MARY JO PONSFORD MELBY
Mary Jo Ponsford Melby is a fifth generation Texan and a third generation El Pasoan.
Her great, great grandparents Rebecca and Henry Hester Robertson arrived in our state by
covered wagon in the 1800's and settled in Whitesboro, a small community north of
Dallas. Her great grandfather, Calvin Simpson, served as mayor of Whitesboro for
several terms and her other great grandfather, Silas B. Cowell was elected Texas State
Senator from Grayson County for two terms. He was appointed by Governor Pat Neff as
the first Chairman ofthe Board of Controls of Texas. Governor Neff also appointed
Senator Cowell to chair a five member committee charged with determining the location
for Texas Tech College (later University). Senator Cowell's wife, Mary Florence Cowell
was the "Mother of P.E.O. Sisterhood" in Texas having organized Chapter A in
Whitesboro in 1902. She later became the first president ofP.E.O. 's State Chapter.
P.E.O. is an organization that promotes higher education for women both in the United
States and internationally.
Arriving in El Paso in 1897, the Ponsford family became pioneer contractors and built
many historic homes and buildings in the region. Kate and H.T. Ponsford had nine
children and all nine lived and worked in El Paso all of their lives. Mary Jo's
grandfather, H.T. Ponsford was joined by his five sons in the family firm. All four
daughters became teachers. H.T. Ponsford and Sons were the General Contractors for the
Plaza Theatre as well as the Sun Bowl football stadium. They worked closely with the
pioneer architect Henry Trost whose designs they greatly admired.
Mary Jo and her late husband Everett Melby both graduated from the University of Texas
in Austin as did their three children Kinn Melby, Kathy Melby and Vicki Melby. Mary
Jo received a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design from the University of Texas
in 1963. An avid Longhorn fan, Mary Jo had the good fortune to be born on March 2nd,
Texas Independence Day.
Coldwell Grade School - First Grade
Mesita Grade School- Graduated in 1954
El Paso High School- Graduated in 1958
University of Texas, Austin
Graduated in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interior Design
Mary Jo represented the Woman's Club ofEl Paso in the 1959 Sun Carnival
Court and the American Association of University Women in the Fabens Cotton
OUTSTANDING EL PASO HIGH EX - MARY JO MELBY
Report this entry
More from the same community-collection
The next three pages will individually highlight the great careers of our three Outstanding Exes for 2018. These three are...
Anna Lucia Mares, EPHS Class of 1980, 2018 EPHS Outstanding Ex
Anna Lucia Mares, Class of 1980, was born...
Myles J. Cohen – EPHS Class of 1958, 2018 Outstanding EX
Two characteristics launched Myles J. Cohen’s...
On September 20,2018 , the Outstanding Ex Luncheon lucheon at the El Paso Club will salute Mary Jo Melby, Myles...
The 1958 & 1963 graduating classes from EL Paso High School celebrate their 60th & 55th Class reunions repectively. An...
There is a teacher i met and uses the Time magazines to teach his students. I was told he is...
a portrait of the students at EPHS.
the space in which the El Paso High School Museum is not displayed was part of the Boys Gym from...
The second installation of El Paso High Centennial Commemoration Tiles on a wall adjacent to the Library/Cafeteria Building. The lyrics...
Dean's Quarters at El Paso High. The photo displays a portion of an apartment on the first floor. The apartment...
"The cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy and, while guided and controlled by virtue, the noblest attribute of...
The current Weight Room was formerly the Girls Gym from 1916 through 1965 when the CD Jarvis Gymnasium was then...
The tallest man El Paso Texas. Ehrlich was a painter, photographer. poet, and a sculpturist. He was a man standing...
he was a muralist, illustrator, war correspondent, portraitist, novelist and historian. A graduate from El Paso High and the Chief...
F. Murray Abraham with Shirley Maclaine at the 1985 Oscars. Abraham would play in the movie Amadeus as the role...