RSS
 

This Day in De Leon History

Click on items highlighted in red to go a page related to event.
  • January 1
    • 1900  Charter for First National Bank of De Leon
    • 1905  Charter granted for F&M Bank
    • 1935  R.L. Scott becomes Post Master
    • 1920  De Leon officially becomes Home Rule City
    • 1929  E.E. Dabney repurchases hardware store
    • 1961  Zollie Steakley appointed to Texas Supreme Court
  • January 2
    • 1920 First Home Rule City Council Members and Mayor take office
    • 1946  Legendary TCU football coach Dutch Meyer speaks to Bearcats at Sportsmen’s Banquet
  • January 3
    • 1983  James Morgan sworn in as Judge of 220th District Court
  • January 4
    • 1935  Robinson Springs High School students move to De Leon
  • January 5
    • 1919  Weaver Drug and three adjoining buildings burn
    • 1931  R.D. Bell and father open store
    • 1932 The U.S. House of Representatives is opened with a gavel made by Sam and Rich Cowan from Comyn of Bois D’ Arc lumber from the railroad bridge on the Leon.
  • January 6
    • 1932  De Leon chapter of Future Farmers of America organized 
    • 1950  York Hotel becomes the Anthony Hotel
  • January  7
    • 1927  Lowe and Carter sell wholesale grocery to Abilene’s Radford Grocery
    • 1957  Home mail delivery begins upon order of President Eisenhower
  • January 8
    • 1923  Avant Variety Store files bankruptcy and closes.
    • 1929  Southwestern Bell rents May Streety Whaley home (Wofford’s Use Cars) for $35 per month as new location of switchboard
    • 1932 Ford dealership moves to Swagerty building north of city hall
  • January 9
    • 1932  Central Texas produce plant burns killing 5,000 chickens.
    • 1937  De Leon defeats Oliver Springs 18-9 in basketball
  • January 10
    • 1940  Comyn girls defeat De Leon 11-10 and a De Leon men’s all star team defeats the Ozark Hill Billies 19-18 in the first basketball games played in City Hall
    • 1958 Sloan’s Grocery holds grand opening of new supermarket on Navarro
  • January 11
    • 1929  Murry Nichols named as De Leon’s first All State Football player.
    • 1986  De Leon switches to digital dial telephones
  • January 12
    • 1905  Farmers and Merchants National Bank opens
    • 1937  Former De Leon attorney Ghent Sanderford elected Chairman of State Board of Education1965  Ben Barnes elected Speaker of Texas House of Representatives
    • 1987  First State Bank of Gustine opens De Leon branch
  • January 13
    • 1910  MKT leases the Texas Central Railway
    • 1926  First Baptist Church building of 1906 is demolished. 
  • January 14
    • 1927  Humble Oil begins construction of a 315 mile pipeline from Borger to Comyn 
  • January 15
    • 1948  Holdridges Clover Farm Store opens at Texas and Sipe Springs Highway
    • 1949  Depot Woodwork Co. burns–located immediately behind today’s Comanche Co. Tractor
    • 1956  Gatlin Trio consisting of Larry, Stevy and Rudy appear at Round Grove Baptist Church
    • 1957  Zollie Steakley appointed Texas Secretay of State
  • January 16
    • 1924  Y.L. Dabney, B.W. Ayers, and W.L. Bagwell donate land for new city tourist park
    • 1958  L.E. “Cotton” Shifflett takes over Gulf Oil distributorship
  • January 17
    • 1891  Order of Eastern Star receives first charter
    • 1924  Frank Carter’s new home burns (northwest corner Pittman and Labadie)
    • 1927  W.H. Smith buys out Bob Steakley becoming sole owner of Smith’s Stores
    • 1968  De Leon placed on Texas Historic Forts Trail
  • January 18
    • 1930   Temperature drops to -8 degrees at 3 a.m. nears 1894 record of -14 degrees
    • 1940  Darlene Nabors joins Ozark Hill Billies pro basketball team, first of two De Leonians on the team
    • 1956  Major snow storm largest since 1948 
  • January 19
    • 1938  Jack Haynes ends a quarter century as De Leon blacksmith
  • January 20
    • 1950  “Old Tater”, R.E. Wilson’s 36 year old mule dies
  • January 21
    • 1969  Ben Barnes inaugurated Lt. Governor of Texas
  • January 22
    • 1931  The F&M Bank and Security State Bank merge during the Depression
    • 1938  Lighting strikes Humble tank farm at Comyn, tank burns for hours
  • January 23
    • 1932  Comyn Baptist votes to convert from gas to electric lights
  • January 24
    • 1924  Lee Bills and W.R. Dyson seize still, arrest two northwest of town
    • 1932  Armour Meat Packing Company announces closing of its De Leon plant.
  • January 25
    • 1937  Western Union moves offices from depot to Weaver Drug
    • 1988  Everybody’s Bearcat, Todd Whitehead returns to classes
  • January 26
    • 1940 Sweepstakes winning Bearcat Band receives invitation to appear at New York Worlds Fair
  • January 27
    • 1898 Second petition presented to county commissioners for De Leon incorporation election
    • 1955 Murry Cox RFD radio show broadcast from high school
    • 1955 “Broken Lance” becomes the first CinemaScope movie shown at Leon Theater
  • January 28
    • 1923  Comyn announces it has the largest per capita school fund of any district in USA at $100.45 per student.
    • 1938  De Leon votes 214-131 against building the present county court house while it carries county-wide 1,026 to 647.  Effort begins in southern part of county to move county seat to De Leon.
  • January 29
    • 1936  2 inch snow fall in De Leon
    • 1940  Dr. A.M. Reynolds opens an office in Guinns Drug
  • January 30
    • 1929  Sarah Parkman sells City Cafe to Buel Terry and Sid Farrow
  • January 31
    • 1949  Desdemona and Jakehamon schools consolidate
    • 1990  Kevin Witt awarded Eagle Scout badge


