The municipal park at the corner of Center Avenue and East Baker was dedicated in honor of former Brownwood City Council member Pat Coursey Saturday afternoon, and the sign announcing its name was unveiled in a 20-minute ceremony.
“We all appreciate you for your contributions,” said former 35th District Judge Ernest Cadenhead, who served a master of ceremonies. “Even though you held a political office, you were thoughtful and truthful, and you had all of the citizens’ best interests at heart.”
Cadenhead read from a fact sheet that had been presented to the current city council before members voted to rename the park in Coursey’s honor.
Coursey served on the city council for 21 years, from 1982 to 2003, having been appointed to the office to fill the unexpired term of Ferris “Poochie” Clements.
Cadenhead said that although Coursey was born in Abilene, his family moved to Brownwood when he was 3 months old. He graduated from Brownwood High in 1958 and then from Howard Payne College.
He and his brother Sam owned Banner Printing, which had previously been owned by their father, Clark, from 1976 to 2010. He co-owned County Progress, the magazine for county officials in Texas, from 1976 to 1995 when it was sold.
Coursey was the 1983 Man of the Year in Brownwood, and was a member of the Jaycees and Brownwood Rotary Club. He was instrumental in organizing the Jaycees’ first rattlesnake roundup here. In 1982, as chairman of the Brown County Historical Commission, he was key in convincing the county to keep the old jail as a museum, and not tear it down.
Coursey served on the board of the West Central Texas Council of Governments, including two terms as chairman, and held that post when a campus of Texas State Technical College was brought to Brownwood. He served on the Brown County Hospital Authority from 1994 to 2002, including two terms as president, and while on the council he worked with Martin Lehnis to obtain the railroad collection that became the heart of the Lehnis Railroad Museum. He also was instrumental in improvements at Riverside Park, was part of the initial discussions that led to two major railroad overpasses and construction of the aquatic center at Camp Bowie.
His input also helped lead to the naming of the Bill Monroe Overpass and the T.R. Havins Unit.
He served on the board of the Brownwood Economic Development Corp. from 2004 to 2010.