Popularity of Booth
Boy Scout Executives Inspect
New Camping Grounds
Donated to Dallas Troop
by Former Civil War Vet
Suited to Needs of
officials of the Boy Scouts of America, local scout leaders and
Dallas citizens, who, Saturday afternoon, inspected the 200-acre
camping ground and preserve given Dallas Boy Scouts by John Wisdom,
are, reading from left to right: J. W. Wade, assistant scoutmaster;
Dick Garvin, B. F. Harris, scoutmaster; J. A. Garvin, Clarence
Burroughs, Clinton Harris, scout executive of Ardmore, Okla.;
W. H. Butler, W. C. Barnes, president Dallas-Oak Cliff Commercial
association; J. J. Sulzbach, assistant scoutmaster; E. W. Baker,
R. A. McClung, scoutmaster; J. Allen Boyle, Leroy Haskell, Caleb
Moss, scoutmaster; Arthur A. Schuck of New York, assistant national
field director; while the figure stooping to explain the lay
of the ground at the camp is J. P. Fitch of Dallas, regional
director of the Boy Scouts of America in the Southwest.
to be one of the finest camping sites and game preserves in North
Texas, was inspected Saturday afternoon by scout executives of
the Boy Scouts of America, who are in Dallas at this time in
connection with the campaign which the local Boy Scouts' council
will launch soon. Frank W. Wozencraft is president of the council.
This valuable tract of land has
been given by John Wisdom, well known Dallas county resident,
who, in the last three years, has become so much impressed with
the work of the Boy Scouts for the youth of the country, that
he made a gift of 200 acres of his land.
Located on the Duncanville road,
some fifteen miles west of Dallas, the land is unusually high,
well-drained and excellent for camping purposes. It rises in
height some six feet higher than the top of the Magnolia building.
Civil War Veteran.
- March 11, 1923, Dallas
Daily Times Herald, Sec. I, p. 8, col. 2-4.
Mr. Wisdom came to Dallas shortly
after the civil war. He is 74 years of age, hale and hearty as
a lad of sixteen, and has been made a veteran scout in recognition
of his exceptional services to the local organization.
Saturday afternoon, Arthur A. Schuck,
executive from New York headquarters of the Boy Scouts; Clinton
Harris of Ardmore, Ok.; J. P. Fitch, regional director with Dallas
headquarters, and others in the local scout movement, examined
the land donated by Mr. Wisdom and approved the plans for an
8-acre lake that will be made by damming one of the creek courses.
"This is the finest boys'
camp I have ever seen," W. C. Barnes, president of the Dallas-Oak
Cliff Commercial association, said Saturday. "If the people
of Dallas realized what a marvelous donation has been made by
Mr. Wisdom, they would be enthusiastic about fitting it up in
proper shape for the use of Dallas boys with little or no delay."
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of Spoken Drama in Dallas Marked
By Razing of Historical Old Opera House
| This photograph, taken
Saturday, shows the razing of the old Dallas Opera house, a historic
Dallas landmark, almost completed.
Pasted on the walls of the runways,
protecting pedestrians from falling debris, as the work of tearing
down the structure proceeds, can be seen poster advertisements
of motion pictures, held responsible to a great degree, for the
"death of the legitimate stage."
The old landmark will be temporarily
replaced by store buildings, but ultimately another skyscraper
for Dallas will be built on the property.
Dallas opera house, for more than thirty years, the sole temple
of art devoted to the theater of the grand manner in Dallas,
and the first large edifice to be built east of Ervay street,
is rapidly being cleared away. Itself a pioneer in a part of
town which is destined to be one of the main centers, the Dallas
opera house, bowing graciously before time and the tide of the
theatrical commercialism, suffers mutely the fate of a pioneer.
When the promoters of the Dallas
opera house bought land at the corner of Main and St. Paul streets
for a ridiculously low price as we now view it, they saw the
vision of the early builders of Dallas. It was clear to them
that this section of "East Dallas" would some day be
in the midstream of the business and amusement life of the city.
This old building, destroyed partially by fire in 1921, and ordered
dismantled some weeks ago, has lived to witness the rise of the
Medical Arts building, the start of the Dallas Athletic club,
and the completion of the $1,000,000 Majestic theater and the
Melba theater in its immediate neighborhood.
Plastered about liberally with
large movie advertisements that add irony to the moment of passing,
the structure sinks to oblivion with only the customary newspaper
No Poetic Clemency.
Falling bricks and the ripping
up of stage planks provide an unwonted swan song. Truly "Old
Ironsides" had her Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes for clemency,
but the Dallas opera house has none.
Scion of a sturdy era in the making
of Dallas, the extinction of this old show place naturally evokes
the sentimental. Identified with the glories that were Booth's
and Barrett's, Bernhardt's and Ward's, all of whom starred season
after season on its stage, it is survived alone by the perennial
vitality of the divine Sarah's.
