Cedar Hill Museum of History

Cedar Street looking west from Main (about 100 years ago)

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 meets the first Tuesday of each month at 607 Cedar Street.

See our displays at the Cedar Hill Government Center, the Zula B. Wylie Library, and at the new Babe's Chicken Dinner House.

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.

Outstanding Citizens of the Month – May & June, 2010

J.R. and Traphene Hickman are honored this May and June as Cedar Hill’s Outstanding Citizens. Their 60th wedding anniversary is June 9th. We wish this stellar couple our best and thank them for all their years of community service.

J.R.(John Robert) was born southwest of town in what was known as Pleasant Valley 82 years ago. He is the great-grandson of Jean Baptists Holveck who moved to Cedar Hill from LaBrouge, France in 1877. J.R. attended Pleasant Valley School in his early youth which was during the Depression Era. His homeplace is now under the waters of Joe Pool Lake. He was employed by Southwestern Bell, climbing poles in the early years and later holding various management positions. He served our country in the marines during the Korean War.

Traphene Parramore came to Cedar Hill from Oakcliff when she was in the ninth grade. She became director of the Cedar Hill Public Library from 1959-1977 and was promoted to Director of Dallas County Library System from 1977-1993. In 1976 she compiled the “History and Pictorial Directory of Cedar Hill.”

They have both been extremely active in the First Methodist Church, as well as the Chamber of Commerce, the Democratic Party and many community groups including CHISD programs. They share a love of storytelling and are active members of the Tejas Storytelling Association and the Dallas Storytelling Guild having held offices in both. They have two daughters, Rebecca Lynn and Laurie Sue, three grandsons and two great granddaughters. We are blessed that this loving family calls Cedar Hill home.

Outstanding Citizen of the Month – April, 2010

Stephen Clifton Phillips was born in 1952 and passed away on February 2, 2010.

He was born in Oak Cliff and graduated from Kimball High School. He received a BS in Business from Harding University in Arkansas and served in the Air National Guard. He began his lifelong career in the lumber business with his father and became owner and President of Phillips Lumber Company. He mentored Boy Scouts in Troop 520 for 18 years, helping countless young men become Eagle Scouts instilling respect for his high expectations and logical, disciplined focus toward all goals.

Active in the development of Cedar Hill, he served as City Councilman, Mayor pro tem, President of the Main Street Development/Preservation Board and was instrumental in the revitalization of the Downtown Historic District.

He enjoyed traveling to Colorado with his family- wife Robin, and children Jason, Cheryl and Christopher as well as cooking out with his family and friends. He was deacon of the Church of Christ and a generous, kind, caring person with great love and service for his community, church and fellowman. He will indeed be missed by the entire Cedar Hill community.

Outstanding Citizen of the Month – March, 2010

Elizabeth Gay Hunt was reared in Cedar Hill and graduated from Cedar Hill High School in 1997. She spent part of her junior and senior years in Argentina as a student in a foreign exchange program. After her high school graduation, she ventured off to Aggieland and completed a BS in Industrial Distribution and a BA in International Studies with an emphasis in Latin America. She also lived in Italy and Costa Rica while studying at Texas A&M; University.

In 2006, Elizabeth enrolled at Texas State University to pursue a BS in Interior Design. Because the Cedar Hill community continues to be important to her, Elizabeth presented an interior and lighting design for the Cedar Hill Museum of History as part of her Senior Honor and Design Thesis. Inspired by the natural landscape, beauty, sense of community and Cedar Hill history, her design concept focused on the museum’s interior and told the story of the Cedar Hill Community embracing history and nature.

Elizabeth lives in Austin, Texas with her three dogs. Currently she works for Rockford Business Interiors as an Account Manager creating more effective and ergonomic enviornments for the workplace. As the owner of eHunt Design she continues to practice lighting design and creates unique sterling silver jewelry.

Outstanding Citizen of the Month – February, 2010

Charles Ray Sims was born in 1925 in Cedar Hill just north of the site of Bray Elementary. While still very young his parents bought a home at 406 W. Beltline (east of Main St.). Then later as a young boy they moved to a farm outside of Cedar Hill. Both his grandparents lived in Duncanville and he remembers many get togethers with his cousins there while growing up.