  • February 1
    • 1914  R.L. Scott buys Free Press for the first time.  Sells while serving during World War I.
    • 1924  Two engines pulling MKT passenger train 36 derail, crash on Leon River bridge
    • 1929  Lee Kemp and J.C. Brinson buy Walker’s Chrysler Plymouth dealership
  • February 2
    • 1914  Citizens in northeastern corner of county organize the Hog Creek Oil Company at the old Hog Creek School
    • 1929  Church of Christ breaks ground on new building at Reynosa and Houston
    • 1955  Dozens of De Leonians take buses to Fort Worth Stock Show where Bearcat Band entertains
  • February 3
    • 1919  Payne gas well comes in producing about 40 million cubic feet per day
    • 1940  Jimmy Schmidt makes All State Band
    • 1955 Lenward Caraway wins Reserve Grand Champion Steer of Junior Division at Fort Worth Stock Show
  • February 4
    • 1902  New school building accepted from builders
    • 1929  Demolition of Rex Oil refinery begins (west of cemetery) 
  • February 5
    • 1944  Shorty Mahan signs contract for Chevrolet Dealership
  • February 6
    • 1928  John Weaver buys Lloyd Hampton’s Insurance Co.
  • February 7
    • 1933 Temperature drops to -6 degrees
  • February 8
    • 1928  Small pox quarantine lifted after four cases
    • 1938  Federal agents raid operating 55 gallon still on Rush Creek southwest of Downing
  • February 9
    • 1929  Two inches of sleet and high temperature of 7 degrees
  • February 10
    • 1938  One of two cedar trees that stood for more than half a century at city hall and Dabney home removed
    • 1949  Dr. I Q appears at city hall, later a TV show and kids game
    • 1952  A&M Cafe burns
  • February 11
    • 1924 Hampton Jewelry located in Weaver Drug burglarized, taking most of stock
    • 1996  De Leon VFD responds to three fires in one day
  • February 12
  • February 13
  • February 14
    • 1924 Six MKT freight cars derail, three overturn near Armstrong Creek bridge
  • February 15
    • 1927  De Leon’s town orchestra gives first concert at York’s Cafe
    • 1937  Major dust bowl storm sweeps over De Leon for two days
    • 1958  De Leon girls win District Basketball championship
  • February 16
  • February 17
    • 1936  Joe Hill Jr., youngest man to accompany Admiral Byrd to the South Pole visits De Leon
  • February 18
    • 1915  City hires an Assistant City Secretary for $5 per month
  • February 19
  • February 20
    • 1900  De Leon votes to assume control of its school from the county becoming second independent district in county
  • February 21
    • 1913   De Leon Power Co. acquires Gorman becomes De Leon-Gorman Light & Power Co.
    • 1983  Demolition begins of Old Gulf Station usually called the Post Office Filling Station across from today’s First Baptist
    • 1985  Texas Ranger John Dendy honored for heroism by the Texas Legislature and Gov. Mark White
  • February 22
    • 1919  Council votes to extend Texas Ave. to Bivar Street thereby creating the “S” curve north of the tracks
  • February 23
    • 1940  De Leon’s last surviving veteran of the Civil War, Union soldier G.E. Murphrey dies age 93
  • February 24
    • 1928 A.C. Schuman, formerly of Desdemona purchases the Texas & Pacific Oil distributorship 
    •  1928  A Polan China sow belonging to J.C. Greenwaldt gives birth to a litter of 10 pigs only 2 days after having a litter of 8
    • 1957  Dedication of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church building
  • February 25
  • February 26
    • 1955  Holdridge Grocery robbed of $472 by James T. Braswell who later robs the Blanket bank.
    • 1952 Citizens petition council for bond election to build hospital 
  • February 27
  • February 28
    • 1906 Thieves try to blow vault of De Leon’s First National Bank, escape toward Dublin on railroad hand cart.
  • February 29
    • 1924 Oil boom business Buell Lumber closes


