Landmarks, Dallas County, Texas, 1901-1902

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LANDMARKS, 1901-1902



Various Treatments Subjected to
while in Preparation for the



One of the Largest in the State and One of the
Most Important Manufactories in
Dallas, Representing an Out-
lay of Considerable

     The brickyard of J. M. Harry & Co., one of the largest of its kind in the state, is situated three and a half miles west of Dallas on a branch of Texas and Pacific Railroad. The plant represents an outlay in capital of seventy-five thousand dollars and occupies over fifty acres of ground. Work is given seventy-five men in the different departments, the salaries paid them amounting to over fifty thousand dollars annually. Over twelve thousand dollars a year are paid out by the company to surrounding farmers for wood.
     Between twenty and thirty thousand barrels of oil is consumed by the plant annually, it naturally being purchased in the state.
     With an expenditure of thousands of dollars a year, this company is one of the main supports of Dallas, as with the exception of machinery, they purchase everything they need from local sources, besides putting in circulation the money paid in salaries.
     The output of this plant ranges from 15,000,000 to 23,000,000 brick per years, or 60,000 every ten hours, the output, of course, being regulated by the demand. During the past year, the output was far in excess of any previous year, it being like everything else in Dallas, affected by the vast progress made by the community.
     The shale and clay from which the brick are made lies in stratas closely resembling slate, it being of three different kinds and colors, red, yellow and blue clay. The varieties are found in patches of considerable area, and in some instances, all three are blended. In the manufacture of brick, the red variety is more preferable, as it is easily moulded and is stronger than the others, although good brick is made from the other two kinds.

The brickyard, as shown on the
Sam Street map of Dallas County, 1900

     The land owned by the company has a practically unlimited supply of clay, it being contained to a depth of four hundred feet.
     The making of brick requires a great deal of skill and patience, the work being tedious and of long duration; it taking several weeks from the time the clay is stored, until it is burned and ready for the market.
     In preparing the land to remove the clay from it, the first strata of soil is removed by scrapers laying bare the clay deposit. It is then harrowed over by disc cultivators, the clay shoveled into wagons and carted into the storage sheds for treatment.
     The material, to be property prepared, has to remain fully a month in covered sheds, so as to give ample time for the moisture in the different stratas to penetrate and mingle, naturalizing throughout. A certain amount of dampness is required for the proper molding of the clay when it reaches the machinery.
     When the clay is deemed of suitable age, it is then carried from the sheds to the crushers, where it is powdered finely, and carried by means of endless elevators above to the screens. The fineness of the clay is regulated by the screens, which are set on an incline, lumps of clay not properly ground returning by way of a shaft to be recrushed, while the powder is carried into bins above the moulding machines. From the bins, the powdered clay is dropped through canvas pipes into the moulds, where mechanical pressure is applied, and the clay turned into bricks. From the moulds, the bricks are carried away on barrows to the kilns to be burned.
     On reaching the kilns, the bricks are piled in rows about seventeen feet high and forty inches wide, leaving several inches between the rows of brick to allow the heat to circulate when the fire is applied. Between each row of brick, the wood fire is built for the water smoke treatment, as it is called. Surrounding the space occupied by the green bricks are stationary walls containing doors at the required intervals and leading into the alley ways built of the unburned brick. When the kilns are piled full of brick, each containing two hundred thousand, a tier or two of burned brick is laid over the others and the fire applied. First, the wood is burned under the brick ten days to evaporate the water contained in the brick, and when considered perfectly free from any moisture, jets of oil are lighted and the brick subjected to a greater degree of heat for about five days, after when, they are allowed four days to cool. After cooling, they are stored away, ready for shipping.

- February 16, 1902, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 8, col. 4-5.
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Initial Trip Started from Fort Worth this Morning---Power
Being Furnished from Both Cities---D. H. Lavenberg
Appointed Superintendent.

     The first train over the inter-urban road between Dallas and Fort Worth is expected to arrive at this end of the line this afternoon. The trolley wire was charged this morning, both from Dallas and Fort Worth and it is hoped that the electricity will be strong enough to run the first car the entire distance. The initial trip was started at Fort Worth this morning at 9 o'clock.
     At 2 o'clock this afternoon, officials of the Oak Cliff electric line declared that the trolley wire indicated the presence of a moving car some distance from the limits of Oak Cliff. The inter-urban will be supplied with a power house at Handley when all equipments are in running order.
     Fort Worth, March 1.--President Bishop of the inter-urban line left for Dallas this morning on his way to Cleveland, O. The road is to be operated during the Confederate reunion. In the meantime, one car each way will be operated daily between Fort Worth and Dallas. D. H. Lavenburg of Cleveland, Ohio, has been appointed superintendent of the inter-urban and Dallas terminals.

