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(Updated November 6, 2004)

  1933
History Attaches to Old Building
Once Home Scottish Rite Lodge

 

     The uses of trade have taken from this building at 907 Commerce, next to the Gaston Building, whatever fine marks of distinction it once bore. The casual passer-by would hardly give it a second glance. But, the third floor of this building, one of the oldest in the city still in good and active use, was, for a number of years, the home of the Scottish Rite Masonic bodies in Dallas before their present fine cathedral on South Harwood street was erected.
     The building, originally a two-story affair, was built by the law firm of Alexander, Clark & Hall to house their offices. They were attorneys for the Cotton Belt and wanted their offices near those of the railroad, which were on the southwest corner of Lamar & Commerce. The three members of the firm are now dead.

Put Up in Early '90s.
     But, their offices when this building was put up, were sumptuous. They were on the second floor, the first floor being rented out for trade and were among the first in the city to be heated by gas.
     The building was erected in the early '90s. Some time later, it was seriously damaged by fire. Fire, indeed, has several times attacked it. Then, the third story was added and it was there, in August of 1897, that the Scottish Rite bodies met.

Lodge Hall Until 1909.
     Scottish Rite Masons organized in Dallas in January, 1897, in a little building on Elm street. The Lodge of Perfection then offered only up to the fourteenth degree here.
     Meetings were held in this building until March, 1909. The first meeting held in the Scottish Rite Cathedral was on March 22, 1909, and was presided over by G. B. Dealey, Knight Commander of the Court of Honor, records in the office of J. L. Stephens, secretary of the Scottish Rite Cathedral Association, show.
     Alexander, Clark & Hall remained in the Commerce street building for only a few years and then sold it. It has changed hands several times in the last three decades. It is now owned by Mrs. C. E. Hudson.

- April 30, 1933, The Dallas Morning News, Sec. I, p. 12, col. 3-4.
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1934 
First Car Through New Underpass
Gets Real Welcome

- Times Herald Staff Photo

Loud hurrahs arose from lower downtown Dallas when the Lamar-McKinney river crossing was finally opened to traffic Monday, five years after its construction was started. Harry Meador, civic leader, shown above, could hardly believe his eyes when the first car from the west rolled up the east approach-underpass. Meador, who led the fight to get the city and county to build and complete the trafficway, was overjoyed. Shouts of pleasure, perhaps triumph, came from his lips as he waved his hands in greeting to the first car to cross the viaduct.

- June 1, 1934, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. II, p. 1, col. 2-4.
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Half-Century Building Modernized

(click on image for enlarged view)     

     What modern builders can do for an old building is shown by these before and after pictures of the two-story, 62-year-old building on the southwest corner of Commerce and Market.
     The building, now owned by Jim Dan Sullivan, was built in 1872. It has been owned by the John Neely Bryan family, Henry Ervay and pioneer Dallas business firms. It was bought in 1905 by D. F. Sullivan, the father of the present owner, and was, at one time, the home of the City Bank, a predecessor of what is now the First National Bank in Dallas.
     Flex-stone stucco was used on the exterior of the building, giving it the appearance of a new structure.

- June 10, 1934, The Dallas Morning News,
Sec. I, p. 16, col. 4-5.
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1935
One of County's Oldest Houses
Getting New Roof

- News Staff Photos

     One of the oldest houses in Dallas County, the homestead of Uncle Sammy Sloan, where society used to gather some ninety years ago, is getting a new roof. It has had many in its day, judging from the nail holes in the beams, carpenters say.
     Outside the house gives much the same appearance as newer houses along Lancaster and Ledbetter drive. However, the re-roofing brings out again the story of a house within a house. The original structure was built of cedar logs, with a long, open hallway through the center, according to stories told by the late A. Lee Gracey to his son, A. Lee Gracey on Lancaster pike. The elder Gracey lived in the home of the Sloans for a number of years, staying with the family first in 1850. The house was built some time before that, the date being placed at either 1844, the year Samuel Sloan and his brother, Robert, came to Dallas County, or in 1845, by Mr. and Mrs. Fred C. Clark, the present owners. Mrs. Clark is shown in the picture by one of the cedar posts of the porch, the only cedar portion of the house that has not been covered with shiplap. The house, she said, has two advantages -- it's warm in winter and cool in the summertime.

