Streets, Dallas County, Texas

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(Updated January 10, 2006)

added January 10, 2006:

     The committee on streets and bridges recommended that the city attorney be instructed to draw an ordinance to put into effect the city engineer's plan for numbering houses. Adopted.

- January 28, 1889, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 2, col. 1.
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added January 10, 2006:


A Neglected Matter to Receive At-
tention Soon.

     The absence of a system for numbering buildings in Dallas has been the outgrowth of endless confusion in departments of business life and the cause of a great deal of worry and thought upon the part of those delegated to find a system that would suit everybody. Everybody is willing to admit that Dallas is a city and the matter complained of is chargeable only to neglect. The city engineer's office is besieged almost daily with business men wanting to secure correct numbers for their buildings. One of the largest firms in the city have contracted for a two-year's supply of printed stationery and they are unable to furnish the printers the numbers of their place of business and the city cannot supply it, which insures to the firm considerable useless expense or a botch job in changing numbers on their printed matter. Thus, it goes. The absence of the system confuses the delivery of mails and newspapers.
     Some time ago, an ordinance was passed by the city council adopting a system of numbering. It was unsatisfactory to some of the aldermen who succeeded in securing a vote to reconsider. It has been lying in that shape ever since. A special committee, with Alderman Garrison chairman, was then appointed to cast about and recommend the best system practicable. Mr. Garrison was visited by a T
IMES-HERALD representative, and he says after investigating a great many systems his committee has decided to recommend the one in vogue in Philadelphia, which is considered the best in the world. This system strikes a dividing line at right angles and the names of the streets are designated north, south, east or west as the case may be. Each block, regardless of its length, will have one hundred numbers. Where it is possible to form a junction between short and long streets, the name of one will be discontinued, and this will tend to simplify the work.
     If the plan is adopted, Mr. Garrison estimates that within two weeks afterwards, the city may be numbered and ready for business on an accurate business.

- November 22, 1889, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 4, col. 4.
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State Geologist Dumble Writes
the Result of His Inves-

