Railways, Dallas County, Texas

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(Updated June 18, 2004)



The Progress of Electricity as a
Motive Power for Street

     In the last two years, electricity has made wonderful strides as a motive power in street car lines. It is now universally used and is displacing mule power in all the leading cities of the country. It does not stop at the mule, but is even invading the cable, heretofore considered one of the best motive powers. The cable and western road of St. Louis, one of the leading lines of St. Louis, is to be changed to an electric line. Two cable lines in Omaha are being changed into electric lines. One cable company in Minneapolis, after having invested $100,000 in the construction of a cable line, abandoned it and adopted the electric system. The great objection to the cable system is the great expense in operating the road and the continual breaking and repairing of the cable and the great outlay it takes to make the repairs, and another serious objection is the matter of speed, which has to be fixed and uniform and cant' be varied so as to run slow or fast, as the obstructions in the street might require, and therefore, does not overcome any long distance in any less time than mule power. Steam, that used to supply the power for suburban trains, has now vanished, and the electric power performs the service. The problem of street-car motive power, which has been the study of so many minds, and fortunes spent in experimenting with, is, at last, solved; and, ten years from now, all other power but electricity will be obsolete. Thus, the age progresses, and the perfection of things is being reached.

- November 13, 1890, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 4, col. 2.
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Railroad Officers Elected.

     The Dallas and Greenville, Dallas and Waco, and the Dallas and Wichita railways held their annual election for directors yesterday afternoon, which resulted as follows:
     Dallas and Greenville railway--John N. Simpson, T. L. Marsalis, J. S. Armstrong, Thomas H. King, F. P. Olcott, Louis Fitzgerald, Charles F. Beach, Jr.
     Dallas and Waco railway--W. H. Getzendaner, W. H. Gaston, B. Blankenship, E. M. Reardon, F. P. Olcott, Louis Fitzgerald, Chas. F. Beach, Jr.
     Dallas and Wichita railroad--Jules E. Schneider, Joseph A. Carroll, E. P. Cowen, W. H. Abrams, F. P. Olcott, Louis Fitzgerald, Charles F. Beach, Jr.
     After the directors of the several roads were elected, an election of officer for the ensuing year was held, resulting as follows:
     Dallas and Waco railway--W. H. Getzendaner, president; W. H. Gaston, vice-president; E. M. Reardon, secretary.
     Dallas and Wichita railway--Jules E. Schneider, president; J. A. Carroll, vice-president; W. H. Abrams, secretary and treasurer.
     Dallas and Greenville railway--John N. Simpson, president; T. L. Marsalis, vice-president; J. S. Armstrong, secretary and treasurer.

- January 21, 1891, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 5, col. 2.
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The New Rapid Transit Wanted
By Gorbit and Cedar

To the Times-Herald.
ORBIT, Dallas Co., Jan. 22.
     We, the citizens of Gorbit and Sower's postoffice, think it would be very fine for the Fort Worth and Dallas Rapid Transit line (or railroad) to cross the Trinidad at Arlington and run through by the way of Sower's postoffice and on by Gorbit postoffice and on by the way of the old mill crossing on Elm, and into Dallas by the way of Cedar Springs and Oak Lawn. This would be very good for us people in the Forks of the river, and for Dallas, also, it giving us a chance to come to town at any time and giving us a mail line to enable us to get our mail every day, instead of getting it by horseback only twice a week. We have a thickly settled country and a world of fine timber all along this line, and it only being seventeen miles from Arlington to Dallas by this route, whereas, it is much farther by way of Grand Prairie, Eagle Ford and West Dallas.
     We are well pleased with both the candidates for county judge. Can you furnish us with as good a man to vote for for county attorney?

- January 22, 1892, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 3, col. 5.
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The Electric Cars Will Be Taken
Off Main Street.

     It is stated positively, owing to light travel and the cost of electricity, that the consolidated company, beginning to-morrow morning, will run their electric cars into the barns and the patient, plodding mule will be given full swing once more. So, the readers of the TIMES-HERALD need not feel surprised if the electric cars disappear from the Main Street and Fairland lines to-morrow.

- January 22, 1892, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 3, col. 6.
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Parties Already at Work Getting
Right-of-way and Subsidies
For the Enterprise.

     Yesterday, parties were at work securing subsidies for an extension of the West Dallas railroad from Hayes station to Mountain creek, a distance of ten miles. Speaking of the enterprise to-day, a well-known citizen said to a TIMES-HERALD reporter:
     "The enterprise is a sure thing and T. L. Marsalis is behind it. The road will branch off at Hayes station or Fisher's Store and go out by John Meredeth's place to Mountain Creek. It will be completed by November 1 and will be operated by electricity. Another meeting of citizens will be held next Tuesday to arrange the preliminaries, etc."
     The same gentleman stated that Mr. Marsalis had unraveled his affairs and was now on a solid footing. He is now devoting his energies to the work of securing factories for Oak Cliff and a big cotton mill and several other enterprises are absolute facts. Messrs. B. Blankenship and T. S. Miller, who have been east, visiting Mr. Marsalis in Philadelphia and New York, are expected home to-morrow.

- April 2, 1892, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 1, col. 3.
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T. L. Marsalis Has Sold His Railroads to a
Big Syndicate and Engineers are Now
at Work Surveying a Line, to be Opera-
ted by Electricity, Between the Cities.

Special to the Times-Herald.
ORT WORTH, April 19.-- E. E. Perkins, who has been working energetically for some time pushing an enterprise of interest to Dallas, as well as Fort Worth, a new rapid transit line to connect the two cities, has returned from the East and reports his mission was successful beyond his most sanguine expectations.
     Mr. Perkins informed your correspondent to-day that Mr. Thomas L. Marsalis has sold his Oak Cliff railroad property to a wealthy syndicate composed of leading New York and Philadelphia capitalists, who will make great improvements in the property and build a rapid transit line to Fort Worth, to be operated by electricity.
     Mr. Spencer M. Denny, of Philadelphia, a gentleman connected with the Huntington system, will be the president of the new company and he will have the backing of C. P. Huntington and his associates.
     Mr. Perkins also informed your correspondent that engineers are now at work surveying the most practical, as well as most feasible, route between this city and Dallas, and that the Rapid Transit Railroad is an absolute certainty.
     The people of Fort Worth are jubilant over this recent move in railroad circles.

- April 19, 1893, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 1, col. 2.
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Within Four Months -- Half a Million of
the First Mortgage Bonds Already Dis-
poses of -- Terminal Facilities Secured,
and Work to Begin at Once.

     The Dallas and Fort Worth Rapid Transit Terminal Rail Company, a projected line from Dallas to Fort Worth, last evening disposed of half a million dollars first mortgage bonds to the Central Trust company of New York. The proceeds of these bonds will be used for the construction of the road, which upon its completion, will be bonded for an additional half a million. The object of the projection of this road is to give Dallas connection at Fort Worth with the Rock Island, the Fort Worth and Denver, the Fort Worth and Rio Grande and the Cotton Belt roads, and at the same time, furnish additional passenger facilities between the two cities.
     The following from the Fort Worth Gazette of this date throws considerable light upon the new enterprise:
     "There exists not a doubt now as to the ultimate construction of the rapid transit line connecting the two cities of Fort Worth and Dallas. While there has been a tendency among many to believe that the road would never be built, the Gazette has expressed faith in the project all along. This belief is now verified from the fact that late last night, E. E. Perkins, who represents the company here, through his attorney, put on file in the district court of Tarrant county, a deed of trust from the Dallas and Fort Worth Rapid Transit and Terminal Company in favor of the Central Trust Company of Philadelphia to secure 1000 bonds at $1000 each, a total of $1,000,000. The mortgage covers all the property, franchises, and all real and personal property between Fort Worth and Dallas. A Gazette representative, late last night, found Mr. Perkins, who said that the construction of the rapid transit was a settled fact, and the contracts for construction will soon be let, as there would be no unnecessary delay in the premises. The matter of grading has been practically determined, the bonds placed and the right-of-way, in the main, secured. He further states that all other necessary arrangements pertaining to the building of the line are about complete and, as the ordinance relating to the right-of-way through Fort Worth specifies that the road shall be completed within eight months. Mr. Perkins thinks it will be in operation by January next, possibly sooner. In compliance with the ordinance recently passed by the city council, the name of the road will be changed to the Fort Worth & Dallas Rapid Transit Company. The matter has, at last, assumed tangible shape and actual construction is a matter of only a short period. Another victory for Fort Worth.

- June 13, 1893, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 5, col. 1.
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An Interesting History of Street Railway
Building in Dallas and Those Who Pro-
moted and Carried Out the Enterprises,
History of the Different Railways.

