The Comanche Chief, Comanche, Texas, 2 September 1882

The Town of De Leon! A Short Description of the Growing Railroad Town of Comanche County.

DeLeon, the only town on a railroad in Comanche county, is sixteen miles from the town of Comanche. A daily mail hack owned by Mr. Joe. HAMMERS, runs promptly between the two places. DeLeon was laid off little over a year ago, and now is a promising town containing a resident population of about three hundred and fifty souls. Its trade with the surrounding country, which is improving rapidly, is considerable, as will appear from the number of business houses there, viz; HIGGINBOTHAM and Bro., F.M. BROWNE, BOOTH & Co., and GORMAN & GREEN, are dealing in general merchandise; Mr. OVERSTREET, in drugs, J.N. SANDERS, in drugs and groceries, E.N. WALDREP, in dry goods and groceries, J.A. NELSON and STINNETT & Son, in groceries. There are two blacksmith shops, one owned by Geo. WALKER, and another by BRAUGHTON & BLYM. A.J. STEPHENS and – HAWKINS, are engaged in making pictures in the best style of the photographic art. There are two hotels, viz.; the DeLeon hotel kept by W.P. FERGURSON Esq., and the Western, by J.A. WYATT, where food and bedding are at the service of the weary traveler, and at alow rates. There are two saloons, one kept by BOOTH & Co., and another by Wm. CARNES. There are two resident physicians viz., Dr. R.D. REDDEN, and Dr. T.H. EAST. CAMPBELL & RICHARDSON are dealers in lumber, M.V. ROBINSON has recently opened a meat market here. A.H. TUGGLE is a surveyor, J.M. LAMBERT is the postmaster and T.J. DANIELS, the railroad agent. A well attended school has been taught here for some time past by Mr. COTTON, a young lawyer who is about to remove to another location to practice his profession. J.F. SEDDEN owns and runs a grist and planning mill to which is attached a cotton gin. Sam BLACK has a grist mill with gin attached. Both these mills are run by steam. There are two livery stables well stocked with hacks and horses ready to accommodate all who may apply for vehicles to convey them towards any point of the compass. These are owned by W.L. YATES, and – STINNETT. There is one church already erected, belonging to the Baptist denomination, in which for the present the Methodists, who expect soon to build a house, also worship. The Sunday school is flourishing and regularly attended by the children and teachers. There is also a temperance organization with a zealous membership. The people are soon to vote upon the question of prohibition of the sale of spirits within the limits of the town. The advocates of prohibition are sanguine of success at the polls. A Masonic lodge room is in progress of erection. It will be built over BOOTH & Co.’s., new store. Wells have been dug in every part of town, and good water in every instance has been found in a short distance from the surface…………….[no names mentioned in remainder of article.]


CHILTON-CUNNINGHAM—On Thursday evening, the 31st of August, 1882, by the Rev. J.T. HARRIS, at the residence of the bride’s father, Mr. G.A. CHILTON to Miss Susie, daughter of Aaron CUNNINGHAM, Esq. A number of relatives and friends of the young couple assembled to see the two made one, and after the ceremony partook of a bounteous repast spread by the bride’s parents. The many friends of the bride and groom will unite with the Chief in wishing them a pleasant voyage through the sea of life.

Local Matters

The mill and gin, owned by C.A. LEE & Son, at Leesboro, on the South Leon, has been thoroughly repaired and refitted for the fall trade.

J.T. HODGES announces in this issue as a candidate for constable of precinct No. 1. Mr. HODGES is at present the constable of this beat.

J.M. HALEY, who lives north of town, brought in one day this week, some specimens of peaches of the variety known as the Chinese cling, which measured nine and three-quarters inches in circumference.


Mr. J.W. HICKS, who lived a few miles east of town, died on Friday, August 25th, of spinal disease, caused by an old hurt in the back. He was an earnest member of the Missionary Baptist church and died in the fullness of his faith, singing and praying for those around his death bed.

A New Sheriff Appointed

At a called session of the commissioners court on Monday last, the office of sheriff was declared vacant in consequence of the defaltation and absconding of the incumbent, W.L. YATES. F.E. WILSON was thereupon elected to fill his unexpired term and having given bond, has entered upon the discharge of the duties of the office.