- March 1, 1902, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 8, col. 3-4.
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How they are made at La Trini-
dad Cigar Factory of



The Different Grades of Cigar Tobacco in
Common Use--Why Domestic Tobac-
co is Substituted for Havana
Goods by the Leading

     Dallas has one of the largest, if not the largest, cigar factories in the State of Texas, it having an annual output of a couple of million cigars a year. The name under which this plant is operated is the La Trinidad Cigar Factory, and is located at 166 North Carroll avenue.
     This factory first started to operate in 1877, under rather unfavorable conditions, having but a small amount of capital invested and being hampered by the lack of good grades of material, for at that time, the class of tobacco sold by drummers in Texas was very poor.
     As Dallas increased in business facilities, so this plant expanded, until today, it has an extensive trade with cities and towns within a radius of a hundred miles.
     The home of this factory is in a frame building 30x80 feet, containing two stories and a basement. The first story is divided into an office and salesroom and the manufacturing department. The basement and second story are used mainly for the storage of tobacco and drying rooms.
     In making cigars, Sumatra wrappers are used in conjunction with domestic fillers, more extensively than any other kind by this factory, as well as by the majority of factories throughout the different States.
     Havana wrappers and fillers are also used a great deal, but of late have been substituted by Porto Rico tobacco. Ohio grows a grade of tobacco which closely resembles in taste and appearance, certain grades of Havana fillers, and it is almost impossible to tell the difference between it and the real article, unless one be a connoisseur in cigar tobaccos.
     In Montgomery county, Texas, a grade of tobacco is raised from Havana seed that closely resembles the imported tobacco in looks, but the growers there have not as yet acquired the proper method of fermentation of the leaf. Experts speak very highly of this tobacco and prophesy a great future for it.
     For wrappers grown in the United States, the Connecticut leaf makes the best for general use and has a flavor that is hard to surpass, even by a Havana leaf. A good example of the general favor in which the Connecticut wrapper is held by the smoking public was during the war with Spain, when one of the largest cigar factories in the United States could not obtain pure Havana wrapper, which they used to wrap a celebrated brand of their cigars, and had to put out another brand wrapped with Connecticut leaves. 'After the war, they reissued their pure Havana brand, but the dealers returned it, stating that their customers said it was not equal to the brand they had put out with the Connecticut leaf.
     Havana wrappers and fillers are shipped in bales bound with cloth and palm leaves, the bales weighing from 80 to 160 pounds. The tobacco is packed in bunches, hand pressed and tied together with cords into what is known as carrots. Each bale contains 80 carrots.
     The Sumatra tobacco comes in square bales, all the leaves being packed under heavy pressure and each weighing about 160 pound. The bales are wrapped in burlap and matting.
     The higher grades of cigars are made by hand, great care being exercised in the selection of the wrappers and the placement of the fillers, so as to make the burning properties as near perfect as possible. The lower grades of cigars are rolled by hand and placed in moulds to give them the proper shape.
     All of the cigars made by the La Trinidad Cigar Factory are under the supervision of Mr. Reiger, one of the proprietors, and a practical cigar-maker and a connoisseur in tobacco. The highest skilled labor is employed to make these cigars, as the proprietors argue that with the best quality of tobacco, they cannot afford to have poor labor to work it up.
     To put out the best quality of cigars, selling them at a sufficient price to insure a small margin of profit, is the plan under which this factory is operated, and the appreciation of the public of their cigars is ample testimony of how well they have carried out their purposes.

- March 30, 1902, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 16, col. 6-7.
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Old St. James Building Fell
This Morning With a Terrific Crash.
One Death Is Likely To Result.

     With a crash that startled everybody awake in the business portion of the city, and that was heard for many blocks around, the St. James hotel, historic for its age and its numerous associations, collapsed at an early hour this morning. Nearly a miracle was exhibited in the rescue without fatal injuries of those who went down with the falling brick and flying dust. That everybody asleep in that part of the building that sank to the earth was not killed, is the strangest feature of the accident to all who have viewed the wreck.


     The building was old and decrepit. Years ago, when Dallas was but a village, it was built and it has seen service through all the intervening time. In 1894-5, it was state Populist headquarters. It was to have been removed in the early autumn. The accident of the early morning will save the laborers much work, but at a cost that seems blightful.
     The collapse came at the quietest time of the night, when the streets were nearly deserted. It aroused sleepy people throughout the down town section of the city and men and women rushed to the ruined building. First of all to come were the policemen on that beat, and then the fire department, with Chief Magee and Assistant Chief Myers at their head. The police, under the direction of Captain Keehan, did valiant duty, and too much praise cannot be given the men of the fire department from the chief down. They expected a fire. Instead, they saved human lives from imprisonment beneath tons of timbers and brick and mortar. They worked with a loyal will and never stopped till every occupant of the structure had been accounted for. City Health Officer J. H. Smart, Dr. J. R. Wilson and other physicians also came hurriedly and worked over the injured with the spirit that only humanity can prompt.
     It was an interesting scene, there in the early morning. Everybody feared at first that many were dead and all were rejoiced that the wreck was no worse. The incident has been the chief topic of conversation throughout the city today and thousands have been to gaze on the ruins.


