A Guide to the History of Dallas, Texas

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Timelines of Events in Dallas History: 1910s

1910

n.d.: City hires city planner George Kessler of St. Louis to draw up a plan for Dallas.

n.d.: At Fair Park, new Coliseum Building (present-day Women's Museum) built for $108,000.

January 11: As a major drought continues, city commissioners formally adopt plan for White Rock reservoir.

March 3: A lynch mob breaks into the county courthouse and throws Allen Brooks, a black man accused of rape (whose lawyer is former Socialist candidate for governor, George Clifton Edwards), from a second floor courthouse window, then drags him through the street by a rope and hangs his body from a lamppost near the Elks Arch.

March 3: Otto Brodie, taking off from the racetrack infield at Fair Park, makes the first aeroplane flight in Dallas but wrecks his aircraft in the process.

March 7: Fred A. Jones Company of Dallas awarded contract to build dam and spillway on White Rock Creek.

May 24: Halley's comet becomes visible in the sky over Dallas.

October: Movement headed by Dallas carpenters and championed by Socialist lawyer George Clifton Edwards is started to recall Mayor and City Commissioners and an anti-recall movement is begun in opposition.

Oct. 24: Comanche Indian Chief Quanah Parker returns to delivers another address in the convention tent on "Quanah Route Day." On same day auto race accident injures 8 people, 2 severely, 1 not expected to live.

Oct. 28-Nov. 4: Trial of Sgt. J. D. Manley on a charge of murdering Louis Reichenstein on the day of President Taft's visit to Dallas the previous year. Manley found guilty and sentenced to life. (Manley would eventually be retried in Ellis County and sentenced to forty years but would serve only two when Governor commutes his sentence.)

Nov. 15: Seven workmen injured in derrick accident at White Rock dam construction site.

1911

n.d.: In his 1911 "City Plan for Dallas," urban planner George E. Kessler recommends that all city land around White Rock reservoir "be retained in public hands and used for park purposes."

n.d.: Henry Garrett sets up a system of alarm bells on city streets in order to alert traffic to oncoming fire department vehicles.

Jan. 4-11: Second aviation meet at Fair Park features 7 celebrated pioneer aviators. Dallas photographer Henry Clogensen films Roland Garros and others "in their exhibitions of aeroplane flights."

Feb. 8: Elks Arch, erected at intersection of Main and Akard in 1908, taken down and re-erected in Fair Park.

March 13: Former President Theodore Roosevelt visits Dallas; gives speech at Oriental Hotel banquet.

May 31: Streetcar workers go on strike.

May 17-21: Third aviation meet at Fair Park features 3 celebrated pioneer aviators.

Sept. 1: Daily Dallas Times Herald reports that White Rock Dam is completed (except for upstream guard of the spillway and sluiceway) and that the reservoir already contains 800,000,000 gallons of water.

October: Dirigible flights from the racetrack infield. During the State Fair, aeroplane flights by the McCurdy-Willard Aviation Company take place every afternoon from 1 to 6 o'clock from the racetrack infield. After pilot J. A. D. McCurdy's plane is damaged in a crash landing, aviator Cal Rodgers makes a one-day appearance. Aviator Beckwith Haven finishes with a series of aerial exhibitions.

Oct. 7: Beneath a tent erected beside the White Rock dam, contractor Fred A. Jones hosts a luncheon for 143 civic leaders to celebrate completion of the work.

Oct. 3: At Fair Park, African-American educator Booker T. Washington delivers an address to a biracial audience at the racetrack grandstand.

Oct. 19: Well-known Dallas photographer Henry Clogensen films moving pictures of the State Fair.

Oct. 28: New Jersey Governor and future U.S. President Woodrow Wilson speaks at Fair Park Coliseum on "Woodrow Wilson Day."

1912

n.d: Houston Street Viaduct, at the time the longest concrete bridge in the world, is built to connect Dallas and Oak Cliff.

March 23-31: During fourth Dallas aviation meet, aviatrix Mathilde Moisant and 3 pioneer aviators give aerial performances over Fair Park.

July 1: Work commences on sixteen-story Busch Building, at northeast corner of Main and Akard streets.

Summer: Night Concerts held at Fair Park for the general public.

October 13: American Federation of Labor Vice-President John J. Mitchell speaks at Fair Park Coliseum.

