Brief History of the CTHA
The CTHA was formed to preserve the history of the Central Texas region by providing researchers and scholars viable outlets for their research. Central Texas is a unique region and is distinctively different from regions within the state (East Texas, West Texas, and South Texas). As such, scholars often find it difficult to publish their research on topics that directly relate to the Central Texas region. For more than a century, one outlet available to researchers and scholars has been the Southwestern Historical Quarterly which is published by the Texas State Historical Assocation. However, Because the Quarterly only publishes approximately 12-15 articles annually and because TSHA publishes articles related to the entire state and not just the Central Texas region, only a limited number of scholars, who research Central Texas topics, are able to publish in the Quarterly. Naturally, almost no articles on Central Texas history are published in the scholarly journals of the East Texas Historical Association, West Texas Historical Association, and the South Texas Historical Association because these associations primarily preserve the history of their own distinct regions.
The CTHA was the brainchild of Blinn College faculty members and administrators. History professor Charles Swanlund, Assistant Dean of Social Sciences Brandon Franke, and Blinn College Dean of Social Sciences Dr. Diane Lovell have been instrumental in paving the way for the creation of the Association. Beginning in 2012 and having noticed that there were a plethora of history topics that did not align with the stated missions of existing regional history associations, such as the East Texas Historical Association, the West Texas Historical Association, and the South Texas Historical Association, Franke and Swanlund began to discuss the possibilities of creating a history association that would focus on Central Texas history. Unfortunately, institutional support was not forthcoming for such an endeavor at that time. However, in 2015, reorganization of the administrative structure at Blinn College and the addition of innovative administrators, such as Dean Lovell, and the promotion of others, such as Franke to Assistant Dean, fostered a change in the professional and academic environment at the college. As a result, Blinn College committed to becoming the host institution of the CTHA.
In the summer of 2014, Dr. Kenneth W. Howell was hired as a full-time faculty member in the Blinn College History Department. At the same time, he was appointed to investigate the possibility of organizing a regional history association that would focus on the history of Central Texas. Beginning in the fall 2014 semester, Howell took initial steps to organize the CTHA, including creating an informal framework of organization, establishing initial deadlines for organizing the association, holding informational meetings with Blinn College administrators to discuss the organization of the association, seeking potential candidates for the position of Managing Editor and Community Liaison, contacting the directors of the East Texas Historical Association and the West Texas Historical Association informing them of the creation of the CTHA, and examining the best way to proceed with formation of the Association, including the application processes of creating a non-profit organization with the State of Texas and the Internal Revenue Service.
In May 2015, the Central Texas Historical Association received official recognition as a 501 (c) (3) entity from the Internal Revenue Service.