Retired Grayson County Judge Horace Groff has returned to serve on the Mayor Foundation Board.
The board oversees a fund of around $15 million that is used to enhance the lives of the people of Grayson County in Texas and Mayes County in Oklahoma.
Groff, who served as Grayson County Judge for 21 years before retiring in 2002, said he appreciated their faith in him.
The Mayor Foundation is a charitable trust that gives money to support public, scientific, literacy or educational purposes in Mayes County, Oklahoma and Grayson County, Texas. It is the legacy of Oliver Dewey “Jock” Mayor, a rancher, real estate developer and entrepreneur who died in 1985 at the age of 86 having never married and with no children. Upon his death, the sizeable estate he had amassed was put into trust to serve the communities he loved. Information on the trust’s website said he had been born in Pryor, Indian Territory in 1898 and was one of 12 children. He graduated from Pryor schools and was a mailman for 20 years. He also owned a parts store and and gas stations in Pryor, but made his real money in real estate, buying it up cheap during the Depression.
“He was a shrewd businessman who loved wheeling and dealing more than the money derived from his talent; he could have lived like a king but watched his pennies and lived like a pauper,” the website says of the foundation’s benefactor.
In Grayson County, the Commissioner’s Court appoints the Board of Governors for Grayson County. Groff was appointed to the Board in 2016.
Grayson County Judge Bill Magers said it makes sense to return Groff to the Board.
“Thank you for the opportunity to serve,” Groff said before telling commissioners that the Mayor Foundation has put an untold amount of money back into Grayson County.
“One of the blessing that we have to live in Grayson County is the number of charitable foundations that try to meet human needs throughout the county,” he added. He said the Mayor Foundation is one of those as is The Smith Foundation, The Munson Foundation and the Clara Blackford Smith & Aubrey Smith Foundation are others. And, he said, there are still many others. All of them try to meet human needs throughout the county.
“Without those (foundations) a lot of those needs would go unmet,” Groff said.
“I am grateful to have the opportunity to try to prudently distribute Mr. Mayors’ money,” Groff added.
He told commissioners that the foundation has made some changes in the past three years including splitting the decision making process. He said previous the three governors in Texas and the three in Oklahoma would get together and make decisions at some location. That meeting would last a couple of days and had costs incurred, he said.
Now, he said, the three from Texas make decisions about requests made in Texas and the ones in Oklahoma make decisions about requests in Oklahoma. That means there are less expenses incurred for the trust, he said.
“So I think it’s being operated in a prudent manner and is meeting some human needs,” Groff concluded.
Grayson County Commissioner David Whitlock moved that Groff be reappointed to the trust and Commissioner Bart Lawrence seconded it. No one voted against it.