Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

July 11, 2014

Former Athens mayor dies

Athens — C.W. Tidmore served as Mayor of Athens from 1960 through 1962 and was a proud supporter of the city's claim of being home to the original hamburger.

The former mayor, contractor and Lion died Wednesday at East Texas Medical Center in Athens. He was 91 years old.

Tidmore helped shape the face of Athens in many ways after starting Tidmore Auto Supply on East Tyler Street in 1949.

From creating the original Eastern Hills subdivision to guiding the city as mayor during the widening of East Tyler Street, the creation of Lake Athens and starting the city’s original economic development organization, Tidmore's impact on this community will be forever remembered.

Like many who've called Athens home, Tidmore was a proud supporter of the city's claim to be the home of the original hamburger.

In 2007, Tidmore wrote a letter to the editor in the Athens Daily Review supporting the town's mark on history.

“It seems that every few years some people try to claim their city or state was the first to develop and name the hamburger,” Tidmore wrote. “I am personally aware of one such case in the early Sixties. I was mayor of Athens at the time. We were privileged to have access to several good and reliable men locally who either remembered personally or had first-hand knowledge of the fact that Uncle Fletch Davis of Athens introduced the hamburger’s name worldwide at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904.”

Tidmore commended the efforts of city leaders to fend off claims to the hamburger by Connecticut and others.

“I understand this may seem very insignificant to some, particularly newcomers, but I think it’s pretty important to be able to say I live in the town where the hamburger originated. Probably the most spoken and read word in the food industry in all the world today,” he wrote.

Tidmore chaired the Athens Lions Club's project to build the original rodeo arena at the current location of the Henderson County Fairpark Complex. He joined the Lions in 1952.

While his dedication to the city was evident, he was also a key member at First Baptist Church of Athens.

After joining the church in 1951, Tidmore served in many ways and chaired the pulpit committee in 1966 when Rev. Curtis Mathis was called to serve as pastor. 

In 1960, he was part of the committee to raise funds for the construction of a new sanctuary. The church’s vision for the new sanctuary was more quickly realized when the committee secured a $100,000 contribution from Athens native Sid Richardson.  In 1992, Tidmore served as the contractor for the renovation of the sanctuary.

Tidmore is survived by his wife of 71 years, Nettie Faye Lewis Tidmore, and two sons, Danny and Charles.

A visitation for Tidmore will be held at Carroll-Lehr Funeral Home on Friday, July 11, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.  Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church of Athens, led by Rev. Kyle Henderson and Rev. Joe Warren.  Burial will follow at Oaklawn Cemetery. 

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