Robertson County
Texas

 

 

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County Coordinator is Jane Keppler.

County Co-Coordinator is Jean Huot Smoorenburg


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Used with permission of Norman Lowell McCarver, Jr.  These electronic pages may not be reproduced in any format by other organizations or individuals.

 

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Biographical Sketches - D

DAVISON, WILLIAM HIRAM was born at Independence, Texas, February 7, 1857, his parents being natives of Kentucky who moved to Texas several years prior to the beginning of the Civil War, settling in Washington County.
   
He spent his boyhood at his birthplace, and left Independence to move to Hearne with his parents in 1872.  Hearne at that time was in its infancy.  Mr. Davison spent the remainder of his life in Hearne.
   
In 1904 he was married to Miss Stella Smith, daughter of Mrs. Amelia Smith, Mrs. Smith and her daughters, Pearl, Anna, Stella and Josie having moved to Hearne from Mexia, Texas in 1895.
   
His early business connections were with some of Hearne's leading merchants, and in 1895 he set up a mercantile establishment of his own with J. H. Hartzog as partner.  This partnership was dissolved after a short time and the firm name of Davison used afterward with the exception of a few years when J. C. Smith was taken into the firm and the business was then known as Davison & Smith Dry Goods Company.  Mrs. Davison was active in the operation of this business for many years.
   
He was active in civic affairs and served as a member of the City Council for many years, being upright and honest in all his dealings with his fellowman, and true as steel to every friend.  His nature was quiet and unassuming, yet genial and happy at all times.  He was quick to respond to help the needy and those whom ill fortune bad touched.  He had a great and tender love for little children, scores of whom were listed among his many friends.  In the passing of William Hiram Davison September 20, 1924, Hearne and Robertson County lost a useful and beloved citizen.

DEGELIA, SAM, son of Carmello Joseph DeGelia and Josephine Depuma DeGelia, was born in Brazos County, Texas, September 1, 1912.  His father was born in Italy and his mother was born in Louisiana.
  
He attended school at Stone City and Mudville in Brazos County.  In 1929 he moved to the Hearne Brazos Valley and located at Valley junction where he farmed with his father.  He also attended Hearne High School and played football with the Hearne High School Eagles in 1929-30.
  
In 1935 he began farming and ranching on his own in the Hearne Brazos Bottom and in 1958 is farming and ranching 2000 acres.
  
He was married to Beatrice Amos, daughter of James and Dora Amos of Calvert, Texas, March 17, 1935.  Beatrice Amos DeGelia was born at Mart, Texas, June 13, 1917.
  
Three children were born to Sam DeGelia and Beatrice Amos DeGelia: Sam Carmello DeGelia, Cynthia Ann DeGelia, and Linda Marie DeGelia.  Sam Carmello DeGelia married Virginia Marshall, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Marshall.  A daughter, Tamia jean DeGelia was born to Sam Carmello DeGelia and Virginia Marshall DeGelia.  Virginia Marshall DeGelia was reared in Hearne and attended Hearne High School.
  
Sam DeGelia and Beatrice Amos DeGelia are communicants of St. Mary's Catholic Church.  He is a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church Men's Club; a member of the Knights of Columbus; a member of the Hearne Chamber of Commerce; a member of the Robertson County Farm Bureau; the Old Cotton Belt Association; a stockholder and director of the Westbrook Valley Gin Company; and a stockholder and secretary of the Hearne Steel Company, a firm he helped to establish in Hearne in 1958.

