De Leon Free Press

DeLeon, Comanche County, Texas, Friday, March 21, 1924

Cisco Man Opens New Sheet Metal Shop in De Leon

W.L. ELKINS, late of Cisco, is moving with his family to De Leon and has opened his new sheet metal works in the building formerly occupied by Boswell metal shop. Mr. ELKINS has only recently sold his interest in a similar business at Cisco.

Mr. ELKINS is by no means a stranger to Comanche county. He lived for many years at Comanche, and has only made his home at Cisco for a few years. He was engaged in sheet metal work at Comanche, in fact has made this his life’s work. His experience and equipment enables him to offer a strict guarantee with every job produced.

There is a good opening for an enterprise of this class in De Leon, and the Free Press predicts success for the new enterprise. Mr. and Mrs. ELKINS have several children, a son in high school age.

Mrs. B.L. Nance Died at El Paso on Last Tuesday.

It is with a feeling of deep sadness that the Free Press announces the death of Mrs. Annie NANCE, wife of Rev. B.L. NANCE, which occurred at their home in El Paso, Texas, on Friday afternoon of last week. Mrs. NANCE has been a sufferer for many months, her malady being known by her physicians to be incurable. In view of this fact she is said to have been a most patient sufferer, cheerful to the end while facing her spirit’s translation into the world beyond. Her Godly life is a source of satisfaction and comfort to her friends, her motherly example a benediction to her children, the memory of her goodness and love a constant source of helpfulness to the faithful husband who is left to "tread the wine press alone."

The death angel called for the gentle spirit at 3:00 o’clock Friday afternoon, March 14th, 1924, while friends and loved ones watched the life ebb and flow away. Her husband and two children were present, besides other relatives and friends. The funeral was Saturday afternoon at El Paso.

Mrs. NANCE was a native of the state of Arkansas. She was about fifty-two years of age at death. She was mother of three children, two of whom survive, the other, a baby girl, died in infancy. The two children, a son and a daughter, are Mrs. Blake NEAL and Bennie NANCE, both of whom reside in El Paso. Mr. NANCE has been for some years in charge of Sunday School work in the State of New Mexico, having headquarters at El Paso. The mother of Mrs. NANCE, Mrs. LANDERS, is aged and infirm and makes her home in Louisiana with a son. There were two brothers and three sisters who survive her. She had been a devout Christian and faithful member of the Methodist church for many years.

Girlhood associates of Mrs. NANCE residing in this city praise the earnest and consecrated life of she whom they declare has been a devoted, unselfish character even from early childhood. Peace be to the gentle spirit and an abundant entrance into life eternal!

Debaters and Declaimers to Represent De Leon

The following debaters and declaimers will represent De Leon public schools in the Interscholastic League Meet which will be held in De Leon on Friday and Saturday, March 28-29:

Subject of Debate is Resolved that the U.S. should join the League of Nations.

Boy’s Debaters


Clifton THOMAS

Girl Debaters:


Phyllis SHORT


Senior Girl – Evelyn BALLEW

Senior boy – Dick WEAVER

South Ward, Junior Girl – Allene WEAVER

Junior Boy – Don STEAKLEY

North Ward, Junior Girl – Beaulah May WARD

Former De Leon Youth Loses Life in Crash with S.P. Engine at Fabens

Relatives and friends of Mr. and Mrs. Carl C. KINCHEN were shocked Saturday when a message came from Mr. KINCHEN at El Paso telling of the tragic death of their son, Wayne, which occurred Friday night at the village of Fabens, twenty-five miles east of El Paso, where the KINCHEN family make their home.

The only information the Free Press has, besides the telegram, was picked up from the daily press, which stated that young KINCHEN, aged 17, was riding in an automobile with a boy friend, aged 18, when they approached the crossing of the Southern Pacific tracks in the center of the town of Fabens. The boys evidently did not catch the warning signal from the flagman and their machine crashed into the engine of the rapidly moving Sunset Limited, the machine was demolished and the two boys were picked up desperately injured. Some twenty people witnessed the tragedy.

The unfortunate boys were taken aboard the train and started on the way to emergency hospital at El Paso, but Wayne died enroute. The other youth, whose name was Whittaker, will survive.

Passengers on the train made up a purse of $56.00 and presented it to Mr. KINCHEN to assist him in defraying expenses.

Rumor has it that young KINCHEN was planning to leave Fabens the day following the tragedy and come to De Leon to visit relatives and "a particular friend," with whom his name has been much connected, their romance having begun several years ago. The tragic end of this affair is lamentable.

Mr. and Mrs. KINCHEN and family have resided at Fabens, a valley town below El Paso for several months, where both the father and son were in the employ of a large construction company. Mr. KINCHEN is a brother of C.L. KINCHEN and Mrs. W.W. NANCE and Miss Maud KINCHEN of this city, and was formerly in the sheet metal business here.