- March 11, 1935, The Dallas Morning News, Sec. I, p. 5, col. 2-4.
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1936
Group Studies
Disposition of
Old Post Office

________

Structure Can Be Sold
for One-Half of Value
of Land Through Act
of Congress in 1935

_______

Presents Problem
______

Real Estate Men Claim
Building Liability and
Should Be Torn Down


Gingerbread Architecture

The pride of Dallas in the gingerbread era of architecture, the old post office at Main, Commerce and Ervay, now stands as a relic in the streamline age. Untenanted except for an automobile parking station, the building is regarded by businessmen as a liability to the land on which it stands, and a chamber of commerce committee is working on the problem of removing it.

     Congressional authority exists for the Treasury Department to sell the old Post Office Building at Main, Commerce and Ervay to the city or county of Dallas for as little as one-half the value of the land, real estate men pointed out Saturday, as a chamber of commerce committee prepared to study the problem created by the vacant building in the heart of the city.
     Under an act approved in August, 1935, the Treasury Department, which has control of the building, can sell it to the city, county or State, or other governmental subdivision. The act authorized such sale of buildings under control of the department when the buildings have been supplanted by new structures and are not needed.
     Long-term contracts for the payment of the purchase price can be made, and the Treasury Department can waive interest on the purchase price, under terms of the act. The act also sets out that the total purchase price shall be not less than 50 per cent of the appraised value of the land.
     Estimates of the worth of the site ranged from $400,000 to $750,000, but only one real estate man would allow himself to be quoted on his estimate. A. D. Hudson, realtor, said the property probably was worth $600,000 to $750,000.

Site Acquired in 1883.
     Lawrence S. Pollock is chairman of the chamber of commerce committee and committeemen are Herbert Marcus, J. B. Adoue Jr., Joe E. Lawther and Ernest R. Tenant.
     The site was acquired by the Federal Government in 1883 for $11,000. Construction of the first unit, facing Ervay, was started in 1884, and completed in 1889. The Commerce street clock tower and second unit were built in 1893 and the Main street wing in 1894. A fourth unit was added on the east in 1904.
     The old building, regarded as one of the soundest structurally in the country, was modeled after the Post Office Building in Washington. It was used in the administrations of nine postmasters.
     Opposing schools of thought exist as to the disposition that should be made of the building. Real estate and businessmen generally believe it should be razed, as they claim the building is a liability.
     The other view is that the building should be preserved as an example of the architecture of its period, and for the value and workmanship of its interior finish. The Dallas Federation of Women's Clubs, at the suggestion of Mrs. R. T. Skiles, instigated a study of the plan to save the building several years ago, and named Mrs. Mamie Folsom Wynne, chairman of a special committee for the purpose.

Included in the Park Project.
     Mrs. Wynne said her committee worked toward having the building sold to the city, and as an added part of its project, to have the city purchase the entire two blocks between Main and Commerce, from Ervay to Harwood, for a central park. She said some of the fine marble interior finish in the building cannot be matched, as the quarries from which it came have been exhausted.
     Real estate men discouraged another proposal that the building be renovated and used for housing various Government bureaus, which are paying a total of $160,000 a year in rents for office space in Dallas. One such agency, alone, is paying $40,000 a year for space. The real estate men said the high cost of heating and lighting the building would offset, to a large extent, the saving in rentals.
     They suggested that the Government sell the building and use the proceeds toward adding several stories to the Parcel Post Building under construction at Commerce and Houston, to provide the office space for the Government bureaus.

- December 13, 1936, The Dallas Morning News, Sec. I, p. 14, col. 1-3.
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1937
Added July 2, 2004:
JOHN NEELY BRYAN
CABIN REOPENING
TO BE DISCUSSED

     Confidence that the John Neely Bryan cabin at Houston and Commerce Streets will be reopened to visitors of the Pan American Exposition was expressed Saturday by County Judge Ben H. Fly.
     After the Texas Centennial Exposition closed last December, the Commissioners Court ordered the Bryan cabin closed to save $60 monthly.
     "The question of reopening the cabin will be submitted to the court Monday," Fly said.

