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Women of the
Mabee Regional Heritage Center

Virtual Online Exhibit

The month of March is Women’s History Month, a time dedicated to exploring and honoring the important contributions of women to history.

In this digital exhibit, the Mabee Regional Heritage Center recognized the influential women of Plainview and the surrounding areas. This exhibit featured artifacts from the Flying Queens Museum, the Jimmy Dean Museum, and the Museum of the Llano Estacado. The spotlights from each museum celebrated women’s history and illustrated the fascinating experiences of the women involved in these stories.

The Museum of the Llano Estacado:


The Llano Estacado was a dry and harsh environment that only hardy groups of people could live in. Those who settled here faced a lack of water, scarce vegetation, and occasionally hostile animals.


The women who helped settle the hostile environment of the Llano Estacado were instrumental in every part of life, from caring for the family, working on the farms or ranches, to helping their friends and neighbors. These women changed not only the landscape but also the culture and heritage of this region

A vintage dress on display in the Museum of the Llano Estacado

Period Room from the Museum of the Llano Estacado

Photo Credit Museum of the Llano Estacado

A quilt made in the Llano Estacado Region

A Community Quilt, made in the Llano Estacado region.

Donated by Mrs. Reese Master

Quilting Together a Community

Quilts were and are an important part of history. Traditionally used as protection against the elements, quilts and quilting over time evolved into a way of artistic expression and way to build community.  Quilting now bears an added sense of culture and heritage.


Quilts offer an opportunity for beauty and creativity through their unique designs and cooperative work. Women have used their quilts to protect their families, tell their stories, build community, and strengthen friendships  between quilters. It is during group quilting sessions and while under quilts that ideas and stories were shared that shaped the views and heritage of the Llano Estacado.


Women have shaped not only the fabric of quilts but also the fabric of communities through their craft.


An assortment of medical supplies from the Museum of the Llano Estacado's collection

Nurse's Cap and Assorted Medicine Bottles.

Photo Credit Museum of the Llano Estacado

Women in Medicine

Women have made great advances in the medical field. For centuries women have been influencing  the medical field in many ways.


The women who helped settle the Llano Estacado were no exception.  Women often served as healers, tending to their family and others in a harsh and unforgiving land where few doctors could be found. Women today remain essential to the medical field, working as doctors, nurses, technicians and more to heal and serve their communities.


The Llano Estacado contains a rich history through its unique people and ecology. To learn more about this region and its heritage, as well as to see interesting artifacts from the past, come visit the Museum of the Llano Estacado in Plainview, Texas.

A beaded wedding dress on display in the Museum of the Llano Estacado

Formal Wedding Dress with Accessories.

Photo Credit Museum of the Llano Estacado

The Jimmy Dean Museum: 


Jimmy Dean - a legendary performer, entertainer, and entrepreneur - was surrounded by powerful, influential and important women of the entertainment and music industries. Many of these women were featured on his show, the Jimmy Dean Show, or were co-stars in his movie and TV show appearances.


Yet despite the influence of these dynamic figures, there was one woman who Jimmy Dean, in his own words, considered to be  “...probably the single most important person in my life.” (Dean and Dean 2004, 4). This woman was his mother, Ruth Taylor Dean.

Citation: Dean, Jimmy, and Donna Dean. 2003. Thirty Years of Sausage, Fifty Years of Ham: Jimmy Dean's Own Story. The Berkley Publishing Group.

A photograph of Ruth Taylor Dean, from the Jimmy Dean Museum collection

Ruth Taylor Dean, Jimmy Dean's Mother, 1896-1982

Photo Credit Jimmy Dean Museum

The Golden Record Award for Jimmy Dean's hit song, IOU.  On display in the Jimmy Dean Museum

I.O.U. Golden Record Award, Presented to Casino Records for selling more than one million copies of the song, "I.O.U."

Donated by Donna Dean

Ruth Taylor Dean


Ruth Dean was the oldest of nine children born to William and Ludie Taylor; she is the mother of Jimmy Dean and his brother Don. Ruth  was never a famous movie star or musician, yet she remained an important person to Jimmy Dean and the community of Plainview, Texas. Ruth Dean worked hard 

to provide for her family and set an example for her sons that would have a lasting impact on them. Ruth Dean instilled in Jimmy  the strength to never give up and to face his life's challenges with pride. In Plainview, Ruth Taylor Dean served the community around her by cutting people's hair in her very home.  She was loved by everyone who knew her.


“I.O.U." was a song written by Jimmy Dean in honor of his mother, thanking her for everything she sacrificed for him. Her love, dedication, and example in life were immortalized by Jimmy Dean in the entertainment industry through this song.