     "Old Citizen," in an interview with a TIMES-HERALD reporter, submitted the following:
     "The locating of the street car lines of the city of Dallas, so as to connect the business with the suburban resident districts, proves that the projectors were men of no ordinary ability and forecast. Twenty years ago, when this metropolis was in its infancy, a street car system, which may be justly classed among the most important improvements of the city, and inaugurated by Col. W. J. Keller and his brother, Dr. C. E. Keller. In 1883, they purchased the Main street line, which was built by Capt. Swink, Col. Dent and others and located from the public square to the Houston & Texas Central railway.
     "In 1875, the Keller Bros. built the San Jacinto, two miles in length, running northeast and connecting the business portion of the city with the suburbs and opened up and improved Shady View park. In 1876 and 1877, they built the Ervay street road one and one-half miles in length, from the Windsor hotel, on Austin, Commerce and Ervay streets, and opened up the City Park, paying one-third of the purchase money and improving the property, and connected the center of Dallas with the waterworks, City park and the beautiful suburb known as the "Cedars." In 1881, the Keller Bros., Judge J. L. Henry and Col. W. B. Miller, the two latter having purchased an interest in the Main street railway, extended the road from the H. & T. C. railway along Main street, to the then city of East Dallas.
     "In 1885, Col. W. J. Keller, Judge Henry, Col. Miller, Judge Aldrich and Capt. Adams sold their interest in the Main and San Jacinto roads to Capt. Gaston, Mr. Royal Ferris and of J. N. Simpson -- Dr. Keller still remaining with the new company -- and they carried out the proposed plan, and connected the San Jacinto and Main street lines by a circuit on Washington avenue in East Dallas.
     "In 1882, Mr. Wm. Sanger, of Waco (a brother of Sanger Bros.), Mr. G. N. Quilman, and others, built the Belt Line railway on Lamar, McKinney avenue, Harwood, St. Louis, Akard and Jackson streets, and in 1884, sold said road to Mr. J. E. Henderson and others. In 1885, Capt. H. W. Keller sold the Ervay Street railway to Capt. W. C. Connor and Mr. T. J. Oliver and they sold to the Consolidated Railway company. In the spring of 1886, the Consolidated railway was formed by a consolidation of all the street railways then in operation. In 1883, the Rapid Transit railway was built by Mr. Luther Reese, agent of the Kansas City Investment Company, on Commerce, South Austin, Grand avenue and Exposition avenue, making a complete circuit and operated by electric power.
     "In 1889, the North Dallas Circuit Railway, to Fairland, was built by Mr. Royal Ferris and Mr. E. Sweeney. In 1890, the Live Oak, Bryan and Pearl street Railway was built by Mr. E. Sweeney, Mr. Thos. Trotman and others, but as yet, that road has never succeeded in getting nearer the business center than the postoffice, but will finally be connected with the Elm Street Electric Railway. It is now in the hands of Mr. Harry Keller, receiver, lately appointed to fill the vacancy caused by the death of his father, Col. W. J. Keller.
     "In 1890, the cable railway on Elm street originated with Dr. C. E. Keller and Mr. Hugh Harry in San Diego, and the Pacific Cable Construction Company of San Francisco, Cal. the company organized in Dallas, obtained charter and right of way for six miles of road, and but for an accident on the Seattle Cable Railway, preventing the sale of the bonds of the Pacific Cable Construction Company on that road, our Dallas cable railway would have been a success and in operation to-day. The cable enterprise was kept alive by Dr. Keller and Mr. A. W. Childress, after all others interested had abandoned it, and they finally turned over the cable road to the General Electric company, after $105,000 in cash had been expended, and the electric road was substituted, which is now being constructed under the supervision of Mr. Kenny McRae, and is soon to be in operation, and we hope and believe it will be one of the best and finest equipped roads in our country. When the Elm street railway is completed, Dallas will have forty-two miles of single track within her corporate limits. Among public improvements in cities, street railways are important and a necessity to the masses, and he who constructs and maintains these street car lines of a city, is a public benefactor.

- June 24, 1893, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 5, col. 1-2
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Dallas and Fort Worth to Be Closely
Connected and Perhaps
Other Texas Cities.

     The railroad reporter of the Fort Worth Gazette has been investigating with the following result:
     "It is now an assured fact that the Fort Worth and Dallas rapid transit line will be built this summer. The necessary capital has been secured and the construction arrangements nearly completed. The death of Mr. Perkins' mother has requred his presence at her bedside, and for this reason, the work has been delayed. As soon as he returns from the east, work will begin and the grading will be pushed as rapidly as the right of way can be secured. It has been almost definitely decided the motive power will be electricity and the overhead system of trolley wires will probably be used; but, there are some recent inventions somewhat on the principle of a storage battery, which are now being tested, and if any of these prove satisfactory, the best one will be chosen instead of the overhead system, owing to the saving in expense of the erection of trolley wires, provided such motor is proved to be efficient and reliable before the work of stringing the wires begins. It is said the company has ample means, and if this line proves a success, others-connecting cities as closely connected as Fort Worth and Dallas, or Houston and Galveston-will be constructed.     The new motor, which the company is said to have in view, is also under consideration by the St. Louis and Chicago Air Line Electric railway, and as this line is being constructed with a view to operating trains on a maximum speed of 100 miles an hour, the motor chosen for it will assuredly be adopted by the Fort Worth and Dallas Rapid Transit company, as it is desired to have this a rapid transit line in fact, as well as in name. The project is meeting with the cordial approval of the people along the line and the more especially, as it is no longer a questin of experiment, but an assured fact. It is said by many that this is only a scheme in the interest of some railroad companies to gain terminal facilities in Fort Worth and Dallas. This is not the case. While the road will be so built and equipped as to handle freight of all classes that may be consigned to it, it will have its own motive power which will be operated by its own men. It will accept business from railroads on regulard divisions, but will handle this busines itself."

- July 24, 1893, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 2, col. 1-2.
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     The "old reliable" Texas and Pacific is perhaps in better condition, boty physically and financially, than any other railroad west of the Mississippi river. It has never made any cut in salaries, and everybody is paid up promptly on the first of each month from one end of the road to the other, and this is something that can be said of very few roads in the country during these hard times. The Texas and Pacific goes even ahead improving and increasing its rolling stock, which keeps the shops running. It has three big new engines due to arrive in a few days. During the summer, a number of new bridges and depot buildings have been put up and the track placed in first class condition. The Texas and Pacific prepared for hard times in advance, and under the excellent management of General Superintendent, L. S. Thorne, it is pulling through in good shape, and will be in condition to enter upon an erea of genuine prosperity as soon as business eases up.

- September 5, 1893, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 1, col. 4.
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Receiver Atkins is Putting His Road on
a Fine Basis.

     Receiver Atkins of the Texas Trunk railroad says, that for the first time in the thirteen years of its existence, the Trunk paid all expenses and made some money during the year 1893. He looks forward to a still better business for 1894.

- January 6, 1894, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 8, col. 4.
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Disastrous Head-end Collision on
the Texas and Pacific.






Trainmen Jumped for Their Lives and
Were Uninjured -- Repairs Being
Made and Traffic May Be
Resumed To-night.

     About 3 o'clock this morning, at the cut four miles east of this city, near White Rock creek, a disastrous head-end collision took place on the Texas and Pacific railroad between local freight train No. 13, west bound, Conductor Bosley in charge, and No. 12, east bound, George Allen in charge.
     Engine No. 222, which was pulling train No. 13, was engineered by ------ Smith, with W. J. Paden, fireman. This train is said to have been the one most in fault, though the train dispatcher at Mesquite is said to have been the direct cause, by giving the order to go ahead.
Engine No. 202 was pulling train No. 12, with O. P. Cuberly at the throttle and B. F. Selson, fireman.
     Both engines are of the new series and known as Moguls. From the appearance of the wreck, the impact of the collision was terrific. Engine No. 202 was completely telescoped by a refrigerator car, and only the boiler is visible.
     Train No. 13 caught fire after the collision and two cars of block oil, two of merchandise and one of lumber, were consumed. The railroad track will also have to be re-laid for about fifty yards, where it was torn up and injured by fire.
     The appearance of things at the wreck would seem to indicate that engine No. 222 was going at a speed of about 15 miles an hour. It is completely demolished; the boiler torn to pieces and tender burned. The other engine is also badly injured. The loss to the railroad company is estimated at $50,000.
     A telegraph operator was early on the scene and an open air office soon in perfect working order and telegrams passing as though the office had been there for months. A large force of men were placed at work on the debris shortly after daylight, and by to-night, trains will probably be passing as usual.
     None of the trainmen sustained any serious injuries, for the engineers, seeing a collision was inevitable, reversed their engines and they and their firemen jumped for safety.

- January 13, 1894, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 1, col. 3-4.
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Trains Begin Running Regularly To-day,
Propelled By the Electric Current.
Many Changes Made in the Train
Service -- The New Regime.

