J.B. Wells site seems like a park to me


Ouch! The City was hit with a real hard blow in the settlement of $1.825. million.

The Presbyterian Seminary won in the matter. I really hate to see this happen to Gonzales.

In the issue of the J.B. Wells’ Will, the stipulation of a park is known. I do not recall that a park was designed and funded by the Will. I had the opportunity to witness children/teenagers playing in the JBW arena. The availability of an arena and park in a rural setting makes possible the art of competition and creative time.

Many local families involved their young in the activities made available by the city there

I have a story – when I owned and ran the St. James Inn – I had guests from many states that brought their sons and daughters to the JBW for horse shows, rodeos and real fun times.

I was told many times by the parents of the young people that ”yes, it is an expensive endeavor to train horses, house them and take care of them …

In some cases they would make sacrifices to have their children included in these activities – it keeps them out of drugs and fills their time with life learning skills that only these activities can provide.”

In two different cases, the parents confided that their son’s life was turned around for the better by being involved with like minds of equestrian accomplishments.

I am glad that the JBW property still belongs to the city; however I am sad that this particular facility has been under legal strife to not call it a public park. It sure looks like a park, acts like a park and to me is a park.

The Presbyterian Seminary is endowed by millions of dollars, the city of Gonzales struggles to keep wings above water – so to speak.

This legal case has gone on in an indigestible amount of time – to the tune of $353,000. in litigation. Did the seminary pay that much also?

In my opinion, J. B. Wells, would be in disbelief that what he left to the city has become a war of opinions on whether, in good faith, the city built a park -or not– a public park for the youth. The many activities that are memorialized at the JBW are such that there is no other place in Gonzales for them to be so.

It is a facility that few rural communities boast. The City Council did its best to save the city from this great loss of funds. It seems a penalty and not an honor to J. B. Wells, one who, I suggest would have endorsed the Park. I believe he cared deeply for the perpetuity of Gonzales.

He also left other property. He was blessed with much in his lifetime. It appears that he wished to return a legacy for the betterment of Gonzales. (His life story can be found in many books – FYI).

Ann Covert is a former resident and business owner in Gonzales who now lives in Greer, South Carolina.