The Encyclopedia of Texas Page: 49 of 970
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ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TEXAS
The city at that time had a population of between
400 and 500 people. At the first election Dr. Samuel
B. Pryor was elected mayor, Andrew Moore,
Marshal, William Moore, Treasurer, and Samuel P.
Jones, Recorder. The city of Dallas burned in 1860.
The cause of the fire was never satisfactorily settled
but it was generally believed to have been of
incendiary origin by negroes, whom it was reported
had started many fires in this region. Three negroes
were found guilty of the crime and hanged and
every negro in the county was given a flogging.
There was about fifteen business buildings and a
great many residences went up in flames.
At the opening of the Civil War, Dallas, which
had been strongly in sympathy with the Confederacy,
recruited a company, taking away many of
her leading citizens, and the city's progress was
naturally for a time retarded. After the war things
picked up and a new era began. In 1870 the population
of Dallas was 2,960 and the County boasted
of 13,329 inhabitants. The transportation was the
one great problem, the lack of wnich greatly hindered
the development of the district. Throughout
the history of the city there has been more or less
agitation for the improvement of the Trinity
first edition, this paper enjoyed an era of rapid
growth. The same year the first State Fair was
held at Dallas and met with such success that it
became an annual event in the life of the city.
On March 31, 1888 an election was held consolidating
North, East and South Dallas in one enterprising
and progressive city. That same year the
old City Hall was completed. In 1890 the census
showed that the population of Dallas was 62,000.
The year of 1882 witnessed the completion of the
present Court House. In 1894 the State Democratic
Convention was held in this city. In 1895
the Oriental Hotel, then one of the finest hostelries
of the south was completed and opened to the public.
The arrival of the steamer H. A. Harvey, Jr.
from Galveston in 1898 revived interest again in
the navigation of the Trinity river. Three years
later a Bill was passed in Congress appropriating
$750,000 for the improvement of the channel. In
1902 Dallas entertained the Confederate Union Soldiers
in a convention here. In 1904 the city became
the owner of Fair Park. A company composed of
local citizens who owned the tract of land was offered
$125,000 by an improvement company for the
purpose of dividing it into resident lots, this offer
Panorama of the Business Section of I)Dallas, from the Roof of Butler Brothers Wholesale Company Building
river to enable navigation. In 1868 a steamboat
commanded by Captain McGarvey sailed up the
river from Galveston and landed at Dallas loaded
with supplies. In December of the same year the
Sallie Haynes, the first boat built at Dallas, was
In 1871 the old court house was sold and the building
of a new one begun. It was completed in two
years at a cost of Seventy-five thousand dollars. In
the Fall of 1872 the first iron bridge was completed
over the Trinity river at a cost of fifty-five
On July 17, 1872 the greatest event in the history
of Dallas occurred. It was the arrival of the first
rail-road train over the Houston and Texas Central
Railroad, which reached Dallas that year. A large
barbecue was held to celebrate the event. Over
five thousand people from the surrounding country
attended. An interesting incident of this historical
event was an address by the venerable John Neely
Bryan, a pioneer citizen of Dallas, who arrived here
on an Indian pony thirty-one years before.
In 1876 the North Texas Fair Association was
formed and annual fairs were subsequently held.
That same year the Dallas County Medical Association
was organized with Dr. A. A. Johnson as President.
In 1881 the population had increased tt
19,000. In 1882 East Dallas was laid out and the
city started. In 1884 the American Exchange bank
now the largest financial institution in Texas, was
organized with W. A. Gaston as President. On October
1, 1885 The Dallas Morning News issued its
was refused. At this time a number of public
spirited citizens organized a movement which resulted
in the city acquiring the tract thus making
the annual State Fair a public institution.
In another article, the History of the Fair, from its
beginning, telling the complete story of its progress
up to the present time, is attractively told. Much
can be said of what has been accomplished in Dallas
during recent years. It has become the largest
interurban center in the South, with more miles of
electric line radiating from the city than any city of
its size in the United States. The city has become
a center for education in the South. It has as many
fine hotels and office buildings as any city west of
Chicago. The city has twenty-two parks covering
thirty-five hundred acres, containing tennis courts
and playground facilities. It has a Welfare Commission
engaged to look after the needy, to provide
work for the unemployed. There are no slums or
tenements. The new City Hall is one of the finest
Municipal Buildings in the South. There are one
hundred and seventy churches, active Y. W. C. A. and
Y. M. C. A., both up to date buildings. There are
one hundred and twelve schools and colleges in the
city and every facility for highest education is given.
In the foregoing article the writer has endeavored
to chronicle the most interesting events, the
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The Encyclopedia of Texas (Book)
This book provides a biographical view of Texas and its history. The book uses many narratives of the individuals who helped shape Texas history. The book also includes profiles of: the public school system in Texas; banking; the public school system; the State Fair; the Cotton Industry; oil history; and histories of select towns, such as Dallas, Fort Worth, Wichita Falls, Burkburnett, Ellis County, Waco, San Antonio, Galveston, and many others.
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Davis, Ellis Arthur & Grobe, Edwin H. The Encyclopedia of Texas, book, [1921..1922]; Dallas, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth21069/m1/49/: accessed April 20, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; .