Recollections, Dallas County, Texas, Part 1
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(Updated December 4, 2002)





Expressions on Various Topics of
Timely Interest, All Involving De-
velopment in Some Way.

     Mr. H. W. Smith, county treasurer of Dallas county, settled in Dallas in October, 1860, just twenty-nine years ago. Mr. Smith says he is an astonished beholder at the rapid advancement of the county and city. When he first came to Dallas, he could stand on the courthouse square and throw a stone to the business limits of the city. He says: "Where the North Texas National Bank and E. M. Kahn block is, there was about one acre in a beautiful cedar grove where we held our Sunday school picnics, and the rising young orators would soar away on wings of eloquence. The last picnic I attended on this spot was in 1869. The town never made perceptible advancement until after the railroad reached here in 1872, and from that time forward, it has been a steady, but a marvelous, growth. When I first came to the county, unimproved lands were selling at $2 and $2.50 an acre. Seven and eight miles from the city, the same lands are bringing $25 and $30 an acre, and I consider them cheap at that. In those days, settlers hauled water seven and eight miles, and to-day, all over this country, you can go a few feet into the ground and get plenty of water. They, you might have bored through to China and no water. My father built the first house between Dallas branch and Turtle creek and we sank four wells each from 40 to 60 feet deep, but not a drop of water. To-day, it is there in abundance. A solution of the phenomena, I contend, lies in the fact that then the sod was not broken on the prairies, and when rain fell, it ran off like water from a duck's back, but as soon as the sod was broken, the earth drank in the rain fall and the result is the prairie is as well watered to-day, as other sections. Another explanation is in the fact that the rainfall was not as regular and plentiful here as it is in this progressive day. The majority of the settlers then did not care to acquire land. They were fully gratified with a small patch to cultivate and the great waste of commons where their herds rustled unaided. Another fact in connection with the history of this section is that the poorest lands were settled first. They offered inducements in the way of a limited supply of firewood and water, and they were the first to be occupied. If a settler came in and located on the high prairie, the rest would laugh at him for getting so far away from water and fuel. But, this country has a great future before it, notwithstanding the wonderful changes that came in a quarter of a century. Land are valuable, but if the question of good public roads was settled, their value would be greatly enhanced. Dallas county farmers spend just twice as much time as would be required in getting to market over good roads. Rainy weather is a loss and they are forced to take good weather to come to market when their time is in greatest demand on their farms. With good roads, they could often utilize a rainy spell and trot off to market. I think macadam will furnish the future roads of this county, and when we get them, you will see greater activity in the retail trade of the city and greater prosperity among the farmers."

- October 11, 1889, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 5, col. 1-2
- o o o -



Some of the Men who Made
It What it is To-day.


The Oldest Member of the Gang
and Something of His
Years of Service
to this City.

     Thirty years ago, Dennis Canty arrived in Dallas, and twenty-nine years ago, he became connected with Dallas fire department as the driver of a hook and ladder company. He is a driver now, at the engine house out on Bryan street. He was thirty-seven when he landed here; he is sixty-seven now. He was the first driver ever employed at a regular salary by the department, and he has been a fireman since Dallas was a small hamlet with the business houses around the square and when the swells of the city had their homes in what is now known as the First Ward.
     The volunteer department was organized in 1872, and in 1873, Mr. Canty was engaged at a regular salary as a driver. In 1885, the volunteer department was disbanded and the city established a paid department. Driver Canty is a man with a record. He has served under every chief, volunteer and paid, since 1873. And, here they are in order named: T. J. Frank, W. C. Connor, Charles Kahn, Thomas Wilkinson and H. F. Magee.
     Driver Canty is the veteran of the force, the last of the Old Guard. He began when Dallas was a small village, and the chances are that he will continue a member until the final summons shall come and call him to his last reward. At 67, he is as active and as spry as a man of forty. And, he holds the ribbons like Budd Dobie, or the "Silent man of Tennessee." He is tall, straight as an arrow, and is a sunny-hearted Celt.
     "I've had me ups and down," he said to a Times Herald representative, "but, sure, I've been here a long time. Almost thirty years have come and gone since I began to drive, and it is many's the hot blaze I have seen in these thirty years. My first chief was T. J. Frank. He was a hardware merchant and knew how to handle men. Ex-Mayor Connor would have made a great fire chief in New York or Chicago, and the others are all good men. I've seen the boys come and go in the department, but I am here yet, and hope to remain many a day that is to come. Dallas was a small place when I came here from Kansas City away back in the 70's, and Kansas City was a likely frontier town itself in those days. Dallas is a big city now, and getting bigger all the time. For years, I drove to every fire, but it is not so now, unless a general alarm comes in. When the new house is ready at the foot of Main street, we will be moved down there. General Cabell was mayor twenty-nine years ago, and his son is the mayor now. Dallas has made history since I've been driving, and the department is a big affair now and should be larger. The boys who played about the engine house in my first days are gray-haired men now. Yes, I can drive as well as I did thirty years ago, but a man is not as quick on his feet at sixty-seven, as at thirty-seven. However, I feel every bit as good now as I did then. It is all owing to the way a man lives. Plain food, water and plenty of exercise are all life-savers. As I said, I have had my own share of ups and downs, but I have done me best and, please God, I will keep on doing so."
     In the larger cities of the North and East, veteran fire-fighters are retired on half-pay when they touch the sixty-year limit, but no provisions is made for veterans in Texas cities. Dennis Canty is sixty-seven, he has served almost thirty years, continuously, and he is a driver to-day, just where he began when Dallas was a small town and every gentleman carried a gun in his hip-pocket, except on special occasions.
     It is interesting to recall that Fire-Fighter Frank is the only one of the chiefs who would be missed at roll call, if a reunion were held. Messrs. Connor, Kahn and Wilkinson are citizens of Dallas, but they are not firefighters these days.

- April 26, 1903, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 7, col. 5-7.
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Captain June Peak and How
He Joined the Army, Chickasaw
Indian Fighters -- "Uncle Buck"
Hughes and the Big Flood of 1866.

