A 1939 Letter From Comanche, Texas

It’s Amazing What We Can Learn!

The following letter was written in October 5, 1939, from Comanche, Texas by Lillian Durham to her sister Ruby. If you find that, like me, you are hooked on what can be found in these old letters, you need to visit the Comanche County Historical Museum where the entire collection may be viewed.

In this letter, Lill writes that they are taking the “lady” off of the top of the courthouse. Obviously, she is talking about taking down the gorgeous old Victorian courthouse that would be replaced by the one that stands today, built by the WPA.  The lady of which she writes can still be viewed today inside the present courthouse.

Apparently, the town was  once again having the discussion about removing the trees from the courthouse square.  And yes, dear Mart Fleming by this time had been dead for 11 years.  As one of the “nutty” volunteers of present-day Comanche, I learned from reading the letter below that we don’t have anything on the volunteers of days gone by!


Dear Rube:

They are really wrecking the court house-you can’t imagine what all they’ve done since day before yesterday. They couldn’t work Monday as there were so many folks in town but they have surely been working since.

This morning they lowered the old lady off the top and the whole town turned out to watch. They still haven’t got her out of the building as they lowered her on the inside and still have her in the building. I’m dying to see how she looks-she sure did look pitiful being pulled down as they were rather rough with her.

They say Judge McCharen is still wanting to leave the trees on the square-so folks are all going to him and taking to him about it but it don’t seem to do much good. Don’t know who has the say so but don’t look like he would. We’ve all decided to try to kill a tree a piece if they leave them there-ask John the quietest way we can kill them-and don’t think we would have any trouble getting volunteers. [And you think the volunteers of today are crazy? LOL]

Lawyer Parker said he would help-that they couldn’t do anything to us (and he ought to know as he’s had plenty of experience getting out of jams). I really think-though- that the old so-and-so will surely get talked out of it but you can’t tell about him.

Mr. Lowry saw me Monday and said that he was leaving town for a month so he wanted me to keep his keys for John, if he should want to fish any while he was gone. So tell John I have the keys and he had better come on down this week-end and fish some. Surely wish you would decide to come. Just come on whether you let us know or not as it won’t make any difference and we’ll be tickled to death to have you at any time. But wish you would decide in time to let us know as we could have more to eat if you would.

I think it’s a good joke about your not having enough to eat Sunday at diner-you had everything anyone could ask for and then some and it was all grand. I enjoyed every bite-full as I was-and don’t see how we could have eaten any more at breakfast, dinner and supper than we did.

I’ve enjoyed this whole week-because I keep thinking of what a good time we had last week-end and if I could have something like that often to “think about,” as mother says, it wouldn’t be so bad. But, as you say, it wouldn’t work out in a coon’s age, so that that! Anyway, it was fun while it lasted, for me at least.

I haven’t any news at all so had better get to work now. Write us again soon and if you decide to come down, you know how glad we’ll be.

Love you both,


About Fredda Jones

Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for texansunited.com and marketing small-town Texas.
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