards of living in the community. Thomas served from 1940-1946.
In 1946, S.T. Lewis was elected president of the chamber. Under his leadership, more progress was made in the community, including the sponsorship of Jessie Lee Carrington who became Miss Texas.
Dr. S.C. Packer served as president from 1949 to 1950. Packer was the catalyst behind including Keltys and other outlying areas in the chamber organization. Dr. Packer also led the revision of the chamber's bylaws and constitution to meet the needs for growth.
E.C. Johnson, who was president in 1950, helped with the establishment of Dunbar High School and the purchase of band instruments for Dunbar High School. Johnson had the cooperation of Lufkin Public School, several churches and other organizations and individuals. During Johnson's tenure, facilities at Jones Lake Park were improved through negotiations with the City of Lufkin and other civic groups.
In 1953, J.D. Nichols was named president of the chamber. Nichols was instrumental in increasing membership. Also, he is credited with encouraging participation in a health study and housing program. Nichols began a community yearbook and worked to foster cooperation with schools, civic groups, churches, businesses and industries in a number of chamber projects.
In 1957, the Chamber launched one of its best-known projects, the Lufkin Day Care Center. The idea for a daycare center came from E.E. Cleaver, principal of Dunbar High School.
In 1970, the Chamber planned and developed the creation of the (at the time) $1.5 million Pinewood Apartments Complex, a multi-family housing complex subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
In 1982, another million dollar project was completed, the Inez Tims Apartments (formerly the Chestnut Park Apartments) and the Inez Tims Village.
Presidents who served the Chamber included:
- A.H. Charlton (1960-62)
- Lawrence Kirskey (1962-66)
- Dr. C.A. Allen (1966-73)
- Hugh Hackney (1973-76)
- Inez Tims (1976-78)
- I.D. Henderson, Jr. (1978-84)
- James D. Fears, Sr. (1984-87)
- E.C. Burley, Sr. (1987-1990)
- Joe Douglas, III (1990-95)
- Sargent Major Johnnie L. Jones (1995-2000)
- A.M. Jeffero, Sr. (2000-05)
- Alex Alexander, Jr. (2005- )