De Leon Free Press

DeLeon, Comanche County, Texas, Friday, July 15, 1927 

Court of Inquiry Meets to Unravel Foundling Mystery

            Last Tuesday morning when Bill DENDY was coming into town to work at about 6:15 o’clock, from his residence in the northwest portion of the city, his attention was attracted by the cry of a baby.  He discovered the cry coming from a bundle of rags lying beside a fence at the side of a cornfield.  He uncovered the tiny form, then called Ralph JONES, who lives nearby.  Leaving JONES to watch the infant, DENDY hurried into town and notified the officers.

            Chief of Police NABORS and others went to the scene and brought the baby to town and turned it over to a physician for medical attention.  Mrs. W.S. SNEED was requested to take the infant in charge, and within half an hour from the time the baby was discovered it was dressed and made as comfortable as possible.

            DENDY stated to Free Press that the child was apparently weak from crying and he believes it had been there for some hours.  When he uncovered the tiny body it was covered with small black ants (not red ants, as had been reported) and the first thing he did was to get the ants off its body.  (It was not “lying in an ant hill” but the ants had crawled inside the bundle.)

            The baby was nude save for an old cloth, apparently a meal sack, pinned around its hips with a safety pin.  It was wrapped in an old English broadcloth shirt, the laundry mark R54 being written twice in indelible ink inside the collar band.  Inside of the bundle also was found a woman’s slip with pocket on right side the garment being either a house dress or nightgown, the trousers to a pair of homemade pajamas and a lot of rags.  All this was wrapped in half an old khaki army blanket and a very ragged old quilt.

            The baby was found near an old well.  It is easy to suppose that whoever carried it to that isolated place intended to dispose of it by dropping it in this old well, however this is merely supposition.  The baby was left lying within 25 feet of the old abandoned well.

            Residents of that locality report seeing cars driving in that part of town after midnight, and as it is off the main highway, in the outskirts on streets seldom traveled, they considered it unusual.  The baby was left some 200 yards from the nearest house, the bundle being only a few feet from the road.

            “A woman’s shoe-tracks led to the spot” said DENDY.  It was a rather large shoe for a woman, but with small heel, positively a woman’s shoe, he declared.  DENDY had instructed that the tracks be guarded while he went for the officers, but a crowd of people quickly gathered and when the officers arrived the tracks had been obliterated.

Pink and Rosy Baby Girl

            The tiny baby girl is healthy and normal in every particular, save for the bites of the ants, leaving ugly red splotches practically all over her little body.  She has begun to take milk from a bottle.  No less than three hundred people have called to see the baby, Mrs. SNEED said, and it is extremely unlikely that any De Leon baby ever had so many callers.  Perhaps this fact is due to extreme carelessness on the part of the stork in placing her beside a corn patch, instead of in some well ordered home.

Baby Has Wardrobe Now

            And De Leon people showed the heart of them when they showered the baby with clothing.  The first outfit was donated by a downtown dry-goods store.  During the baby’s first day women from all over the city called and brought garments that a baby girl should wear.  Now she has everything that any normal baby needs in the way of clothing, thanks to the many friends.

            Thursday afternoon, Mrs. SNEED took the baby to Huddleston’s studio for a photograph.  If the Free Press can get the picture finished in time, all our readers may make the acquaintance of baby in the next issue of this paper.

            The tiny bit of human driftwood is scarcely any trouble at all, so far as crying is concerned, Mrs. SNEED said.  She is plump and rosy and just right to bring a ray of sunshine into some home where some childless couple is able and willing to adopt her and give her opportunity for normal development.

Lester House Is being Wrecked for Two Story Brick

            Mrs. L.L. LESTER is to have a new hotel on the lot where the LESTER house has stood for so many years.  A large crew of workmen is busy now tearing away the old structure and as soon as the lot is cleared, work will commence on the new building.

            The new hotel building will consist of twenty-seven rooms, and will be modern throughout.  There will be a large lobby with tile floor and plate glass front and the dining room will be spacious.  The building will be a brick veneer with Sheet Rock lining, being practically fireproof.  The cost will aggregate $9,000 for the building and the furniture and fixtures will run the investment to a valuation considerably above $10,000.

            Foust Lumber Company and L.D. MERRITT have the contract jointly with ROSS & DYER doing the woodwork.  The work of tearing away the old building was begun Monday morning and it is expected the new building will be completed in sixty or seventy days.

            The old building is one of the few remaining that may be considered a landmark.  It was erected as a dwelling by Mr. CAMPBELL, a pioneer lumberman here, in the early 80's.  Some twenty or twenty-five years ago it was added to and made into a hotel by Mr. WHITFIELD.  Mrs. LESTER has occupied and operated it as a hotel since February 1913, or about fourteen years, first as the Star Hotel, and later as the Lester House.  She will doubtless do well with the improved property, as she has always done with the less adequate equipment.

