The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 124
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the importance of studies of inland cities in relation to earlier
studies of older Eastern coastal cities. Studies of Western and
Southern cities yield data which will assist in avoiding erroneous
generalizations about "typical" urban life. Certainly, the large
cities of Dallas and Houston, which expanded rapidly after 1900,
had the benefits of "rapid" transportation and relatively cheap
lands to facilitate expansion. This made it unnecessary to dupli-
cate the multistoried firetraps of New York. Furthermore, instead
of having tens of thousands of foreign immigrants dumped on
them, as was true of the already crowded Northeastern coastal
cities, many Western cities have expanded more orderly. Even so,
the efforts of Dallas to carry out the long range program of the
famous Kessler Plan have not been without headaches.
Dr. Howard has pointed out that while George Kessler was
known as a famous landscape architect of St. Louis and Kansas
City, he had spent his boyhood in Dallas. His efforts, for example,
to provide union terminal railway facilities and to eliminate the
tracks and smoke from "Pacific Avenue," in the very heart of the
city, became a labor of love.
The sub-title of the book, "Chapters in the Twentieth-Century
History of Dallas," properly indicated that a complete history was
not intended to be compressed into the 13o pages of tightly
written text. The true spirit of the city, however, cannot be under-
stood apart from its church life and religious leadership and lay-
manship. When the book is reprinted this chapter should be
added. Unlike many large cities, river or sea transportation played
little part in determining the growth of Dallas. Being the terminal
point of the Texas and Pacific Railway from 1872 to 1877 certainly
gave Dallas a special boost. Today the growing population must
tap faraway Red River water to survive periods of long drought.
Water shortage was definitely a major factor in favoring distribu-
tion and finance activity over heavy manufacturing.
The chapter on "Geographical Context" is followed by "Census
Silhouette." The author was especially qualified to interpret pop-
ulation trends and metropolitan expansion (195,000 in 1920 to
750,000 in 1955) because of his work with the Bureau of the
Census. Perhaps, the most outstanding contribution of the book
deals with the new methods of financing the expanding oil
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/146/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.