     Captain June W. Peak is 58. He is a splendidly preserved specimen of manhood and one among the last of the early broncho-busters and buffalo hunters of Dallas county. Captain Peak is a superb horseman, and in the 60's and 70's, the mustang did not live that he could not mount and subdue. A veteran of the war between the states, he is proud of relating war stories, and is an accomplished raconteur. "I was plowing in the field when the news came of the fall of Fort Sumpter," he said to a Time Herald representative, "Our farm was at the edge of the old town, and is now known as East Dallas. I was a husky boy then, and an ardent secessionist. Our people had been repeatedly assured that one Southern man could whip five Yankees, and I was very ambitious to whip my five. It must have been a mistake, as it is much easier to whip an enemy with a bayonet at close quarters.
     "As I stated, I was plowing in the field when my brother came from town with a copy of our weekly newspaper. Dallas had no daily, and news was week to ten days old when it reached us. At dinner, he read the news and my boy's martial spirit was aroused. I resolved to go as a soldier without delay. Knowing that it would be useless to ask my mother's consent, I made my arrangements secretly. Ben Long, afterwards city marshal, owed me eighteen dollars. The best pony in Dallas county was in my stable. Dinner over, I saddled and mounted him. My mother asked, 'Where are you going, Son?' "To town, to get my money from Ben Long, Mother," I replied. She accepted the explanation, never dreaming that her boy had murderous designs upon the Yankees. Ben Long paid me the money, and I rode home and lariated the pony a safe distance from the house, slipped up stairs, packed my saddle-bags, and under cover of the night, mounted and rode away. That pony had plenty of bottom, and before sun was noon high the next day, I had ridden ninety miles to the northward, and was in the camp of Colonel Bill Young, who had rallied to his standard, the young men of Lamar, Fannin, Grayson and Cooke. Fort Arbuckle was garrisoned by Federal soldiers and was commanded by Colonel Edmonds, a soldier and a gentleman. Colonel Young decided to seize Fort Arbuckle, and we made a rapid march to the place, only to find the fort had been deserted and the Federals were working their way across the Indian Territory.
     "Our men were farmers, frontiersmen, cowboys and hunters. Some were armed with squirrel rifles; others had army carbines, and a few were equipped with army muskets. They were fighting men, but poorly armed for pitched battles with trained soldiers with modern firearms in their hands. Well, we decided to give pursuit and capture Colonel Edmunds and his 1200 regulars. Fifty of our boys were detached from the regular command and were sent ahead to spy out the lay of the land as scouts. 'It is fun to hunt the tiger, but it is hell when the tiger hunts you.' Colonel Edmunds was too old a campaigner to be caught napping. One morning, bright and early, we were drawn into an ambush and caught like rats in a trap. Resistance would have been suicide. We were surrounded, outnumbered, and in a bad scrape. What did we do? Laid down our arms and surrendered like little men. Colonel Edmunds treated us kindly. 'Boys,' said he, 'go back to your people. I don't want to hurt you, but if you pursue me another step, there's going to be graves to dig and men to fill them.'
     "We did not stand on ceremony, and obeyed the instructions of the Federal commander. Crestfallen and footsore and hungry, we retraced our steps. Colonel Bill Young reconsidered and did not carry out his threat to bag Edmunds and his command.
     "No, I did not return to Dallas. The Chickasaw Indians were loyal to the South and raised a regiment of fighters, volunteering for one year. This was the first regiment of Indians to take up arms for the Stars and Bars. I became a member of the command, and we were given plenty to do for the next twelve months. At the expiration of the year, the survivors demanded their discharge. they were homesick, longed for a sight of their wives and children in the Indian Territory. They were loyal, mind you, and were ready to re-enlist after a visit to their families. Colonel Cooper mustered out the redmen, and I re-enlisted with a Texas regiment and saw enough in the four years that followed to convince me that General Sherman was right when he stated that 'war is hell.' I was attached to Wharton's command and was with him at Houston, when he was shot and killed by General Baylor. They were gallant soldiers, true sons of the South, and it was a pity that a private quarrel should have culminated in a bloody tragedy. We were in camp at Hempstead at the time. General Wharton had gone to Houston on business and General Baylor had followed him to the Bayou City. The shooting occurred in the old Lamar House, I believe, and was one of the regrettable and tragic incidents of the war between the states. I returned to Dallas in 1865, with plenty of experience and a few scars, but my pony and $18 were gone. I was a boy when I joined Colonel Bill Young's squad, and but little more than a boy when the flag of the South went down at Appomattox Court House thirty-eight years ago. My Indian comrades were splendid soldiers, regular dare-devils, and their loyalty to the cause of the South in those trying times, made me love them. It is almost like a dream when I think of it. In 1861, Dallas was a very small village, and the leading farmers raised corn and cotton almost within a stone's throw of the postoffice. In my boyhood, Texas was a wilderness. Today, she is an empire, teeming with people and is the fifth in the constellation of stars. God has been good to the land of the Lone Star."


     Rev. W. H. Hughes is another veteran of Dallas county, who came here in the 50's and knows Dallas county, its history and its pioneers, as he knows his good right hand. He is called "Uncle Buck" by the sons and daughters of the old pioneer families, and his reminiscences would fill a book of many pages. Parson W. C. Young and "Uncle Buck" Hughes are the survivors of the band of men who were called "sky pilots" by the ungodly in the early days of Dallas and adjoining counties. They preached the gospel of Christ on Sunday, held revivals at intervals and tilled the soil between times. Pioneer preachers had work to do, and they never shirked. "Uncle Buck" has a marvelously retentive memory, and has been a close observer. He talked high water and crop conditions to a coterie of old friends the other day. "Yes," he said, "the Trinity is away up this year. The government gauges shows 36 feet of water in the river, I've been told. The rise of 1890 is a favorite theme with navigators and recent comers. These gentlemen should have been here in 1866. That summer, the greatest flood in the history of Dallas county since the coming of white men, swept down upon us. The bottom lands were inundated, and over in what is now known as the Second ward, you could easily have floated a boat. The water touched Ross avenue, and farmers had to go miles out of their way to get to town. The high-water mark of the Trinity was made in 1866, and the floods since that year, have been freshets. Alex Cockrell rescued a family from drowning on the West Dallas pike at that time. It was a heroic performance and Alex was lionized by the people. There is always danger on the West Dallas pike when the river is out of its banks. I crossed it in the 50's, and had a narrow escape. Something should be done to protect life and guard against these frightful accidents."
     Mr. Hughes was speaking of the drowning of a German farm-hand and young woman, who started for town from West Dallas and lost their lives before assistance could reach them.
    "Wheat and oats yielded large crops," said the veteran preacher-farmer, "and the corn crop is far beyond the expectations of the most sanguine. Cotton is coming all right, and the staple will make a good showing in sections free from bollweevil."


     Captain Peak and "Uncle Buck" Hughes are Dallas county pioneers of the genuine type and will swell the throng at the Old Settlers' Reunion at Hutchins on the 29th of July. The people of Hutchins are getting ready to entertain visitors in royal style and all the veterans, men and women of the good old days and good old times will attend the reunion.

- July 19, 1903, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 13, col. 3-4.
- o o o -



Mr. Oscar Dalton, a Dallas Printer, Talks of Old Times
and Old Timers---He Navigated the Trinity
River in 1853.

     Speaking of old timers, there are others. On his rounds yesterday, a representative of The Times Herald encountered Oscar Dalton. Mr. Dalton is a union printer, and something of an old-timer, descended from a family of old-timers.
     "Yes," he said, "I've been here a few moons. My forebears were pioneers, and old-timers. My grandfather's father, V. T. Dalton, was a lieutenant of artillery in 1776, fighting for the freedom of the colonies and against the red-coated soldiers of King George and their Tory sympathizers and allies. He served with Gen. Washington's army during the entire war of the Revolution, which culminated in the overthrow of the oppressor and the freedom of the patriot. His widow died in New Orleans twenty-eight years ago. She lived to the ripe old age of 108 years, and was something of a pioneer. She drew a pension in keeping with the military rank of her husband until the day of her death. Her son, my grandfather, V. T. Dalton, Jr., who died in Galveston about eight years ago, aged 104 years, was a member of Capt. Rust's company at the battle of New Orleans with Old Hickory. He was a major of militia in the Texas-Mexican war. His son, my father, was a close personal friend of Gen. Sam Houston. He served in the Texas-Mexican war, and also in the Indian frontier wars. I served two years in the army of the Confederate States of America under John B. Magruder and E. Kirby Smith, and received an honorable discharge at the close of the war.
     "In 1853, I navigated the Trinity river, from Galveston to Hall's Bluff, Houston county. The boat continued on her trip up the river. It was the steamboat Magnolia, one of the regular packets running, at that time, from Galveston to some point above Hall's Bluff, a considerable distance nearer Dallas. On our trip, I remember, though but eight years old, our boat had to edge around to let the Guadalupe pass us. The Guadalupe was bound for Galveston. At that time, the Trinity had its regular season for navigation. The river was very narrow, and is yet, and while deep enough to float the big stern-wheelers, one could conveniently land on either side without very much of a jump. Yes, the Daltons claim to be something to speak of when it comes to old-timers and old times."

- August 9, 1903, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 6, col. 3-4.
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John B. Louckx Tells of His Early



Walked From Houston to Dallas in
Fourteen Days--Some Events
of His Career.

