UPON THE JAIL.
DID NOT PAN OUT FOR WANT
OF A CANNON.
Big Mass Meeting at the City
Hall Denounce Jurors
Very Eventful Night in the
History of the Metropolis of
the Lone Star.
Murderers Indicted and
Will be Given a Trial
at This Term.
terrible tragedy of yesterday [the murder of Police
Officer W. H. Riddle],
as a matter of course, created the greatest excitement in Dallas.
issued an extra at 4 o'clock and 2000 copies were sold by the
newsboys. Excitement ran high, and later in the day, hand bills
were distributed about the city calling on all law-abiding citizens
to assemble at the city hall at 5:30 and take action. It is not
known who had the dodgers printed and distributed.
A BIG CROWD.
hundred men assembled at the hour appointed. J. Ford House called
the meeting to order and made a red-hot speech, saying that the
time had come when the people must take a bold stand against
lawlessness and punish red-handed murderers. Courts and jurors
had failed to protect life and property. A gentleman named White
made a few remarks. He was followed by Col. Joe Record, W. H.
Kay and Alderman Loonie. Lawlessness was unsparingly denounced,
professional jurors and professional perjurors were rousted and
it was openly proclaimed that trial by jury in this county had
degenerated into a farce.
the temper of the gathering showed itself. There were yells,
"go to the jail and hang the murderers."
"What will you do with the
courts and jurors?" thundered a Main street business man.
"D--n the courts and juries,"
said his neighbor, "we will attend them later."
"I want men who will go to
the jail and see that the prisoners are not spirited away,"
said Mr. House, "and I want another detachment to go to
Oak Cliff and get a cannon."
you intend to hang Miller or all four murderers?" asked
a well-known labor leader, rising in his seat.
"Hang 'em all," echoed
back the crowd in unison.
"Then, I am with you,"
was the reply.
The couriers were then sent to
watch the jail and a squad commanded by an old soldier departed
for Oak Cliff to get the six-pounder.
Mayor Connor and Chief of Police
J. C. Arnold entered the hall at this time. There were loud calls
for Connor. He mounted the rostrum and denounced mobocracy in
strong language. He said that Henry Lewis and Jim Arnold and
their men were sworn officers, and blood would flow in rivers
before they would give up the prisoners. Two wrongs did not make
a right. He regretted the terrible murders, but the law must
take its course. If necessary, he would, as chief executive officer
of the city, assist officers in defending the prisoner.
mayor declared that the prosecution in this county had always
been weak. He would subscribe to a fund himself to hire able
lawyers to assist in prosecuting the killers. He appealed for
the sake of Dallas, for the sake of the women and children of
the city, and for God's sake, for the crowd to disperse.
TO THE JAIL.
At this juncture, Mr. Loonie, who
had been calmed down by the mayor's remarks, stepped to the rostrum.
He had experienced a change of heart and offered resolutions
demanding that the courts should give speedy trial to the murderers.
The resolutions were voted down. A courier announced that arrangements
were made to take the prisoners out of the county.
the jail!" "To the jail"! was the cry.
"It's a lie. they are not
removing the prisoners," said the mayor in a vain effort
to stem the tide. But, it was too late. A rush was made for the
jail, and from 6:30 until 10 p. m., a great crowd prowled about
that sightly structure. Chief Arnold and a detachment of police
were there in advance of the crowd. Within was Henry Lewis and
his deputies armed with Winchesters. The lynchers were not permitted
to enter the jail. The mob was unorganized and unarmed.
was a repetition of the fiasco of a few weeks ago, although there
were a large number of determined men in the gathering who, at
a word from the leaders, would have hurled themselves against
the bastille. Speeches were made as a matter of course. Judges
Tucker, Burke, Aldredge and Bower talked against mob law and
promised speedy trials for the murderers. They were interrupted
time and time again. The names of murderers and rapists who have
been acquitted were hurled in their teeth as evidence that trial
by jury in Dallas county had degenerated into a farce. A long
list of ghastly crimes were enumerated, and the fact that it
was impossible to obtain a conviction of a murderer in the courts
was enlarged upon. Many hard things were said and no mistake.
SCORED BY HAYDEN.
Hayden made a speech, in which he scored juries for liberating
murderers; denounced professional jurors and intriguing lawyers.
The remedy was for good citizens to take an interest in the enforcement
of law. Dr. Hayden appealed to the lynchers to go to their homes.
Lawyer Etheridge followed in a
violent denunciation of the mob. He was jeered uproariously and
the small boys hurled sand and mud at him. Mr. Etheridge became
enraged. Drawing his knife, he said: "I can whip any son
of bitch in the crowd!"
Order was partially restored, however,
and Mr. Etheridge departed.
House, at 9:30, announced that a cannon was not get-at-able,
and he could not lead his friends against stone walls filled
with armed men. He advised the crowd to disperse. A terrific
wind and rain storm came up at this time and dispersed the crowd
to the intense relief of the anti-mobbers.
Had a cannon been secured, a demand
would have been made for the surrender of Henry Miller, G. F.
Bouton, Charles Henry and P. F. Miller. Bloodshed would have
been the inevitable result.
his speech, Judge Tucker used strong language to Mr. House, saying:
"No good citizen would advise mob law." Later in the
evening, Mr. House took the Judge to task for his remarks, and
struck him in the face, blackening his eyes. Tucker struck House
with his cane, and was struck from behind, he claims. Mr. House
was slated for disturbing the peace. This morning, he did not
appear and a continuance was taken.