In 1943 he graduated from Cedar Hill High School and spent 2 years in the Army during WWII primarily serving in Asia. When he came home he worked for Reserve Life Insurance in Dallas and car pooled with a group which included Verna Jean Jones. Before he knew it she had moved to the front seat and has been by his side ever since.

After about 15 years in the insurance business, he began working with his cousin at Sims Grocery, then located on Highway 67 when it was only two lanes. In 1968 due to the widening of the highway, the Sim’s Drive In moved to its current location in the historic town square and Charles Ray and Verna Jean bought the business and operated it until 1984 when Charles Ray became Cedar Hill’s first paid Fire Chief.

He had served as a volunteer fireman (and firechief periodically) for almost 35 years prior to becoming employed as Cedar Hill’s Firechief and the Citizens of Cedar Hill sincerely thank him for all his outstanding service.

Outstanding Citizen of the Month – January, 2010

Lois Duvall Cannady was raised in Midlothian and in 1946 married Joe Cannady, a native of Cedar Hill. At that time Cedar Hill had 750 residents, two grocery stores, one barber shop, one cleaner, a post office and a drug store in the downtown area with a few scattered service stations.

From 1953 until retirement in 1994 Lois was employed as a land supervisor for an independent oil operator and usually carpooled to Dallas. In 1982 she and Joe purchased and restored the 1908 “Cannady House” and enjoyed gardening, antiquing and traveling.

In the early 1980’s she and five others organized the Cedar Hill Historical Society and she served as president for four years and continues to be an active board member. In 1984 she was honored as Chamber “Woman of theYear” and in 2002 she was Country Day “Queen of the Hill”. The Cedar Hill Masonic Lodge honored her as “2004 Community Builder” and in 2009 she was given the “Golden Cedar” award by the Chamber. She served as first president of Bridges Safe House and continues to be an active board member.

The community of Cedar Hill is blessed and privileged that Lois continues to call Cedar Hill home.

Outstanding Citizen of the Month – December, 2009

Greg Patton is from Terrell, Texas and met his wife, Linda Clark who is from Cedar Hill, while in college at Texas A & M at Commerce which was then East Texas State University. He received a B.B.A. degree in Economics and Finance. After working a short time at Ling Temco Vought in Grand Prairie he joined his father-in-law’s insurance business in Cedar Hill. He was a volunteer fireman for twenty years and retired in May of this year as City Councilman after serving for nine years.

Greg and Linda have a daughter, Jenny, and a son, Jay who runs the family business. The family has been involved with the Cedar Hill Church of Christ since the early 1950’s. Greg served as chairman of the Home Rule Charter Commission in 1975, past President of the Chamber of Commerce and Lion’s Club. They have four grandchildren with one, Audrey, being a fourth generation student of the Cedar Hill ISD.

Outstanding Citizen of the Month – November, 2009

Peggy Mayfield Wilson was born in Austin, Texas, on March 24, 1927. Peggy’s parents did without many things in order for her to attend the University of Texas where she received degrees in chemistry. She has a proud heritage with her great great grandfather sacrificing his life in the Battle of the Alamo and his brother in the Battle of Goliad.

In 1953 she moved to Dallas when hired by Magnolia Petroleum company (Mobil Oil Corp.). She was Mobil’s first female Ph.D. and became their first woman manager of a research group where she traveled to Europe for duties on drilling rigs 100 miles offshore Norway in the North Sea. In Mobil’s behalf, she authored about 15 U.S. patents and about 30 in Canada and Europe. In 1989, she and her husband, W.W. Wilson, III, Lt. Col., USAF retired in Cedar Hill.

From lengthy volunteer service in the Dallas city plan department, she realized that Cedar Hill was about to grow rapidly and would need more money for infrastructure. The city council agreed and assigned her the task of establishing an economic development program, which citizens soon supported in a sales tax election. She chaired the comprehensive plan committee in the 1990’s and was Cedar Hill’s first woman city council member. She continues civic and school volunteer activities.

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