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D in the Heart of Texas             

Jerry T. Dealey

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The Dallas Morning News is Born (Part 2)

Early History of Texas
The Europeans and American Settlers
John Neely Bryan – And Other Early Founders
Some Wheeling-Dealing to Grow a City
George Bannerman Dealey
The Dallas Morning News is Born
The Great 1908 Flood
G. B. Promotes Other Early Dallas Growth
The "City of Hate"
Building the ‘Subway’, Triple Underpass, Dealey Plaza
The Other Buildings Around Dealey Plaza
The Elder G. B. Dealey
The Dallas "Citizens Council"
The ‘Right Wing’ Direction of Dallas - "City of Hate" Revisited
A ‘Turn-Around’ for the Dallas Morning News
The Pre-November ‘Hate’ Incidents
Dallas’ Law Enforcement
November 1963, Why Dallas?
Dealey Plaza Changes To-Date

On April 19, 1901, Colonel Alfred H. Belo died. Ownership of the papers reverted to his son Alfred Belo Jr., but he was too inexperienced in the newspaper business to assume direct control. G. B. continued to manage the Morning News, much as his brother T. W. was assisting long time Belo associate Colonel Lowe to manage the Galveston News. Also in this year, G. B. had a brief argument with the Sangers Brothers, who owned the largest and oldest retail outlet in the area, as they were trying to use advertising space for publicity purposes. This was against Dealey’s principles of allowing advertisers to put forth publicity or political statements in their advertisements. (Compare this to the infamous “Black Border Ad” which son Ted Dealey would allow on November 22, 1963.) Dealey won the argument, and the publicity ad was withdrawn, without losing the huge advertiser, Sanger-Harris Department Stores.

In 1902, the city of Dallas began clearing away much of the tree trunks and debris in the Trinity River bottom land. This was done to help prevent flooding. One evening Dealey took a stroll down to the Commerce St. bridge, to smoke a cigar and overlook the bottoms area. It occurred to him that this land might some day be valuable, and could be rather cheap, so he decided he would spend as much as $500 per acre and see what he could buy. He checked around, and found a George W. Loomis, who would sell him 14 ½ acres of land just west of the river, and between Commerce St. and the T&P Railroad bridge, at $100 per acre. (This area is today where Stemmons Freeway crosses Commerce, Main and Elm, just west of the Triple Underpass.) Coincidentally it occurred to Dealey to create a massive public park on this area, which would serve as a sensational entrance to downtown Dallas from the west. (A vision of what would later be called Dealey Plaza.)

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This is Dallas with a light snowfall in 1923 (aerial view). The tallest white building in the center right is the Magnolia Building, newly built in 1923. Pegasus was not added to this building until the American Petroleum convention in 1934, when it was still the tallest building in Dallas. The building just this side of the Magnolia is the Adolphus Hotel. Union Terminal is the white building in the forground to the right, with the railroad tracks and embarking platforms. The bridge in the lower left is the Commerce St. bridge, which passes over the old Trinity River channel in the bottom left corner. To the left of this is the properties that would become Dealey Plaza in later years. Note that the Trinity River was just down the 18 foot bank from the railroad tracks that would later make up the Triple Overpass, before the river was moved.

It was also during this time that Dealey really pushed for a Dallas Civic Improvement committee. The World’s Fair was held in St. Louis of that year, and when Dealey attended, the city planning that had occurred there impressed him. He contacted and hired George E. Kessler, a city-planning engineer who had spearheaded much of the work in St. Louis. Kessler came back to Dallas, and he redesigned the State Fair grounds.

Dealey would push very heavily for civic improvements of all sorts. George E. Kessler would also be hired back in 1911 to spend the next several months/years designing the “Kessler Plan”, for the entire city. G. B. Dealey would promote this plan heavily the next few years, and parts of it (such as a lake on the Trinity River) are still being discussed in the year 2000. Kessler once stated that he had never seen a proponent of city planning as great as G. B. Dealey.

IE150-1.GIF - 6031 BytesD in the Heart of Texas - Table of Contents
03LEFT.JPG - 1910 Bytes The Dallas Morning News is Born (Part 1)
03RIGHT.JPG - 1880 Bytes The 1908 Flood

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Last edited June 3, 2003