Record was on the jury that turned the Owens' loose. Col. Joe
was at the jail last night. A speaker referred to the verdict
in the case.
TRUE BILLS RETURNED.
"Hang the d--n jury,"
said an unknown man in the crowd.
"I object," said the
Second ward gentleman, and a great laugh went up in his neighborhood.
There were many amusing incidents
and many that were not. A well known lawyer stated that professional
jurymen are forever hanging about the courthouse, or in the vicinity.
They are known to the criminal lawyers and make a business of
serving on the jury. He also stated that evidence was manufactured
to order to clear criminals, and that in nearly every important
case at the eleventh hour, fellows pop up as witnesses who have
never been mentioned in connection with the case.
grand jury, this morning, returned true bills against G. F. Bouton,
D. Taylor and Franklin P. Miller, all murderers. The trial of
Henry Miller, who assassinated Officer C. O. Brewer, will begin
June 21 before Judge Burke, County Attorney Williams said today:
18, 1892, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 5, col. 3-4.
"I am ready to try these cases,
if it takes all summer. They should be placed on trial at this
term of the court. The verdicts of juries the last four weeks
indicate that it is safe to commit cold-blooded murder in this
county, but the man who steals a five-cent piece or a yearling
is certain to be severely dealt with. I am glad the TIMES-HERALD has taken a bold stand in this
matter. Jurors must be made to do their duty."
- o o o
DRUNK AND DRESSED UP
THE SUIT THAT KIND NA-
TURE GAVE HIM.
Givens, a Citizen of Pan-
Givens hails from Pantherville. He made his first plunge in Dallas
society last night and came rather abruptly. It may be good taste
to appear before the public of Fort Worth in a costume of one
single garment -- a shirt, and a most abbreviated one at that.
It shocked the Dallas public, however, and war was at once declared
against the startling innovation.
19, 1892, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 5, col. 3.
Last night, while the November
winds were whistling through the whiskers of pedestrians and
making the blood circulate with a rapidity that smacked of life
in the far north, a man clothed in nakedness was driven from
under the residence of D. T. Randall by his dogs. A messenger
was dispatched for police assistance and the whole neighborhood
in the vicinity of Wood and Akard turned out en masse. After
being driven from his quarters under the Randall residence, Givens
darted into the next house, 312 Wood street, and ran into a room
occupied by a little boy, the son of a well-known traveling man.
The lad yelled and the intruder growled, "Shut up, or I'll
kill you." The boy made a break for liberty, screaming at
the top of his voice, "There is a man in my room with only
a black shirt on." By this time, the police had arrived
and found the man snugly ensconced in the bed of the boy, pretending
to be deep in the arms of Morpheus. He was dragged from his downy
quarters and marched out of the house and along Akard to the
police station. He headed a procession of about 200 astonished
citizens and small boys. At the station, he registered and was
assigned quarters for the night. He gave his name as Louis Givens
and his place of residence, Fort Worth.
This morning, his name was called
in the court room. "Please, your honor," said a big
policeman to Judge Foree, "the prisoner has no pants. I
can't bring him in." The case was continued until November
21. Givens says the last he remembers, he was in the neighborhood
of Logan's laundry. He has no recollection of where and when
he became divorced from his wearing apparel. He is about 20 years
old, of slight build and not at all communicative.
- o o o -
has received a copy of "Home Gallop," by Miss Ella
Hudson, a ward of the Buckner Orphans' Home. The author is nearly
blind, but the music is excellent. For sale at forty cents post
paid. Address orders to R. C. Buckner, Orphans' Home, Dallas
3, 1892, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 1, col. 6.
- o o o -
A REAL ROMANCE.
the Temple of the
LOVE LORN YOUNG MAN
INTO THE ARMS OF DE-
LUSIVE MISS MORPHIA.
Hands Tear Him From the
Poisonous and Destructive
After Hours of Hard Work
Save Him -- A Very Pathetic Story.
'Tis sweet to die for those we love."
19, 1892, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 1, col. 5-6.
So thought W. S. Browning last
night, and he immediately attempted to carry out the sentiment
expressed in the above line penned by some long-haired old genius
who manufactured poesy and lived in a garret away back in the
dusty corridors of time.
W. S. Browning is young, tall,
stately and wears Titian colored hair and mustache of the same
hue. He is just of that age when the mind is burdened with love,
flowers, poetry and romance. Do not sneer at his misfortune,
gentle reader; all men strike that gait between 16 and 24. Like
the measles, 'tis the common lot of man. But, the humble scribe
digresses from the story he started to dish up in his uncouth
The First Baptist Church was packed
with worshippers of the Most High last night. Rev. Seasholes
preached a masterly sermon and pointed the way upwards to the
promised land. Little did he dream that in a rear pew sat a young
man who had made ample preparations to start on the journey to
the pearly gates. He did not know that a love-sick youth, whose
eyes could not discern one gleam of silver in the clouds of darkness
above his horizon, had selected a pew in his church as "a
dying bed." 'Twas so, however. How romantic! To die in the
temple dedicated to the Lord.