Exit Brown, Enter Hammers, Foreman Free Press Shop

Sam BROWN, for the past eighteen months operator of the Free Press linotype and general mechanical foreman, has resigned his position and has been succeeded by Clyde K. HAMMERS. Mr. BROWN goes with a new paper, a semi-weekly, being established at Breckenridge, the owners of same being McLAREN and ADAMS, Desdemona men, his position being general shop foreman.

Mr. BROWN is one of the most agreeable as well as among the most efficient sorkmen the Free Press has ever had in its employ. The entire association of a year and a half was unmarred with a single unpleasant incident. He is a thorough-going mechanical craftsman, having spent his life in this particular line of work therefore knows the job. The management of the Free Press has nothing but commendation for Mr. BROWN as he goes to his new field.

Mr. HAMMERS spent several years with the Free Press during, and immediately following the boom days. He needs no introduction. Everyone locally knows of his ability. He has been employed in Dallas Job shops for the past eighteen months as a linotype operator and will therefore have lost none of his old time efficiency. Mr. HAMMERS’ old friends will welcome him back to his old position.

During his residence here Mr. BROWN won the confidence and esteem of the citizens and business people generally with whom he came in daily contact, his character and daily walk being above reproach. The Free Press has nothing but commendation for him as he goes to his new field of labor.

Comanche County Jury Decides Big Libel Suit

A verdict for the defendant was returned in the case of John R. SLAUGHTER vs. the Wortham-Carter Publishing Company, publishers of the Star-Telegram, tried before Judge McCLELLAN of the district court of Comanche county Monday and Tuesday. The jury returned its verdict early Tuesday afternoon after little more than an hour’s consideration of the case.

SLAUGHTER sued for damages totaling $70,000 alleging that publications in the issues of March 15 and March 28, 1893, concerning him were libelous. The articles stated that he had been indicted by the grand jury of Stephens county for embezzlement, growing out of the failure of the Wayland State Bank, and that the indictment charged the amount approximately $20,000.

The plaintiff contended that there was no specific indictment against SLAUGHTER, alleging the embezzlement of $20,000, and that the published articles were not true, fair and impartial accounts of a court proceeding and therefore libelous. …….

SLAUGHTER was tried on one charge in September at Breckenridge and was acquitted on order of the trial judge, and at the request of the district attorney, who stated that there was not sufficient evidence to warrant the indictments. The dismissal of other charges followed.

Evidence produced at the trial at Comanche showed SLAUGHTER to be a man of high character and excellent reputation throughout Comanche county. He was formerly cashier of a bank at Comanche and was president of the Wayland State Bank when it failed.

The plaintiff was represented in his suit by SMITH & WOODRUFF of Comanche, HAMPTON & HAMPTON of De Leon, BENSON & DEAN of Breckenridge and M.L. HARRIS of Smithville. P. Walter BROWN of Samuels & Brown of Ft. Worth, general attorneys for the Star-Telegram, represented the defendant.

Round Grove

Mr. and Mrs. Gib TREADWAY spent several days with their son, Reggie, at Comyn last week.

Since our last report, the cemetery fence that was under headway has been completed and all who have contributed to this good cause are well pleased with the work. A contract was let to Mr. CHRISTIAN, who will grub the timber, which will give considerable more space for burying.

Tom RIPPETOE, who is working at Carbon, was here last Monday and reported he had received a message from Oklahoma stating that his daughter, Evelyn, had been operated on for appendicitis. She had recovered from the operation and was doing nicely when last heard from.

Gorman Editor’s Father Quite Ill

The report in the last issue of the Free Press relative to the death of the father of Editor COCKRILL of the Gorman Progress was premature. The elder COCKRILL was desperately ill and was not expected to survive for many days when the message came, but last accounts he still lived.

Dog Gives Alarm

Last week a fire started in the kitchen in the home of J.E. HEETER. Bob, his white bull dog barked and woke Mr. and Mrs. HEETER from their sleep after they had gone to bed.

Thinking there was something wrong they went in the kitchen and found that it was on fire. Getting busy at once they succeeded in putting the fire out before any serious damage was done. A dog is a good thing to have around the house. – Desdemona Gusher.

Is Recovering From a Recent Operation

E.W. MORTON writes the Free Press from Blackwell Sanitarium at Gorman that he is gradually recovering from an operation for appendicitis which he underwent there on the 15th and he assures the Free Press editor that he is recovering nicely. Mr. MORTON speaks of the efficiency of the management of the place, likewise of the notoriety they are gaining by visitors coming from far and near to visit patients and others connected with the institution.

Mr. MORTON gave the assurance that he had begun to improve immediately after the operation was over, and that he expects to be home soon.

