De Leon Free Press

DeLeon, Comanche County, Texas, Friday, May 25, 1928 


Grammar School Exercises Held Monday Evening

            The following program was given at the Grammar school graduating exercises held at the Baptist church on Monday evening.

Invocation, Rev. W.W. RICHESON.

Song, “America” audience standing.

Salutation, Anthon LIEGON.

Piano solo, Mattie BLANTON.

Chorus, Class.

Valedictory, Iva WIDEMAN.

Piano Solo, Evelyn GOLIGHTLY

Address, Rev. J.N. CAMPBELL.

Presentation of Certificates and Awards, Supt. D.M. RUSSELL.

Benediction, Dr. A.M. ALLEN.

Class Roll:

El Dora COONER, Evelyn GOLIGHTLY, Merle MOHON, Leona ASH, Stanley COZBY, Theron BUCHAN, Velma CLAYTON, Olita NABORS, Hazel PRESTON, Bob H. SMITH, W.S. SNEAD, Charles WHEAT, Jessie JONES, Hattie Bell MEYERS, Lucile AISHMAN, Claudy Fae AISHMAN, Doyle HUDDLESTON, Wayne CHAMBERS, Charles LAWLESS, Loraine WOODS.


Family of Four Severely Burned In Gas Flames

            Four members of the MARTIN family, residing one mile north of Comanche were severely burned, probably fatally, in a peculiar manner last Friday night.  The family consisting of Mr. and Mrs. MARTIN and their five year old child and Mr. MARTIN’s sister, Miss Myrtle MARTIN, who has for a number of years taught in the ward schools at Comanche.  Of the four, Miss Myrtle’s burns are the most serious.  She was burned in childhood and the second burning over old scars make her wounds the more serious, and it is feared will result fatally.

            The gas main from De Leon to Comanche is laid within five feet of the MARTIN storm cellar.  A leak had developed in the main immediately alongside the cellar.  The ground was porous and as long as the ground was dry the gas escaped upward through the soil.  But when a heavy rain came while the family was in the cellar, the blanket of moisture sealed the ground and forced the gas thru the wall of the cellar.  The cellar had cement walls but the deadly fumes crept through the pores in the sand and perhaps through small cracks.  When a sufficient amount of gas had collected in the cellar it ignited from a tallow candle.  There was no explosion, the underground chamber simply filled with flames and the women’s clothing ignited.  Hands and faces were horribly burned.  The child was burned least of all because he was wrapped up securely except his face.

            The three adults ran out of the burning furnace into the driving rain, screaming piteously.  The flesh on Mr. MARTIN’s hands was so badly cooked that he could not take a match from his pocket.  He felt his way thru the darkness to his telephone and rang the bell, leaving bits of flesh on the crank and also on the receiver.  He rang his pastor in town, Rev. HEARN, who summoned aid and rushed to the scene.  Mr. MARTIN’s clothing was not burned, but the clothes were almost burned from the women, pieces of their garments being found about the yard next morning.

            Mr. MARTIN said they must have been in the cellar 20 minutes before the fire occurred.  The fumes did not collect in the cellar until the rain blanketed the surface of the earth.  The women commented on a peculiar odor, but Mr. MARTIN said he did not notice it.  Hundreds of people have visited the scene of the accident and offered their assistance to the stricken family, who are under treatment at their home.

Moving to Lubbock

            Mr. and Mrs. J.O. PATTERSON and little daughter, Virginia, left the last of the week to make their home at Lubbock.  Mr. PATTERSON, who has been  in the Lubbock district for some time selling the product of Wes-Tex Mfg. Co. was home several days the latter part of the week packing up and storing their furniture.  Mrs. PATTERSON and daughter will visit for several weeks in Oklahoma before going to Lubbock.

Mrs. T.C. Smith Had An Operation

            Mrs. T.C. SMITH is recovering from a major operation which she underwent at a Gorman hospital last Friday.  The reports coming from there indicate that her condition is satisfactory.  Her daughter, Mrs. Stuart CATE, of Breckenridge, is with her mother during her illness.

Commencement Program Comyn Monday Evening

            Sunday morning at 11 o’clock, May 28, Rev. J.F. ADAMS, pastor of the Methodist church of Dublin will deliver the baccalaureate sermon at the school auditorium.

            Monday evening at eight o’clock the following Senior commencement program will be given.


Invocation, Rev. W.W. RICHESON, of De Leon.

Song, Senior Class.

Salutatory, C.M. CARAWAY, Jr.

Valedictory, Blanche MARTIN.

Class History, Lowry EASLEY.

Senior Farewell, Mary Edna MOORE.

Class Will, L.O.E. SWEEDEN.

Class Proclamation, Perry COOK, president of the class.

Class Creed, Jennie DICKEY.

Address, Rev. W.W. RICHESON, “The Unscrambled Ideal.”

Presentation of Diplomas, Supt. G.R. GOOSBY.


Mr. and Mrs. J.S. NANCE took their son, Otwell, to Gorman Monday to have his foot treated.  The little boy had the misfortune of getting a very bad wound while wading in the creek near his home Sunday afternoon.

Mr. and Mrs. W.E. PULLEY and daughters Maxine and Shirley Rose and Mary Loyse ALSTON visited with friends at Mangum, Texas, Sunday.

Mr. and Mrs. J.S. NANCE, Mr. and Mrs. Claud OTWELL and children went to Ranger Thursday to visit their sister and family, Mrs. Mittie TERRY.

Mr. and Mrs. H.E. BEATY and children of near Comanche spent the week end in the home of Mr. BEATY’s sister and family, Mr. and Mrs. J.T. MOORE.

Mrs. FOWLER of Oglesby visited her relatives, R.O. BANKHEAD and family last weekend.


©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.