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Ladonia History  

Fannin County TXGenWeb
1940 Newspaper Article
How Ladonia Got it's Name
The Ladonia Historical Preservation Society
Photographs by Debby Crofford

     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 Donalson Place".
    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 or Ladonia.
     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(?), 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.

There is another handwritten article about Ladonias. name, It is imcomplete but interesting to read. 


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