  • March 1
    • 1928 Hollie Hafford purchases partner Lee Holland’s interest in City Market
    • 1931  W.E. and J.P. Howell moves  The Man’s Store to the former Guaranty Bank building.
  • March 2
    • 1836 Texas Independence Day
    • 1933 FDR announces he will nominate Silliman Evans as 4th Asst. Post Master General
  • March 3
    • 1910  Construction begins on railroad branch to Cross Plains
    • 1939  First edition of the Del High Camera is published
  • March 4
    • 1885  De Leon’s Dr. J.A. Davis becomes the first De Leonian to attend the inauguration of a President, Grover Cleveland.
    • 1929  Otis Ham and Fred Nabors open De Leon’s Whippet auto dealership
    • 1929 Emmett Lee Howard and the Simmons University Band attend the inauguration of President Herbert Hoover.
  • March 5
  • March 6
    • 1836  Day the Alamo fell
    • 1954  New Sinclair Station opens south of City hall
  • March 7
    • 1904  J. Davis of Stephenville purchases De Leon Telephone Exchange from A.I. Stephens.
    • 1924  Allen Bibby announces intention to open variety store in Avant building
  • March 8
    • 1952 Herman Johnson sets state record with 154’11” toss in discus and record 54’ toss in shot putt at Southwestern Recreation Track meet at Fort Worth Mar 7-8
  • March 9
    • 1951 Sloan Grocery reopens downtown 
    • 1952 Sharp and Nabors Funeral Home opens
  • March 10
    • 1949 Dr. Wihelm leaves De Leon for position at Mayo Clinic
  • March 11
    • 1940  Fire department reorganized after long hiatus
    • 1950  Army Corps of Engineers recommends building Proctor Dam
  • March 12
    • 1920  Railroad reaches Jakehamon
    • 1932  The long awaited movie Frankenstine is the late night feature at the Liberty
  • March 13
    • 1927  First Baptist dedicates new building
    • 1938  A fire on the MKT Engine 769 parked in the De Leon yard destroys cab      
    • 1940 Edmondson’s robbed of silk hose for fourth time.  Robber caught when broom handle is placed in his back and told it is a gun.  Makes Associated Press nationwide wire service.
    • 1996  De Leon Wolverines first game in De Leon
  • March 14
    • 1939  City offices move to present city hall
    • 1954  Dedication of United Pentecostal Church
  • March 15
    • 1933  F&M Bank reopens in first group of country banks after FDR’s mandatory holiday, sets record for one  day deposits
    • 1944  Branch line of railroad from De Leon to Cross Plains abandoned
  • March 16
    • 1996  Courtney Golden throws a no-hitter against Gorman to win Bearcat Baseball Tourney
  • March 17
    • 1937  Caraway’s steer Golden Oak Albert declared Grand Champion of Ft. Worth Stock Show having already been named Grand Champion in Denver.
  • March 18
    • 1985  Texas State Treasurer and future Governor Ann Richards speaks at RC&D banquet
  • March 19
    • 1937  The Tate-Lax Museum of Curios including skeletons, tusks, etc displayed inside an 8 foot Douglas fir makes appearance at Harmon Drug.
  • March 20
    • 1935  Paving of highway from Comanche to De Leon completed as crews finish in in front of Travelers Hotel
  • March 21
    • 1904  Incorporation papers filed with Texas Secretary of State for De Leon Canning Co.
    • 1913 City prohibits annoying, speaking disrespectfully to, or insulting others in public upon fine of $50
  • March 22
    • 1940  City of De Leon files for bankruptcy
    • 1952 Sharp and Nabors Funeral Home holds grand opening
  • March 23
  • March 24
    • 1954  Late 1.5 inch snow storm shuts down town.
  • March 25
    • 1917  Methodist hold last service in 1895 church
    • 1926 Fire at Swagerty Filling Station and Garage
    • 1928 Fire levels much of the business district of Gustine.
    • 1949  Desdemona struck by tornado
  • March 26
    • 1917  Demolition of 1895 Methodist Church begins
    • 1920  Post Office opens in Jakehamon
  • March 27
    • 1935 City buys new Ford V-8 fire truck
  • March 28
    • 1924  De Leon host county UIL meet for first time
  • March 29
    • 1920  De Leon’s present depot opens
    • 1924  Ronald Myers high point man in county Track and Field meet
  • March 30
    • 1922  Current chapter of Eastern Star chartered
    • 1926  Overnight rain followed by sleet and two hour morning snow kills area fruit crops.
  • March 31
    • 1926  Buster Brown and his dog Tige make live appearance at Liberty Theater courtesy Dependable Store. 
    • 1928  Fire damages City Barber Shop and four other business on east side of Texas Ave opposite Weavers
    •  1949  Seals Brothers Circus in town at what is now the south section of the cemetery


  • April 1
    • 1939  Bell Grocery opens in Ayers building
  • April 3
  • April 4
    • 1928  A tornado destroys one house and damages two others southwest of Rucker.
  • April 9
    • 1932 Proctor State bank is robbed.
  • April 10
    • 1937 De Leon Band takes first place in 10th Annual West Texas  Band Festival in Abilene.
  • April 11
    • 1921 Shakespeare Club organized
  • April 12
  • April 13  
    • 1906  W.S. Whaley resigns from F&M Bank, brother Gould Whaley resigns from 1st National, pair opening bank in Hamlin.
  • April 14
    • 1929  Hail storm kills hundreds of sea gulls north of De Leon near Koonce farm
  • April 15
    • 1939 Present City Hall is completed and ready for occupancy
  • April 16
    • 1931 First annual livestock show held
  • April 17
    • 1908 Massive flooding hits Central Texas cuts rail transportation
    • 1933  De Leon High Poultry Judging team wins second State Championship 
    • 1936  Jefferson Day Banquet held in Travelers Hotel
  • April 18
    • 1891  De Leon school principal arrested and charged with abandonment, adultery and embezzlement in Indiana and adultery here.
    • 1903  Docum (Concord) Baptist Church is organized.
    • 1917  B.J. Pittman Jr. sets Texas High School running broadjump record at 5′ 10″ at SMU track meet.
    • 1975 Dallas Cowboy Charlie Waters speaks at athletic banquet
  • April 19
    • 1919  Groundbreaking held for Travelers Hotel
    • 1926  De Leon High Poultry Judging team wins first State Championship
  • April 20
    • 1928 Phantom organ installed at Liberty Theater
  • April 21
    • 1836 Houston defeats Santa Anna at San Jacinto 
    • 1938 18’ tall petrified tree found on farm of Jesse Stone and brought to town
  • April 22
    • 1925  Demolition of the old water tank that stood in the middle of main street commenced at noon
    • 1929  Blake and Milton Heath buy the York Cafe
    • 1932  Virgil Stamps Quartet performs at old city hall
    • 1940 Tate Counts becomes Post Master
  • April 23
    • 1937 J.P. Ruff, the man credited with naming Duster, dies
  • April 24
  • April 25
    • 1926 First Baptist congregation lays corner stone for new church.
  • April 26
    • 1932  Doodlebugs begin operating on MKT
  • April 28
    • 1928 De Leon Whippet Company auto dealership opens
    • 1958 Second Downing tornado
  • April 29
    • 1939  Skating rink opens in city hall
  • April 30
    • 1928 Smith Heath Post of the American Legion formally organized.

