De Leon Free Press

DeLeon, Comanche County, Texas, Friday, March 7, 1924

Gorman Fire Does $25,000.00 Damage

Gorman, March 2.—One of the most destructive fires in the history of Gorman was discovered shortly before 1 o’clock this morning, and before the flames could be extinguished they had done about $25,000 damage, which, fortunately, was largely covered by insurance.

The fire, which was of undetermined origin, broke out in the rear of Thomas HAMRICK’s grocery, which occupied a two-story building. The building was a veritable mass of seething flames when the alarm was turned in. HAMRICK estimates his loss at $10,000 with $4,000 insurance.

The Bishop building, owned by the BISHOP estate, was damaged $6,000, with $3,000 insurance. MORROW Bros. had a barber shop on the ground floor. They estimate their loss at $1000 with an equal insurance.

Attorney BISHOP had his law offices on the second floor. His valuable law library was destroyed together with valued papers. He carried $1,500 insurance.

The dry goods stores of SUTTON Bros. and GARNER-ALVIS were damaged by smoke and water. Their losses are said to have been covered by insurance. – Star-Telegram

Baptist Notes

Bro. W.S. BLACK, wife and twin sons returned to their "first love" last Sunday morning. We rejoice to have them back with us. Bro. GARDNER, wife and daughter placed their membership with us Sunday evening, making a total of seven that joined last Sunday.

New Variety Store to Open in Spencer Bldg.

The Free Press has learned of the intention of Allen BIBBY, formerly of this place, late of Eastland, to open a modern variety store in the building formerly occupied by Avant Variety Store.

Mr. BIBBY is this week having work men erect shelving, counters, etc., in preparation of opening soon. His opening date will be announced in the next issue of the Free Press. Friends of Mr. BIBBY, and the public generally, extend him a cordial welcome and wish for him great success.

Many New Owners of All Classes Ford Products

The Reid Auto Supply Company has compiled a list of purchasers of Ford cars and trucks during the month of February. The sales at this Ford station for the past three months has been limited only by the available supply, the month of December being particularly heavy.

February purchasers, together with the type purchased, are listed below:

Touring Cars

I.W. McCRUM, City


R.P. WALLACE, Route 1

G.W. DODSON, Dublin, Route 1


Burl ROSE, City



A.G. ABLE, Breckenridge

W.H. LIVINGSTON, Alexander




Walter TERRY, City



R.W. BELL, City


H.B. SHOOK, City

Miss Mayme Lou PARRY, Comyn


George W. BELCHER, Desdemona


Tommie MOHON, City

Two Ford Wrecks Occur on Comanche Highway This Week

Since the last issue of Free Press two auto wrecks have occurred on the De Leon-Comanche highway in which four Fords were badly wrecked, but in each case the occupants escaped without serious injury.

Friday night last week a car being driven by J.P. HOWELL, who was accompanied by Johnie STONE and another man whose name the Free Press failed to learn, collided head-on with another Ford being driven by a man named BROOKS, who it is said resides near Downing. This mishap occurred at a narrow place in the road just south of the R.S. McCHAREN home. The cars are reported to have been going each at about twenty miles per hour, and each was on his own side of the road, it is reported, but failed to clear by about six inches. The left wheels locked and the impact was so great as to completely wreck the fronts of both cars, fenders were smashed completely, and the bodies of the cars were crushed like match boxes. The force of the impact is said to have thrown the 13 year old son of Mr. BROOKS out of the car through the curtains and the occupants of the other car were considerably shaken up and suffered slight abrasions but nothing serious.

The other wreck occurred at the turn of the lane going east about 200 yards south of the home of T.H. LOCKE. Henry FULLER was driving a car belonging to Thurman COGBURN and attempted to pass another car just as the other car started to turn into the lane east. Free Press did not learn who drive the second car, but the machines were considerably damaged.

Jack McGuire is Candidate for Tax Assessor

The Free Press is authorized this week to make the announcement of A.J. (Jack) McGUIRE as a candidate for the office of Tax Assessor, subject to the action of the Democratic primary this coming July……

He was born just south of Comanche thirty-four years ago and has never lived outside the county. His father was Jess McGUIRE, one of the county’s most honored pioneers who lived for 65 years in the county, rearing his family and discharging the duties of good citizenship. He lived in the Downing community for more than half a century and died there a few months ago.

Jack left the farm seven years ago and engaged in the barber business at De Leon. He received ample educational advantages, which together with his later business experience equip him well for a place in the business world….

Mr. McGUIRE is married, owns his home in De Leon, has three children in De Leon schools and is succeeding. …


Born to Dr. and Mrs. Willis R. CLARK of De Leon, Route 5, on Wednesday of last week, a baby boy. All doing nicely.

[Comyn] Mr. and Mrs. T.W. DICKEY are the proud parents of a new baby girl at their home.