     There was a change of motive power on the Oak Cliff railroad this morning. That line has evoluted from steam to electricity, and on and after to-day, electric cars will run every fifteen minutes.
     This road, which is now in the hands of St. Louis capitalists, with Mr. C. F. Carter, of Dallas, as vice president, and Mr. Siebert as superintendent, is called the Dallas and Oak Cliff Electric Railway Company.
     The new cars run between Dallas and Tyler station in Oak Cliff.
     The substitution of electricity for steam engines enables the road to give much more satisfactory service than formerly, and makes all points on the line of the road quite as accessible as points in the suburbs on this side [of] the river.
     All the electric cars on the road are new and of the latest improved styles.
     The change on the road lets out ten men, who were fixtures under the old arrangement.
     The opening of Cadiz street to the lower bridge, by the city, also very much shortens the distance between Dallas and Oak Cliff for those who travel by buggies, bicycles or horseback.

- October 9, 1894, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 6, col. 4.
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Added March 29, 2004:



Proposed Law to Have Cars Heated or
Closed from October 1 to April 1 -- Some
Call the Movement an Importa-
tion from the North.

     The Rogers bill, now pending in the Legislature, which proposes to fine any street railway company anywhere from $50 to $100 for failure to keep hot stoves in their cars from October 1 to April 1, is being adversely commented upon, not only by the street railway people, but by others.
     The proposed law is criticized as too sweeping, as it would be as uncomfortable to ride in a closed car with a red-hot stove during the hot days, which periodically come during the time specified, as it would to ride in a car without a stove during the coldest weather; in fact, the passenger would be more apt to catch cold in the former case, than in the latter.
     The opponents of the proposed statute declare that a law requiring street railway companies to have stoves in their cars when the temperature is below a certain point, would seem to be sufficient to cover the cases, if, indeed, any legislation, at all, is necessary on the point; that the Rogers bill seems to be an importation from Canada or Russia.

- February 14, 1895, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 2, col. 3.
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     Receiver S. P. Cochran, of the Consolidated street railway lines, has placed small anthracite coal stoves in several of the cars on his line, which are adding very much to the comfort of the public.

- February 14, 1895, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 2, col. 3-4.
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Added April 4, 2004:



Work Resumed Between Eagle Ford and
Fort Worth and to be Finished Within a
Month -- The Steel Rail Has Been
Ten Years in Texas.

     The work of laying the new track between Dallas and Fort Worth on the Texas & Pacific with the 75-pound steel rails, which was suspended several weeks ago at Eagle Ford, because of the severe winter weather, has been taken up, and is being pushed forward as rapidly as circumstances will permit. It is possible that the track will be completed to Fort Worth within a month. Railroad men say that re-laying a track, substituting one kind of rails for another, is more tedious and troublesome than building a new track.
     The evolution of railroad tracks from the old-fashioned iron rails, which have largely gone out of use, to the improved, heavy steel rail, is one of the greatest advances made in the history of railroading.
     Steel rails were first laid on Texas railroads about the year 1885, and are now used on most of the roads in the State. The 75-pound rails are considered heavy in the South, but on some of the roads in the Eastern States, steel rails, 200 pounds to the yard and 100 feet long, are used.

- February 23, 1895, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 2, col. 5.
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Added May 6, 2004:


Judge Gray Grants the Application of
the Bondholders.

     Judge Gray, of the Forty Fourth District Court, to-day, granted the application of the State Trust Company, of Boston, for a receiver of the Queen City railway property of Dallas.
     Judge Gray appointed Paul Furst receiver of the road, and set the bond at $50,000. The appointment will take effect as soon as Mr. Furst executes the bond and otherwise qualifies.

- April 17, 1895, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 2, col. 1.
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Added June 17, 2004:

Something About the Towns, Cities
and Counties Along This



The Ox-Cart Days of Northern Texas When
Jefferson Was the Commercial Center.
The Long Haul.

     On the Houston and Texas Central Railroad, Jan. 4. -- (Special correspondence.) -- Prior to the year 1872, the fertile black land section of the country lying between Dallas and Red river, and for hundreds of miles west, had no railroads. The carrying business was then confined to stage coaches for passengers and ox wagons for freight of all kinds. The counties of Dallas, Collin and Grayson, according to the census of 1870, had [an] aggregate population of 41,654, divided as follows: Dallas 13,314; Collin 14,013 and Grayson 14,327. Of these three fertile black land counties, Dallas had the smallest population prior to the advent of the Houston and Texas Central railroad. The 41,654 inhabitants of these three counties, in addition to thousands of other people in northern Texas counties prior to 1872, got all their supplies at Jefferson, Tex., sold all their cotton there, and also much other produce from their rich black land farms. These products were hauled were hauled by ox wagons mostly from 100 to 125 miles from the eastern Texas commercial Mecca of this immense section. During the decade from 1870 to 1880, the beginning of the railroad era in northern Texas, the aggregate population of the three counties above named, grew from 41,654 to 97,575, as given by the official census of 1880. Doubtless, this increase of nearly 56,000 people in three counties was due more to the advent of the Houston and Texas Central railroad than to any other cause. According to the census of 1890, these three counties had grown in population to 156,989, or an increase of nearly 60,000 over 1880.
     By the census of 1870, Dallas county had less population than either Collin or Grayson. In 1880, Grayson was the most populous county in Texas. By the census of 1890, Dallas county is the most populous, Grayson second, and Collin tenth.
     A quarter of a century ago, Jefferson, Tex., enjoyed the finest wagon trade that any town in the entire southwest ever had. Situated as it was, at the head of navigation on Cypress bayou, the Jeffersonians thought that no influence could ever be brought to bear upon their city that would detract from its importance as a commercial center. All the rich, luxuriant territory of northern and northwestern Texas, extending for 200 miles or more to the west was tributary to Jefferson. Train after train of big heavy wagon loads of cotton, flour or bacon, drawn by from four to six yoke of oxen, poured into Jefferson for over six months of the year. These wagons hauled out as heavy loads as they hauled in, carrying back merchandise or lumber to the rich black lands of Dallas, Collin, Grayson and other counties. This vast expanse of sparsely settled country was rich in grass and cattle prior to the war, and after the war closed, it began to develop into a fine farming country, also. For ten years following the close of the war, cotton sold for 15 to 20 cents per pound, and the wagon trains that usually came into Jefferson from the prairies represented hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of farm produce. Their loads out represented about as much in merchandise and lumber.
     Mr. F. E. Roberts, of Melissa, Collin county, is a native of this county, and from childhood, he used to accompany his father on his wagon trips to Jefferson. When 13 [years] of age, he was just in charge of a wagon and four yoke of oxen and made many trips to the eastern Texas mart before the Houston and Texas Central railroad penetrated northern Texas and diverted the great bulk of Jefferson and the pineries of eastern Texas during the ox cart days of Texas, prior to 1872:
     "Our route from this county to Jefferson was from McKinney to Farmersville, thence to Greenville, Black Jack Grove, Sulphur Springs, Winnsboro, Connersville, Mount Pleasant, Daingerfield and Jefferson. These were the principal points on our route. There were regular camping places along the route, usually on some running branch or creek where water and fuel could be had. I remember, particularly well, Four Mile branch, our first camping place after leaving Jefferson. We would spend the forenoon in trading and getting our wagons loaded, and drive out to Four Mile branch and camp. Loller's store, situated in the timber some distance east of Sulphur Springs, was another popular camp ground, as was the bank of Sabine river, below Greenville, and Sorrell's store on Pilot creek, Collin county, the last camp on our return trip. It took from three to four weeks to make a trip. Sometimes, the ground was so soft outside of the beaten path, that we would leave our wagons right in the middle of the road all night when we went into camp. Our load-down was usually cotton, but sometimes, we took flour, corn or bacon, which we usually sold before reaching Jefferson. We would frequently go down to the saw mills this side of Jefferson, where we would generally trade our flour and bacon for lumber. When we went to Jefferson, we always returned with a load of merchandise for merchants in our section. We got $2 per 100 pounds on freight from Jefferson and the same rate on cotton or other produce we carried down. A 500-pound bale of cotton cost $10 to get it to Jefferson. About 1000 pounds to each yoke of oxens was put on.
     "Our wagons were of the old wooden axle style and a tar bucket swung beneath from the coupling pole. Pine tar was the axle lubricator of those days, and was also a popular and efficacious salve for all sorts of injuries to our oxen or other domestic animals. If an ox happened to get a horn knocked off, as was rather frequently done when long horn steers were in vogue, the stub was wrapped with a rag saturated in pine tar and soon healed up. The saw mill men usually gave us all the tar we needed, whenever we bought a bill of lumber. On our return trips, we would also throw a lot of rich pine knots upon our wagons, which we used for kindling and lights. Sassafras roots we often brought home from the sandy hills of western Texas, also. We never failed to provide ourselves with a good lot of hickory axe handle timber, for home-made axe handles were mostly used then, and the forests of eastern Texas furnished our nearest supply of good hickory.
     "We usually went into camp from an hour before, to an hour after, sundown, according to the time we reached one of our regular camp grounds. We seldom had such a thing as a tent, but frequently took along an extra wagon sheet, upon which a pallet was made in front of a big fire. We enjoyed our camp life and generally went in gangs of a half dozen or more wagons. We would organize into messes of about four to a mess, and divide the work among us. Two would look after the oxen and the other two would do the cooking, make down pallets and get the wood.
     "We frequently had a fiddler and his violin along, and music, laughter, jest and anecdote occupied our leisure moments until bed-time. Card playing for amusement was also a popular pastime. Sometimes, on the return trip, there would be a barrel or two of whisky on some of the wagons, and the bibulously inclined never failed to sample it. The most usual way of doing this was by making a small hole in the barrel with a nail and inserting an oat straw or a goose quill and extracting the beverage by suction. Occasionally, some teamster would suck too long and get tipsy; but, he was generally sober enough by morning to navigate.
     "We usually had breakfast over with, and were ready to pull out of camp by sunrise or a little after, but sometimes, a missing yoke of oxens would necessitate a delay. On one occasion, I remember our crowd was detained two days in camp for a missing yoke of steers. Most of the freighting was done from 'the rising of the grass' about April 1, to about Nov. 1. We never had to feed oxen during this period, as grazing was good all over the country at this time, and they kept fat on the grass they got at night. We usually traveled eighteen to twenty miles a day. When we stopped to go into camp, the oxen were unyoked and necked together with a necking-stick with a raw-hide through at each end. A bell was put on one ox and his yoke fellow was hobbled with a raw-hide strap; yet, even with these precautions, a yoke of oxen would sometimes hide out and be hard to find. They would learn to walk so lightly in the deep sand of eastern Texas, that their bells would not rattle. Sometimes, they would lie perfectly still for hours in a thicket and thus evade pursuit. I have known as many as fifty-two yoke of oxen turned loose from one camp, carrying with them, fifty-two bells, and strange as it may seem, every teamster could recognize his own ox bells in this melody of twinkling sounds. It reminded me of a gigantic charivari party serenading some luckless couple in an eastern Texas forest.
     "We always carried axes, a saw, hatchet and one or two augers along. I remember on one trip, we came up with a freighter who had on a big load of cotton -- nine bales -- and one of the main pieces of his cotton frame was broken. It was a sort of unwritten law among us to always render any teamster whatever assistance he needed, in case of a break down or other accident; so, we went to work to repair his cotton frame. A yoke of oxen and two men were sent back to a creek bottom three miles distant to procure a suitable piece of timber, out of which to make a duplicate of the broken part. This was drawn into camp, hewn to proper size, the necessary holes bored and pegs made for holding the bales of cotton, and the entire job completed before morning, but we worked nearly all night on it.
     "We had a great many inconveniences to contend with in those ante-railroad days, to be sure, but I believe we were as happy then as now. If a man was out of money, all he had to do was to get up a team and go to hauling between Jefferson and the prairies. He could get credit sufficient to outfit himself if he was an industrious, honest man, and he could make good money at freighting. Of course, I would not like to see the same condition of things exist again. Indeed, ox wagons could hardly supply this country now with goods, nor could they carry the crops of northern Texas to market, as they once did, when the population was less than one-third what it now is."
     The above statements give one a good idea of the condition of northern Texas prior to the advent of the Houston and Texas Central railroad in 1872. Now, a yoke of long horn steers is rarely seen in this section, and the old-time heavy freight wagons of that period, with the inevitable tar bucket swinging beneath, have been entirely supplanted by the light two-horse farm wagons. Population has nearly quadrupled in this rich section, numerous new towns have sprung up along this line of railroad, and old towns on the route have grown to several times their former size. These features will be noted more fully in succeeding articles relative to the Houston and Texas Central railroad.