- June 6, 1937, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. I, p. 6, col. 2.
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REMINDER OF WHITE ROCK'S
PURCHASE BROUGHT OUT IN
SALE OF DORAN HOMESTEAD

     Final closing of the sale transferring the Wm. Doran homestead property on Gaston Avenue, to O. L. Clark of Wichita County, is announced by J. S. Durham & Co., local realtors.
     Therein is a reminder to longtime residents of the purchase of the present White Rock lake property. Dallas' lake resort, now of national prominence, was the city's source of water supply for nearly a quarter century.
     The Doran homestead property, J. S. Durham & Co. point out, takes in a 300-acre frontage on Gaston, and is occupied by four two-story frame residences. One of them has been occupied by the Doran family for fifty years. Mrs. Wm. Doran, the elder, will vacate it with transfer to the new owners. Also joining in the transfer were Wm. Doran, the younger, and Mrs. Robert Nicholson, son and daughter of the former city commissioner.
     Mr. Durham sees in the purchase, an indication that men of means, more than ever, appreciate the value of real estate investments.
When the Doran homestead and the other structures were erected, they were located in "East Dallas," then a separate municipal incorporation. Mr. Doran came to the young Dallas from Ohio, when he wasn't much older than the city.
     Successful in business, he was elected a member of the first city commissioner under that form of government, adopted in 1908. He was designated as public properties commissioner, and as such, exercised his keen business judgment and instincts.
     Purchase of the White Rock property followed the well-remembered drouth of 1910, and the "deal" is of record as one of the most honestly conducted in the city's history. Mr. Doran, with M. H. Mahana and the late "Bev" Scott, were the men who personally contacted land owners throughout the district. As a result, the owners received equitable prices and the city's 'scutcheon is unsullied by any hint of selfishness or personal gain.

- July 28, 1937, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. I, p. 10, col. 2-3.
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U. S. GETS NO
BIDS ON OLD
POST OFFICE

_______

DALLAS BUILDING TO REMAIN
IN PRESENT CONDITION
SIX MONTHS

By BASCOM N. TIMMONS.

     Washington, July 30. -- The old post office building in Dallas will remain in its present condition for at least six months or a year, the treasury department announced to-day, when it failed to get "even one" bid for the building.
     Characterized by the Dallas Chamber of Commerce as an "eye sore," this building was offered for sale last May, but only one person bid on it, and the bid was so far below the appraisal set by the Dallas real estate board, that the treasury department was forced to refuse it.
     At that time, the department announced the building would be up for sale again, and that bids would be accepted on July 30, however, when the time came this morning to open the bids, there were none.
     The real estate board set the value of the building at $596,000, but the only bid ever received was from W. A. Parrish for $375,000. This was so low as to be unacceptable by the treasury.
     Officials of the procurement division of the treasury department, which handles the disposition of old government buildings, said nothing would be done for the next six months or year.

- July 30, 1937, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. I, p. 1, col. 1.
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Added November 6, 2004:
CONTRACT TO RAZE
OLD FIELD STREET
BUILDING SLATED

     A contract for razing the old Methodist Publishing House building, at 1308 Commerce Street, from the right of way from Field Street extension, will be awarded by the city council Friday, to the Interstate Wrecking Company.
     Since the building has little salvage value, the city will pay the wrecking firm $2,637 to demolish the structure.
     Work will be started within the next twenty or thirty days, officials indicated.
     Several buildings are now being removed from the path of the important trafficway extension.

- August 20, 1937, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. I, p. 13, col. 2.
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1938
Plate Shows Early Courthouse

    This hand-painted plate, given to Bishop Harry T. Moore, by Mrs. Kate M. Bryan, bears a picture of the first brick courthouse in Dallas, which was on the site of the present building. This courthouse was built in 1852 to replace a log structure. The first Episcopal church services after the war were held in this building.