     John B. Louckx, who resides at 446 Fairmount street, is one of the oldest citizens of Dallas in point of continuous residence, he having resided here for fifty years on the 25th day of this month. Mr. Louckx is one of the first fourteen men who came over with the founders of the "French colony." The personnel of the first fourteen members of this colony to first reach the scene of their settlement, which was in the vicinity of where the cement works are now located, consisted of six Frenchmen, six Belgians and two Germans.
     The subject of this sketch is a Belgian. He was born at Louvain, Belgium, on the 10th day of February, 1829, and at this time he is in his seventy-sixth year. He graduated from the School of Architecture of the city in which he was born and he followed his chosen profession up until a couple of years ago. He had drawn the plans and built many of the houses of this city.
     The first contingent of those who composed the French colony, among them Mr. Louckx, sailed from Antwerp in the year 1854. The voyage was made on the Oriole, one of the four vessels plying between New Orleans and Antwerp at that time. After a trip that lasted for sixty-five days the emigrants landed at New Orleans. Here they waited until they heard from North Texas as to whether they could reach Dallas by coming up the Trinity river by water, as the river in those days was navigable for a great distance up the stream.
     After waiting for some time word was finally received that they could not come by water, from the fact that the Trinity was at an unusually low stage at that time. This resulted in them changing their plans and they then made another voyage from New Orleans to Galveston and from the latter place they went to Houston by water, using the Buffalo bayou. Here they again received word from North Texas urging them to make haste in order that they might get here in time to build houses and get the crops in so that they would be in shape to provide for the other emigrants that were expected to soon join them.
     Being unable to obtain horses and wagons at Houston, the fourteen men, as mentioned above, made the trip from Houston to Dallas on foot, pushing before them a push cart, which contained all of the actual necessities of the trip. They left their wives and families at the former place, while they walked many miles, covering the distance in fourteen days. This is only an incident which goes to show what kind of material the early pioneers of Texas were made of.
     When those first emigrants arrived here the population of Dallas consisted of about three hundred persons. The establishing of this colony near Dallas resulted in bringing about 500 more people here, and who knows but what this was the first step which was ever taken towards making Dallas the leading city of Texas.
     When they first arrived here a wooden bridge was in the course of construction across the Trinity river at the foot of Commerce street. This bridge served as the connecting link with all of the vast country west of the city and the city, or village, which it was at that time. This bridge was constructed of cedar logs and it only lasted for a short time. When it became so bad as to be impassable, a ferry was established south of the bridge, and it was used for a long time.
     In speaking of the different courthouses of Dallas county, Mr. Louckx said: "The first courthouse of Dallas county was made out of cedar logs and it was located on the west side of the courthouse square. This building consisted of two rooms. The next courthouse was a two-story brick which served from 1860[?] until 1870, and then it was torn down because it became unsafe. The next building to be erected for offices of the county officials was a stone structure. This was a very large building compared to the others and there was four courtrooms on the second floor, while the other officials had offices on the first floor. This building was destroyed by fire fifteen or more years ago and it was followed by the present building."
     Although born in a foreign country, he is very proud of his adopted country, and in speaking of it, he said: "Although I love the country in which I was born as much as any man could love his native land, I also love my adopted country and am proud to say that I have had the honor to serve her in different capacities."
     He saw two years of actual service on the Confederate side during the Civil war, having been a member of Company F of Waller's battalion. This company was captained by Joseph C. Terrell of Fort Worth, brother of the framer of the Terrell election law. This company was organized in the county where the recent deplorable killing occurred, and it is said to have been one of the most dashing companies of this battalion.
     He also served six years as a member of the city council and was the alderman from the First ward. His time of service was under the administrations of John Henry Brown and W. C. Connor. He was an ardent advocate of the present plan of water-works for the city and was one of the members who favored the present location of the pumping station and reservoirs. The land on which the waterworks is located, as well as the land where the city hospital stands, was bought while he was a member of the city council. In talking to a reporter the other day, Mr. Louckx said that the city secured the property at a bargain when they did secure it. He said that he knew that there had been much said about the location of the pumping station and reservoirs where they were located, but that when this was done there was a sandbar across the river at the mouth of Turtle creek and there was fifteen feet of water just above this bar all the time. He said that this was one reason for the location of the waterworks where they are now, and another one is that the members of the city council believed it would be a good plan to have the plant located near the mouth of Turtle creek, which at that time was a large sized stream and had a good supply of water in it the year round.
     Mr. Louckx has made a couple of trips back to his native land in the fifty years that he has lived here, but he always came back to America. He frankly admits that although he loves the old country, America seems more like home to him.
     He has always led a very active outdoor life and the 78 years of summer's sun and wind and of winter's rain and cold rests lightly on his shoulders. It is true that his hair is white, but his step is still elastic and his eyes are as good as they ever were. He still gets around a great deal and it is not much of a task for him to walk from his residence, which is out in North Dallas, to the city and back.
     Mr. Louckx says that he is the last one of the first fourteen men who were the nucleus of the foundation of the "French colony." Adolph Frick, who resides at the corner of Bryan and Olive street, also came to this country as a member of this colony, but he arrived here some time after Mr. Louckx did. The late Henry Boll, who died here several months ago, was also a member of this colony.

- April 30, 1905, The Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 12, col. 1-2.
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Marbles and Baseball Were Played
Where Fine Business Buildings Now Stand.
Some of the Changes Wrought by Time.
[Note: portions of the article are missing
from the original, tattered issue]

     What would the average Dallas schoolboy of the present day think of a game of marbles, or of "tops for keeps" on the ground where the Imperial hotel now stands? What about "wolf over the river" or "leap frog" where the new five-story building of the Harris-Lipsitz company stands?
     There are plenty of grown-up boys in Dallas--staid business men now, who, back in the 80's, did those things, and did them on the ground where these buildings have sprung up since. Men not now old, but some of whom have streaks of silver about their temples, remember when the space now occupied by the Imperial hotel was space, and nothing more.
     In those days, it was the popular habit of boys who had proper raising, and who recognized the restrictions imposed upon them at home about playing marbles for "keeps," used to sneak off down to this rendezvous and take on some of the street gamins, who possessed no qualms of conscience as to those things, for a game. Boys from East Dallas, boys from South Dallas--from North Dallas, came and saw. Sometimes they conquered, but more time, they were taken into camp by the bootblacks, on account of their ____ ability at "knucklin[g"] [remainder of column missing]
[next column]
     They were clannish, these fellows from the respectable portion of the city, and were, in a certain sense, looked down upon by the gamins with whom they played. Many is the "illigant ruction," as a son of Erin might term it, which resulted from this clannishness and from the regard which the street boys had for the better dressed and more polite fellows from the outside. It was a strange thing, however, that the street boys never seemed to learn that retribution would overtake them whenever they attempted to overstep the bounds. It frequently transpired that a crowd from North or East or South Dallas would win from the denizens of the streets and alleys, who would promptly start a scramble, jerk up all the "sookies" they could lay hands to, and light out. The inevitable result was, that the boys from the city park district, which was then the limit of South Dallas; or, the fellows from beyond the union depot, which designated East Dallas, went back to their bailiwick, dug up "the gang" and proceeded back to town, where th [remainder of column missing]
[next column]
and Elm streets. About where the Bush Temple of Music now stands there had been a building commenced, and for some reason, abandoned. The excavations were deep, and the sills had all been placed. This made a regular robbers' cave for the high school boys. Many Dallas captains of industry have played under that old building. The high school scholars were not supposed to go that far out of bounds, but they did it. Sneaking down the back stairs of the old building at Akard (then Sycamore) and Elm, the gang would go out in the vacant lot, now occupied by the Swift plant, and work on down toward the middle of the block where the cave place was. Lots of times, they would get out into Elm street, just because they could and they knew it was away out of bounds. This only lasted about a year, however, as soon after, the high school was erected where it now stands on Bryan and Live Oak.

