March 5, 2004:
ON THE FORCE.
J. C. ARNOLD'S SERVICE.
Police Chief Looks Back Over Seven
Years' Experience as Patrolman and
Thirteen as Chief -- Pat Mullen
Comes Next on the List.
TWENTY years ago, yesterday, Chief of Police James
C. Arnold was appointed a policeman in Dallas, Gen. Cabell being
Mayor, and June Peake, City Marshal.
6, 1894, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 6, col. 1.
Captain Arnold served on the force,
and in 1881, when he was elected Chief of Police, which office
he still holds. There is perhaps no other officer in the State
who has been continuously in [office] for so long a time.
Captain Arnold still has the club
he carried when he first became a policeman. It is not so pretty
as a piece of furniture as the clubs now in use by Dallas officers,
but it answered the purposes of [those] days when the town was
Patrick Mullen is next to Capt.
Arnold, in point of continuous service on the force. He has been
an officer over fifteen years. Henry Waller was one of the early
officers, too, but he has been off the force several times.
It is unnecessary to add that Capt.
Arnold has made a model officer, for the fact that he has been
in office so long, tells that.
- o o o -
April 9, 2004:
Dallas Wagon Yard
Recalled by Oak Cliff Man
wagon yard, like the pinto pony, has crossed the divide into
the sunset of oblivion.
31, 1938, The Dallas Morning News,
Ben Brandenburg, 831 West Tenth,
who was born in Duncanville community, just southwest of Oak
Cliff, said one of the most famous of all wagon yards in Northern
Texas was at Penn Springs on Ten-Mile Creek, about fifteen miles
southwest of the Tyler and Jefferson business district in Oak
Cliff. There were several wagon yards in the western part of
the county, including those at Grand Prairie, Arlington and Grapevine,
but none was so widely known as the one at Penn Springs, where
freighters and travelers came for miles around. People coming
by wagon from South or Central Texas to Dallas, would stop at
Penn Springs, and the next day, continue their journey to West
Mr. Brandenburg said there were
several wagon yards in West Dallas in the 1880's, and that people
stopping there would continue the trip into the Dallas the following
"In those days, most everybody,
sooner or later, stayed in a wagon yard," Mr. Brandenburg
said. "People traveled to Dallas by covered wagon and many
of them stopped overnight in the wagon yards. The coming of trains
almost put the wagon yard out of business, but the death blow
was struck by the automobile."
Sec. II, p. 10, col. 6-7.
NIGHT WATCHMAN FOR
MORE THAN TWELVE YEARS
Uriah McKay Has
Postmasters Come and Go at Dallas
Postoffice. Began Duties When J. S.
Witwer Was Postmaster
past twelve or thirteen years, Uriah McKay, who is now sixty-four
years of age, has held the position of night watchman in the
Dallas postoffice building. His courteous treatment to strangers
and the rigid enforcement of the government rules pertaining
to government buildings has won for him the admiration of all
persons who are forced to go to the Federal building at night.
Besides having the honor of greeting
six postmasters as they assumed their office, he also has had
the distinction of holding his position under presidents of both
the Republican and Democratic parties. He was a soldier during
the war between the states and was many times a prisoner.
Native of Kentucky.
Uriah McKay was born in Owensboro,
Kentucky, April 23, 1843. He was the fifth son of G. M. McKay,
who is now alive at the age of ninety-nine years and resides
at Palestine, Texas. His early education was received in the
pay schools of his home town. In 1865, he was united in marriage
to Sarah M. Lewis, in Nelson county, Ky. From the union, eight
children were born, four of whom are alive today, three living
in Dallas and one in Missouri.
In 1879, Mr. McKay and his family
moved to Texas, locating at Palestine, where they remained for
seven years, Mr. McKay opening and successfully conducting a
furniture store, which was destroyed by fire after he had been
there about six years. From there, he moved to Brenham, and then
to San Antonio, where he worked at the mattress and upholstering
trade. In 1890, he moved with his family to Dallas, where he
continued the same line of business until 1894, when he was appointed
night watchman upon the recommendation of Postmaster J. S. Witwer,
and which position he had held ever since.
Mr. McKay's Duties.
Besides the duties of a night watchman,
he has charge of the fires during the winter. The only time the
postoffice force has ever received a scare during the time has
had been on duty, was in 1901, when a man entered from the rear
door and sat down at one of the desks and started to write. "The
man," said Mr. McKay, "was over six feet tall, had
on a long coat and had his trousers tucked in high boots. I asked
him what he wanted, and he said all he wanted was to write a
"I told him he couldn't write
a letter there and said he would have to leave. I then asked
him who he was, and he said, "I reckon I'm about the best
man in Texas." I took him by the arm, and as he left the
door through which he entered, he said, "I'm a gentleman
from Kentucky and I never flitter."
Prisoner of War.
- October 6, 1907,
Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. I, p. 7, col. 2-3.
When the war broke out between
the states, his home was in Owensboro, Kentucky. Three of his
brothers left and fought with the Confederate army and he remained
at home to care for his father and the rest of the family. He
enlisted in the state militia for home protection on the Federal
side. He took an active part in several battles and was many
times made a prisoner by both armies. When the war was over,
he was in New York City. He came back to his home, later coming
to Texas, where he has resided ever since.
During the many years he has held
this position, he has only been absent from duty on fourteen
occasions, and in nearly ever instance, this was caused from
sickness or from some other unavoidable reason. Despite the fact
that Mr. McKay has gone through many hardships in his day, and
is now getting rather aged, he is still hale and hearty and looks
good for many more years of active work.
