Outstanding Citizen

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;.

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.

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