Bosque County: Land and People (A History of Bosque County, Texas) Page: 21
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Street scene, early 1930's.
End of era-Fire
destroys Clifton Merck
A.G. Gilliam Motor Co.-place of busing
:.T. Torrence "tuning up" an early M
Zilliam Motor Co.-1917
Riverside Gardens (Wiederaenders)
Offering circular for the sale of bank stock
was approved on April 19, 1984, and all stock
,! Fzr in the bank was sold a week later-by
< midnight on April 26. Clifton National Bank
has more than 150 stockholders, none of
whom has a controlling interest.
Initial bank officers were Joe P. Wallace,
president; Don G. Cockrell, executive vice-
president; and Grover Cleveland Gibbs, III,
cashier and operations officer.
In the offering circular the bank's organ-
izers and founders were given as John C.
Bowden, John B. Harris, Vernon Ray (Pat)
Erickson, Mary Jane Hollingsworth, Joe C.
McKenzie, William Mack Rainey, Jr., and
Joe F. Wallace.
In 1917 the Federal Land Banks were
formed with the Federal intermediate Credit
Bank as the governing agency. Clifton was
chosen as a location for one of those offices,
and J.M. Jenson operated that office follow-
ing his retirement from the presidency of the
Farmers State Bank. The office operation
was continued in Clifton until 1982, at which
time all of the area offices in the district were
consolidated into the Waco office.
A similar organization was established by
antile Co., the federal government the latter part of 1933
and was called the Production Credit Asso-
ciations for the purpose of making produc-
tion loans. Waco received one of those offices
soon after their formation, and a branch
office was set up in Clifton in 1941. From 1938
until 1941 a part-time branch office was open
here. Clifton's branch office operates now in
its building located on West 5th Street.
Waco Savings and Loan Association open-
ed an agency office in Clifton in 1964 and
converted it into a branch office in 1973.
Waco Savings and Loan merged with Brazos
Savings and Loan, of Bryan, in 1982. It was
in 1983 that it became a part of the Lamar
Financial CorporatiQn, and at that time its
name was changed to BrazosBanc Savings
Association of Texas. BrazosBanc has its
branch office building on North Avenue E in
In 1983 the Gatesville Savings and Loan
Association was granted a charter to establish
a branch office in Clifton. At the same time
that it opened its Clifton office the associa-
tion was merged with Western Savings and
Loan Association. Therefore, when it opened
in Clifton in 1983, it did so under the latter
appellation. Currently the association is
operating in its new, two-story, office build-
ing at the corner of South Highway 6 and
West 5th Street.
Clifton's Masonic Lodge No. 360, A.M. and
F.M., was given its original charter on June
4odel-T at 5, 1872. Then, on December 5, 1901, the
charter for Clifton Chapter No. 232 was
received, and it was on December 3, 1907,
that the charter for Clifton Council No. 169
was presented. Clifton's Regina Chapter No.
283 of the Order of the Eastern Star was
granted its charter on October 12, 1905.
Those Masonic groups, after first meeting
in the Old Rock School and later for many
years in quarters above the Farmers State
Bank, moved into their new Masonic Lodge
Hall late in 1965. That structure is located at
the corner of West 7th Street and South
Now well into its 89th year of continuous
publication, The Clifton Record has outlived
all other business institutions which were
operating in this city at the time the first
issue was published in 1895.
W.C. O'Brian, with an approximate initial
investment of $1,500.00, established The
Clifton Record in that year and was its first
editor and publisher. He used small hand
presses and set all of the type by hand.
Mr. O'Brian continued to operate the
newspaper for about five years before selling
it to William Baldridge and O.E. Covey, a
brother and cousin, respectively, of Robert L.
In 1901, when he was 21 years of age,
Robert L. Baldridge, Sr. purchased The
Clifton Record. He continued as its sole
owner, editor, and publisher until his death
on January 25, 1946. In 1927 he served as
president of the Texas Press Association.
It was in May, 1918, that Mr. Baldridge
installed the first linotype machine at the
Record office, and very little type-setting by
hand was done after that date.
During his 45 years as owner Mr. Baldridge
failed to publish only one issue of the
newspaper, and that lapse occurred following
a disastrous fire which took place in down-
town Clifton on December 23, 1906.
That fire destroyed an entire block and a
sizeable part of the business portion of
Clifton, including The Clifton Record which
then was located directly across West 5th
Street from where it is today. The destroyed
block was the one extending from the Corner
Pharmacy through Winn's Stores, Inc.
The Clifton Record was owned and pub-
lished by the Baldridge family for approxi-
mately 64 years, as Mrs. Baldridge and her
son, Robert L. Baldridge, Jr., both as publish-
ers and he as editor, continued publication of
the newspaper until they sold it to Tom
Hicks, then of Jefferson, in September, 1964.
Since The Clifton Record was sold to Mr.
Hicks 20 years ago, it has changed hands a
number of times. It successively has been
published by Sterling Edwards and James W.
Smith; Mr. Smith and C.M. Hatch; Mr.
Smith, Bart Ivey, and Sam D. Logan; William
T. Jordan; Lon Williams, and Mr. Smith and
his elder son, Leon Smith.
Currently the Smiths, both as publishers
and Leon Smith as editor, are operating The
Clifton Record as a part of Progressive Media
Newspapers Communications, Inc. Also pub-
lished under that ownership are the Lake
Whitney Star and the Rio Vista Eagle.
Now 3,400 Records are printed weekly-
2,200 going to paid subscribers, 1,000 to
newsstands, and 200 being used as adverti-
sing tear sheets.
At one time in the early 1900's another
newspaper, the Clifton Enterprise, also oper-
ated for a short while in Clifton.
Among Clifton's prominent physicians
have been Drs. Tergerson, Wysong, Parshall,
and J.H. Hatton, who practiced in "old town"
Clifton, and Drs. George Stapleton and
William Rush Sedberry, who were among the
first practitioners in "new town" Clifton.
Others in later years were Dr. J.C. Carpen-
ter; his sons, Dr. Burton Carpenter and Dr.
Owen Carpenter; his brother, Dr. D.A. Car-
penter; Dr. Zachary Scott; Dr. J.T. Glass; Dr.
C.M. Moore; and Dr. T.C. Coston.
Dr. V.D. Goodall came to Clifton in 1934
and first began his practice of medicine. Mrs.
Albert Hastings (Sadie Nelson), of Route 2.
Meridian, was the first registered nurse who
worked with him.
Realizing the great need for a hospital to
serve this area, Dr. Goodall and Dr. S.L.
Witcher, who came here from Stephenville,
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Bosque County History Book Committee. Bosque County: Land and People (A History of Bosque County, Texas), book, 1985; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth91038/m1/37/?q=campbell: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Denton Public Library.