Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wittich Chiles DuBose (1881-1929)

Portrait courtesy of "Mineola and its Mayors", published 1976.

    Several years after the conclusion of mayor Garrone Stardi Northcutt's term, the city of Mineola, Texas elected another peculiarly named man as its mayor, one Wittich Chiles DuBose. The son of Methodist minister Charles Betts DuBose, Wittich Chiles "Witt" Dubose was born in Pensacola, Florida on August 20, 1881. Left fatherless at an early age due to his father's death in a yellow fever outbreak, Wittich DuBose spent a portion of his early life in Alabama, having been sent there by his father to lessen the chance of exposure to yellow fever. The young man would experience further tragedy with the death of his mother Eugenia and following her passing was sent to live with relatives in Mineola, Texas.
   DuBose would attend schools local to Mineola and later studied at Draughn's Business College, located in Dallas, Texas. He married in 1906 to Mamie Chappell and later had one son, Wittich "Witt" Chappell DuBose (1908-1993). After concluding his studies at the Draughn Business College DuBose became engaged in the used furniture business in Mineola, and would later partner with J.W. Cage. In addition to furniture sales, DuBose and Page added funeral supplies to their business, and DuBose himself would attend the Dallas School of Embalming and Funeral Directing
   Wittich DuBose continued to operate his furniture and undertaking business in Mineola well into the 1920s and also served as the Vice-President of the Texas Organization of Funeral Directors. The 1976 history of "Mineola and its Mayors" also relates that prior to 1918 DuBose's company transitioned to a motorized hearse, having previously used a horse-drawn coach for funerals.
  In addition to his business DuBose also gained prominence as Mineola's fire chief, serving in that position for several years. In August 1924 he took office as Mayor of Mineola and during his two terms in office, a number of improvements were made to the cities' infrastructure, including the renovation of the local sewerage disposal plant in 1926. In the following year work began on a plan to supply Mineola with natural gas, and by late 1927 the city's homes had been supplied with gas lines, with service taking effect in November of that year.

Wittich C. DuBose during his time as mayor, from "Mineola and its Mayors".

   DuBose's second term concluded in 1928 and for the remainder of his life maintained activity in several fraternal organizations, including the Masons, the Knights of Pythias, and the Lions and Elks Clubs. In early November 1929, the former mayor was afflicted with appendicitis and was rushed to a Dallas sanitarium to undergo an operation. DuBose died shortly after the operation on November 9, 1929. Just forty-eight years of age at the time of his death, Dubose was returned to Mineola for burial at the Mineola City Cemetery. He was survived by his wife Mamie and son Witt, who died in 1973 and 1993 respectively.

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