  • May 1
    • 1926 Severe hail and wind hits Rucker, Ramsey, Oliver Springs area and lightening strikes Comyn school. 
    • 1932 O.M. Terrill store moves to present De Leon Auto building
    • 1940  W.J. Baldwin takes over Free Press from R.L. Scott who had published since 1918 following WWI service
  • May 2
    • 1921 Mayor Kenyon resigns via telegram from Canada
    • 1955 William S. White wins the Pulitzer Prize for The Taft Story
  • May 3
    • 1929 A sand storm that lasted more than 20 hours hits area.  Lester Hotel loses roof.  H.F. Short orchard damaged loses peach and plum crop.
    • 1938 R.G. Fincher purchases Bob Carter’s store, becomes Fincher Feed
    • 1952  Herman Johnson betters state record in shot putt with a 53’ 9” toss at district meet
  • May 4
    • 1940  Rev. and Mrs. Sherrod Stover leave for 3 year missionary work 1,200 miles up Amazon in Brazil
    • 1943 FDR appoints William Wrather as Director of US Geological Survey (discoverer of Desdemona oil field)
    • 1991  Nikki Robinett and Martin Rameriz place first and second in the UIL State spelling competition
  • May 5
    • 1877  First Baptist Church organized as Liberty Baptist 4 miles west of present town 
    • 1924 Comyn voters approve $30,000 bond to construct new school
    • 1967  Bodie Weaver wins State 330 Intermediate Hurdles setting record at 38.6 seconds
  • May 6
    • 1927  De Leon sells old water tank that stood at Reynosa and Texas to City of Venus for $550
    • 1930 Steakley elected Mayor and Stovall to Council in runoff after both seats end in tie in April 1 election
  • May 7
    • 1917 Cornerstone of Methodist Church laid
    • 1941 Garden Club organized
    • 1938  Jada Davis elected editor of Tarleton’s J-Tac
    • 1965 Jackie Davis wins State 100 Yard Dash in 9.9 seconds
  • May 8
    • 1953 Herman Johnson set the second of three State Records at the UIL State Track meet throwing the discus 152’9.5”
  • May 9
    • 1928  The Smith-Heath Post 471 of the American Legion was chartered.
    • 1952 Herman johnson sets new record in shot putt at 52’9” and comes in second in the discus at State Track Meet
    • 1953  Herman Johnson set new shot putt record in the prelims and then betters it in the finals with a 57’5.5” throw
  • May 10
    • 1929  Holdridges opens downtown store at Texas and Reynosa in Ayers building
    • 1980  John Ledbetter wins State Class A 800 meter run 1:56.1
  • May 11
    • 1937  Band marches in West Texas Chamber of Commerce Convention Parade in Abilene
    • 1953  First day of operation at De Leon Municipal Hospital
  • May 12
    • 1939 City hall dedicated
    • 1984 Trent Sharp sets AA State Record of 1:54.3 in 880 meter run
  • May 13
    • 1919 City council votes to hire James Construction Co. to build city’s first sewer system and improve water works
    • 1949 Lions Club organized
  • May 14
    • 1926 Second storm in a week in St. Jo, Oliver Springs area blows down trees, sheds.  Hail destroys remainder of  fruit crop.
    • 1938 Gail Smith sets new Southwest Conference 880 yard dash record at 1:55.0 and also wins 440 and mile run for T.C.U.
    • 1949  Bearcat Band awarded 1 rating in Glen Rose Parade
  • May 15
    • 1976  Toby Hare betters Johnson’s discus throw with a throw of 154’10” but comes in second at state meet.
  • May 16
    • 1949  Brazos River Conservation & Reclamation District approves construction of Proctor Dam
    • 1952  Newly completed De Leon High School dedicated
    • 1975 Dallas Cowboy Dan Reeves speaks at athletic banquet.
  • May 17
    • 1930 A wind and hail storm knocks auditorium off its foundation at Beattie School.  
    • 1936 De Leon team plays first game in New Deal Baseball league
    • 1954 School bus thief chased from near intersection of Morton Chapel road through town to water tank where he is caught
  • May 18
    • 1953  Randall Wayne Hardin is the first baby born in De Leon Hospital
  • May 19
    • 1925 Demolition of the old water tank that stood on main street was completed.
  • May 20
    • 1913  Boiler for the Goss Oil well passes through De Leon in route to Sipe springs
  • May 21
    • 1933 Dr. Rupert N. Richardson, noted Texas historian addresses graduates
    • 1966 500th baby born at De Leon hospital, Jimmy Carl Cagle
  • May 22
    • 1938 First Downing tornado
  • May 23
    • 1932 120 MKT railroad employees hold convention at old city hall
    • 1952 Ralph Pittman awarded Doctor of Jurisprudence by Baylor University
    • 1952 Two persons killed after a 21 inch flood near Comyn
  • May 24
    • 1884  De Leon Examiner begins publication
    • 1894  Fire destroys six buildings, including saloon, Higginbotham houses, drug store, Hilliards, C.C. Morris home, damages F.L. Terrill store.
    • 1967 De Leon Palaver ceases publication
  • May 25
    • 1934  Carl L. Stewart, after helping plan Clyde Barrows funeral sings at service
  • May 26
    • 1929 M/M A.C. Schuman and M/M R.N. Hall see landing of world record breaking continuous flight at Fort Worth
  • May 27
    • 1889 J.C. Lambert resigns, De Leon’s first Post Master
    • 1917 De Leon votes 87-37 to build high school at present site of Methodist Church
    • 1933 De Leon children take train ride to Stamford courtesy of Free Press which is collecting on unpaid railroad advertisements
    • 1954 Funnel passes over De Leon without touching down
    • 1955 Cub Scout parade followed by circus held at old baseball field behind present Methodist Church
  • May 28
    • 1949 Boyce House speaks at Commencement 
    • 1954 Demolition of third football field behind present Methodist Church begins
    • 1984 Confederate Air Force land in De Leon
  • May 29
    • 1982 Clint Whitehead receives a 1 rating at State for trumpet solo
  • May 30
    • 1910 City Council authorizes railroad spur to newly completed cotton compress
    • 1926  Lightening strike kills three mules and a pony of J.M. Sturdivant near Ebenezer.  Sturdivant and two sons had taken shelter in abandoned house.
    • 1967  Goober Special makes first run
  • May 31

