Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 14, Number 2, Fall, 2002 Page: 55
This periodical is part of the collection entitled: Legacies: a History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the Dallas Historical Society.
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Jacob Buhrer, seated in the center of thisfamily photograph, operated a dairyfarm on 35o acres along White Rock Creek in the late
nineteenth century. His property was taken to create White Rock Lake in I9Io.
Dallasites when the opposite dilemma, a long
and terrible drought, ensued. Up to that time the
city's citizens depended on natural springs, artesian
wells, rain barrels, and the Trinity River for
their supply of water. A small reservoir north of
the city, Bachman Lake, was created in 1903, but
the drought soon made it clear that it was woefully
inadequate. At the height of the crisis
"insurance companies threatened to withdraw all
fire insurance from the city," and drinking water,
supplied from artesian wells, had to be delivered
to city households by horse-drawn tank wagons.
Everywhere, "grass, shrubs and flowers and many
Although the drought of 1909-1910
prompted city officials to take swift action, a plan
to dam White Rock Creek and build a reservoir
was already in progress prior to the emergency. In
1907 the city began to acquire property in the
bottomlands of the creek, long considered to be
the best possible place in the area for a manmade
reservoir, owing to its elevation and the land's
natural slope toward the city and the Trinity
River. The site included the Swiss Dairy, which
was acquired by condemnation. ByJanuary 1910,
the City of Dallas owned 1,635 acres, having
spent in excess of $115,000 of bond money to
obtain it. This property included about 200 additional
acres that was "purchased in order to secure
a certain part of various tracts, which could not
otherwise be obtained." Taxpayers were assured
that the extra land could "eventually be disposed
of at a good figure."5
On January 11, 1910, during the administration
of Mayor Stephen J. Hay, city commissioners
formally adopted "specifications for the work
at the White Rock reservoir." These plans, drawn
up by Dallas City Engineer J. M. Preston and
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Dallas Historical Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 14, Number 2, Fall, 2002, periodical, 2002; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35097/m1/57/: accessed March 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.