A Guide to the History of Dallas, Texas

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Timelines of Events in Dallas History: 1880s


n.d.: Flippin and Adoue's bank opens.

n.d.: Mayor J.M. Thurmond tried on charges brought by City Marshall. A new election is ordered and Thurmond runs against Judge John J. Good (who wins).

February: Dallas County Courthouse burns down. Fortunately, most county records are saved.

Sept. 9: Groundbreaking for Dallas and Cleburne Railroad.


n.d.: A proposal to light the city with electricity is "openly ridiculed."

n.d.: First laundry in Dallas is opened.

n.d.: First telephone in Dallas and reportedly in all of Texas connects Sanger Brothers department store and Philip Sanger's home in the Cedars residential area.

May 15: First telephone exchange in Dallas established by D. M. Clower.


n.d.: City's first electrical generating plant begins operating.


Oct. 3: Dallas Herald moves to new office at NW cnr. of Main and Murphy streets.



Oct. 1: The Dallas Morning News begins publishing.


January 30: Dallas State Fair Association chartered by State of Texas.

Spring: A patent infringement lawsuit forces fledgling Pan Electric Telephone Company to cease operations.

April: After a rift develops in the Dallas State Fair Association over selection of a site, the "implement men" resign to form a rival Texas State Fair, also chartered by the State of Texas. Implement manufacturer Cecil A. Keating calls the Dallas State Fair site "the worst kind of hog wallow."

May 29: A grand picnic for schoolchildren and the general public is held on the Dallas State Fair site in East Dallas.

July 3: Farmers Alliance and Knights of Labor Independence Day picnic held on Texas State Fair site in North Dallas.

July 5: Free public barbecue held on the grounds of the Dallas State Fair.

October 25-30: Texas State Fair held in North Dallas. Highlights of fair include horse racing and balloon ascensions.

October 26-November 6: Dallas State Fair held in East Dallas. Henry Garrett's power plant provides electricity for lighting. Indians perform dances in front of grandstand. Quanah Parker visits. Highlights of fair include horse racing and balloon ascensions.


n.d.: Dallas' four streetcar lines merge to become Dallas Consolidated Street Railway Company.

n.d: The Dallas Times Herald created by a merger of two of the city's newspapers.

February 14: Texas State Fair Dallas State Fair combined and re-chartered as Texas State Fair and Dallas Exposition, agreeing to use the East Dallas site for all future fairs. (The North Dallas site became the "Fairland Addition," a residential development.)

Aug. 17-19: Confederate veterans hold reunion in Dallas.

December: An additional 30 acres of land are purchased, enlarging the state fairgrounds to 120 acres.


n.d.: Dallas' first "skyscraper, the six-story North Texas Building, erected at 905 Main Street.

October 11: During the State Fair a roller coaster accident injures five passengers; roller coaster operator flees.


n.d: Dallas' first electric streetcars begin operating.

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