Charles E. Finsley Memorial Fossil Exhibit
Now on Display
Wednesday through Saturday 11 am to 3 pm
by Alan Peters, Paleontologist
Beginning in March will be an exhibit on the Tornado of 1856. This merger of two twisters turned most of the village of Cedar Hill into sticks and mud, leaving only 2 structures.
Patricia (Pat) Bateman was born to Dave and Geneva Summers in 1949. Dave was a plumber in Cedar Hill and volunteer fireman from 1952 until 1984. Geneva served in the fire auxiliary, owned “Juanita’s Café” in the 1950’s and then cooked for the CHISD Bray Elementary and High School cafeterias for 30 years. Dave died in 1995 and Geneva in 2000.
In 1952 Pat’s father built their home at 112 S. Main. She grew up on the town square with all the history and fun of a small town and remembers when the City Hall was built in 1961 across from her home. She attended Bray Elementary School, Junior High and High School in Cedar Hill which were the only schools in the city. She attended Mountain View College. Pat worked from 1968-74 for Fidelity Union Life Insurance- Dallas, Customer Service or “Complaint Lady”.
In 1973 she married Boyd Bateman Jr. Their daughter Shelly Ann was born in 1974. Pat served on the PTA board and was room mom for Shelly through 11th grade. During this time she was active in the First United Methodist Church in Cedar Hill. Boyd, Shelly and Pat’s parents were also members. Boyd, Pat and Shelly then became charter members of Christ Cornerstone Church in Cedar Hill.
In 1983, Pat began working for the Cedar Hill Library part time and then part time in Utility Billing working the window and helping customers. This position became full-time, but since it was a small town she helped with secretary duties for Public Works, Water & Street Dept., Code Enforcement, Asst.City Manager, and Fire Dept., getting knowledge about many things.
In 1987 she became Secretary to the Asst. City Manager and retired in January, 2012 as Ex. Assistant to Deputy City Manager Greg Porter. Her husband, Boyd, retired in September, 2012; her daughter, Shelly, has been with Arlington Police Dept. for 13 years. Pat plans to travel and spend time with her family&friends;.
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.
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.
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.
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.
W.S. Permenter grew up on a farm in Shelby County, Texas. In 1946, at the age of 17, he joined the U.S.Army and served in Japan for 18 months, marrying his high school sweetheart, Ann, when he returned home. Utilizing the G.I. Bill of Rights he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.
He taught near Shelbyville for 5 years and in 1956 he and Ann moved to Cedar Hill (population 750) where he taught vocational agriculture and their daughter, Nancy, attended school.
For 11 years he was Ag teacher, then became Middle School Principal for 15 years. He was well known for his ability to discipline with love. In 1981 he became District Superintendent, eliminating debt and improving the bond rating. He retired in 1985 having been with the CHISD 29 years.
He and Ann held many positions with civic groups through the years. He served as Mayor two terms and he and Ann were founding members of the Chamber of Commerce and the Education Foundation He developed a good working relationship between the city and CHISD which has continued through the years.
He and Ann were instrumental in saving many of the historic structures in the town square. During the 1980-90’s they operated Permenter Real Estate where they found selling Cedar Hill easy as they believed it to be the best place to call home.
W.S. and Ann traveled (mostly by RV) throughout every state of the U.S. and 8 foreign countries before moving to Forest, Virginia to be near their daughter and family. In 2007 W.S.passed to his reward. Cedar Hill has indeed been blessed that the Permenter family call Cedar Hill home.
Ann Permenter grew up on a farm in Shelby County, Texas and finished high school at Shelbyville High School in 1946. She graduated from Meadows-Draughan Business College in Shreveport, La, and worked in Shreveport until W.S. completed his military assignment. They were married soon after his return.
In 1948 they moved to Huntsville, Texas where W.S. finished college and Ann worked at Texas Prison System in the records department. She was a “stay at home mom” for a few years before the family moved to Cedar Hill where they daughter, Nancy, attended school. Ann worked for the Cedar Hill school system for about four years, then for E & E Manufacturing almost 10 years. She then worked for several accounting firms in Dallas, and with Henry S. Miller Real Estate. After Nancy left for college, Ann attended Northlake College and received an Associate Degree in Real Estate. She worked for several realtors before she and W.S. opened Permenter Real Estate.
