Congressman Mike Conaway | 11th District of Texas
February 17, 2017

Conaway Chronicle: Voting to Protect States from Obama Abortion RegulationTexas Story Project, The History of Penwell, Texas

Thank you for reading The Conaway Chronicle, a review of my activities in Congress and the 11th District. 

Voting to Protect States from Obama Abortion Regulation

Thursday, I voted for H.J. Res 43, which passed the House of Representatives 230-188. This vote repealed a rule that was one of President Obama’s last ditch efforts to supersede state law and force taxpayer funded abortions. Individual states have always had the authority to set guidelines for qualifications and distribute Title X grants to health clinics providing family planning services to low income women. President Obama’s backwards rule was a strong-arm attempt to force states into funding abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood, or risk losing all funding to the community health clinics who offer invaluable services to low income families. This rule was a lose-lose for life and for states’ rights, and I’m glad to see the House overwhelmingly vote to reverse this harmful Obama-era regulation.

Texas Story Project

Do you have a neat story about Texas? The Bullock Texas State History Museum is collecting stories of family, history, and life in Texas for their Texas Story Project. You can submit one story or many, and there are prompts to help get you started. The museum has already begun featuring some stories on an interactive map, and TX-11 constituents have already begun participating. You can submit your story and make your mark on Texas history at this link. 

The History of Penwell, Texas

Penwell, Texas was a typical West Texas oil town from the 1920s. It all started when J. H. Penn, a veteran West Texas Oil operator came in on the railway and drilled the discovery well of the Penwell-Jordan oilfield. On October 7, 1929, the area took off with the drilling of Penn’s well, the R. R. Penn Kloh-Rumsey No. 1. Because it was Penn’s oil well, the town became known as “Pennwell.”

The prospects started the same as any West Texas town that begun during the oil boom. By 1931 the town had nearly 3,000 residents, despite the town being only 2-3 years old. Although population statistics were hard to calculate due to migrant workers, during the early 1930s the town had six lumberyards, several filling stations, multiple clothing stores, two hotels, a doctor's office, a drugstore, a barbershop, a pool hall, a coffee shop, a dance hall, and a paper, the Penwell News. However, like many oil towns when the work began to dwindle the population migrated to towns with more work. Today, the Joker Coffee Shop is one of the few things left standing.

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Rep. Mike Conaway, 11th District