Recollections, Dallas County, Texas, Part 2
To Dallas County Archives main page
To Recollections, Part 1

(Updated December 9, 2004)

Added March 5, 2004:



Dallas' 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.
     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 wild.
     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.

- November 6, 1894, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 6, col. 1.
- o o o -

Added April 9, 2004:
Famous Dallas Wagon Yard
Recalled by Oak Cliff Man

     The wagon yard, like the pinto pony, has crossed the divide into the sunset of oblivion.
     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 Dallas.
     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 day.
     "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."

- July 31, 1938, The Dallas Morning News,
Sec. II, p. 10, col. 6-7.



Uriah McKay Has Seen Many
Postmasters Come and Go at Dallas
Postoffice. Began Duties When J. S.
Witwer Was Postmaster

     For the 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 letter.
     "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.
     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.

- October 6, 1907, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. I, p. 7, col. 2-3.
- o o o -
[Note: a photo of Uriah McKay accompanies the article, but
is of such poor quality, that it will not reproduce satisfactorily]


     Elm street 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.
     "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.

- October 27, 1921, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 8, col. 2.
- o o o -

Added December 9, 2004:


To The 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 now stands.
     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 pile.
     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.
                                                     M. L. J
     2611 Elm street, Dallas, Texas.

- December 29, 1922, The Dallas Morning News,
Part II, p. 10.
- o o o -

Added December 9, 2004:


To The 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. C
Rylie, Texas.

- January 27, 1925, The Dallas Morning News,
Sec II, p. 12.
- o o o -

Five Generations;
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.


     It's nothing, nowadays, for folks to jump into their automobiles and start out on a journey of 500 or 1,000 miles or so, secure in the knowledge that they will arrive at their destinations within twelve or twenty-four or forty-eight hours or some such a matter.
     It was different back in 1880.
     It was also different as far back as 1854.
     Then, such journeys were made in covered wagons, with a pair or two pairs of heavy set horses or powerful mules for motive power.
     Mrs. E. T. Thompson, past 80, but as bright mentally and as strong physically as she was when she came to Texas, remembers that kind of a trip in '80, and also a similar one, out to California, in 1854.
     So does Mrs. J. R. Rupard, of 1115 Mount Auburn avenue, who is entertaining her mother, Mrs. Thompson. That is, Mrs. Rupard remembers the 1880 trip--she doesn't go back quite as far as 1854. Mrs. Thompson lives with a son on a farm near Mesquite, where the family settled when they first came to Texas.
     "Certainly, I remember coming to Texas," Mrs. Thompson said. "The journey in a covered wagon wasn't any new experience to me. As a 12-year-old girl, I had gone from our old home in Missouri out to California, and I enjoyed it. Of course, the Texas trip didn't carry with it the novelty and the anticipation that I got out of the California experience, but it wasn't unenjoyable at that."

In Gold Rush.
     As a girl, Mrs. Thompson was a member of a big party of Missourians who made the California "trek," along with the other Argonauts, in the historic search for gold, which started in 1849.      "We didn't find any gold," Mrs. Thompson dryly remarked, "but we did find an ideal climate. Next to Texas, I think California offers the most in the way of comfortable living conditions, and I'd like to see it once more. Our home was up on the side of a mountain and in sight of the ocean--something Texas can't supply, as fine as it is."
     Despite the fact that she didn't then -- nor does now -- weigh much over a hundred pounds, Mrs. Rupard did most of the driving down from Missouri in 180.
     "It took us about ten days, as I remember it," Mrs. Rupard said. "We didn't see any wild Indians, as mother did on her California trip. All we saw were in Oklahoma -- then Oklahoma territory -- and they were just the ordinary kind that you find there even now.

Determined to Become Texans.
     "Mr. Rupard had already been in Texas, kind of prospecting around, and came back with glowing reports about the new country. That's what decided us to go. My mother's folks had come back from California, so the whole family determined to become Texans.
     "We made the start with colors flying. I was young enough to have a keen anticipation of the novelty of the trip, and started out looking for new sensations every day.
     "I got them, but driving a hard-pulling pair of mules, with a baby on one arm and handling the wagon brake and the reins with the other hand, kind of wore off as a novelty after a mighty short while. I don't know whether it was a Texas or a Missouri mesquite that was responsible, but Mr. Rupard was laid up in the back of the wagon with chills most of the way, so the driving job fell to me.
     "But, we got here all right, and have been here ever since. Dallas is different from what it was in 1880. Now, we ride on rubber tires over smooth, paved roads. I think about that almost springless wagon, the tough-mouthed mules and the rutty, rough roads between Missouri and Texas lots of times."