* * *

Baseball Grounds.
     Between Sycamore and Oleander streets, or, as it would now be called, Akard and Ervay, there was a baseball grounds, and a big one, too. It was closer to Patterson avenue than to Main street, it is true, but, it would be right in town nowadays. The "Big Cedar Birds" used to come over from South Dallas and cross bats with the North Dallas team. Several well known insurance men now in Dallas were members, respectively, of the "Big Cedar Bird" and the "Little Cedar Bird" teams as regards their age at that time, or their prowess with bat or ball.
     How many Dallas business men are there who will read this article and think of Prof. Grove, who conducted a school at the corner of Main and Harwood? There is probably not a man who went to Mr. Grove, who did not consider him about the strictest teacher they had ever come in contact with. A favorite warning of his to a boy who had been guilty of some slight infraction of the rules, was to lay three long switches, plaited together, upon the culprit's desk. It meant, in latter day parlance, "now will you be good?" The boy generally was, for if he did not heed the warning, he got the application in the most approved fashion. There was an alley between Main and Elm streets on the east side of the building, and that constituted about all the campus there was. Marbles, and such like games, which did not require much space for the playing, constituted about the only recreation the pupils had in that district, as the town had begun to build up even then.

* * *

Where the Wilson Building Stands.
     Where the magnificent Wilson building now stands, there was a fringe of little shanties, which, by the way, remained there for a good long time, even after the 80's. From [Ervay?] ____ to Stone street, th____ and it made _____ posed of _______ tion of _____ [remainder of column missing]
[next column]
low, where the sand lay, was much superior.
     At any rate, these erstwhile playground for those who were then Dallas' embryo city savers, budding bankers, lawyers and merchant princes, are no more. And, by the change these same boys, or many of them, who played, there, have benefited. About this time, a fifty-foot lot, just above where the Praetorian building stands, was bought by a man who is now an old resident, for an average of about $30 per front foot. Compare this price with what the Praetorian lot sold for per front foot, and it may readily be seen what these benefits have been, or might have been.
     One of the fellows who played ball on the old Sycamore street lot, was recognized a few years back, as the champion baseball rooter of North Texas. He has got out of the habit of late years, however. So much for the passing of time and the changes worked by it. Some day, perhaps, a chronicler of the future may tell a tale somewhat along these lines, of the feet which used to tread the high school grounds of the present day, which, at that time, may be the site of the depot of some aerial navigation company, who knows?

- October 6, 1907, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. I, p. 7, col. 2-5.
- o o o -


     Of all the "oldest inhabitants" and "original settlers" ever discovered in Dallas, Saturday revealed one who indeed takes the palm. William Wall Glover, aged sixty-eight years, was born ten days after Dallas county was created--the first white man to see the light of day within the county lines and call it his native heath.
     Mr. Glover is hale and hearty, and was in Dallas Saturday to see relatives. He became a great-grandfather during the morning, and was elated over that fact when interviewed by a Times Herald reporter.
     The claims of Mr. Glover to be the longest in Dallas county are well substantiated. Born July 31, 1846, a short way from Dallas, he has lived during the last sixty-eight years within five miles of the city on his home place on the White Rock road.
     "I have seen herds of deer where the union depot now stands," said he. "And wild ducks swimming where the Adolphus hotel is located. Those were great days, when you rode twenty miles to see your neighbors."
     Mr. Glover is a confederate veteran with a good record, and is spending his spare time with tales of the days when the Indians roamed the plains around Dallas and when the Yanks took Galveston.

- July 19, 1914, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 13, col. 3.
- o o o -

Mesquite Man Writes of Early
Days in County of Dallas

     Mesquite, Tex., Aug. 1.--I see William Wall Glover claims to be the oldest settler in Dallas county. I knew his mother (a widow Stockton) before she and his father was married. She lived north of Dallas in 1844, and two brothers and myself went to her house one day when we ran away from the Indians.
     We were living near where the convent now stands. When we got there, she had two or three guns standing in the corner of her house, but the Indians never came. this was in 1844, before Glover was born. I have a cousin, Scott Beeman, who lives in or near Dallas, who came here in April, 1842. There is not another person living in Dallas who came in 1842. He has a sister living in Clay county who came here in 1842.
     She is the widow of the founder of Dallas, John Neely Bryan, who should have a monument built in Dallas to his memory. It is a shame that it hasn't already been built.
     Back to my subject: James N. Cochran was born June 1, 1846, in or near Dallas. John Bryan was born in Dallas Feb. 9, 1846. He had one brother born before him. His name was Coffee Bryan. He died while young. My brother, G. W. Cox, had a daughter born in this county Aug. 9, 1845.
     The first legislature of this state on the 30th of March, 1846, passed an act creating the county of Dallas. Glover claims he was born on the 31st of July, 1846, ten days after the county was created. He missed his guess by about 110 days. I have lived in Dallas county since the spring of 1844, except while in the late war between the states. My home was here while I was in the war. I am not envying Glover of his claims, but want the record kept straight, for he and I are good friends.
     I could fill many pages telling of our early life in Dallas county.
Yours, truly, H. B. Cox.
Mesquite, Tex. Route No. 4.

- August 2, 1914, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 8, col. 6-7.
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Carrollton Man Has
Record of 52 Years'
Work in Postoffice

G. N. Myers

     Fifty-two years of service in the Carrollton postoffice, thirty years of which, he was postmaster, is the record of G. N. Myers, who went out of office July 1. Mr. Myers' father, the Rev. J. M. Myers, came to Texas in a covered wagon from Illinois in 1840 and settled at Carrollton. He became postmaster in 1870, and put his son to work in the postoffice. Mr. Myers was appointed as postmaster upon the death of his father in 1892 and served in that capacity from that time until July 1 of the present year.
     "When I was a boy, there were no stores in Carrollton, and my father and I had to come to Dallas for supplies. Dallas, at that time, was very small: there were just a few stores around the square. There were no bridges between Dallas and Carrollton and wherever there was a stream, it was necessary to drive the horses into it and, when the front wheels of the wagon would settle into the mud, we would carry the bags of wheat out over the tongue onto dry land, then drive out and reload.
     "There were no Indians around Carrollton during my boyhood, but I remember distinctly several occasions when the settlers around Gainesville sent word to the settlers of Carrollton to come and help them withstand attacks of the Indians."

- September 10, 1922, Dallas Morning News, Sec. II, p. 5, col. 2
- o o o -

Indianapolis Man
Tells of Changes
Here Since 1887

     D. S. Menasco, a business man of Indianapolis, arrived in Dallas last week for a visit of several days. He met a number of friends at the Jefferson Hotel, for he comes to Dallas frequently and has interests which keep him in touch with people here.
     "I came to Dallas as a boy in 1887 from my home in Pilot Point, where I was born," he said, telling of changes in Dallas since he has known it. "In a day or two, I wrote home to my sister that I had obtained work in the Texas & Pacific general offices, as a letter-copying press operator, at a salary of $20 a month. She kept that letter and I have it in a frame on my desk. I prized that money more than any I have earned since.
     "Dallas was a mighty lively place those days. There was a well-known saloon almost across Lamar street from The News office and a famous gambling place over the saloon. It was wide open, I strolled into the place, sight-seeing, one night, and witnessed the loss of a wonderful diamond shirt stud by a well-known public official, the last thing of value he had with him to wager that night. I saw a man killed on Main street, just east of the present Linz Building, and there are two holes in a wall a little above the sidewalk, made by bullets shot at that time.

Five-Story Skyscrapers.

