The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944 Page: 223
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The National Road of the Republic of Texas
about a quarter of a mile, and came to an end, or rather to a
beginning, at the railroad tracks a few hundred feet northwest
of the intersection of present Lamar Street with McKinney
Avenue. Apparently Major Stell's cedar tree at which he began
his survey was almost 2500 feet north of the Dallas County
Seemingly this was a rather odd place for the location of
either end of a national highway, but an examination of the
Peters Colony map of 1852 shows that the Preston Road came
southward through Cedar Springs and approached Dallas
through the area that is now north of the court house. The cedar
tree at the beginning of the National Road was evidently at
the side of the Preston Road. From this junction point, the two
roads must have followed a common roadbed for the half-mile,
or a little more, that led down to the river crossing.
Obviously, then, the Central National Road of the Republic
of Texas connected with John Neely Bryan's crossing on the
ments were made on the immense map of Dallas that hangs in the Records
Building at Dallas (property of the Fidelity Union Abstract & Title Co.).
Olen Coats, a draftsman in the Records Building, volunteered to plat the
field notes of the old road (to the correct scale) on tracing paper and to
find the place where the drawing fitted this large map. Coats' drawing,
representing the course of the road from White Rock to Mill Creek, fitted
the map without apparent error in the following course:
Beginning on White Rock Creek about 1250 feet south of U. S. Highway
80 (East Pike), then 8780 feet in a direction 6 degrees north of west to a
point in Ash Lane about 250 feet northeast of Fitzhugh Street, then due
west 5280 feet to a point about 300 feet southwest from the intersection
of Junius and Haskell Avenue and then 2300 feet in a direction 10 de-
grees south of west to Mill Creek at a point about 200 feet north of Swiss
Avenue, which is about midway between Exall Park and Gaston Avenue.
Mr. W. S. Beesley, head of the Map and Plat Book Department in the
Records Building, regards this large map used by Coats as the most ac-
curate map of Dallas to be found, which emphasizes the accuracy of
The route of the National Road as platted by Coats is about a quarter
of a mile north of the path which that road would assume if Major Stell's
field notes were platted without reference to topography. But the old field
notes evidently contain a small error, since the plat and field notes do not
themselves agree on an eight mile course of the road in east Dallas County.
The route as platted by Coats is the only route found by the writer that
satisfies all conditions of topography and direction, and it corresponds
closely with the exhaustive measurements previously made on the Texas
Highway Map of Dallas.
"4This point is at the edge of Cedar Grove Addition (according to the
Fidelity Union Map of Dallas) and is in the part of Dallas in which cedar
trees originally were numerous.
In the accompanying map of Dallas the route of the National Road was
drawn according to the Coats plat. The location of old Cedar Springs,
the original townsite of Dallas, and the route of the old Preston Road are
made (roughly calculated to scale) from the Peters Colony map of 1852.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944, periodical, 1944; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146054/m1/254/: accessed August 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.