Diamond for Shotgun

I have a medium size gent’s Diamond ring which I will trade for a No. 1 automatic pump shotgun. J.W. BOSWELL, Box 454 De Leon

Roy Butler Has Appendix Operation

Roy BUTLER, son of W.E. BUTLER, was carried to Gorman Monday and underwent a serious operation for appendicitis, his case having developed to a state where serious consequences might have resulted soon had not quick action been taken. Last report the young man had passed through the ordeal and bid fair to make a speedy recovery.

Rock Bluff

Mrs. F.D. GARDNER returned home from Cisco Saturday. She was accompanied home by her brother, S.S. SMITH and family, who spent Saturday night and Sunday at her home.

Roy BOENS and wife of Hawley came down Saturday to visit Mrs. BOEN’s parents, S.E. MORROW and family and other relatives. They will return to their home the last of the week. They will be accompanied home by Miss Marie MORROW, who will visit them a while.


Ozella WILHITE of De Leon visited her cousin, Estelle DICKEY, last week end.

Mrs. S.D. STRONG and children have returned from Greens Creek, where they have been at the bedside of Mrs. STRONG’s father.

One of the big events of last week was a rabbit drive in the northern part of the community last Friday. A goodly number of boys and men from here shouldered their guns and started out early after their enemy. The band of countrymen were reinforced by the following business men of De Leon: Alf SLOAN, Geo. ELLIS, Z.C. STEAKLEY, BARKER, FORD, .Jim JOINER, LIGHTFOOT, Ottis BUCHAN, Alvin STRINGFELLOW and probably others whose names we failed to get. About 250 rabbits were killed. The women with their well packed dinner pails met at the home of Mrs. E. HAVIS, where a delicious dinner was served to all.


When the De Leon public schools recessed Friday afternoon for the Field Day events one of the popular young teachers of the North Ward, Miss Louise JONES, was not present. She had secured leave to be absent to visit for the afternoon in Sipe Springs.

It seemed peculiar that on the same afternoon Mr. Jeff ROSS, popular young salesman for the Dependable Store, also had business in Sipe Springs, and secured permission from his employer to be absent for the afternoon.

The young couple secured a service car and left the village, not for Sipe Springs, no indeed! They went where there was a court house and an officious and obliging county clerk, who listened attentively to their story, was convinced, and issued the legal-looking document with the big gold seal in the lower left-hand corner. Then "Mr. and Mrs. ROSS" returned home and presented their credentials as man and wife.

Congratulations! Miss JONES, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.W. JONES is a charming young lady. She was reared in Walnut Springs and came to De Leon with her parents about two years ago. Jeff is a promising young business man with just about as many friends as the law allows. Everybody knows and likes him. We repeat it – congratulations!


Miss Lula May SMITH and Mr. J.O. STONE surprised their scores of friends here when they slipped away to Comanche last Saturday afternoon and were quietly married. The wedding ceremony was said at four o’clock by Dr. C.C. KLINGMAN, pastor of the First Christian Church, at the Court House, with only the clerk and his assistants as witnesses, the wedding arrangements being unknown to but a few of the relatives or friends of either of the contracting parties.

Miss SMITH and Mr. STONE are each well known and well liked young people of this city and have resided here, the bride since childhood, and the groom for many years. Their friends are numbered by their acquaintances. They are popular particularly in lodge circles, where their romance had its beginning. Miss SMITH is the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.J. SMITH.

Mr. and Mrs. STONE will continue to make De Leon their home, he being engaged in wholesale oil business and is prospering. Congratulations and best wishes are being extended by their many friends for a happy and prosperous voyage over the sea of matrimonial bliss. The Free Press wishes to most heartily join in wishing them the best that life may hold.

City Briefs

B.H. HARRISON and little son came down Sunday to accompany home his little daughter, Billie Blue, who spent a week in the home of her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. H.W. LOCKE.

Grandma R.A. TERRY left Sunday afternoon for a visit with her daughters, Mesdames Luther PATTERSON and Allie KAUFFMAN, at Clyde.

Since her arrival in San Angelo two or three weeks ago Mrs. H.B. SCOTT, mother of the editor of Free Press, has been seriously ill with a threatened attack of pneumonia but at this time is reported somewhat improved.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Ike WILHITE on Wednesday afternoon, March 19th, a 10 ½ pound baby girl. The WILHITES moved here from Arkansas last December and reside on the J. Doss MILLER farm. The little one was named Martha.

Mr. and Mrs. R.M. HUGHES left the first of the week for their new home, Dallas. The Free Press regrets to lose these good people who have filled the place of good citizenship in our little city for lo these many months. Best wishes as they go into other fields of endeavor.

W.P. St. CLAIR and family have recently moved from the north part of the city, to their lease on Onion Valley where Mr. St. CLAIRE is pasturing a large number of cattle.

©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.