CHOCTAW ROBINSON OAK
CHOCTAW ROBINSON OAK. In the mid-1800s Hazel Dell was a tough settlement at a site on present Farm Road 1702 three miles north of its intersection with State Highway 36, midway between Comanche and Hamilton in Comanche County. A missionary Baptist preacher named William Robinsonqv came to Central Texas in the late 1840s and was preaching in Erath County by 1855. In his later years he preached beneath an oak tree in Hazel Dell across the road from a store, post office, and saloon. He would lay his gun in the forks of the tree and preach sermons that sometimes lasted four hours. One group of Choctaws is said to have left during one of his sermons with the comment, "White man lie. Him talk too long." From this incident, Robinson acquired his nickname "Choctaw Bill," and the tree under which he preached became known as the "Choctaw Robinson Oak."
Nancy V. Cooley, "Special Deputy to the Almighty," Texas Parade, November 1972. John A. Haislet, ed., Famous Trees of Texas (College Station: Texas Forest Service, 1970; 3d ed. 1984).