DENENA, ANTHONY, son of Lee Denena and Maria Corona Denena, was born in Italy, January 12, 1908.  With his parents, he came to the United States to make his home when he was five years of age.  The Denena family landed in New York in 1913 and lcoated in the Brazos Bottom near Mudville in Brazos County, Texas.  He attended the rural school at Mudville, Texas.
     In 1925, with his family he moved to the Hearne Brazos Bottom and farmed with his father.
     In 1934, he began farming on his own and in 1958 his farming and ranching activities are carried on utilizing over 800 acres in the Brazos Bottom.
     He was married to Rose Falsone, daughter of Joe Falsone and Frances Labaria Falson, April 8. 1934.  Her father was born in Italy and her mother was born in Texas.  The following children were born to Anthony Denena and Rose Falsone Denena:  Leon Anthony, Joseph Falsone Denena, James Robert Denena, and Margaret Mary Denena.
     Anthony Denena and his family are communicants of St. Mary's Catholic Church.  Rose Falsone Denena is a member of St. Mary's Altar Society and a member of the Parent-Teacher's Association of Hearne and Mumford.  Anthony Denena is a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church Men's Club; a member of the Robertson County Farm Bureau; a member of the Old Cotton Belt Association; a stockholder and director of the Brazos Valley Dehydrating Company; a stockholder and vice president of the Farmers & Brazos Gin Company; and has been a member of the Board of Education of the Mumford Independent School District since 1950.
  

   DESTEFANO, CHARLES, was born in Palermo, Italy, February 14, 1893, the son of Sam DeStefano and Mary Truzzeleno DeStefano.
  
With his parents he came to America in 1895 to make his home in New Orleans, Louisiana.  In 1903, when he was ten years old, his family moved to Texas and settled in the Hearne Brazos Bottom where his father engaged in cotton farming.
  
He was married to Miss Lena Ventechola, November 28, 1914 and three children were morn to Mr. and Mrs. Destefano: Sam DeStefano, Anthony DeStefano, and Mary DeStefano.
  
He has been a progressive cotton farmer in the Brazos Bottom since his early manhood and has been active in the civic and political activities of his community; serving as County Commissioner in Brazos County.  The DeStefano's are members of St. Mary's Catholic Church and Mr. DeStefano is a member of St. Mary's Church Men's -Club and has served as president of this organization.
  
A former Constable of Precinct No. 3 in Brazos County, he is also a member and past director of the Hearne Rotary Club; a member and director of the Hearne Chamber of Commerce where he served as chairman of the Agriculture Committee; Vice President and Director of the Central Texas Water Conservation Association; Chairman of the Agriculture Committee of the East Texas Chamber of Commerce; and President of the Robertson County Farm Bureau for 18 years.
  
In 1934 Mr. and Mrs. DeStefano moved into Hearne to make their home but he continues his farm activities in the Hearne Brazos Bottom.

DESTEFANO, FRANK, son of Sam DeStefano and Mary Truzzeleno DeStefano, was born March 3, 1905 in Mumford, Texas.  His parents came to America in 1895 from their native home in Palermo,  Italy and settled in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The family moved to the Hearne Brazos Bottom in 1903 and established their home.  His father engaged in the cotton farming business.
  
Frank DeStefano attended the rural school at Smetana, Texas and worked on his father's cotton farm.
  
He was manager of the Wood Switch Gin Company from 1928 through 1951.  In 1934 he began raising cotton on his own when he leased the plantation known as the Woods Place in the Brazos Bottom.  His farm holdings increased through the years and in 1958 he owned 1100 acres in the Hearne Brazos Bottom and operated an additional 550 acres under lease in his cotton and ranching business.  He moved to Hearne in 1946 and purchased two downtown business buildings.  He established a retail grocery business on Fourth Street.
  
On July 28, 1928, 1928 he was married to Bessie Altimore, daughter of Martin Altimore and Frances Salvaggio Altimore of Hearne Texas.  Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. DeStefano: Sam F. DeStefano and Martin J. DeStefano.  Sam F. DeStefano graduated from Hearne High School and later received his degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas Technological College at Lubbock, Texas.  Martin J. DeStefano also graduated from Hearne High School and received his L.L.D. Degree and his Degree in Accounting from the University of Texas.  Sam F. DeStefano married Carol Munger of North Dakota and he and his wife have two children: David F. DeStefano and Daniel DeStefano.
  
