Meet the Council
Dr. Robert G. Mangrum, a native Texan, is currently the Coley Distinguished Professor of American History at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas. He is also the University Historian and is currently writing a history of Howard Payne University which was established in 1889.
Since the fall of 1980, Dr. Mangrum has served at Howard Payne University in various positions including Chair of the Department of History, Political Science and Geography, the Burress Professor of Genealogy and American History, and Director from 1984 to 1997 of the nationally known Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom on the campus of Howard Payne University. The Academy is the multidisciplinary honors program of the School of Social Sciences at Howard Payne University.
Dr. Mangrum earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science from Hardin-Simmons University, his Master’s degree in History and Political Science from the University of North Texas, and his doctorate majoring in US history with a minor in political science from the University of North Texas.
His dissertation was titled: “Route Step March: Special Union Army Units and the Prosecution of the War.”
Dr. Mangrum’s areas of specialization within American history are Civil War and Reconstruction, Military History, Early 19th century, and Texas History. Dr. Mangrum is a member in good standing of the following professional associations: American Historical Association since 1976, the Southern Historical Association since 1974 and the Organization of American Historians since 1974. He is also a member of the American Military Institute, Texas State Historical Association, and the Texas Oral History Association. Dr. Mangrum has written numerous papers for a variety of historical publications.
Honors for Dr. Mangrum include Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Who’s Who in American Education, and the Directory of American Scholars.
Dr. Mangrum served in the United States Army, on active duty from May 1970 to December 1973, and active reserve till June 1998, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. For 10 years, he was on the graduate faculty of the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Dr. Mangrum is beginning his fourth term as the Mayor of Early, Texas. He has been a member of the Sons of the American Revolution since 1982 and is formerly a member of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans. He is active in his church and university committees.
He is a model railroader and is a member of the National Model Railroad Association and a Master Model Railroader, a certificate awarded only to those members who complete 7 achievement program certificates.
Benny AllcornMayor Pro-TemBenny grew up in Talpa, TX and graduated from Talpa- Centennial High School and later from the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service. Moving to Early in 1990, he was the former owner of Heartland Funeral Home in Early, Heartland Funeral Home of Comanche, Netherton Funeral Home in Brownwood and Allcorn Funeral & Cremation Care in Coleman prior to retiring in 2016 where he now spends most of his time at his ranch.
Benny has served on the City Council for the past 15 years, serving as Mayor Pro-Tem for several of them. He also formally served as President of the Early Economic Development Corporation and an ambassador for the Early Chamber of Commerce.
Benny has one son, Julio Allcorn Reyes and wife Kim, and a granddaughter, Emma Grace, who reside in Ft. Worth.
Travis EoffCity Council
Travis Eoff. is 63 years old and has been a resident of Early since 1963. He graduated from Early High School in 1972 and has been a member of the Early Volunteer Fire Department since 1977 where he served as Chief for 10 years. He served 6 years on the school board of the Early Independent School district and retired from 3M in 2009 after working there for 36 years.
Having been a member of the school board, having been chief of the fire department, and having been a supervisor at 3M gives Mr. Eoff the experience in serving the public, working on budgets, personnel matters, and such, that is required of council members.
Mr. Eoff is interested in the present and future of the City of Early, and enjoys his opportunity to serve the city as a council member.
Garry ForishaCity Council
Garry is credited with 50 years of continuous employment with the Kroger Company that includes a 4 year military leave of absence prior to retiring in mid 2015 having worked in Kroger stores located in Denison, Sherman, Longview, Palestine, and Brownwood.
Garry spent the majority of his career as the Store Manager of the Brownwood facility. During this time the store was most notable for consistent profitability, sales improvements, assest protection, community involvement, consistent good performances on other operational lines, and customer satisfaction. The store won a marketing wide contest for friendliness/customer service among the other 270+ Kroger stores in Houston, Dallas, and Louisiana. Kroger Operational and Marketing executives flew into Brownwood to participate in the store's celebration and award in 2014.
He was named in the top 10 Kroger store managers in the Dallas Division 3 times, attended numerous seminars on management skills, operations, Human Resource management, and other facets of store operations. He was named in the Progressive Grocer magazine as one of the Managers of the Year for problem solving.
He was born in Denison, Texas as part of 4th (at least) Texas generation family. Attended Grayson County Jr. College and graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and minor in Business Administration. He served 4 years in the US Navy and was awarded the National Defense, Vietnam Campaign, and Vietnam Service w/3 stars medals being honorably discharged.
He currently resides in Early with his wife Kathy and has 3 grown children who all graduated through the Early School District system.
Contact info: Garry Forisha/ firstname.lastname@example.org/325-643-2250
LeLand AckerCity CouncilLeland Acker was born in 1978 in Nacogdoches, TX and graduated from Jacksonville Highschool in 1996. He was raised by his grandparents, one a public school administrator and the other a medical records clerk. Acker came from a family full of law enforcement officers; 3 uncles and 1 cousin. Acker obtained his Associate of Arts in Political Science from Kilgore College in 1997, then moved on to Stephen F. Austin University where he obtained his Bachelors of Arts in Radio/TV Journalism in 1999.
Acker was the Operations Manager for M-R-S Ventures from 2001-2003 where he ran the programing departments for 7 radio stations across Northeast Texas and Arkansas. Once he left there, he became a news reporter for the Cherokeean Herald and KWRW Radio in Rusk, TX from 2003-2008. In 2006, He attended Texas Baptist Institute- Seminary and there he received his Associate of Bible. He was a pastor of Denson Springs Baptist Church in Slocum, TX from 2006-2007 and then a pastor of Grace Pointe Baptist Church from then until today. Acker also was a station manager for KSTA in Coleman, TX from 2008-2009 and later moved to KOXE-KBWD from 2011-2013 and later a News Director at Wendlee Broadcasting from 2013 to present.
Acker is married to Jessica Acker and is a father of 4 adopted children and 3 biological children. He moved to Brownwood in 2008 and then moved to Early in 2011. From 2011-2015, he served as Ambassador Club President with the Early Chamber of Commerce. He is also the Treasurer of the Southwest Association of Missionary Baptist Churches from 2015 to present. He represented Senate District 24 Republican Party of Texas' Permanent Platform Committee in 2016.
Acker has served on the City council of Early since 2018.
Charles MatlockCity Council