It was during her studies in real estate that she became ambitious about the restoration of downtown Cedar Hill. She says this was the most exciting work she was ever associated with. So many dear friends were as enthusiastic and cooperative in the projects as she and W.S. were, and they were the encouragement needed to get the jobs done. Ann says after their “next retirement” they traveled by RV throughout America.
Ann’s most appreciated claim to fame (aside from being married to W.S.) is the “Certificate of Commendation for Distinguished Service in the Field of Historic Preservation” awarded to her by the Texas Historical Commission in November 1980. Ann says this certificate could not have been achieved without the wonderful Cedar Hill citizens. Though Ann now resides with her daughter in Forest, Virginia she is still considered a most beloved citizen of Cedar Hill whom we we have been dearly blessed to have a part of our community.
Frankie Lee served as Cedar Hill City Secretary for 24 years with more than 30 years of employment with the City, the longest serving employee at the time of her retirement in 2008. She is a first-hand witness to the growth of Cedar Hill which grew from a population of 6,849 in 1980 to about 46,000 in 2008.
Frankie’s great-grandfather, Newton A. Carrell, and grandfather, John S.A. Carrell settled their families in the Cedar Hill area around 1871. Newton A. Carrell served as Dallas County Justice of the Peace for several years in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Her parents, James and Faye Carrell, owned and operated a wholesale dairy on 77-acre farm south of town for 24 years, then raised cattle after closing the dairy. James delivered mail for the Cedar Hill Post Office for 22 years.
Frankie is a member of First United Methodist Church of Cedar Hill, where the Carrell family has a long history of service dating back to the Charter Membership of her grandfathers. Frankie is a member of the Cedar Hill Lions Club, serving on the Board of Directors, former Lion Tamer and long-time Chair of the Annual Pancake Breakfast. She was the Cedar Hill Lions Club “Grass Roots Lion” for 2007-08 and “Lion of the Year” for 2009-10. She serves as a Trustee and volunteer for the Cedar Hill Museum of History and is a member of the Texas Track and Field Officials Assoc., helping officiate track and field meets in Texas each year, including the annual Texas Relays at UT.
A 1966 graduate of Cedar Hill High School, Frankie attended UTA and is a graduate of the “Leadership Southwest” class of 1996-97. She has two daughters, Leslie Lee and Melissa Jett, and three grandsons, Jerod Godwin, James Jett and Grayson Jett. Frankie’s late husband, Charles Lee, was a building inspector for Cedar Hill many years.
Frankie was an active Member of the Texas Municipal Clerks Assoc., N TX Municipal Clerks Assoc.,and International Institute of Municipal Clerks. In 2005, she was a Municipal Clerks’ Honor Roll “Honoree.” She received continuing education in municipal government through these organizations and the Office of Secretary of State as well as the Office of Texas Attorney General.
At her retirement reception, Frankie was presented the City of Cedar Hill Official Seal that hung behind the dais in the old city hall, which she promptly donated to the Cedar Hill Historical Society. She expressed great pleasure in having an opportunity to serve the citizens of Cedar Hill. Cedar Hill citizens have been blessed to have Frankie Lee as a part of the community.
Chris Rose, D.V.M., a graduate of Texas A & M University, has served pets and owners in Cedar Hill for 28 years. Many remember the small house on Texas Street where he opened his veterinary practice, Central Animal Clinic. In 2004 the practice was moved to its current location at Highway 67 and Beltline Road.
Dr. Rose was Mayor (1991-96) and Councilman to Cedar Hill and has served on numerous city, school and civic committees. He and the clinic have been involved as sponsors of the Pet Show at Country Day on the Hill which is always well attended and enjoyed. He serves on the board of the Tri-City Animal Shelter and works closely with them in meeting the needs of many pets.
Dr. Rose has seen this small community grow into a thriving city in which he’s proud to have been a part. His wife, Diane, is an elementary teacher and has been with the Cedar Hill ISD for 19 years.
Our community is blessed Chris and family call Cedar Hill home.
The history of Cedar Hill is no mystery to Dr. Joe Potter. In 1865 the Potter history began in Cedar Hill and has continued through today. Reared in Cedar Hill when there were only about 300 people in town, and with a heritage of grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, it was only natural that Dr. Potter would grow up loving this community.
