Back in the year of 1936, with the country just pulling out from under the shroud of depression, the 203rd Coast Artillery from Missouri came to bleak, muddy Camp Hulen for National Guard maneuvers.
So it was that a young armory custodian by the name of Norman E. Runyon got his first look at Palacios.
A Lt. McGlothlin, close friend to Runyon, noticed that a family with his name lived here, so he went out to pay a call on the J. F. McGlothlin family.
While visiting with the family, he met their daughter, Gladys McGlothlin, and mentioned her to Runyon. So it was that he first heard of the woman who was to later become the wife, although he didn't meet her until 1940 and they weren't married until 1944.
Runyon, who now operates Runyon Chiropractic offices here and is active in the Chamber of Commerce and the First Baptist Church, was born in Vernon County, Missouri.
The oldest in a family of three boys, Dr. Runyon was the son of a grain and hay farmer. Born September 16, 1907, he attended a one room, one teacher school house about three quarters of a mile from his country home for the eight grades offered.
"Our one teacher sometimes had 80 students and often did her own janitor work," he says, looking back at the grade school days.
His parents, Mr. and Mrs. L. L. Runyon, and his youngest brother still live in Vernon County, Missouri, near Nevada.
After completing grade school, Runyon attended the Southwest Baptist College Academy in Bolivar, Missouri for his high school training.
"My folks thought I would get better schooling there than in the public schools and it was just as easy for me to go to the academy anyway, because he had to move closer to town to get to either one," he said.
After graduating from the school, he worked a year for the Frisco Railroad at Pleasanton, Kansas and Quapaw, Oklahoma.
Interested in furthering his education, he left the railroad in 1928 and entered school at the Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
The chiropractor said he was interested in physics at the time, but the depression struck and he had to quit college after only a year of training.
Going back to Missouri, Runyon dabbled with wheat and small grain farming until he got a job as armory caretaker for a unit in the 203rd Coast Artillery of the Missouri National Guard in 1934.
His job as custodian included the maintenance of vehicles and weapons, supply replacement and paper work.
While with the 203rd, he came to Camp Hulen with the outfit in 1936, and saw Palacios for the first time. It was also the first time he heard of Gladys McGlothlin.
The anti-aircraft outfit returned to Palacios in October of 1940, when the members of World War II were smoldering and ready to burst into full flame.
Runyon was wearing the stripes of a tech sergeant this trip, and still serving as an armory custodian. While attending services at the First Baptist Church here, he met and became acquainted with Gladys.
The national guard unit went through 15 months of grueling training at Camp Hulen and Runyon was sent to electrical fire control school at Fort Monroe, Virginia in 1941.
The family Louisiana maneuvers dealt the 203rd plenty of misery, but probably saved Runyon's outfit from a more famous and grueling episode--the Philippine death march.
This came about when the 203rd, scheduled to go to the Philippines, gave up their guns and the island assignment to participate in the Louisiana maneuvers.
After the training, the outfit spent six months as a defense unit for Douglas Aircraft factory near Santa Monica, California. Then they were shipped to Alaska.
In Alaska, the 203rd were set up as a defense unit on Cold Bay, an isolated spot on the western tip of the peninsula starting the chain of Aleutian Islands.
"We found nothing there but what we took with us," Runyon said.
Guarding the air strip that based the planes that first gave Japan a taste of the U. S. air power, the AA outfit remained in Cold Bay for nine months, with the men spending most of their time building huts and unloading ships.
The unit then moved to Amchitka Island and stayed there for 18 months. By this time, Runyon had reached the rank of Warrant Officer, Jr. grade.
When the outfit was returned to the States, they transferred from Fort Lewis, Washington to Fort Bliss, Texas and turned in their equipment.
While on leave, Runyon came to Palacios and he and Gladys were married.
His outfit them went to Camp Maxey at Paris, Texas and was de-activated as an anti-aircraft outfit and the members, after a training period, were shipped to Europe as infantry replacements.
Runyon stayed at Maxey and was re-examined for another specialty--supply. Passing his tests, he went to Fort Hood and was ammunition supply officer for the infantry replacement training center until he was discharged at Fort Hood, December 7, 1945.
The newly discharged soldier went to work for the Southern Pacific Railroad at Edna, billing out fresh fruit and vegetables--more than 5,000 cars during the first few months he worked.
In 1946, Runyon and his wife went to St. Louis and enrolled in Logan Basic College of Chiropractic. By going straight through, both finished the 36 month course in 1949.
Then returned to Palacios and Runyon began his Chiropractic practice. Mrs. Runyon is employed at the City State Bank.
Always active in civic affairs, Runyon has served two terms as president of the local Chamber of Commerce and is presently a member of the board of directors of both the local organization and the South Texas Chamber.
He teaches the Men's Sunday School Class at the First Baptist Church and is church treasurer.
In his own field, he is a member of the State Chiropractic Association and the Gulf Coast Chiropractic Society. Dr. Runyon is general chairman of the 1957 Chiropractic Basic Seminar, planned for next Spring.