"My I.O.U's add up to more than I could ever hope to repay,
But you know the nicest thing about it all....
That I know, that she had marked the entire bill 'Paid In Full'
For just one kiss and four little words....Mom, I Love You!"

- Jimmy Dean, "I.O.U."

To learn more about Jimmy Dean, his life and his career, come visit the Jimmy Dean Museum in Plainview, Texas, and explore the Jimmy Dean legacy through stories and artifacts.

Jimmy Dean and his mother (Ruth Taylor Dean) at the piano together

Ruth Taylor Dean, Jimmy Dean's Mother, at the piano with her son.

Photo Credit Jimmy Dean Museum

The Flying Queens Museum: 


The impact of the Wayland Baptist Flying Queens goes beyond the university campus. Players and coaches of the Flying Queens, with their game-changing perspective, influenced Women’s Basketball on both the national and international front.


The Flying Queens rose to fame in 1953, but their renown was far from fleeting. Flying Queens have become All-Americans, been inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, become some of the first female coaches for women’s basketball teams, and retained their status as important and influential figures in their fields.

Group Photograph of the Flying Queens on February 18th, 2023; for the grand opening of the Flying Queens Museum

Group photo of Flying Queens at the Grand Opening of the Flying Queens Museum on February 18th, 2023. 

Photo Credit Wayland Baptist University

Hutcherson Flying Queens Scorebook, in the collection of the Flying Queens Museum

1953-1954 Official NCAA Basketball Scorebook.  This season was the beginning of the Flying Queen's record-breaking 131 win streak.  

Donated by Wayland Baptist University

Trailblazers and the Winningest Team

Many terms have been used to describe the Flying Queens over the years but these two most accurately describe the team's transformation of the women’s basketball through their skills and abilities on the court. From November 1953 to March 1958, the Hutcherson Flying Queens won 131 consecutive games.  This impressive winning streak has yet to be broken in both men and women’s collegiate basketball.


In 2013, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inducted 31 Flying Queens (from the five teams that created the 131 consecutive win streak) into the Hall of Fame, with the distinction of “Trailblazers of the Game”, a title which is only held by 10 other teams today. The Flying Queens carry on the tradition of excellence to this day, with many Flying Queens becoming All-Americans.  On November 11th, 2021, The Flying Queens won their 1,700 game. This team, one of the best teams in Women’s Basketball on the college level, continues to set the standard of excellence high.

A basketball guide for girls, written by Coach Harley Redin.  In the Flying Queens Museum collection

Basketball Guide for Girls, written by Coach Harley Redin.  Published by Oswald Printing in 1971. 

Donated by Kaye Garms

National Impact

The national impact that the Flying Queens had can be seen in the way women’s basketball is played today. The Flying Queens innovated the game of basketball, pioneering changes to the game that have endured into the present day.


Books such as The Queens Fly High and Basketball Guide for Girls (rulebooks and guidelines on how to play women’s basketball, as well as tips and tricks for the game) were published about the Hutcherson Flying Queens. In these books, members of the Flying Queens were able to provide tips as well as talk about their own stories and what the game means to them. Both individuals and teams who bought the books around the country used them to improve and perfect their game.

Silver Medal from the Sixth Pan American Games in 1971; from the Flying Queens Museum Collection

Silver Medal from the Sixth Pan American Games, 1971. Won by the U.S.A team.

Donated by Cherri Rapp

International Front

The Flying Queens impact was not limited to the national front.  For many years, members of the Hutcherson Flying Queens were selected to serve on the U.S.A Women's Basketball Team to represent the United States internationally.


This Second Place medal is from the Sixth Pan-American Games of 1971.  The Pan-American Games hosted teams from countries in the Americas to face off against each other for the chance to take home the gold medal. The Sixth Pan-American Games was held in Cali, Columbia. The U.S.A Team included six members of the Hutcherson Flying Queens as well as Harley Redin as the head coach. The United States won the silver medal with a  5 wins-1 loss score.  

Come visit the Flying Queens Museum in Plainview, Texas, to learn more about these influential women and the impact they had on women's basketball, as well as to see more artifacts and hear more artifacts related to this legendary team.

Group Photo of the current Flying Queens on February 18th, 2023, as a part of the Grand Opening for the Flying Queens Museum

Group photo of current Flying Queens at the Grand Opening of the Flying Queens Museum on February 18th, 2023. 

Photo Credit Wayland Baptist University

Thank you for visiting the Women’s History Month Virtual Exhibit. We hope you enjoyed reading about the Flying Queens, Ruth Taylor Dean, and the women of the Llano Estacado.


This exhibit was on display on the Mabee Regional Heritage's Website from March 20th until May 16th, 2023 

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