The Dallas Journal, Volume 42, 1996 Page: 31
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With its six spacious rooms, two stories, and the dog-trot floor plan capturing
every possible summer breeze, the home represented one of the more affluent dwellings
of the period and place. The dining room was a formal room and not many pioneer
homes had one. Probably the room was reserved for evening meals. The family would
breakfast in the detached kitchen and have lunch in the fields or in the breezeway. In the
evening, Emma, Harriet's sister, prepared the meal and carried it across the yard into the
house. If guests were dining with the Ganos, the children may have eaten after the adults,
or perhaps on benches in the detached kitchen.
The importance of the dining room is
indicated by the memory of Aunt Harriet. She
recalls that this was the room in which Miss
Mattie held lessons to teach the slaves to read
and write. She clearly remembers the day when
General Gano called them all together in the
dining room to tell them they were free. The
dining room began to have its prominent place
in the family history when the neighbor " ::::::.
announced to the arriving Mrs. Gano, "It is a
fine home--it has a dining room." Gano's home now located in the Old City Park Restoration,
Aunt Harriet Mason remembered firmly that she never slept in the cabins with the
other slaves. Though no documentation can be found to support it, it is presumed that
Myra and Harriet slept in the upstairs rooms of the cabin. Half-story additions were most
commonly made on a dog-trot house, and it is likely that the second-story addition was
added to the house during the time Judge Morehead owned it.
Archaeological excavations of the site of the Gano home provided no evidence of
slave quarters. Aunt Harriet's interview clearly indicates there were some, so it is possible
the slaves slept in the detached kitchen, in the upstairs rooms, or on the dog run.
These pioneers did most of their living outdoors. They ate, visited, made repairs
and performed domestic chores in the central passageway, on the porches or under shade
trees. They also slept there on warm summer nights. Rooms were thought of as shelters
into which people retreated during bad weather in the winter or when danger threatened.
In April 1859, there was a very real presence of danger. Indian raids were still
plaguing the settlers. The raids by war parties from the Comanche Indians continued
even though the tribe was now living on the Comanche Indian Reservation at the Brazos
Agency near Fort Belknap (now Graham, Texas). General Gano was elected captain of a
small company of volunteers organized to stop the raids in progress through Parker,
Wise and Tarrant Counties. With his company of 19 men, Gano joined similar forces
under the leadership of Colonel John R. Baylor and Captain Peter Garland.
After several skirmishes with the Indians and in search of the leaders of the war
party, the force invaded the reservation on May 22, 1859. The United States forces at
Fort Belknap ordered the volunteers to withdraw. Captain Garland went for artillery.
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 42, 1996, periodical, December 1996; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186855/m1/37/: accessed April 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.