The sermon was over, benediction
had been pronounced, the worshipers prepared to disperse. They
did disperse, with the possible exception of C. A. Briggs and
several others. Mr. Briggs' attention had been directed to a
young man whose head was resting on the rail of the seat before
him and who was bowed down as one in deep sorrow. Mr. Briggs
hastened to the side of the sufferer.
"What is the matter?"
"I'm so sick," groaned
"What have you taken?"
asked the startled questioner.
"Morphine," groaned the
youth in graveyard tones.
"How long since?"
"About fifteen minutes ago."
Fortunately, Dr. Mosely was among
the limited number present.
"Come hither, Dr. Mosely.
We have a case. Let's get him out of here," whispered Dr.
Briggs to the physician. The youth was hustled out of church.
He stated that he roomed at Mrs. Croxton's, 311 Pacific avenue,
and with the assistance of W. H. Kay, Messrs. Brigg and Mosely
began to rush the prisoner to his home.
By the time they arrived at 190
Pacific avenue, the poison began to trot up and down and in and
out of Browning's system, and he became as limber as a rag. He
was taken to the residence of Mrs. Westfall. Even then, he knew
what was transpiring. He drew a letter from his inside pocket.
It was addressed to a charming young lady on Hoard street. He
asked that a messenger be dispatched forthwith to the residence
of the young lady and that the letter be placed in her hands.
The wishes of dying men are always complied with. A swift courier
was dispatched instanter.
Dr. Mosely began operations at
once. Powerful antidotes were administered, and for two hours,
Browning was trotted up and down the room. He was given exercise
that would have knocked out a prize fighter. At 11 o'clock, he
was in a fair way to climb the road to rapid recovery. The young
lady, in the interim, had arrived and was shown into the parlor
by Mrs. Westfall. Browning did not see her, however. When he
was pronounced out of danger, he was taken to his own boarding
house, where Dr. Mosely and watchers looked after him the greater
part of the night. To-day, he is said to be in an improved condition,
although very weak. He also said "he was glad he was on
A cold, cold grave in the cold,
cold ground in the cold, cold cemetery may do for a poet to rave
about, but there are more inviting places. This is the verdict
of Mr. Browning to-day. He made a partial leap last night in
the direction of the grave and is competent to give in evidence.
The young man purchased a ten-cent
vial of morphine and swallowed it -- the drug and not the bottle.
Prompt and decisive action kept him from falling into that condition
described by war historians as "deader than a herring."
He has resided in Dallas for a
number of years, is of irreproachable character, a regular attendant
at church and Y. M. C. A. meetings and has never been suspected
of harboring hellish designs upon his own life. For a year or
more, he was on the road for a cigar house, but lately has been
engaged in the sewing machine business.
It is said by his friends that
it is a case of unrequited affection -- that is, he loved a young
lady and she failed to reciprocate.
Rash youth! The sea swarms with
shoals of choice fish untangled in the nets of fishermen gay.
- o o o -
SUCCESSFUL COTTON PICKING
By Machinery --
The Solution Of
long been a question, whether or not cotton, the governing staple
of the south, could be picked by machinery; that is, so that
a sample could be made that would rank with that picked by hand.
The statements of well-known machinery men, and even of those
who are prejudiced against cotton pickers, makes it plain that
the Wallis-Lispenard cotton picker has solved the problem, and
according to the testimony of a negro cotton picker, who saw
the machine at work on the Browder farm, near the fair ground:
"Thar's nothin' left for the po' niggah to do, but to steal."
- January 2, 1893,
Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 5, col. 2.
A TIMES-HERALD reporter gleaned the following expressions from
gentlemen who saw the machine at work and put it to rigid tests.
Mr. W. N. Stroud, general agent for Texas, for the William Deering
Company, and one of the best authorities on farm machinery in
the state, said:
"I witnessed the working of
the Wallis Lispenard cotton picker last Wednesday, December 28,
in a field of cotton near the fair grounds. Parties on the ground
that day claimed that other pickers had attempted to pick this
cotton, failed and left in disgust. The pickings of one row,
by my suggestion, was weighed. The row was 210 feet long. The
first time the machine went over it, it picked 10 pounds of cotton,
second time over, which was the reverse direction for the fist,
picked one pound. Two negro boys were then put to work to pick
up what cotton was knocked out, or left on the ground. They picked
the ground clean and from the stalks, gathered one pound.. There
was not left on the stalks. in 210 feet, three locks of cotton,
for the stalks were as clean as they possibly could be, and,
in my opinion, cleaner than if they had been picked by hand.
"The principle of a cotton
picker is embodied in this machine. It is simple, light draught,
easily handled by the operator, and can be handled by any ordinary
farm laborer, with no more trouble attached than a cultivator.
I was told it weighed about 900 pounds. It certainly did good
work, and if it works in green cotton as well as it did last
Wednesday, the problem of picking cotton by machinery is solved
in the Wallis Lispenard cotton picker."
Mr. John Hunter, of the well-known
machinery firm of Hunter & Booso, said: "I was favorably
impressed with the work of the Wallis Lispenard cotton picker
and believe its principle to be the solution of the cotton picker
question. On a test that I had the machine to make on a give
number of very short stalks of cotton, the first time the machine
went over, it picked about 75 per cent of the open cotton."