     "As a child, I visited at the home of my uncle, Dan Goble, who had a shop at the northwest corner of Ervay and Elm streets. His home was a little way across Ervay. We used to come to Dallas in a four-seated surrey, with two horses, starting early in the morning and making the drive by night. We'd run to the back fence to see the T. & P. freight trains, pulled by little engines with long smoke stacks and big drums at the top. They made an awful lot of smoke and noise, but strained and slipped in pulling even a few cars up the steep grade from Griffin to Preston. But there wasn't any Preston then, for all that part of town was in cedar brakes without even a road through them.
     "The North Texas National Bank put up a skyscraper soon after I came to Dallas to live. It was five stories high, and old timers laughed at running it up so high when there was plenty of ground around it.
     "For several years, I worked for the lumber firm of Langdon, Gill & Parrish. C. A. Gill was the member of his firm who lived longest and he was a very useful citizen, dying only a few years ago after having erected, as an architect and builder, many of the business houses in Dallas, some still having his name on them.
     "My first experience at using a telephone was in an office where I worked in the Scollard Building. The boss was present and told me to answer it, and it nearly scared me to death.
     "Dallas has grown into a great, beautiful, busy place, full of peace and prosperity. I am sure you do not have the thrills here today we used to have in the old days; they would scare the life out of most of the present citizens."

- September 10, 1922, Dallas Morning News, Sec. II, p. 12, col. 2-4
- o o o -



Native Citizen Recalls Days
When He Used to Play Ball on
Site of Medical Arts Building



     "Dallas was just a cow pasture then," said W. C. McConnell of 1400 Sanger avenue, native of Dallas, speaking of the days when he and "the other boys" used to play ball on the hill near the present site of the Medical Arts building.
     "That was way out in the country in those days. There were only scattered one-story buildings between our playground and the old courthouse, with long patches of mesquite grass and garden plots between. I saw a neighbor kill a wild turkey where the postoffice now stands.
     "One of my favorite pastimes when I was a youngster was fishing in the creek, which ran down by the present postoffice site, and through the ground where the Magnolia building now stands. I used to catch some nice perch out of that stream. Three or four different winters, we schoolboys skated on a frozen pond, which stood on the present Adolphus hotel site. It seems like the winters were colder then.
     Mr. McConnell is only fifty-two years of age, and he laughed at the idea of talking for the press on the early days of his home town. "Why don't you get some of these old-timers around town? I am just a kid. There is Captain June Peak, who was a grown man, a Texas Ranger, when I was just old enough to play in the big road. Ed Tenison, W. W. Moore, John H. Yeargan, and a few others, were all 'big boys,' when I first started to school."
     Bending pins to decorate the cushion of his teacher's chair was the chief amusement of one of the "big boys," whose name the speaker claimed to have forgotten, but who occupies a prominent position in this city today.
     It is difficult for one of the so-called younger generations to realize the stupendous growth which Dallas has made in the brief span of half a century. The pride of the city in those picturesque days of high-heeled boots and prairie schooners was the two-story courthouse.
     "I never think of that old white stone building without recalling a little judge with a thin nose, who used to stand in a window to open court. I can still hear his nasal syllables coming out of the window.
     'Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes'--three times, he would make this funny noise in opening court, while the crowd outside walked on my bare feet, in the scramble to keep in the shade of the chinaberry trees.
     "When a witness was to be called, the judge would stick his head out the window and call the name three times. Ordinarily, the required witness would be on the square below engaged in a horse trade or in a fist fight, depending on the stage of the deal."
     Development of the Commerce street bridge was brought about in an unusual way. A private concern had erected a toll bridge across the Trinity river at the end of what is now Commerce street--then "the big road"--and assessed a toll of 5¢ on every wagon and team; 10¢ on pedestrians. The people rebelled against this "high-handedness." They hauled rocks and placed them across the stream, so that in good weather, the river could be forded. Fording the Trinity in threatening weather proved dangerous and unsatisfactory, and the city finally bought the toll bridge.
     Fort Worth also has made some progress since those days, according to Mr. McConnell. It was then "a lonely fort sitting on a hill, with Captain Worth trying to hold off the Indians." Troops were sent out from the fort to help check the last big raid, which was made through Parker and Palo Pinto counties.
     Rumors that Jesse James and his band were operating in or around Dallas frequently filled the air when Mr. McConnell was a boy.
     "At such times, I would skip out and go to town, where every stranger's face seemed the exact picture of the noted bandit. If the stranger wore a mustache, I would be thoroughly convinced that I had seen James himself. If he wore no beard, I would report that I had seen Jesse James in disguise. For some reason, I never felt that I should have been afraid of him. I would have given my pet duck to see him.
     "Cole Younger and his brothers were said to have been here several times, and I am sure I must have seen him. Frank James made his home here in later years, and was a quiet, unassuming man. One of his boys won a scholarship given by The Times Herald about thirty years ago."
     Mr. McConnell has written a number of articles for magazines. It has been his hobby. About ten years ago, he completed a novel entitled, "The Night Riders' Feud," which had wide circulation in this country. It was a love story with its setting in the blue grass region of Kentucky, the facts and characters being gleaned from a number of Kentuckians who actually had participated in such a feud. Now, he is planning to write a book on Dallas, showing in the form of a novel, the development of the city.

- March 4, 1923, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. IV, p. 7, col. 1-2.
- o o o -



Frank T. Payne, Who Came Here
in 1889, Close Observer of
City's Growth.

    Among the several long-time residents of Dallas who have seen the city grow from a small village to a metropolitan city, very few have had a better chance of observing its actual advance than Frank T. Payne.
    Payne came to Dallas on April 13, 1889, when the population was only about 10 per cent of what it is now. He began his career as a journeyman tinner for Harry Brothers, but in a very short while, opened a business for himself at 1343 Elm street.
    He has been continuously in the sheet metal and tinning business in Dallas since that time and has worked upon many of the largest and most important buildings in the city.

Moved Five Times.
     When he came to Dallas, Hawkins street was considered the eastern edge of town and beyond that was open pasture with herds of cows running at large over the lands. He has moved his shop five times since he started in business, and each time, the growth of the town has reached out and beyond his place and he has given way to interests which demanded his space.
    His last move was from a location on College avenue, where his place of business was taken to provide quarters for the medical officers in training during the war to the place where he is now located, at Haskell and San Jacinto.
    Four years ago, he was one of four who had business houses at this place, and today, he is surrounded by business houses and a filling station has taken the front part of the lot on which his shop is located. Payne claims to have put on the first galvanized metal cornice used on any building in Dallas, and says that he has seen three cycles in the use of that metal as cornice.

Growth in Popularity.
     For awhile after it was introduced in Dallas, it was very popular, and was used on nearly all the large buildings.
    Later, it was almost entirely replaced with terra cotta and other forms of cornice, but, that now it is coming back into favor, and that he is getting plenty of orders for metal cornice and trimmings.
    Payne has been a reader of The Times Herald since he came to Dallas, and has been a constant subscriber for the past thirty-three years. He built the roof on a new cottage which was erected as a home for Colonel J. F. Elliott, former owner of The Times Herald, at Corsicana street and the Santa Fe railroad, in 1894.

- December 2, 1923, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. V, p. 11, col. 5.
- o o o -



Denison Man Remembers Early
Days in Dallas and Scyene;
Rowdies Used to Furnish Fun


Would Shoot Up Town and
Pay for Damages Next

     W. S. Burris, who now lives at Denison, remembers when cedar trees and briar patches grew where the bright lights now flicker on Main and Elm streets. He was a Texas pioneer and one of the early settlers of Dallas county. The view of other old-timers, which have been published occasionally in The Times Herald, Burris said, have caused him to delve back into his memory, and he herewith sets forth an interesting insight into the early days of Dallas and his old home town, Scyene:
     "Old timers giving their views of Dallas years ago have caused me to write something of my impression of Dallas and Scyene in their early days," he says. "Naturally, old Scyene comes first, because I was raised there along with Jim Miller, Jeff Bruton, Charles Gross, Robt. Petty and Edward Russell. They may kinder hum around a bit, but will acknowledge that all of us lived in Scyene. It was known as the toughest town in Texas, and for many years, lived up to its reputation. Three saloons, a grocery store and a half-dozen residences constituted the town.