St. Matthew's Cathedral
Records Become Repository
For Dallas Historical Data

By John E. King, Jr.

     Relics from the lives of hundreds of men and women who have built Dallas, important in the biographies of these early settlers, but even more important in the history of the city, are found in the files of St. Matthew's Cathedral.
     Early members of the Episcopal Church here, one of the oldest churches in Dallas, continually add to this repository of historical information, with letters of their early reminiscences, pictures and relics from their personal effects.
     One of the most interesting bits in the collection, owned by Bishop Harry T. Moore, is a hand-painted plate [see photo above], inscribed with a picture of the first brick courthouse in Dallas County, built in 1852. This plate was painted fifty years ago from a faded old tintype of the building, and is probably the only existing picture of this early landmark.
     The plate and a lengthy letter of early reminiscences of early Dallas was sent to Bishop Moore by Mrs. Kate M. Bryan, an early resident, who is living in California with a son. Mrs. Bryan is the daughter of Dr. J. B. Keaton, and moved here with her family as a child in 1866.
     Dr. Keaton operated a small hotel at the southeast corner of Jefferson and Commerce, diagonally across the street from the courthouse, Mrs. Bryan said, and Dr. George Rottenstein, one of the earliest pastors of the church, lived there. Dr. Rottenstein and his wife were Southern sympathizers during the troubled times around the Civil War, and moved to Texas from New York to be with people who believed as they did. The old hotel at Jefferson and Commerce, where they lived, as guests of Dr. Keaton, stood until a few years ago, when it was razed to make way for a modern structure. Dr. Rottenstein died in the old building.
     The first services held in Dallas, after the church movement was resumed here in the summer of 1866, after the close of the Civil War, were held in the auditorium of the courthouse portrayed on the plate. The auditorium occupied the entire second floor. During the following winter, cold weather forced the small congregation to seek warmer quarters, so they moved to a small store building at Main and Jefferson, standing on the site of the present Records Building.
     After a few years, during which Dr. Rottenstein died, and Silas D. Davenport became rector, the group outgrew its quarters and moved again. The new church was located on the north side of Main, between Austin and Market. The building, into which it moved, had been used by Mr. and Mrs. R. D. Coughanour as the first school here after the Civil War.
     From this location, the church moved to Elm and Lamar. A good portion of the fund used to build this church was given by a group of gamblers who lived in the hotel where the pastor resided. They all admired and liked the pastor because he treated them as humans, Mrs. Bryan said. The location of the church was a point of argument at that time, because some members of the congregation thought it was being built too far from the center of town. The church remained there, Mrs. Bryan said, until it moved to the old cathedral at Ervay and Canton, which was razed a short time ago.
     Concerning the gamblers' donation, Mrs. Bryan wrote, "Although Dallas was a wild frontier town, in the '60s and early '70s, it was, in many ways, a more moral town than the present city. There were saloons in plenty, gambling houses, too, but they felt no need to hide their character. There are gamblers and gamblers, and the majority of those living here during that transition period, must have belonged to the 'and gamblers' class. There was a saying at that time, that Southern planters had three habits; they drank peach brandy, bet on their horses and played poker, all under the strict rules of the period governing a gentleman's conduct. The majority of the gamblers here were well educated scions of good old families left stranded when discharged from the Confederate Army, and being of adventurous minds, stayed on and grew up with the country.
     "At all events, they were neither thugs, thieves nor despoilers of women and children, and lived not by trickery, but by matching their skill against that of their opponents."

- February 5, 1938, The Dallas Morning News, p. 4, col. 2-3.
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1938
EMPTY ROOMS AND CORRIDORS OF
OLD POST OFFICE ARE GHOSTLY
REMINDERS OF DAYS LONG PAST

     Silent the halls and silent more the thick, dry dust covering floors and walls and window sills. For, it is seven years and more now, that men who once gave life to the building have been gone.
     Deserted, almost ghostly amidst the buzz of activity around it, stand the old federal building, resigned, it seems almost, to the abandon into which it has fallen.
     Located between Main and Commerce on Ervay Street, the towered, facaded structure was completed in April of 1889. Since that time, and until it was abandoned in 1930, when the new postoffice and federal building was erected, the building echoed to the tread of progress as recorded in legal actions of all kinds.
     But now, it is a shattered hull. On the first floor, which formerly housed the postoffice lobby and many small offices, now is a parking station and garage.