- January 5, 1896, The Dallas Morning News, p. 4, col. 1-2.
- o o o -



Cars are Run by a Regular Dispatcher--Some-
thing About the Rules the Company has

     Cars of the Northern Texas Traction company have been running regularly since June 30 and officials of the company are much pleased with the business that has already been developed. The regular inter-urban cars run between Fort Worth and the foot of Commerce street, and smaller cars run from Jefferson street on Commerce to Prather street, where a cut-off enables them to return to connect with the regular inter-urban cars.
     Cars leave Commerce and Jefferson streets for Fort Worth every two hours, between 6 o'clock in the morning and 10 o'clock at night. The schedule between Dallas and Fort Worth is, at present, one hour and forty minutes. After the transformers are put in, which is expected to be done in a few days, the time will be shortened to one hour and fifteen minutes. The fare is 70 cents one way, or $1.40 for the round trip. Cars stop in Oak Cliff at the Fifth, Tenth and Tyler street stations.
     The cars are run under railroad rules by a dispatcher who can communicate by phone with any station on the line at a moment's notice.

- July 6, 1902, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 16, col. 7.
- o o o -



Commissioner Pippin Says Interurban
Will Not Use Highway.

     According to the county commissioners, citizens of Irving and that community need not worry over a permit being issued a certain interurban railroad to use the county road for the building of its track. A petition was filed by Irving citizens with the commissioners on Saturday, asking that such permission be not granted, and showing cause.
     It is stated in the petition that the county road has been improved recently, at great cost to the county, and that it is now in good condition for travel to and from the city; that should the permit be granted, the railroad company to build their track over the road. People traveling in vehicles would be compelled to use either side of the highway, and that such would put them to great hardship, etc. The meat of the petition is contained in the following:
     "The cost of a right of way is such a small amount compared with the cost of constructing the highway that we realize that if the builders of the interurban line desire to construct same, they will not stand back on account of the failure of the people to donate a right of way."
     Commissioner Pippin said this morning that he had informed several residents of the Irving community that a permit to use the county road in the building of the interurban line, would not be granted, and that they need not fear that it would be, nor petition the court again not to allow it.
     "That road has been improved at a great cost," said Mr. Pippin, "as the petition states, and it would be foolish for this court to allow it to be torn up to permit the interurban people to lay their rails. It is needless apprehension on the part of the Irving citizenship, for as far as I am concerned, such a permit will never be granted, and I am positive the other members of the court are of the same opinion."

- October 7, 1907, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 2, col. 6.
- o o o -



Some Data From Minutes of Dallas
City Council.



For Many Years Texas and Pacific Railroad
Used Pacific Avenue Without Any
Legal Right.

     The city of Dallas and the Texas and Pacific railroad have had some interesting relations.
     The minutes of the city council meeting of Oct. 24, 1872, contain the following:
     "The mayor was instructed to notify the authorities of the Texas and Pacific Railway company that the right of way through the city on said Pacific avenue was now secured."
     The petition of Messrs. McCoy and McCoy and Messrs. Good and Bower, attorneys for the Pacific Railroad company, praying the council to confirm the ordinance granting the right of way for the use of their railroad eighty feet wide along the main trunk of their road now designated through Pacific avenue filed.
     "An ordinance granting the right of way to the Texas and Pacific Railway company read once and laid on the table.
     "Referred to special committee: Alderman Austin, Cappy and Bryan."
     On Feb. 18, 1873, the council adopted as part of its minutes, the following:
     "It is hereby ordered that the following be spread upon the minutes of this council as a matter of permanent record, with a view of fully explaining the recording of a supposed ordinance by the secretary in the book of ordinances, on page 183, entitled, 'An ordinance granting the right of way to the Texas and Pacific Railroad company through the city of Dallas."
     Statement of C. S. Mitchell, secretary of the city council of Dallas:
I, C. S. Mitchell, secretary of the city council of Dallas, do make the following statement: Upon taking charge of the office of city secretary, as successor to R. S. Druley, I found in the secretary's desk, a manuscript paper, purporting to be an ordinance granting the right of way to the Texas and Pacific Railroad company, through the city of Dallas.
     Approved Oct. 15, 1872.
     (Signed) H
     Attest: R. S. D
RULY, Secretary.

Had Never Become Law.
     Supposing the signatures genuine, I copied the same in ordinance book, page 183. Upon examining it afterwards, the minute book containing the proceedings of the city council, I found said supposed ordinance had only been read over, and was not, under the rules, an ordinance. I called upon my predecessor, R. S. Druley, and showed him this discrepancy, and he assured me the signature, R. S. Druley, secretary, also, Henry S. Ervay, mayor, were not genuine, but was in the handwriting of John M. McCoy, city attorney, and that said supposed ordinance had never become a law. I, therefore, wrote across the face of the page of the ordinance book, "Void, void, void." And his honorable mayor, Ben Long, is privy to the whole matter as detailed by me.
     Attest: C. S. M

     Nothing further in the interesting matter transpired until the council meeting held on April 24, 1874. A part of the minutes of that session is given below:
     "On motion, the communication of Messrs. Throckmorton and Brown, attorneys for the Texas and Pacific Railroad company, be received and be spread upon the minutes of this meeting:
     "To the Honorable Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Dallas: As attorneys for the Texas and Pacific Railroad company, we state that the company claims no right, title or claim in Pacific avenue in your said city, except as a right of way over the same, under the laws of the State of Texas and the ordinances of your city.
     Attorneys for the Texas and Pacific
     Railway Company."