Rowdies Held Orgies.
     "I have stood in our door and seen a bunch of rowdies come into town, tank up, shoot and yell a few times, kill a few dogs, rope some of the dudes and have what they called a good time for a few hours. By that time, they got dry again and hungry, but the grocery store and two of the saloons had closed up to keep from being bothered with them. One of the saloons remained open all night, and the gang would then tank up again, shoot holes in the whisky barrels and go over and break in the grocery store. After getting what they wanted, they would build a fire in the center of the square, cook, eat, drink and play cards all night.
     "A few days later, after getting sobered up, each of them would come into town and pay for all the stuff used and the damage done. That settled the matter until the next spree. Usually, no one was hurt in these frivolities, no fights occurred, just a good time enjoyed. I was well acquainted with Belle Star, well known girl bandit, and several others I will not mention, for various reasons. I can truly say that every boy who grew up in old Scyene in those days, has made a good, law-abiding citizen.

Corn Field on Main Street.
     "Finally, I became tired of country town life and came to the city. I landed a job running a shooting gallery, doll rack and knife board for an old man named Beane--in a tent right across the street from the Wilson building. There were little shacks just boarded up any way all along Ervay street, where the Wilson building now stands. Carter's stockyards, a fire station and a grocery store owned by Sam Dysterbach's father were about all "deep Ellum" contained. A Mr. Newman had a corn field between Elm and Main street, in front of the stockyards. Cedar trees and briar patches were thick where the Oriental hotel now stands.
     "In those days, Dallas was "wide open"--striking machines, roulette wheels and other gambling devices were plentiful up and down the sidewalk. You could go upstairs at several places and find any games you might want. There were plenty of saloons that stayed open all night and a common sight was to see men rolling dice for drinks. These places were well provided with music.
     "Lots on Main and Elm street, at that time, could be bought at your own price, but there were very few buyers.

Drove Mule Car.
     "My next venture was that of driving a mule car for $1.50 per day, from 6 o'clock in the morning to 10 o'clock at night. A scattering of straw on the floor was used to keep the cold air from coming in through the cracks. A pair of mules was used for motive power, and our main troubles consisted of getting off the turn-table or the tracks into the mud, and that of trying to please all the people and seeing that each dropped nickel in the box. There was considerable difficulty in maintaining our schedule of a trip an hour.
     "There is still a great opportunity for the man who will invest in Dallas real estate, I think, for there is a wonderful future ahead for this city. The only difference is that it takes a little more cash to buy the property. But nevertheless, a good profit can be realized on Dallas real estate if a person can afford to purchase and hold it for a while.
     "In conclusion, I wish to say that although I was raised in Scyene and Dallas in the days when there were plenty of saloons and gambling joints, I never indulged in gambling and very seldom took a drink of whiskey. I did enjoy a little beer occasionally. In spite of the environment, I do not know a boy who was raised in Scyene at the time I am writing about, who made a drunkard or gambler. I suppose we just got our systems full by seeing so much of it and became disgusted.

Others Will Remember.
     "I could go on for hours telling of the happenings of those early days. There are several old-timers living in Dallas now who can recall the facts, also. There's Ed Cornwell. I'll bet he can remember the time when we chased the Scyene visitors out of town one day when they started a rough-house. He will remember it because he got hit with a brick at the time.
     "In writing this, I may fail to use good grammar. But, in those days, we got all our education in the old Scyene blacksmith shop, which was used for a schoolhouse. At that, I do not know of a single one who attended that school who is not capable of holding a place where a common school education is required. Several of them are school teachers now; others are railroad yard masters, timekeepers, track foremen, auditors and men and women filling many other important positions--and all of them are making good.
     "I have stayed away from Dallas about as long as I can, and I am coming back soon to stay. There is no place, and there never will be any place, like Dallas, to me.

- April 6, 1924, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. I, p. 11, col. 3-4.
- o o o -

Feels Young in 89th Year

 D. M. Clower and His Birthday Cake

Pioneer Electrician Who Installed
First Telephone System in Dallas
Celebrates Eighty-Ninth Birthday


Ninety Candles on Birthday
Cake; Extra One "to
Start Over On."

     Dallas, the city which only a few weeks ago celebrated the installation of its fifty-thousandth telephone, is indebted to D. M. Clower, pioneer electrician, for its first telephone and telephone exchange.
     It was forty-three years ago that Mr. Clower finished construction on Dallas' first telephone exchange, and was appointed as its manager. Now, this city takes first rank in the telephones per capita among all North American cities.
     The man who thus gave Dallas her first means of communication was the recipient of hundreds of telephone calls Monday from friends who wished to congratulate him on his eighty-ninth birthday.
     Confined to his bed, in an upstairs room of his home, 4030 Hall street, Mr. Clower received friends and visitors from early morning until late Monday evening. Beside his bed, on a table, there was a beautiful birthday cake bearing ninety candles.

One Extra Candle.
     He explained that his daughter, Mrs. J. D. Patterson, with whom he lives, placed one more candle on the cake than he was entitled to.
     "She said the extra one was for me to start all over again on," he explained with a hearty chuckle.
     "I came to Dallas in 1879," said Mr. Clower, "and it was forty-three years ago, that I was engaged in stringing the wires on telephone poles in Dallas, preparatory to opening the first telephone exchange. The exchange was opened June 1, 1881, and we had forty subscribers.
     "It was with great gusto that we celebrated the installation of the thousandth telephone in Dallas in 1890. I sent the glad tidings of our accomplishment to Charles Glidden, president of the company in New York. We though it was remarkable, and so did the president, but I never dreamed that I would live to see this city grow to the extent that it could utilize 50,000 telephones."
     The first exchange was located on Elm street, in a building adjoining the National Bank of Commerce, Elm and Poydras streets, Mr. Clower said. Only one telephone operator, a girl, was employed to care for the forty subscribers. Mr. Clower also built the first telephone exchange in Fort Worth about the same time the one here was established.
     Despite his age, Mr. Clower has a vivid memory, and until a few months ago, when he was ordered to bed on account of his weak heart, he was very actively engaged in the electrical business with his son, Walter Clower. He declares that he distinctly remembers the time when the two papers, the Times and the Herald were merged. He said this was about forty years ago.
     One of the chief problems back in the early eighties, when the first telephone poles were being placed, was finding poles, said. It was necessary to take a gang of men and go into the river bottoms and cut them.
     Mr. Clower has been confined to his bed for several months, but his condition is improving. He is of a jovial disposition and delights in talking of the early days in Dallas. In his room were many beautiful flowers, the gifts of friends, the Electric club and various utility executives.
     Mr. Clower was elected an honorary member of the Dallas Electric club during the administration of Joe H. Gill.

- May 13, 1924, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. II, p. 12, col. 3-5.
- o o o -


     Johnathan M. Cooper, 82 years of age, pioneer Texas resident and Confederate veteran, residing at Cedar Hill, Dallas county, relates many interesting events occurring during his early life while serving during the Civil war in company H, under Captain Tom Beaty.
     Mr. Cooper was born December 2, 1843, in Maury county, Tennessee. He obtained his education in that state, and when the war broke out between the states, he enlisted with the Confederate forces in Biffles regiment of the Ninth Tennessee cavalry in 1862.
     Mr. Cooper participated in many of the hardest fought battles in the south and is the survivor of many skirmishes. Following the close of the war, he returned to his old home in Tennessee, where he resided for several years, later moving to Texas and making his home in Duncanville, Texas.
     He resided in Duncanville for two years, later moving to Hood county, where he made his home several years. Mr. Cooper moved to Cedar Hill two years later, where he has resided since.