  • June 1
    • 1875 Houston and Texas Central Railway acquires land that becomes De Leon town site
  • June 2
    • 1932 Femur and tusk of mastodon found west of De Leon
    • 1975  Southern Savings opens in De Leon
  • June 3
    • 1932 H.E. Ryan the creator of Tom and Jerry cartoons appeared at the Liberty Theater
  • June 4
    • 1954 Richard Byron Spencer graduates from U.s. Naval Academy
    • 1955 Walt Disney publicity division shoots photos of Fess Parker at grandparent’s farm near Downing
  • June 5
    • 1936 Liberty Theater adds air conditioning 
  • June 6
    • 1943 Fire siren and church bells alert De Leon that D-Day has begun
    • 1944 Squadron of B-29s fly over De Leon in tribute to Joe Edward Boswell killed during bombing raid on Polesti.
    • 1996  Bearcats play in their first State Baseball Tournament
  • June 7
    • 1965 Women’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce organized
  • June 8
    • 1935 De Leon Fruit Growers form association
  • June 9
    • 1949 Girl Scouts organized 
  • June 10
    • 1877 A late frost swept across Central Texas killing all the corn, maize and gardens in Comanche, Hamilton and Erath counties.
  • June 11
    • 1928 Severe storm damages Smiths, Plemmons Drug and other downtown stores and blows the  smokestack down at the cotton compress
    •  1930 Harmon Drug opens in Ayers building
  • June 12
    • 1924 Fire destroys two residences owned by the Independent Eastern Torpedo Co
    • 1930 Third of four miniature golf courses operating at one time in De Leon opens
    • 1932 The U.S. Navy zeppelin Akron was visible to the north of town from 7:30-8:00 p.m. as it traveled east from Ranger to Cleburne at an estimated height of 2,000 feet.
  • June 13
  • June 14
    • 1929  Smith-Heath Post of American Legion given rifles and machine gun from World War I by US Govt.
  • June 15
    • 1940 Western Auto opens
  • June 16
    • 1920 Sand storm ravages De Leon
  • June 17
    • 1918  Drilling begins on Duke #1 oil well
  • June 18
    • 1929 John D. Ham one of De Leon’s earliest merchants dies.
    • 1930  Emmett Howard and his (Hardin) Simmons University’s Cowboy Band arrive at South Hampton, England on tour 
  • June 19
    • 1955 Walt Disney’s Davy Crockett begins at Leon Theater featuring grandson of Downing’s M/M Curg  Parker
  • June 20
  • June 21
    • 1949 Lions Club rechartered 
  • June 22
    • 1929 Reid Auto (Ford Dealership) burns
    • 1951 Nabors Lake swimming pool opens
    • 1956 Black’s Convalescent Home opens in Anthony Hotel
    • 1957 Premier Service Station opens (location of Trent Thomas Used Cars) 
  • June 23
  • June 24
    • 1932 Airdome Golf Course opens
    • 1933 Bunny Dryden, Niagara Falls wire walker, walks high wire from Higginbothams to Counts building carrying man.  
  • June 25
    • 1881 Texas Central announces lots will be sold at Coonerville Station on July 7
  • June 26
    • 1952 Gubernatorial candidate and future U.S. Senator Ralph Yarborough campaigns in De Leon
  • June 27
    • 1926 Methodist hold dedication their 1917 building after note is paid in full
  • June 28
    • 1938 Man commits suicide by laying neck on track east of depot
    • 1983  Weeping Oak Drive-in heavily damaged by tornadic winds
  • June 29
    • 1956 Then Senator Lyndon Johnson makes a special request for and receives funding for Proctor Dam
  • June 30
    • 1896 J.N. Broughton and J.W. Gorman elected to school board
    • 1929  Church of Christ holds first service in new building

  • July 1
    • 1881 Texas Central Railway pays $1,280 to H&TC RR for De Leon town site
    • 1935 W.C. Compton leaves De Leon for Comanche after a decade as Bearcat head coach
    • 1948 Coy and Alene Otwell purchase cleaners, retire in 1982
  • July 2
    • 1900 De Leon votes to build new school
    • 1935 Hamiter Brothers Wild Animal Circus performs
  • July 3
    • 1906 De Leon votes to build $6,000 water system
    • 1995  New York times writer visits De Leon to gather material for article
  • July 4
    • 1924 Whit Sides smashes his old record by eating 23 chicken gizzards at the Ebenezer/New Hope picnic
    • 1955 Elvis Presley appears with Slim Willet and Blackwood Bros. at Hodges Park
  • July5
    • 1995 First issue of De Leon’s Monitor published
  • July 6
  • July 7
    • 1881 Nine lots sold in new town of De Leon
    • 1949 First street sign installed 
  • July 8
    • 1949 All or parts of Sabano, Pounds, Buffalo, Oliver Springs, St. Joe, Trinity, Liberty, Mt. Pleasant and Robinson Springs schools annexed by DISD
  • July 9
  • July 10
    • 1926 Former Texas Governor Oscar B. Colquitt speaks in De Leon.
    • 1935 De Leon Hotel burns, built in 1919
  • July 12
    • 1927 Abandoned baby found near cornfield, later adopted by Cisco family
  • July 13
    • 1928 McCharen’s lake, 3 miles south of De Leon opens for swimming
  • July 14
  • July 15
    • 1929  Laura Valenta Miller and mother purchase Travelers Hotel from Streetys for $26,250.
    • 1932 M.D. Stewart repurchases Liberty theater
  • July 16
    • 1923 Former governor James Ferguson speaks in front of Travelers Hotel
  • July 17
    • 1937 Paving of Austin and Houston Streets from Gonzales to Labadie begun
  • July 18
    • 1923 Free Press plant burns
    • 1927 Demolition of the J.I. Campbell home/Star Hotel/Lester Hotel begins
  • July 10
    • 1947 De Leon Community Club reorganized
  • July 13
    • 1886  A storm described as a cyclone hit downtown De Leon around 5 p.m. destroying the Baptist Church and school.
  • July 23
    • 1940 President Roosevelt and Vice President Garner receive 1/2 bushel of W.H. Smith peaches
  • July 24
    • 1913 City hall accepted from builder
  • July 25
    • 1930 B.T. Higginbotham dies
    • 1938 Pyeatts Cafe installs first neon sign in De Leon
  • July 26
    • 1886 Tom Mc Neel lynched in Downing
    • 1931 De Leon baseball club wins Oil Cities tourney
    • 1955 De Leon’s Silliman Evans, publisher of the Nashville Tennessean dies in Fort Worth
  • July 27
    • 1925  Pate Cooper, a black man living in Morgan returned to De Leon for a visit for the first time since the expulsion in 1886. 
    • 1950  Little Jimmie Dickens is grand marshall of Peach and Melon parade
  • July 28
    • 1949 Sgt. Jim Slaughter, killed over Berlin is reburied in De  Leon
    • 1958 De Leon Hospital Auxiliary formed
    • 1977 Toby Hare plays in Texas High School Coaches North South All Star Game
  • July 29
    • 1857 John D. Ham, longtime De Leon lumberyard operator is born as second white child in Comanche County
    • 1929 The Valiant becomes the first talking movie shown at Liberty Theater
  • July 30
    • 1968 Gov. John Connally and Speaker Ben Barnes are in De Leon
    • 1940  White House places second order for Smith’s peaches
  • July 31
    • 1935  Pipe organ from Liberty Theater is destroyed when it is accidently dropped from the second story of Counts building.