Mr. W. A. Bonner, of the Dallas
Mortgage Company, said: "I had no interest in cotton pickers,
but at the solicitation of these gentlemen, I went out to see
the machine work, and I feel no hesitancy in saying that their
machine is unqualifiedly a success. It does not gather the cotton,
but picks it, and that in as clean [a] condition as if by hand
at this time of year."
Mr. J. M. Young, a well known machinery
man, gave it as his opinion, that from what he saw of the work
of the machine, it is a success.
Mr. Waltman, a practical machinery
man, said that the Wallis Lispenard cotton picker would be on
every farm in Texas in less than two seasons.
Mr. J. D. Mitchell, a widely known
machinery man, coincided with the views above given, and said
that the advantages offered by the Wallis Lispenard over other
pickers are, that it picks, not gathers, the cotton; that it
is 1300 pounds lighter than any other attempt made at a cotton
picker; that any farm-hand could manage it, on account of it
having such few bearings, and, being so simple in construction
that a boy can regulate it; on account of its durability and
on account of the fact that it picks all the cotton as it goes."
Mr. Flippen, a well-known farm
owner of this city, has rented one of the machines for next year,
as has, also, a number of other farmers of this vicinity, which
is the best recommendation that could be given the machine.
- o o o -
TO NEW YORK
WEST TEXAS RANCH IS BEING
A MUSICIAN'S WARD
SHE WAS ADOPTED
WEEKS OLD BY OPERA HOUSE
HER MOTHER'S SAD
Penniless and Alone, Mrs.
Murcheson Died in Boarding House
Here Fifteen Years Ago.
Child's Strange Life.
by little, the maze of mysteries and uncertainties that separate
Ruth Allegretto Murcheson, the fifteen-year-old girl who has
just inherited a West Texas ranch, from her title of actual possession
are being cleared away, and the indications today were that the
girl would yet be found and the way paved for turning her new
fortune over to her. More than fifty residents of Dallas, who
knew of the circumstances of the girls' mother dying in the Lancaster
hotel here, and leaving her a penniless babe, along in 1896,
have called up County Clerk Record during the last few days and
supplied missing bits of evidence to be used in the search. One
of them--a man--told the clerk that the girl was adopted by a
C. W. Wilcox, who is now the head of a big New York school of
music, and who lives at 225 Fifth avenue in the metropolis. Mr.
Record intends to wire Mr. Wilcox and see what further can be
* * *
C. E. Kain of 214 Clinton street,
yesterday [said] that he knew Wilcox well, having studied music
under his instruction for fourteen years. Mr. Kain has wired
a brother of his in New York to see what he can learn of the
whereabouts of the little heiress.
"The little girl, the last
time I saw her, was calling herself Ruth Wilcox," said Mr.
Kain, "It is my opinion that she has not been told her real
name till this good day."
Wilcox Was Violinist.
* * *
Wilcox, at the time that Kain studied
under him, was head violinist of the orchestra in the old Dallas
Opera troupe. At that time, he was a poor man, so far as this
world's goods go. Some years after adopting the child, the musician
left Dallas and drifted away to New York. Accounts which have
come back from there say that he has acquired fame and fortune,
being now at the head of the school which is numbering students
from musicians all over the country.
The mother of the little heiress
was a Mrs. Florence Murcheson. The circumstances of her early
surroundings is not known definitely by Dallas citizens, who
profess an acquaintance with the remarkable case, but, it is
said that she had been unhappy in her married life, and that
for this reason, she had separated from her husband before the
birth of their daughter.
Mrs. Murcheson, it is said, came
to Dallas to take a course of treatment with some disease with
which she was afflicted. While here, her funds ran short and
she wired back to relatives or friends, in the wild West Texas
country for more. They were a long time in coming, and the increasing
direness of her straits evidently aggravated the woman's illness.
Finally, she took up quarters in the Lancaster hotel, which was
located on Lamar street, near the Texas & Pacific depot.
There she died, when her daughter was only six weeks old. Several
Dallas citizens have telephoned Clerk Record of having stood
by and watched the suffering woman breathe out her life.
Babe is Adopted.
* * *
The nameless little waif, thus
left to a strange world was taken up and adopted by Mr. Wilcox.
the musician was devoted to the child from the first, and after
a while, gave it his name.
When he left Dallas, it is said
that Mr. Wilcox had not told the girl her true name. Mr. Kain
says that the musician told him that he purposed to let the child
continue to believe that her name was "Wilcox." "I
couldn't bear to tell her now--it would break her little heart,"
the musician is quoted as saying.
For fifteen years, nothing had
been heard of the child's relatives, until the letter arrived
in Clerk Record's office, the other day, saying that she had
inherited West Texas property and inquiring of her whereabouts.
The letter was written by a firm of lawyers at Wellington, Texas.
The attorneys said that the property had been left through the
will of a relative of the girl, and that they were holding it
in trust for her. They had heard of the death of the child's
mother, and were of the opinion that she might be located in
Times Herald Helps Search.
- March 5, 1911, Dallas
Daily Times Herald, p. 2, col. 2-4.
Notice of the letter was given
in The Times Herald and this led to the supplying of several
bits of information in regard to the girl, by citizens of the
city, who knew of the circumstances of the mother's tragic death
and the daughter's adoption. As the succeeding days have gone
by, other informants have rung up Clerk Record's office and supplied
more information to be used in the search. Finally, Mr. Kain
volunteered a clue that established that Mr. Wilcox had gone
to New York, and another resident, who knew the man, said that
he was to be found at 225 Fifth avenue, in that city.
