Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 26, Number 2, Fall 2014 Page: 8
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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One of the greatest trotting horses of his era,
Electrite, which Exall purchased in 1892, brought
renown to Exall's Lomo Alto Farm.
for finding new ways to train horses at his Palo
Alto Farm. (It was Stanford who commissioned
Eadweard Muybridge to capture the first stop-
action photos of a horse's gallop).
Like Stanford, Exall applied scientific study
to the art of raising standard-bred trotting horses,
paying especially close attention to the care and
feeding of the animals. And the Virginian, who
had spent the early years of his adulthood in Ken-
tucky, believed North Texas provided an ideal en-
vironment for the animals.
In 1892 (before the Panic), Exall made
perhaps his most important investment when
he purchased a horse named Electrite (born in
1888), a son of Stanford's legendary sire Election-
eer, who is still considered the greatest horse of
his era.10 Electrite lived up to his father's reputa-
tion and through his progeny (and his progeny's
progeny), he played a major role in helping Lomo
Alto ascend to the highest ranks of the nation's
horse farms between 1892 and 1910. Lomo Alto's
trotting horses grew in demand not just in New
York and Chicago, but in England, Austria, and
The farm became a show place, not unlike
the Palo Alto Farm in California, which after the
turn of the century was sporting the first few
buildings of Stanford University. (The signature
red barn still stands on "the farm," which is the
nickname for the Stanford campus.) During a
1909 visit to Dallas, Harvard University president
William Eliot spent an entire morning with Exall
touring the Lomo Alto Farm's new location on
Preston Road north of Lovers Lane.12
A few telltale signs remain today from Exall's
deep involvement in this part of Dallas. The lake,
originally known as Exall's Lake, has come to be
known as simply Exall Lake. And then there are
the thoroughfares, which once upon a time were
just trails: Lomo Alto Drive appears aligned with
the road Exall would have taken to his home in
Dallas and his farm. And Lovers Lane and Mock-
ingbird Lane were the names bestowed on these
dusty roads by his wife.13
While the Lomo Alto Farm was famous for
its horses, Exall's fascination with providing his
stock the best in nutrition led him to study the
science of growing crops with which to feed
them. His accumulated wisdom became widely
relevant with the growth of the cities and the
subsequent strain of food supplies. Food in the
Progressive Era, much like capital in the Gilded
Age, was inhibiting growth. While state agricul-
tural colleges and governmental agencies sought
to improve the efficiency of farms, state leaders
saw that those efforts were falling short.
In April 1910, Robert J. Kleburg of the King
Ranch presided over a meeting in San Antonio
of the newly formed Texas Industrial Congress (a
sort of statewide chamber of commerce).14 They
set out to promote growth by starting with agri-
culture. The delegates recommended Col. Exall
as the person best suited to effect changes among
the state's farmers. Exall, now age 61, was not in
attendance. But he was elected on the assurances
of Dallas delegates who believed Exall would not
turn down such a worthy cause.
Sure enough, the importance of the chal-
lenge intrigued him. The old Virginian quickly
laid out an aggressive communications campaign
and set out to put it motion. Soon he was ad-
dressing audiences of all kinds-from farmers to
8 LEGACIES Fall 2014
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Dallas Historical Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 26, Number 2, Fall 2014, periodical, Autumn 2014; Dallas, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth586973/m1/10/?q=exall: accessed October 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.