When he was a teenager, Acy McGehee started working as a volunteer firefighter. Many of the adult men in the community spent days working at General Dynamic, the Sante Fe Railroad, or owned and operated local dairy farms. So, when an emergency fire was reported, Acy’s dad, then the Godley Superintendent, would come get Acy and a few others out of class to report to the fire. Back then, there was only one fire truck. Today, we have one of the busiest fire departments in Johnson County.
Following high school, Acy “dairied” at his father-in-law’s dairy farm after a year at Tarleton State University. He also completed a freight car apprenticeship with the Santa Fe Railroad. Once he completed that, General Dynamic hired him under contract for a couple years as a machinist. He quickly walked in the very same footsteps as many of the local men that grew up here.
He also graduated from the Fort Worth Police Academy at age 27 and for four years worked as a Fort Worth police officer. As a rookie, he spent nights patrolling deep east Fort Worth, areas like Stop Six, and quickly learned that career choice was not the best and safest option for his family.
His experience took him to Aztec manufacturing in Crowley in the early 80s where they made drill pipe during the oil boom. At the same time, Godley was preparing for the Centennial. Established in 1886, Godley was preparing for a 100 year celebration complete with parades, bands, and even the Governor’s wife attended and presented a Centennial certificate.
A good friend of Acy’s who was Mayor of Godley at the time, spoke with Acy about acting as Marshall during the weekend’s celebrations, just to ensure the safety of the community. Acy agreed to it and explained, “To start out I was just the City Marshall for the Centennial and… after that, occasionally we would go out to the Sheriff’s Department if a call was in the city.” His patrol partner was Tommy Wallis, father of the current City Administrator, David Wallis. Tommy was a Cleburne Firefighter, an arson investigator and licensed peace officer. Acy said, “He and I were friends, he would usually be my patrol partner. We would go out on weekends and just make an appearance. This was volunteer work around my daytime job at Comanche Peak.”
Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant was constructed and ready for operation. Acy started with a five year contract as an operator. As they went commercial, he and some of the other employees were rolled over to work for TXU Energy. Even though nearly 80% of the operators were seasoned and well trained, many of which were ex navy nuclear operators, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission wanted everyone in these positions to attain a bachelors, if they hadn’t already. At 50 years old, Acy received a Bachelors in Nuclear Engineering from the University of North Texas.
Acy worked as an operator at Comanche Peak until he retired. He was also a licensed paramedic and in the fire brigade. And all the while, for more than twenty years he continued police work in his community of Godley.
MAYOR ACY MCGEHEE PICTURED with his beloved wife, Annette.
They love this community and are committed to nurturing the inevitable growth.
He and Tommy continued to patrol on weekends and eventually, he told the City Council that he felt it was time to establish a full time police officer and department. They agreed and made Acy Police Chief. He set up the department, wrote most of the procedures, hired a few reserve officers and trained with them each year.
In time, the department was up to four or five officers and Acy was still working as an operator at Comanche Peak. He decided it was best to step down as Police Chief, as he didn’t feel like he had the time any longer, necessary for the job. He assisted with hiring a new Police Chief, and still made himself available to help out.
Only just recently, in the last few years, while Acy was completing his term on City Council, he and David Wallis, then Mayor, decided it was time to create a position for City Administrator. Wallis had and continues to have good relationships with TxDOT, and as we grow, this has become a greater priority for us. Wallis stepped down from Mayor to allow more time to administrative duties and in January 2021, Acy was elected Mayor of Godley (Councilwoman Jan Whitehead served temporarily as pro tem Mayor last year).
Acy’s typical day consists of checking in at City Hall where they sometimes have paperwork ready for him, usually plat plans and ordinances the city engineer and the city attorney prepare. He attends local Chamber meetings and Lion’s Club meetings. As well, he has a good working relationship with the current superintendent, Rich Dear.
Acy and his wife, Annette, share a son, James Acy McGehee the IVth and three grandchildren, James Acy the Vth, Hanna, and Nolan McGehee. Three generations of their family have graduated from Godley schools.
Acy plays in a pool league on Thursday nights with his son and grandson. He explains, “When I was a kid, I’d spend time in Meridian with my cousins and there was a pool hall downtown. On Saturday mornings, the guy would let us play pool as payment for cleaning the tables.”’
Acy loves to golf, he’s a member of Mensa, and a founding member of the Greater Cleburne Carnegie Theatre. He also loves Mexican food and to eat at Del Norte when he gets the chance. Acy and his wife, Annette, who is a retired office manager for Family Medicine in Joshua take it easy and stay close to home. They love this community and are committed to nurturing the inevitable growth. They continue to volunteer their time when they are needed and are a shining example of what it means to give back.
HISTORY Godley, Texas was established in 1886. The namesake was R. B. Godley, a Cleburne businessman who donated the right-of-way to the railroad (The Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe). Godley also donated 20 acres for the townsite. A station was built that same year (1886) and a post office opened in 1888. (texasescapes.com)
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