Hood County Courthouse, Granbury, Texas
Statue of Mary Lou Watkins of Granbury
from her obitituary
Mary Lou Watkins, 83, businesswoman, community leader and longtime promoter of historic preservation, died in her sleep in Dallas on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2001.....Mary Lou was always a rare combination of listener, dreamer, tireless worker and motivator. During her early life she was a fashion model, saleswoman, author, mother, housewife, church and community volunteer, but she is most widely known for her work in Granbury.
Mary Lou returned to Granbury from Dallas in the late 1960s to restore the house in which she and her mother were born. After reopening the Nutt Hotel and Nutt House Dining Room, she recognized the economic success of her business, and her hometown, lay in the neglected beauty of the unspoiled town square and county courthouse.
Mary Lou and a small number of similarly resolute townspeople led the restoration of the limestone structures of the square. They assured the historic site's future integrity through official designation by state and national agencies. Their dreams, adaptive reuse of these structures and their ability to preserve the spirit of the small-town Texas life generated national recognition and a tourism economy for Granbury.
Mary Lou attended the University of Texas where she was a member of Chi Omega. She was a member of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas, where, before her work in Granbury, she taught Sunday school and was deeply involved in parish affairs. She co-authored with Ann Jensen a historical novel about Dr. Franz Mesmer, edited the book "Horse Tradin'" by Ben K. Green and wrote and edited children's stories.