Tracing Our Bosque County Roots
By LaDawn Garland
05 September 2001
It has been a wonderful week of rain here in Bosque County. I was very happy to have an email from Hugh Adams the great nephew of Levi Dunlap, long time
publisher/owner of The Meridian Tribune. He wanted to share a story that
was written in 1974 by, Mr. Dunlap’s son, Jay Teel Dunlap.
Levi Dunlap was always very dedicated to this community and to quote his great nephew, ” Levi was writing about our past as he lived it and we owe our appreciation to the dedication of him and of his family. “
Levi Artemas DUNLAP was the third child of Lewis Alexander and Nancy Melanda DUNLAP and was born at Aurora, Missouri, on November 30, 1875. He came to Texas with the family in 1889, living first at Richardson.
He attended the old Denton Normal (now NTSU) and graduated highest in his class. He got jobs as “printer’s devil” at every town where his father was pastor and at Richardson also operated a rubber stamp business as a sideline. When the family moved to Mansfield in 1893, he and his brother, Edwin, published the Mansfield Rustler from their shop in the back of a mercantile store. Subscription to the weekly was thirty cents per year, but
the venture fell into serious financial trouble and had to cease publication after four months, but each paid-up subscriber was refunded half of his money.
The DUNLAP family moved to Meridian in December 1896, and in 1898 Levi A.
borrowed $50 with which he instigated the purchase of “The People’s Tribune” a Populist newspaper. He changed it to the Democratic “The Meridian Tribune” which he owned and edited continuously for 50 years until his retirement on January 1, 1956. The Tribune is still in business in its 76th year (1974). At various times during his operation of the Tribune plant he was assisted by his brothers, Edwin and Teel, and his sister, Minnie. Levi A. gained many honors and recognitions during his printer-publisher days, having produced one of the best small town weekly’s in Texas and having operated a very efficient job printing and publishing plant patronized throughout the state.
On February 7, 1900, Levi “Artie” DUNLAP and Mary Jane ADAMS were married
at Meridian. She was the daughter of Capt. James William and Elizabeth ADAMS and was born near Valley Mills on November 20, 1875. The couple through their music and talents, contributed much to the cultural and social life of the area. They owned the first phonograph in the town. He was a big booster for Meridian Junior College, and before that, was one of the organizers of the Bosque County Fair and was its fireworks specialist.
The four children of this marriage were Leslie Moran, a journalist, printer and postmaster. Irene, a school teacher, she married a retail merchant who later was a soft drink bottler and a foods representative-salesman. Artie Reynolds, a salesman, commercial artist and advertising agency representative. Jay Teel, an architect.
After the death of Mary Jane DUNLAP at Meridian on June 11, 1945, Levi A. continued to live at the homeplace he had built in 1915 until his passing on April 24, 1959. During these last fourteen years, his widowed sister, Lealia Knapp DUNLAP Odle, also lived at the homeplace.
The entire block on which the Levi A. DUNLAP home sat at the northwest corner of Bosque and Houston Streets, was sold to the Meridian Housing Authority in 1967. The home was torn down and a low-rent housing group for the elderly was constructed on the site, a fitting monument to a couple who contributed so much pleasure and happiness from that spot for nearly half a century.
Written by Jay Teel Dunlap 1974
Items from Old Newspapers
The Bosque Citizen
January 12, 1888
E.A. Wilson left for Galveston Saturday.
The marriage of P.I. Burch and Miss Emma Sparks on December 22 was celebrated in grand style. The ceremony was performed by Judge C. M. Patillo. It was his maiden effort and to say he astonished the natives is putting it too mild. He certainly did well. Two young men engaged him on the spot for future use. The bride was elegantly attired and looked lovely. The groom is one of our splendid young men.
Miss Sallie Kell, Dr. McNeill, Miss Davis of Waco and Wyatt McFadden acted as bridesmaids and groomsmen.
S.V. Pool and family leave next week for California on a visit.
Born unto Mr. & Mrs. Geo. W. Randal a 12 pound girl at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Mother and child are doing well.
January 19, 1888
Born Thursday unto Mr. & Mrs. E. Winston a daughter and Ernest is tiptoeing an inch taller.
Capt. Morrison & Rev. J. P. Grace last week bough 500 acres of the Kelty Survey. They got it at a bargain.
Miss Vance Ogden, accompanied by her cousin John Caruthers, paid a brief & pleasant visit last week to her parents near Fowler.
N.A. Massey, one of the oldest residents of the neighborhood has a family of seven and has paid out only $17.50 for medicine or medical attention during two years. Many other families present as good a record for the healthiness of this immediate section.
J.J. Collins on Tuesday sold his residence on Main St. to Dr. Olive.
James Steger & J. J. Collins, merchants of Meridian are preparing to leave Bosque.
Feb. 16, 1888
The Bosque Bank people have hitching posts for their friends horses.
Miss Lou Powell of Towash is visiting friends & relatives in the city.
Prof. Davis of Kopperl is rejoicing over the birth of a fine boy born unto his good wife, and he is so very happy.
Capt. John White of Morgan will utilize all the water from his flowing well this coming season.
Dr. L.A. Ogle, a prominent physician and a highly esteemed citizen of Duffau is dead
A large collection of old newspapers from Bosque County dating back to the late 1800’s are available for research at the Bosque County Collection in Meridian as well as an amazing assortment of items recording the history of our county.Don’t forget that the Bosque County Collection is now open on Saturdays for research . For information and a look at some of the wonderful research items available visit their website at http://www.htcomp.net/bcc.
If you are researching your Bosque County families online be sure to visit Bosque Co. TXGenWeb site at http://www.txgenweb5.org/txbosque/ you’ll find a wonderful collection of information provided by other researchers, it’s quite possible you might just find other researchers there researching your same family lines. This column will also be available weekly at this site. If you would like to submit a story or query about your Bosque County family, as well as information on reunions, to this column please mail them to:
LaDawn Garland c/o The Bosque County News
P.O. Box 343
Meridian, TX 76665
fax to (254) 435-6335
or email me at email@example.com