Offices Remain Empty.
     On the second floor are the abandoned offices of many former tax officers, secret service agents, district clerks, accountants and federal attorneys. Stripped for the most part of all furnishings, two of the offices still have the carved marble mantelpieces over open fireplaces. Old model wall safes remain intact, but gradually rusting.
     In some of the offices are the "skeletons" of past legal actions -- old subpoenas, letters between judges and district attorneys. On the floor of the internal revenue office, a cotton return tax statement, dated 1868, remained perfectly legible, although smudged with dust. In a dusty anteroom was an ancient book of law, copyrighted a century ago and long superseded by more modern volumes.
     On the third floor are the former district court rooms, in one of which, the elaborately finished benches of judge and clerk remain intact. A few steps away are the rooms formerly given the judges as private offices. Easily twice as large as those in the present federal building, the rooms reflect the change in tempo and manner of living as truly as do garments of earlier periods when contrasted with those of today.
     Up steel steps around the grilled elevator shafts in the Commerce Street tower, is the cluttered room below the clock and bell, both of which, though not in use, remain in good condition.
     The clock remains still only because it is not wound. The wheels and ratchets are still bright and un-rusted. Covered with dust on the floor is the crank which formerly required the service of two strong men to twist when the clock was wound.
     Below the clock is a large bell cast in Baltimore in 1894, which formerly tolled the hours. A tug on the clapper will leave it echoing clearly and resonantly. But, the bell is silent.
     Fate of the structure, still firm and solid in its masonry, but badly in need of remodeling for any future tenant, has been the subject of rumors, plans, and schemes since it was abandoned.
     Some thought it should be made a museum. Half-hearted proposals that it be made into an office building have been advanced. Still, others would have the building razed to make way for the new downtown auditorium.

In Bad Repairs.
     Before it could be occupied again, however, there would be need of repainting walls, from which flakes of former paint now hang like dry and crackling leaves. The lighting fixtures, with gas and electrical connections, would have to be renovated and perhaps re-wired. Other wiring in the structure would probably need repair.
     Elevators in each end of the building might be put into operation with a minimum of expense, as the machinery remains in relatively good condition.
     Whatever the fate of the building, final word must come from the treasury department in Washington, D. C. Local custodian of the structure is C. J. Crampton, acting postmaster.
     As it stands now, the building will continue to be a haven of pigeons and rats. Dust that is silent underfoot now, soon will crackle faintly because of the flaked paint which falls from the walls and ceilings.
     Eventually, will come either the life sounds of new activity or the tearing blows of wreckers, but now there is only dust and silence.

- August 7, 1938, Dallas Daily Times Herald,
Sec. II, p. 1, col. 4; continued @ Sec. II, p. 3, col. 3
- o o o -

Preservation
Asked of Old
Post Office

_____

Clubwomen Plan New
Movement to Solve
Problem Presented
By Old Building

     A new development by Dallas club women to solve the problem of the moldering old post office building on Ervay at Main and Commerce loomed Thursday.
     Heartened by the report that New York City has bought in an old post office building for one dollar on condition that the site be used for civic purposes, many were hopeful the aging Dallas structure could be preserved.
     "Something should be done about the old building," Mrs. C. H. Huvelle, past president of the Dallas Federation of Women's Clubs, said. "It is an eyesore in the heart of the city, as it now stands. It should be repaired and preserved r razed. We should kill or cure. If it is possible and feasible for it to be bought in at a nominal sum for use in civic work, I'm sure Dallas club women can be counted on to do their share."
     Before making a definite proposal concerning the old structure, Dallas club women would prefer that the building be properly inspected and full reports obtained concerning costs of restoring or demolishing it, Mrs. Huvelle said.