Without an Ordinance.
     After this, it has been developed by Charles T. Morriss, who is codifying the city's ordinances, that the Texas and Pacific operated its trains through the city of Dallas for sixteen years without any legal rights whatever. Finally, on April 21, 1890, the mayor approved an ordinance granting the Texas and Pacific the privilege of double-tracking on Pacific avenue from end to end. The foregoing minutes Mr. Morriss regards as being among the most interesting with which he has come in contact.

- May 31, 1908, Dallas Daily Times Herald,
Magazine Section, p. 1, col. 7.
- o o o -

History of Local Street Car System
From Mules to Skip-Stop is Romance


Through Varying Fi-
nancial Fortunes Dal-
las Transportation
System Grows in 45
Years From Pigmy
To Giant.


 The photograph taken at the Elm street car barns shows the evolution of local traction conveniences. The cars aligned are the mule cars, the original type of electric car and the modern street car, in general use here today.

     The growth of the Dallas street railway system, from a single-track, mule-car line on Main street in 1872, with a capital of about $1,000 to the present intricate, expanding electrified-system, with 188 cars in active operation, employing 1,050 men and valued at $8,763,259.07, July 11, 1919, has been marked by a haphazard, unregulated, changeable, unprofitable history. The expansion of the Dallas street railway system has followed in the footsteps of the haphazard development of the city's streets. As a result of this, practically every carline in the city twists and turns and turn like a snake in agony. Recent routings and planning of the street car lines have done much to eliminate excessive windings through alleys and back streets and most of the lines, today, are on the principal streets of the city, even if they do squirm.
     The financial history of the city's car lines, as they have been juggled from one company to another, in and out of bankruptcy, has been as changeable as vari-colored epidermis of the chameleon, except that the monetary side of the street system's growth has never had a profitable hue for any long period of time. The most encouraging times that the owners of the city's street car lines have experienced was under the management of Stone & Webster, from 1902 to 1915. "Competition is the life of trade," is an oft-expressed phrase which has been worked overtime without double pay; but, competition among the street car lines of Dallas has left in its wake, receivers. The early competition, however, did much for the expansion of the street car system as speculators were always taking a chance on a new line to a carless section of the city.

First Street Car Line.
     The first street car line in Dallas was the best planned that the city has ever had. It was built on Main street and extended from the county court house to the old union station. Over this line, two small Mexican burros, traveling at a sweeping gallop on planks twelve inches wide (to keep them from slipping into unfathomable mud holes), drew a small car, with a capacity of sixteen people over a pair of almost wire-like rails. If it happened to jump the track, it was not necessary to call a trouble car. The passengers were ordered to unload, and the driver, unassisted, lifted it back on the tracks.
     Col. J. D. Dent, who came to Dallas from Massachusetts, and G. M. Swink, were interested in the first car line.
     The Dent interests in the first line were sold to Col. Wm. J. Kellar, a man with considerable capital, from Mississippi. Col. Kellar built the first section of the San Jacinto line and made extensions to the existing system to Shadyview Park and several other parts of the city. Col. Kellar was joined by his brother, Dr. C. E. Kellar, in the street car business, and while they were partners, built the Ervay street line from the corner of Main and Ervay streets to the north line of the city limits at Corsicana and Ervay streets. The Kellar interests were later bought by T. J. Oliver and W. C. Connor. Mr. Connor, since his entering the street car business in Dallas, was identified with it in various capacities until October, 1917.

Mule Car Lines Consolidate.
     The year 1887 found the four strongest mule-car lines, the Dallas Street Railway company, Dallas City Railway company, Commerce-Ervay Street Railway company and the Belt Line Street Railway company, consolidated under the name, Dallas Consolidated Street Railway company. The chief Dallas stockholders in these lines were Royal A. Ferris, John N. Simpson, T. J. Oliver, W. C. Connor, Snyder & Davis and Sanger Brothers. The Consolidated company failed to meet its obligations and went into bankruptcy in 1890. Sam P. Cochran was appointed as receiver, and after two years of strenuous effort, the Consolidated company was revived and re-organized as the Dallas City Railway company. It was hardly out of the hands of the receiver until a heavy judgment for damages against it caused the company to fail again.
     The Queen City Railway company, a new company, failed at about the same time. The Queen City was a cable line company and an immense amount of money was spent on equipping barns at the corner of Elm and Peak streets and the installing of an underground cable system on Elm street. No cable cars were ever run on the line. The company was re-organized, and later on, its lines were electrified. The line ran up Elm street on Live Oak and Bryan to Peak street, and a branch of the latter line on Pearl at Live Oak street, extended to McKinney avenue.

Three Steam Lines.
     During the years 1889-91, three dummy lines or steam railroads, were in operation in Dallas and Oak Cliff. The first of these was put in operation by T. L. Marsalis, an enterprising real estate man. He built a steam line from Jefferson street in Oak Cliff to Dallas. He also made Forest Park an attractive spot. The North Dallas Circuit Railway company, which was owned by Royal A. Ferris, built a dummy line to North Dallas, following to some extent, the present Highland Park line. The other dummy line was built by B. S. Waltham and others and was known as the South Belt line, and the name of his company was the Rapid Transit Railway company. The South Belt dummy line drew its last breath when the engine and car left the track and was wrecked against the curb in front of the Windsor Hotel at the corner of Austin and Commerce streets. The equipment was never replaced until the line was electrified.

Lines Electrified.
     Beginning in the year 1892, electricity was introduced in Dallas as a motive power, and during the following decade, all the lines in Dallas were electrified. The early electric system was excessively erratic and the power would be off for hours at a time. The mule-cars were not abolished entirely, and when the electric cars would be standing dead on the line, the mule cars would encircle them and proceed on their way. The mule car drivers used to laugh at the electric car men when the new power was first introduced, in much the same way as the farmer used to, when he saw the autoist stuck hub deep in a mud hole. There was keen competition between the mule car and electric lines for a number of years. Many cases of fistic encounters are on the record of the city between the drivers of these competing cars. Their ballyhooing at the Fair grounds used to run something like this: "Take the mule car! to the c-i-t-y, it g-e-t-s you t-h-e-r-e," and "al-a-board the e-l-e-c-t-r-i-c to the city in t-e-n m-i-n-u-t-e-s!"

An Equinoctical Period.
     The period of 1892 to 1898 was an equinoctical one in the history of the Dallas street car lines. The mule cars were too slow for the long hauls and the electric cars were unsatisfactory, as yet. The steam lines gave no promise to supplant either for localized transportation. The Queen City Railway company and the Dallas Consolidated Railway company, which was composed of four of the largest lines in the city, were in the hands of receivers. Other lines were struggling for an existence. Clouds of black cats filled the financial skies of the street car lines, and every day seemed to be Friday, the 13. C. E. Bird was receiver for the largest lines.
     The situation was brought to a head in 1898, when C. H. Alexander purchased all the lines in the city, except the Oak Cliff (North Texas Traction company), South Belt line (Rapid Transit company) and the North Belt line (Metropolitan Street Railway company). The system was greatly improved under this ownership, but the entire system changed hands again in 1901, when G. V. Van Ginkel and associates, from Iowa, purchased the lines.
     In [the] same year of 1901, P. S. Dupont, of Wilmington, Delaware, came to Dallas, and after intensive and extensive preparations, began the construction of a South Belt line to compete with existing companies. An almost guerrilla warfare ensued between the Dupont company, the Dallas City Railway company and other lines. Fights were numerous and some of the stretches of track were laid under cover of darkness.

Stone & Webster Gets Control.
     In 1902, the brainiest street railway engineers in the United States, Stone & Webster, came to Dallas, and the result was the taking over of all the street car lines on the Dallas side of the Trinity river under one general management, although not pooled in interests. Their business was kept separate. Under this general management were the Dallas City Railway company (consisting of four former companies): Rapid Transit company, Metropolitan Street Railway company (owned by A. K. Bonta), the Electric Light & Power company and the Terminal company.
     E. T. Moore was general manager of these lines and continued in that position until October, 1917. He was connected with the Consolidated companies during the receivership of C. E. Bird and managed the lines through their numerous changes of ownership. Mr. Moore took hold of the managership of the Dallas street car lines in one of the stormiest periods of their history, and although they had a varied career, it was the tide of fortune that went against the lines and not the fault of the management of the companies. When Stone & Webster took over the lines, Mr. Moore began to improve them, and for fifteen years, the Dallas street railway system grew and expanded into the huge system which now radiates to every section of Dallas and suburbs. During the Stone & Webster ownership, every foot of line in the city was replaced and the entire system rebuilt.
     In October, 1917, the General Electric interests purchased the Stone & Webster holdings, and all the Dallas lines were finally consolidated in every detail under the name of the Dallas Railway company. In order to make the control of all street car lines in Dallas complete, the Oak Cliff line was leased from the North Texas Traction company. Richard Meriwether was made general manager of the new company. The Oak Cliff line, after many changes in ownership, came under the control of Stone & Webster, previous to it being leased to the Dallas Railway company.
     The present company has been an aggressive one and is taking an active part in the development of the city. There are 188 double truck cars and twelve one-man or safety-cars in active service today. The city is literally honeycombed with 90.5 miles of track. Long stretches of the tracks are being replaced at the present time with new and heavier rails. Fifty-one miles of this track is on paved streets. Eight work cars are kept busy all the time. There are thirty-six old single-truck cars in the barns that are used in emergencies, but are not fit for regular service. The company also owns twenty single-truck and eleven double- truck open cars, which are used on rush days during the State Fair of Texas.
     Extensions which are planned for the immediate future are:
     Extension to Oakland cemetery, which will connect with the South Belt line at Forest avenue; an extension of the Lake avenue line to the city hospital; an extension of the Oak Lawn line to Dallas University; an extension of the Seventh street line in Oak Cliff and a probable extension to Mount Auburn from the Fair Grounds.

