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Outstanding Citizen – June 2011

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.

Outstanding Citizen – April 2011

Brenda Kaye Raye was born in Cedar Hill in 1943.  Her father’s great grandfather settled on the southern edge of Cedar Hill in 1855 and her mother’s family settled in the Duncanville area in the 1860’s.

Brenda’s grandfather, “Cat” Switzer, attended Cedar Hill school in the 1910’s and Brenda along with her four siblings began and completed school in Cedar Hill.

Brenda married Marvin Taylor and they have three daughters, Donna, Sloan and Tessa.  Brenda has a grandson, Tristan, who is the 7th generation and two great grand children, Joseph and Kelsie, who are the 8th generation to attend school in Cedar Hill.

For many years Brenda was involved with the Volunteer Fire Dept.Wives Auxiliary who sold food at the annual Old Settler’s Reunion to raise funds.  In 1992 Brenda was a key volunteer in the restoration of the Pleasant Valley Cemetery where many of her ancestors are buried.  She acquired a Texas Historical Marker for the Cemetery in 1995.  Brenda was an avid fundraiser in the restoration and preservation of Penn Farm and helped with hayrides, cook outs, ice cream socials and the building of a “spirit” float.  Brenda was instrumental in the opening of the History Resource Center (1995-2010) at the Zula B. Wylie Library.  Brenda has been a “co-organizer” of the annual Cedar Hill School Reunion for many years.  Last years event at the Bray Elementary gym brought over 300 alumni together.

Brenda’s passion for Cedar Hill history is deep and she continues to build her collection of documents and photographs, sharing them with the Cedar Hill Historical Society and assisting the Museum in the acquisition of Cedar Hill artifacts.  Brenda is greatly loved and appreciated by the entire community.

Outstanding Citizen – May 2011

Archie Hall was born and raised in Dallas.  During the 1930’s when he was young he came to Cedar Hill with his parents to visit a friend.  He always remembered how beautiful it was and in 1947 he bought some property on the west side on the edge of the escarpment.  He loves Cedar Hill’s beauty and small town closeness.

In 1950, while he was an engineer with Vought Aircraft in Grand Prairie, he designed and built his first home in Cedar Hill (population 1250 at the time).  One entire wall was glass panels overlooking the valley.  Word got around that a night club was being built and there was grave concern of dancing and gambling.

Arch is a member of the Cedar Hill First United Methodist Church and has two daughters, one son and several grand and great grand children.  Arch and his wife, Amanda, opened A & A Real Estate in 1972.  He promoted Cedar Hill at the National Association of Builders where all were amazed the beautiful Valley was here in the Dallas area.  In 1984 they bought the building at the southwest corner of Cedar & Broad in the old town square to operate the realty business.  This had been the home of Shorty Hood’s BBQ for many years.
  
Arch was instrumental in halting the effort to turn 1200 acres on the west side of Cedar Hill into a seven city landfill.  It is now Lake Ridge Estates.  He went on to become President of the Chamber of Commerce,  Mayor of Cedar Hill, chairman of Planning and Zoning, Highway 67 Transportation Committee rep and Chairman of the 1984 Comprehensive Plan.

Arch enjoys life in Cedar Hill and the many friendships he has developed.  There is not much about Cedar Hill he can’t tell you….from the escarpment, towers, lake, growth, preservation to Country Day.  Shortly after Amanda passed away, Arch semi-retired and sold the business to Clark Stephenson.  Celebrating its 30th year in operation in 2011 the business was moved to 909 W. Belt Line.  Thank you to Arch Hall for being such a great citizen and community activist in Cedar Hill.

Welcome

Where the past meets the present

Cedar Hill, first known as the cedar brakes, was founded around 1846 by a small group of settlers from the Peters Colony. They traveled to the Dallas area of North Texas on horseback and by ox-drawn wagon following trails beaten into existence by Indians, buffalo and explorers. They came seeking a place to build their homes, to socialize, worship and conduct business.

Attracted to the area by its lush natural beauty, the elevation and rocky slopes provided settlers a panoramic lookout and protection from intruders. The area also offered dense forests, rich Blackland soil, abundant creeks and streams, and opportunity.

Our forefathers turned this rugged territory into the thriving city it is today through hard work, ingenuity, foresight and sheer determination — a city steeped in family values, tradition and rich in history. See our page on the City of Cedar Hill website.

If you would like to join the Museum, download our membership application. The Cedar Hill Museum of History board meets the first Monday of each month at 6:30 pm at 607 Cedar Street.  All members are welcome to attend.
See our displays at the Cedar Hill Government Center, the Zula B. Wylie Library, and at Babe’s Chicken Dinner House.