Mr. Record has advised the West
Texas lawyers of the new clues that have come to him, and has
written a letter to Mr. Wilcox inquiring in regard to the case.
It is believed that the girl will
soon be located, told her real name and given the title to her
The property is located near Wellington,
- o o o -
C. Wilcox, the violinist, has offered his own, and the services
of a number of his pupils, in a concert for the benefit of the
monument fund of the Daughters of the Confederacy.
- August 20, 1894,
The Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 6, col. 2.
- o o o -
to images of the sheet music of "Dixie, Fantasie for the
Violin," written by C. W. Wilcox, especially for the Confederate
Monument Fund Project in 1894. (Link courtesy Jerry Bailey)
JUSTICE EDWARDS' COURT.
H. Y. Field, Clerk Justice W. M. Edwards H.
(Photo by Clogenson)
RECORDS OLD AND NEW
SOME EARLY HISTORY
COUNTY IS SHOWN BY ITS YEL-
PEOPLE WHO KEEP
County Court Clerk,
Other Officials Whose Offices Date
Forward from July, 1846.
Edwards and Cullen are kept very busy throughout the winter months
uniting couples that would be as one. They are but following
the custom established by their early predecessors in the morning
of Dallas County's history. For the first couple for which a
marriage license was issued after the county was organized were
joined in the "holy bonds" by a Justice of the Peace,
- June 28, 1903, Dallas
Morning News, p. 29, col. 1-2.
In those days, it seems from the
records, the officers required to be shown that all parties were
willing before the ceremony was performed. The records show that
Crawford Treece and Anna Manervy Kimmel were the initial bride
and groom for Dallas County. Mrs. Katherine Kimmel, mother of
the young lady, who was first asked, wrote the following note
to William M. Cochran, County and District Clerk, dated July
"This is to let you know that
I am willing that my daughter, Anna Manervy, shall be united
in matrimony to Crawford Treece."
Mr. Cochran, at once, issued a
license to the couple, who were married three days later by Mr.
The example of these mariners upon
the matrimonial sea was followed by others. The mother of the
girl was named in a license that was issued on the same day that
Miss Anna Manervy was married to Mr. Treece. Mrs. Kimmel was
bound into one, with Joseph Graham. On the same day, another
license was issued to J. T. Miller, who had won the hand and
heart of Sarah Haught.
But, the first man to marry in
the territory of Dallas County was the first settler, John Neely
Bryan, who came here in 1841, settling on the bank of the Trinity
near what is now Dallas. He built himself a log cabin and had
his dog, his gun and some supplies. He was alone, except for
an Indian that he would see now and then.
In the spring of the next year,
1842, there arrived on the bank of the Trinity, two families,
that of John Beeman and of Capt. Gilbert. He entertained the
newcomers with bear meat and honey, but all the while, he was
paying court to Margaret, "the sweet daughter" of Mr.
Beeman. He was the only marriageable man in this section of the
county then; she was the only marriageable girl. The inevitable
happened. One afternoon, perhaps, while he and she were out watching
the course of a wild bee on the way to its home, he asked her
the momentous question.
Whether or not she remarked upon
the fearful suddenness and the awful unexpectedness of the proposal,
is not known, but she accepted the offer of his hand.
Divorces were not unknown in those
early days here. A story of the early forties in Dallas County
territory tells of how, one day, a jury granted a lady a divorce.
The same afternoon, the foreman of the jury aforesaid married
The young army of clerks of County
Clerk Shanks, which is shown in the accompanying cut, are all
needed to handle the great volume of papers that come into the
office. Perhaps the average receipts for a week for fees in the
County Clerk's office during the busier months of the year is
about $1,000. If Mr. Shanks was not limited in salary by the
fee bill, he would have one of the best paying offices in the
Though County Clerk Shanks and
his men have to handle a great many papers, they are not called
on to file and record such a bill of sale as the following, which
is found in the records of 1847:
"Runaway slave, Henry, sold
"To all whom it may concern:
Know ye that by virtue of the power in me vested by law concerning
the sale of runaway slaves in this State, I, John Hewitt, Sheriff
of Dallas County, State aforesaid, have this day sold at public
outcry, at the court house in the town of Dallas, county aforesaid,
a negro man named Henry, a runaway slave, said slave having been
in my custody, and due notice given of the fact according to
law. Now, this is to say that for the sum of $350, cash in hand
to me paid, S. G. Newton and William J. Walker became the purchasers,
and they have, according to law and rights to keep, sell or dispose
of said Henry, a slave, in any way for their own for their heirs'
interest and benefit.
"Given under hand," etc.
But, this is not the earliest record
of Dallas County. Of course, the marriage license mentioned above
was the first thing that the clerk was called on to issue.
A deed, dated Oct. 7, 1846, conveying
from John Neely Bryan and wife, Margaret, to Henry Harter, lots
5 and 6, block 3, of the town of Dallas, was one of the early
June 19, 1847, pre-anniversary
of Emancipation Day, the bill of sale to the runaway slave Henry
was put on file.
The first cattle mark recorded
was that of William P. Carder in August 7, 1846. His mark was
for cattle, hogs and sheep; and was described as "a smooth
crop off the right ear and a swallow fork in the left."
