Pioneers of Dallas County

J. B. MINNIS, Early Circuit Rider

25 June 2018

One early Pleasant Valley (Sachse) area settler was a preacher man that ran a mule powered cotton gin to supplement his income. J. B. Minnis settled here in the 1870’s. He had even invented a sucking machine for unloading cotton, and was offered $30,000 for the invention (about $7500, 000 today). He refused to sell […]

JAMES M. PARKER Named Pleasant Valley

20 June 2018

James M. Parker was born October 1, 1801 in Shelby County, Kentucky. He came to Pleasant Valley (now part of Sachse, TX) in the early 1850’s and settled on a farm that consisted of wild prairie grass so thick that it would take a double yoke of oxen just to break it open. James had […]


18 June 2018

THERE IS SOME QUESTION whether Dallas County’s red stone courthouse belongs to the story of local government or to the history of warfare between divergent tastes as to what constitutes good architecture in a public building. If the old building itself could speak, it would undoubtedly say that the first seventy-five years are the hardest. […]


15 June 2018

GEORGE M DILLEY, a highly successful railroad-building contractor who had a major part in the expansion of rail lines in Texas in the final quarter of the last century, moved to Dallas from Huntsville in the late 1880s and enjoyed a certain instant fame from almost the moment of his arrival on the local scene. […]

GEN. E. TARRANT, Headed Republic Soldiers

13 June 2018

The first white settlers in Dallas County owed a great deal to Gen. Edward H. Tarrant, as did those who settled some thirty miles to the west in the county that was named for the general. It was on May 24, 1841, that Tarrant headed a company of seventy Republic of Texas soldiers who expelled […]

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 […]

CHARLES W. DARR, Rockwall Co. Pioneer

11 June 2018

Charles William Darr, was born in 1855 at Willow Springs which is now Heath, Texas.  His parents were Dr. John and Angeline Darr.  His parents, along with other family members, traveled by ox drawn wagons from Gibson County, Tennessee.  The women and children rode in wagons, with men walking. Sister, Betty, said she also walked […]

POYDRAS Street’s Name Honors Louisianian

11 June 2018

POYDRAS STREET, for many years a chief north-south axis running one block east of and parallel to Lamar Street in downtown Dallas, is ap­propriately named for one of the most noted mercantile, poetic, and political figures in the province, then state, of Louisiana. Just how the name of this Frenchman was even thought of is […]

G. N. ALDREDGE Addresses Trinity River Crowd

9 June 2018

After a half dozen railroads bringing their trains into Dallas began to be a familiar story, its citizens grew more and more con­scious of the great advantage Houston was having in its lower charges on every ton of freight because of the river water rates there, and once more there began to be heard agitation […]

COL. J. W. FORNEY, Became City’s Namesake

8 June 2018

ACROSS THE KAUFMAN COUNTY line from Dallas, the city of Forney per­petuates the name of a onetime Pennsylvania newspaper editor and politician. He was a prime factor almost a century ago in altering the destiny of Dallas and other North Texas communities by the construc­tion of pioneer railroads to serve them. This now largely forgotten […]

ISSAC SANGER Recalls Pioneer Dallas

7 June 2018

Issac Sanger, the eldest of the Sanger brothers who came to America from Obernbreit, Bavaria, arrived in Texas in 1857 and journeyed by stage from Houston to McKinney, thirty miles north of Dallas where he opened the first Sanger store. Isaac Sanger was followed to Texas by his brothers Lehman and Philip Sanger. In i861, […]


6 June 2018

John Neely Bryan seems to have been one of those mortals whose lives show spurts of considerable practical initiative, alternating with the instinct to wander off into dreams. And as so often happens, his spirit must have been the unhappy battlefield of these conflicting drives. His romantic approach even in business is suggested by the […]

WILLIAM LAWHORN Family Reaches Duck Creek

6 June 2018

The family of William and Martha Lawhorn came to Texas from Schott County, Mississippi.  They traveled by covered wagon and crossed the Mississippi River on a barge. Thomas L. Lawhorn was five months old when they made the journey. After a short stay near Duck Creek in Dallas County, the William Lawhorn family moved to […]

JOHN M. ORAM,Electronics Pioneer

5 June 2018

JOHN M. ORAM, a member of the family for whom Oram Street in northeast Dallas is named, occupies a unique place in the development of the electric and communications industries of Dallas. A successful inventor of mechanical and electrical instruments, he might well be singled out as the outstanding pioneer in the field of electronics […]

CHARLIE SPONG, Duck Creek Pioneer

5 June 2018

Charles,(Charlie) Spong was born on February 3, 1863 in a log cabin with a side room, at Duck Creek, near Garland. His father was in Hoods Regiment during the Civil War. He was the 4th and youngest child at this time.When the Northern General Sutton and soldiers came, they took horses, cattle, food and left […]


4 June 2018

Benjamin J. Prigmore was born 1 August 1830 in Missouri and died 3 October 1901. He was buried in the McCree Cemetery, Dallas County, Texas. He married Nancy Lucinda (Lucy) Jackson born 12 September 1833 in Tennessee and died October 1904. She was buried in the MeCree Cemetery. They were married 8 February 1853 by […]


3 June 2018

John Jay Good was born in Hinds County, Mississippi on July 12, 1827.  He grew up in Lowndes County where his father worked as a shoemaker and farmer.  He attended Cumberland University inLebanon, Tennessee and read law in Columbus, Mississippi where he studied law.  He was admitted to the bar in 1849. Good headed to […]

COL. JOHN McCOY, Beloved Pioneer

3 June 2018

John Calvin McCoy was born on September 28, 1819 in Clark County Indiana. As a deputy circuit clerk of Clark County from 1837 to 1839 he studied law in his spare time. In May of 1841 he received his license to practice. He moved to Dallas in the spring of 1845 as a surveyor for […]

HIGHLAND PARK’S Historical Development

2 June 2018

THE SURGE TO THE SUBURBS is no recent phenomenon in the growth of Dallas. The first great explosive moves came in the 1880s, notably in the rise of East Dallas, the opening of Oak Cliff, and the laying of the groundwork for what would become Highland Park, elder of the two Park Cities, during the […]


1 June 2018

The morning of July 16, 1872, was the widely announced time for the arrival of the first train at Dallas.A group known as terminal merchants had followed the railroad from its inception. The merchants were on hand, but the largest crowd in the history of the town assembled for the great occasion. Most of the […]