Family businesses were in his blood working in his fathers lumber yard and before that his grandmother’s downtown grocery. In those days, you knew everyone and everyone knew you.
So when it came time to settle down after college and dental school, the only place Dr. Potter could choose to set up his practice was Cedar Hill. This was no surprise to his friends since they had often heard him refer to Cedar Hill as the “hub of the universe”. And so it began….thirty nine years of practicing dentistry and serving the people of the community he cares for so much.
He and his wife, Sylvia, set up their home in Cedar Hill. Sylvia taught for seven years at Bray and Plummer Elementary Schools following in the footsteps of Dr. Potter’s mother who taught here for 25 years. They and their children, Clay aand Claire, have many happy memories of attending church at Cedar Hill Church of Christ where Dr. Potter was a Deacon, enjoying the lifestyle of Cedar Hill through city activities like Country Day on the Hill and establishing lifetime friendships both new and old. They have always considered it a beautiful place, much like the hill country around Austin.
Dr. Potter invested both his time and belief in the city of Cedar Hill as a wonderful place to live. He served on the City Council from 1980-1984 and was on the board of Directors for the Cedar Hill National Bank. In 1976, he and Dr. Clark built their first office together moving from the old bank building downtown. It was during those next years that Dr. Potter went on to serve as President of the Chamber of Commerce, Sec/Treasurer of the Chamber, Chairman of both the American Heart Assoc.of Cedar Hill and the United Way of Cedar Hill.
When Lake Joe Pool was being considered, Dr. Potter attended a Senate/House Subcommittee on Appropriations meeting in Washington, DC representing the citizens of Cedar Hill. A favorite keepsake is the picture of Dr. Potter and his son standing in the dry lake bottom the day the dam was dedicated.
Today Dr. Potter practices dentistry in his newest investment in the community, his new office on Belt Line Road. The office was built with the belief that the people of Cedar Hill will continue to care for and support each other. And so, the history continues.
Cedar Hill is blessed the Potter family continues to make Cedar Hill their home.
Brenda Russell was born in Dallas in 1948 to Nettie and Harvey Rose and was the youngest of 10 children. Due to her mother’s illness Brenda lived with her oldest sister Leona and her husband, Billie Ray Chambers in Cedar Hill. The Chambers family was very important in her life.
When she became school age, she lived with her parents attending school in Oak Cliff and spending weekends and summers in Cedar Hill. In 1964 she moved with her sister’s family to attend Cedar Hill High School. When her brother in law was transfered she lived with Joyce and Willard Murdock to complete school in Cedar Hill.
Brenda married Allen Russell in 1966 and they have two sons, David and Christopher. Brenda worked in banking until she began working for the tax office of the City of Cedar Hill in 1978. The town’s population was 1,800 with 4,200 tax accounts in the City and School District at the time. She was named tax assessor /collector for the City and School and was involved in the complicated matter of taking land for the Lake which included extensive agricultural backgrounds on the properties.
In 2003, after 25 years of service she retired with Cedar Hill’s population having grown to 46,000 and the accounts to over 16,000.
Brenda received her education through the State of Texas earning certifications as a Registered Tax Assessor / Collector, Certified Tax Administrator, and Certified School Administrator. She served on many TML and State committees during her terms of office as: President of Texas School Assessors Assoc., President of School Administrator’s Assoc., Chairman of the Certified School Tax Administrator.
Brenda believes in giving back and served as: Education Instructor for State Tax Administrators (teaching administrative classes), Curriculum Committee for Tax A/C for the State (first working with Texas A&M; to write curriculum for those entering business of taxation).
President of CH Historical Society in 1986, Fire Department Auxiliary (actor in both fundraising plays), First ladies softball team, Member of Epsilon Sigma Alpha Charitable Sorority, Penn Farm Committee (serving on the first clean up), Writer of the Articles and Amendments for the CH Senior Citizen Organization and assisted County to bring Meals on Wheels to Cedar Hill senior citizens.
Since retirement Brenda enjoys taking care of the five grand children, Reagan, Jonah, Raylee, Allyson and Lindsey. Cedar Hill is blessed to have Brenda and Allen continue to call Cedar Hill home.