Outstanding Citizen of the Past

Dorotha (Dot) Haswell Thomas was born in 1912 and grew up in Cedar Hill during a time when Cedar Hill School did not offer the last two years.  Dot rode the bus to Lancaster those two years and on cold days the bus driver would give them a hot brick to put their feet on as there was no heater on the bus.  Dot was raised when electricity was so limited and expensive that you were only allowed to iron on a certain day.  Electricity from Dallas did not come to Cedar Hill until the late 1920’s.

Dot was working the telephone switchboard when Raymond Hamilton, part of Bonnie and Clyde’s gang robbed the bank in 1932.  Postmaster Cathey told her “Call the Sheriff’s Department, the bank’s been robbed.”  She said it excited her to death.

Dot remembers her mother ordering groceries regularly by phone to be delivered to their home.  Most everyone ran a charge account at the local businesses.  Dot and the other youngsters could walk in, get any small item and say charge it and walk out.  When Dot was growing up, the hotel burned that was also the local restaurant and she remembers her mom many times cooking for people that worked for her father.

Dot and her husband, Jay, had two children, Walter and Helen.  During the early years of their marriage Dot and her husband organized the first Cub Scouts in Cedar Hill.  She was the first Den Mother and he the first Cub Scout Master.  Dot called herself a Campfire worker running a camp for about 15 years during the 1950’s and 60’s.

She was an avid gardener and a member of the Super Seeders organization.  Dot was very civic minded.  She was on the first Parks Board and remembers it as 1970 or 71.  “We didn’t have a Constitution or bylaws or anything and I told the Mayor if you want me to stay on the Park Board we had to organize.”  And organized they did from her dining room table, she and Mrs. Tucker and two others studied all the nearby city’s documents, drew up bylaws and handed them to the councilmen and they accepted them.”

Dot predicted the electric car. Since the 40’s and 50’s Dot would voice here opinion even though it wasn’t the fashionable thing to do.  “Oh I’m not a woman’s lib.  I still want my husband to open my car door.  I believe in the fact that a woman can speak her piece when she pleases.  I think we need more women in our government offices because a man can’t see from a woman’s view point and I don’t mean to say it should be all women.  I think it should be a 50-50 thing and I certainly feel we should have a woman on the city council.”

Dot passed away in November, 2011, but will always be remembered for her giving spirit and dedication to children and community.

Outstanding Citizen

Robert Nelson came in to existence August 8, 1930 on Bear Creek Road near I35.  The area now is DeSoto but back then was listed as Cedar Hill.  Robert was the 9th child and the 7th boy from a family of 13.  Five of his brothers served in the military during WWII.  When he was three his family moved near Joe Wilson and Parkerville and at age five they moved to the Tindle home located at the end of Ramsey St.

In 1947, they moved to a brand new home on Hickerson St. that his older brother built for the family.  Robert began school in Cedar Hill in 1936 and graduated in 1948.  He married Virginia Ann (Jinx) Lusk and has two stepsons, six grandchildren and four great grand children.

Robert worked for Sears and the National Battery Co a while before he was employed by Federal Pacific Electric Co. where he was Manufacturing Engineer for 35 years.  The Dallas plant closed and he then worked for American Circuit Breaker in North Carolina for 7 years.  He retired at age 66 and moved back to Texas on Joe Wilson Road.

As a hobby he started doing his Family Tree and has over 3400 names.  His great,great, great grandfather George Nelson died in the battle of the Alamo.  Alexander Hamilton is his first cousin nine times removed.  His great, great, great grandmother Jane Hamilton married his great, great, great grandfather Captain Robert Cooper in South Carolina, ca. 1770.

About 1971 while living in Arlington he started a hobby of Bee Keeping.  In 1974  he moved to Irving to be closer to his FPE job so downsized giving several hives to his brother Vinus and brother-in-law Roy Vincent.  Just prior to his move to North Carolina he gave Vinus the rest of his bees.  Moving back to Texas in 1996 he bought more bees and hives naming the hobby, “Honey From Robert”.  He currently has 10 hives, but has had up to 20 hives at one time in recent years.

In 1998, Robert, Leon Mobley and J.R. Hickman met to have a 50 year class reunion and decided to make it the beginning of an annual school reunion.  In 2000 the 1950 graduating group signed on the project and it has developed into the Annual Cedar Hill 1931-1981 Reunion which meets on the 2nd Saturday in September.  Robert is also actively involved with the Cedar Hill Museum/Historical Society.

Robert is proud of his family heritage and can tell you all about the Cooper’s, Wisdom’s and Nelson’s all the way back.  Cedar Hill is proud to have Robert and his family call Cedar Hill home.

Outstanding Citizen – January 2012

Angela Trevino was born February 22, 1959 in Dallas.  She lived in Irving several years and moved to Cedar Hill thirty years ago.  All five of her daughters attended Cedar Hill Schools.  Angela has been an extremely active community volunteer for 20 years.

  • PTA President, VP and other positions at various schools.
  • President of CHISD Council of PTA’s (presides over area PTA’s)
  • Texas PTA Life Member and PTA National Life Member
  • 2002 Cedar Hill Hometown Hero
  • Cedar Hill ISD Strategic Planning Team Member
  • First recipient of the CHIC Volunteer Appreciation Award
  • 2003 Recipient of Texas Small Business Association Parenting Award from the
  • Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce(One of five state finalists of 2500 nominees.)
  • Founding Friend and Steering Committee Member of
  • C H ISD Education Foundation, serving as Secretary
  • Charter Member of the Cedar Hill Museum of History
  • Secretary of the Board of Directors of Country Day on the Hill, Inc.
  • Chairman of the Hometown Talent Stage
  • Numerous Campus Advisory Teams
  • Volunteer for the Friends of the Library
  • 2007-Current  Parent Liaison for CHISD

Angela’s daughters are Tara Mata-Hampton, Cassidy, Alanna, Marissa, and Lacey Trevino.  Angela also has four granddaughters:  November White, Abigail Hampton, Grace Hampton & Riley Yarbro.  Angela’s father’s great grandparents were the Holden’s, one of the founding families of Llano, Texas.  Cedar Hill is blessed to have Angela and her family call Cedar Hill home.

Our Next Event

The Cedar Hill Museum of History board meets the second Monday of each month at 6:30 pm at 607 Cedar Street. 

Hours and Location
(972) 293-3806

607 Cedar Street
Cedar Hill, Texas 75104
in Historic Downtown

and by appointment
(Call 214 769-8425)

Now on Display

Charles E. Finsley
Memorial Fossil Exhibit

Friday through Saturday
11 am to 3 pm
by Alan Peters,

Paleontologist Alan Peters with Museum visitor Josh Porter