Texarkana Hometown Heroes: Bill Waggoner, Founder of ‘Old Washington Ride’


In recognition and appreciation, it is an honor for us to name Bill Waggoner, founder of the “Old Washington Ride” to benefit Arkansas Children’s Hospital as our Texarkana FYI Hometown Hero for July 2017.

Most folks have seen Mr. Bill Waggoner, Mr. Bill to those that know him, over the years. If not on his annual two-day trail ride, you more than likely have seen him riding his covered wagon in one of the many Four States Fair Parades over the years. Mr. Bill started the annual “Old Washington Ride” for Arkansas Children’s Hospital back in 2002 in memory of his grandson, T.J. Waggoner.

The Old Washington Ride is a two-day horseback trail ride that begins on a Friday morning in Texarkana and ends in Old Washington Arkansas on Sunday afternoon during the annual Jonquil Festival. All proceeds from the ride sponsor and donations go to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. The 2016 ride had 30 riders and 10 wagons. Over the years the ride has raised more than $150,000 for the hospital and the miracles that Mr. Bill has seen come from the hospital and the staff that work for the children.

Mr. Bill does even more than just the trail ride to raise funds for Arkansas Children’s Hospital throughout these many years. He has bake sales that he holds at local stock auctions He recently raised over $2,000 with less than 20 homemade cakes with a raffle at the sale barn. (Don’t be fooled by logos and brick and mortar bakeries, us old men know where the really good cakes are.)

Bill Waggoner owned Bill Waggoner Tile for close to 50 years. He and his wife Sybil raised 3 sons, and later became grandparents to 9 grandchildren. He has been retired for about 10 years.

With the submission for Mr. Bill as a “Texarkana FYI Hometown Hero” was also this…

“Pepaw is going to get me for putting him on “spacebook” but that’s ok! I think everyone needs to know how neat he is and how much of a hero he truly is!!”

He is pictured here with his great-granddaughter, Lauryn Ferguson after she won the trophy for the youngest rider to ride the entire two-day horseback ride. Behind him is his wagon, I’m pretty sure that thing makes him the happiest next to his kids, grandkids and now great grands!

To nominate someone as a TexarkanaFYI Hometown Hero, email texarkanafyi@gmail.com and tell us who you think should be added to our list of heroes and why they deserve the title of Hometown Hero.


About Author

After more than 30 years with radio and TV stations, I decided to do my own thing by blogging. It affords me the ability to stay super involved in the community, but still, have plenty of time with my 3 new granddaughters and other local projects.

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