- March 28, 1926, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Section I, p. 3, col. 2-5.
- o o o -


Oldest Native of White Rock Lake
District Remembers When Dallas
Was an All-Day Journey by Wagon


Land Was Cheap and Deer
Plentiful in Woods Near

     White Rock, geographically, isn't a bit nearer to Dallas than it was when the first white settlers drove their ox teams through the creek which bears its name, and decided to stake their tents on the adjacent hills. But Dallas, now, is a heap closer to White Rock.
     Urban expansion, paved highways and rapid transportation have annihilated the distance that once lay between them.
     Ed W. Daniel, for thirty-four years a member of the Dallas fire department, can recall when Dallas was an all-day journey from what is now White Rock lake.
     "We'd hitch up at daybreak, and if we reached the courthouse by dark, we were making good time," he relates.
     Daniel claims to be the oldest living native of the White Rock neighborhood, and his father, John H. Daniel, was the first settler thereabouts. The former still resides on a wooded hilltop overlooking the pumping plant and the lake beyond, where his dad built a log cabin seventy-five years ago.

Came on Foot.
     "My father came out here on foot when he was a boy, with a family from St. Joseph, Mo.," the younger Daniel explains.
"There was nothing here but woods, then; full of deer and rabbits. Why, I can remember one winter when he killed fifty deer between the house and the creek bottom where he cut timber and split rails.
     On this pioneer homestead, the son grew to maturity and watched Dallas grow from a tiny village on the banks of the Trinity, to a great city, that was some day, to reach out and gobble up his cotton patch.
     Where the elder Daniel once guided his plow and split fence rails, builders are erecting fine homes and laying concrete drives. What was once an all-day journey by wagon to Dallas, is now a fifteen-minute run by motor car.

Might Have Made Fortune.
     "If we had known what was coming, we could have been rich," Daniel says. "When I was nineteen years old, I could have bought sixty acres on Emil Euckert's place for $700.
     This land is now in Pasadena, one of the numerous new residential sections in the district. A single lot now worth many times what he could have purchased the entire addition for.
     Most of the Daniel homestead went into the making of Monticello, another exclusive residential addition.
     When the city of Dallas dammed White Rock creek in 1909-10, to form a water supply lake, it was the elder Daniel who showed the engineers where to build it, his son declares.
     "He knew the lay of the land better than anyone in Dallas, and they finally decided to put it where he first told 'em to."
     "But, he didn't know how fast the city was growing out this way.

- March 28, 1926, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Section I, p. 8, col. 2-3.
- o o o -

Delivered Mail in Dallas
for 45 Years


Retired Carrier Re-
calls Early Days
of Horseback


 - Staff photo by Dennis Hayes.

     The photographer snapped this picture of Uncle Jimmy Jackson soon after his retirement with forty-five years service to his credit with the Dallas postoffice.
     It was necessary to take the picture at the old postman's home, as regulations forbid him to wear the uniform on the streets, now that he is retired. In the insert, he is shown as he appeared when he entered the service. The small picture is a reproduction from a group picture of some of the original employes of the postoffice.

     "No, sir, these young fellows in the service nowadays have a snap compared to the way we used to have to work."
     The speaker was Uncle Jimmy Jackson, who, before his retirement a short time ago, was the oldest member of the Dallas postoffice department.
     No one, perhaps, is better qualified to comment on the Dallas department than is Uncle Jimmy. His forty-five years of service gave him a working knowledge of the entire department, and he can reel off dates, terms of service of postmasters and other bits of information about the history of the postoffice.
     But, to get back to Uncle Jimmy and his ideas of work --
     "When the Dallas postoffice was in its infancy, there was no such thing as an eight-hour day for postal employes. We often had to work twelve or fifteen hours a day, and, when I say work, I mean work.
     "Under the present system, many of the carriers do not have to work even their eight hours. Of course, that's all right. If they can do their work faster, why, it's just that much better for them and the department."

