Great-grandson of Joseph Kemp helps preserve family’s history

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) -- Thomas Hamilton, great-grandson of Joseph Kemp.

Kemp is one of the founding fathers of Wichita Falls and helped create what is now Lake Wichita.

Hundreds gathered to support the lake's revitalization project, including Hamilton, who is in full support of the project that his great grandfather started.

"Irrigation was his lifelong project, and the rest is history," said Hamilton.

Much of that history though has faded, from the iconic pavilion to the Lakeside hotel.

Today, modern entrepreneurs are using Kemps vision, leadership and passion to bring the lake back to life.

Something Hamilton believes his great-grandfather would be very proud of.

Hamilton is also try to preserve his family's history, bring artifacts that will soon be on display in the Kell House.

"Unfortunately there really is no venue dedicated to the Kemps," said Hamilton.

The house which was located on 10th Street and Grant Street has been demolished and is currently home to an apartment complex.

The Kell House though is facing its own issues of preserving history.

Cracks in the foundation as well as the crown molding have workers at the Heritage Foundation trying to raise over $1 million to preserve this historical landmark.

Nadine McKown said "We really need all of North Texas is help to make sure he remain standing and looks as great as it can."

While history fades over time, Hamilton believes preserving it is just as important as understanding it.

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