WARREN DIAMOND, 1877-1932

This mausoleum at Grove Hill was started by Warren Diamond (1875-1932) in 1930.  The first two persons entombed here were Warren Diamond’s parents. His mother who died May 20, 1930 and his father (dates not known). They had originally been buried at Calvary, the Catholic Cemetery, on Hall Street. When the mausoleum was completed Diamond “asked” the Bishop for permission to move them into the mausoleum. The Bishop said no. Warren then hired grave diggers to go to Calvary, dig up his parents and bring them out to Grove Hill and put them in the mausoleum. The mausoleum built during the depression cost about $65,000 to build. His parents, his first wife, a sister and a sister-in-law were already entombed before him. A grandson, Gordon Yoder, was added after his death as was his second wife, Nellie.

Warren Diamond Mausoleum

Warren Diamond Mausoleum, Grove Hill Cemetery, Dallas TX

Warren Diamond and Miss Zodie Shelton were married in 1896. In 1897 Warren went hunting with two friends and accidentally shot himself in the arm. It was thought they may have to amputate, but it finally healed. As a registered druggist in the 1900 City Directory he is shown as the night clerk at Will Appersons, a drug store at the corner of Main and Poydras and he lived on Caruth. In 1912 he was incarcerated for two years for keeping a premise for gambling. In 1928 two men were shot at a camp he owned north of Carrollton. The item in the paper said he lived at the camp sometime because he thought it was good for his health. The person who killed the two men later turned himself in to the sheriff.

Warren Diamond came to Dallas as a teenager, learned how to gamble and won a portion of the downtown St. George Hotel. He became known as the Czar of Dallas gambling in the Roaring Twenties. He turned the St. George Hotel into the most nefarious Casino west of the Mississippi. This is where Benny Binion learned his trade. A deed of trust existed when his will was filed for probate in connection with a $60,000 loan to Charles O. Hodges the owner of the hotel.

In 1932 Diamond was ill and had been in St. Paul Hospital for a few days. He was not released but called a taxicab and went home, which was at 4221 Armstrong Parkway. He went upstairs and committed suicide in the bathroom.

After Warren’s death, Nellie (1867-1958) his second wife, and Warren’s brother William C. Diamond who was in real estate, were in several lawsuits through the years involving the St. George Hotel, and other properties Diamond had acquired. William died in 1935 with specific instructions in his will that the Catholic Church have no part with his funeral. He too is buried at Grove Hill. His estate consisted of controlling interest in the St. George Hotel and other properties.

In 1958, Nellie (Mrs. Warren Diamond) now eighty-one years old, became the 13th fire victim of the year. She was living at 6048 Bryan Parkway. Her flannel nightgown caught fire as she warmed herself at an open heater. Mrs. Diamond had been married before she came to Dallas in 1920 and was survived by a son, a daughter, a brother, three grandchildren and four great grandchildren. She too is buried in this mausoleum.

The Dallas Morning News published an interview with an elderly black man about his knowledge of Warren Diamond.  “It was a fellow by the name of Warren Diamond opened it (gambling) in Dallas, many, many years ago. And Warren Diamond was the first big dice fader I ever knew. He opened up in this Camp Street wagon yard. Those wagon yards had big, high fences around ’em, where nobody couldn’t slip in there and steal nothin’, just kind of a-looked like a stockade. So Warren Diamond had a gamblin’ house in the Camp Street wagon yard, and they had this gate barred, you know, and they had a gate man on there. But one time it came a big storm, and some deputies got in a covered wagon, come a-trottin’ down the street, and the man thought it was somebody comin’ into the wagon yard, you know, from the country. And he opened the gate, and it’s full of deputies. And they sent Warren Diamond to the penitentiary. And there’s a fellow by the name of George Pootes got him out. So from then on, they was partners.”

Courtesy From the Ground Up by Frances James.  Frances chairs the cemetery committee for Dallas County Pioneer Association.