De Leon Free Press


DeLeon, Comanche County, Texas, Friday, May 9, 1924

Three De Leon Ladies Hurt in Auto Mishap

While driving overland from De Leon to Waco last Friday afternoon, a party of De Leon people suffered a serious automobile accident at a point on the highway six miles west of Clifton. Mrs. Z.C. STEAKLEY was perhaps most seriously injured, being bruised about the body and on the back and back of head and was removed from the wreckage presumably dead; Miss Claudia HOPE suffered two broken collar bones and bruises about the body, and Miss Martha WETZEL suffered three broken ribs and a broken collar bone. Ollie ROSS, who was at the wheel, escaped with minor scratches and bruises as did also Dan STEAKLEY, small son of the STEAKLEY family. The party was driving to Waco to spend the week end with relatives.

The accident happened as the car was being driven around a sharp curve. The party was at the time about 6:30 p.m., eating a sandwich lunch. The car, it is said, was not traveling unduly fast. The sharp curve was unexpected. As the car, a practically new passernger Essex, property of the STEAKLEYs, started around the sharp curve, a rear wheel collapsed and the machine turned completely over and half over again, resting on its side. Mrs. STEAKLEY was taken from the wreckage in an unconscious condition, the blow on her upper spinal column having forced the secretion into her brain and produced temporary concussion of the brain. The other ladies were suffering intensely from their injuries, but were not rendered helpless.

A passing automobile arrived on the scene almost immediately and took the party into Clifton where they received medical attention at a hotel, remaining there over night. Mr. STEAKLEY was not notified because his wife thought he was not yet home from a business trip to San Antonio, although Mr. STEAKLEY had arrived the same afternoon of the accident. Next morning he was apprised by telephone of the accident and left immediately to go to the scene. Upon his arrival there, preparation was made and the injured ones removed to Waco where they were taken to Baptist Sanitarium and X-ray tests were made to determine the extent of their injuries. They were returned afterwards, Mrs. STEAKLEY to the home of her sister, and Misses HOPE and WETZEL to the home of the former’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. J.P. HOPE. Miss WETZEL returned here early in the week, and although has not resumed her work as teacher in De Leon South Ward school, she is directing examination work of her room. Miss HOPE’s injuries will not permit her return.

The automobile was provided with a wheel to replace the broken one and driven into Waco for repairs. The top was demolished and fenders bent past redemption. The damage to the machine will approximate $250.00. It is being rebuilt at a Waco shop.

Mr. Z.C. STEAKLEY left Wednesday to go to the bedside of his wife, who was reported as not making satisfactory recovery.

Farmer Laundry Enlarged and Adds Needed Machinery

Improvements have taken place at Farmer Laundry recently which have added much to the efficiency of the plant as well as to give it a much more business-like appearance. The building has been enlarged to take care of the increasing business, a drying room added, which now enables Mr. FARMER to dry his work in unfair weather, and two brand new washing machines have been added to the operating department.

The most modern machine for the ironing of white collars is another of the new machines recently added. This little machine is electrically ? and ??? white linen collars in a most satisfactory manner. Mr. FARMER invites those who have had the habit of sending their collars to Waco and other outside places, to give him a trial and he guarantees to please.

Mr. FARMER started the laundry in De Leon with small equipment and under unfavorable conditions. Gradually the business has grown until at the present time he is turning out a class of work that has built volume and put the plant on a paying basis. The Free Press is strong for home institutions, and especially so when such institutions render the splendid service Mr. FARMER is rendering.

Tank Thrown 280 Feet In Air By Gas Explosion

Last Monday the Magnolia plant No. 1 had a gas explosion resulting in a serious injury to three of their men when the accumulator tank blew up from gas pressure and seriously injured a Mr. SUTTON and two other men.

The explosion at the No. 1 tank of course cut off the pressure of the gas and forced it back into No. 2 which had a similar explosion. The second one injured no one though Mr. CHASTAIN had just left the house containing the tank and had a narrow escape.

The tank in No. 1 was blown 200 feet in the air and completely demolished. The one at No. 2 was only disconnected and thrown through the roof. Each of them though were heavy and there was force enough in the last to have badly injured anyone near it.

