THE CENSUS TAKER.
His Letter to the People.
days past, my attention has been called to articles appearing
in the Evening Mail with regard to myself in connection with
the census of the city. At first, I supposed that the object
of these publications was to make a false impression upon the
minds of the people with regard to the true population of the
city, and as I was not responsible for any falsehoods that might
be perpetrated through the columns of the newspapers, I decided
to keep silent; but as the matter has become so personal, and
reflection after reflection thrust at me, I can no longer desist
- July 7, 1876, Dallas
Daily Herald, p. 4, col. 4.
How can I, when I am challenged by the Evening Mail to arise
This article may not be congenial
to the feelings of some parties, and may have a tendency to writhe
some, but they must understand that the responsibility rests
upon them for the statements, which they have made, and which
in every case is so palpably false, and which has called forth
this letter. Inquiries have been made as to who the Census Taker
was-and what of him, and insinuations thrown out, that he was
incompetent to do the work, and if competent, that he was an
indolent and sluggish creature, that would not do it, which insinuations
not only reflect upon me, but upon the worthy Council that selected
me. I shall in the first place answer the inquiries that have
been made, and then briefly state the manner in which the census
was taken, and then dispose of the assertions that have been
made by individuals, and editors so-called.
Well, to the inquiries made, I
would state, that I am a citizen of the city of Dallas, and while
comparatively a stranger to the population of the city, was sufficiently
known to the Council, to be selected as a competent, and suitable
person to do the work assigned me, and moreover, that selection
was made without my solicitation, without my knowledge, or consent,
and not until the day after the Council had elected me, did I
know that there was the most remote idea of having the census
taken, but when notified of the fact by some member of the council,
I was duly qualified. I entered upon the duties of the office
and with perseverance, and care, went from house to house, taking
the statistics of each family, until I had visited every private
residence, and taken the statistics of every private family,
within the corporate limits of the city, except in very few cases,
where families were absent and in those cases, the statistics
were secured from their neighbors, and then I proceeded to go
through the business part of the city, taking the statistics
with all possible care, till the work was completed, and who
ever asserts or may have asserted that "I" failed thoroughly
to canvass the city, states that which is positively false, which
assertion I am prepared to sustain by the statistics.
With regard to individuals, whose
names have appeared in the newspapers, and who have stirred up
this question so unnecessarily, and so uncalled for, each of
their houses were visited, and the statistics of each family
given by some member of the family, except that of Mr. M. Guillot,
and I would state for his satisfaction, that although so obscure
as she intimates, I visited her house, and the family being absent,
the statistics of the family were given by a gentleman working
on the premises, and afterward I met Mr. Guillot on the side
walk of Main street, in the presence of other gentlemen, and
asked him in regard to the statistics of his family, which I
found, upon referring to the books, to be correct. What the object
of those individuals of those individuals were, I do not know,
unless it was to deceive the public with regard to the true population
of the city. They lose no money by it, and I cannot conceive
that is of any interest to them in any way. I dare say the will
not manifest the same interest in having the taxes of the city
properly assessed and collected. But upon the other hand, each
individual that I failed to take was a pecuniary loss to myself,
as the pay that I was receive was so much per head. It may be
that there is a fraudulent disposition on the part of those concerning
themselves in the matter, and that they are unwilling for the
Council to comply with their contract, but I can hardly conceive
that they would be induced to act through such motives. I might
have acted recreant to the trust imposed in me and have run up
the population to twenty thousand (20,000) and have called on
the city authorities for three hundred dollars ($300.00) for
the services rendered, and doubtless the papers would have handled
such reports abroad with gladness, but because I have endeavored
to do the work correctly and make an honest report, I am abused
and decreed as incompetent, unworthy and unfit for such a trust.
God pity such a corrupt people.
I quote from the Evening
Mail of July 1st, the following: "Whole neighborhoods
and streets have been entirely omitted, and that, too, in the
most popular districts of the city." To the above quotation
I have simply to say it is an unmitigated lie. Again, he says,
"The so-called report is manifestly so incorrect that no
attention should be paid to it by our authorities, who, if they
should desire a census taker of the city, should secure the services
of a competent man, and see that he thoroughly performed his
Is it possible that the worthy,
generous and intelligent Council, selected by the voters of the
city of Dallas, are so incompetent to transact the business entrusted
to them that they are required to call upon the petty editor
of a little evening newspaper to advise them! TATUM.
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"Stumps" Two Census
who was said to have qualifications for being made "dean
of the profane language department of a nut college," was
encountered by one of the men enumerators of the United States
census Friday, when he tried to interview her regarding statistics
desired by the government in compiling the decennial figures,
according to a report made to W. L. Chew, supervisor of the census
for the Dallas district.
- January 3, 1920,
The Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 8, col. 6.
When the enumerator called at her
residence and explained his mission, he was met by such a tirade
of abusive language and profanity, that he was dumbfounded. He
alleged that the woman "cussed him out" for half an
hour without using the same term twice. In the course of her
word barrage, she informed him that no man had ever come into
her house, and that no man ever would, as long as she lived.
The climax came when the enumerator inquired her age, to which
she stated that "her age, and no woman's age, was any of
his damned business." By exercising diplomacy, he learned
the woman's name and several other important facts needed in
the census taking and left, "a sadder, but wiser man."
One of the women enumerators also
reported considerable profanity encountered on questioning a
woman in her district.
It was pointed out at the supervisor's
office, that while information in connection with the census
is entirely confidential, it must be furnished, or prosecution
by the government will result. For the most part, it is said,
those who have refused to give information about themselves do
so through a mistaken idea of the purpose of the census and really
have no intention of keeping anything back. Some persons believe
that the census takers are a sort of detectives, who are prying
into private affairs.
On the whole, Mr. Chew said, the
enumerators are being met with great courtesy wherever they go
and are obtaining the desired information without any trouble.
In the Mexican settlement on McKinney avenue, an enumerator who
speaks Spanish is doing the work. The work will be completed
on schedule time, judging from present success, Mr. Chew said.
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Must Notify Census
Bureau If "Nose Has
Not Been Counted"
live in census district No. 72, bounded by Fitzhugh, Henderson,
Ross and Fredrica streets, or, in district No. 32, bounded by
the Texas Pacific and Santa Fe railroads, Hill and Worth streets,
and you nose has not been counted by Uncle Sam, notify the Dallas
census supervisor at the Chamber of Commerce at once." This
is the order of W. L. Chew, census supervisor for the fifth census
- January 12, 1920,
Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 9, col. 7.
Local districts Nos. 21 and 72
have been covered by the enumerators, who have reported having
obtained information on every person in them, to the best of
their knowledge. Hence, Mr. Chew says, anyone who has been overlooked
for various reasons must report to the local census bureau and
"give an account of his stewardship" or the law will
reach out its long arm and take him in.
About one-third of the city had
been covered up to Saturday night, with the enumerators reporting
better progress since the weather has cleared up somewhat.
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