  • August 1
    • 1953 P&M Festival appears on television for the first time on WBAP in Fort Worth
  • August 2
    • 1928 De Leon Whippet adds Durant autos
    • 1939 Clara Mae Mathis becomes first P&M Queen to be crowned in new city hall
  • August 3
    • 1926 Tommie Mohon begins twice daily bus service from De Leon to Sipe Springs, Pioneer, Rising Star, Cross Plains and Cross Cut.
    • 1982 Ray Price appears at P&M Festival.
  • August 4
    • 1930 W.H. Smith consolidates his grocery into building with dry goods
  • August 5
    • 1987 Fincher Feed burns.
  • August 6
    • 1938 Lightcrust Doughboys broadcast live from the Peach and Melon Festival
  • August 7
    • 1963  Festival features a skydiving team for four days.  One tangles in electric lines along Dublin Highway.
  • August 8
    • 1934 Soon to be elected Governor James V. Allred speaks in De leon
    • 1955 School Board elects Wayne Chambers to replace retiring teacher/principal Bertha Ross
    • 1981  De Leon buries time capsule in celebration of centennial
  • August 9
    • 1990 Shifflett Oil Warehouse burns
  • August 10
    • 1928  Old States Picnic held at McCharens Lake south of De Leon 
  • August 11
    • 1928 De Leon Whippet/Durant sells first Durant auto in all of west texas to John W. Jones, MKT section foreman
  • August 12
  • August 13
    • 1953 Jane Easley crowned P&M Queen
  • August 14
    • 1911 Citizens vote 85-0 to add a wing on school building and 82-3 to build a city hall
    • 1945  Federal Govt confirms that Jap bombs fell near De Leon and Desdemona earlier that year.
  • August 15
    • 1933 Cornerstone of First Christian Church laid
  • August 16
    • 1935 Primitive Baptist Convention draws 2,500 to De Leon
  • August 17
    • 1946  Al’s Variety Store opens
  • August 18
    • 1983  Ribbon cutting for the Lena and Doyle Taylor Surgical Suite at De Leon Hospital
  • August 19
    • 1925 Famed Texas historian and author Boyce House visits De Leon
  • August 20
    • 1954  U.S. Air Force displays formerly top secret Sky Sweeper weapon in De Leon
  • August 22
    • 1925 Historian and journalist Boyce House representing the Fort Worth Record visits in De Leon for information for articles.
  • August 23
    • 1912  Workers begin laying foundation for new $50,000  De Leon Peanut Co. plant.
  • August 24
    • 1931 The melon slicing is restarted
  • August 25
  • August 26
    • 1926 Gubernatorial candidate and next governor, Dan Moody makes impromptu stop in De Leon.  Speaks at Baptist amphitheater. 
    • 1950 De Leon votes 505-85 to issue bonds to construct Johnson Street High School.
  • August 27
    • 1928 W.C. Streety dies
    • 1987 Perkins Middle School dedicated
  • August 28
    • 1928 Moving of the remaining rooms of the Lambert (Pittman) Hotel to the south end of lot gets underway
  • August 29
    • 1899 De Leon residents submit petition to county commissioners to incorporate city
    • 1928  The Redden Drug building burned.  One of De Leon earliest masonry structures built in 1890 of  De Leon brick.
  • August 30
  • August 31
    • 1949 Elmon Kirby elected Vice President and Cashier of the F&M National Bank

  • September 1
    • 1902 School opens in new brick building at present Perkins/High School tract.
    • 1900 B.L. Nance takes over as second publisher of Free Press
    • 1932 Caraways shorthorns win big at Des Moine Iowa Show
  • September 2
    • 1923 Klu Klux Klan stages appearance at First Baptist Revival.
  • September 3
    • 1932 New wind mill installed at Jakehamon School
    • 1931  City prohibits parking in the middle of Texas Avenue
    • 1937 De Leon girl’s softball team places third in state tourney in Galveston
  • September 4
    • 1918  Fire extinguished at Duke oil well
  • September 5
    • 1949  Garden Club begins issuing house numbers throughout city
  • September 6
    • 1948 New building opened for Willys Overland dealership on Sipe Springs highway
  • September 7
    • 1982  Hospital breaks ground on Taylor Surgical Wing
  • September 8
    • 1952 Snac Shak opens
  • September 9
    • 1917 Methodist hold first services in new building.
    • 1938 First Christian announces plans for new north wing
    • 1957 County wide Civil Defense meeting held in city hall to discuss atomic attack–Duck and cover!
  • September 10
    • 1900 Remnants of the Galveston hurricane destroys crops, damages school building and residences in De Leon and central Texas
    • 1989 Prima Iglesia Bautista dedicated 
  • September 11
    • 1929 First color movie show at Liberty Theater
    • 1948 Comanche County Tractor opens
  • September 12
    • 1899 De Leon votes to incorporate
    • 1917 De Leon compress is sold to Minden, La. company
    • 1957  Construction begins on brick plant east of town
  • September 13
    • 1883 Cyrus Campbell becomes first person buried in present De Leon cemetery
  • September 14
    • 1931 Novits Economy Store opens in Counts building 
  • September 15
    • 1909  What was belived to be a Mexican panther was sighted prowling in the eastern part of city.  Has been on prowl for six months east of town.
    • 1952 Construction begins on Hospital
    • 1955 State Health Commissioner Henry Hollis says Comanche County’s uranium dirt houses are not “worth the time.”
  • September 16
    • 1916 Methodist vote to build new building
  • September 17
  • September 18
    • 1917 The unincorporated De Leon Telephone Company granted 25 year franchise from city
    • 1929  The moon had a double ring around it that night.
  • September 19
    • 1885 County authorizes De Leon to sell old school and build new building.
  • September 20
    • 1920 Steakley and Smith opens
  • September 21
  • September 22
    • 1927 Bill Steakley attends Dempsey-Tunney fight in Chicago while on business
    • 1927 New Lester Hotel opens
    • 1955 City begins street paving campaign with Austin Ave
  • September 23
  • September 24
  • September 25
  • September 26
    • 1924 Methodist celebrate installation of cement floor in basement with banquet
  • September 27
    • 1936 City emerges from receivership but it is temporary
  • September 28
    • 1905 City votes to build new jail
    • 1934 First football game played at south side field (behind Methodist Church)
  • September 29
    • 1918 Charlie W. Smith killed in France World War I
    • 1927 Work begins on paving Dublin-De Leon-Gorman highway
    • 1939 Screen at Liberty Theater moved to west end of building and renamed Texas Theater
  • September 30