De Leon Boy to See Dempsey-Sharkey Fight in New York July 22nd

            John WEAVER, assistant cashier of the Farmer & Merchants National Bank of this city, left Monday for New York to witness the Dempsey-Sharkey fight scheduled to take place there on July 22.  Enroute WEAVER will stop at different cities to witness the playing of several of the major baseball clubs in which he is interested.

Vital Statistics for the County

Marriage Licenses

J.H. BROOKSHIRE and Mary Frances KOURT.


Cliofas PERES and Mary CEPERBATS.


Fletcher GORE, aged 19, Comanche.

Jesse Lee BEATTY, aged 1, Newburg.

John Zyron SEARS, aged 3 months, Proctor.


To Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. CARTER, Mercer Gap, a girl.

To Mr. and Mrs. William T. ROSCO, Comanche, a boy.

To Mr. and Mrs. Orville Lee PRICE, Sipe Springs, a boy.

To Mr. and Mrs. Albert Jackson Quinn, De Leon, a boy.

To Mr. and Mrs. William FISHER, De Leon, a girl.

To Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Ross GRACE, De Leon, a boy.

To Mr. and Mrs. Morlin GILCHEST, De Leon, a boy.

To Mr. and Mrs. C.C. CROW, Duster, a girl.

To Mr. and Mrs. Jim MURPHREE, De Leon, a girl.

To Mr. and Mrs. L. E. WESTMORELAND, De Leon, a boy.

To Mr. and Mrs. M.L. SMITH, Comanche, a boy.

Day Family Has Reunion at Victor

            Victor, July 10-At the home of Mr. And Mrs. W.T. DAY, a family reunion was held, eight of their ten children being present.  W.B. DAY, El Paso; Mrs. B.F. SHORT, Mc Cauley; Mrs. L.A. MARTIN and family of Cisco; V.W. DAY and wife, Hamlin; Mrs. E.S. HUFFMAN and family, of Carlton; Mrs. D.W. SMITH, Mrs. Fannie MOORE, and Rev. R.L. DAY and their families.

            Other relatives of Mr. And Mrs. DAY were also present: Prof. J.L. SMITH of Brownwood, brother of Mrs. DAY; Mrs. L.J. BOYNTON, sister of Mrs. DAY and husband of Blanket.

            There were 33 present and all enjoyed the day.

Morris Family Had Get Together

            Last Sunday afternoon, the MORRIS family and connections had a family reunion at the home of Will MORRIS.  The unusual feature of the occurrence was in the fact that the meeting was purely accidental.  The families simply met at the home of Will MORRIS, a number of them not being aware that the others were to be present.

            Those present were Mr. & Mrs. C.C. MORRIS; Mr. & Mrs. Webb RANGER; Mr. And Mrs. UPCHURCH of Duncan, Okla., Mrs. Paul TALBERT and son, Myrle, of Los Angeles; Mrs. WEIR, mother of Mesdames MORRIS and TALBERT and Mr. And Mrs. Will MORRIS, son Clay, who recently returned from California, and Charles of this city.



            T.F. BUTLER and Miss Opal Maud MAY were united in the holy bonds of matrimony on July second by Rev. A.F. NABORS.

            Miss MAY is the eldest daughter of Len MAY and has many friends.

            Mr. BUTLER is the son of Mr. & Mrs. BUTLER of Dublin where he has a host of friends who wish them a long and happy life together.


            Sargent Aren LETHRS and Miss Bernice WALLACE were united in marriage on June 15th at four p.m. At the home of Rev. SMOOT at Comanche. 

            Those present were Mr. And Mrs. WALLACE and son J.B. And Mrs. O.F. STEWART.

            The bride is the oldest daughter of Mr. And Mrs. R.P. WALLACE and was reared to womanhood here.  She has many lovable traits and a host of friends.

            Sergent LETHERS is the son of Mr. And Mrs. LETHERS of Water Valley, Miss., where he grew to manhood and has many friends.  He is now in the service of Uncle Sam at Fort Sill, Okla.  After January first they will make their home in De Leon.

            Their many friends wish for them a long and happy life.


            The marriage of Miss Ara NABORS to Mr. Thurman COGBURN occurred at Dallas on Sunday morning, July 10, 1927, at eight o'clock.  The bride is a daughter of Mr. And Mrs. John NABORS of this city and the groom is a son of Mr. And Mrs. Charley COGBURN, also of De Leon.  Both were formerly students in high school here and he was a football star for two seasons.

            Mr. COGBURN is employed by the Smith Undertaking Co., of Dallas, a position he has held for two or three years.  Miss NABORS has been working in Dallas also for some months, their friendship dating back to their school days here.

            Sunday evening Miss Mima NABORS, another daughter of Mr. And Mrs. NABORS, called her parents on the phone, telling of the marriage.  Other details of the wedding are not known here, however, the young couple will visit here the latter part of the present week when his vacation commences.  Their many friends wish them greatest happiness and success in life.

Birthday Party

            Little Miss Lera ADAMS, 8, celebrated her birthday at the home of her parents, Mr. And Mrs. C.M. ADAMS in Heath Addition Wednesday, July 6th, 3 to 5 o'clock.  The youthful guests brought many pretty gifts and the little honoree served them lemonade upon arrival, and after games had been played, ice cream and cake were served.  All had a most enjoyable time. 