Not Complaining.
     The old postman hastened to point out that he had no criticism of the work of the Dallas employes.
     "I'm not complaining about the amount of work that they do. I would just like to remind them that their portion is nothing as compared with what we had to do in the old days, and for less pay."
     Since he carried his last route on Aug. 31 of this year, Uncle Jimmy has not quite known what to do with himself. He's still as active and spry as many a younger man, and, according to the postmaster, could do as much, or more, work than many younger men in the department.
     But, that is beside the case, the old man declares. "The government saw fit to retire me on a pension. Of course, I'd rather keep on working, for the reason that it is best for a man to have something to occupy his time, and also, because my pension is less than half of what my salary was."
     During the State Fair, Uncle Jimmy found temporary employment on the Fair grounds.
     "After working forty-five years steadily in the same department, I feel lost without a regular job," he said.
     There's nothing Uncle Jimmy likes to do more than to talk about the old days of the postoffice, and in the way in which the service has grown.
     When he started to work for the department on Jan. 14, 1885, the postoffice was housed in a drug store at Elm and Akard streets. Akard, at that time, was called Sycamore street.
     Uncle Jimmy's application blank read: "James H. Jackson, age 24." He first began work as a substitute carrier.
     At that time, the entire force of the postoffice consisted of about fifteen persons, including the postmaster and seven letter carriers. L. S. Garrison was postmaster.
     For a short time, Uncle Jimmy served as a substitute carrier, during which time, he learned to distribute mail.
     The department then boasted, one day distributing clerk. While these two were on their vacations, Uncle Jimmy held down the job of distribution. Soon after that, he was made general delivery clerk by Postmaster Garrison.
     During the summer of 1885, John H. Cochran was appointed to succeed Mr. Garrison as postmaster by President Cleveland. At that time, Uncle Jimmy went back to work as a substitute carrier.

More Carriers Needed.
     Shortly after Cochran became head of the Dallas office, application was made for an increase in the number of carriers. Permission was granted by congress, and three carriers were added to the Dallas department. Uncle Jimmy was one of the trio. That was his first permanent job with the department. He was carrier No. 9.
     With only twelve carriers, the territory that each had to cover was necessarily large. Uncle Jimmy had all of North Dallas, a district which he covered daily for more than twenty years.
     However, it wasn't a foot route. Horseback riding was the most popular method at that time for the postoffice carriers.
     In good weather, it wasn't so bad, according to the veteran postman. "Usually, the people came out to meet the postal carriers and we could just ride up to the door and hand over the mail. However, in wet weather, it was not so pleasant covering such a large territory on horseback."

From Horseback to Foot.
     Uncle Jimmy covered his North Dallas route on horseback for sixteen years. At that time, the postoffice department recommended that the mounted men be discontinued, and that buggies be used. All the carriers then had to obtain the same type of buggy, which was used two years. The buggies were then discontinued and all the routes were covered on foot, a number of carriers being added to the force to make coverage possible.
     After twenty years on the North Dallas job, Uncle Jimmy was made night collection clerk. In that capacity, he worked from 4 p. m. to midnight, making collections in the downtown section.
     "I had a horse at that time that knew my route even better than I did," Uncle Jimmy declared. "I used a cart with entrance at the rear, and my old horse would always stop at the mail box and start up again the second he heard the box door click shut. He never missed a single box, and if I dozed off to sleep, he always woke me up.
     "One night, he saved me from a couple of hijackers and probably saved my life, too, for they opened fire on me. I was going home about midnight, and at the corner of Pearl and Hickory streets, two men ran out into the street and tried to catch the horse's bridle.

Escaped Bullets.
     But, it took more than that to fool that horse -- he jerked his head up and switched completely around, headed off toward town at a run, before I, or the bandits, knew what was happening. One of them opened fire, and several bullets hit the cart, but fortunately, I escaped."
     In the opinion of Uncle Jimmy, a postman has some wonderful chances to learn human nature. "Seeing the same people day after day, if only for a second or so at a time, makes it easy to know their character," he said.
     There are many cases when inefficiency on the part of the postman may cause much trouble and anxiety, the old man pointed out.
     "Business houses may be thrown into consternation by the loss or delay of a letter or package, and goodness only knows what delay or loss means to individuals."
     On Jan. 1, 1913, when the parcel post policy went into effect, Uncle Jimmy was put in charge of that department of the Dallas office. During the first week of the new service, he personally delivered all the parcel post packages. After that time, business increased so rapidly, that the department was enlarged.

