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George Stahl: The Navy and the Minor League, Texas

As told by Ben
Marshall, Texas

Story Narrative:

Screenshot of student's website feature a banner with the United States Capitol dome.

Seventh grade students in Marshall, Texas, worked in coordination with the Texas State Historical Association and National History to create multimedia websites that includes interviews with family, friends, and local residents. The work was supported by Museum on Main Street's Youth Access Grants in 2013-2014. In this project, a student interviews a well-known local businessman and created a companion website to host his work.

Ben writes of the project, "The reason why I'm interviewing George Stahl is because his journey is amazing. He joined the navy right out of high school. After he was in the navy he played professional baseball in minor leagues. After baseball he joined the army during World War II. When he came back he managed a warehouse in east St. Louis. After he managed the warehouse I think he began selling chemicals in southwest Texas and Louisiana. After selling chemicals, he became a custom home building contracting. His hobbies are golf, and hanging with friends."

Ben (00:00): When were you born?

George Stahl (00:02): January the 21st, 1921.

Ben (00:05): And where were you born?

George Stahl (00:06): Fancy Farm, Kentucky.

Ben (00:09): What was it like growing up there?

George Stahl (00:12): Fancy Farm, Kentucky?

Ben (00:13): Yes.

George Stahl (00:14): It was a small Catholic town. About the only thing they had in that town was a great big cathedral, Catholic cathedral, but the whole town was Catholic.

Ben (00:24): Where did you live before you came to Marshall?

George Stahl (00:27): I lived in St. Louis, Missouri. Well, I lived in several places, but my hometown was east St. Louis, Illinois.

Ben (00:34): When did you come to Marshall and why?

George Stahl (00:38): I came to Marshall in 1970 because my wife and I, from Shreveport, moved over here from Shreveport to start a business. We started Chemzall Chemical Company.

Ben (00:53): What was the name of the chemical company you own?

George Stahl (00:58): Chemzall Chemical.

Ben (01:00): What was it like working there?

George Stahl (01:02): It was heaven on Earth. I had all the chicken industries in East Texas and some in Arkansas and some in Louisiana, even one in Missouri, all the way from Fort Worth to Waco, Texas. All of them, you name them, they belong to me.

Ben (01:20): Cool. What year did you start building homes?

George Stahl (01:24): I don't know what year that was, but I was playing with him and he asked me to build that house for his granddaughter on 80, here across from... When the heck was that? That was about in the early nineties, I think. Wasn't it?

Speaker 3 (01:40): I think so. Yeah. Early 90s.

George Stahl (01:40): Exactly, because, yeah, that helped started me there. Yeah.

Ben (01:47): How many homes did you build?

George Stahl (01:49): I don't know, young man. I can't... I built a lot of them. I was the biggest builder in this town for a long time.

Asset ID: 2022.32.06
Themes: Church, Catholic faith, industry, business, work, chicken, development
Date recorded: 2013-14
Length of recording: 01:56
File Type: Website/Audio
Related traveling exhibition: Journey Stories
Sponsor or affiliated organization: Texas Historical Association in conjunction with National History Day
More information

Media Files: