Societies, Dallas County, Texas

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(Updated August 20, 2002)


City Notes.

     At a largely attended meeting held in the basement of the city hall last evening, the Woodmen of the World elected officers as follows: Consul commander, J. W. Johnson; adviser lieutenant, A. Crabtree; excellent banker, Tom J. Pettit; clerk, J. T. Carter,; escort, T. C. Cooper; watchman, J. Newman; sentry, Frank Johnson and John G. Hunter, C. H. Cooper and A. L. Hodge, managers.

- February 5, 1891, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 4, col. 2.
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Enthusiastic Meeting at the]
City Hall Last Night.

     An enthusiastic meeting of vocalists was held in the auditorium of the city hall last night, about forty singers being present. The object of the meeting was the organization of a choral society to improve the standing of vocal music and generally, to take part, if encouraged by the management, in the state fair and ultimately compete for a prize offered by the World's fair management at Chicago in 1893.
     Organization was effected by electing Ben Frees, president; C. O. Harris, vice-president; M. G. Hunter, recording secretary; James Cole, treasurer; Prof. Ilans Kreisig, director; Henry Garrett, vice-director; G. R. Noguira, librarian, and W. r. Scogin, assistant librarian.
     An executive committee and a membership committee were elected, when the society adjourned to meet next Thursday evening at 8 o'clock.

- June 16, 1892, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 1, col. 6.
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     Wigwam of Wyoming Tribe, No. 33, Imperial Order of Red Men, fifth sun, hot moon, G. S. D. 408. Chiefs, you are requested to assemble around the council fire this sleep to select the big chiefs for the ensuing great sun. Two palefaces will be found astray in the forest to be adopted. Members from distant hunting grounds are invited.
                                                                   J. F. B

- June 5, 1899, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 1, col. 1.
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Enthusiastic Meeting at City
Hall Yesterday Afternoon.

     The Texas Illinois association held an enthusiastic meeting at the city hall Saturday evening. The meeting was called to order by Col. G. M. Alden of Lancaster and E. H. Connibear was elected chairman, and Dr. R. B. Spurgin, secretary.
     After some discussion, an executive committee of eight was appointed to have full control of the arrangements of Illinois day, Oct. 7th having been set aside for that occasion. J. C. Quick, H. G. Schnelle, P. Y. Mullen, B. M. Reid, J. B. Stone, E. H. Connibear, Chilton Monroe, Col. G. M. Alden and Mesdames W. M. Spaulding, S. B. Gee and J. S. Finley were appointed on this committee, with Col. G. M. Alden as chairman. The executive committee was instructed to appoint sub-committees to arrange for music speakers, badges, decorations, etc. After considerable interesting discussion of ways and means, the meeting adjourned to meet at 8 p. m. Saturday, Sept. 16 at the city hall. After adjournment of the general meeting, the executive committee was called to order by Col. Alden. Mr. Chilton Monroe was elected secretary and the following committees were named:
     Committee on music--Mrs. J. L. Finley, chairman; Mrs. W. M. Spaulding, Mrs. S. B. Gee and Mrs. Perry of Lancaster.
     Committee on finances--J. W. Ayers, chairman; J. B. Stone and H. G. Schnele.
     Committee on badges--Mrs. G. M. Alden and Mrs. Perry.
The chairman and secretary of the executive committee were instructed to correspond with Governor Tanner of Illinois, ex-Vice President Adlai E. Stephenson and ex-Governor Joe Fifer of Bloomington, Ill., and Hon. J. C. Black of Chicago, with a view of securing their presence here on Oct. 7th.
     J. W. Ayers is authorized to receive funds to defray the expenses of the programme on that day.
     Col. Alden is still receiving names and addresses of former "suckers" and enrolling them in the great book which he has always open at Lancaster.

- September 3, 1899, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 2, col. 1-2.
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Local Organization Will Meet Tuesday Night for
Purpose of Considering Matters
of Interest.

     Dr. A. A. Johnston said yesterday: "The Kentuckians will resume their monthly meetings, now that the winter is over, and the next regular meeting will be held Tuesday night. These social meetings of the association have proved to be a source of considerable pleasure, and those members who have failed to attend, have missed the opportunity of meeting old friends and making new acquaintances. The society of Kentuckians in Dallas now numbers something like four hundred members, some of whom never miss a meeting. Usually, we have a nice musical programme, and we generally have some good talks by those present, for you know, the Kentuckians are noted for being able to give a reason for the faith that is in them.
     "As president of the county organization, it devolves upon myself to appoint some committees at the next meeting, especially a committee on programme, as we don't propose to allow our organization to languish, but intend to make our meetings so interesting that it will be difficult to find a more pleasant place to spend an evening. Our last three annual reunions at the fair grounds on Kentucky day, each year, have proved to be the red letter days of the fair, and we must take no backward step this year.
     "I am informed that our state president, Mr. Geo. W. Crutcher, and Mr. Geo. D. Armistead, state secretary, have already been doing good work, looking to the next state annual reunion, by correspondence with Gov. Beckham and other prominent Kentuckians, with bright prospects of having them attend our next reunion and deliver an address on Kentucky day. We assume that the fair management will assign us a Kentucky day that will be satisfactory to all. When this is done, due announcement will be made of the fact; but, we propose to keep up our local organization in Dallas, even if we are not assigned a day. I notice that in the larger cities, Chicago, St. Louis and lately, in New York, there are Kentucky societies, the largest membership being in Chicago. I have been informed that the society of Missourians have probably the largest membership in New York city. These organizations are commendable, because, while we are very fond of the state of our adoption, we do not intend to forget the old mother state.
     "We extend a cordial invitation to every Kentuckian in Dallas to come out to our meeting next Tuesday night at Smith's hall, just east of the postoffice, and let us get started off for our summer work, which we promise will be pleasant."

- June 2, 1901, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 2, col. 5.
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     The Bonehead club will confer four degrees on as many candidates at its annual "Commencement Exercises," to be held Friday, June 16. The candidates for the degrees are W. F. Skillman, Dr. Graham Frank, Dr. W. J. Johnson and Raymond Thomas. Mr. Thomas is also a candidate for an honorary degree.
     J. J. Taylor, candidate from last year's class, who has been in probation, has been chosen valedictorian. W. H. Potts will deliver the baccalaureate address.

- June 11, 1922, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 3, col. 1.
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     Members of the Bonehead club, at luncheon Friday, christened the new dining room at Stoneleigh court when it was offered to them for first public use. The dinner was given by Mrs. J. M. Martin to the Boneheads, of which her husband is a member, as being a surprise to him. Big Chief W. C. Everett presided at the meeting and many deep subjects were offered for discussion, but dispensed with rapidly. Speakers who tried to launch a subject were Dr. Will Anderson, Bert Chaney, Dr. J. H. Black, Dr. H. M. Whaling, Dr. Graham Frank, J. J. Taylor, Howard Payne and Dr. T. O. Perrin.

- October 13, 1923, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 12, col. 7.
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Visitor's Sneer Moved Dallasites
To Start Historical Society Plan

     Dallas, which now possesses one of the outstanding historical centers of the nation, was once derided by a visitor for its lack of historical facilities. Soon after the turn of the century, Henry J. Bohn visited a Dallas which had no Dallas Historical Society, and no Hall of State. "I ask when and by whom Dallas was settled, and leading citizens are unable to answer me," the Chicago editor complained. "Where, I ask, is its library of historical data? I lament and marvel."
     Today, a visitor would have difficulty in finding a citizen, young or old, who could not answer the question that stumped leading citizens of 50 years ago, and he would find a nationally famous "library of historical data," gathered by the Dallas Historical Society, housed in a building so magnificent that it has been called "The Westminster Abbey of the western world."

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Evolution of Culture.
     The sequence of events which has brought about Dallas' changed historical status, traces the evolution of one of the city's major cultural assets. On March 31, 1922, 101 citizens met in the University Club at the old Oriental Hotel, on the present site of the Baker Hotel, and established the Dallas Historical Society. Few of them were technical historians, but they subscribed heartily to the slogan coined by John Wynne Barton, first secretary of the Historical Society. "A city that is not proud of its history is unworthy of the name city."
     Most of the founders and most of the present members are business and professional leaders of the city, and the institution has always received the active support of the business community.
The first activity of the Historical Society -- and it remains one of the most important ones -- was the collection of manuscripts and printed materials relating to every phase of the community development and the careers of the citizens who, through the years, have here created a city.
     Earliest depository of the institution was the office safe of the late C. B. Gillespie, first curator of the Historical Society. In 1933, arrangements were made with Southern Methodist University for housing the growing historical collections on the university campus. By 1936, the Dallas Historical Society had become a nationally recognized institution whose activities had outgrown its physical facilities.