"Uncle" Geo. Mitchell and Others.
     The transportation business of Dallas requires the services of 1,050 employes, probably the largest number employed by any one concern in Dallas. Some of these employes have been working on the Dallas car lines from the mule-car days to the present time. "Uncle" George Mitchell, who is now pensioned by the car company, has worked on the local car lines for thirty-three years. This service was not continuous, as he left the employ of the street car companies from 1891 to 1895. The next oldest man in the service is "Shorty" D. L. Wilson, still active after about twenty-five years of service. He is conductor on the Main street line. The other old men in the service, and the lines on which they are now working, are: conductors, Dallas lines, S. W. Henry, 18 years; Highland Park; E. A. Hensell, 18 years, Highland Park; D. W. Johnson, 18 years, extra runs; motormen: P. B. McKee, 21 years, Highland Park; Sam Pratley, 20 years, New Main; J. B. Dooley, 19 years, Highland Park; Harry F. Smith, 19 years, South Belt; D. M. Bouland, 19 years, Highland Park; Oak Cliff lines, conductor; J. B. Keahey, 16 years and motorman, A. Trotter, 25 years.

- July 13, 1919, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. II, p. 11, col. 1-5.
- o o o -

Passengers and Mules Pulled
Together in Old Days of Car
Service on Dallas Streets


     In their meditations, as they hang on Dallas street car straps, car riders sometime wonder how the Dallas Railway Company started. A glance back through the haze of rate controversies with the city commission, recalled by the present little misunderstanding, discloses some interesting facts concerning origin of the system.
     There are many persons living in Dallas now, who can remember when they used to stand on street corners and wait for cars more than forty years ago. Instead of the gentle sighs heaved by the modern little green-runners as they approach the waiting car riders, in those days, were warned by ringing of bells.
     Dallas streets were not as noisy then, as they are now, and waiting passengers could hear a tinkle-tinkle around the corner. In a few minutes, here would come a street car pulled by two patient little mules. Mule cars, the first form of street transportation, made debut in Dallas in 1874.
     Captain W. H. Gaston built the first car line, laying a track along Main street, from the court house, to what was then the Union Depot. The old depot now stands in the regions of "Deep El-lum" and no longer serves as the gateway to Dallas.
     Main street was not surfaced with smooth asphalt in those ancient days. In fact, mud was so deep in places, that wide planks were put down between tracks so the little mules could get a toe-hold. When the cars were so overloaded, they would not roll over hills; it was not uncommon for the more athletic passengers to get out and assist progress by pushing.

* * *

Day of the Nickel.
     In 1876, Col. W. J. Keller extended Dallas car service by building the San Jacinto line out as far as Washington avenue, a great distance those days. At the end of the line stood a resort known to old timers as "Shady View Park." On Sundays and holidays, many fares were collected when Dallasites donned their Sunday clothes and took outings.
     The nickel was still in full flower and was accepted unquestioned by the conductors and counted by car officials without worrying over depreciation reserves, property valuation, federal courts, and service-at-cost plans that now afford so much vexation for them and the city fathers.
     In those good old days, it was not necessary to be acquainted with the conductor in order to get him to stop for you, as many patrons of the car system say it is now. In many instances, a lonesome mule-driving pilot, trotting in from the suburbs, would overtake a pedestrian and---"Whoa, Say how about a ride? It's just five cents?" Sometimes, the pedestrian fell for the luxury and rode into town on the rail--sometimes not.
     The next car line to become a part of the Dallas system led out Ervay street to the City Park, the southern-most boundary of the city. Later, citizens along Harwood street, St. Louis street, back up Akard and McKinney, were favored with a belt line. Mules were still in use on all lines.
     The next progressive step for the car system was the introduction of steam cars. Their substitution for the mules followed the first effort made in Dallas to bring all lines under one management. In 1887, J. E. Henderson formed the Consolidated Street Railway Company by uniting the Dallas Street Railway Company, Dallas City Railway Company and Commerce and Ervay Street and Belt Line Company.

* * *

Steam Engines Used.
     The first steam engines, known as "dummies," were introduced in 1888 on the North Dallas Circuit. These engines would be considered crude affairs in this age of modern equipment, but passengers of mule cars were astonished at their speed, and at the improvement they made over mule transportation.
     The engines were not used, but a year before the age of electricity dawned, the trolley wires were strung above the tracks. The first electric line was built to Fairland, a North Dallas suburb, in 1889. The company known as the Rapid Transit Railway Company, was built in 1888 and began using electricity in 1890.
     The North Dallas Railway Company was formed in 1890, by E. Sweeney, and a line was built over Pearl and Ervay streets using electricity. At that time, mules were still doing duty on several lines. Where a citizen lived in a neighborhood traversed by both forms of transportation, car riders would walk over and board the more up-to-date cars. Mule cars fast lost their prestige.
     The first appearance of the General Electric Company in Dallas was with the Queen City Railway Company, evolved by the Boston corporation in 1893. Of course, it used electricity. Its track was on Elm street in the downtown district and was later extended to the Fair Grounds. This company is now the virtual owner of the entire Dallas system.
     The Dallas Consolidated Company gradually spread its lines out as far as Swiss avenue. Becoming more dignified, the company changed its name to the Dallas Consolidated Traction Company and elected C. H. Alexander president. The company, in 1898, took over the Queen City lines and the North Dallas Railway Company's property, and again, the name was changed--this time, to the Dallas Consolidated Street Railway Company.

* * *

Electricity Comes.
     In 1898, just after these big transactions took place, G. Van Ginkel, a well-remembered pioneer in the Dallas street car business, appeared on the scene. He bought out C. H. Alexander and became president of the lines. It was in the year 1898, that the last little mule was taken out of harness and all Dallas car riders were hurried to their destinations by electricity. More cars were put in service and schedules were speeded up.
     In 1898, an eventful year in the local street car history, the holdings again changed hands and Pierre S. Dupont became president. Stone & Webster, one of the world's largest street car corporations, in the year 1902, came into control of most Dallas lines. The close of this year marked a new era in the system and the tracks and cars took on real earmarks of the modern system. Some of the cars in use then, are still carrying Dallas passengers.
     In 1900, there were forty-eight miles of tracks in Dallas. At this time, there are ninety-eight. The company was working 150 men. It is now working more than 1,000. The cars in those days were open at each end and conductors collected fare. All patrons of Dallas lines are now familiar with the fact that nickels and pennies fall into the cash boxes untouched by the conductorly hands.
     Stone & Webster controlled the Dallas system for several years. There were different divisions of the system. There were the Dallas Consolidated Electric Railway company with Ed T. Moore, secretary and manager; the Rapid Transit company, managed by C. F. Freeman; Dallas and Oak Cliff Electric Railway Company, H . C. Scott of St. Louis, president and B. F. Sibert, of Oak Cliff, superintendent. The first line in Oak Cliff had been built in 1887. Electric cars were first used on that side of the river in 1894.
     The system, as it now stands, known as the Dallas Railway company, operates all lines in Dallas. The last independent line was eliminated when Belmont and Vickery suburban shuttle cars were taken over this year. The track still belongs to the private concerns, and Mayor Aldredge's effort to have the company take over ownership of these lines, forms one of the points of dispute in the present controversy.
     The Dallas Railway company is operated under a franchise granted C. W. Hobson and J. F. Strickland in 1917, after a vote of the people. Granting of this franchise marked consolidation of all companies then operating in Dallas. Ownership passed from Stone & Webster to the General Electric company and its subsidiaries, Stone & Webster, through the North Texas Traction company, still owns the tracks in Oak Cliff and the Oak Cliff viaduct. For this reason, that company will rebuild the viaduct when the rebuilding finally takes place.

- June 11, 1922, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. I, p.11, col. 1-2.
- o o o -



Dallas, Business Center of South, Has
Only One Train Dispatcher's Office


Control Board at
Texeco Keeps
Tab on Both Elec-
tric and Steam


Diminutive Shack North of
City "Nerve System" of
Transportation Lines


Plans to Keep His
Youngster From
Railroading, Fu-
tile; Now He's a


"Texeco" on the Katy--location of the only train dispathcers'
office of which Dallas can boast. It's out in the "tall grass,"
but is just as efficient as any of the big division point offices.
The motor train may be seen on its way to Dallas.