Head of the Chamber's highway committee, Runyon is also a member of the County United Fund organization.
Palacios Beacon, September 27, 1959
A wedding beautiful in its simplicity took place at the First Baptist Church Sunday afternoon, October 8, when Miss Gladys McGlothlin and W. O. Norman Runyon were married, Rev. L. W. Crouch officiating, using the double ring service.
Friends had decorated the church with flowers and foliage, floor baskets of white gardenias and pink zinnias being attractively arranged, forming a background in front of which the vows were pledged.
Preceding the ceremony Corporal Carlson of Camp Hulen sang "Because" accompanied by Mrs. E. A. Burton, who also played the traditional wedding marches.
The bride, given in marriage by her brother, Ralph McGlothlin, wore a becoming blue suit with back accessories and a corsage of white carnations. Mrs. James Murphy and S/Sgt. Harlen Scott served as attendants.
Immediately after the ceremony, Warrant Office and Mrs. Runyon left for a short wedding trip.
Mrs. Runyon, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. McGlothlin, has made Palacios her home since early childhood. She is a graduate of the Palacios High School, an active worker in both church and civic circles, and for a number of years an efficient employee in the local office of the Central Power and Light Company.
Warrant Officer Runyon, of Nevada, Missouri, was a member of the 203rd when this group was at Camp Hulen in 1940-41 for training. From here he went to California and then was sent out for oversea duty, in which he spent more than two years.
Among those from out-of-town here for the wedding were Miss Belle McGlothlin, of Eagle Pass, and Mr. and Mrs. Ralph McGlothlin and son, Norman, of Bay City.
Palacios Beacon, October 12, 1944
Dr. Norman E. Runyon has announced his retirement from the general practice of chiropractic.
Dr. Runyon opened his office on Main Street in Palacios in April of 1950 following his graduation from the Logan Basic College of Chiropractic in St. Louis. Dr. Runyon is a veteran of World War II and attended college under the G. I. bill.
During his years of practice here Dr. Runyon has been active in civic and church work. He has served on various committees and was president for three terms of the Palacios Chamber of Commerce. He was appointed chairman of the Emergency Houston Committee for Palacios by Mayor Curtis following Hurricane Carla in 1961.
He is currently Vice President of the Palacios Library Board of Directors, Vice President of the Matagorda County Chapter, American Red Cross, and has just completed a term as Vice President of the Matagorda County United Fund. He is a Trustee and Treasurer for the Texas Baptist Encampment.
Dr. Runyon is a member of the First Baptist Church where he is a Deacon, Treasurer, Sunday School Director and a member of the Church Building Committee. He also served for several years as Brotherhood Director for Colorado Baptist Association.
In his professional work Dr. Runyon served for five years as a Director of District Eleven of the Texas Chiropractic Association and was its president for two years. He also served on various committees of the state association.
Dr. Runyon and his wife Gladys plan to remain in Palacios.
Palacios Beacon, January 8, 1976
SAN ANGELO - Norman E. Runyon, 88, graveside
service at 10 a.m. in Lawnhaven Memorial Gardens;
arrangements by Johnson's Funeral Home.
Gladys Runyon, 93, of San
Angelo died at 12:35 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, 2000, in a local
nursing care center. She was born Feb. 27, 1907, in Rifle, Colo.
She married Dr. Norman E. Runyon on Oct. 8, 1944, in
Palacios. She was a member of First Baptist
Church and she retired from City State Bank in Palacios.
San Angelo Standard-Times,
November 3, 2000
Dr. Norman E. Runyon announced today that he has installed an X-Ray machine in his offices.
The addition of this machine will make X-Ray service more convenient for Dr. Runyon's patients, the announcement stated.
According to Dr. Runyon's announcement, this machine is capable of making X-Ray pictures of any part of the body, including the entire torso, on one film. It uses all sizes of film up to 14 inches wide by 36 inches long. The larger film is used for locating areas of distoration [distortion?] in the spinal column.
Palacios Beacon, May 12, 1955
The Gulf Coast Chiropractic Society held its regular monthly meeting in Palacios Saturday, October 1.
Drs. Clyde Spellman, El Campo, D. A. Einkauf and K. A. Daggett, Bay City, John C. White and Norman E. Runyon, Palacios attended the meeting. Dr. Runyon was host.
Dr. Einkauf discussed the work of Dr. Illi of Switzerland, who has done extensive research in chiropractic. Dr. Illi's work was presented at the recently held Homecoming at the Texas Chiropractic College at San Antonio.
Other portions of the program included case management and X-Ray procedure.
Dr. Spellman was selected to be host to the next meeting of the society.
Palacios Beacon, October 6,
Dr. Norman E. Runyon of Palacios has been appointed a member of the placement committee of the Texas State Chiropractic Association, Dr. Howard V. Pierce of Wishita Falls, new association president, announced this week.
Palacios Beacon, July 16, 1964
Director and Vice-President of
Matagorda County United Fund - October 20, 1955