     The old three-story building, known as the St. James hotel, on Murphy and Main streets, collapsed at about 2 o'clock this morning and five of the occupants of the building were severely injured. The fire and police departments were called out and work was at once begun rescuing the victims under the piles of brick and tangled frame work. The five who were taken from the ruins all had miraculous escapes, and with the probably exception of one, all will recover.
     The following is the list of injured:
     John Rose, aged 42, a tailor, injured about the back and legs; condition serious.
     William Phyfe, aged 35, a cook, fell from the third floor; right leg injured, back hurt and numerous bruises; will recover.
     James Nolan, base ball scorer, fell from the third floor, severely bruised and lacerated about the body; condition not dangerous.
     J. W. Hoffman, aged 31, a tailor, fell from the third floor, left leg mangled and bruises about the body; condition not dangerous.
     N. H. Dillon, aged 49, an iron moulder, a resident of Marshall, Tex., back wrenched and numerous cuts about the body; will recover.
     Other occupants who were in the building at the time of the collapse, and but slightly injured, were: Bert Winfrey, F. M. Sasche and H. F. Jenkins.
     The hotel was conducted by W. H. Fletcher, and he and his wife and two daughters narrowly escaped death by making a hasty exit from their rooms on the first floor.
     The roof and floor of the building collapsed inwardly, and the west wall, on Murphy street, fell after the inside supports had given way, carrying down telephone posts and electric wires and effectually blocking the street. An alarm of fire was turned in and the firemen from the central and No. 4 were soon on the scene. Under the personal direction of Chief Magee, the man set to work with axes to chop the victims out.
     James Nolan, who occupied a room in the extreme northeast corner of the third floor, was dug out of the northwest corner of the cellar. When interviewed by a Times Herald reporter at the city hospital this morning, he gave his experience as follows:
     "I was asleep at the time of the collapse and was awakened by the walls and floor shaking. I hadn't time to raise from bed before I was carried down under a mass of timber to the basement. I remained there for several minutes, lodged under a heavy timber, which protected me until the firemen dug me out. I was conscious all the time and felt that very minute would be my last."
     N. H. Dillon, who also occupied a room on the same floor, was carried down under a mass of wreckage which fell in such a way that the weight did not bear down upon him. He was conscious all the time and was cool enough to direct the men who had to work some time to find him.
     Several other victims gave interesting accounts of their narrow escapes. All the seriously injured were occupants of the top floor, while those on the lower floors escaped with but slight injuries.
     The front part of the building, which faces Main street, was left standing, and the building known as the Sherman house, on Murphy street, adjoining the St. James hotel, which is also a three-story structure, was left standing. The property is owned by Vice-President E. M. Reardon, of the National Exchange bank, who purchased it several years ago. The structure is one of the oldest down-town buildings in the city and was built by Tom Field about twenty-nine years ago. It was, at one time, considered to be one of the best buildings in the down-town district, but of recent years, it has become antiquated and it has been the intention of the owner to erect a substantial structure in its place.
     At the time of the collapse, Landlord Fletcher states that there were thirteen guests registered in the hotel, all of whom, have been accounted for.
     The rear of the Mecca saloon, which occupies the first floor on Main street, was carried away by the collapse, entailing a loss of several thousand dollars. The Auditorium restaurant, which was operated in connection with the hotel, was a total loss.
     Mr. Fletcher could not be found by a Times Herald reporter this morning and no estimate of his loss can be given. Mr. Reardon would not place the amount of his loss this morning.
     All the seriously injured victims were quickly removed to the Salvation Army tent on Commerce street, and there, their wounds were attended to by a corps of physicians. Health Officer Smart was soon on the scene and took charge of the unfortunates. They were quickly removed to the city hospital, where proper medical attention was given them. The nurses at the hospital were notified by telephone and had everything ready for the unfortunates when they arrived. Their wounds were dressed, and when seen by a reporter this morning, they were all resting comfortably.
     The escapes of the occupants from instant death under the tons of brick and timbers is considered miraculous in the extreme and entirely without precedent. The entire side of one of the rooms on the third floor at the east end of the building was torn away, leaving the furniture uninjured. One of the occupants of the same floor had hung his hat and coat on a hook against the wall before retiring and, notwithstanding the room and three floors collapsed, the coat and hat were not touched and hung suspended to the wall all morning.
     A force of men and teams have been put to work to clear the debris away from the street and rescue the property of Mr. Fletcher from the ruins.

- June 23, 1902, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 1, col. 4-7.
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