Gets Transfer.
     Uncle Jimmy remained with the parcel post department until after the close of the World war, when the department replaced its horse drawn mail wagons with motor trucks. He did not consider his 110 pound weight sufficient to cope with the big trucks, so he asked to be transferred back to the carrier department.
     This request was granted, and he was given a route in Mount Auburn district, and later, another in South Dallas.
     Four years ago, he was assigned to Praetorian building route, which included that office building and a section of Main street adjoining. It was while on this route that Uncle Jimmy made his largest number of friends.
     "People in the office building just naturally seemed to be friendly," he said. Their friendship was testified in a letter which they presented him on his last day of service.
     The testimonial was gotten up by former Lieutenant Governor Whit Davidson, who offices in the Praetorian building. It bears the signatures of many tenants, and is one of the old postman's most prized possessions.
     Great praise for his efficient and cheerful service as a letter carrier was contained in the testimonial, together with regrets that he was being forced to retire.

Thirteen Postmasters.
     During his forty-five years at the postoffice, there were thirteen postmasters. L. S. Garrison being head of the department when he entered the service. The next postmaster was John H. Cochran, who was succeeded by John S. Witwer, an appointee of President Harrison.
     Uncle Jimmy must have been especially fond of the next postmaster, W. M. C. Hill, because he named his son for him. Mr. Hill was appointed by President Cleveland and served four years.
     Hill was succeeded by Major William O'Leary, a newspaper man. O'Leary died while in the postmaster's office and Albert Joyce, assistant postmaster, served for a short time as head of the department.
     D. A. Robinson was next appointed, but his appointment was not confirmed by the senate until after he had served for some time. He was followed by Colonel Sloane Simpson, whose term did not quite last four years.
     President Taft named George Rockhold postmaster, who served only a few months.
     Soon after his inauguration, President Wilson appointed B. M. Burgher as postmaster. After serving eight years, Burgher was replaced by John W. Philp, an appointee of President Harding.

Term Cut Short.
     Mr. Philp served four years and was reappointed, but his appointment as fourth assistant postmaster general cut short his second term here. Assistant Postmaster W. B. Luna was made acting postmaster and served in that capacity until George C. Young was appointed postmaster by President Hoover.
     Many changes have been seen in the workings of the postal department since Uncle Jimmy Jackson first went into its service. When he entered the department, there was not such thing as civil service. When the mail came in late, the postal employes were forced to work overtime. Every piece of mail had to be hand-stamped, whereas, it is now done by machinery. The carriers had to help with the stamping and distribution.
     When a carrier finished his route, in the early days, he was not free to go home. He had to wait until the mail trains came in.
     Finally, through organization, the eight-hour law was passed and better working conditions prevailed.

Get Vacations Now.
     In addition to better working hours, postal employes have been given very liberal vacations, Uncle Jimmy explained. They are given fifteen working days off for vacation, on full pay, in addition to legal holidays, including the Fourth of July, Washington's birthday, Christmas day, New Year's day and Decoration day. If a postal employe has to work on a holiday, he is given time off at a later date.
     Eleven years ago, the retirement law was passed, whereby every employe of the postal department puts .02
1/2 per cent of his salary into a fund controlled by the pension department. By administration of this fund, employes reaching the age of 63 years, unless they wish to exercise an extension to the age of 65 years, may retire with a $100 a month pension. This pension, unlike that provided sailors and soldiers, stops with death. No provision is made for the widows.
     When Uncle Jimmy started to work in the department, the monthly salary of postal carriers was $50 for the first year, and $70, thereafter. It was later raised to $100. At present, the maximum salary for letter carriers is $2,100 per year and $1,700 being the maximum for the first year.
     Other veteran employes of the Dallas postoffice include Jesse Dudley, who was retired at the same time as Uncle Jimmy, and S. P. Bowen, who will retire Nov. 30, with a record of forty-six years' service.
     On April 21, 1886, Uncle Jimmy was married to Miss Fannie Dawkins, whose father was a postal employe of the Katy railroad for many years. They are the parents of five children, four daughters and one son, all of whom are living. Uncle Jimmy and his wife reside at 1909 Latimer street.