Site for Civic Center.
     If the structure can be preserved, it would make an ideal civic center, she said. She believes a good-sized auditorium, a basement gymnasium for young people's activities and numerous small meeting rooms could be maintained in the structure, and that it could be made an ideal location for exhibits of various kinds.
     If the structure must be demolished, the site would be ideal for a downtown park, or for a new and modern building, she said.
     "That is a valuable spot and should be put to some good use," Mrs. Reuben W. Jackson, president of the Dallas Federation of Women's Clubs, said.
     "I have been told, on what presumably is good authority, that the building is of a very sound construction," Mrs. Mamie Folsom Wynne said. "It, undoubtedly, has sentimental value and value as a representative of the architecture of its day. If at all feasible, it should be preserved.
     Similar statements were made by Mrs. W. A. Leeper and Mrs. Florence Rodgers.

Plan Must Be Practical.
     All of the women declared they would not give definite backing to any plan until proper investigation had shown it to be practical.
     It was recalled that WPA officials estimated it would cost $5,000 to clean and restore the old building two years ago, when a move was under way to make the building the headquarters for a large Government bureau.
     "If the Federal Government will let New York City have an old post office building for $1, it seems that Dallas could get the old one here for a nominal sum, if someone would just go after it," Mrs. Huvelle said.

- August 19, 1938, The Dallas Morning News, Sec. I, p. 17, col. 1.
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1939
Mighty Console Rats' Playground

    A playground for rats during the last four years is the giant console of the $50,000 Barton, in which Dallas took much pride when it was dedicated as the Southwest's most magnificent electrical organ in 1925. The console was pictured Thursday morning as gathering dust back stage in the Fair Park Auditorium, it stood soundless, its face to the wall. Neglect of the instrument, which began when the Centennial took over the auditorium, has caused damage, which will necessitate repairs if Dallas is to reclaim the big organ for use.