The first patent to land in the
country that is now Dallas County, which was included in Nacogdoches
County in those days, was one dated Sept. 1, 1846, by which Anson
Jones, President of the Republic of Texas, granted to Samuel
Monroe Hyde, 640 acres of land on White Rock Creek, near the
military road from Austin to Red River.
Many wills have to be filed and recorded by County Clerk Shanks
and his deputies. The first recorded will of a man living in
what is now Dallas County was that of J. A. Simmons, July 23,
1846, and it runs like this:
I, J. A. Simmons, considering the
uncertainty of this life, and being weak in body, yet of sound
mind and memory, do make and publish this, my last will and testament,
towit: That is to say, I do give and bequeath to my son, Joseph,
choice of my horses, saddle and bridle, one head,. Secondly,
I do give and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Hannah S. Simmons,
all the rest of my property, both real and personal, and all
money that I have on hand or may have coming to me in any way,
during her natural life, and at her death, it is my will that
after giving to the younger children equal to what I have given
the five oldest, that the rest be equally divided amongst all
my children; and lastly, I do hereby appoint Hannah S. Simmons
my sole executor, to act without giving security in any way and
be at liberty to move property where she pleases.
"Witness my hand and seal,"
Which seems to show that the pioneers
had confidence in their better halves.
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IMMENSE TRASH PILE
GATHERED BY BOY
YOUNGSTER ON VICTOR
COLLECTS DIRT MOUND 9X58
FEET IN SIZE.
SOME DISTRICT WINNERS
Some of Those Who
Will Be Awarded Smaller
reports made yesterday to Shearon Bonner, chairman of the Shriners'
Clean-Up Day contest, permitted the announcement of some of the
district prize winners. Most of the district winners will not
be determined until today, and it will be Thursday, in all likelihood,
before the grand prize winners of the pony and cart and the diamond
ring, offered for the largest and second largest trash piles
in all the city, can be announced.
- April 23, 1913, The
Dallas Morning News, p. 4, col. 5.
The principals of all the Dallas
schools were asked by Mr. Bonner to appoint a committee of three
reliable boys in each district, to inspect the trash piles in
that section, and report the location of the largest, and name
of the collector. It is requested that all principals who have
not done so, phone this information to Mr. Bonner this morning.
One of the district reports yesterday
was of a trash pile nine feet high and fifty-eight feet in circumference,
collected by Ward Hinckley, 4705 Victor street. This was in District
17, and was awarded the $1 prize for that district.
The prize for District 18 was awarded
to Edward Burke, 601 South Peak street, who had a pile five feet
high and 3x10 feet at the base.
Other district prizes, size of
trash pile not given, were:
District 3 -- K. C. Canterbury,
506 North Masten.
District 4 -- Maurice Elkins, 2118
District 5 -- Etta Conkling, 2701
District 13 - Holgar Fastings,
3301 Hygeia street.
District 15 -- Katherine Luna,
4219 Ross avenue.
District 30 -- William Steer, 3201
Honorable mention, with possibility
of a district prize to the following:
Luther Brevans, 724 South Beckley.
Stanley Trailor, 5538 Tremont.
Levita Miller, 1617 San Jacinto.
As soon as all the district reports
reach him, today or tomorrow, Mr. Bonner will announce the winners
of the remainder of the district prizes, and then will inspect
personally, with other members of the committee, the largest
trash piles in each district, then determining the winners of
the grand prizes, a pony and cart and a diamond ring.
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Dean of Dallas Star
L. F. FOUTS
L. F. FOUTS OF TRINITY
MILLS, BELOVED "PROFESSOR," WHO GAVE FIRST LECTURE
IN ASTRONOMY AT S. M. U. AND TAUGHT
THOUSANDS THE MYSTERIES OF SKY LORE, PASSES ON.
BY GLADYS SHARP.
chair" at the Dallas Astronomical Society will be vacant
at the next monthly meeting at the Y. W. C. A.
For almost the first time since
the society was organized seven years ago, the discussion of
celestial current events will proceed without the 78-year-old
veteran of star gazers, L. F. Fouts of Trinity Mills, one of
the founders, who died March 28 at the home of his son, T. A.
Fouts, in Lancaster. It had become routine, the conclusion of
the round table with the query of the president, "And what
does the Professor say?"
The title "Professor"
was honorarily bestowed upon Mr. Fouts by Dr. A. D. Laugenour,
Dallas astronomer, during the conversation which resulted in
organization of the society. And the society, before which, Mr.
Fouts was the first lecturer, enthusiastically affirmed the tribute
which the grizzled watcher of the skies won by his knowledge
of heavenly phenomena.
Despite his near approach to octogenarianism,
Mr. Fouts had missed but three meetings since he helped organize
the society, one absence due to his being out of the State, and
two to serious illness in his family.
Although he was the oldest of the
club group, star gazing had stayed the years for "the Professor."
During a half century of neighboring with the stars, he has probably
introduced Orion and Andromeda and the mountains of the moon
to more seekers after sky lore than any other person in Texas.
