Dawson History 1933

Dawson History Written in 1933

Dawson. The Cotton Belt railroad reached the present site of Dawson about the year 1881 and Henry and Dave Dawson were living on farms inherited from their father, Britton Dawson. The two Dawson brothers donated land for a station and right of way and in their honor the town was named Dawson. The first dry goods store in the new town was operated by J. S. Dickson, although Goodman and Younger had opened a grocery store a short time prior to the opening of the Dickson establishment. J. M. Johnson moved his business from Spring Hill to Dawson upon the coming of the railroad and Joe Shultz entered the grocery and general merchandise business about 1884.

The first drug store in Dawson was established by Dr. W. H. Kirksey. Three of the earliest doctors were the aforementioned Doctor Kirksey and Doctors Dean and Holcomb, the latter moving there and practicing medicine in the early days.

The first religious services held in Dawson were conducted in a room in a hotel which served as a church. Miss Bell Young organized and taught the first Sunday School class in Dawson and J. S. Dickson did his part by leading in the singing. The first church building erected in Dawson was that of the Cumberland Presbyterians with J. W. Smith as the first pastor. For several years other religious denominations utilized this edifice as a place of worship.

The earliest educational institution in Dawson was conducted by a Mr. Westmoreland but the first organized public school of Dawson was under the direction of Professor E. J. L. Wyrick who was a popular teacher.

Onstott and Clemmons built and operated the first gin at Dawson.

Some of the early settlers in the Dawson community were the Lawrence family and the families of William Walker, Samuel and William Wright, R. D. Bills, the Berry families and the Matthews, Westmore lands, Wilkes, Gables, Dicksons, Hills, Smiths, Simms and Fullertons.

The population of Dawson has increased to where it is now [1933] around 1500 people, with an enrollment in the public school of over 500. A new $60,000 school building has taken the place of the old school house and there is also a separate school for the colored population.

Those who are interested in historical background can find the monument marking the burial place of members of the surveying party who were killed by the Indians in 1838 about two miles West from town.

One of the early settlers in the Dawson-Spring Hill community was “Uncle” Harve Matthews whose sister was the wife of Dr. George Hill, the founder of Spring Hill. “Uncle” Harve lived as a bachelor in the home which he built until he married Miss Bette Priddy. “Uncle” Harve was responsible for the first steel cages being put in the Corsicana jail during his term as commissioner.

M. M. Dickson, one of Dawson’s oldest citizens, who has lived and worked in Dawson since the town came into existence, is still an active and loyal citizen.

The 1932 officers and members of the Dawson chamber of commerce are as follows: V. T. Matthews, president; E. B. Dawson, vice president; H. L. Smith, secretary and treasurer. Members : C. M. Newton, J. F. Smith, C. O. Weaver, J. F. Simpson, Edgar Davis Carlos Berry, J. M. Beasley, J. B. Schwartz, Jim Garner, Clyde Sims, Jack Fread, Bennie Matthews, W. Y. Cannon, W. M. Nelson, Frank White, N. G. Clark, L. W. Edwards, D. E. McKinney, J. R. Graham, J. H. McCullough, J. W. McElroy, M. L. Berry, J. M. Sowell, C. A. Willis, J. L. Taylor, Gray Sims, W. W. Wolf, Major Davis, J. L. McCulloch, Guy Davis, Jim Davis, D. D. Sawyer, J. H. Slaughter, J. L. Turner, C. W. Turner, W. P. McMillan, Mike Hogue, Howard Lysles, H. Silbert, Jerry Berry, Horace Berry, Dr. Williamson, Dr. A. B. Worsham, R. B. Rodgers, B. W. Edwards, S. Berry.

Ministers of Dawson are F. O. Waddell, pastor Methodist Church J. T. Taylor, pastor Baptist Church and Jeff Coates, pastor Church of Christ.

History of Navarro County, 1933, by Annie Carpenter Love


31° 53′ 38.58″ N, 96° 42′ 52.956″ W