Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 291 of 1,110
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HISTORY OF DALLAS COUNTY.
S. G. Anderson, lineman and ladderman;
J. Gorman, driver buggy and ladderman;
Geo. W. Hill, ladderman; W. Riddle, ladderman:
Chas. Longserre, ladderman; W. McDaniels,
John M. Oram, city electrician, is said to
be one of the most talented electricians to be
found in any country. He has a system of
electric communications to all the handsome
buildings of the fire department, of which
there are several, also to almost all the other
departments, that works with perfect symmetry
and harmony. His success in this department
as an electrician is praised extensively,
and very justly so.
BURNING OF DALLAS IN 1860.
One of the most exciting events in the
early history of Dallas county was that of the
burning of the town of Dallas in July, 1860.
Some of the citizens at that time differed in
their opinions as to the origin of the fire.
Below we give interviews of three pioneer
citizens now living in Dallas, which appeared
in the Dallas Daily News of July 10, 1892.
These do not agree in their opinions of the
origin of the fire, but a full account of the
destruction is given.. Uncle Billy Miller: "1
am eighty-five years old," the venerable narrator
began, "'and my memory is somewhat
defective; but those scenes and the startling
revelations of an uprising among the blacks
created such an impression on my mind that
I can never forget it. Grill Miller, now dead,
who was a son of W. B. Miller of Dallas, who
then lived west of the river five miles from
town, took the part of a detective and worked
up the case. It is said that he had some
Indian blood in his veins, and lie kept his
own counsel, saying but little, but he discovered
the plot to burn, rob and murder.
There had been a great deal of burning going
on in the country: farmers' homes, their
feed stacks and cribs were burned, and no
one knew how.
"One day as Grill was at his father's a little
negro boy, whom he called Bruce, came running
in crying and saying: '0, Mars Grill,
three white men came and made me fetch
them some water, and then they sot fire to the
barn 'and the house.' Grill could see the
smoke issuing from his place, but he said
nothing then. After he had worked on a few
clews and put this and that together he one
day took Bruce from the house and in the
presence of a committee of white men told
him that he would have to tell them who had
burned his house else they would kill him,
and he informed him that if he died lying the
devil would get him sure. Bruce confessed
that he himself fired the place, and that he
had been put up to it by another negro.
This led to the revelation of a plot, which inclhded
every negro in the county except
three, and one of the three was old Uncle
Clayton Miller, Henry Miller's father, who
belonged to Uncle W. B. Miller. He knew
about the plot, but under threatened penalty
of death he dared not reveal it. A part of
the plan was to poison Uncle Billy (W. B.)
Miller and his wife and divide their property
among the blacks.
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Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas., book, 1892; Chicago, Illinois. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20932/m1/291/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Public Library.