            Those present:  Virginia PATTERSON, Jocelyn KEMP, Pansy MULLOY, Buel SNEAD, Billie SNEAD, Louise GREENWALDT, Dorothy Nell EASTERLING, Bill and John Ed ROLLINS, Rex CARNES, Jack HOWELL, Henry HOWELL, Frances GREGORY, Billie Faye LONDON, Oleta ASHWORTH and Elizabeth BAGWELL.

Former De Leon Woman Ill at Rising Star

            Mrs. D.A. HENSON, formerly Mrs. WILKERSON of this city, is critically ill at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Marvin NANCE, at Rising Star.  Mrs. HENSON has suffered for several months from a malady from which relief is scarcely expected.

            W.T. HENDERSON, brother of Mrs. WILKERSON, has been to Rising Star often of late at the bedside of his sister and he reports her condition as very bad indeed.

Robinson Springs

Lynette MACON has returned home from her visit to Dallas where she was the guest of B.H. MACON.

Mrs. Will HARRIS has had as her guest for the past several days, her brother, Mr. CAMPFIELD and family of Hamlin.

Will HARRIS is on the sick list.

Floyd STEWART and family from Borger are visiting his parents, A.C. STEWART, and her parents, G.F. TORRANCE and other relatives this week.

Joe SCOTT and wife and his father, George SCOTT, have gone to Alabama.

Opal TORRANCE and Lillie Maye CHATHAM, who have been sick for the past several days, are slowly improving.


Mr. and Mrs. Ernest WALLACE have gone to Fort Worth to make their home.

Miss Mildred HENDRIX, niece of Mrs. Kos MYERS, is a guest in the MYER home here this week.

Mr. and Mrs. Sam BOND have gone to Victoria where Sam is working as an extra for the Southern Pacific.

Mr. and Mrs. B.E. LEWIS, of Frankell, have been here this week visiting his father, J.L. LEWIS, and other relatives near Rucker.

Gaston GRISHAM is expected home from Somerton, Ariz., this week for a visit with his parents, Mr. And Mrs. J.L. GRISHAM.

Mrs. Hershal GILLOCK went to Comanche Sunday and met her niece, Miss Julia Isles from Rison, Ark. Who will spend some time visiting relatives here.

Mr. and Mrs.  M.F. UPCHURCH of Duncan, Okla., formerly of Eastland, visited Mrs. Paul TALBERT.  They returned to Oklahoma on Wednesday.

Mrs. Pearl FOOTE and children are here from Plainview visiting with her mother, Mrs. J.P. TODD.

Miss Maude KINCHEN returned this week from a week's visit with her sister, Mrs. GRAY, in Dallas.

Uncle Jack MORTON has returned from a two week's visit with his son, Rev. C.N. MORTON, who is pastor of the Methodist church at Strawn.

Mrs. Layne MORELAND and baby daughter Shilia VANCE, are spending several weeks with Mrs. R.L. MORELAND while Layne is attending the school of pharmacy at Dallas.

A.G. GOWAN died Saturday, July ? At Dallas where he had lived several years.  Mr. GOWAN was formerly a resident of De Leon and he leaves a bereaved wife and several children to mourn their loss.  Mrs. GOWAN was laid to rest in De Leon cemetery on Monday afternoon at four o'clock.

Mrs. Thomas and children from Sapulpa, Okla., are here visiting her mother, Mrs. LIGHTHILL.

J.T. CULPEPPER, who was operated on at Brownwood for appendicitis recently is recovering nicely.

Miss Loraine HIGGINBOTHAM of Dallas, was here recently a guest in the home of her sister, Mrs. J.J. HORN.

Mrs. Jack O'BRIEN and small daughter have returned to their home at Corsicana after a week's visit with her parents, Mr. And Mrs. Ab WILSON.

Mr. & Mrs. W.M. RIPPETOE had the pleasure of having as their guests on July 4th, Mr. And Mrs. Bob BLACK, and Mr. And Mrs. DYSON of Desdemona, W.T. RIPPETOE and family, Westbrook, Paul WEAVER and wife of Merkel, Ernest RIPPETOE and family, Walter RIPPETOE and family, Emmett RIPPETOE and children.

Miss Loraine HIGGINBOTHAM of Dallas, was here recently a guest in the home of her sister, Mrs. J.J. HORN.

Mrs. Jessie McCAIN of Comanche, was a week-end guest of her mother and father, Mr. And Mrs. APPLEBY.

New Hope News

Mr. and Mrs. Otis GREGG and children of Foard county arrived Tuesday to visit in the home of her parents, Mr. And Mrs. S.E. WILKERSON.

Miss Jennie SHIELDS of Abilene, who has been visiting her aunt, Mrs. Joe CHAMBERS for some weeks, returned to her home Sunday.

Wade NANCE, son of Mr. & Mrs. Judge NANCE, seems about recovered from a recent operation he had at Gorman.


©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.