[Note: the above article was not accompanied by a photograph]

- June 1, 1924, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. V, p. 6, col. 5-6.
- o o o -

Bad Spelling Gave Little
Town Of Scyene Its Name, Pioneer
Resident of County Declares


Intended to Name It After
a Well-Known River of



     Bad spelling gave the little community of Scyene its name, according to W. W. Glover, pioneer Dallas county resident. The name should have been spelled Seine, as the town was named after the river made famous by the bards of France.
     The first postoffice east of Dallas, according to Mr. Glover, was designated as White Rock, and was located in a log hut on the prairie now known as Munger Place. G. W. Glover, Mr. Glover's father, was the first postmaster and the postoffice was a pine shelf in the corner of the low cabin, which served as a residence for Mr. Glover and his family. Mark Spearman, the first carrier, brought the mail from Palestine and Crockett on horseback and there was not much regularity of deliveries. Spearman had to dodge Indians at times and in rainy weather, he had to swim swollen streams and rivers or camp on the bank until the waters subsided to where he could cross.
     Mail coming to Dallas in those days was addressed to "Dallas or the Three Forks of the Trinity."
     The White Rock postoffice was discontinued for a time between 1848 and 1850. In 1850, J. J. Beeman returned to Dallas county and started efforts to renew the postoffice at White Rock. In making his application for the office, he discovered that there was another White Rock in the state and the government refused to recognize the new office by that name. At this time, the little community of Scyene, several miles east of the proposed location of the White Rock postoffice, was known as Thorpeville, named after Jesse L. Thorp, a pioneer resident of that vicinity. Beeman and Thorp got their heads together and arranged for the establishment of the new postoffice in that community. At Beeman's suggestion, the name of the community was changed. He wanted the name changed to Seine, naming the town after the famous river in France. But, when the papers were drawn, they had spelled it Scyene. This was acceptable to the government and the name still stands.
     Mr. Glover was born in the first house built on the prairie east of Dallas. His parents came to this vicinity when it was still a part of Nacogdoches county, and his father erected the log cabin which served as a home with the aid of his neighbors.

Married on Prairie.
     "They worked and transacted their business under various and sundry handicaps in those days," Mr. Glover said. "I have heard father tell about the plans for his marriage. Nacogdoches was the county seat of this part of the country at that time, and when father wanted to get his marriage license, he decided that it was too far to travel there for the necessary papers. So, he went to Bonham, instead. After he had his license, he was uncertain whether it would be legal for him to marry in Nacogdoches county with a Fannin county license, so he got a preacher and rode out to Bonham. The ceremony was performed in the wagon on the prairie in Fannin county."
     "Dallas county was organized between July 10 and 20, 1846," Mr. Beeman said. "I was born in the cabin on the prairie east of Dallas July 21[?]/31[?], 1848[?]. I can remember stories of the early days, including those about the Indians chasing Mr. Beeman when he was carrying the first mail route. The Indians were mostly peaceable, however, and we had little to fear from them. Delaware Frank was perhaps the most famous hunter who led his braves into this part of the country each year to hunt. Everybody who knew him, loved him. He would always raise his right hand in token of friendship when he approached a pioneer's home or a white settlement. And he made his men stack their guns before going to a white man's house. He was always welcome, and many of the pioneers of this vicinity fed him when he was here on his hunting expeditions.

Lived Out of Woods.
     "The early pioneers lived mostly out of the woods, as there was an abundance of wild game and other provisions. Buffalo and bear were plentiful, as were prairie chickens, wild turkeys and smaller game. Wild honey was plentiful, and it was about the only sweetnin' we had for a long time. We used it in coffee and in cooking, and I have also seen my father grease his wagon with it when he had nothing else to use. It was no trick at all to find a bee-tree in the bottoms and get enough honey to last for months.
     "We also raised our own corn, and made cornmeal, which provided us with the only bread we had during a major part of the year. The meal was ground by hand in large basins cut out of rock. It made mighty fine cornbread, too."
     Although Dallas has grown from a mere cross-roads town to the first city in the Southwest, Mr. Glover has refrained from moving here to make his home. "I've lived on the prairie east of Dallas for the past 79 years and am perfectly content to remain there the rest of my days," he said. "I used to come to Dallas a good deal in the old days when the town was wide open. There were saloons and gambling houses and almost any kind of entertainment a man could want here in those days, and whenever we wanted a little excitement, it was no trick to come here and find it. "But, times have changed," he added. "Only the old settlers know how times have changed."

- March 15, 1925, Dallas Times Herald, Pt. I, p. 9, col. 2-3.
- o o o -



     The last surviving member of Admiral George Dewey's graduating class at Annapolis, and the only living major of the artillery of the Confederate army, is still alive at the age of 85.
     He is Major George Storrs, former state surveyor, now residing at the Dallas county poor farm on the Hutchins road.
     Major Storrs was born Jan. 21, 1840, at Wetumpka, Ala. Educated in that state until 14 years old, he entered Annapolis Naval Training school with Dewey, and Storrs became acquainted the first day, and were lifelong friends.

* * *

Also Knew Schley.
     Later, he became acquainted with John Grimble, who soon attained the rank of admiral after graduating. Dewey, Storrs and Grimble were close friends through their college days and later in life. Storrs also was personally acquainted with Admiral Winfield Scott Schley.
     After graduating, Major Storrs was assigned to a ship as a midshipman with Dewey, Howell, Howison, Kantz and Bishop, most of whom later became admirals. Storrs sailed practically all the seven seas, visiting on these trips in Genoa, Italy, Leghorn, Naples, Malta, Constantinople, Smyrna and Alexandria, Egypt. He has crossed the Atlantic four times.
     After returning to the United States from the Mediterranean sea, Storrs resigned from the navy. A short time later, the war broke out between the states, and volunteers for the Confederate army were being sent out. Because, he says, "the navy of the South was being organized too slowly," he enlisted in the army as a private.
     After his enlistment in Alabama, he was transferred to Virginia and took part in his first battle under the personal command of Gen. Robert E. Lee. It was a short time after this encounter that word was brought into camp from Joe Johnson for assistance at Vicksburg. He was one of the company to be sent to Vicksburg.
     There he attained the rank of major and was put in command of the artillery in French's division. He commanded that battalion of artillery until the close of the war.
     "The most interesting event of the war in my four years' service, that I remember most distinctly, occurred near Atlanta, Ga.' Major Storrs said. "I had been sent to try to check Sherman on his march to the sea.
     "My engineers surveyed a nearby mountain, where I intended placing my battery. Word was sent back that the position would be unsafe. Knowing my company would be greatly outnumbered by the opposite side, I went ahead and had my forces well placed over the mountain. Early the next morning, we began our bombardment on Sherman's men.
     "All day, we shelled their camps, and not one of their guns replied. The next day, however, there was plenty of action shown by both sides."
     Recalling his narrow escapes from death, Major Storrs continued:
     "When I was riding my horse near the firing lines during a battle near Jackson, Miss., my horse was shot dead under me. I had the same experience near Nashville, Tenn. It was one of those occasions that a close friend of mine, Dave Coleman, had his leg shot off and his horse killed.
     "Northern troops were pressing behind me closely, and the two litter bearers carrying Coleman were captured. He was with Ector's Texas brigade at the time. Coleman lived, and was later president of the State university of Mississippi.

Heard of Lee's Surrender.
     "I was fighting in South Carolina when word was received in camp that Lee has surrendered. At first I would not believe it, and kept my company fighting. The messenger was placed under arrest."
After the close of the war, Major Storrs returned to his home in Alabama. He stayed there a short time and later went to Brazil to make his home.
     After spending a year in Brazil, Major Storrs shipped as a seaman to San Francisco, Cal., and later to Oregon and the Washington territory. On his trip to California, he sailed around Cape Horn. From Washington, he went to Alaska.