The injured men were brought to the Blackwell Sanitarium and their wounds dressed. Two of them were taken to their homes in Desdemona and the one worst injured was kept here, Mr. SUTTON. At last reports he was doing as well as could be expected considering his injuries. – Gorman Progress

Bert Speed to Head Schools of City of Comanche

The following clipping from the Comanche Chief will be of interest to De Leon people:

B.W. SPEED, former principal of Comanche high school, was elected superintendent of the Comanche public schools last Saturday and accepted the position Tuesday evening. While Mr. SPEED is still quite a young man (he is thirty-three years old) he has quite a record as a successful school man. He has taught in the high schools of Sherman and Big Springs and was superintendent in Santa Anna and Gustine and principal of the Comanche high school in 1919-20. He resigned this position when he was elected tax collector, which position he has held for two terms.

Mr. SPEED is a graduate of Howard Payne College and Baylor University and has had one year’s training at the State University.

Gorman Chooses Duchess and is Going to Brownwood May 14

At a meeting of the Gorman Community Club on Wednesday of this week it was decided that Gorman take her chance and get in line with a booster movement and go to the West Texas Chamber of Commerce meeting at Brownwood. There was a large number present and they were enthusiastic for the going and when the smoke of all the oratory had cleared away, they had raised almost enough money for our part of the Eastland county expense, appointed all the necessary committees and elected a Duchess. Miss Ruth OLDHAM, daughter of Mrs. Ellen OLDHAM and one of the most popular members of the senior class this year in high school was accorded the honor of Duchess of Gorman. To her was left the duty of choosing the Lady in Waiting. She chose Miss Frankie NEIL as her fellow member of this party and they are now busy arranging for the many social duties that will fall upon them at the meeting.

The Club voted to ask the business houses to close on the date the town was to be represented and a large number signed an agreement to close for all day Wednesday, May 14. – Gorman Progress

Miss Thelma Bailey Desdem’na Sponsor W.T.C.C. Meet

April 28. – Miss Thelma BAILEY has been elected by the Desdemona Chamber of Commerce to act as sponsor for Desdemona at the annual convention of the West Texas Chamber of Commerce at Brownwood.

Stores To Close For Brownwood Trip May 14th

Practically all the business houses of Comanche will be closed on Wednesday, May 14, to give opportunity to attend the West Texas Chamber of Commerce convention at Brownwood.

The closing agreement was signed by practically all the business firms this week and the day will be a general holiday.

Comanche is going to make that a day long to be remembered. Led by the Comanche American Legion Band in special costumes, Comanche and Comanche county will have an important entry in the monster parade to be staged on that date. – Comanche Chief

Misses Bryson To Represent Comanche at Brownwood

Miss Myrt BRYSON has been appointed as the sponsor for Comanche to the West Texas Chamber of Commerce meeting in Ma-. When seen Wednesday she stated that she had selected her sister, Miss Eva Lee BRYSON as her maid. Their float will be decorated in orchid and pink. The young ladies have ordered their costumes from New York. No better selection could have been made as these are two of the prettiest girls in Comanche and are representatives of two of the pioneer families of the county. – Comanche Chief

Progressive Housewives

Mrs. Dave HENDERSON was hostess to the Progressive Housewives Club on Wednesday, April 30. Several contests were given after a business meeting. The hostess served a fruit salad and cake to the members and Mrs. WALTRIP. They will meet two weeks hence with Mrs. Will HOLLEMAN.

Miscellaneous Local News

Mrs. W.W. EDDLEMAN and children plan to leave the last of the present week for Albuquerque, N.M. where Mr. EDDLEMAN has been for some months in the employ of a company manufacturing tents and awnings. These good people have made De Leon their home for a number of years and it is with regrets that their friends see them moving away, however, wishing them well in their new home in the West.

Comyn Items

The Library Club met with Mrs. H.A. WATSON last Saturday afternoon. Delicious refreshments of pie, cake and hot chocolate were served to the following members: Mesdames C.S. DRY, C.M. CARAWAY, E. HAVIS, Henry FLOYD, Martha CARAWAY and Miss Craig DRY.

Misses Inez EVANS and Faye LEMMONS of Dublin spent the week end with Miss Ada BARNES

Miss Leon CHANDLER and Mr. Charlie CARGILE motored to Stephenville Sunday afternoon where they were married. They were accompanied by Mr. John CHANDLER, Misses Verlie MILLER, Pauline BARNES and Lillie Belle CHANDLER. Mr. and Mrs. CARGILE will make their home at Holiday, Texas.

Mr. and Mrs. B.L. PAINTER gave a party Thursday night.

Duster News

Miss Gracie CARTER returned from De Leon the first of the week.

There was preaching at Duster Saturday and Sunday. Bro. GAFFORD and wife did the preaching. They are Nazarines.