Of the large entourage who owned,
controlled and operated directly this premier theater in North
Texas, there remains today only George Anzy, who, during its
entire history, was manager of the house. Since the abandonment
of the theater, Mr. Anzy has been night watchman for The Dallas
In the hey day of the Dallas opera
house, the best that the American and English stage had to offer
was played before local audiences. At that time, theatrical amusements
were, of necessity, confined to spoken drama and opera. Traveling
expenses for road companies were light and oftentimes reduced
to almost nothing by cut-throat rate competition between the
railroad companies. This was before the vile and pernicious commerce
commissions had begun to function, by the way.
The night of the formal opening
of the Dallas opera house is recalled by many a "first-nighter"
of that bygone day. It was the period when Bud Connor was mayor
of Dallas, the famous Bud Connor who was one of the most interesting
of Dallas men ever to hold this high office.
Stewart Robeson and an all star
cast, in "The Henrietta" attraction brought direct
from New York for the grand opening. The crowd, many of whom
had stood in line all the night before to gain tickets, began
pouring into the building promptly as the doors were opened at
7:30 o'clock. The entrance and foyer of the new opera house,
lacking, of course, the brilliant electrical display that is
now possible, were flooded nevertheless with a dazzling gas light
effulgence rivaling that of the proverbial "new saloon."
Soon, the elite of the city arrived,
the contingent from the Grand Windsor hotel further downtown,
who, were carriageless, riding in state on the mule drawn street
car up Main street.
At the same time, handsome victorias
and broughams, filled with the leaders of the city, drew up to
the entrance of the theater, while fashionably dressed belles
of the season and dandies about town alighted for the entertainment.
Exactly at the curtain hour, Mayor Bud Connor and party, drawn
by a span of spanking bays, arrived at the theater and, once
in the box, the show proceeded. J. C. O'Connor, Jules Schneider,
Ed Tenison, Col. J. T. Trezevant, Alex Sanger and scores of others
were present for the occasion.
"The Henrietta" proved
a veritable riot and the actors were showered with fulsome applause,
as the press notices next day showed. The comedy served for a
gala event. Society editors on the local newspapers strained
their vocabularies in writing up the occasion, while they one
and all summed up their panegyrics with the invariable phrase,
"a good time was had by all."
Stewart Robeson, though, was but
one of the famous stars who were to play at the house. Richard
Mansfield in the knockout drama, "Richelieu," was yet
to spellbind his audience as he threw the charmed circle of Rome
about the lovely heroine. Blanche Walsh, Lawrence Barrett, Ferd
Ward and Emma Abbott, all who had been acclaimed in Dallas before
at the old Ford's theater on Commerce street, below Lamar, were
yet [to?] return.
The immortal Booth, in Hamlet,
played again and again in the new opera house. Booth, who was
a genial and likable man personally, made innumerable friends
in Dallas. Barrett, on the other hand, was considerably "up
stage" and distant, even though his achievements ranked
below those of Booth's and he had less right to his exclusiveness.
Sarah Bernhard, in Sardou's "Camille,"
given in its entirety in French, was always a sure-fire hit.
Even though the fire and genius of the French woman was irresistible,
many of the more ardent lovers of the French "comedie"
were often seen to doze perceptibly in the midst of the rush
of foreign and unintelligible words. But everyone, French students
and sleeper alike, would leave the house voicing their admiration
and proclaiming Sarah, "the Divine, the consummate artist
of her age."
Latter days in the opera house
were to witness their glories, too. Maud Adams, Alla Nazimova,
Anna Held, Fritzi Sheff, light opera stars and companies; the
famous minstrel men, Dockstader, Fields, Otis Skinner, David
Warfield, the soutnerns and many others. "Ben Hur,"
of the iron constitution that apparently never would wear out,
packed the house season after season.
And Even Nazimova.
In the days of the pristine glory
of the Dallas Opera house, the moving picture shows here were
confined principally to the Nickelodeons. "Two-reelers"
were the order of the day. Little competition was felt from the
"silent drammer" at the time.
From Voice to Silence.
By 1914, however, the encroachment
of the moving picture shows were being felt. D. W. Griffith brought
out his "Birth of a Nation" at this time, and the first
of the big pictures produced toured the country with symphony
orchestra, advance men and other accouterments of the legitimate.
When the "Birth of a Nation"
was shown in the old Dallas Opera house, it was found to be highly
popular. A picture audience in Dallas was observed for the first
time to weep and yell and suffer all the heart rendering emotions
that the straight dramatic plays could awake. Confederate veterans
broke forth into wild "rebel yells" and war cries.
Pat O'Keefe was called upon to give his famous Irish jig and
such enthusiasm as usually accompanies a Democratic convention
burst forth spontaneously.
But, the sanctity of the temple
had been violated.
Nemesis, in the form of raising
railroad rates, also bore down heavily on the opera house. The
movies had become entrenched, the weaker road shows were found
unprofitable and, when a few years later, the Majestic theater
on Commerce street burned, the theater closed shop as a legitimate
house and played big time vaudeville under lease by the Hoblitzelle
Not Gone Yet.
- March 11, 1923, Dallas
Daily Times Herald, Sec. III, p. 8, col. 2-4.
