De Leon Free Press

DeLeon, Comanche County, Texas, Friday, July 4, 1924

Dr. Self and Son Now Owners Of Service Station

Last week the Free Press carried a story about Autrey SELF having taken a lease on the Postoffice Service Station and young Mr. SELF taking charge. Since then a deal was consummated between Dr. SELF and his son on one side, Mrs. R.L. SCOTT on the other, by which Dr. SELF & Son became owners of the property which was erected on this lot owned by Mrs. SCOTT last summer.

The new owners plan extending the property, putting in a garage on the unoccupied portion of the lot west of the station and extending and adjoining the Will Mixon building, formerly old Free Press building. Earl McCLELLAN, son-in-law of Dr. SELF, who is an expert auto mechanic and battery man, will have charge of the garage and battery shop.

The Free Press understands that the work of erecting a modern brick front with ample garage room show windows, office, etc., will commence immediately and the new business concern will be in operation within a very few weeks. The Free Press wishes them much success.

Many Patients Treated At Blackwell’s

Claud FITZGERALD came home Monday from Gorman where he was operated on a week or ten days ago for appendicitis. He is rapidly recovering his strength and will be out in a few days.

Mrs. O.A. LOUDEMILK returned home from Blackwell’s where she has been several days for consultation with specialists and treatment. She is much improved.

The six-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Charley PARKS of Oliver ? community had an operation for relief of acute attack of appendicitis on last Friday. His condition was at first serious but he is now on the road to recovery.

Mrs. Aaron REED of Suez community returned from Blackwell Tuesday this week after an operation for appendicitis same days as a [sic] is reported doing nicely.

Mrs. E.T. THORNTON, who ? on the Clyde LIGHTFOOT farm five miles southwest of town, has been ? at the Sanitarium at Gorman for several days and was reported right improved the first of the week.

Engineer Smith Hurt When Engine Goes Thru Switch

Engineer T.C. SMITH sustained serious injuries last Friday night when the engine he was in charge of ran through an open switch in the west end of the local yards. The accident occurred at 11:30 o’clock. When the massive machine ran through the open switch and left the track Mr. SMITH cut off the air and jumped, believing the engine would turn over. When he struck the ground he fell heavily, striking his shoulder against some obstruction, sustaining a broken collar bone and serious bruises in the joint of his shoulder.

Mr. SMITH was carried to Waco and his wound is receiving attention at Katy hospital. An operation was necessary to properly join the broken bones. He will be incapacitated for three or four months at least. Mrs. SMITH and Miss Letha having been at his bedside. [sic]

Rollie HILL fireman with Mr. SMITH on the engine but Mr. HILL did not jump and was therefore uninjured, although by staying with the engine he took a long chance. The accident was caused by someone leaving the switch open. The lock had been broken, it is said. It is presumed that meddlesome boys, or someone with malicious intent, threw the switch as no one with a knowledge of the probable consequence in the loss of life and property could hardly be expected to have been responsible.


Born to Mr. and Mrs. Murray SIDES on Wed. June 25, a baby girl. The little one weighed 8 lbs. and is to be called Roger FAY. Mrs. SIDES will be remembered as Miss Veron HODGES. Both mother and baby are doing nicely.

Petit Jurors Are Drawn For District Court

Following are the jury list for the next term of court in Comanche, which opens July 7th. The first week of court will be devoted to the non-jury docket. Those drawn for jury service the second, third and fourth weeks are as follows:

Second Week – W.S. ALLGOOD, Rucker; E.T. MILLER, De Leon route 3; J.H. WALL, De Leon 3; W.G. DINGUS, Comanche; C.L. ROE, Sidney 2; A.H. NOBLE, Comanche 4; J.O. JONES, Sipe Springs; C.E. STRALEY, Comanche; K.M. VAN ZANDT, De Leon 4; W.E. MORELAND, De Leon; Ernest DENNY, Comanche 2; S.B. NELSON, Duster 1; H.W. SCOTT, Comanche; W.L. WOLFENBARGER, De Leon 5; H.J. BRAGG, De Leon 4; V.A. OSBORNE, Comanche 3; J. SWEARINGER, Comanche 1; D.P. BREEDLOVE, Comanche; H.R. LACY, Comanche; C.F. DENNY, Comanche; C.R. MIDDLETON, Gustine; J.F. REDWINE, Comanche; W.A. NUNNELLY, De Leon; J.F. HIGH, De Leon; W.D. WALKER, De Leon; W.L. MOORE, De Leon 2; A.A. HANSFORD, De Leon; D.T. BOYD, Comanche 4; Whit SIDES, De Leon;;;; R.L. MACON De Leon 3; Marvin F…ter, Sipe Springs; Troy WILLIAMS, Comanche; J.F. BAGGET, Procter 2; Aaron REED, Sidney; M.Z. STOVALL, De Leon; F.R. C..IER, De Leon.

