Tree dedication to recognize Berneta Peeples set for Tuesday By DAVID TUMA The Belton Journal In what is probably the final recognition of a lifetime of dedication to the Belton community there will be a Tree Dedication Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 1:30 p.m. near the Harris Community Center along Nolan Creek for Berneta Peeples. Peeples first started working/hanging around the Belton Journal when she was about 13 years old. She started working part time at the Journal while in high school. The year after graduation, she started working for the paper full-time. Berneta was the eyes and ears of the Journal for well over 70 years. She helped found the Downtown Business Merchants Association, a precursor to the Downtown Belton Business Alliance. Was a driving force behind the creation of Market Days downtown. This was when she was in her mid-80’s. “If you grew up here, she knows all about you,” said former Journal advertising manager Susan Gibson. “Luckily, I did not grow up here.” She was recognized by virtually every organization in Belton in some way, shape or form. She lived through World War II and knew General Walton Walker and several other prominent Belton residents. It was her knowledge of the everyday folks and her willingness to take up their cause that made her special. Bert was an everyday person known and loved by everyone, most of them anyway. At the turn of the century 2000 was a big deal for Christians. Numerous big city media organizations from Dallas and Austin came to interview Belton’s history lady. And this point she had long changed from a Journal employee to a Bell County and Belton treasure. And even in 2000 when she was well up there in age, she was not even close to being done. There was even a playwright from Ireland working a Sanctified Sister play in Seatle that interviewed her with a tv camera and crew. Years ago, the Bell County Museum recorded a series of interviews with her. So many people would come in from the Western part of Bell County and ask for the history lady that worked at the Journal. They wouldn’t know her name but would explain that such and such needed information and they were told to come in and find the history lady. First, they had to find the Journal. Belton has a paper go find it. Then they wouldn’t know the name of Berneta, just some paper there and ask for the history lady. The staff would tell them what days she worked. Berneta was a person that was always trying to help somebody or some organization. She approached life in who can I help today. Somedays it would be one of the staff…next day trying to save an historic building. Always looking to find someone or something to help. At the 113th Congress of Texas she was named honoree of the Yellow Rose of Texas Award for her tremendous legacy as a Texas woman of outstanding volunteer and public service. A pillar of Belton, Berneta’s life and career reflects hard work, activism, and dedication to bringing news to central Texas. Back in 2014 Representative John Carter presented the award at a ceremony at the Journal offices on Penelope Street. She was the first woman to receive the Belton Area Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen’s award. Her 1927 Royal typewriter can still be found at the Journal offices, and the old Mac Plus got tossed in the trash when it crashed about 10 years ago. She retired a few times, left the Journal a few more. She retired in 1979 and came out of retirement back in 1989. Even at 95 years old she remembered things clearly from her 20’s. She could tell about the different businesses downtown, at most of those old historic buildings. It was uncanny how she remembered so many businesses and people and the lives they lived. What was even more impressive was she could tell you all about the family that owned the business. Her memory later in life was remarkable. Her backbone stiff, her loyalty to the community and the people of Belton extraordinary. No cutline needed