1913

n.d.: Famed Dallas department store Neiman-Marcus opens its doors.

n.d.: Dallas' first chlorinated water dispensed by White Rock pump station.

n.d.: State of Texas opens a fish hatchery at Fair Park. New wooden automobile building constructed there as well.

n.d.: During a Dallas building "boom," the following structures are completed:

  • Twenty-story Adolphus Hotel - at that time the tallest hotel in the South
  • Seventeen-story Southwestern Life Building
  • Sixteen-story Busch Building
  • Twelve-story Commonwealth Bank Building
  • Nine-story Sears and Roebuck warehouse on South Lamar Street
  • Six-story Masonic Temple at Main and Pearl streets
  • Five-story Municipal Building (City Hall), on Harwood Street between Main and Commerce
  • First Presbyterian Church at Harwood and Wood streets
  • Parkland Hospital on Maple Avenue

February: The Queen, a large new motion picture theater, opens on Elm Street's "Theater Row."

March: The Hippodrome, a $120,000 motion picture theater, opens on Elm Street's "Theater Row." The Dallas Morning News reports that the city now has 28 motion picture theaters (24 for whites and 4 for African-Americans) and that there are now "more people employed every day in the operation of picture shows thatn the number who attended the programs given at the first show in a week's time [in 1905]."

April 1: Although conservative Citizens' Association candidate Mayor William Meredith Holland wins re-election, Socialist candidate George Clifton Edwards comes in second with nearly two-thirds as many votes as Holland, taking 7 of the city's 33 precincts.

August: Woodlawn Tuberculosis Sanitarium admits first 18 patients.

Sept. 1: More than 6,000 Dallasites march in Labor Day parade while several thousand more watch; festivities follow at Fair Park.

Sept. 30: First Interurban service, from Dallas to Waco, begins.

1914

n.d.: U.S. government chooses Dallas for home of new Federal Reserve Bank.

n.d.: First Texas-O.U. football game at Fair Park. Texas wins, 32 to 7.

n.d.: City of Dallas enlarges Fair Park by purchasing adjoining 13.5 acre Gaston Park (formerly Cycle Park) for $96,500 from banker William Henry Gaston.

February: Aviatrix Katherine Stinson and 3 pioneer pilots give aerial exhibitions over Fair Park.

March 12: Socialist Party leader and presidential hopeful Eugene V. Debs delivers an address at Fair Park Coliseum.

April: White Rock Lake reaches capacity for the first time. This same year the city establishes a nursery on land beside lake "to supply trees and shrubs for the park system."

Sept. 20: A boat, captained by Commodore Duncan, arrives in Dallas after traveling up the Trinity River from its mouth.

October: Pioneer aviator Lincoln Beachey gives aerial exhibitions during State Fair.

1915

n.d.: Southern Methodist University opens.

Spring: Socialist George Clifton Edwards runs again for Mayor; loses to Citizens' Association candidate Henry Lindsley.

October: Pioneer aviator Art Smith makes a series of spectacular night flights, using lights and fireworks, during State Fair.

Oct. 2: William Jennings Bryan, recently-resigned U.S. Secretary of State, speaks at Fair Park Coliseum.

Oct. 18: Jess Willard boxing match takes place in Fair Park Coliseum.

1916

n.d.: Union Station opens on Houston Street.

Jan. 8: Gov. James E. Ferguson participates in dedication of Dallas' new Labor Temple on Young Street. The day is hailed as "the greatest day in the history of organized labor at Dallas."

Fall: Bowing to Prohibitionist sentiment, State Fair Association voluntarily bans all liquor sales during State Fair. New football gridiron laid out, with grandstand and bleachers, in time for Fair.

October: Dallas aviator Lester Miller makes flight over Fair Park during State Fair.

October 14: Sydney Smith Memorial Fountain dedicated at Fair Park.

1917

April 3: Independent candidate Joe E. Lawther elected Mayor of Dallas, breaking the Citizens' Association hold on the office. In same election, voters approve fishing at White Rock Lake despite opposition from the Dallas Morning News.

August-October Love Field, a U.S. government aviation facility, is established adjacent to Bachman Lake on what was at that time the northern outskirts of the city.

1918

n.d.: Ten-story Southland Life Building, at Commerce and Browder streets, completed.

n.d.: Ten-story Texas & Pacific Building, at Elm and Griffin streets, completed.

Feb.- Dec.: Camp Dick, a United States Army flying corps cadet training center, established in racetrack infield at Fair Park. No State Fair held this year.

March: Great Southern Life Insurance Building buys the Busch Building for $1,600,000.

July: Eighteen-story American Exchange Building, at Main and Scollard streets, completed.

July 29: Women in Texas vote for the first time, in Democratic Primary (they are not yet allowed to vote in general elections).

1919

n.d.: Texas and Pacific railroad tracks removed from Pacific Avenue.

Jan.-April: Having been declared unsafe, the clocktower of the county courthouse is removed.

December: Great Southern Life Insurance Building (formerly the Busch Building) is sold to John H. Kirby of Houston for over $2 million.

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