The Dallas Journal, Volume 48, 2002 Page: 4
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Dr. Samuel B. Pryor, Early Prominent Dallas County Resident
intentions." Soon a group of armed men went to Hedgcoxe's office and seized the files containing the
claims and other materials belonging to the company. Hedgcoxe fled to Austin. The claims and
materials were deposited in the Dallas courthouse and were probably among the records destroyed in a
courthouse fire. The company owners apologized to the colonists for the problems and soon took care
of "the title to the lands with only minor adjustments."22
Samuel's family was soon increased with the births of Charles Richard Pryor circa 1853, Pocahontas
circa 1855, Samuel Burwell (or Berrell) circa 1857 and William Latimer circa 1859, all in Dallas Co.23
Shortly after the 1850 census (circa 1854?), his brother, Dr. Charles R. Pryor came to the area where he
also became influential. The brothers became partners and advertised in the Dallas Herald, dated 8
S. B. PRYOR, M. D.
CHAS. R. PRYOR, M. D.
Having associated ourselves in the practice of Medicine, we very
respectfully offer our professional services to the public generally, and will
give strict attention to all cases entrusted to our care.24
Charles R. Pryor was born 2 November 1822 in Virginia.25 He received a medical degree from the
University of Virginia in 1853.26
A source referred to Dr. S. B. Pryor and his brother Charles R. Pryor, both gentlemen, as "scions of an
old Virginia family, and were noted for their social and intellectual culture as well as their professional
ability."27 Dr. S. B. Pryor was known to his contemporaries as "Old Doc Pryor" and came from "an old
and highly respected Virginia family. A hardy pioneer, he was 'gruff and outspoken,' and it was said by
those who knew him that he feared nothing."28 Men like them were needed to bring order to law,
politics and business in a new town.
In 1856 Dr. Samuel B. Pryor ran against Dr. Anderson Rice, the only other candidate, for the mayor race
in the city's first election and won 58 to 34 votes. He was inducted into office on 5 April 1856. The
council did not have permanent offices and met in several rented quarters until 1872.29 Dr. Samuel B.
Pryor, as Dallas' first mayor, was "remembered as 'brusque, officious and overbearing,' chiefly because
he insisted on doing what he was elected to do ... create a community in which order prevailed."30 At
that time Dallas was still new to the authority of the county officials. "He was a good mayor, because he
did things when he saw they should be done. Of course he had no great problems to face, and yet his
was no easy task, and the doctor lost friends through his exercise of authority, and gained others for the
same reason."31 In April 1857 John M. Crockett became the second mayor.2 The house built by Col.
John M. Crockett in 1855 was said to be the first two-story house in the county and later became the
home of Dr. Pryor.33
Samuel continued to be involved in politics and was elected as one of the five aldermen to serve from
August 1859 to August 1860, August 1860 to August 1861, and August 1861 to August 1862.34 An
alderman was like a municipal officer or councilman.35
In April 1859, Charles became an editor of the Dallas Herald after the death of the newspaper's editor
and publisher, James W. Latimer, and remained with the newspaper until the great fire of July 1860.36
According to Mr. W. P. Overton regarding the fire that destroyed part of the town on 8 July 1860, he
stated that "a lot of men had been smoking that Sunday around Sam Prior's drug-store, and I think the
fire started from that."37 The newspaper was resumed 8 October 1860 with Charles Pryor as its editor.38
4 The Dallas Journal 2002
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 48, 2002, periodical, June 2002; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186861/m1/8/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.