Wilson Archer Remembered…
Former Humble Mayor Wilson Archer, 73, died Jan. 28 after suffering from leukemia for several years. Those close to him said the past four years had been particularly difficult.
“Wilson and I went to high school together,” said Humble Mayor Donnie McMannes. “He was a grade behind me, but we were friends. He was a life-long, pure ‘Humble man.’ He loved the city and he spent 25 years serving its residents.”
Archer was elected mayor on May 9, 1995 and retired on May 17, 2005. He had served as city councilman for 15 years prior to that.
“He was tough, but always honest in his political positions,” said McMannes.
Prior to Humble City Council, Archer owned five convenience stores. He sold the last “Wilson Superette” in 1984. The stores provided jobs in the community and were able to support local Little League baseball teams, football teams and the Humble ISD Livestock Show and Rodeo. Archer made numerous charitable contributions to area organizations and individuals.Archer based his business on loyalty and trust. He often extended credit to his neighbors, something unheard of from a convenience store.
“I worked with Wilson for 25 years,” said James Baker, former Humble city manager. “Wilson was in office before Deerbrook Mall opened. He knew Humble would grow and was a big part of building the infrastructure to support the growth. He was born, served and died in Humble. ”
McMannes said it was Archer’s vision to build the Humble Civic Center and he was one of the first to see the need for the conference facility and community center. Today, the center is used by businesses for meetings, conferences and seminars and has become a showpiece for the Humble area. It has become the home of the annual Humble ISD Livestock Show and Rodeo and other community events.
McMannes also gave credit to Archer for his role in negotiating with the Harris County Metropolitan Transit Authority to bring dollars back to Humble.
It is estimated that the 10-year agreement with METRO brought approximately $50,000,000 in rebate dollars into the city. The funds are based on a portion of sales tax revenue and are used for roadway improvement, infrastructure and other transportation expenses.
Many of Archer’s pet projects involved practical items, such as providing adequate utilities, drainage, roadways, emergency services, improvements to public parks, a library, and police and criminal justice facilities.
Other projects were strictly from the heart. Archer, who was an avid gardener, often said his favorite program was the seniors’ gardening program affectionately known as “Archer’s Acre.”
“He felt seniors needed a place to gather and stay active,” said Baker.
Seniors are allowed to plant and cultivate vegetables for their own use at the Senior Activity Center on South Houston Avenue. The surplus from the garden is donated to local food banks. After the addition of a greenhouse, seniors began to grow flowers to sell at Humble’s Good Oil Days and poinsettias to sell during the holidays. Archer’s seniors’ gardening program was spotlighted twice on Channel 11 News.
Archer also provided leadership and assistance to the Boy Scouts of America, the Northeast Medical Center Hospital, the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, the FamilyTime Foundation, the Door, the Humble Lions Club, the Humble Area Chamber of Commerce and Humble ISD. He held leadership positions in many state-wide municipal organizations.
“Wilson Archer was born in Humble. He graduated from Charles Bender High School in 1954,” said Nancy Coker, board president of the Humble Museum. “I considered him a good friend. Citizens of Humble were lucky to have him as mayor. I will miss him. We will all miss him.”
Community members gathered for visitation at Rosewood Funeral Home Friday, Jan. 30, and for his funeral Saturday, Jan. 31, at the First United Methodist Church in Humble.
Archer is survived by his sons Curtis and Craig; his daughter-in-law, Regina of Humble; and his granddaughter, Cassie; brother Haden Archer; and sister Jan Lou Bar. He was preceded in death by his parents, Edgar and Alma Archer, and eight brothers and sisters. A reception at Humble Civic Center followed the funeral. The family suggested contributions to the St. Luke’s Blood Bank in lieu of flowers.
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