Frank DeStefano is a stockholder in the Brazos Valley Alfalfa Dehydrating Mill Inc. and the Wood Switch Gin Company.  He assisted in the organizing of the First State Bank of Hearne and is a director and stockholder in this firm.  The First State Bank of Hearne opened for business September 6, 1957.
  
Mr. and Mrs. DeStefano and their family are communicants of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church.  Mr. DeStefano is a member of the Hearne Chamber of Commerce, a Director of the Federal Land Bank, a member of the Robertson County Farm Bureau, a member of the Texas Ginner's Association, and a member of the Texas Cotton Council.

DESTEFANO, JOE, son of Sam DeStefano and Mary Truzzeleno DeStefano, was born November 22, 1899 in Louisiana.  His parents came to America in 1895 from their native home in Palermo, Italy and settled in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The family moved to Hearne and settled in the Hearne Brazos Bottom in 1903.  His father engaged in cotton farming.
     Joe DeStefano attended the rural school at Smetana in Brazos County, Texas and worked on his father's cotton farm.
     In 1922, he moved to Grimes County and farmed there through 1927.  In 1928, he came back to Robertson County to farm.  In 1934, he purchased farm land of his own in the Hearne Brazos Bottom and in 1958 is farming and ranching 500 acres.
     He is married to Marie Cotropia, daughter of Carl Cotropia and Beatrice Palermo Cotropia, on January 1, 1936.  The parents of Marie Cotropia DeStefano were born in Italy.  Marie Cotropia DeStefano was born December 8, 1907 and died August 10, 1956.  A son, Samuel Ray DeStefano, was born to Joe DeStefano and Marie Cotropia DeStefano.
     Joe DeStefano is a communicant of St. Mary's Catholic Church; a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church Men's Club; a member of the Hearne Chamber of Commerce; a member of the Robertson County Farm Bureau; a member of the Old Cotton Belt Association; a stockholder and director of the Wood Switch Gin Company; and a stockholder and director of the Brazos Valley Dehydrating Company.

    
DESTEFANO, SAM J.
, son of Charles DeStefano and Lena Venteciola DeStefano, was born in Brazos County, Texas, February 9, 1916.  His father was born in Italy and his mother was born in Louisiana.
     He attended the Smetana rural school in Brazos County and the Stephen F. Austin High School in Bryan, Texas.
     In 1934, he moved to the Hearne Brazos Bottom and in 1939 he began farming and ranching on his own.  In 1958, he farmed and ranched 620 acres.
     Sam J. DeStefano married Catherine Ferrara, daughter of Russell Ferrara and Rosa Inzenga Ferrara, October 13, 1940.  Her parents were from Hammond, Louisiana.  The following children were born to Sam J. DeStefano and Catherine Ferrara DeStefano:  Andrea Renea DeStefano, born July 24, 1944; and Deborah Kay DeStefano, born November 21, 1952.
     Sam J. DeStefano and Catherine Ferrara DeStefano are communicants of St. Mary's Catholic Church.  Mrs. DeStefano is a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church Altar Society.  He is a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church Men's Club; a member of the Robertson County Farm Bureau; a member of the Hearne Parent-Teacher's Association; a member of the Old Cotton Belt Association; a stockholder in the Wood Switch Gin Company; a member of the Knights of Columbus; and a member of the Hearne Band Parents Association.

DILLARD, CARSWELL LONG was born in Leon County, Texas, February 11, 1865.  He was married to Miss Callie Elizabeth Bass in 1893 and the following children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Dillard: Will T. Dillard, Anita Dillard Tysk, Elizabeth Dillard, Madelyn Dillard Fleetwood, and Mrs. E. J. Reed.
   
Mr. Dillard started in business for himself in Hearne in the retail grocery business after having worked in the Easterwood General Merchandise Store.  At the time of his death he was one of the oldest active business men in Hearne.
   
Always active in civic affairs, Mr. Dillard served over 30 years on the Hearne City Council.  He was a member of the City Council in 1911 when the city constructed the Municipal Electric and Water Works System.  Mr. Dillard retired from the city council in 1947.
   