*  *  *

CITY'S $50,000 PIPE ORGAN,
ONCE PRIDE OF MUSIC WORLD,
REDUCED TO PILE OF JUNK

By G
RAYDON HEARTSILL

     October 10, 1925 -- that was a red letter day in the history of Dallas. From all over Texas, visitors came for the dedication of the half-million dollar Fair Park Auditorium, and of the $50,000 Barton organ which graced it.
     Today, any one of the more than 3,000 persons who heard the magnificent music of the huge organ in its public debut as it was dedicated to the music lovers of the Southwest, of that year and of the future, might well ask what has happened to the instrument.
     And what has?
     In plain words, Dallas' $50,000 cultural investment, as it now stands, is worth no more than a pile of junk.
     Rumor, however, has painted a more desolate picture than is warranted by the facts - revealed by a little sleuthing, a few inquiries and considerable ladder climbing, Thursday morning. The whispered reports that vandals had stolen the pewter pipes, for example, were proven false. High up in both sides of the loft, they are still in place, the mammoth ones and the infinitesimal ones, as erect as so many soldiers, ghost-like sentinels to the memory of the vibrant music they helped to create up until four years ago.
     True, the console is disconnected and gathering dust in a corner back stage, where it was placed when it was removed recently to make room in the pit for the Metropolitan Opera Company's orchestra. Rats have made merry as they gnawed upon its leather and felt parts -- and that, organ experts say, is just as well, for the morsels they have left behind have stiffened and hardened past use. Virtually ruined, too, are the spring brass contacts.
     In another dusky part of the auditorium's upper regions, the "electric heart" of the instrument has suffered from non-use, the hundreds of bands on the tiny switches worn by corrosion.
     Exactly how much it would cost to rejuvenate the organ in problematical. There again, rumor has had its say, and even one of the city's best known music men estimated the price "conservatively" as $10,000.
     A. F. (Jack) Cowand, the man who probably knows the instrument better than anyone else in Dallas, having done much of the installation, and for several years, having charge of its maintenance, is, however, much more optimistic. As nearly as he can tell, without taking all the intricate pieces apart, Mrs. Cowand said the instrument could be restored to its former glory for between $500 and $1,000. It is ailing only from the bruises of neglect, he declared, with the sympathy of an understanding family doctor who has cared for a patient from birth to maturity.
     When, a few weeks ago, he went to the auditorium to disconnect the console so it could be moved back stage, he tried it out.
     "And, it squeaked a little," he reported. "There's life in that Barton still. But, anyone who knows anything about organs, knows they must be played regularly, or they deteriorate, and every day, this one is getting worse."
     It was when the Fair relinquished the auditorium to the Texas Centennial a decade after the building and organ were dedicated, that the sad chapter in the now-threatened life of the pride of musical Dallas began.
     During the summer and fall of 1936, thousands of visitors swarmed into the auditorium, hardly recognizing the building after its transformation into an exhibit for General Motors and scarcely missing the walled-in organ in their enjoyment of the big name bands presented during the Centennial. Then came the Pan American Exposition, and once more, the auditorium was converted, this time into the Casino, dine and dance spot. The organ remained unused -- a disastrous state for the delicate mechanism which must be constantly limbered up if its tone is to be preserved -- and forgotten somewhere in the trappings for the state extravaganza.
     When the State Fair came back to present last fall's Golden Jubilee, the auditorium had been restored to its old familiar appearance. But, there was no money to recondition the big organ, both the defunct Centennial and Exposition having gone into the land of legal limbo without having assumed the responsibility. Apparently, that responsibility has shifted to the shoulders of the city, the park board and the Fair Association.
     So, the matter rests. Dallas still has the organ, which, back in 1925, thrilled audiences along with the auditorium's first presentation, that of the vividly-remembered "Student Prince."
     A glance through The Times Herald's files of a year, hardly far enough in the past to have yellowed the newspaper's pages, recalls the pride with which Dallas dedicated the organ -- the largest and finest in the Southwest. Accounts of the first concerts sparkle with adjectives. Clarence Eddy, dean of organists, brought here from Chicago to play the first classical programs, was lavish in his praise:
     "The tone," he was quoted as saying, "is wonderfully true and mellow; the action a joy of quick response; the range apparently limitless."
     "Constructed intelligently," "installed by master hands" -- those were only a few of the descriptive phrases [of] Mr. Eddy; Ralph Waldo Emerson, WLS organist, who also came from Chicago to play the popular daily programs during the Fair season of 1925, other musicians, and the public in general, indorsed the instrument.

- May 18, 1939, Dallas Daily Times Herald,
Sec. II, p. 1, col. 4-6; cont. on p. 15, col. 6-8.
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1940
Hint of Lusty Dallas in 1887
Given as Old Turner Hall's
Cornerstone Reveals Contents

     Something of the lusty, carefree atmosphere of Dallas fifty-three years ago saw the light of day again Thursday when the cornerstone of old Turner Hall was opened in the clearing of the corner of Harwood and Canton for the new Masonic building.
     Like their fellow citizens of long ago, who inscribed a card "On this day, Friday, Feb. 11, 1887, this cornerstone was laid in the presence of an assemblage of the citizens of Dallas," an intent little group of Masons and those connected with the building of their modern meeting house opened the ponderous stone near the old structure's northeast corner.
     Faintly, they saw preserved in the quart-bottle-sized pocket, a picture of what apparently was the official body of the Gesangverein Frohsinn, owners of the building then--gentlemen with handlebar mustaches to a man.

Non-Teutons in Membership.

     The names of Adoue, Crowdus, Gillespie, Hill, Huvelle, Jones, Lenway, Thatcher, Williams, written in neat German script, point mutely to the fact that while the society of carefree gentlemen had a Teutonic name, its membership didn't.
     Signatures of the official announcement of the date were of John Henry Brown, Mayor; T. J. A. Brown, Mayor pro tem, and W. E. Parry, city secretary. Other city officials of the time, named in a printed roster, were J. C. Arnold, marshal; W. H. Johnson, attorney; J. S. Thatcher, engineer; J. F. House, Assessor and Collector; W. H. Flippen, treasurer; David Tichenor, waterworks superintendent; Robert E. Best, collector water rents; J. L. Carter, M. D., health officer; Charles Kahn, fire chief, and R. Stanbery, superintendent of schools.
     Coins from France, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland and the United States were included, along with beer checks from a number of such famous old taverns of the time as Apollo Hall and Schneider's Second Ward Saloon.