To the Times-Herald.
     There is probably no subject at this time, in which the people of the cities of Texas are more interested, nor one more likely to grow with their growth and strengthen with their strength, than that of street paving, involving, as it does, all the co-relatives of municipal prosperity, health, comfort, safety and economy. I have, therefore, given the subject some attention, in order to determine in what way this need could best be supplied for the materials occurring in our state, and thus to aid in furthering the desires of those who wish to improve their present condition at the last cost, while securing the best attainable results.
     A recent writer sums up the merits of the several kinds of paving, which has been adopted at different times and in different places, as follows:
     Asphaltum--Service very good, free from noise and dust, but slippery on street grades; expensive to repair, and first cost expensive.
     Granite rock -- Service very good, durable, needing little repair, but very noisy and slippery when worn, especially on steep grades, and first cost expensive.
     Brick -- Service very good, and free from noise and dust, durable, very easily repaired, and first cost moderate, if brick can be secured in the immediate vicinity, thereby saving the freight charges.
     Wood block -- Service very good during the first few years, free from noise and dust, but unhealthful and offensive after the wood begins to decay; first cost moderate.
     Macadam -- Service reasonably good, but very muddy in wet and dusty in dry weather, needing constant repairs; first cost moderate.
     To these may be added:
     Sandstone block -- Service fairly good at first, but soon becomes rough from wear, needing constant repair, noisy and dusty in dry weather; first cost moderate where stone is close by.
     Limestone block - Same as sandstone, except that it is more durable if a good stone. A soft limestone soon wears out, and is very dusty.
     Gravel -- Such as Macadam. Where there is a solid foundation and good surface drainage, some gravel makes a very serviceable and satisfactory pavement. In some of our cities, however, the necessary conditions are absent.
     All the materials enumerated exist in Texas in their natural condition in the greatest abundance, and are perhaps equally as accessible to our cities as to those upon whose experience the above conclusions are based. It may be doubted, however, whether the first cost might not be greater, and whether our people are equally as able to bear it.
     It has been urged by some authorities that, from a sanitary point of view, asphalt is superior to any and all other material for street paving, and some even go so far as to say that its advantages in this respect are such as to entitle it to preference and use, regardless of cost. To this, Dr. C. W. Chandler, secretary of the Maryland board of health, takes exception, and avers that "the asphaltum pavement, which admits no air in the interstices below it, will destroy normal bacterial life in the soil, and thereby prevent the so-called self-cleansing process of the ground, which, in large towns, is always more or less permeated with impurities derived largely from leaking sewers and cesspits. Thus, the germs of disease are collected, as it were, in a Pandora's box, to be drawn through foundation walls into the living and sleeping apartments of our homes. It may be regarded as a sanitary truism that air cannot be excluded from the polluted sub-soil of a large city without disastrous results. In the city of Paris, where asphalt pavements exist on almost every thoroughfare, typhoid fever has prevailed in an epidemic form for many years, and diphtheria is greatly on the increase in that city." Thus, doctors differ.
     From the foregoing, which may be said to contain the gist of the results obtained by experiments, which , after all, is the most reliable, if not infallible, test, it would appear that the material most available and best adapted to the use of our citizens, is vitrified brick, which, it is alleged, possesses all the virtues and none of the vices of other material. It is said to be as durable as granite and as smooth as asphaltum, while cheaper than all others, except gravel.
     Street pavement made of vitrified brick are somewhat new in this country, the first having been put down in Charlestown, W. Va., about twenty-two years ago. Since then, they have been laid in the cities of Ohio, Illinois and Nebraska; but, it has been within the last five years only, that much attention has been bestowed upon brick as a paving material. In portions of Europe, however, it has been in use for many years. In England, it has been tested for half a century in such trying locations as the approaches to freight depots, where it is subjected to the heaviest traffic. The brick there used is called "blue brick," and is manufactured in Staffordshire. In the Isle of Jersey, the highways are paved with brick and have been in use for many years. In the cities of Holland, notably The Hague, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, brick pavements have been in use for more than a hundred years. The rapidity with which brick pavements have grown into favor in the United States within the last few years has been wonderful, and the demand for brick has been so great that the manufacture has scarce been able to keep pace with it. The result has been to jeopardize its popularity and usefulness, for manufacturers were so crowded with orders, that they were enabled to put upon the market, quantities which were totally unfit for the use to which they were to be put, thus risking the killing of the goose of the golden egg. There is not much danger of a repetition of such an experiment in the future, for the great demand has not only led to improved machinery and the adoption of better methods, but to investigation and experiment, which has disclosed the fact that material is far more abundant than was ever supposed, and in localities never suspected; in fact, "that paving brick material can be found in the swamps and marshes, as well as in the hills and bluffs," so that plants may be erected near to the place of use that will produce a brick for paving purposes which will "rival granite in durability, flint in hardness and asphaltum in smoothness, cleanliness and ease on the hoof."
     The prime requisites of a good paving brick, are:
     1. That it shall have a vitrous body.
     2. That it shall be of sufficient toughness to prevent crumbling under the traffic.
     3. That it shall be free from pores--a dense mass which will not absorb the moisture, gases or impurities of the street or atmosphere.
     To secure these, the first essential is the selection of a suitable clay; the second, proper preparation, and the third, skillful burning -- burning to the point of thorough vitrification without risk of melting. Of these, the first may be said to come more particularly within my province, the other two, pertaining exclusively to the practical operations of the manufacture; and yet, while practical experience, associated with intelligence, is, beyond doubt, a sure guide, the chemist may give the worker points of information which may save him or his employer many a good dollar. However, to the people, the most important matter to determine now is whether there are suitable clays in existence near enough to the point of use to reduce the cost of freightage to a minimum, for this item of cost is generally the largest one and not unfrequently prohibitive. The "long haul," so dear to the transportation company, is sometimes disastrous to the street paving enterprise.
     It is difficult to say in a few words what are the necessary component parts of a clay suitable for making first-class vitrified brick; and possibly it is true, at the present stage of knowledge, as some manufacturers hold, that an actual test in the kiln is the only conclusive solution in any given case. Nevertheless, it is equally true that we can tell by analysis when a clay will not make a good brick, and it follows that analysis will also disclose whether there is any chance of its doing so. The chemist knows that the first requisite of a "vitreous body" is secured by the presence in the clay, the basis of which is alumina and silica, of these ingredients with such fluxes as soda, potash, lime and iron in proper proportions; that the second requisite is made probable by the absence of such refractory properties as would render the brick too brittle, and that the third, impermeability, is best assured by the non-existence in the clay of elements which might be converted into gas during the process of vitrification. Water would destroy usefulness by being converted into steam and leaving open the channel by which it makes its exit. This, however, is avoided by the process of preparation for the kiln, by thorough drying, pressing and re-pressing. Indeed, it is now held by the best manufacturers, that repressing is a sine qua non of a perfect brick.
     I have taken the analyses of clays from three points outside of Texas -- Bucyrus and Akron, Ohio, and Fort Smith, Ark., -- of which, the best bricks are said to have bee made, and used them as a standard for comparison with the analyses made in the survey laboratory, of clays from different points in Texas, and find that there are clays suitable for making vitrified paving brick in the counties of Smith, Harrison, Panola, Marion, Fayette, Henderson, Nacogdoches, Milam, Brazoria, Van Zandt, Kaufman, Wood and Harris, from some of which, satisfactory results have [ably] been obtained. All of these are not equally as good, but it is not one of them from which, [with] proper preparation and burning, [a] serviceable brick cannot be produced, and the brick made from [many of] them, will be as good, probably as have or can be made any[where]. Up to this time, so[me] cl[ays] from the coal area of the state [have] been analyzed, and it is of [the] character of clay, or shale, that th[ose] brick have heretofore been made, there can be little doubt, however, when they are examined, an absence of the most suitable material [will] be found in the coal areas.
     When a bed of clay [has] been found, which analysis leads [to] the belief is adapted to the purpose, [the] next step, I would advise would [be] the sending of a sufficient quantity [for] a through practical test to [a] manufactory which has a reputation established for the reliability [of its] products, far enough away to pre[vent] the bias of self-interest to the ___ or else, near enough to have the [benefit] of the influence. This will [require] an impartial trial and repor__ result will then depend upon in ___ the manufacture.
UMBLE, Geologist.