     "Dallas from A to Z" is a folder issued by the Chamber of Commerce.
     It vouchsafes the information that there are nine steam railroad trunk lines radiating in and out of the metropolis of Texas.
     Statistics contained in it are to the effect that there are 108 passenger trains running over these lines, carrying, in addition to day coaches, chair cars and Pullmans, 238 express and mail cars every day.
     There is no specific information as to the number of freight trains, but it is stated that there are no fewer than 189 "package cars" handled, all of them carrying freight.
     Six electric lines run 18 freight trains and 258 passenger trains daily.
     And yet---
     Dallas has only one train dispatcher's office.
     Know what, or who, a train dispatcher is?
     He's the fellow who handles all these trains--that is, he and his kind does.
     But, more of that later on.
     This is to be about the particular dispatchers--there are two of them--who, every day, occupy the lone dispatcher's office, of which Dallas may boast.
     It's a unique office in more ways than one.
     First of all, it really isn't much of an office, as offices go, and referring particularly to architectural style, size and appearance. In so far as efficiency is concerned, it's on a parity with any of them.
     It is unique in that it is just one of two in the United States, so far as is known here, from which both steam and electric trains are operated. The other one, it is said, is at Cincinnati, and the dual arrangement there applies to a shorter stretch of track.
     Father and son are its occupants, and their full names, including initials, can be spelled with only five letters--another thing unique.
     Federal inspectors, working out of the Interstate Commerce Commission offices, pay it regular visits, just as they do the big division points, because the diminutive Dallas office conforms, in every particular, to I. C. C. requirements.
     This preamble has reference to the dispatcher's office located at Texeco, Tex., which is on the line of, and part of, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas railway system.
     The name of the station comes from the chartered title of the concern which electrified the Katy line between Dallas and Denton, four years ago, when electric interurban cars began traversing the track.


     Texeco is located outside the city limits, as prescribed by charter lines, but there are cozy cottage homes within a stone's throw. It sits at the junction of the Denton interurban tracks with those of the Katy railroad, where they come together in Maple Lawn, some 100 or so feet west of the roadway between Maple and Lemmon avenues, on which is located the Maple Lawn school. You wouldn't know what it was, though, if it wasn't pointed out to you. From the outside, it looks like a switch shanty, but inside, it's a regular dispatcher's office, with a desk plenty big enough to hold the train sheet, the order books, the telephone control board, and all the rest of the equipment required for the proper running of trains.
     From it, there are controlled seventy-eight trains a day, including sixty-four electric passenger trains, four steam passenger trains, two steam freight trains and eight electric express and baggage trains.
     The lines are those between Dallas and Denton, and between Dallas and Terrell. All the steam trains, of course, [are] on the Denton line, and that is where the dispatchers have to watch their step, just as they do on the main trunk lines--only more so, at times.
     It's a sixteen-hour vigil for this father and son pair of train movers--eight hours for each, as there are only two "tricks," as against the usual three in other dispatchers' offices. This is due to the falling off in traffic after 10 p. m., when the interurban cars begin to come down to the minimum.

Father and son -- the men who preside in the pigmy operating office. At the left is J. E. Jay, Jr., while at
right is "J. E. J." Sr.

     And, there it might be that their names should go in.
     "J. E. J." are the initials you'll see in the train order book and on the train sheet, where the names of dispatchers are always written in, and when you pronounce them, you will have uttered the full name of the Dallas workers. J. E. Jay, Sr., is "first trick man," working equal from 6 a. m. until 2 p. m. J. E. Jay, Jr., is second trick man, from 2 until 10 p. m. It is merely a coincidence that they are working together.
     There is a rule about nepotism on Texas railroads. It is to the effect that no relative may be employed in a department under another relative. It doesn't apply to the Messrs. Jay, because each has equal authority with the other. Each is the arbiter supreme during his hours of service.
     Jay, the elder, has, at different times, been connected with various railroads in the Southwest. When the junior was a lad, along about 15 or 16, the Jays were located at LaFayette, Louisiana. Plans were that the junior should become a medical man. But, he had already learned how to sell tickets, and one day, in an emergency, his dad let him go to another station down the line to help out.
     That's where the elder's plans to keep the younger away from the telegraph profession, went wrong.
     Before he knew it, almost, J. E. J., Jr., had mastered the mystery of the Morse dots and dashes, and it wasn't much longer before he was a "regular" train dispatcher---was running trains, in fact, at the age of 18. Prior to coming to Dallas in 1924, when the Denton interurban line began operation, he had had experience at various points on the Southern Pacific, including one post in Mexico, at Denison and elsewhere. It may be remarked that J. E. J., Jr., is keenly interested in the Junior Chamber of Commerce work, and is an active member of the Dallas body.
     So much for the dispatchers. Now, about the trains and the stations, and the way the former are operated through the latter.

Top right: porition of the dispatchers' train sheet, by which the exact location of every train on the division can be seen at a
glance. Below: A meeting point. The motor train takes the siding at Rose Lawn -- formerly Letot--to let the steam train through.

     On the Denton line, there are 37.5 miles of track. Over it, move, as has been said, four steam passenger trains every day, with two steam freight trains and four electric express trains.
     During the sixteen hours between 5:45 a. m. and 11:15 p. m., sixteen electric passenger trains move out of Dallas over the line, leaving forty-five minutes past each hour. From the Denton end, the same thing occurs from 5:50 a. m. to 10:50 p. m.
     All these trains must be maintained on such schedule as will permit them to meet and pass each other where there are properly located sidetracks. In addition, they must be figured in connection with the steam trains, and meeting points arranged with them.
     Such meeting points are figured upon each time a new time card goes into effect, and if trains would just run always according to schedule, the dispatcher's job would be a sinecure. But, they won't---can't, in fact, when it comes to freight trains, where there's more or less switching to be done at every station.
     In order that the dispatcher may be able to see at a glance where every train on the line is located, he has a "train sheet" spread out before him. It's about three feet long and eighteen inches wide. Down its center, are the names of all the stations, with their distance from the terminal point. The trains are listed under their proper numbers, on either side of the stations--north bound on one side, and south bound on the other. As each train passes a given station, that station gives the time of passing, and it is set down on the train sheet by the dispatcher.
     Stations on the Denton line, and between the two terminals, are Love Field, Rose Lawn, Farmers Branch, Carrollton, Trinity Mils, Lewisville, Lake Dallas and Corinth. Deny is another. It's right down in the local yards, however, where the Denton line branches off from the main line, just north of the big Burrus elevator.
     And to digress, Rose Lawn isn't a new station.


Highway map showing Roselawn & Letot in 1936

     Old-timers knew it as Letot. It was named for a pioneer French family, but, its name has been changed. Now, it's Rose Lawn on all time tables and all train sheets.
     It's a regular meeting point for the motor train that leaves Dallas at 8:45 each morning. The motor takes siding at Rose Lawn to let the regular morning passenger train from Wichita Falls to Dallas come through.


     In addition to operating both steam and electric trains over the Denton division, the two dispatchers control the electric power from the pigmy office.
     At Farmers Branch, Lewisville and Corinth, just outside of Denton, there are electric power substations. They are something like repeaters on a telegraph line, in that they "step up" the power to a maximum efficiency within certain "blocks." Highest efficiency obtains for about six miles on either side of the substations.
     A control board, entirely similar to that through which the telephones for keeping touch with trains are operated, does the trick. As soon as a car is due out of the Dallas clock according to the train sheet, the dispatcher turns a switch, and the Farmers Branch substation is put into action. An automatic signal informs him whether the machinery has started in response to the switch. The same thing occurs with each succeeding block, so that every electric car is assured its full maximum of "juice."
     Because on the Terrell-Dallas line, only motor cars are run, there isn't the requirement applying there that there is on the Denton line, which is operated in full conformity with every railroad and interstate commerce rule, as well as state and federal laws.
     The Denton cars carry porters. They really are flagmen, as required by law.
     Reference has been made to interstate commerce inspectors. These officials visit every dispatcher's office in the country at intervals. Their duty is to see that all rules are observed, and all laws lived up to, in the operation of trains. Those inspectors are trained train dispatchers themselves, selected for the places because of such training and the practical experience they have had.


