De Leon Free Press

DeLeon, Comanche County, Texas, Friday, January 9, 1925

Costly Blaze Destroys Property Planters Gin Co.

The most disastrous fire for many months occurred Monday night this week when the Planters Gin Co. lost the major portion of their property by fire. The fire originated in the early part of the night, about 9:00 p.m. and had gained considerable headway when a crew switching in the Katy yards discovered the blaze and gave the alarm, which was quickly taken up by the wildcat siren. The truck carrying ample hose and chemical was soon on the scene and the firemen did splendid work in holding the fire within bounds.

Manager COX, who arrived on the scene about the time the truck did, called the attention of the men to the boiler and engine room which was threatened. The men played a stream of water over this costly equipment and it was unharmed. The fire origin started in the main building where the gin stands were located, destroying this portion of the building together with the stands, separator, packers, etc. and over $1,000.00 worth of belting went up in smoke along with the other expensive equipment.

A separate cotton house, situated on the east end of the gin lot, a seed house located to the west of the gin proper, and the scale house and engine room were undamaged. Considerable cotton (remnants) was stored in the cotton house. Nine bales were ginned last Saturday, which was the last time the plant had operated. Manager COX estimated that about fifteen bales remain to be ginned in De Leon territory, which will have to be hauled to some of the adjoining towns.

Mr. COX has no ideas as to a possible origin to the fire. He had spent the day at the plant, which was not in operation, and there had been no fire about the property since Saturday.

The matter of insurance is handled at the company headquarters in Fort Worth, Mr. COX said, and he was not in position to say how much, if any, insurance was carried. The Planters Gin Co. owns a string of gins in different parts of the state.

On account of the fire originating in the early evening, a very large crowd of people witnessed the ravages of the flames as they took toll of perhaps $15,000.00 or $18,000.00 in burning the huge building and costly machinery.

Vineyard and Gilbert Deputy Sheriffs

Sheriff J.T. GILBREATH has announced the appointment of Bunk VINEYARD and E.C. GILBERT as deputies. VINEYARD will be located in Comanche and GILBERT in De Leon. – Chief

Youth Aviates Without Airplane, Falls On Head

If Tom NANCE, 14, had taken the trouble to sprout wings when he was little he might have flapped them and come down easy when he went sailing through the air Tuesday afternoon. Or if he had taken an airplane up with him, he might have made a less disastrous landing. As it was, he sustained injuries that cost him upward of an hour’s consciousness, a badly torn nose, and bruises about the head.

The accident occurred when the youngster was on the way to school. He was riding "standing up" in the rear of a Ford roadster which had a truck body built on the rear. Roy NANCE was driving the Ford and W.W. Jr. was in the seat with him, the top being up. Tom had "caught on" to the back of the machine as it came through town and the two in the seat did not know he was there it is said. The machine was moving along at a pretty lively rate, perhaps twenty miles per hour, when it struck the culvert a block north of the school campus. The recoil of the springs gave young Nance a toss that sent him perhaps ten feet in the air and he came down head first.

He was quickly picked up and hurried to town, his companions believing his neck was broken. But physicians succeeded in reviving him and he is not seriously injured.

Leon Valley Oil Co. To Drill For Oil Near Knowles

The regular annual meeting of the stockholders of Leon Valley Oil Co. was held at the City Hall here last Monday, and regular business was transacted. J.H. HAYNES was re-elected secretary, treasurer, and a trustee, and other trustees are T.P. PATTERSON, J. Doss MILLER, Jr., and H.F. SHORT.

The proposition of drilling another well was discussed and it was determined by the stockholders to drill on the Steve Peak tract, directly between the Knowles well and the Laney, both of which have been producing oil for upward of five years, and both are still flowing wells. It is felt that the company is assured a producing well. The lease upon which they will drill comprises 350 acres.

Bad Tonsils Cost Life of Baby Girl

Little Loraine DY, a week more than three years of age, is dead as a result of infected tonsils. The child had been a sufferer from this cause for some time and an operation was deferred hoping for improvement. But the case grew worse and when the anxious parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.V. DAY of Hamlin took the little sufferer to a sanitarium at Stamford to have the operation it was too late. Septic poisoning from the tonsils produced death.

Mr. and Mrs. DAY formerly lived here. Mrs. DAY being Miss Dona WALLACE before her marriage, Little Loraine was an only child and the loved treasure of this West Texas home. The sorrowing parents arrived here Sunday morning, and on Sunday afternoon the remains were laid to rest in De Leon cemetery, amid the tears of scores of friends and loved ones who came to pay their last respects.