- March 5, 1892, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 8, col. 1-4.
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Added February 15, 2004:

No Way to Ascertain Them in the City of

     The TIMES HERALD has been requested to call the attention of the council to the fact, that with the exception of a few streets in the business center of the city, there is nothing by which the names of streets can be ascertained, as their names are not posted as they are in all cities. The city spread so much during the recent boom, that even the old inhabitants don't know the streets. Deputy Sheriff Ferd Tucker says that it is no uncommon thing for him to find families who do not know what street they live on, and when asked how it happens, they don't know, they say, we moved here a few weeks ago, but have never seen, nor heard, the name of the street.
     The irregular fashion in which the city is laid off adds to the difficulty of finding streets. There are three Allen streets in the city.

- May 4, 1894, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 5, col. 1.
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Harris & Rankin Claim the Squabble is Ended
and That the Little Tin Guides Will be
Visible to the Naked Eye in
a Few Days.

     The work of placing of street signs, which, according to the contract, was to have been begun last week, has not yet been started. There appears to be a disagreement between City Engineer Havens and the contractors, Harris & Rankin.
     Mr. Harris said to a T
IMES HERALD reporter to-day: "We put in our bids for two signs to be placed at each street crossing. When we went to sign the contract, we found that it only called for one sign, materially lessening our profit. However, we signed the contract, and went to the City Engineer to obtain a list of the signs. This list only named signs for about every fourth street. For example, there were only eight signs named for the whole length of Main street, eight for Elm and ten for Ervay. We refused to make that small number of signs, and brought the matter before the City Council, which body ordered us to make all the signs called for in the contract. We have begun work on the signs, and they will be completed and placed as soon as possible.
     "Owing to our other city work, which takes precedence over the street signs, it will probably be two weeks before the work is completed. We have been ready to get out the signs for some time, but were waiting for the order from the City Council."