Miss Mat COAN and Nugent HAYNES went to the musical at Herman ECHOL’s Saturday night.

Edward TERRY and Jack STEWART from De Leon, were in this community Friday night.

Desdemona News

Miss Everetta LOVE and Miss Mary ROBERTS, champion girl debaters of District No. 11, are in Austin attending the State Interscholastic meet and we sincerely expect them to win the State Championship loving cup so that they may place it with the County and District cups that they have won.

The school trustees of Desdemona have elected teachers for next year’s school. The high school teachers were all re-elected as follows: Mr. R.M. CANTRELL, superintendent, Latin; D.W. POWERS, principal, mathematics; Pat S. DODSON, science; Miss Bess WINZER, home economics, Miss Helen AMIS, English; Miss Lucile FORD, Spanish and History. All of the primary teachers were re-elected except one. We are indeed very glad to have these excellent teachers with us another year. Desdemona school now has a total of 19 teachers employed.

Mr. Jas. F. MARSHALL is drilling an oil well on the Martin tract east of town. It is expected that a good producing well will be secured. The location is near the two famous Phoenix wells which have been flowing steadily for five years without having to be cleaned out. We wish you the "Best of luck," Mr. MARSHALL.

Miss Opal McCLESKY spent the week end with her folks who reside in Dublin.

Mr. and Mrs. BOLES of Carbon spent last Sunday with their daughter, Mrs. V.O. WYATT.

Mr. OWENS of Abilene was here last week visiting his daughter, Miss Edna OWENS.

Suez Items

Mr. James and Floyd GRISSELL and wives are visiting Mr. Tatum GRISSELL and family.

Miss Gertie DEAN and brother Hezzie, attended the exhibition at Duncan Friday night.

Last Tuesday J.P. BORLAND and family, Clyde SMITH and family and Mart STEPHENS and wife and mother had a big fish fry on Copperas Creek. All report a nice time.

School will be out the 16th of May. There will be a big stew and dinner on the ground that day. Everyone invited to come. That night Mr. and Mrs. Richard STEVENS will give the young folks a party.

Prayer meeting at Tatum GRESSET’s was well attended. They also had services at Dot LANE’s Sunday.

Robinson Springs

Carl MACON, who is attending school at De Leon spent the week end at home.

Miss Mattie HARRIS returned Tuesday from Breckenridge where she has been visiting relatives and friends.

Sidney Community Citizen Ends Life

A.J. HARRISON, who lived one mile west of Sidney, was found dead Tuesday morning. The finding of the inquest, held by Justice of the Peace J.P. GRAHAM of Comanche, was that he died from poison, self administered. He had bought three ounces of carbolic acid early that morning to "use in poisoning rabbits," he told the merchant in Sidney. His wife found him dead half an hour after his return from Sidney, on a cot where he had evidently taken the acid and lain down immediately after reaching home.

Mr. HARRISON was very popular with his friends and neighbors. But about three weeks ago he became moody and despondent over finances, it is said. About a week ago, it was stated, he told his wife he was tired of it all and believed he would commit suicide.

He leaves a wife and fourteen children to mourn his loss and only two of the children are over fourteen years of age. – Comanche Chief

Father of Tom Johnston Died at His Gustine Home

R.M. JOHNSTON, 84, father of Tom JOHNSTON of this city, died at his home at Gustine last Sunday morning at 8:30 o’clock, following a brief illness from paralysis. Mr. JOHNSTON had been a resident of Comanche county for a period of forty years, coming here from Alabama, his native state, in about the year 1884. He was of the stock of sturdy old pioneers to which the present generation is indebted in a great degree for modern advancement. He reared a family of twelve sons and daughters who were all present when the final chapter of his eventful life was recorded. His last illness was very brief, his long and eventful life having been a useful and active one.

Funeral service was held at Hazel Dell cemetery Monday afternoon, and the remains laid to rest there in the family burying ground, the Methodist and Baptist ministers of Gustine churches officiating, a large concourse of sorrowing relatives and friends following his bier to its last resting place. Sympathy is extended.

Johnnie Haynes Opens Restaurant

Johnnie HAYNES, local chef and reputed to be one of the best bakers of pastries between Waco and Rotan, has opened a restaurant in the Howe building, next door east from Lloyd Grocery, and will serve short orders, percolated coffee, cold drinks and a fine line of pastries of his own preparing. HAYNES made his reputation as a chef while employed at Hotel Bills. He will doubtless do well in his newly established business. His place will be opened nights until after the trains.

©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.