Although seventy years have been spent in the woods near Carrollton,
he had an acquaintance that extends from one end of the State
to the other, fostered by his lectures and his personal and newspaper
correspondence. As an astronomical observer, he was widely known,
and received frequent telegrams and telephone calls for information
on phenomena of the heavens. His correspondents were in all parts
of the United States, and he had introduced his friends, the
stars, to students in a number of colleges. S. M. U. collegiates
had their first lecture on astronomy after the establishment
of the university from Mr. Fouts, who spoke to an audience on
the steps of Dallas Hall and illustrated on the blackboard of
the night sky. In Denton, home of the Texas State College for
Women and the North Texas State Teachers' College, the sturdy
figure, bearded face and twinkling eyes of the man with heaven
as his hobby, were hailed joyfully by hundreds of students as
he made periodic rounds with his traveling telescope. For his
was the magic to lure drowsy youth from the snugness of blankets
at 5 o'clock on a winter's morning. Year after year, news that
Mr. Fouts and his telescope would be on the C. I. A. campus at
4:30 a. m. was sufficient to attract a group of girls who lined
up, shivering, to take turns gazing at celestial wonders.
Explanation of many lovers of the
sky for the origin of their enthusiasm, "I had a friend,"
is traceable to Mr. Fouts. and his telescope was better than
a mouse trap for drawing crowds off the beaten path, as proved
during the last approach of Mars to the earth, when more than
700 persons from Dallas visited Mr. Fouts' home observatory at
Entertained at Lick.
Mr. Fouts spoke of "going
to the eclipse" as others refer to going to a ball game
or the theater. Armed with his telescope, he made the trip across
the United States in 1923 to view the total eclipse of the sun
from Catalina Island with hundreds of other astronomers. He was
entertained in San Jose by the faculty of Lick Observatory.
The story of a hobby that kept
its possessor intellectually alive long past the usual retiring
age begins with the plight of a lonely boy, who set up his telescope
in the sparsely settled Trinity River bottom, where he had to
fight wildcats and panthers off with fire. The story is a romance
of vast spaces, that tells the love of a graying, but vigorous
man for the suns of other universes, 6,362,500,000,000 miles
and more away.
Spying on New Universes.
Watching the movement of Polaris
through a surveyor's instrument in Kentucky first made Mr. Fouts
curious about those far-off neighbors of his. And then he was
awed by the discovery that, beyond the stars, are more stars,
whole universes of them; that his own thumb nail, extended at
the length of his arm in any directions, covers an average of
four nebulae, cloud-like wisps that are, themselves, universes.
Thus, he accounted for a lifetime of spying on those distant
enigmas that became his most-loved companions.
For years, his astronomy was a
pleasure to be enjoyed in solitude. His little white house by
the side of a long-ago road was really a look-out for all space,
for Mr. Fouts had set up four telescope standards in his grassy
yard, in order that he might have an unobstructed view of any
part of the heavens at any time.
Stars His Companions.
The days had little to distinguish
them in external events, but as the sun declined, the eager-eyed
watcher was at one of his four vantage points, waiting for the
friends of five decades to flash their vesper greeting. Of human
companionship, "the professor" had almost none, and
since the death of his wife a few months ago, he had lived alone,
but his old, familiar faces, never gone, were of Jupiter and
Mars and Venus, and he used to gaze with never-failing joy on
the heroic outlines of Orion, and speculate unendingly on the
mysteries of the nebulae.
Writings Brought Prominence.
Yet, he was not a recluse. As one
of the very few early students of astronomy in Texas, his newspaper
writing and lectures gained him prominence. Due to the former,
Mr. Fouts met Dr. Laugenour, and out of that meeting, grew the
Dallas Astronomical Society, of which both have since been directors.
Nineteen charter members heard the first lecture, delivered by
"the professor," which was on Mars, and increasing
groups have attended the annual addresses he made since.
His romance with the heavens, at
first a hobby, gradually engrossed him more and more, until this
year, Mr. Fouts was busy compiling a condensed astronomy and
continuing his wide correspondence with astronomical students
and the curious about sky happenings. A writer of heavenly history
for nearly fifty years, he had log books of the skies, which
are accurate accounts of planetary behavior.
A retired railroad telegrapher,
Mr. Fouts was also distinguished as one of forty men in the entire
M. K. T. system with a record of forty years' service. In fact,
his exceeded the record of the other thirty-nine, because, although
he was entitled to retirement on a pension in 1921, he stayed
with his instruments for five more years. When he finally withdrew
to his telescopes and his pear orchard, the railway company closed
the Trinity Mills Station, for which he was the first and the
last agent. His residence at this Dallas County village dates
back of the railroad, because seventy years of his life were
Radio in His Auto.
Into this quiet retreat, the perpetually
inquiring "professor" brought many innovations. His
most recent invention was a radio on his automobile, which enabled
him, as he drove about the country until a few days before his
death, to pull up under a convenient tree and snatch a program
out of the air. But, the latest improvement, the dean of star
gazers will not enjoy. That is his new 5-inch telescope, purchase
of which he looked forward to for a long time, while scanning
the sky with the smaller instrument, which served him for thirty
The Fouts home, known to hundreds
of star gazers, was built thirty-nine years ago, near the site
of the Trinity Mills store, postoffice and gin, operated by the
late A. J. Fouts, father of the astronomer. The smooth gravel
road that the celestially-curious motorist followed to reach
Mr. Fouts and his telescope bears little resemblance to the rough
trail that was wrested from the wilds when the family first moved
to their Dallas County home in 1858. Mr. Fouts went to school
over the new path made through dense growth by a heavy log pulled
four miles by oxen.