A charter member and one of the mainstays of the Hearne Chamber of Commerce, he served two years as president of that organization and was a director for nearly twenty years.  At the Chamber of Commerce banquet in 1948, he was presented with a plaque in recognition of his many years of service and as an outstanding citizen of the community.  He was also one of the most tireless workers in the project to secure natural gas service for Hearne in 1927-28 and spent quite a sum of his personal funds to further this project.  He was a member of the Free Woodmen of the World and the Baptist Church.  Mr. Dillard died October 2, 1952 and Mrs. Dillard died February 3, 1951.  Few men have rendered more public service than C. L. Dillard.

DORRELL, JOHN MANTON, son of Thomas Bynam Dorrell and Emma Lou Sheppard Dorrell, was born at Barada, Texas, September 10, 1891.  He attended the rural school in Pine Valley, Texas and was graduated from the Blackjack High School in East Texas with the Class of 1909.  After completing his high school work he attended Sam Houston State College at Huntsville, Texas.
  
On May 21, 1911 he was employed by the Gulf Coast & Santa Fe Company at Cleveland, Texas and worked in this position until May 21, 1912 when he was employed by the Wells Fargo Express Company.  He worked for the Wells Fargo Express Company to October 12, 1912 when he became Agent for the Gulf Coast & Santa Fe Railroad Company at Stonam, Texas and worked on this job until April 11, 1914.  He returned to his home on April 13, 1916 and worked on his farm until September 12, 1916.
  
He entered military service with the U. S. Marines April 6, 1917 and served in the Marine Corps during World War I and received his dischage February 24, 1918.
  
Prior to entering military service he became employed with the H. & T. C. Railroad Company.  He moved to Hearne, Texas, September 21, 1921 to continue his employment with the H. & T. C. Railroad Company.  He was married to Katie Bell Henry, daughter of James Sidney Henry and Annie Clara LeFevere Henry, April 18, 1923.  A son, Henry Manton Dorrell, was born to John Manton Dorrell and Katie Bell Henry Dorrell.  Henry Manton DorrelI married Carolyn Bayne Arnett, daughter of Bayne K. Arnett and Carrie Ficklan Arnett of Kosse, Texas.  Two sons were born to Henry Manton Dorrell and Carolyn Bayne Arnett Dorrell: Manton Bayne Dorrell and John Kevin Dorrell.
  
John Manton Dorrell is a member of the Hearne Golfer's Association; a member of the Golden Rule Masonic Lodge of Hearne; a member of the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks; and served as a member of the City Council of the City of Hearne for six years.  Mr. and Mrs. Dorrell are members of the Grace Methodist Church of Hearne where he serves as a member of the Board of Stewards and she is a member of the W. S. C. S. Mrs. Dorrell is also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star.

DOTSON, De LAFAYETTE, generally known to his friends as Jack Dotson, was born in Holmes County, Mississippi near the old town of Ebenezer, in 1852.  He came to Texas in 1868 with his parents, Henry W. Dotson and Martha Dotson and settled in Washington County and remained there about a year.
   
On December 24, 1869 he moved with his family to Robertson County and located on a farm near Sutton just south of Hearne.  Here his father died in October 1883.  Mr. Dotson then moved to the Elliott Community in 1874 and settled on a farm that he purchased in that area.  In 1925 he bought some land in the Rio Grande Valley near Donna, Texas and moved to that location, but retained ownership of his farm near Elliott.
   
Mr. Dotson was married twice; his first wife being a widow, Mrs. Williams, to whom he was married in 1874 and they had a son who died at the age of 5 years.  After the death of his first wife, Mr. Dotson was married to Miss Kate McMordie of Calvert, Texas in 1877 and the following children were born to them: Cecil Dotson, Herbert Dotson, H. Maxie Dotson, Fred Dotson, Buford Dotson, and D. L. Dotson Jr.
   
De Lafayette Dotson died at Donna, Texas in 1926 and is buried in Franklin, Texas.

 

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State Coordinator: Shirley Cullum
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Page Modified: 15 September 2014

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