Third Week – G.W. GLEATON, Comanche; A.P. COX, Comanche; D.E. NABERS, Comanche 4; W.R. SODBERRY, De Leon 1; J.T. HOBBS, De Leon 3; T.E. BUCHANAN, Duster 1; C.B. GREY, De Leon 2; C.L. WESTMORELAND, Comanche 3; Ed THOMAS, De Leon 5; A.C. KNOWLES, De Leon 3; Albert RUCKER, De Leon; T.E.(F?) HOOD, Comanche; W.N. KOONCE, Desdemona; W.L.F. BOYD, De Leon 1; W.H. LANE Comanche 4; L.E. DAVENPORT, Desdemona; J.E. MERRITT, Comanche 4; D.H. ISHAM, Comanche; C.H. McCURDY, De Leon; H.E. HILLHOUSE, Gustine; J.L. GORE, Comanche; ?.C. DILLARD, Comanche; Carl LOWERY, De Leon 3; Rufe FIELDER, Sidney; Chas. STATUM, Sidney; T.P. EASLEY, Comanche; J.H. GOOSLEY, Comanche 5; ?. J. FRAZIER, De Leon 4; R.A. McNUTT, Comanche; D.T. LINDLEY, Sipe Springs; W.C. GREER, De Leon; C.G. GEORGE, De Leon; W.C. PITTMAN, Sidney 2; Jess LITTLEFIELD, May route; H.G. TORRILL, De Leon; S.F. BLACK, De Leon 2.

Fourth Week – Tom LANE, Proctor; Howard KILPATRICK, Comanche; L.A. GLEATON, Gustine; W.B. HORTON, Duster 1; C.M. HOLIFIELD, Proctor 1; T.D. ROBINETT, De Leon 3; A.F. KAY, De Leon 3; J.M. YOUNG, Gustine; W.B. LOCK, De Leon 4; W.R. GREENWALDT, De Leon; Bob HENDRICK, Comanche 4; O.C. DENNIS, Gorman 2; C.L. MARROW, De Leon 2; R.D. MASSINGILL, Comanche; C.A. GREEN, Comanche; B.E. HOWE, De Leon; B.B. ALDRIDGE, Democrat star; J.W. WHITESIDES, Sidney; A.F. WESTFALL, Proctor; J.W. HOWARD, De Leon; A.J. CUNNINGHAM, Comanche; Luther DIXON, Comanche; J.H. PRATER, Comanche; W.C. CAULEY, Comanche ; L.B. RASBERRY, Sidney; J.D. PANNELL, Comanche 3; H.H. DURHAM, Comanche; W.G. BARKER, De Leon 4; S.J. BRUMBELOW, De Leon 3; G.C. WETZELL, Comanche; J.B. CHILTON, Jr., Comanche; M.J. POUNDS, De Leon 2; W.R. CLARK, De Leon 3; Marton WILKERSON, Comanche; E.L. HALLFORD, Comanche 5; H.O. GRISSOM, De Leon 4.

Free Press is 35 Years Old And Still Growing

On a warm Thursday afternoon of the last week in June 1889 in the then small village of De Leon, the first issue of the Free Press was born. John J. SWITZER was father of the husky youngster, and as the weeks came and went the child grew, and grew and grew! Old timers tell stories of how, way back in those early days when the village was a boom town, the Free Press rapidly grew under the able direction of Mr. SWITZER, to be a sizable sheet in a very few years and was an influence in the upbuilding of the new country.

Like every other paper, or town, or individual, the sheet has had its ups and downs. There arose knockers in the land who lambasted its editorial writers for some unpopular stand sometimes it gave too little of good, wholesome news, and too much of the sordid or unwholesome kind. Sometimes it has been used as a bludgeon to beat its political enemies over the head and mayhaps occasionally it has been the recipient of similar blows. Sometimes the merchants have advertised liberally; sometimes it has gone to press carrying the munificent sum of about eighty (80) cents paid advertising. Competition arose at times and flourished for a while only to fall by the wayside and perish, like seed in the stony ground.

The enemies of the paper now, as always, never lose an opportunity to give the sheet a kick. If they don’t like the editor they say so; if they disapprove of any thing the editor says they howl and howl, and often come in and have the paper stopped. If they find the editor cannot conscientiously support their net hobby, they rave and rant and threaten to take out an injunction forbidding the paper to continue publication. They forget that there are two sides to every question and that in the entire history of time, there is not a single case on record where a newspaper publisher attempted to take both sides of a public issue and got away with it. It just can’t be done.

During this eventful thirty-five years the Free Press has had a number of captains at the helm. Some have prospered. Others have merely existed. The list includes Mr. SWITZER, Rev. B.L. NANCE, John C. ADAMS, W.C. LIGHTFOOT, S.N. and Jack STEPHENS, Timmons A. CALLAHAN, S.N. STEPHENS again for a short time, then the present owner who has been connected with the paper since 1910 except 16 months during the war period when Lester POWER and Thos. DURHAM were at the helm. The above list includes three preachers, Rev. NANCE, and the two STEPHENS. Mr. SWITZER and Mr. CALLAHAN were of the old school of journalists, whose editorial utterances "flashed fire." Mr. ADAMS was of the type who said what he thought when he thought "seasoning of wisdom". Lester POWER is credited with running perhaps more inches of paid advertising during his regime than any other. Rev. NANCE, STEPHENS, and DURHAM wrote with a "reasoning of wisdom". Lester POWER hired the sheet run during the boom, not being actively associated with the paper.

Although no accurate records are available, the Free Press today has perhaps the largest paid up circulation in its history. The sworn statement of the editor for April 1, 1924 was 1627 copies weekly. At the close of the contest during the past winter the circulation ran near 2,000……


©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.