     What's a dispatcher? was the question asked almost at the outset, and it has been said that he's the fellow who operates the trains.
     H. M. Baty, who is "one of them" out on the Southern Pacific, goes into a little more detail, however. He says most people seem to think a dispatcher is the fellow with a splendid uniform, all full of brass buttons, who stands in the union station and calls out "all aboard."
     "But, he isn't," Mr. Baty continues in his definition. He points out the training the dispatcher must have; that most of them are bright young men who started as messenger boys, learned telegraphy; served as station operators "out on the line," and, finally got their chance.
     If, by his tests in the various divisions of the operating department, he shows an aptitude for the handling of trains, he is brought into a dispatcher's office for his novitiate. Several weeks will show whether he has the ability for quick analysis of a situation that will qualify him. If he has, his training proceeds, and, in time, he may qualify.
     Senator Royal S. Copeland, of New York, in an address, once likened the train dispatcher to the human brain, "which sits enthroned, in charge of the nervous system, and through it, of every part of the body," declaring that the dispatcher, in similar manner, was the absolute dictator of railroad traffic.""
     And, that tells it.
     There are only two of these gentlemen in the one lone dispatcher's office, of which Dallas can boast, for despite its position as the business and social metropolis of Texas, Dallas, in so far as railroad operation is concerned, is nothing but a way station.
     A somewhat bitter admission--but, it must be made.

- September 2, 1928, Dallas Daily Times Herald,
Sec. VI, p. 1, col. 7; cont. at p. 6, col. 6-7.
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Railroad Diners
Carry Own Spring
Air for Travelers


Manufactured Weather
Provided by Katy
on New Stock.

     Tom Casey, veteran railroader of the Southwest, and the only station master the Dallas Union Terminal has had, can remember when there were no diners on trains and then the first crude affairs in which the waiters came through with a wooden bucket and a dipper to ladle out drinking water to the customers. Here, he is seen inspecting the last word in dining car equipment, one of the three de luxe cars recently built for the Katy, which were on display Monday at the Union Station.
     Mr. Casey is seen in the picture being shown the iced air cooling system by George C. Smith, general traffic manager of the M-K-T. lines.

     "Manufactured weather" took to the wheels in the Southwest Monday when the M-K-T lines brought their three new luxurious diners, the Sam Houston, the David Crockett and the James Bowie, to town and displayed them at the Union Terminal before hundreds of admiring citizens.
     Designed and built to give the traveling public the benefit of the latest engineering science in purified cool weather inside of a car or building, the new diners represent a pioneering venture that will mean much to the comfort and pleasure of travelers through Oklahoma and Texas. The cars will be part of the standard equipment on the famous Texas Special.
     Not only does the air system in the car automatically keep the temperature at a spring-like level even on the hottest day, but the cars have also been built to eliminate practically all noise from within and without. Noise deadeners have been incorporated in the interiors and special materials have been used in the construction to make easier and more noiseless riding.
     "The Katy lines are proud of these new cars," said Jack F. Hennessey, Jr., passenger traffic manager. "And, we are proud that we were able to give Texas its finest train with this additional equipment, the equal of any de luxe train in the entire country. Our lines introduced the first limited train in the Southwest, and we are glad to pioneer again."
     A novel use of the new weather-controlled cars was announced. Between meals, the diners will be converted into club cars with chess, checker and dominoes being available for passengers who wish to use the tables for these games.
     Monday night, a party of press representatives was entertained at dinner on the new cars and experienced the pleasure that will be available to all travelers on the new equipment. Several officials of the line were introduced, including George C. Smith, St. Louis general traffic manager; Mr. Hennessey, Frank Griffen and Randolph Daniel, Dallas, assistant general passenger agents, and R. B. Courtney, Dallas, division passenger agent.
     President M. E. Cahill selected the three heroes of Texas and Southwestern history honored by use of their names on the cars. Mr. Cahill is enthusiastic over the contribution which Texas has made in the past and is making today in the life of the entire country.
     The cars are furnished and decorated in excellent taste. Murals depicting appropriate symbols of the four States of Missouri, Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma are on the walls, including reproductions of the seals of each State. A picture of the Alamo represents Texas in each of the cars, the Pony Express, Missouri, the Covered Wagon, Kansas and the Pioneer Railroad Train, Oklahoma. Texas bluebonnet designs predominate in various decorations, including much of the chinaware.
     Traveling with the cars and aiding the visitors in inspecting the diners and the sun parlor car were C. H. Griffith, Parsons, electrical engineer; George Kohfeldt, assistant electrical engineer, and L. W. Martin, representing the American Car and Foundry Company, builders.

- June 16, 1931, The Dallas Morning News,
Section I, p. 7, col. 1-4.
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Reporter Finds Riding
Cab of Locomotive Not
As Mild as It Appears


     A few days ago, I experienced a great thrill -- I rode in the cab of a railroad engine. Ever since I wore knee pants, I have had the desire to do just that thing. The fulfillment of this wish came about in a peculiar manner. I was on my way to Hobbs, New Mexico, with a group of railroad men, and they dared me to ride fifty miles in the cab of the engine. Without hesitation, I took them up, little knowing what I was letting myself in for.
     In a short time, they had found some coveralls for me to wear, and were escorting me to the cab. This T. and P. locomotive was, without a doubt, the largest I have ever seen. It was ninety-nine feet long and weighed thousands of pounds. At the time, it looked peaceful enough, lying there in the night, giving out an occasional puff of steam, but I was deceived. When I climbed up the steps into the cab, I was met by the fireman, Roy Simmons, who introduced me to the engineer, A. R. Kavanaugh. One of the first things he asked was, "Ever ridden an engine before?" When I answered in the negative, he gave Kavanaugh a sly wink, and said, "Well, sit down, and hold on, we're going to start."

Din Terrific.
     With that, Kavanaugh leaned out of the cab, received the "hi ball" from the brakeman, and pulled up on the throttle. I had always thought that you pushed down on it, but he pulled out, and the engine slowly responded. The first hundred yards was smooth, and I kept wondering why I had been dared to take the ride, but it wasn't long before I found out. When the engine picked up speed, the cab vibrated like a huge reducing machine and the din was terrific. The faster the engine went, the harder I shook, and the louder I had to shout to the fireman to make myself heard.
     At first, I tried leaning back, but after two attempts at this, I gave up -- it nearly pounded my back off. Then, I tried planting my feet firmly on the floor, to hold my shaking body in position, but the vibration was too violent even for that. Finally, I relaxed, not too much, but just enough, and I rode a lot easier. The only thing was that my legs were barely long enough to reach the floor, and my feet did a tap dance. I never did get quite used to the loud and multiple noises of the engine, and consequently, I had to nearly shout my head off when speaking.

Gadgets Are Puzzle.
     After I was settled, I started looking at all the gadgets in front of me. There were so many, I don't see how anyone can remember what each is for. There were only three or four that I could fathom. One was the steam pressure gauge, another was the speedometer, and, of course, the throttle and the brakes, and then the whistle cord; beyond these, I was completely lost. The fireman kept a constant watch on the boiler pressure, and never let it get above 250 pounds. One time, he got up and poured two buckets of sand into the fire box; this aroused my curiosity, and I asked him why he did it. After a few minutes of shouting and waving of arms, I gathered that it was to clean the soot out of the flue.
     A night ride in a large engine cannot be beat for thrills. A cigar store Indian would get a thrill out of peering from the cab window and seeing the powerful engine light shining down the rails, piercing the darkness, and then seeing a green "all clear" signal flash on far ahead. But, the greatest thrill of all comes when you stop and think about the whole thing. Just imagine two men in complete mastery over tons of iron and steel. The engine itself almost seems to be alive with all of its noise and motion. The continual roar of the fire box, and the hiss of escaping steam keeps one on the brink of excitement for a long time.

Perfect Timing.
     About thirty minutes after starting, the engineer began to slow down, and in a moment, we were barely moving. The brakeman jumped off, threw a switch, and we pulled into a siding. Before we had time to stop, a train clattered past, and once again, we picked up speed. Never once had we stopped moving; that is what is called perfect timing.
     A few miles on, we caught sight of a fluttering flame on the tracks ahead. Without hesitation, the engineer pulled the whistle cord three times, and started stopping the train, which is no easy job. The last car stopped directly over the blaze and the train crew jumped off and extinguished it. It was a burning tie, and if it had been left to burn the rest of the night, it might have caused some damage.
     It wasn't long until my brief trip into railroading came to an end. The lights of the next town came into view, and I was forced to take my leave of the engine cab. When we puled up to a stop in the yards, I got down into the cool night air. But, it was several hours before that cool breeze took away the heat of the boiler from my face, and it will take more than a night breeze to take away the memory of that thrill -- riding the cab of a locomotive.

- July 30, 1937, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. I, p. 4, col. 2-3.
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Added June 18, 2004:
Holder of No. 1 Badge
Handled Dallas Trams
When Mules Were Used


     He's your No. 1 streetcar man. T. B. McKee, 4312 East Side, has been hauling passengers on Dallas streets for forty-one years. During the first two years, he admits, he had a lot of help from some more or less docile mules, but since that time, his job has been behind the controller on a trolley tram as he is pictured above. He was a motorman in the days before one-man operation was introduced. When he finally fell heir to the No. 1 badge for his uniform cap, Mr. McKee's job became less strenuous than it was in the early days. Now, he works only five hours a day and draws a full day's pay, and he's the ace instructor of new men for the lines. (News Staff Photo)

- July 24, 1938, The Dallas Morning News,
Sec. I, p. 5, col. 3.
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