- July 11, 1894, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 6, col. 4.
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The Work Will Begin Systematically
Next Week.

     At last, the names of the streets are to be put up in large, distinct letters. Messrs. Harris & Rankin, who have the contract to letter and put up the signs, have their paint shop on Main street half full of the signs, which they say they will proceed to nail up about the first of next week.
     The contract calls for 1513 signs for the entire city. About thirty of these will be placed at the crossings on Main street.

- August 8, 1894, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 1, col. 2.
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The Contractors Begin the Work of
Putting Them Up.

     The streets of Dallas shall be nameless no longer. Messrs. Harris & Rankin, who have the contract to furnish and put up the names of the streets at regular intervals, began the work this morning in several parts of the city, and will push the work to completion as rapidly as possible.

- August 20, 1894, The Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 1, col. 3.
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Added February 21, 2004:




He Says the Signs are Being Placed Too
Low and Some of Them Uneven, and
That the Small Boy Will
Pull Them Down.

     The TIMES HERALD is in receipt of the following communication from a well known citizen, and would call the attention of the City Council to the same. The TIMES HERALD would not curtail the pleasures of the small boy, but when it made its fight to get street signs, it did not expect to see them used as playthings by the youngsters. The idea was to help the people find their way home and through the city:
     To the Times Herald:
     As the T
IMES HERALD is due the credit of stirring up the City Council to putting up street signs, it is the proper organ through which to make a complaint, in regard to the manner in which the street signs are being put up. Most all of them are being placed too low, and many of them are being nailed up unevenly; that is, with one end higher than the other.
     "The Council should see to it that this work is done right, while they are at it. The way the signs are being put up, it will not be long before the small boy pulls half of them down."

     The City Council left the putting up of the street signs in charge of City Engineer Havens, the contractors to follow his instructions. The above communication is referred by the TIMES HERALD to Mr. Havens.

- September 12, 1894, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 3, col. 3.
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Just Why One Thoroughfare is Called
"J. Z." Street, Seems Wrapped
in Mystery.

     Four blocks east of South Central avenue, there is a little street known as JZ street, which came into prominence a few days ago because one of the city officials forgot its existence.
     It begins at Motley street and extends southeast to Stephenson street, and has six houses upon it.
     The origin of the name of this little street seems lost in the mist of the past, and there is no official record showing why it was called JZ street.
     Dallas has a few more streets of peculiar cognomen, though it is believed that most of them come from proper names.
     Bone street is not so common as it might be; Floride might be called peculiar; Matt and Milk are rather peculiar, while New street and Olin Wellborn street are probably peculiar to Dallas.
     Then, there are Phares and Pipe, Pitt and Quick. There are Veal, Wolf Trail and others, so that Dallas is well equipped with streets, the names of which would worry any one but a postal clerk in good standing.

- July 12, 1903, Dallas Morning News, p. 36, col. 4.
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Awkward Situation in Annex-
ation of Oak Cliff.


There are Forty-Nine Streets in
the Two Municipalities
That Bear the
Same Names.

