The Navasota Grimes County Chamber of Commerce was chartered on March 6, 1916, by then Secretary of State, John G. McKay.
It began when nine civic-minded residents decided the community would benefit with a Chamber of Commerce to establish and maintain uniformity in the commercial usage of cities and towns to acquire, preserve and disseminate valuable business information, adopt rules, regulations and standards of classification to govern all transactions connected with the cotton trade, and other commodities where standards and classifications are required, generally to promote the interest of trade and increase facilities of commercial transactions and to develop and extend agricultural, industrial, commercial and civic resources of the City of Navasota, Grimes County and the State of Texas.
The names of those nine individuals are familiar to even present-day residents of Grimes County, for they left their mark indelibly in the community. They were J.N. Baylor, J.W. Brosig, C.C. Camp, J.T. Evans, H.H. Knox, Ewing Norwood, R.A. Patout, Ward Templeman and E.H. Terrell.
Ward Templeman served as the first President of the Chamber, serving for four consecutive years through 1919. Betty Jane Burlin was the first woman to serve as President when she took office on January 1979.