Hood County News Article – David Cleveland


David Cleveland, Mildred Molder and Unknown

David Cleveland HCN Article

by Bill Walters

David Cleveland is a lifelong resident of Hood County and was born in Acton, Texas on September 22, 1942 on the family farm.  David’s great grandfather came to Texas in 1870 from South Carolina and bought 500 acres.  He had five children and each child received 100 acres.  The land basically ran from what is now Hwy 4  north to the railroad tracks just behind HEB and extended west to about Bennett’s Camping.  (Hwy 377 didn’t exist at the time)  He states he was delivered by Dr. Lancaster at home on the dining room table.  He grew up working on the farm as most boys living in the country.  He was plowing with a team of horses at the age of nine.  They raised cotton (cash crop) and took to Godley to sell as Granbury didn’t have a cotton gin at the time.  Peanuts and corn were kept for feed for the animals on the farm.  David started school at the age of 5 in a two-room schoolhouse in Acton and attended through the 6th grade.  David then transferred to Granbury schools in the 7th grade and graduated from Granbury High School.  David’s sister was 10 years older and had left home to work and live in Dallas/Ft. Worth area and thus David was the primary helper on the farm.  As a Freshman in high school David played football and had to stay after school for practice.  When he got home his father asked him where he had been and David said I had to stay after school for football practice.  David’s father said, “That isn’t going to work,” and David quit the team the next day so he could help his father on the farm.   David remembers as a kid back in the ‘50s, one of the main forms of entertainment was the “Old Settlers and Soldiers Reunion” held at the Reunion Grounds each year.  Former Confederate soldiers would come by wagon and camp at the Reunion Grounds for 3 days.  They had a carnival, games and rides and a fiddling contest.

David is the son of John and Margaret Lusk Cleveland and brother to a single sister named Deann Cleveland Raines.  David married his high school sweetheart, Leneta Howard, after graduating from Granbury High School in 1961.  They had two children, Lisa and Wesley.  David immediately went to work for the Texas Highway Department where he worked for the next twenty years.  He initially operated Heavy Equipment in a 9-county area of North Central Texas called District Two.  In 1974 the Texas Highway Department sent David to Texas A&M University to attend a 6-week Instructor Training course for heavy equipment operators.  Upon course completion, David started a school to train Highway Department Equipment Operators in the 9-county area.  After retiring from Texas Highway Department, in 1997 David went to work for a land development company and built Bentwater and Mallard Point subdivisions in Hood County.

David was very involved in local government and civic minded.  In 1984 he was elected County Commissioner in Hood County, and incidentally, his father John was elected County Commissioner in 1952.  David served on the Hood General Hospital Board, he was a Board member of Palo Pinto Community Service – the Board oversaw the Head Start Program and provided free food for needy people in a 12-county area.  David was appointed to the Community Development Program by Governor Ann Richards.  The board approved grants for small cities to provide water and sewer.  In 1991 David was asked by the North Texas Council of Government to be in charge of providing Hood County with the first 911 Emergency System.  And in 1994 he helped open the Hood County Recycling Center where people could dispose of old oil, tires and batteries.  And finally, David was a founding Board member of the Bridge Street History Center for the past ten years, recently retiring this year.