Joshia J. Cleveland
Joshia J. Cleveland came to De Leon to oversee his family’s oil interest in the area. His family was reportedly that of President Grover Cleveland.
Mr. Cleveland was a very large man not unlike the president, and was called “Fatty” by friends and others. He played football at Andover College and Yale and worked as a volunteer assistant coach of the Bearcats in 1921 primarily coaching the line. He was never a teacher in the De Leon School system and was never paid a nickel for his services.
He is credited with bringing the game of golf to De Leon for the first time. He built three holes near his home which was located immediately north of the Sipe Springs highway on the northeast corner of either Rusk or Mosley (depending on the source). He taught both younger and older men to play the game. He was also one of, if not the first to play the card game of Bridge in De Leon. Like golf, he taught the game to numerous people and helped organize a club which met regularly for games of Bridge.
In the 1920 U.S. Census, Cleveland who was then 37 years old, and his wife Grace C. also 37 were living on the north side of town probably on West Seguin (the census taker omitted the street name but had completed Johnson Street and Juarez on adjacent pages. The couple had two children, Judson age 10 and G. Elizabeth age 12. Joshia was born in Illinois as were both his parents. His wife was also born in Illinois as was her mother. Her father was a native of New York. Both children were born in Illinois. He listed his occupation as a broker of oil and land.
Mr. Cleveland’s mother who lived in Chicago, came for a visit in late August 1923. His son Judson enrolled in the New Mexico Military Institute in September 1923 while the daughter apparently went of college in Chicago. The family remained in De Leon at least until August of 1926. The Free Press reported that his home had been burglarized on March 25, 1926 and a 20 gauge shot gun, his golf clubs and two folding cots had been taken. They were left on his front porch the following August.