- November 16, 1930, Dallas Times Herald,
Feature Sec., p. 7, col. 1-7.
- o o o -

Added December 9, 2004:


To The News:
     Dallas, dear city of my ancestors, I am sending a few lines in memory of the past. My parents were of the first families of Dallas. My mother was 2 years old when her parents came to Dallas. Her father was Samuel Brown, her mother was Anna Brown. Her grandfather and grandmother came with them. Their names were Marlin from Tennessee. They were given a league of land, each family to become farmers and settlers. Grandfather Brown was the first carpenter, first in the Methodist Church and first Masonic member in Dallas. Mother danced in the first courthouse made of logs cut from the timber on the river. The Brown family had fourteen children. All became grown up in the home there.
     My father was Thomas Morrow. He came from Illinois when 14 years old. His father went with the gold miners from Illinois in the year of 1849 and never returned. His widow and four children came to relatives and remained there till grown. The last of the immediate family passed away four years ago, Mrs. Frank Carey, 3902 Ross avenue, Dallas. Since that time, I haven't visited Dallas. It holds sad memories for me -- and pleasant memories of the past.
     I was there through childhood. My father was moving west to many places. He is resting at Uvalde. He was a pioneer Baptist minister. He organized different churches in the western country. Grandmother Morrow is resting at Marlin, Grandfather Brown at Dallas, or near by. Grandmother Brown, some place in Arkansas, is at rest. I am the only one of the children of Thomas and Mary Morrow, in Texas, of ten. All that are living are in Arizona and California -- three brothers and three sisters.
     I am lonely in Fort Worth. Feel I should be in Dallas. I have only one child in Texas, J. E. Weir in Fort Worth; H. B. Weir at Sedalia, Mo.; a daughter at Seattle, Wash.
     In closing, will say that I was born June 5, 1866, in Fannin County, in a log cabin.
     The Dallas News was the first paper I remember reading.
                           3505 Avenue J, Fort Worth, Texas.

- June 8, 1935, The Dallas Morning News,
Sec. II, p. 4.
- o o o -

Added December 9, 2004:


To The News:
     I saw in The News of recent date, a communication from Mrs. Charlotte Morrow Weir of Fort Worth, giving some reminiscences of Dallas in 1866, and mentions the old log courthouse as then standing. Yes, I remember the courthouse. It was standing when I was there in 1864, but whether it was built of logs, I do not remember. I also remember the Crutchfield House, north of the courthouse square, also, the Sherwood Flour & Grist mill, two blocks south of the courthouse square, and the boot and shoe establishment, west of the square. All the business houses were on the west side of the square, near the bank of the Trinity River. Not a bridge at Dallas, or anywhere up the river. There might have been bridges below, but none at Dallas. There was a ferry boat there, but usually, it lay flat on the stream's dry bed, for when I was there, it was some 100 yards up stream from the ferry boat to the first water, and about the same distance down stream. It was seldom used for the purpose of ferrying anything across the river.
     At the time I was there, all east of the square was a forest. Where, afterwards, Sanger Bros. and the Schneider & Davis wholesale grocers and other business houses stood, the writer gathered pecans and wild grapes.
     I was sent, at that time, to herd the Confederate ox teams, used in hauling supplies to Confederate soldiers operating north of Red River. I was then 13 years old. The place of herding was on the prairies, northwest of the then village of Dallas, out some two or three miles.
     I don't suppose there is a house standing, or a person living in Dallas, that was there then. When I was there some twenty years ago, I saw a vast city of 100,000 or more. Nothing but the lay of the land and the Trinity River seemed familiar.
                            L. C. R
                            City Drugstore, Lubbock, Texas.

- June 16, 1935, The Dallas Morning News,
Sec. III, p. 18.
- o o o -

Old Regime Councilman


Last surviving member of the former council of the
city of East Dallas, W. M. Cornett, Times Herald
force member, is very much "on the job" at
reading proof, as the picture shows. Mr. Cornett,
in an interview, talks interestingly of an older day
in Dallas.

