Letter from William Gill Cooper, northeast of Rowlett, Texas, tells about attending the 1902 Old Soldiers Reunion at Dallas Texas.
150,000 Visitors Trooped Into Dallas.
Letter from W. G. Cooper of Rowlett: June 1902, to his nephew, Robert A. Cooper at Florence, Miss. Dear Bob, I guess you think I am rather slow in writing and I plead guilty to the charge… I attended the reunion in April from start to finish and such a time I never saw before in all my life. I have been here at the State Fair when there were fifty- thousand people at the gate in one day and I thought that a big crowd, but it was nothing compared to the reunion. They came from every state in the Union. There was a big Army of old gray beards on hand and we had a jolly time for four days.
There was plenty of good things to eat and drink. All articles were in abundance and the last day we had Buffalo, plenty of it good and fat. The old Soldiers was free and Dallas made a good preparation for all. They could get meals from 15 cents to 75 cents to suit their own fancy. If they wanted a first class hotel and all modern fixtures they could get it from $1.50 to $5 per day.
On the 20th and 21st of May I attended the Mexican’s Veterans reunion in Fort Worth. There was 85 of us on hand – the youngest 72 years and the oldest 87.
I have got four acres of as fine corn as you ever looked at and a mare, and as fine a colt as you could find. A fine blooded one – no scrub. I send Araminda a sheet of paper. Please give it to her and oblige. Yours ever, William Gill Cooper.
Photo: Parade passing by Dallas Post Office. Letter courtesy Betty Foster Burch Sherman. Photo courtesy George W. Cook collection at SMU’s DeGolyer Library.