description

Historias: Stories of El Paso
A virtual exhibition curated by our community

Courtesy of: Bill Tole
Title: William Tole 1919 - 2000, From the Great Depression to the Greatest Generation
Historia Type: Photograph

They were called products of the Great Depression, my father would tell us he owned only one pair of pants he had to launder and press himself, so he could be dressed to attend Austin High School. Clarence Flanagan was born in a house in Sunset Heights, El Paso, TX. His Mom emigrated from Halifax, England and we’re pretty sure his Father was a Fort Bliss soldier. Later, through circumstances no living member of our family can be sure of, Clarence Flanagan became William Tole, in a household where he was sometimes contemptuously considered just another mouth to feed. Raised by his Aunt and Grandmother, he pushed onward through ROTC and the Panther band to become an Army Air Corps bombardier and wing commander. After the war, he founded the Tole Company, selling wholesale auto parts in 5 Points and on Dyer Street. He became the youngest Potentate of El Maida Shrine, hung out with a who’s who of El Paso movers and shakers and was an honorary Deputy Sheriff of El Paso and Otero Counties, but his crowning achievement was providing the sort of family stability denied to him in his youth. His optimism in adversity and the currency of his character remain his legacy

Uploaded on 06.04.2020 by El Paso Museum of History

Central / Downtown, (2020 - 2029), Cultural Heritage

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