It may not be a fact;
it may net be even a near fact, that in the 1830's the first known permanent
settlement in this part of Texas was at a point one mile east of Ladonia,
where there now stands the picturesque Colonial building known as the "Old
It seems that the sandy strip of
country upon which the present Santa Fe railway runs was the most inviting
route used by the early comers to this territory. This was perhaps because
it was open prairie and rather highter than the surrounding country, enabling
campers to see long distnaces and thus prevent surprise attacks by Indians
and maurauding Mexican bands.
It was in this remote time
that there came from across the Father of the Waters, in Tennessee, the
family of one Jimmie Donalson and pitched a camp in a clump of trees at
the above mentioned spot. This was at a time when the immortal Sam Houston
was resting in the wigwam of his foster father , Oo-loo-te-ka, getting
his bearings and contemplating things to come.
The soothing effect of the
beautiful prairie flowers and other attractive surroundings decided Uncle
Jimmie to end his wanderings and establish a home; so, the camp was converted
into permanent quarters ,buildings were erected lands improved and thus
there came to be what was later known throughout the surrounding .... El
Rancho La Donalson.
The place was known as the
refuge and resting place for any weary traveler wending his way westward.
Yes, it was known that a hearty welcome awaited any and all comers to stop
over and partake of the hospitality of the "La Donalson".
As time passed, Sam Houston emerged
from his hiding place, Texas became a Republic, and through the influence
of the President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, and "Aunt Rachel"
(Donalson) Jackson, it finally became a state. Along with these many changes,
J. Stoke Donalson, Uncle Jimmie's son, became the head of the house and
also succeeded to the honor of continuing the traditional policy of welcome
to strangers. It has been said that no stranger was ever turned away from
this abode in all the years since it was established.
The story is perhaps not
being told in the proper chronological order, but at a time before this,
ther ehad been located a trading post or village near the point "La Donalson"
and then and there was born the city of Ladonia -- which name, as you can
easily figure out, is a contraction of the name "La Donalson" in to LaDona
It seems that the Donalsons,
Commercial activities but were glad to see the village grow and prosper
by the location in its midst of the Redners, Weldons, Frys, Eastmans, Eatons
and others who settled within. The Earleys, Hockadays, Merricks, Days and
Merrills lodged eastward to Pecan Gap; the Kellys, Cobb, Henderson, Terrys,
Neals and Wolfes stretched homesteads westward to Wolfe's Mill, or what
is now Wolfe City, all contributing to a prosperous community. The counties
were organized, other towns ... up and the... generation leader(?)...farmers,
merchants, doctors, lawyers and useful citizens -- among whome there was
the Hon. Geo. W. Donalson, son of J. Stoke Donalson, who became on of the
early legislators of Fannin County and had the honor of helping to let
the contract for building the present State Capital.
Mrs. Nell Donalson Thompson,
who letter appeared in last week's News, is a daughter of Geo. W. Donalson,
the granddaughter of J.Stoke Donalson and the great-grand-daughter of Jimmie
Donalson- so we may see that it is perfectly natural for Nell to yield
to aparticular feeling of love and loyalty felt for one's own birthplace.,
And maybe there is some psychic influence emanating from those ancestors
which perculiarly affects her when she come to tread upon the sacred and
hallowed soil where they so oft hath trod.
is another handwritten article about Ladonias. name, It is imcomplete but
interesting to read.