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Memorial to Founders.
     In that year, the State of Texas erected the $1,200,000 Hall of State at Fair Park as a memorial to the founders of Texas. This monumental structure was the center of interest at the Centennial and Pan American Expositions in 1936-37. To millions of visitors the Hall of State was a symbol of Texas and Dallas.
     In 1938, the building was turned over to the City of Dallas to be operated as a center of historical activity. Thus, the community found itself with a happy coincidence of complementary needs and capacities. The City of Dallas needed an instrumentality for operation of the magnificent building under standards worthy of it, and the Dallas Historical Society needed a setting for its rapidly growing collections and expanding historical activities.
     On February 7, 1938, the City Council invited the Dallas Historical Society, "which has had a number of years of successful operation, and wide recognition," to undertake the project for "the upbuilding, care and display of a suitable historical museum to be permanently housed in the "Hall of State, to be of statewide interest." By the middle of June, the Dallas Historical Society had assumed custody of the building and transferred its collections and operations to the Hall of State.

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Effective Design.
     The building had been effectively designed as a setting for a distinguished museum of Texas history. Leading architects, sculptors and artists had collaborated in the creation of an edifice of breathtaking beauty, from which the most casual visitor obtains a lasting impression of the glamour and magnificence of Texas. Long colonnades front the T-shaped structure, broken by a semi-circular central niche which towers above the rest of the building. Through massive bronze doors beneath the heroic statue of a Tejas Indian, the visitor enters the Hall of the Heroes, which commemorates the battles of independence and memorializes the immortals of early Texas.
     To the left, are the Halls of West Texas and East Texas, and to the right, are the Halls of South and North Texas. Each regional hall is designed to reflect the characteristic features of its section. Native woods, typical of the regions, have been utilized, and the murals (two each in the East and West Texas halls, and one each in the others) catch the spirit of the regions.
     The third wing of the structure is devoted to the Hall of the Six Flags, a room of magnificent proportions and awe-inspiring dignity. The gigantic seal at one end of the hall represents, symbolically, the six power Texas has owed allegiance to; at the other end, are the flags of these power. Along the walls are murals depicting the history of the state, from the days of Cabeza de Vaca, to the present. As Texans enter this room, they instinctively lift their hats and lower their voices.

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Civic Occasions.
     The Hall of the Six Flags, since the society's custody of the building, has been the setting of many magnificent civic occasions and notable programs.
     The four regional rooms are the principal exhibit areas of the building. The Historical Society scorns exhibits of the old-fashioned curio-type museum, and tries to plan its exhibits so that they tell an interesting story of Texas history to the most casual visitor. The society's insistence on functioning as an educational institution, rather than as a warehouse of the obsolete, accounts, in large measure, for its popularity with museum visitors of all ages and temperaments.
     Material displayed is continually being changed, so that there is always something fresh and new to be seen in the building. Only a small part of the society's collection of more than three-quarters of a million items can be shown at one time. Usually, about 800 items are on view, grouped in uncluttered displays which illustrate some facet of Dallas or Texas history.
     All of the society's materials, however, are available in its reading room for detailed study by interested researchers. Its research collections consist of many groups of family and business archives, personal papers and Texas periodicals. Its growing collections of Texas books include a notable collection of Texana, the Summerfield Roberts collection, whose acquisition is provided by Mr. Roberts, vice-president of the society.
    Presidents of the society, since its founding, have been: Rhodes S. Baker, Manning B. Shannon, G. B. Dealey and Tom L. McCullough, current president.
     Trustees of the institution are Sam H. Acheson, George Waverley Briggs, Dr. Edward H. Cary, Col. Murrell Lee Buckner, Mrs. A. V. Cockrell, E. M. (Ted) Dealey, Dr. E. DeGolyer, Myron Everts, Henry Exall, Edgar L. Flippen, R. R. Gilbert, Tom C. Gooch, N. G. Gulberson, Jake L. Hamon, S. J. Hay, William S. Henson, Karl Hoblitzelle, Dr. Umphrey Lee, Mrs. W. J. Lewis, Tom L. McCullough, Mrs. Barry Miller, Henry S. Miller, J. M. Moroney, J. C. Muse, Jr., Mrs. Rue O'Neill, John E. Owens, Summerfield G. Roberts, Mrs. Stone J. Robinson, Mrs. Woodall Rodgers, Eli Sanger, Harry L. Seay, Hugo W. Schoellkopf, M. B. Shannon, Mrs. Alex W. Spence and Leslie Waggener.

- August 28, 1949, Dallas Times Herald, Sec. A, p. 12, col. 1-5.
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