Moved to Texas in 1874.
     In 1874, Major Storrs moved to Texas. He served as state surveyor and classifier under the administrations of Governors Sullivan Ross and James S. Hogg. Major Storrs was instrumental in the cutting of the Panhandle into sections, which covered approximately 3,000,000 acres of land.
     In 1888, he moved to Dallas, where he resided until moving to the county farm, Sept. 1, 1924. While in Dallas, he taught private schools until last summer. Including some of his ex-pupils, are Dr. S. E. Milliken, Ross Knight, Ross Curtis and Mack Newland.
     He has also taught school at Fort Worth and Waco. Major Storrs was, at one time, principal of the school at Rockwall, Tex., which is now known as the Rockwall college.

Knew John Traylor.
     The late Capt. John Fox of Dallas, was Major Storrs' quartermaster in the Civil war, and he was a personal friend of John Traylor, former mayor of Dallas, who died recently in San Antonio, Tex.
     The major was married to Miss E. B. Pratt at Rockwall in 1886. She is still living, and is with her husband at the farm.
Mrs. Storrs' grandfather was killed while fighting under General Jackson at New Orleans. Her father, W. T. Pratt, fought at the battle of San Jacinto and was present when Santa Anna surrendered to Gen. Sam Houston.

- March 29, 1925, Dallas Times Herald, Sec. VII, p. 4, col. 1-4.
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[A photo accompanies the article, and does not reproduce well enough to include here. The heading reads: "Poor Farm Inmate Dewey's Chum." The caption reads: "George Storrs, Confederate veteran and personal friends of Admiral Dewey, is shown in the picture with his wife. They resided in Dallas for more than a quarter of a century before moving to the county farm last September."]

Recalls Early Days in Texas

     Mrs. A. E. Armstrong, 99 years old, is shown with her great-great-grandson, James Wheeler Carson, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Carson, 1300 South Waverly Drive, Oak Cliff.  Mrs. Armstrong is the mother of twelve children and has more than 150 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. She was born in Warren County, Tennessee, Oct. 28, 1826, married J. B. Armstrong and came to Texas in 1846.
     She recalls the days when her husband could have bought land where Dallas now stands for 50¢ an acre, but they preferred timbered country and selected Panola County, near Carthage, for their home. She came to Dallas a year ago to live with her children.
     In spite of her advanced years, Mrs. Armstrong is quite active and has an unusual memory, being able to repeat long poems learned in her childhood. She recalls many interesting incidents of early days in Texas and enjoys telling of the historic night in 1833 "when the stars fell," and, [as] a child of 7 years, she stood frightened by her mother's side and watched the strange astronomical phenomenon which many people thought beckoned the end of the world.
     Mrs. Armstrong believes in progress, and accompanied her daughter, Mrs. John Sanders of Center, Shelby County, to the polls in 1912 to vote for Woodrow Wilson for President the first time women were permitted to vote in Texas.

- December 6, 1925, Dallas Morning News, Sec. VI, p. 15, col. 2-3.
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     After forty-seven years' service and five days retirement, "railroading" has the same fascination for R. B. Courtney of Dallas that it held for him when he got his first job on the old Arkansas Valley lines in 1884.
     Like the small boy with his first toy train, Mr. Courtney still finds a glamour in the busy, hustling metropolitan ticket office, in the winding steel rails disappearing into the horizon, and in the leashed power in the giant locomotives.
     "Who would ever have thought the time would come when I could sit down in an air-cooled diner, eat a good meal and cover fifty miles of Texas landscape an hour without ever realizing the speed?" he asked. "When I started railroading, we thought it was great stuff to have lunch rooms in the depots at principal cities, so that passengers could get off and snatch a bite, two or three times a day."
     That he has seen changes, is attached by the fact that Mr. Courtney's service with the Missouri-Kansas-Texas lines extended over the administrations of eight presidents. And, more than one of those executives were "giants" of the railroad era.

Tribute at Luncheon.
     Mr. Courtney was retired as Katy division passenger agent here Sept. 1, after thirty-eight years' continuous service. Passenger representatives of foreign lines in Dallas, and all ticket and passenger agents of Dallas lines, joined in paying him honor at a luncheon last Monday in a script memorializing their friendship presented to him later in the week.
     President Thomas C. Purdy was at the head of the Katy system when Mr. Courtney became city passenger and ticket agent in Houston, July 27, 1893. In 1900, he was moved to Dallas with the same position, and in 1912, he became the first district passenger agent the Katy ever had. Shortly after the war, he was made divisional passenger agent, with headquarters in Dallas, and he held this post until his retirement.
     He has the reputation of knowing more Dallas people by sight than any other business man. An indication of the extent of his acquaintance and friendships was found in the hundreds of congratulatory letters and telegrams received when his retirement on length of service was announced.
     The Katy city ticket office was located on the ground floor of the Linz building, then the skyscraper and showplace of Dallas, when Mr. Courtney came here in 1900, he recalled.

Going to Country.
     "I found a house we liked at the corner of State and Boll streets and we moved out there," Mr. Courtney recalled. "Our friends wanted to know why we were going to the country.
     "The Texas and Pacific city ticket office was where Everts' store is now, the H. & T. C. (now the Southern Pacific) was on the Dreyfuss corner at Main and Poydras, and the Santa Fe office was in the St. George hotel.
     "We operated our own lunchroom in the old Katy station at Lamar and Commerce streets then," he continued. "The superintendent of lunchroom son the line suggested that I advertise his Sunday dinners for him. I remember we ran an ad in the Times Herald and other Dallas papers, headed 'Sunday evening menu--all for 50 cents' It was some meal, more than you could get today for $2 or $3. The response to the advertising was so great that the train customers could not be taken care of because of the townspeople, so we cut out the advertising after the fourth Sunday."
     "Catfish Row" was the rather suggestive description for the block of shanties which graced the Ervay street side of the present Wilson building site. Mr. Courtney recalled. The shanties were occupied by greasy, dirty cafes and restaurants, and on the corner, was a big two-story house with a saloon on the first floor.

Fair Visitors Used Trains.
     "The only means of transportation for the majority of State Fair visitors then was by railroads," he said. "On many days, there were as many as eight special trains into Dallas, loaded with people coming to see the Fair. The Katy lines, alone, have handled as many as 3,000 visitors by special train in a single day.
     "About the only other general traveling then was for holidays, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, when the roads reduced rates and everybody went to see all the kinfolks."
     Another recollection of the "good old days" was that foreign lines then paid commissions on ticket sales, and the city ticket and passenger agents' incomes were limited only by the number of tickets they could sell.
     "Equipment on the lines, even then, was remarkably good," Mr. Courtney said.
     The opera house, at first located at Austin and Commerce and later at Main and St. Paul streets, was a source of traffic for the railroads, for new companies of actors were arriving---old companies leaving almost daily.
     During the war, there were the troop movements to tax the railroads and their agents to the limit.
     Mr. Courtney worked in the consolidated city ticket office during the war period of government control of the railroads.
     Presidents William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt were among the celebrities who visited Dallas during his service in the ticket office. He recalled that Roosevelt put a "fast one" over on Dallas, by making a sudden departure from the old Oriental hotel, where he was stopping.
     "He came rushing out a side door, got into a carriage, and was escorted out of town by secret service agents on bicycles," he laughed. "Outside the city, Roosevelt was met by his special train, which pulled out to the Katy gravel pit southeast of Dallas and parked for the night on the siding. That was how the colonel got a good night's rest and escaped the strain of meeting his Dallas admirers."
     Elbert Hubbard was Mr. Courtney's companion for the day at the State Fair of Texas several years before the leader of the Roycrofters went down on the Titanic. While the famous author was here on a lecture tour, Mr. Courtney was chairman of the reception committee and assigned to conduct him on a visit to the Fair.

- September 6, 1931, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Section I, p. 6, col. 1-3.
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