Freestone County history


Now and Then

February 6, 1930

Grand Jury Returns Indictment For Murder Of Monroe Higgins – The 87th Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Earl Williford with murder of Monroe Higgins, negro found dead in Cottonwood Creek recently. The Grand Jury also returned an indictment against Williford charging him with violating the prohibition law. Judge Boyd granted $1,500 bail in the murder case and $1,000 in the liquor case.


Now and Then

January 23, 1930

Embezzlement Case In 77th Court Delayed – The O.P. Arrington embezzlement case which was docketed to start at Groesbeck, has been delayed on agreement of the counsel. Arrington, a prominent official in Mexia, was indicted some months ago on a charge of embezzling school funds.

Child Dies Of Bright’s Disease – Alford, 6 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. O.P. Hagen, died of Bright’s Disease at the home of the family near Steward’s Mill, Saturday. Burial was in the Dew Cemetery, Sunday.


Now and Then

December 23, 1943


Now and Then

November 4, 1943

Weldon Bonner Prisoner In Italy – It is reported here that Mr. and Mrs. Wirt Bonner of Stewards Mill have been informed that their son, Weldon, is a German prisoner in Italy. Weldon, who has a wife and child, was living at Hillsboro when he joined the Army.

Winston Oliver Reported Missing In Italy – Ed Oliver, longtime resident of the Campbell’s Branch community north of Cotton Gin, has been notified by the War Department that his son, Winston Oliver, is missing in action in Italy. Oliver was a member of General Clark’s fifth army, which is seeing active and continuous service against the Germans in Western Italy.


Now and Then

August 12, 1943

Ira’s – Bataan Patrol starring Robert Taylor and Lloyd Nolan; Dixie starring Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour; Gildersleeve’s Bad Day starring Freddy Mercer and Harold Peary; Coney Island starring Betty Grable and George Montgomery

Lee Judson Davis Reports For Army Service – Lee Judson Davis, who has been employed by the Mexia Production Credit Association in Mexia for several months, reported the first of the week for Army service. He was registered in Travis County, and was drafted by the Limestone County Board. His wife and baby will make their home in Fairfield during the duration.


Freestone County makes headlines in 1887

Fairfield Recorder newspaper – Sept. 2, 1887 edition
Mad Dogs
A dog belonging to Mr. J.I. Bonner, of our town, showed signs of hydrophobia Tuesday going about town biting every dog that came its way. It was decided that he was mad and the doctor had him and another valuable dog killed at once. For fear of a sad accident, let everyone watch his dogs carefully for two or three weeks; and where a dog is known to have been bitten, it ought to be promptly killed. Dogs are much valued sometimes, but the risk is too great to always wait and see if the bitten dogs become diseased. Dogs have been known to go mad a month after they were bit, that is, after they had been turned loose after they had been tied or kept confined. The first premonitory signs of rabies, we believe, are the emitting of a frothy slobber from the mouth, a disposition to be restless, and then snapping at everything in its way.
The Dallas Weekly Herald – January 13, 1877


TV crew films at museum

Videographer Landon Whinery (left) films at the Freestone County Historical Museum. Also pictured are Patricia Pratt, museum curator, and This Is Country host Brian Doty.

Photo by April Walker

Fairfield, Texas is being made famous by a small production company who filmed several historic spots in the area for an upcoming international TV show. Jodie Webb and Brian Doty hit the town last week, filming country life at F.E. Hill Ranch and the Freestone County Historical Museum. See the full story in the March 24 edition of the Recorder!


A brief history of the Butler Church Bell

Butler Church Bell

The Freestone County Museum observed its 40th anniversary since opening in 1967. It is now located in the third jail building built about 1885 and used until the fourth, which was located on the courthouse square was built in 1911 and used until 1974. There are many early things to been here, with the planned expansion from a gracious local grant there should be much more. 
On the outside grounds there are more displays with two early Freestone County log houses, an early church building, and an old church bell with an interesting history. Didn't realize until recently how much the Trinity River played in the early development and settlement of Freestone and the other counties joining it. 
Bill Young's informative research and articles in the Corsicana paper have brought much out. 
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