Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 5, Number 2, Fall, 1993 Page: 25
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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Joseph W. Bartlett and his family came to Dallas in the
early 1890s. Bartlett and his wife, Josephine, moved from Iowa
and purchased a house at 4116 Swiss Avenue, where they raised
their two daughters. In 1894 their oldest son, Frederick, completed
law school in New York and joined the family in Dallas.
Both Frederick and Joseph were attorneys, and the son quickly
distinguished himself as a civic leader, serving as the Dallas
City Police and Fire Commissioner between 1911 and 1913.
While the son devoted his time to law and politics, the father
became a farm loan agent and pursued his interest in photography.
In 1960, Joseph's daughter, Ruth Bartlett, donated her
father's glass-plate negatives to the Dallas Historical Society.
Unfortunately, the negatives were not labeled and were in boxes
marked simply, "My Girls," "Fred's Folks," "Me and Mine,"
"Early Dallas," and "Eastern 1899." Until recently the negatives
remained one of the hidden treasures of the Society.
The negatives donated by Ruth Bartlett demonstrate that
her father (shown above in a self-portrait) enjoyed photographing
his children and grandchildren. Joseph Bartlett also liked to
photograph his neighborhood and friends, making over 750
pictures of the people and places close to him. His photographs,
however, are more than just images of the people and architecture
of late nineteenth century Dallas. They are a celebration of
youth and reflect his pride in his family. The images reveal each
child's personality-some are fun loving and playful, while
others are more serious and reserved. The photographs also
portray the innocence of childhood and document the world of
children before battery-powered toys and video games. The joy
of a sea-saw, the companionship of a good dog, and the wonder
of imaginary worlds where dolls talk and blocks become skyscrapers
are some of the wonderful images Bartlett captured of
life in late nineteenth century Dallas.
-Guy Clifton Vanderpool
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Dallas County Heritage Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 5, Number 2, Fall, 1993, periodical, 1993; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35115/m1/27/: accessed June 16, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.