Beer Posters, Ordinance.

     Along with a beer poster and a number of individual personal cards, the cornerstone contained a well-preserved copy of "an ordinance regulating occupation tax in the city of East Dallas, Texas," wherein it was prescribed that the following should be collected: "From every drummer or person selling patent medicines, $5; from every lightning rod dealer, $2.50"; and there were definite stipulations for such other occupations as waxworks exhibitors, cock, bull or bear fighters and electric battery, lung tester and similar devices.
     Prominent among the newspapers of the time that were stuffed in the quart-sized space was the Dallas Daily Herald, of the afternoon before, Volume 2, No. 25, a newspaper that had again taken up the name of a previous publication by that title which was purchased lock, stock and barrel by The Dallas Morning News eight weeks after the News began publishing here on Oct. 1, 1885.

- October 18, 1940, The Dallas Morning News, Sec. I, p. 6, col. 2-3.
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Recalls Days
Of Old Dallas
Rock College

________

Ex-Student Pays
Tribute to Early
Baptist Institution

To The News:
     Some time ago, you printed an article about the old schools of Dallas, mentioning the Dallas or Methodist Female Academy and several others, but you didn't mention the old Rock College on the corner of Live Oak and Cantegral Streets.
     It was a Baptist institution, started in 1878 or 1879, and a rival to the Female Academy and quite popular, as it was "male" and "female," and had a higher curriculum than the academy, which was later made into Dallas' first high school.
     Rock College was founded by Dr. Rogers, a Baptist minister, and sent out a number of students that became prominent citizens of Dallas and other cities. One of the most notable is Major Gen. Beaumont B. Buck of the United States Army. His father, Prof. J. H. Buck, was president of the college, and Beaumont Buck was an advanced student and assistant teacher. His sister, Pauline, was also a pupil.
     Gen. Sam Houston's youngest son was a student, and some others were A. P. Wozencraft, Minnie Cordell, Will McKamy, Alice Goble, Will Atwell, Della Blackburn, Tracy Johnson, Howard and Herbert Ardrey and their sister, Helen; Ed and Jessie Prather, Dick and Robert Slaughter and their sister, Minnie; Ralph and Sadie Howell, George and May Fight (married Will Adair, one of your reporters); Fannie Patton (Mrs. Epps Knight), Clara Warren, Jessie and Ada Williams (Mrs. W. J. J. Smith), Willie Fuqua (Mrs. Francis Clower), Carrie and Maybell Fischer, Johnnie and Georgie Mendez, Minnie Wagner, Kate Harwood, Hollie and Pallie Harper (Mrs. W. C. Ragland), Kate and Tiny McCleod (of McCleod Hotel), Jimmie Hancock, Ida Riggs, Ella Stell, Lizzie Bland, Hanna Hines, Lula and Clara Mays.
     I got these names from an old autograph album I had while I attended Rock College, 1879 to 1881. I don't know how long the college existed, but it was several years.
     I feel sure a number of these folk would like to have this school remembered, so I offer this information for you to use as you think best. Professor and Mrs. C. H. Hobbs were teachers, also Professor Alderhoff and Miss Blanch Alderhoff, Miss Annie Lowry and a number of others that I can't remember.
     Again, I want to express my ardent appreciation of The Dallas Morning News. My father, Col. George Mellersh, subscribed for the first edition and continued it until his death in 1910.
     My husband, Rush Salmon, also took it until his death, although we lived in Arkansas. He died in 1917. And, now my son and two grandsons are eager to get The News every morning.
M
RS. W. R. SALMON.
Longview, Texas

- October 20, 1940, The Dallas Morning News, Sec. IV, p. 13, col. 8.
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