Former Councilman of
City of East Dallas
Tells About Old Times


W. M. Cornett Now Sole Remaining Mem-
ber of Old City's Aldermanic Force,
Recalls Happenings of Yester-Year

By D

     Two events out of the happenings of the last two weeks have put the print of remembrance into motion for W. M. Cornett.
     He is the last surviving member of the one-time city council of the municipality of East Dallas. The two events were the state primaries of Saturday, a week ago, and the subsequent death of T. J. Murnane. Messrs. Murnane and Cornett served on the same East Dallas city board.
     The surviving member of the East Dallas group of aldermen is a member of The Times Herald force, a charter member of Dallas Typographical Union and has been a Dallas resident since 1875 -- that's sixty-three years.
     After "Old Chicago," the motion picture, was shown here some months ago, it was learned that Mr. Cornett, as a boy, knew something about the great fire that was reproduced in the film. Outside of that, however, the number of years that have rolled over his head makes no difference. He doesn't enumerate and he says he feels as young as he looks. So, that's that. At any rate, he remembers seeing the pall of smoke that hung over the city by the lake, as it was viewed from his home town of Aurora, Ill.

As of 1875.
     With his folks, Mr. Cornett came to Dallas in 1875 from Aurora. He remarks that then Aurora had a population of 15,000, while frontier Dallas had barely 7,000 -- and now, look at 'em! The former has 50,000, and the latter more than 300,000.
     It was more than fifty years ago, dating from the July 23 primaries, that Mr. Cornett was elected a member of the East Dallas governing body. He served until the old city was taken into the rapidly growing larger municipality. He also served for two years on the school board.
     The original setup, as he recalls it, included George W. Crutcher as mayor, W. B. Gano, city attorney, L. P. Montgomery, assessor and collector, with Joe Beeman as city marshal. Aldermen were Col. C. M. Wheat, J. W. Saunders, T. G. O'Reilly, G. P. Baird, H. N. Haskell, H. Harris, Mr. Murnane and himself, with two others, whom he can't recall right now. Mr. Cornett pays high tribute to Mr. Murnane as a gentleman of the old school, who served faithfully and well.
     Going back to an even earlier day, Mr. Cornett remembers the lack of conveniences that are now regarded as essential. "Imagine getting along without telephones, electric lights, water at the turn of a tap -- fire protection from underground cisterns -- and all that sort of thing," he said. "The first electric lights, I believe, came about 1880, and 'Dad' Garrett was the man who made them burn.

Old-Time Lake Ice.
     "The ice cubes from today's electric boxes are the outgrowth of lake ice shipped in carloads of beer in the old days. It came to us in sawdust, and a 200-pound block at shipping point was a 50-pounder on arrival.
     "When I was 16, I worked for A. Dysterbach in his grocery store. Dallas' present-day merchant, Sam Dysterbach, was a very cute baby. At 17, I was supposed to be a super-salesman in Jansen Brothers' furniture store, but soon got a better job with Hughes and Lindsley, lawyers. Col. W. E. Hughes and Philip Lindsley, father of the later Mayor Henry D., comprised the firm. The offices were fine, with very grand furniture, at Main and Market. They handled bankruptcy cases exclusively, and I was just a clerk, but I would have been called a private secretary today. I wrote all the letters in longhand -- and made all collections. I've carried more than a thousand dollars in my pockets many a time, with never the thought of a holdup."
     Mr. Cornett recalls Colonel Hughes as one of the early city's wealthiest residents, owner of ranch lands and lover of the outdoors. "If my memory served me," he said, "the colonel once paid $10,000 for an Irish setter, champion of England, and the dog died soon after arrival in Dallas."

Missed Being Banker.
     How he missed being a banker and became a printer instead, Mr. Cornett says, was due to a change in jobs. Judge Lindsley got him a place in A. F. Hardie's bank, effective the first of a subsequent month. However, Mr. Cornett went to work on a religious paper owned by C. M. Wilmeth before the first rolled around, and that settled it. He learned the "cases" of the printer's trade, instead of the intricacies of loans and collateral.
     Mr. Cornett recalls the so-called "panics" and comebacks of the early days and declares that people were more self-reliant, with no hope of government relief and such things. "It was root hog, or die," he says, "and we rotted!"
     Of entertainment, there was plenty. The musically-inclined had the church choirs, Turner and Phoenix Hall concerts; the amateur performances in the Commerce and Austin Street "opry house," and a lot more with which to keep busy."
     Along with many others, Mr. Cornett went in for chicken raising about 1903. Joe E. Lawther also was interested, he says. As a result, Mr. Cornett became poultry superintendent at the State Fair and served during several shows. T. M. Cullum, he says, also was a chicken "crank," who had a prominent part in two downtown shows that were given.

