Can’t prove the history of this early lime company, but I’m going to give you my theory and it starts with Ferdinand Michel, a member of La Reunion. I’m going to give you my theory and you can let me what you think. We can start off with the location which was Lancaster Ave. at Addison Street. This location would be in Oak Cliff, near the Trinity River. Draw a triangle connecting Colorado Boulevard, Jefferson Boulevard and Zang Boulevard. Then place a dot right in the center and that should place you very close to this lime company which was established around 1882.
We need to travel back to the earliest days of Dallas in order reach the beginning of history surrounding Ferdinand Michel. He was born in Belgium where he studied the art of lime making, which had been a profession of his forefathers for many years. He married Ms. Salomee in Belgium and soon afterwards decided to come to America and join his compatriots who residents of La Reunion.
He and his wife left Antwerp, Belgium and landed at Galveston, Texas in the early spring of 1856. They later arrived at La Reunion and were assigned to a one room rock house. Ferdinand soon joined the colonists in making lime which was used in the mortar for building many of the rock homes.
When the colony disbanded, he moved his family to Dallas and purchased a tract of land opposite what is now our Union Station. After building his home, he bought the large section of land adjoining his home to the south. On this block of land he built and established the first lime kiln in Dallas. Monsieur Michel operated his lime kilns for over twenty-five years. His lime was used in the construction of many Dallas area buildings during this time. Monsieur Michel and Mlle. Salomee Michel died in Dallas in the l880s and are buried in one of the city’s cemeteries.
Not sure if he sold it, or a family member continued to operate it after that. That’s my theory.
Image courtesy 1918 Dallas City Directory.
Note: It was learned later that family members continued to operate the lime company for several years after Ferdinand Michel died ant that he was the original owner.