     In the annexation of Oak Cliff to the city of Dallas as the ninth ward, there will be many obstacles outside of those to be settled by the courts that will confront the city council for adjustment. There is one in particular which, in the vernacular of the street, will "cut considerable ice," although it is safe to assert that it has probably never been considered or taken under advisement by that august body, owing to the presence of so many other important matters. Nevertheless, be that as it may, the proposition is bound to present itself sooner or later for attention. It will not be necessary within the next few months if the annexation bill should be held unconstitutional and invalid by the higher courts, but it will be necessary, sooner or later. A duplication in the names of forty-nine streets exists, which will have to be remedied if Oak Cliff ever becomes a part of Dallas.
     It has been repeatedly predicted that in the course of the next fifteen or twenty years, there will be as much of the city of Dallas lying south of the Trinity river as is now north. The bottom lands will be reclaimed and the waters of the commercial stream will be restricted to certain boundaries by levies, such as have been constructed at Cairo, Memphis, New Orleans and other river points. In that event, imagine the discomfiture of a travel-stained citizen returning home on a late train who has ordered the "cabby" to drive him to 999 Washington avenue. He is taken to the extreme northern part of the city, when in reality, he desired to be driven to 999 Washington avenue in the extreme southern portion of Oak Cliff. He would no doubt declare himself in very strong terms then and there. Or, suppose a party residing at 222 Second avenue (Exposition park) should phone one of the ice factories to leave ice at that number each day and Mr. Man at 222 Second avenue, Oak Cliff, would be wondering all the while, how it was his ice was costing him nothing, but afraid to breathe his thoughts in words lest the spell be snapped asunder, while the other party would also be engaged in some thinking himself. Or, worse still, suppose some young fellow should follow the address engraved upon the sweet-scented card of a divine creature whom he had recently met and should disastrously discover that he had gone to the wrong end of town, after having been thrown over the fence by an irate husband who failed to comprehend.
     Many vexatious and annoying matters would grow out of the failure to re-name the streets. Quarrels, fights, divorces, murders, and no telling where it all might terminate.
     The following list, which shows the names of the forty-nine streets in Dallas and Oak Cliff, also the directions in which they are laid out, will give some idea of the magnitude of this matter, of which nothing has heretofore been said:

Dallas. Oak Cliff.
Annex Ave. Annex St.
Browder St. Browder Ave.
Carlisle St. Carlilse Ave.
Cedar St. Cedar Ave.
Cleveland St. Cleveland Ave.
Davis St. Davis St.
Elm St. Elm Street
Ewing Ave. Ewing Ave.
Fifth St. Fifth St.
First St. First St.
Fourth Ave. Fourth St.
Good St. Good St.
Grand Ave. Grand Ave.
Greenwood St. Greenwood St.
Harrison Ave. Harrison Ave.
Hickory St. Hickory St.
Highland St. Highland St.
Hill Ave. Hill St.
Hord St. Hord St.
Hughes St. Hughes Ave.
Hugo St. Hugo Ave.
Jackson St Jackson Ave.
Jefferson St. Jefferson St.
Johnson Ave. Johnson Ave.
Lake Ave. Lake St.
Lancaster Ave. Lancaster Ave.
Lee Ave. Lee St.
Lewis St. Lewis St.
Lincoln St. Lincoln St.
Main St. Main St.
Mary St. Mary St.
Oliver Ave. Oliver St.
Pacific Ave. Pacific Ave.
Park St. Park St.
Park Ave. Park Ave.
Peak Ave. Peak Ave.
Pearl St. Pearl St.
Pecan St. Pecan St.
Pierce St. Pierce Ave.
Polk St. Polk Ave.
Prospect St. Prospect St.
Second Ave. Second Ave.
Short St. Short St.
Sixth St. Sixth St.
St. George St. St. George St.
Sutton St. Sutton St.
Taylor St. Taylor St.
Third St. Third St.
Walnut St. Walnut St.
Warren Ave. Warren St.
Washington Ave. Washington Ave.

- July 26, 1903, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 9, col. 1-2.
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     All city streets are to be renamed to show in what section of the city they are, on the new official map of the city, which City Engineer E. A. Kingsley is preparing for publication April 1.
     On the map, Dallas will be divided into six or seven sections, such as South Dallas, Southeast Dallas and North Dallas. The streets, will carry these symbols. Haskell avenue, as it runs in East Dallas, will be designated as "Haskell avenue E," the "E" showing it is in East Dallas. After it crosses Ross avenue into North Dallas, it will be known as "Haskell avenue N."
     Where the "north-south" and "east-west" designations are applied at present they will be altered only by placing the symbol for the section after the name. Thus, South Ervay street will become "Ervay street S."
     Most streets like only in one section of the city, still they will carry their designations of location. Thus, Forest avenue, which is entirely in South Dallas, will be "Forest avenue S," showing at a glance in what section of the city it is.
     City Engineer E. A. Kingsley said that this is the present plan if the property owners do not object too strenuously. The nomenclature of the city streets will not be drastically offered and the additional symbol will serve for greater convenience, he said.
     The system is said to have been used in Washington, D. C., and elsewhere with reputed success.

