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.