THE SAMUELL FAMILY IN DALLAS
THE H. O. SAMUELL FAMILY
Left Land To City Later Known As Samuel Farm.
The year 1878 marked the arrival of the Samuell Family in Dallas. The spirit of this family’s support for pioneer effort and subsequent growth of this vast community might be illustrated through a look at the public service of three of its members in generation order: Hazael Offutt Samuell, William Worthington Samuell, his oldest son, and Edward Worthington Samuell, Junior, his second grandson.
Hazael Offutt Samuell, born in Scott County, Kentucky, in 1843, was raised by his mother’s childless sister and her husband, Hazael Offutt, who gave him his name. Until he became of age he helped work his foster father’s farm, which by chance was adjacent to a farm belonging to Pastor James, the father of the infamous Frank and Jesse James. He married Sallie Worthington of Belmont Plantation, Greenville, Mississippi, and came to Dallas in 1878 with his firstborn son, William Worthington Samuell. The family settled on property which belonged to Sallie’s father, Dr. William Waring Worthington, known today as Samuell-Grand Park. Hazael Offutt Samuell expanded the family’s land holdings in eastern Dallas County until his property extended from present day Samuell Farm northward almost to the electric power plant on Lake Ray Hubbard.
His public service began with his appointment to the City position of Police Commissioner in 1906. City government at the time was governed by a City Council but its operations were directed by a triumvirate of the Mayor, the Police Commissioner and the Fire Commissioner. The threesome met almost daily and important decisions were made by a majority of the three. During the time that Hazael Offutt Samuell was in this position, he and the fire com-missioner routinely voted together in opposition to the mayor. The Chief of Police, the Fire Chief, and the officers of both organizations were almost all selected by a two-thirds vote, i.e., the Police and Fire commissioners overriding the opposition of the mayor. Perhaps the most important program that Hazael Offutt introduced into the city was that of street maintenance. Few cities in the country had such a program at that time in our country’s history, and his program was the first in Dallas and one of the first in the entire country.
His son, William Waring Worthington, born in Kentucky, but coming with his father and mother to Dallas as a baby, decided early to become a doctor. He graduated from the medical college of Tulane University in Louisiana and went on to become a great physician and surgeon in Dallas. He was a very skillful surgeon as noted by his development of the technique of rapid removal of a diseased appendix, a technique that required only a few minutes. One of his most notable achievements in the field of medicine was his radiation treatment of cancer in Dallas, having personally traveled to Belgium to obtain radium for such use. His first public service with the City of Dallas was as an ambulance surgeon, often treating police and firemen injured in the line of duty. His most notable contribution to the community occurred after his passing in 1936 when his large land holdings and much of his estate was left to the Park Department of the City of Dallas.
Hazael Offutt’s third son, Edward Worthington Samuell, left Dallas prior to World War I for Arizona where he left his own mark in the public service of that state. However his son, Edward Worthington Samuell, Junior, the younger of Hazael Offutt’s two grandsons, came to Dallas with his wife and former U.S. Army Nurse, Kathryn (Moran) Samuell of Geneva, New York, in 1971, after serving thirty years in the Army as a cavalryman and army intelligence officer. He fought in Patton’s Third Army in Europe, which culminated in two important events. Lieutenant Samuell with his cavalry platoon liberated the concentration camp known as Gunzkirchen Lager in Austria, which held over 17,000 Hungarian Jewish inmates. In 1997 he was tape interviewed by the Shoah Foundation to insure that his story would be held for posterity and to add to the documented truth that the Holocaust did in fact occur. The second event which followed Gunzkirchen Lager two days later was the capture and surrender to his platoon of 20 men of the Headquarters of the 800,000 German Army Group South under the command of Hitler-favorite Generaloberst Lothar Rendulic at Waidhofen-an-der-Ybbs, Austria, on May 6, 1945. This action virtually terminated hostilities in Europe and precluded German military forces in general and SS Panzer units in particular from escaping to the alpine region to continue the war.
After retiring from the U.S. Army in 1971 as a colonel, Ed Samuell joined the City of Dallas as security director in the Public Works Department and set up the Federal Government’s anti-hijacking program at Love Field in 1973. He later joined the Dallas Water Utilities Department, where he worked on water rights, water anti-pollution programs, and productivity programs designed to improve work efficiency in that utility. In 1977 he joined the Data Services Department, where he installed automated office systems and mapping systems in various departments of the city. He is now fully retired and lives with his wife, Kathryn, in north Dallas.
By Edward Samuell, Jr. for Dallas County Pioneer Association’s Proud Heritage, Volume III.