Lucy Park is a beautiful park. I’ve been there hundreds of times, but never really knew it’s history. I put on my researcher hat and did a little digging. The Times Record News let me dig through their archives (thanks guys!!) and I discovered that the original ninety-three acres for Lucy Park were donated in 1963-64 by Mrs. Frances Ann Dickerson in memory of her mother, Lucy O’Neil Saunders.
Photo: Times Record News Archives
Here’s what I found online about her:
NOTED OIL OPERATOR DIES IN WICHITA FALLS
Dec 17, 1918
Mrs. Lucy O. Saunders, one of Americas foremost woman oil operators, died here today of Spanish Influenza. She amazed a vast fortune in the oil business, operating successfully in the Sour Lake, Batson, Tulsa and the Burkburnett fields. One of her most notable achievements was development of the Sunshine Hill, Texas field.
I still had a few questions left about the park, so I emailed Jack Murphy Director of the Wichita Falls Parks Department.
What is the history of the park?
MURPHY: The City acquired the park in the mid 1960’s. The City added to the park in the early 1980’s that permitted the Sunset Dr. entrance.
What is the significance behind the Asian influence of some of the structures?
MURPHY: I thought it would be interesting to have some ornamental structures with an Asian flair. The blue roof Pagoda and the smaller shelter by the park road are meant to be focal points from each other along the open space axis between.
Is the park finished? Any plans for future improvements?
MURPHY: There are no plans for development other than to pave the road and parking areas someday. 95% Of Lucy Park is in the FEMA floodway and can not be developed above ground without a hydrologic study showing no up stream flooding impact. That is the reason we located the River Bend Nature Center on the south side of Lucy Park above the floodway.
Here’s our latest video taking a look at the park!
LUCY PARK BY THE NUMBERS:
- 178 acre regional park
- 1.7 miles of concrete trail
- 2 large picnic shelters
- 2 public restrooms
- 1 large swimming pool,
- 18 hole disc golf course,
- 3 playgrounds,
- 2 sand volleyball courts and
- 1 concrete volleyball court
- 34 barbeque grills
- 4 drinking fountains
- 86 benches