Hood County News – September 18, 2001

by Christopher C. Evans


The 10-dollar bill was issued to The Cresson National Bank in 1907 or later. It looks, in a web photograph supplied by Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc., via the Hood County Genealogical Society, to be in mint condition.

When I first saw it online, the first thought that jumped into my mind was that Cresson actually had its own currency, or currency issued to Cresson’s only bank, for a specific period. I have no idea whether any more of the old notes are around. I did feel the surge of having discovered something when I first saw the picture of the impressive federal treasury note, the words “The Cresson National Bank” and signatures of C.B. Bobo, cashier, and F.O. Fidler, president.

The notation with the photograph — “There are only two notes known from this short-lived bank that was chartered in 1907 and liquidated in 1914; it was the only bank in town, and only issued $103,100 in large-size currency” — left me with some questions: Was seven years in operation actually short-lived for the time? Wasn’t $103,100 quite a bit of moolah in that day? Was this — I think it was — the same bank building that was utilized in 1919 when my grandfather, Thomas Lawrence Brothers, helped re-establish a bank in Cresson that operated for less than five years?

There were, according to the Genealogical Society, five Hood County banks at the time that had notes issued in their names: the First National banks of Lipan and Tolar, the First National and City National banks of Granbury and The Cresson National Bank. Heritage Numismatic Auctions has no pictures of notes issued to the City National Bank of Granbury or The First National Bank of Tolar.

The web address is It’s a must-see for Hood County history neophytes such as myself.

SIDETRACKS: Ye olde Cresson social calendar is a veritable traffic jam in October what with several locals voluntarily involved in the Civil War Reenactment between Granbury and Paluxy Oct. 6-7, Cresson Homecoming Sunday Oct. 14 and the annual Cresson Fall Festival Saturday Oct. 27. Regarding the last of these, this year’s Fall Festival auction promises to be one of the best in recent memory as Helen Long and Jane Lotton have garnered several impressives commitments to donate items to be sold. On the list already are a pricey outdoor propane cooker (Sands Propane, Granbury), an elaborate, multi-photograph picture frame (Woods Furniture, Granbury) and an igloo-style doghouse (Cresson Feed & Vet Supply). If you’d like to donate an item — the proceeds all go toward ongoing restoration of the historic Cresson School — call Long at (817) 396-4470…Proof that Cresson’s Lotton, who will enter the realm of the septagenarians soon, is a lil’ goyle at heart? Lotton harbors quite a few more than 400 dolls and other cuddlysomethings in the tiny, tidy prairie house in which she lives…Speaking of Jane, she, Helen Long and several other Cressonians will be hunkered down in key volunteer positions at the big Reenactment. Included are Richard Heller and Billy Bob Spear, who agreed to cook brisket for the 500-odd reenactors. If you can volunteer or are interested in being involved as a concessionaire, call Karen Nace at (817) 573-3983…Cresson-bred Junior Masterson writes that a recent account in this space about Dick and Ora York and the gospel music they brought to Cresson in the late 1940s and early ‘50s kindled memories of “riding my bicycle up the street by the (York) house/filling station” and hearing, you guessed it, strains of vocal gospel music emanating therefrom. “I would just stop on the side of the road or go around in front of Calvin Fidler’s grocery store, where there was a bench, and I would set (sic) and listen to them sing,” recalls Junior, now of Lake Worth. “Other people would gather around to listen to them. Glad you refreshed my memory about Ora’s Cafe. Good to go back in my mind and appreciate the opportunity I had as a boy to know all these people.” Junior and wife Lula, she of world-class coconut-cream pie note, plan to be at Cresson Homecoming Oct. 14 at the historic school…Speaking of Cresson Homecoming Oct. 14, this year’s event will be that and more for Cresson official historian Shirley R. Smith and spouse Marjorie, currently of Grand Prairie. The Smiths purportedly have purchased acreage on a pastoral Clearview Hills knoll overlooking our fair community and will be “coming home” in a few months, after a house is completed…Local authorities are on the trail of scofflaw or scofflaws who did several hundred dollars worth of damage to the Cresson Post office over the night Sept. 4.

“Reward for information on who is vandalyzing (sic) Post Office Property,” reads an ominous note on the front of one damaged post office box door. “Camera installed. Sheriff has been called.” ‘Nuff said.

PRIDE ON TRACK: Though pundits far more eloquent and informed than this one have issued and will continue to issue their oracles, impressions and ruminations on the sordid, tragic and confusing events of the past week in New York, Washington and elsewhere, this wobbly-legged sojourner admits to feeling altogether different about New York and New Yorkers than perhaps I did before the horrific terrorist attacks that were aimed at everything American. The ensuing soul-searching that now faces U.S. residents from small children to senior citizens is agonizing, befuddling, often seems to lead nowhere but in truth does take us on a now-necessary journey. May we be heartened, bonded and buoyed by our relatedness as Americans and freedom-lovers, by the fact that very few of the misled and the morons among us have acted out the rage we’ve all felt, and by the assurance that some sort of justice will in time be meted out.