Outstanding Citizen – March, 2011

Dr. Frank Crawford was Cedar Hill’s town doctor from 1952 through 1975. He made house calls in the middle of the night and gave student athletes free physicals. He was the first President of the Chamber of Commerce in 1965 after having been City Councilman in 1960-62.

Among other civic activities he was City Health Official for Cedar Hill throughout his career. Crawford Park just off Straus road was named in his honor and he was honored by the City of Cedar Hill with the Distinctive Character Lifetime Achievement Award in January, 2011.

Dr. Crawford was a Staff Physician at the SMU Health Center from 1975 through 1979. He originated the Family Practice Residency Program for Methodist Hospital and Southwestern Medical School of Dallas in 1979-81. He resumed his practice in Cedar Hill in the 1980’s.

He and his wife, Elizabeth, who was raised in Duncanville, have been active in the First United Methodist Church for many years. His daughter and family reside in Midlothian and son and family in Dallas. Shortly after the much loved Elizabeth moved to a retirement home with alzheimers, Frank’s brother from Houston moved to Cedar Hill.

Our community is priviliged to have the Frank Crawford family call Cedar Hill home.

Outstanding Citizens – January & February 2011

Joe and Wanda Pitt have been a great asset to the community for years and have worked diligently with the School, City and Historical Society to help Cedar Hill maintain it high quality of life. Cedar Hill is blessed they continue to make Cedar Hill home.

JOE PITT was born in 1942 and has spent his lifetime in Cedar Hill except while obtaining his Architectural Engineering degree at UT Austin shortly after having graduated third in his high school class. He joined the firm of Nagler Engineers in 1967 which later became TMBP Consulting Engineers where he is a partner. Joe specializes in structural and civil engineering and provided structural design for many schools in Cedar Hill, as well as many major structures in Dallas. He also designed the connector bridges at the Reunion parking between the Jefferson St. and Houston St. viaducts.

Joe has been active in civic affairs many years having served on the Cedar Hill School Board 1974 to 1989 and he continues to serve on the Building Code Appeals and Advisory Board since 1989. His evaluation report of the escarpment area of Cedar Hill resulted in escarpment preservation legislated by the Cedar Hill City Council. He is a lifetime member of the Cedar Hill Historical Society and is active in the Rotary Club. His hobbies are antiques, photography and computers.

Joe’s stepchildren, Elaine Gage Gatlin, John Gage, Carolyn Gage Chaffin and Linda Gage, all graduated from Cedar Hill High School as did his daughter, Alison Pitt Karnes. Joe married Wanda in 1988 and they reside in the old barn his parents converted to a home in 1945.

WANDA PITT was born in 1943 and raised in Duncanville, Texas, the daughter of Jack Stanton and Carol Phillips. She first met Joe Pitt at church in 1954. At the age of 14 her family moved to San Jose, California. Wanda attended colleges in San Jose, Pensacola, FL, Meridian, MS, Sandiego, CA and Seattle, WA. She raised her children, Roger, Leigh and Elaine Harrison, in Seattle, WA where she was a teacher at Highline Community College. Upon returning to Texas in 1984, Wanda obtained a degree in Psychology at UT-Dallas and was employed by the Texas Rehabilitation Commission.

Wanda has been active in civic work throughout her life in California,Colorado,Washington and Texas, and was one of the first volunteers to Sesame Street in San Francisco in the 1960’s. She served as President of the Des Moines, Washington Chamber of Commerce in 1982. Wanda, a lifetime member of the Cedar Hill Historical Society, held active board positions from 1986 through 1996. She served on the Cedar Hill Comprehensive Planning Committee and helped write the History of Cedar Hill Book, published in 2002. She researched and documented the history of the First Methodist Church of Cedar Hill and obtained Texas Historical Certification of its first cemetery now named Crawford’s Tornado (1856) Graveyard.

In addition to gardening, cooking and restoring antiques, Wanda is an avid genealogist and traced her Phillips/Stallings family to th Revoluntionary War in North Carolina, descendants of Nicholas Stallings of Jamestown, Virginia 1635. She is also a 6th great grand niece of President Zachary Taylor and a cousin to President James Madison.

Outstanding Citizen of the Month – December, 2010

Shirley Switzer Hendricks was born in Dallas in 1946, and grew up in Oak Cliff graduating in 1964. She attended cosmetology school during high school, received a hair dresser license in 1969 and worked in that capacity for a few years. She married, had two children and worked several jobs in the Dallas area.