Upon the opening of the new Majestic,
Southern Enterprises opened with the Capitol players, a remarkable
group of stock company players who easily won their way into
the favor of Dallas audiences. At the height of their popularity,
just as "Smiling Through" had been started for a week's
run, the theater burned on New Year's night. The owners of the
property then abandoned its use for theatrical purposes.
No Phoenix theater will arise from
the ashes and ruin of the old Dallas Opera house. A large apartment
store or some other sort of building is expected to be built
soon on the property. But, the final chapter in legitimate drama
in Dallas has not been written yet, George Anzy, believes.
- o o o -
Memorial Children's Home
A day nursery and settlement
h ome has been successfully operating
in the former residence of Bishop A. C. Garrett at 3011 Greenwood
in East Dallas, for the past year. The building was recently
through the joint efforts of Dallas citizens and will be formally
at a housewarming to be held early in September. - Staff photo
GIVE WORK TO
TARY PAYS TRIBUTE TO
THOSE WHO HELPED
rehabilitated through the efforts of Dallas citizens, including
the generosity of union labor groups in contributing of their
labor, and of local business firms in giving materials, the Garrett
Memorial Children's home, located in the former residence of
Bishop Alexander C. Garrett at 3011 Greenwood street, is now
housing a number of children who are eligible for its ministrations.
This Dallas institution, supported
solely though the kindness of local citizens, has been in operation
for more than a year, under the general direction of Mrs. Helen
Palmerton, well known social worker of the city. Children of
poor parents, who have no place to leave them under good care
and attention while at work, are taken in by this home, where
a day nursery and playgrounds are maintained. A number of children
are kept at the home for longer periods than one day.
Salesmanship Club Guests.
During the summer, the children
were given a two weeks outing at the Salesmanship club recreation
camp at Bachman's Dam and the house, which had run down somewhat,
were re-equipped and conditioned during this time.
Union labor was instrumental in
supplying the work necessary to re-fit the residence and Robert
McKinley, secretary of the Texas Federation of Labor, has paid
the following tribute to the men who gave their labor for this
"With a sympathetic feeling
in their hearts for all humanity," Mr. McKinley declared,
"and especially for little men and women who, in childish
innocence, gaze out upon the sea of life, unmindful of turbulent
waters, be it said to their everlasting credit that the members
of organized labor in the city of Dallas contributed with incomparable
generosity to the establishment of the Garrett Children's home;
a contribution which can not be computed with dollars and cents,
for they gave freely of honest toil.
"With every brick laid, every
nail driven, every joint of pipe, every sheet of tin, every stroke
of the paint brush, every foot of wiring and with every yard
of plaster and every foot of cement placed -- yes, even the ditch
digger did his mite -- and, with every drop of perspiration falling
from the brow of these mechanics, went a heart-throb and tender
feeling for those little pattering feet of children come to "replenish
the earth" and who are, henceforth, to be domiciled here
until their pathways are to be made smooth, preparatory to going
out on life's highway.
"Truly, words cannot express
the deep-felt appreciation for the wonderful assistance rendered
by the men of toil in this city. This home will stand, in after
years, as a monument dedicated to a humanitarian purpose, and
those who may find refuge under the shadows of this building,
will ultimately realize and appreciate this work of love."
Shriners Help Children.
- August 12, 1923,
Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. I, p. 7, col. 2-4.
Dallas Shriners have contributed
funds for the maintenance of this day nursery and settlement
house, while a board of trustees composed of the following men
direct the affairs of the institution: A. H. Johnson, chairman;
Boyd Brown, secretary treasurer; Sam P. Cochran, James E. Forrest,
E. J. Kiest, Sam Dysterbach, W. C. Barrickman, Ralph R. Briggs,
L. E. Wilson and James C. Jones.
Plans are under way for a house-warming
September 1 at the Garrett Children's Memorial Home. Reconstruction
work to make the home adapted to the needs of a children's home
has already been contributed. It is now in fine condition for
the purpose, and will be presented to Bishop Garrett on the occasion
of the house warming.
Mrs. Helen Palmerton is director
of the home, with Mrs. Gladys Livingston, head matron. The home
was started March 17, 1922, with twenty-five children under its
guardianship. It has now about sixty children to care for. Mrs.
Bessie Kearney is financial chairman.
- o o o -
- November 21, 1923,
Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 1, col. 3-5.
Old Dallas Landmark to
Make Way for Store
witnessed the passing of another Dallas landmark when workmen
started tearing down the old frame dwelling which has stood at
1916 Main street more than sixty years--the last frame structure
on Main street between Central avenue and the Trinity river.
It was built for a country home, at that time, some distance
beyond the eastern limits of the city. At one time, it was in
what was then a fashionable residential section, but in recent
years it has been used for business purposes. Bought thirty-three
years ago for $5,000, it was sold last August for $77,000. It
is now being torn down to make way for a two-story brick store
building to be erected by U. M. Boyd and Charles E. Turner, realtors.
Staff photo by Rogers. (enlarged
view of photo)
- o o o -