Oak Cliff

T. L. MARSALIS Creates Oak Cliff

13 June 2018

THE CONTINUOUS need for homes to house the growing population made the opening of new real estate “additions” familiar to the town from the days of John Neely Bryan himself. In 1852, three years before Dallas was incorporated, William Caruth bought the land north of Bryan’s tract — bounded today by Ross Avenue, Lamar, McKinney […]


1 June 2018

In its earliest years, settlers. Thomas H. Hord, who arrived as a six-year-old child from Tennessee just before Christmas of 1845, recalled that there were some 1,500 friendly Delaware Indians encamped on the river bank in what is now the industrial district between Oak Cliff and downtown Dallas. There were less than a hundred permanent […]


21 May 2018

NO MAN CONTRIBUTED more to the wholesome enjoyment of outdoor, summertime night life in Dallas than Charles A. Mangold, an exceed­ingly genial gentleman of Germanic extraction who arrived from his native Cincinnati in 1885 and greatly enriched the traditions of his adopted city before his death nearly half a century later. A founder of the […]


19 May 2018

Frank Davis Carsey was born in Williamson County, Tennessee, in 1863, the fourth son of Louisa M. Davis and Thomas P. Carsey. Frank and Lillian Elizabeth (Fly) Carsey were married on 9 Novem­ber 1887 in Williamson County, at the home of George Washington Fly (her brother). She was the daughter of Sterling Brown and Emily […]

J. HUGH CAMPBELL, Dallas’ Flagman

7 May 2018

My granddad, J. Hugh Campbell, was born February 6, 1886, in Kansas City, Missouri. He came to Dallas in 1909 to represent the American Optical Company and worked there until 1917, when he moved back to Kansas City and married Louise Lynn White. Louise was a widow with two children: Robert, 7 and Roberta, 3. […]

JAMES “CORKY” HARRIS Graduated 55 Years Later

6 May 2018

I was born at Commerce, Texas, on August 2, 1928. My parents, Loarn Herbert and Diamond Corene Wilkins Harris, named me James Herbert Harris, but one of my uncles had been reading Gasoline Alley in the newspaper comics and decided that I should be called “Corky.” I was less than an hour old when he […]

HILLPOT Sporting Goods, Oak Cliff

23 April 2018

George Wesley Hillpot, born 30 December 1885 in Trenton, New Jersey, was the son of John A. Hillpot and Emma M. Jahnke (Jahnke was changed to Jinks in Texas). Two older sisters, Esther Ray and Lillie May, completed the Hillpot family. They moved to Dallas, Texas, in 1889. As a boy, George worked at Speer-Steinman […]


21 April 2018

In 1906 Charles A. Mangold, J. F. Zang, and several other promi­nent citizens living in Oak Cliff acquired Lake Cliff which was the site of Spann’s sanitarium. They turned it into an amusement park which was easily accessible and had wide popularity. In the lake they built a floating pool and bathhouse and around its […]

GENE McDONALD, Unsung Hero

20 April 2018

Daniel Eugene ‘Gene’ McDonald was born at Waco, Texas on March 11, 1932.  His parents were Ollie Hendrix McDonald, Sr. and Janie Christine Fouts McDonald.  Gene would often remark, “I may not have been born here, but I got to Oak Cliff as soon as I could.”  He was right, his parents returned to North […]


1 April 2018

THE REVEREND GEORGE W. OWENS, ordained Methodist minister, longtime financial agent of his church’s powerful journalistic arm, the Texas Christian Advocate, and one of the state’s more successful pioneer lumbermen, was able to merge two careers—one in business and the other in religion—in a forceful and unique way. At his death in 1921 he left […]


13 March 2018

Thomas Logan Ledbetter, son of Reverend Arthur Ledbetter and Elizabeth Robbins, was born May 30, 1837 in Overton County, Tennessee. In 1848 the family moved to Dallas County, Texas, and settled on his father’s headright in the Peters Colony , which was located at what is now the southwest corner of the intersection of Camp […]


11 March 2018

Arthur Leonard Ledbetter, son of Thomas Logan Ledbetter and Lois Almedia Randal, was born on November 9, 1859 in Dallas County, Texas. His birthplace was located on the south side of the 4500 block of West Keist Blvd., which was then just a country lane, just west of the Five Mile Community. He was reared […]

JOHN MERRIFIELD, Oak Cliff Pioneer

6 March 2018

The below picture of John Merrifield, pioneer settler of Oak Cliff, was taken from a tintype photograph in possession of his grandson in Fort Worth. Merrifield settled in what is now Western Oak Cliff in the late 1840’s. He was one of the first settlers to cross the Trinity River and built a home in […]


4 March 2018

The shotgun blast which fatally injured Lois Green, Dallas gang leader. whose thirty-one years of life had been invested in crime, Saturday (12-24-1949) had touched off a search that was poking into the corners of Dallas underworld.  Sheriff Bill Decker said late Saturday that he already had questioned fifteen persons in a hunt for the […]


4 March 2018

Texas Baptist University was founded by the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas. The association made plans for the university at its 1904 meeting, and subsequently acquired Patton Seminary in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas and constructed a three-story building there. Texas Baptist University opened for classes at that site on September 20, 1905, with […]


18 February 2018

Michael Martin Murphey was born at Oak Cliff, Texas on March 14, 1945.  He quickly took to playing the ukulele and had a special love for cowboy stories and songs and also read avidly as a boy.  Especially the work of Mark Twain and William Faulkner — and was writing poetry before he was in […]

OAK CLIFF TORNADO Provides Lesson in Meteorology

24 January 2018

Do you remember where you were when the Oak Cliff Tornado swept across Dallas? The Dallas tornado of April 2, 1957, commonly known as the Oak Cliff tornado, was a landmark event in the history of meteorology. It was the first time a tornado was extensively photographed and filmed through all phases of its life […]

STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN, 1954–1990 Oak Cliff Native

18 January 2018

Stevie Ray Vaughan, blues musician and guitar legend, was born in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas on October 3, 1954, to Jim and Martha Vaughan. Stevie’s exposure to music began in his childhood, as he watched his big brother, Jimmie, play guitar. Stevie’s fascination with the blues drove him to teach himself to play […]

SIVILS DRIVE INN, Started Oak Cliff Craze

14 January 2018

“People in their cars are so lazy that they don’t want to get out of them to eat” proclaimed candy and tobacco mogul Jesse Granville Kirby in 1921. At the time, he was trying to get Dallas physician Reuben Wright Jackson interested in investing in a new type of roadside restaurant. That was how Sivils […]


13 January 2018

Elizabeth Chapel in Oak Cliff was one of First Organized African American Churches in North Texas.  In a small pocket of Oak Cliff, the twin steeples of Sunshine Elizabeth Chapel once rose above a neighborhood unlike any other in Dallas, signaling passersby that they had entered an area known collectively as Tenth Street. Elizabeth street […]