In 1979 she re-married a “Cedar Hill Boy”, Jerry Hendricks. In 1983 they built a home on the homestead of her paternal grandparents on Houston St. (legally called “Original Town”). In the 1940’s her grandfather, “Cat” Switzer, was the first volunteer fire chief in Cedar Hill. Shirley’s grandmother, Vester, helped organize the “Women’s Firefighters Auxiliary” group that assisted the firemen by bringing food and drinks to the men as they fought fires. They also helped homeless families with clothing, food and temporary housing.

Shirley’s paternal family continues back to the 1860’s, with some of the early settlers living in a cave on the west side of the escarpment when they first arrived in the area. Jerry is a member of the A. A. Hendricks family that settled in Cedar Hill in the 1840’s. A. A. Hendricks had a business in Old Town making farm equipment. This town is definitely in both of their heritages making Cedar Hill feel just like home.

Shirley worked for the Cedar Hill Schools for eight years as manager in the Food Service Dept. In 1996 she purchased “The Gingerbread House” restaurant and developed the “Bed & Breakfast” upstairs in the 1884 R. A. Roberts home on Broad Street. The Roberts home has two historical markers, one for the house and one for the community development of the railroad by Dr. R. A. Roberts.

Shirley worked as a labor of love for two and one-half years compiling, editing and helping write the Cedar Hill History Book which was published in 2001. The book is over 400 pages with more than 650 photos. The book was written and published for the historic education of the citizens of Cedar Hill and as a fund raising project for the Cedar Hill Historical Society which evolved into the Cedar Hill Museum of History. Copies of the history book are still available through the Museum or the Library. She worked on several boards for the city and serves as a historian for Cedar Hill.

We are especially proud Shirley and her family continue to make Cedar Hill home.

Outstanding Citizen of the Month – November, 2010

Linda Clark Patton This photo goes back a few years, but Linda is still the beauty she was years ago. She was raised in Cedar Hill and graduated from Cedar Hill High School in 1962. Her grandfather John M. Clark came to the area in 1905 to farm. Her father Martin Clark was also raised here. Martin and Linda’s mother, Marietta Few Clark, opened the family business in Cedar Hill in 1954. It is the oldest family business in Cedar Hill, Clark-Patton Insurance and is now being managed by third generation grandson, Jay Patton.

Linda married Greg Patton in 1966 and they have two wonderful children, and four grandchildren which she considers her favorite hobby along with gardening. Linda has been active in the community all her life and has served in the PTA holding a National Life Membership, director of the Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce, member of the Cedar Hill ISD Board of Trustees, a founding member of the Cedar Hill ISD Education Foundation where she is still an active director.

She is a member of the Keep Cedar Hill Beautiful committee and the Superseeders Garden Club. She and Greg were honored this year as Country Day on the Hill King and Queen. Greg was honored as our Citizen of the Month for December, 2009 (see below).

Cedar Hill is blessed to have Linda and her family continue to call Cedar Hill home.

Outstanding Citizen of the Month – October, 2010

James Franklin “Jimmy” Mobley was born in Cedar Hill in 1945. He graduated from Cedar Hill High School in 1963 and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from UTA in 1969. He married Patricia Duane in 1974. He received his Juris Doctorate from Texas Tech School of Law in 1984.

He and Pat were King and Queen of the Hill in 2009 and both continue to be extremely active in the community while Jimmy runs a legal practice and Pat operates Reunion Title at 701 W. Belt Line. Jimmy and Pat raised four children, Ricky Purifoy, Susan Purifoy, Sherri Purifoy-Frie and Melissa Mobley Schuelke, all graduates of Cedar Hill Independent School District. They have seven grandchildren, Shandi, Brandon, Madisen, Tristan, Caleb, Colby and Luke.

Jimmy has held the following positions:

  • Cedar Hill City Council 1969-71 & 1976-80
  • Home Rule Charter Commission 1973-74
  • Published Cedar Hill Citizen Newspaper 1971-74
  • President of prior Lions Club 1975
  • Board of the Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce 1986-88
  • President of the Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce 1988
  • Cedar Hill School Board 1986-98 & 2000-2001
  • Member First United Methodist Church,
  • Pastor Parish Relations Committee Chairman-late 80’s early 90’s
  • Master of Cedar Hill Masonic Lodge 1991-92 & 2010 to present
  • Master of Chambers Creek Masonic Lodge 1999-2001
  • Member Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas ByLaws Committee 1999-2006, Chairman 3 years
  • Member Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas Jurisprudence Committee
  • Member/Board Member Cedar Hill Historic Society 1980’s to current

The community of Cedar Hill is very blessed that the Mobley family continues to make Cedar Hill their home.

