Landmarks, Dallas County, Texas, 1911-1915

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Woman Counsel in Murder Trial.

     The first murder trial here in which a woman has appeared as chief counsel was half won by Miss Lucille Pugh, counsel for defendant, when the jury came to a disagreement Friday night in the case of Leroy Poindexter.
     The defendant is a negro charged with killing Thos. Brown in a quarrel over a game of dice. He asked Miss Pugh to defend him in view of the fact, that in the old slave days, his family had served on the Pugh plantation in North Carolina.

- April 28, 1912, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 9, col. 4.
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     Assistant Chief of Police Louis Brown, in charge of the police department during the illness of Chief of Police John Ryan, this morning, started a personal investigation of the dungeon at the city jail.
     According to the assistant chief, prisoners are only confined in the dark cell when they are refractory, or refuse to work. He states that while the city prisoners are in the dungeon, they are only allowed one meal a day. Only fighting or habitual prisoners are put in the dungeon, Brown says.
     "The dungeon is used for the purpose of correcting prisoners who fight with others in the city jail, or those who will not work," says Chief Brown. "It is absolutely necessary to have some place in which to correct refractory prisoners. If the prisoners will behave , they need not to into the dungeon. If they want to come out and behave, they have only to knock on the door to call the jailer and get out.:
     The dungeon at the city jail is a dark cell situated at the foot of a flight of stairs leading from the cell blocks. It is very dark and has no furnishings of any sort. The floor is concrete. In the center of the cell is an open sewer. It is a storm sewer and not one used for sanitary purposes. Each day, the dungeon is scrubbed out with disinfectants by trusties at the jail and prisoners are not placed in it until the floors are dried. The cell is ventilated by an air shaft running through the wall to the open air. The principal punishment of the dungeon is said to be the lack of light.

- June 25, 1912, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 12, col. 3.
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County Commissioners Are Consider-
ing Plans to Raise Funds For New
Bastille--Cost to Be Over

     Dallas county's new jail will soon be under course of construction. Friday afternoon, a force of men began to tear away the old buildings at Main and Houston streets where the new bastille is to be located. In a few more days, the structures will be demolished and excavation work will begin for the building, which is to be one of the most handsome jail structures in the United States. It will extend as high as an eight-story building and will have every appearance of an office building. Full details and plans have not yet been completed. Architect H. A. Overbeck expects to have a prospectus of the building during the next few weeks.
     The erection of the new jail is the climax to the work of the county commissioners' court, which body has been considering these plans for several months.
     The old jail property was purchased several months ago by the Union Terminal company, and in its place, is to be erected the finest passenger station in the South.

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Oldest Three-Story Building.
     In the destruction of the old building to make way for the bastille, the oldest three-story structure in Dallas is to be demolished. It is a landmark in the city and was erected in 1872 by W. H. Gaston and W. H. Thomas, which firm, at the time, was known as Gaston-Thomas, Bankers. In 1871, the buildings on the north side of the square were destroyed by fire. In 1872, the new bank building was erected. It is declared to have been one of the highest buildings in the northern section of the state at that time. Since then, it is said to have changed hands a number times. The lot on which the building is located fronts twenty-five feet on Main street, and was purchased by the commissioners' court for a cash consideration of $18,500.

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Contract For Removal.
     The contract for removing these buildings was awarded last Monday to Contractor E. L. Haralson for $990. In the contract, it was stated that work must begin within fifteen days. It is expected that several weeks will be required in clearing away the old buildings. The jail site fronts 125 feet on Main street and the property is two and three-story structures. As soon as the buildings are removed, the county commissioners expect to ask for bids for excavation work. By that time, the plans for the jail will be ready and bids for the construction of the building will be asked for.

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Funds For the New Jail.
     The next question to be decided by the county commissioners is some plan for the securing of funds for the new jail building. The commissioners favoring a special tax, it is said, are in the majority. This, it is claimed, will be much better than calling for a bond issue. It is likely that some vote on the proposition will be taken by the commissioners at the meeting Saturday afternoon. The jail will cost upwards of $200,000.

- April 12, 1913, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 8, col. 6.
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     The state of Texas, which has already spent about $35,000 on the fish hatchery at Fair Park, will install a model aquarium on the hatchery grounds.
     Members of the Park Board, Tuesday morning, announced that they had donated the bear pit and animal building at Fair Park to the state for the purpose of establishing the fish exhibit.
     Architects Woerner & Cole have completed the plans as outlined by Col. W. G. Sterrett, fish and game commissioner, and announce that the contract for the building would be let by Col. Sterrett next week. The improvements will cost more than $5,000.
     Plans call for twenty-two large glass tanks, which will be installed in the building. The tanks will hold collections of fish of all kinds. State fisheries in all parts of the country will be asked to send exhibits. The aquarium, which is the only one in Texas, will be open to the public at all times of the year. The building will be heated in the winter time.
     Captain W. C. Day, in charge of the fish hatchery, states that the spawning season is over and that millions of young fish are in the Fair Park tanks, ready for distribution. The fish will not be shipped until October 1.

- July 28, 1914, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 5, col. 6.
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Hon. William H. Atwell Sug-
gests Plan for Erection
of Building.

     Plans for a city market house have been worked out by Hon. William H. Atwell, who, for the past several months, has devoted much time to the study of a system which will prove satisfactory to the city, and at the same time, be a success. He has worked out a plan that will not only prevent the city's tax rate from being increased, but one, that after a few years, will be a paying proposition.
     That plan is to purchase a centrally located site and to erect a building to cover a space 350x250 feet, including twelve-foot walks on each side and to install in the building, 220 stalls, to be rented at prices ranging from $12 per month, to $100 per month. A prospective showing the exact plans for the building has also been drawn by an architect, and, should the building proposed be erected, it will be a beautiful structure. It will be built of concrete, steel and glass, fireproof in every respect. An electric plant for lights and fuel, and a refrigerating plant, will be installed in the basement of the structure.

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Rent Will Be Cheap.
     Of the 220 stalls called for by the plans, Mr. Atwell has figured that 156 could be rented for $12 per month, a total rental for the year of $22,464. Forty-six stalls could be rented for $27 per month, giving a total rental for the year of $14,904. Twelve stalls could be rented for $65 per month, making a total of $9,360, and sixteen stalls could be rented for $100 per month, giving a rental of $19,200, a grand total of $65,928 for the year's rental.
     The plan is to erect a building on a lot that will cost about $200,000, and to erect a building, equipped in every way to cost about $300,000. Mr. Atwell points out that a bond issue could be voted for $500,000, these bonds to be retired by the rentals on the building.

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Year's Expenditures.
     The erection of such a building would bring in a revenue of $17,528 that could be used in retiring the bonds each year. Mr. Atwell points out the expenses for the operation of the building in the following items: Interest at 4 1/2 per cent on $500,000, $22,500; insurance, $7,500; employment of manager, $4,000; other expenses, $14,400; total, $48,000. The amount collected in rentals would be $65,928, leaving a profit of $17,528.
     The figures were worked out by Mr. Atwell after a study of the municipal market at Seattle and other places. In those cities, the municipal market has been a great asset in reducing the cost of living.

- March 21, 1915, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 15, col. 3.
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