By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
As originally published by Texas Border Business newsprint Edition
February 2010—A well known and respected business leader Frank N. Boggus was named Border Texan of the year 2010 by the Hidalgo Chamber of Commerce and a special selection committee last month.
The Hidalgo Chamber of Commerce started the Border Texan of the Year Award in 1989 to pay tribute to an individual who has made contributions for the betterment of the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas. The prestigious award is given during the annual BorderFest celebration in Hidalgo, Texas.
Each year several of the Valley’s most progressive citizens serve on the selection and recognition committee. They give careful consideration to civic leaders who have given unselfishly of their time and talents to make the Valley a better place to live. The committee only considers those citizens whose contributions have been motivated by community spirit and not financial gain. This time the committee selected Frank N. Boggus.
The past Border Texans have been very distinguished honorees. This designation makes Boggus the 22nd in the history of the program. “It’s going to be difficult to live up to those men and women that have been selected,” Frank stated.
Frank Nelson Boggus was born in Brownsville Texas and moved to Harlingen at a young age when his father purchased a Ford dealership in the early 30’s. According to Frank, his father Lewis Boggus came to McAllen at the age of seventeen in 1917 when he found a job with a Ford dealer. Lewis Boggus had taken an accounting course and had been working as a bookkeeper.
As a child, Frank attended Harlingen schools where he lettered as a halfback on the varsity football squad and graduated from Harlingen High school. Following high school, Frank married his high school sweetheart Peggy Jean Long (she passed away 2 years ago). He became a proud graduate of Texas A & M University in College Station, Texas.
In 1950, he moved to McAllen and lived there for almost three years before he was called into service during the Korean conflict. Frank served as 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force before returning to the Rio Grande Valley to join the family business at the Boggus Motor Company in Harlingen where he still remains.
“I actually met Frank in 1947, I was a sophomore at Texas A & M and he was a junior,” Dr. Ken Landrum stated. “Later we were assigned to the same military unit and I became his first sergeant the following year; so I have known him for a long time” he added.
Texas Border Business spoke to Barbara Sue Boggus Tucker, Frank’s daughter that lives down the block from her father’s house in Harlingen. She said that her father is always doing for other people. “I admire him greatly, he is certainly the person that I most look up to, that has taught me the most about God, people, and doing for other people,” she stated.
Indeed Frank has made many friends throughout the years and one of them is Glen E. Roney. “Frank Boggus and I have been business partners for many years, I guess I’ve known him since 1961,” Roney stated.
In addition, Frank assisted Roney in putting together and organizing the first bank that became part of Texas State Bank in the seventies. “We put the group together to start the bank and he has been involved in numerous businesses in the Rio Grande Valley,” he said. “It is a great honor for me to be able to say that my good friend Frank Boggus is the new Border Texan for 2010,” he stated.
During the ceremony Frank thanked everyone in the committee for giving this honor and told them, “I am starting to think that you’re at the end of the barrel.” Adding that Ken Landrum and he ended up in the same squadron, they have known each other for many years. “He was a mean sun-of-a-gun. To be a top sergeant that’s the way you had to be,” Frank said.
The Mayor of Hidalgo, Texas said that Frank Boggus is a very successful man, however he found the time in his busy life to help others. “But even today at 81 years of age he is on the board of the Salvation Army, a nonprofit organization,” he stated.
Bob Boggus, Frank’s son said that he was honored to know that his father was designated Border Texan for 2010. “I think that is very deserving of him, he has given for many years and I think that this is the right thing,” he stated.
Bob pointed out the thing he most admires about his father is Frank’s generosity of his time and heart. He doesn’t have any enemies in life and loves everybody and he tries to help everywhere and anywhere he can. “The giving spirit that he has; I believe it is one of his best traits,” Bob said.
According to Joe Vera, City Manager of Hidalgo, the award was designed to honor people that served their communities. “So when you look at Frank’s curriculum he’s is the perfect candidate and we are proud to have him,” he told Texas Border Business.
Frank Boggus has made an indelible mark on the Valley’s business, community, and political scene. In addition to this he is a devoted family man and father of three, Frank Jr. (who died in 1992), Bob, and Barbara Sue. He is a grandfather of eight, and great-grandfather of two.
The Border Texan of the Year is honored at a dinner and reception on March 4, 2010 at 6:30 p. m. at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas. Proceeds from the event are given to the honoree’s chosen charitable organization. TBB
Written by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez the 2009 SBA Journalist of the Year Award Winner & The 2009 and 2012 Paul Harris Award recipient.