Card of Thanks

We wish to thank our many friends and loved ones who have shown us such great love in our illness that we have had in our family for the past weeks. Words can’t express our thanks for the kind deeds each and every one of you have shown us, especially the good doctors and nurses. Also each and every one of our loved ones for visiting us in the Sanitarium and also in our home. May God’s riches blessing rest upon each and every one of you. – Mr. and Mrs. H.M. JOHNSON and children.

Former DeLeon Girl Died at Durant, Okla.

Miss Myrtle CHANDLER, niece of Mrs. W.T. HEFLIN and H.P. RODERICK died at the home of the latter at Durant last week and was buried there. She had been ill of tuberculosis the past four years. Two years ago se was in De Leon and lived for several months with Mrs. HEFLIN. She formerly made her home here and received her education in De Leon schools and will be well remembered by many of her former school mates. Her untimely demise is indeed regrettable.

Child Accidentally Run Over, Injuries Are Not Serious

When Mrs. L.W. EASTERLING was driving away from the M-K-T station last Friday afternoon little F.J. KNOX, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank KNOX, started unexpectedly across the street and ran in front of the moving car. In an instant the machine struck him he fell, the car passing over him, the wheels fortunately missing his body. He was hurried to the office of a local physician and later carried to Gorman for careful examination, the diagnosis disclosing no injuries more serious than severe bruises.

The accident was wholly unavoidable and it is fortunate that it was no more serious in its consequences.

Vital Statistics for Month of December


Ed MILLWEE to Miss Sallie BARTON.

Walter L. UNDERWOOD to Miss Maude RENICK.


Geo. L. BOLTON to Mrs. Dorothy JOHNSON.







Deral O. BOLTON to Miss Beuna PERKINS.


T.C. MOORE to Mrs. Susie CONLEY.

J.P. COAN to Illa GRAY.

Price HOWELL to Clydie BROWN.

Walter E. EWING to Miss Cleo MORGAN.

Roy BUTLER to Hattie WRIGHT.

James W. HOBBS to Miss Mary MARTIN.

Henry JAMER to Elender CROWNOVER.

Newman JONES to Viola JENKINS.

R.L. SPRUILL to Miss Dixie L. SLOAN.



Artie RAMBO to Minnie Lee GRAHAM.

Harold FRANK to Miss Jewell SCOTT.


Ellis STEELE to Miss Annie Laura SMITH.

Fred HURT to Miss Otha CRISWELL.




Bennett H. CHAFFLE, Sidney, Nov. 17.

Hattie Rachel FOSTER, Sipe Springs, Nov. 19.

T.J. TALLEY, Lamkin, Nov. 18.

Mary Lucile CRENSHAY, near Comanche, Nov. 25.

Jasper IRBY, Newberg, Dec. 4.

Mollie L. RENICK, Comanche, Dec. 6.

Thelma OLDMAN, Sipe Springs, Nov. 30.

Wm.. HANSON. Comanche, Dec. 31

Infant of M.O. DECKER, De Leon, Sept. 15.


Born to Mr. and Mrs.:

R.H. DAVENPORT, Nov. 6, girl

J.Z. STEPHENS, Nov. 7, girl.

C.W. HATLEY, Nov. 3, boy.

L.B. HANDCOCK., Oct. 13, girl.

F.J. O’BRIAN, Nov. 12, boy.

Chas. SCREWS, Dec. 12, girl.

Jas. W. COLLINS, Dec. 20, girl.

S.H. MONGAN, Dec. 15, boy.

J.H. WHITLOCK, Dec. 6, boy.

M.T. SHOEMAKER, Dec. 6, boy.

H.H. MACON, Nov. 14, boy.

Richard BROOKS, Nov. 8, boy.

Coy WARREN, Nov. 15, girl.

Lee ROCHESTER, Nov. 20, girl.

W.L. MASSINGILL, Nov. 29, girl.

Wm. SHORT, Oct. 30, girl.

Herman J. COX, Dec. 21, girl.

Virgie HAILE, Nov. 18, girl.

Amos WHITLOCK, Nov. 19, boy.

Oliver Springs

We are very sorry to hear of the illness of Miss WALL’s nephew, Dale SADBURY. We sincerely hope he will recover soon.

Mr. Rushing SMITH is moving this week.

Miss Fay and Roselene HILL spent Sunday and Monday with their brother, Ancil HILL, before leaving for their new home at Sunset.

Mr. Sam TUNNEL is moving to Johnson


F.D. WATSON of Frost came in Saturday for a visit with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. H.A. WATSON.

W.H. CAFFEY and family have moved near De Leon. We are sorry to lose them from our community.

C.M. CARAWAY shipped a car of sheep to the Ft. Worth market this week.

H.H. STRUBE and family have moved lately from Ebenezer into our community.

©2004,2005 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.