• Who First Decorated The Fleming Oak For Christmas?

    If I could name this photo, I would call it Serenity.

    If I could name this photo, I would call it Serenity.

    For the past couple of years, people have raved about the Christmas decorations installed on the Comanche courthouse square by volunteers. They continue to get bigger and better, and the entire town is just so excited to have them.  And this year as I watched the show, I began to think back to my own childhood….

     If you are at least as old as I, you will remember that the Fleming Oak used to be decked out with Christmas lights each season. I can still remember how beautiful I thought that old tree looked each season. Although by the time I came along the lights were installed each year by the city of Comanche, as it turns out, there once was another volunteer who believed that Comanche should be decorated, a young woman by the name of Jeffie Thomas Greene.

    So who in the heck was Jeffie?  :)

    Thomas Jefferson “Jack” Nabers and Lucy Nabers moved their family from Bell County to Comanche County in 1857, settling first in Cora, the county seat of the county. In 1859, the town of Comanche was “created” as the new county seat, and the Nabers clan moved. It was Jack and Lucy who owned the first hotel (such as it was) in Comanche, and it was Jack and Lucy whose two young sons were later murdered by an ex-slave named Mage.

    Nabers daughter, Dora, grew up to marry Jeff Greene, merchant and city marshal of Comanche, and the couple gave birth to a daughter named Lucy, who eventually married Eugene Thomas, and that couple birthed yet another little girl, whom they named Jeffie in honor of her grandfather.

    AND…it was Jeffie and a young friend who put the first Christmas lights in the Fleming Oak! Of course, we don’t put lights in the actual branches of the old oak today, but somehow I have a feeling that the perky Jeffie would love what the lighting volunteers from Comanche have done with her original idea!

    As to how I know that Jeffie was perky….that’s easy. All I had to do was look closely at the many photographs I have of her as well as the Comanche Chief articles, of which there are many.

    Jeffie was a mover and a shaker, for sure, and how proud she would be of the current volunteers who have expanded her idea 100 fold!

    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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    2 Responses to Who First Decorated The Fleming Oak For Christmas?

    1. kaco617 says:

      It is Jeffie Greene Thomas. She was my Dad’s first cousin. Her mother and my grandmother Goodson were 2 of the Greene sisters. I must admit that I did not know she was the first to decorate the oak tree, but I do know that she water skied at the age of 75!! Her son, Harry Erwin, lives in Burleson and occasionally comes to Comanche to visit with mother. For sure, Jeffie was a mover and a shaker and had the most beautiful blue eyes you have ever seen!!

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