  • October 1
    • 1917 Benedum interest lease land from farmers around Hog Creek setting stage for oil boom
    • 1923 Grizzel & Trent open new service station at Houston and Reynosa commonly called Post Office Filling Station
  • October 2
    • 1893 First day of school
    • 1934 First football game played by Theney High School  (Comyn)       
    • 1953  B.J. Pittman Jr. named All Time Outstanding Bearcat
  • October 3
  • October 4
    • 1929 Five De Leonians bitten by rabid dogs begin receiving treatment
    • 1937  Bolton saw mill opens on Old Gorman Highway (Bivar)
  • October 5
    • 1928 Plymouths added to De Leon’s Chrysler dealership
    • 1984 Long time teacher Mary Alice Short Crittenden crowned Coming Home queen
  • October 6
    • 1995 First Melon Patch Trade Day held 
  • October 7
    • 1924  De Leon Ice Company sold to Barey Bros. chain
    • 1932  Caraways take 5 blue ribbons at State Fair
    • 1937  Bearcat Beam replaces The Cat’s Whiskers as student newspaper
  • October 8
    • 1912 Council votes to impose $25 fine on anyone selling fruits lunches or merchandise on railroad property or at depot without permission
    • 1918 James B. Heath killed in Aragone Forrest Wold War I
    • 1954  Bearcat Field dedicated 
  • October 9
  • October 10
  • October 11
    • 1931 F&M Bank restricts customers to a $5 per day withdrawal limit
  • October 13
    • 1995 John Hernandez sets new Bearcat record with 101 yard return of pass interception for touchdown against Cisco.
  • October 14
    • 1931 Comyn claims to have installed the first lighted basketball court, Rucker said-not so fast
  • October 15
    • 1907  De Leon blacksmith John Haynes awarded patent for combination post hole digger and wire stretcher.
    • 1938 June Terrill represents De Leon in Queen of Queens pagent at the 50th Texas State Fair 
  • October 17
    • 1954 Jones Cafe damaged by fire.
  • October 20
    • 1918 Depot burns.
    • 1956 Bearcat Band participates in the University of Texas Band Day 
  • October 21
    • 1837 Bigfoot Wallace expedition moves along Armstrong Creek.
    • 1923 MKT train derails near Sabano on Cross Plains branch
    • 1954 H.G. Terrill sells Ford dealership to Oscar Hammitt
  • October 22
    • 1983  Alene Pilcher Otwell selected Coming Home Queen
  • October 23
    • 1938 District 17 of the American Legion holds convention at Travelers Hotel on 22 and 23rd
  • October 24
  • October 25
    • 1898  Bob Maxey was shot and killed near Duster.
  • October 26
    • 1929 Classmate of Charles Lindburg at Brooks and Kelly Fields performs ariel exhibition in De Leon.
  • October 27
  • October 28
    • 1919 De Leon votes 75-20 to appoint a commission to frame a new city charter.
  • October 29
    • 1954 Herman Johnson named to All American High School Track Team 
  • October 30
  • October 31
    • 1951 De Leon switches from crank to dial phones at 9 p.m.

  • November 1
    • 1885 Texas Central RR station agent claims to have been robbed by two masked men—he actually stole the money
  • November 2
    • 1918 De Leon Gas Company awarded franchise to construct and maintain gas system
  • November 3
  • November 4
  • November 5
    • 1929 First Baptist begins tearing down old parsonage
  • November 6
    • 1923 De Leon Free Fall fair beings
    • 1947 Ralph Pittman elected national President of Masons at 97th reunion
  • November 7
    • 1957 De Leon Industrial Council formed
  • November 8
    • 1932 George Rollins elected to the Texas House of Representatives
  • November 9
    • 1923  Klu Klux Klan ride up Texas Ave. disrupts final night of Free Fall Fair
    • 1934  Fire siren purchased
    • 1982  Jim Parker elected to Texas House of Representatives
  • November 10
  • November 11
    • 1934 Three Confederate Veterans ride in Armistice Day parade
  • November 12
    • 1955 Robert Kay TV moves shop from near his home to new downtown store 
  • November 13
    • 1912 City prohibits wagon yards, stock and livery stables within city limits
  • November 14
  • November 15
    • 1931 C.M. Caraway Jr. is on winning Texas A&M National Stock Judging team
    • 1952 Remodeled Leon Theater opens 
    • 1989 Da-Nite Grocery burns
  • November 16
    • 1928  De Leon-Dublin football game broadcast over KFLP radio.
  • November 17
    • 1921 First State bank fails
    • 1986  Annett Priddy named National Shorthorn Lassie Queen 
  • November 18
  • November 19
    • 1931 The first night classes ever conducted in Comanche County were held at Bowman School taught by W.C. Compton
  • November 20   
    • 1989 DeLoyn Singleton honored for 23 years of service to De Leon Welfare Board
  • November 21
  • November 22
    • 1880 Coal mine north of town reaches 103 feet in depth
    • 1905  J. C. Sykes Gin burns
    • 1935 WPA announces approval for construction of auditorium and gym which ends up as part of city hall
    • 1937 First November snowfall since 1918.
  • November 23
    • 1874 Robert Leslie becomes the last person killed by Indians in Comanche County
    • 1939 Bearcat Band makes first appearance in new uniforms. Uniforms were used until 1955
  • November 24
    • 1940 Dr. Reynolds moves from Guinns and opens his Medical Arts Clinic.
  • November 26
    • 1939 Ripley’s Believe It or Not features 40 year old shoes owned and still worn by B.J. Pittman Sr.
  • November 27
    • 1930  John Carl Haskins becomes radio announcer on KRLD in Dallas.
    • 1934  Blue and White Cafe opens 
  • November 28
    • 1967  MKT abandons railroad
  • November 29
    • 1967  Last MKT train leaves De Leon with engines 121 and 64 pulling 44 cars
  • November 30
    • 1922  Post Office in Jakehamon closes.
    • 1925 Assembly of God organized.