Mrs. Keith Dead

Emma Sadberry KEITH, wife of Major KEITH, died at the family home a mile east of the village of Victor, at 2:30 o’clock, a.m. last Tuesday. She had been ill for a week or ten days, her infant having died about a week ago and the mother, in her weakened condition, succumbed to an attack of influenza.

Mrs. KEITH before her marriage was Miss Emma SADBERRY, a sister of SADBERRY brothers of the St. Joe community, and was reared in the St. Joe and Ross’ Chapel communities, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. SADBERRY, an old and respected pioneer couple of that community.

Mr. and Mrs. KEITH have been married some nineteen years and were parents of six living children ranging in ages from 6 to 17 years, the three oldest being girls, the three youngest boys, who will surely miss the guiding hand and counsel of a loving mother.

The funeral and burial was at Victor cemetery Tuesday afternoon, the sad affair being attended by many relatives and friends of the deceased. This paper extends sympathy to those so bereaved.

Erwin Hill’s Remains Found After Seven Years

Mrs. S.F. DAVIS of Comanche has just been notified that after a seven years search the remains of her grandson, Erwin HILL, son of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. HILL, former residents of this city but later moved to California, have been found. Young HILL, age 13, together with other companions, were out fishing when he became lost on his return home.

His companions returned home and reported that he had disappeared, a search was at once initiated which was continued for a week but in vain. Some six weeks ago his remains were found in the woods, 25 miles away from his parents’ home, nearly seven years after his disappearance. The remains, which consisted of the skull and two or three other bones, were identified by a pocket knife found near by, on which were cut the letters, "W.H." and was remembered as being the knife of one of his boy friends that he had borrowed on the trip. – Comanche Enterprise

Comyn Man Died There Last Tues. After Brief Illness

John H. SWEEDEN, long time citizen of the Comyn community, died at his home there last Tuesday evening at 9:30 o’clock following an illness lasting over but a few days. Physician in attendance did not indicate the exact cause, but it is thought heart trouble or possibly paralysis was the direct cause leading to death.

Mr. SWEEDEN leaves to mourn his untimely passing, his faithful wife and four children, one of whom is married. The remaining three range in ages from about fourteen years and upward.

The funeral and burial was at the Comyn cemetery at 3:30 o’clock on Wednesday with Rev. W.T. HAMER of this city in charge, scores of friends of the unfortunate family being in attendance to pay their last respects.

North Ward Honor Roll for 6th Month

First Grade – None

Second Grade – Fonces NORRY, Louis TOWNSEND

Third Grade – P.R. NORMAN, Audie LANCASTER, S.L. WALKER, Mattie Elizabeth BLANTON

Seventh Grade – Hazel HUDDELSTON

South Ward Honor Roll

High First – J.C. MILLER, Cecil FUNDERBURGH, R.E. WEBER, Louise JONES, Ima Lee HARDIN, Doris MORTON.

Low Second – Pansy MULLOY, Fannie Belle KEMP, Francis SCHMIDT, Jim NANCE, Coy HOLDRIDGE, Ed GLOVER.

Low Third – Marie HILLEY, Wallace MELVOR, Walter MELVOR, Thomas HOLDEN, Jr., Sarah JETTON

High Second – Bartine MOORE, Buel SNEAD, Doris WHITE, Nell NABORS.

High Third – Leroy BRISTER.

Low Fourth – Anthon LEIGON, Lenora FINKLESTINE.

High Fourth – Clarence FOSTER, C.B. GREGORY, Conner JETTON, D. Otis TOMLIN, Edna Earle COZBY, Evelyn KINCHEN, Lila Fay SHAFER.

Low Fifth – Julia FARMER, Bertie SNEAD.

Sixth Grade – W.H. ?, Dan STEAKLEY, Billie WILLIAMS, Lester MORGAN

Seventh Grade – Addie Gayle MIXON, Kenneth FINKELSTINE.

Miscellaneous Local News

H.T. LINDLEY, an almost life-long friend of Free Press editor, called at the office this week and left his name for a year’s subscription, for which he has our thanks. Mr. LINDLEY has been in ill health lately, having suffered a stroke of paralysis, but he is improving.

Mr. and Mrs. Felbert BROWNLEE visited their daughter, Mrs. Dolph SMITH, at Gorman last Saturday.

Mrs. Fred ATCHISON of Corsican arrived Tuesday for a week’s visit with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. H.W. LOCKE

Mrs. Austin SMITH left early in the week for San Antonio to visit for two or three weeks with her sister. From there she will go to California to pay her parents an extended visit this Spring.

Mr. and Mrs. W.W. NORMAN and children returned Sunday from a visit with relatives at Walnut Springs. Mrs. Norman recently suffered a sprained ankle from which she continues to suffer.

[Comyn] J.P. TREADWAY happened to a very painful accident last Sunday morning. The horse which he was driving became uncontrollable and Mr. TREADWAY was thrown from the buggy. His left arm was broken and his face badly bruised.

©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.