- o o o -
[Note: a photo of Uriah McKay accompanies the article, but
is of such poor quality, that it will not reproduce satisfactorily]
AMAZED AT GROWTH
was a side street as quiet as a country lane back in 1903, and
was as dull as an alley back of a sanitarium, Jack Parsons, owner
of the Hippodrome company, declares he found the city when his
troupe first played here. Although Parsons has been here at intervals
of from five to six years, the growth of the city amazes him.
- October 27, 1921,
Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 8, col. 2.
"The unusual growth just knocks
me cold," Parsons said. It's a real city now, and when I
was here first, it was just a country town. Fort Worth was a
wild and woolly place then, and when there wasn't a killing,
it was a pretty dull day. The biggest job we had in Fort Worth
was to get enough teams to haul our equipment through the mud.
Even Main street wasn't paved."
Parsons and his company played
here when Bush Temple was used as a theater house, and also in
Cycle Park, before it burned. Main street was paved with bumpy
bois d'arc blocks and electric street cars had just replaced
the old mule drawn affairs.
"Dallas appears to be growing
every day, and by 1940, it should have the 475,000 population
the Chamber of Commerce is predicting," he said.
- o o o -
December 9, 2004:
LETTERS FROM READERS
AN EYEWITNESS DESCRIBES
DALLAS AS IT WAS IN 1855.
To The News.
- December 29, 1922,
The Dallas Morning News,
I noticed [an] article in The News
of Dec. 24, from the pen of Dr. John H. Mitchell, who came to
Dallas in 1863. His description of Dallas at that time, is,
in the main, correct, but I can go him one better, from the fact
that I came to Dallas in 1855, when a mere lad. It is rather
hard for me to give a description of Dallas at that time, because
of the fact that there was practically no Dallas here then.
There were, however, a few log cabins scattered along on the
banks of the Trinity, and one or two small "business stores,"
but the largest business "in town" was a tent containing
about $100 worth of merchandise, situated in the boggy bottom
of the Trinity, just across the river from where the courthouse
Fleas and mosquitoes were unusually
plentiful at that time, and it kept one busy fighting them off.
This, I well remember.
Oak, mesquite and bois d'arc trees
occupied what is now the best part of the city.
It was not long, however, until
the town began to build "plank houses," by sending
old clumsy ox wagons down into East Texas, where the pines grew
and the sawmills were situated.
What we called a fine house in
those days would be called a negro hut at this time.
I have gathered persimmons on trees
that stood near where The News office now stands.
Yes, I was here when that little
old steam boat came up the Trinity River from the Gulf to Dallas,
and it stayed here until it rotted down and went to the junk
I am old now, and am not prepared
to live -- but, I am preparing to die.
In 1867, I went out West to Weatherford,
Parker County, to defend my country against the hostile Comanche
and Kiowa Indians, and incidentally, to engage in the cattle
business, and I am, at this very moment, publishing a book, giving
a description of the many encounters I had with them, and the
hardships early settlers had to endure on the frontier of Texas.
2611 Elm street, Dallas, Texas.
Part II, p. 10.
- o o o -
December 9, 2004:
LETTERS FROM READERS
CAME TO DALLAS BEFORE
RAILROADS WERE BUILT.
To The News.
- January 27, 1925,
The Dallas Morning News,
Another Texas pioneer wants to
talk some, as all the pioneers are writing. I came to Texas
with my parents from Illinois in 1866, just a small lad. We
settled at Hutchins; that is, where Hutchins now is. We brought
the first thimble skein wagon that was in Dallas County. The
old Dawdy Ferry was owned and run by my Uncle Anse Dawdy. There
were only two houses between Dawdy's Ferry and Lancaster. Dallas
and Lancaster were the most important towns at that time. About
ten years later, the Texas Central Railroad was built.
When Sam Bass, Jesse James and
their pals did so much robbing, Sam Bass, while holding up a
passenger train at Hutchins, fired several shots, one striking
our gate post. The people had to haul freight from Houston to
Dallas, and they did not have concrete roads, but had lots of
mud. That was before the Central Railroad was built. Cotton
was ginned by horse power. There was a gin about halfway between
Dawdy's Ferry and Lancaster, owned and operated by John R. Fonderant.
People who needed cotton seed just went to the gin and helped
themselves. The surplus was hauled out and dumped on the prairie.
I have seen Dallas grow from a
few stores and courthouse, to the great city of the Southwest,
and the acres that were growing nothing but grass have been transformed
to factories of all kinds, work shops and business houses and
residences, where happy people live. I well remember the little
mule-drawn street cars and dim street lights, very different
from today. Another thing I want to say, is that Dallas can
boast of people who never turn a deaf ear to those who need help.
Of the men who first established business and are still helping
to make Dallas a greater city, I want to mention one or two men.
One was Sam Dysterbach's father, as good a man as ever lived,
and another was Mr. Waggoner. I mention these because I was
personally acquainted with them.
I am just a plain farmer, living
thirteen miles from Dallas, but if I live much longer, I think
Dallas will reach my farm, and I will live in Dallas, too.
A. L. CADE.
Sec II, p. 12.
- o o o -
Elders Covered Wagon Pioneers
Mrs. E. T. Thompson, on the
right, and Mrs. J. R. Rupard, next to her, are the elders of
the five generations shown in the picture. They came to Texas
in a covered wagon and since 1880, have been loyal Texans. In
the center of the group is Mrs. Horace Binford, daughter of Mrs.
Rupard, and on the left, Mrs. Josie Vance, with little Miss Doris
Joe Vance, great-granddaughter and great-great-granddaughter,
respectively, of Mrs. Thompson.