  • December 1
    • 1897  One of several immigrant trains from northern Mississippi arrives at noon with Scott, Dodson and Nabors familes.  Snow falls later that day.
    • 1919  R.L. Scott repurchases Free Press upon return from military following World War I from Thomas Durham
    • 1919  J.H. Howard opens grocery and dry goods in his newly completed building.
    • 1930  De Leon’s A&P Grocery closes store and moves out in early morning hours
    • 1969  De Leon’s Honk Irvin inducted into Texas High school Football Hall of Fame
  • December 2
    • 1929 Grace Whaley opens Christmas shop
    • 1930 Dockum Baptist church located about 6 miles north of De Leon is destroyed by fire
    • 1932  De Leon wins its first Bi-district football Championship defeating Albany 13-0
    • 1937 Paving of Austin and Houston streets that began on Jul 17 is completed
    • 1967 New Texas Central Railroad begins operation
  • December 3
    • 1937 De Leon puts up 7 strings of Christmas lights for first time across main street
  • December 4
    • 1952 De Leon Community Club organized at Travelers Hotel
    • 1981  De Leon’s Centennial Queen, Mrs. V./V. Bell celebrated her 100th birthday.
  • December 5
    • 1929 Cowboy Jim Kelly, holder of the flying endurance record, lands in De Leon to pick up passengers for Fort Worth
  • December 6
    • 1917 De Leon departs by train for State Championship game in Greenville
  • December 7
  • December 8
    • 1932 Prohibition rally held in De Leon
  • December 9
    • 1934 Honk Irvin and his New York Giants team mates win NFL championship in the famous “Gumshoe Game” beating Chicago.
    • 1955 Theme of football banquet is the new fight song written by Ernest Repass.
    • 1990 St. Joe Baptist Church dedicates new building.
  • December 10
    • 1905    Train carrying 75 immigrant families arrives in De Leon from Ponotoc and LaFayette counties in Mississippi.
    • 1932  De Leon took on Wink in its first Regional Championship Football Game
  • December 11
    • 1896  Seventy families arrive from Mississippi on immigrant train.
  • December 12
  • December 13
    • 1923 De Leon gas company offers to provide free gas if De Leon installs gas lighting for city streets
  • December 14
    • 1923 Former Bearcat Ralph Pittman elected Captain of Baylor Bears for next season
  • December 15
    • 1929 J. Doss Miller dies
  • December 16
    • 1886  Meeting held in De Leon to organize a new county with De Leon as county seat
    • 1919 De Leon votes to to become Home Rule-Mayor-Council government
    • 1950 2,500 attend F&M Bank’s open house at newly remodeled facilities
  • December 18
    • 1934  Wonder Map of Texas stops in De Leon on tour of state
    • 1939  Church of God moves into its new building.
    • 1976 De Leon defeated by Barbers Hill in State Championship game 17-8.
  • December 19
    • 1919 Charter granted for Gulf-Desdemona and Northern Railroad Co. from De Leon northward
    • 1975 BEARCATS WIN STATE CHAMPIONSHIP IN FOOTBALL DEFEATING SCHULENBURG 26-15.
  • December 20
    • 1929 Four inches of snow falls over 12 hour period.
    • 1992 President Clinton appoints Bobby Charles Simpson to the National Committee for Employment Policy
    • 1948 First Baptist dedicates carollonic bells
  • December 21
    • 1935 Joe Coleman resigns as Bearcat head coach to take Odessa job.
  • December 24
    • 1929 Garner-Avis store closes after 10 years in De Leon
  • December 25
    • 1926 De Leon awakens to its only white Christmas as 5 inches of snow falls
  • December 26
    • 1926 De Leon city band formed
  • December 27
    • 1900  Star Hotel and adjacent saloon burns.
    • 1934 Robinson Springs school board votes to merge into De Leon at end of holidays
  • December 28
    • 1920 De Leon purchases water tower for $1,461.37 (the one that stood just east of the present tower)
    • 1982 De Leon depot used as backdrop for Levi Jeans ad in Europe.
  • December 29
  • December 30
    • 1948 Carl Simpson installs first television set in De Leon-a ten inch screen at Dabneys.  R.G. Fincher follows with the second in Jan ‘49
  • December 31
    • 1927 Fire destroys  De Leon Laundry
    • 1930 W.H. Williams retires as President of Higginbothams
    • 1934 C.R. Redden retires after 17 years as Post Master

 

 

  • Teisha Nabors Sherrard

    Thank you for posting this. I found some of my family history. Nabors funeral home are my grandparents. Also Whitt sides is my great great grandpa.

  • Clavauns

    Very interesting website for any current or former DeLeon resident. My family history is included in one of the posts.