Personal Mention

Mr. J.D. PENN, a well known citizen of Sipe Springs, was in town this week in company with his brother-in-law, Mr. George BARTON, who arrived a few days ago from London, England, on a visit to his relatives and for the purpose of inspecting the country with a view to immigration. Mr. PENN and he propose to engage in the milling business. We hope they will find it to their interest to settle somewhere in Comanche county.

Sheriff Yates Defaults! And Absconds, Leaving His Bondsmen All His Property With Which To Settle. $4,899.80 Amount Due the County and State!

The announcement of the defalcation of W.L. YATES, sheriff and collector of Comanche county, came upon this community on Friday last, like a clap of thunder in a clear sky.

On the 19th of last month, he voluntarily announced to some of his bondsmen that he was several thousand dollars behind in his accounts. He then made an assignment in due form of law, for the benefit of his bondsmen and all his creditors in Comanche county, to A.L. HAMILTON, N.R. LINDSEY and F.E. WILSON. On Saturday, the 20th he left home, informing Mr. F.E. WILSON that he would go to Waco and, if he failed to get the money to meet his obligations, he would never return to Comanche. On the 24th, a letter was received stating that he was not coming back.

Mr. YATES is a native of Greensboro, N.C. where…[entire rest of the paragraph, is damaged and illegible.]

Before qualifying he was required as sheriff, to give three bonds, viz. an official bond for $5000, a bond to the county for $14,000 and one to the state for $10,000, aggregating $29,000.

His official bond was signed by the following parties, viz: Wnf. M. TAYLOR, ELLIOTT and WRIGHT, F.E. WILSON, J.L. MOORE, T.C. HILL, J.B. HALL, A.L. HAMILTON, Henry HILL and DICKSON & GREEN.


Those who signed his county bond were John HANSON, Henry HILL, F.M. HOLMSLEY, W.A. MONTGOMERY, B.S. HOLMSLEY, Wm. MARTIN, David BYRNE, T.L. HUTCHISON, D.H. CUNNINGHAM, P.R. CLARKE and James CUNNINGHAM.

As nearly as can now be ascertained, his defalcation to the county is $2,270.99 and to the state $2,628.81, making a total defalcation of $4,899.80. His assests, which consist of some unpaid drafts for small amounts, of one hundred and twenty-five head of cattle, some hogs and two livery stables (one at this place and the other at DeLeon) with the vehicles, harness and horses belonging thereto, amounting to $8000, are said to be easily convertible into cash at that valuation.

His creditors and bondsmen feel confident of suffering no loss on a final settlement. It appears that he gave up freely all his assets for the benefit of his creditors, and therefore many of his friends, indeed the community generally, speak of his offence in defaulting with public funds with much charity.

The grave error of using the public funds in his hands for individual profit, if he did so use them, is too often committed by public servants, and too often condoned by sympathizing friends to an extent that is incompatible with sound morality and a healthy public circumstance…..

For three months prior to the announcement of his defalcation, Mr. YATES had been almost continuously confined to his house with chronic disease of the bowels, which incapacitated him from attending in person to his official and private business. Hence his most intimate friends believe that his defalcation is mainly due to unavoidable confusion that crept into his accounts when he was neither mentally or physically capable of making entries therein punctually or correctly.

DeLeon Locals

Willie BIFFLE, while running his horse, was thrown against a tree and had his leg broken. Dr. EAST was called to set it and the patient is reported to be doing well.

Painful Accident

Mr. Mitch OVERSTREET, we learn, met with a painful and serious accident at DeLeon on Thursday, by which he will probably lose the use of his hand, if it will not have to be amputated entirely. By some means, our informant could not learn, his hand was caught between the bumpers of two cars and terribly mangled.


©2004 Judith Michaels.  This transcription is the generous work of Judy Michaels taken from microfilm held by the Newspaper Collection of the University of Texas at Austin with a microfilm copy at Comanche Public Library.  The information may be used for personal research only and not for commercial purposes without specific permission.