Tobin DeHymel

By: jwilder

Tobin DeHymel in Stoddard-Dayton. Defeated Strang in Waco Texas race.

I stumbled across Tobin DeHymel while researching early Texas automobile history.

His story deserves to be told.

I created this stub article to remind me of that fact.

When I have time I will add snippets.

Once I have enough snippets , I'll edit into a story.

Love for Automobiles

Alfred Fred "Tobin" DeHymel was born on August 17, 1890, in San Antonio, Texas.

"At the age of 14 years he got his initiation into the mysteries of autodom by shining brass for a week for Al Haxiett(sp?). He was then hired by Sheriff John Tobin to drive the latter's old two cylinder Winton, and as the pilot of this car his experiences were varied. Once De Hymel drove car a long distance with a dead man strapped on the seat beside him and Sheriff Tobin in the tonneau with the prisoner. Again he drove into the mountains beyond Kerrville and brought back a man charged with horse stealing. A race for life to bring to town a man who had attempted to commit suicide, while Sheriff Tobin and Judge Umscheid applied the battery of the car to shock the victim into a fight for existence, was another experience of De Hymel. Once after breaking his wrist on a kick back while starting the car he cranked it up and started the engine, then telling Sheriff Tobin that he would have to drive the machine himself. When the sheriff sold the Winton De Hymel drove it for delivery to Del Rio in mid winter in his shirt sleeves, being overtaken by a blinding snow storm. After that De Hymel worked in the livery business for a while, thence going to work for G. A. C. Halff. De Hymel was on a trip to Chicago when he was sent for to drive the Stoddard last Sunday: He got the name "Tobin" because of his long service with the sheriff. He will leave shortly for Austin to attend St. Edwards college, as he believes that a little more education will not cripple him a great deal In the auto driving business." -San Antonio Light Sunday, August 30, 1908. Page 8.

Tobin DeHymel Quote, 1909

Dehemel talked about what it was like during the race. "The wind blows so hard when you're going a mile a minute or more that once open you can't close your mouth…You just watch the road and the engine and once in a while, maybe, take a swift glance back to see how close they are to you, and you don’t have time to get scared." As for the course itself, it is the "swellest track I ever saw."

"Twice As Many People For Next Races Here" Galveston Daily News 6 August 1909

Tobin DeHymel in Stoddard-Dayton.

James Wilder

James Wilder is the owner, writer, photographer, designer, and developer for MOTOR Texas.


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