Trinity Mills, settled in 1856,
was so named because of the saw mill that was used up to 1887.
A boiler from a sunken boat was brought from Houston to supply
power for the now forgotten industry.
Had Many Curios.
In Mr. Fouts' back yard, next to
his orchard, he had a museum and workshop, crowded with curios.
Here were his microscope, his electrical inventions, weapons
dating back 100 years, old school books, 40-year files of popular
astronomy and of the American Ephemeris, and specimens of all
sorts collected by the astronomer in his terrestrial studies.
Besides his son, T. A. Fouts, an
employe of a local oil company, Mr. Fouts is survived by two
other near relatives, his brothers, W. T. Fouts of Denton and
H. C. Cicero Fouts of Rhonesboro.
His Last Words.
- June 10, 1928, Dallas
Morning News, Feature Section, p. 7, col. 1-3.
The last words of "the professor"
to the Astromonical Society, spoken at the February meeting just
a month before his death, will long remain in the memory of his
fellow-members. The discussion had been on "the stupendous
horror of space," and some one asked: "Does religion
conflict with astronomy?"
"There is no conflict between
religion and science, but only between theology and science,"
replied "the professor."
- o o o -
This Pencil Had
In Stirring Episode
Of Civil War Period
| The pencil
held by County Surveyor John R. West Jr., is a present-day reminder
of one of the most interesting stories of the Civil War, in which
rebel ingenuity triumphed over a Yankee gunboat commander. In
front of him are two instruments used in many early day surveys
of Dallas County.
Recall History of
Early Dallas Days
Compass Used 80
Years Ago in This
Section on Display
the Texas & Pacific came into Dallas and the town was without
the honor of being the county seat were recalled Saturday as
County Surveyor John R. West Jr., held a showing of several historic
relics, one of which, carries a stirring Civil War story.
Mr. West now owns the transit that
was used by Captain Johnson in making the survey to bring the
T. & P. westward into Dallas. The same instrument was used
fifty years ago by Capt. Jesse Strong, when all county lines
Another compass, more than eighty
years old, that was used by Mr. West's grandfather and father
before him, in making many surveys in the county and in the section
of Dallas around the courthouse square, also is part of his collection.
This compass is a duplicate of one used by George Washington.
Probably the most interesting item
in Mr. West's collection, however, is a small, gold-mounted combination
mechanical pencil and pen that is the forerunner of present-day
gadgets of the same type, and a device with a history that smacks
Back to Indian Days.
The West family has been identified
with Dallas County history from the time Grandfather R. J. West
settled two miles east of Farmers Branch and established a tan
yard. There, he traded leather that was processed largely by
slaves to Indians who were glad to get the finished product in
exchange for rawhides. The tan yard brought the name of Rawhide
Creek to a near-by stream and the name still stands.
Mr. West said his grandfather and
John Neely Bryan were good friends and many stories of their
relations were handed down to him by his father, who died in
1913. R. J. West was appointed by the Governor, along with a
few others, including Amon McComas, as a commissioner to hold
an election and decide where the county seat would be located.
This question brought up a controversy
between Cedar Springs, Dallas and Hord's Ridge, Mr. West said,
but Dallas finally won the designation after more than one election.
R. J. West was the county's first treasurer after organization
was completed, his grandson recalled.
When Civil War times came, John
R. West Sr., decided to take the side of the Confederacy, and
as he went into the strife, he carried a saddle, bridle and hunting
knife sheath, all made by his father.
Young West was made a First Lieutenant
and soon started out on what apparently was a scouting expedition
with seven or eight men under him, Mr. West said Saturday as
he recalled the story leading up to the mechanical pencil.
"They were on the Mississippi
one day, when the small party sighted a Yankee transport with
only a single man on deck," Mr. West said. "As quietly
as they could, they boarded the vessel and quickly overpowered
the lone soldier, meanwhile making all the noise they could by
stamping around the deck. This enabled them to trap all the Yankees
below deck before they realized they were overpowered by a handful
"The next thing they did was
to beach the ship on the east side of the river to save it, for
it was full of provisions, ammunition and guns, which the Confederates
needed badly, and the Yankees were made prisoners of war.
Price on His Head.
- February 20, 1938,
The Dallas Morning News,
"Naturally, all this infuriated
the Union forces and a price was put on fathers' head,"
Mr. West said. "A short time after that , the Yankees learned
my father was in Yazoo City, Miss., so William T. Sampson, who
later became famous in the Spanish-American War, and who was
commanding a Union gunboat, came up after him.
"Sampson brought the gunboat
up the Yazoo River, trained his guns on the city and sent word,
that unless West surrendered, he would blow up the town. My father
heard about the plan, so he and his orderly got on horseback
and rode down to the gunboat.
"As soon as the conferences
started with Sampson, my father told him he had left word with
his command in Yazoo City to come and get him unless he returned
in a certain time.
"The bluff worked, apparently,
because Sampson and my father wrote out an agreement and signed
it, whereby Sampson promised to take his gunboat off the Yazoo
River, back to the Mississippi, and not to return.
"As soon as the agreement
had been signed, Sampson presented my father with the pen used
in preparing the document," Mr. West said.
Sec. II, p. 1, col. 6; cont. on p. 10, col. 1.
- o o o -