By: Tom Gooch
Editor's Note: The following is a verbatim transcription from That's All For Today - Selected Writings of Tom Gooch, edited by Decherd Turner and published by Southern Methodist University Press Dallas, TX, 1955. (See copyright fair use notice at bottom of page).
Tom Gooch, the longtime cartoonist,
reporter, editor and publisher of the Dallas Times Herald, wrote
a daily column in the 1930's and 1940's. He was the great-grandson
of Charity Gilbert, who gave birth to the first white child in
the first cabin John Neely Bryan built, and even Barrot Sanders
agrees it was built for and first occupied by Captain Mabel Gilbert
and his family soon after
Light hearted, tongue in cheek, and sometimes irreverent, Tom Gooch himself explains,
The First Cabin
that it is the duty-we know it is the duty-of every loyal Dallas
citizen to prepare himself as a competent guide of the thousands
of visitors who will be here during the Centennial Exposition.
We are willing to do our bit. This is the day of specialists,
and we have decided to specialize on the John Neely Bryan cabin,
which now occupies the Court House Square--rather it has always
been there if we are going to stick to our story. Our readers
will pardon us if we rehearse in advance what we expect to say
to the curious-eyed strangers when they call for our assistance
as a guide next summer. We shall be waiting at the train for
them and our first visit, of course, will be the rude but picturesque
replica of the first home in Dallas County. We know what the
visitor will say, first of all-"So this is the first house
in Dallas County."
course it is the real thing," says the visitor, and if that
is his belief, why should we start an argument?
is a remarkable relic," will say the visitor, "and
I am sure that every stick of wood in it was put there by the
hand of that famous old pioneer. Just look how the door sill
is worn, and see this beautiful hooked rug. Mrs. Bryan probably
made it when she wasn't loading guns for her husband to use in
be nonplused we answer quickly, "Mr. Bryan was a far-seeing
man; he dedicated this very ground to the public. And it was
only fair that we constructed our public building in harmony
with the first home in Dallas County."
In accordance with Title 17 U. S. C. Section 107, any copyrighted
work in this publication is distributed under fair use without profit
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the included information for nonprofit research and educational
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This publication was compiled, edited and transcribed by M C Toyer,
12 February 2001.
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