Publisher's Heaven.
     A member of the Typographical Union for fifty-six years, Mr. Cornett calls it the greatest craft organization of history.
     He has been active therein during the whole period, with the exception of two years, during which, he was in a book publisher's heaven. Dozens of agents sold "The Life of Jefferson Davis," which bore Mr. Cornett's imprint as the publisher.
     "The book was issued directly after Mr. Davis' death," Mr. Cornett says, "and we had ten times more orders than books. It was marvelous, when one thinks of the selling effort that must be put forth in these competitive days.
     "But, banks and book selling, nor chickens, nor city councils compared with the Fourth Estate, and the part a fellow plays in the building of a daily newspaper. Once you get the smell of carbon black and the other ingredients that go into the making of printer's ink up your nostrils, it's no use. You're in the midst of things -- a part of them -- and the hustle and bustle keeps you young.
     "The everlasting rush gets on one's nerves now and then, but you love it. Ask any of the boys."

- July 31, 1938, Dallas Daily Times Herald,
Sec. I, p. 16, p. 16, col. 2-4.
- o o o -

Added December 5, 2004:


Fred Diceman Has Seen
Many Changes in Dallas

By John Rutledge

Fred Diceman pats Purty Thing for a job well done in mowing the grass at 8910 Garland Road where picnicking kinfolk will help Diceman observe his eightieth birthday Sunday. Diceman lives alone with his pack of dogs in the old farmhouse Dallas has engulfed in years of growth.

     Alert, lean Fred Diceman, Sunday, will celebrate his eightieth birthday in the house where he's lived since he was an 11-year-old boy.
     Kin spanning four generations will picnic on the sheep-mowed lawn by the old white frame house at 8910 Garland Road. In the sixty-nine years Fred Diceman has lived there, things have changed a lot on "Diceman Hill."
     The 150-acre Diceman farm has shrunk to two well-kept acres.
     Dallas, once nearly a half day west by wagon, has engulfed the old house.
     White Rock Lake has replaced the oak thickets across the road.
     And, the white-thatched ex-farmer and his two sisters are the only living members of the brood of twelve children who, in 1881, came to a mud-street Dallas with their parents from Canada.
     When the wood-burning train pulled into Dallas, there was no station. "Just a platform with a board fence around it," recalls Diceman.
     Tin shacks filled the area where the Wilson Building was to stand years later. The family first moved to a house where Ross and Greenville now intersect. Two years later, they moved to the farm.
     Garland Road, then, turned to a bog of gummy black mud after a rain. Traders en route to Dallas used to fight their way to Diceman Hill, poke the mud from between the wagon spokes and borrow an extra team to help pull through the worst section.
     Oxen pulling settlers' wagons west were not an uncommon sight on the road, where heavy traffic roars today. The first auto rattling down the road caused young Fred's team to bolt.
     Diceman and his team worked for $3.50 a day helping dam White Rock Creek. Today, breezes off the lake cool the hill in summer. From the swing on his front porch, the widower has a million-dollar view of the lake he helped build.
     His was one of five families who built the first Reinhardt School for their children. Henry Diceman, his father, was a lay preacher. He was overseer and part-time pastor when Reinhardt Methodists built their first church.
     And, Diceman Drive was once a lane the family fenced along the edge of the cotton farm.
     When planes roar over head toward Love Field, Fred Diceman quiets his six hounds, looks up and remembers his first airplane ride. It was after World War I, when a barnstormer landed for water across the road. The pilot borrowed a pail and took Fred for a free ride in his biplane.
     "If I were younger and had the money, I'd buy me an airplane," vows the oldster. "Everybody ought to fly today."

- April 20, 1952, The Dallas Morning News, Part I, p. 10.
- o o o -