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Native son returns to Kildare

Native son returns to Kildare

March 8th, 2017 by Neil Abeles in Texarkana Region

William Groce III

Photo by Associated Press

Kildare is still a community, but, as a town, it may never come back.

If it does, it will depend upon citizens such as 27-year-old William Groce III.

He grew up here among plenty of successful family members, then moved away to obtain a master's degree.

But a brief career start in Houston didn't satisfy. Too much traffic, for one thing.

So he's moved back to the quiet of Kildare and is starting anew by selling wood, using his tractors for landscaping, his mechanical skills to repair motorcycles and large trucks.

He's paid the taxes on his relative's store, the onc-popular and centrally located Corbin and Sheila Miles Store that sold the famous barbecue. Its motto was "So tender you can eat it without teeth."

"My family was known for that barbecue," Groce said with pride. "I want to bring it back with other things, too. I want to bring that pride back here."

He intends to rebuild the building located at the intersection of Farm to Market roads 125 and 248 and the western edge of the bridge. It will be smaller, more functional.

Groce is the son of Debbie and William Groce II. He graduated from Linden-Kildare Consolidated Independent School District in 2004 and doesn't mind telling how he went off to the University of Arkansas with lots of enthusiasm.

"But I was terrible that first year. Failed everything, I think. I came back and began work on the ranch here and soon found out that ranch work was not for me."

The first chance he got, he went back to school at Wiley College in Marshall, and there he learned another lesson from experience.

"I was just so glad to back in college that I took whatever courses I was assigned and found I started making straight A's in sociology. So that's what I majored in and got the master's degree this past year."

Those degrees will help him succeed because he wants to do it on his own, he said.

"I had a good job working at a university and working for others in Houston. But it wasn't what I wanted. I decided to come back."

Coming back to Kildare will be what others must do, too, to help a community become a village and then perhaps a town.

Kildare has a community center, three churches, a Masonic Lodge, post office and graveyard. Can it become more?

Groce's sociology degrees and the working together of others in this community may answer that question.

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