(Courtesy of Ms. Nancy McClain)
Miss Elizabeth Smith originated the Red Hussar Drum and Bugle Corps in 1929; She was later Mrs. Brown or "Smitty Brown". Their marching debut was September 27, 1930 with 21 members.
Hazel Baron (deceased 1998) known as Hazel Dunham in 1930 at Port Arthur High was the corps' first drum major. Her Co-drum major, Ethel Thompson (now Ethel Bowen) led the Hussars to the field (after flipping a coin to see who got to go first) when they made their debut on September 27, 1930. They didn't have boots back then. They wore white slippers. Marvel Clark was the first president. Janet (Lorenz) Beckham 1932, Marguerite (LeBlanc) Griffith 1933, and Jane (Bailey) Dennis 1933 are now RHAA members.
An all-male drum and bugle corps spurred the idea for a Hussar Corps. Smitty saw the male corps in California and decided a pep squad just wasn't enough anymore. On her return to Port Arthur, she requested permission from the school board to form the corps. Permission was granted.
Instruments and uniforms were ordered. When the uniforms came in, they were much better quality than they were told, and therefore the cost was higher than quoted. To raise extra money to pay for the uniforms, the 21 members of this first corps put on a water pageant and vaudeville show. Thus the Red Hussars were born--the first marching drum and bugle corps in Texas.
Mrs. Willoughby (Louise Lattimer) served as director in 1934 - 1938. One of the Drum Majors under Mrs. Willoughby was Ruth Hampton (Lofton) in 1936 who was later followed by her daughter Anne Lofton, Drum Major in 1961. Another Drum Major was Susie Kinney (Gartin) in 1937 who is now a member of the RHAA. Other early members included Mrs. Willis (Marjorie) Honeycutt whose daughter was a majorette in the late 50's, and Mrs. Ida Mildred Luquette. Mrs. Lillian (Nichols) Dorrell (1934), Mrs. Dorothy (Ott) Owen (1937), Mrs. Jim (Steed) Everett (1938), and Mrs. Mary Tee (Perry) Rizer (1938) are now members of the RHAA.
In 1939 Betty Jo White was director. Betty Jo later directed the Baytown Brigadiers.
In 1958 there were about 100 members--14 rows of 6, plus alternates. Work began early in the summer for the New Hussars. Then in August the whole group was brought together for 6-hour daily practices.
Hazel Baron organized the Red Hussar Booster Club in 1974. Mrs. Baron was the president for the first year. In 1979 when the Hussars celebrated their 50th anniversary, Sue Williams was president and the membership was 87, with 21 life members.
The 1979 corps under the direction of Marsha Hicks Bartlett consisted of 1 drum major, 1 assistant drum major, 2 majorettes, 14 snare drums, 8 tenor drums, 5 bass drums, 12 bells, 8 cymbals, 23 bugles and 8 baritone bugles.
GOLDEN YEARS OF HUSSAR RED & WHITE
1929 was the year they say, that planning began
for the "red letter" day,
When buglers, drummers, cymbals, and such
would first begin to "strut" their stuff.
For T.J. High, the maroon and gold, the
Red Hussar Corps began to unfold.
The famed "Red Hussars" have marched and played
with "Here We Come" leading the way.
Hundreds of dedicated girls and sponsors
through 50 years have claimed the honor
Of being a part of the "Hussar Tradition"
which is second to none under any condition.
There's no group like the "dear" red & white
with love and devotion to determine its plight.
It's been honored, praised, and ridiculed, too,
as declining interested seemed to construe
That this dear old group should begin to disband.
When - - -
A Booster Club appeared at hand, and--Guess who
would lead this new booster group but the
First co-drum major and president too.
Does this tell you something our many good friends?
We red & white boosters have memories on end
of much very work, and many good times,
Of pep rallies, games, and spirit divine.
We've marched and played, we've boosted and cheered,
Our love and fellowship have through the years
bound us together in one accord
That many more girls share our reward, of - -
being one "sister" in a group of more
To share in the yields of our loved ones before,
from Smitty, Larrimore and B. Jo White
To Beryl and Marsha the "Red & White"
has come full circle and we mean to see
That the tune of "Our Buddy" will ne'er cease to be
So please ne'er forget the old Red & White
And always think of them flying bright
new leaders, new members
It's you that we've worked for.
Betty Jean Guidroz (Lough)
Jan. 1947 - June 1949