You might remember that I wrote about the problems of Columbus Addison Lee in Comanche County a few months back. Although Lee became a part of the community, when times were hard, the locals just could not get past the fact that he was also a Yankee.
This past week another part of the story came to me from descendent Jean G. Schnitz. I thought you might enjoy her story of what my grandfather went to his grave calling Hog Town.
Of course, I could remind you that history always repeats itself, and if the wild hog problem in this area doesn’t change, we just might find another community referred to in the same manner!
The Columbus Addison Lee family settled in Comanche County, where Addison Lee located desirable property in Comanche County near what was called Hogtown. Hogtown is actually in Eastland County, but the Lee property was located just across the county line in Comanche County near where Highway 16 now runs toward Palo Pinto. It is near the Comanche/ Eastland/Erath County lines.
The Deed Records of Comanche County reflect that Addison Lee acquired 319 acres of land from P. W. Brewer and wife, Mary C. Brewer, on January 17, 1879, near the “South Leon Baptist Church Block.” It was on this property that Addison and Permelia Caroline Lee and their family lived.
Hogtown was so named because when settlers first came to the area in the l860s, it was necessary to drive hogs away from the creek which ran through the area. The creek was named “Hog Creek” so the name of the community which grew up nearby became “Hog- town.”
In the 1880s there were enough settlers near Hogtown to apply for a Post Office. The consensus was that the name of the town should be changed since no one wanted their town to have such an embarrassing name.
A town meeting was held at which one of the prominent citizens suggested that the town be named Desdemona after the heroine of Shakespeare’s “Othello.” The prominent citizen’s daughter was also named Desdemona, by the way!
The name was chosen, but was misspelled as “Desdemonia” in the application for the Post Office. It was later corrected to the proper spelling of Desdemona. One of the first postmasters was Captain Jack O’Rear, brother of Catherine Rebecca (Kittie) O’Rear Scudder.
The town was frequently referred to by Dora Lee Scudder and others as “Hog-demonia,” though this was an obvious corruption of both names.
With the move to Texas, Addison Lee took advantage of the opportunity to make a new start, which was not unusual since many settlers moved to Texas for similar reasons. The Lee family became leaders in their church and established a reputation as law abiding citizens.
Two more children were born after Addison and Caroline Lee came to Texas: James Elbert Lee on September 29, 1883, and Daniel Addison Lee on June 2, 1885.