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Frank I. Kidd
“Captain Kidd”

 

In Mid-April, 1935, Frank Kidd was hired by the Ft Worth Area Council. His duties were to be director of operations at Worth Ranch and field work in Parker and Palo Pinto Counties. He was formally executive of the Mo-Co-Wi-De Council headquartered in Gainsville and had served as assistant executive at Dallas and at Tulsa.

 

When he came to WR he would not accept the title of "caretaker" but instead gave himself the title of Ranger. Joe Taylor was the first caretaker.

 

Following is from a taped conversation with him.

 

"We had an early dream of making dormitories around the camp. The old stone buildings you now see in the various camps such as Todd, Fulkerson and Coca Cola were the start. We were to put in seating arrangements for 32 boys and 3 adults along with stove, dish washing and so forth but it never materialized. Vandalism and so forth ruined them and they degenerated into what they are now. They never will get enough money to go ahead and make what we wanted. The title Captain came along in my early scouting years, probably about 1923. Anyone named Kidd will wind up being called Captain .

“The Captain Kidd patch was started in about 1938. We wanted to open the ground down below the hill and didn't have any money for it. I got the boys to take over projects and work and after six hours of work we'd give them a patch, which the first year wasn't called the Captain Kidd patch, but that name came on the second year. We got a lot of work done for the small cost of ordering those patches and many of the boys took pride in what they did and came back years later to show their sons the work areas they had cleaned out.

“One boy was bitten by a coral snake in about 1965 but he didn't die. One boy was shot and killed. He was the son of council commissioner Roy Smith. It was an accident and we didn't know he had a gun. He somehow discharged it and the bullet killed him.

“The land purchased was water grant  land and under lease to the McClure Family. Old Henry McClure was pretty mad at us for buying it and wouldn't let the Scouts pass over his land to get to the camp but the state changed his mind. Later he became friendly and supported what we were doing.

"I think Pop Lewis of Troop 4&52 was the one who named Split Rock. I'm not sure but I’d give him credit for it. And he was one of the early campers although Old Man Gillespie was also among the first. Both brought boys out there two years before the Council bought the land. Also, Harry Male of Troop 17 had campers there before the land was purchased. I don't know who was first."

 

1972 Interview with Capt Kidd