Outstanding Citizen of the Month – September, 2010

L. Kim Lewis was born at Dallas Methodist Hospital in 1953. He grew up in Midlothian where he graduated High School in 1971. Little did he know at the time that his career in education had been launched in 1970 when he became a bus driver for Midlothian ISD as a seventeen year old.

Shortly after graduation from UTA, Kim was hired as the Assistant Bookkeeper for Cedar Hill ISD in 1976 under Supt. Bill Kennedy. CHISD had only 900 students and 100 employees at the time. Thirty one years and six Superintendents later, Kim was appointed Chief Operating Officer by Superintendent Horace Williams. By contrast, CHISD now has over 8,100 students and 1,000 employees.

Although Kim has witnessed a lot of change in Cedar Hill over his 35 year career, he fondly recalls one of the most challenging, yet rewarding times for him was a 9 month period in 1987 when he and then Curriculum Director, Carmyn Douglas, were appointed Co-Acting Superintendent. The Board of Trustees was involved in a state-wide search for a superintendent. The District was involved in preparation for a multi-million bond election and simultaneously working to counter a tax rollback petition. As Kim remembers it, “Carmyn and I were at some sort of community meeting every night of the week. Our opposition was strong and well organized. However, by the time it was all over, our opponents had become our good friends.” The bond package eventually passed and the citizens turned back the rollback petition.

Kim lives southeast of Midlothian on the farm that his great grandfather purchased in 1892. Outside of the two jobs he loves the most (CHISD and Midlothian Bible Church treasurer), his favorite pastimes include hunting, fishing and hiking “fourteeners” in Colorado.

Outstanding Citizens of the Month – August, 2010

Carolyn Newport McKee was born into the Hall family and lived most of her life in Dallas. She started doing business in Cedar Hill in 1983 when she and her husband, Bill, operated Cedar Hill Engraving and Awards and the Cedar Hill Jewelry and Loan which was first on Texas Street in the Historic District of Cedar Hill, then moving to the southwest corner of Belt Line and Clark Road. She also worked for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company for 30 years.

She and her husband, Jim, love volunteering in the community and opening their beautiful home to groups for parties and meetings. They routinely hold dinners various community churches.

Carolyn’s involvement with the food concessions of the State Fair of Texas began 60 years ago as a small child helping her mother. She has many titles having operated Newport Concessions at the State Fair for years, and being past chair of the following: Country Day on the Hill, Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce 1995, Lone Star Showman’s Club 1986, Metropolitan Veteran’s Assoc. 1980, and the State Fair Livestock Auction for 10 years. She is an active board member of the Cedar Hill Education Foundation since 2008 and has been on the Texas Association of Fairs and Events for 25 years.

Carolyn was recipient of Cedar Hill’s “Golden Cedar Lifetime Achievement Award 2007” and the Texas Association of Fairs & Events “Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award 2010”. She is a graduate of Leadership Southwest 1994, member of the Cedar Summit Book Club and member and vestry of Good Shepherd Church in Cedar Hill.

Cedar Hill is blessed to have such a wonderful person as Carolyn call Cedar Hill home.

Outstanding Citizen of the Month – July, 2010

Glenn E. Glenn Clark, a dentist who has been practicing in Cedar Hill since 1970, was born in Laramie, Wyoming and came to Texas via his college years at T.C.U. After graduation he attended Baylor College of Dentistry. His first office was in the old bank building on the square where he practiced from 1970-1976.

Over the years, Dr. Clark and his wife, Alicia, have been actively involved in many community organizations including the First United Methodist Church, Bridges Safehouse and the Cedar Hill Historical Society/Museum. Glenn is a 40 years member of the Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce and served 18 years on the Cedar Hill ISD School Board. He recently was awarded a Life Membership in the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association.

In 1976, he and Dr. Joe Potter built offices at 211 W. Beltline. In 1998, Glenn and Alicia’s son, Dr. Brian Clark joined the practice. Brian’s wife, Dr. Shelly Clark, has a pediatric dental practice next door. Glenn’s daughter, Stephanie Maglisceau, is a special education counselor and her husband, Tom is a local high school principal. Glenn and Alicia have five wonderful grandchildren of whom they are very proud. Cedar Hill thanks the Clark Family for all they have done and continue to do for our community.

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. 

Now on Display

Charles E. Finsley
Memorial Fossil Exhibit

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

Paleontologist Alan Peters with Museum visitor Josh Porter