- January 1, 1925, The Dallas Morning News, Sec. II, p. 1, col. 5-7.
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     The closing of several streets at intersection points along the new seventy-five foot streets, which will be opened and paved on either side of the H. & T. C. tracks from Commerce street to Eakin street, will meet with no opposition. Street Commissioner R. A. Wylie and Mayor Blaylock announced Saturday.
     Extension and paving of Young street into Commerce and the linking up of Canton and Williams streets with a paved street along the Southern Pacific's right of way at these points will provide ample traffic ways, and will provide transportation arteries far superior to any that otherwise could have been obtained, said the mayor.
     Interested property owners along the entire territory effected, not only agreed to, but strongly urged the completion of the Southern Pacific plans as announced Friday.
     All the streets which will be closed by the improvement program of the railroad company are now dead-ends anyway, the mayor pointed out.

- March 27, 1926, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 12, col. 8.
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     The city plan commission, late Thursday, advised the city council to change the name of North Akard street, between Ross avenue and Cedar Springs road, to Ervay street.
     Its members explained that Akard, northwest of Ross, actually was a continuation of Ervay, which merges with Akard at Ross.
     The commission also advised a change in the name of Highland street, between Cedar Springs and Payne street, to Ervay.
     It also recommended changing the name of Phelps street, between San Jacinto street and Cedar Springs, to Olive street.

- June 3, 1932, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. II, p. 8, col. 1.
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Dusty Streets
To Be Oiled if
Owners Buy Oil

     Dusty gravel and dirt streets may be sprinkled with oil as well as water this summer, if the property owners will buy the oil.
     Under a plan studied Saturday by Public Works Directory O. H. Koch, the city will sprinkle the oil, which may be bought for 2 cents a gallon by property owners.
     Oil, city engineers say, will keep the dust from flying for two to three months, whereas water often settles the dust for only thirty minutes on a hot day.
     Dallas has 300 miles of gravel and dirt streets. And how to keep them from being unbearably dusty during the summer has ever been a problem for city officials.
     Only recently, the council appropriated an additional $5,000 to sprinkle the streets with water, thus making a total of $8,000 available for this purpose during June, July, August and September.

- June 5, 1932, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. III, p. 6, col. 3.
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Added June 30, 2004:





Rollins Estimates Several Years
Needed to Finance Change to
Readable Markers

     Gradual installation of needed permanent street signs was recommended by Public Works Director A. P. Rollins, Tuesday, after the $6,000 appropriated for repainting temporary signs this year was spent to repair sidewalks.
     Rollins declared that sooner or later, Dallas would have to abolish its temporary curb sign system and install permanent signs on upright standards.
     "We can't finance signs for the entire city in any one, two or three years," he explained. "But, we could set up $6,000 a year for each of several years. This money would finance permanent signs for about 500 intersections. We should install the first signs in the downtown area, then extend the system to principal thoroughfares, and then to the remaining traffic ways in residential areas."

Complaints Filed.
     During the last two months, the public works department has received scores of complaints about the lack of adequate curb signs. Rollins has been unable to meet the demands for signs because of insufficient funds.
     "We had $6,000 for repainting curb in the 1937-37 budget," the director explained. "But, we transferred most of this money to the sidewalk repair fund, after the city had to fight so many law suits for damages arising out of falls on faulty walks."
     At present, only one crew of three men is busy repainting street signs.
     "I'll admit," Rollins said, "that this crew can make no appreciable headway, but I can't spend money I haven't got."

- June 15, 1937, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. II, p. 1, col. 1.
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