The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Dallas (Tex.)

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Edition of 1920. See also Dallas, Texas on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

DALLAS, Tex., city, county-seat Dallas County, 270 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico on the Trinity River, navigable to that point, and on nine steam and five electric interurban railroads. The steam railroads are the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway; Missouri, Oklahoma and Gulf Railway; Houston, Texas Central Railway; Texas and Pacific Railway; Texas and New Orleans Railway; Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fé Railway; St. Louis and San Francisco Railway, and the St. Louis Southwestern Railway. The interurban railway lines are the Texas Traction Company to Denison, north 77 miles; Southern Traction Company to Waco, south 97 miles, and to Corsicana, southeast 56 miles; Northern Texas Traction Company to Ft. Worth, west 30 miles, and to Cleburne, southwest 67 miles. Dallas has a new union (steam) terminal station, opened to the public in 1916, representing an investment in building and grounds of over $6,500,000; and a new electric interurban station representing an investment in building and grounds amounting to $1,600,000.

Commerce, Industries.— Dallas is the centre of the famous black lands of the Southwest, the principal products of which are cotton, corn, wheat, oats, truck and fruit. As the largest inland cotton market in the world the Dallas Cotton Exchange handles 1,500,000 bales of cotton in a normal year. The 1914 census gave the number of factories as 412, capital invested $23,488,000, with a total output of $42,559,789. Dallas leads in the manufacture of cotton ginning machinery and in saddlery and harness. Other important industries are flour mills, portland cement plants, oil refinery, iron and metal works, brewery, packing houses, cotton seed oil mills, cotton compresses, grain elevators, etc. The largest wholesale jobbing and distributing centre of the Southwest, with 570 jobbers and manufacturers, that in a normal year do $262,000,000 business, Dallas is the distributing centre for automobiles of the Southwest, with large factories having assembling plants here, and in the sale and distribution of agricultural implements is second only to Kansas City. Dallas ranks 28th in postal receipts in the United States, is seventh in express business, sixth in telegraph business. It is the Southwestern headquarters for all classes of insurance business and is the home of the 11th District of the Federal Reserve Banking System, with 686 banks, whose capital and surplus amount to $49,972,500. There are 10 banks in the city of Dallas, whose resources on 1 Jan. 1918 amounted to $96,662,549, with deposits amounting to $80,143,274. The State Fair of Texas is the most successful institution of its kind in the world. It is unique in its organization, never having received State or Federal aid. All of its receipts are devoted to paying the expense of the annual fair and to making improvements upon its 162 acres of ground, which is the property of the city, being turned over to the city for park purposes with the exception of one month in the year during the annual fair. The plant was worth (1918) $2,200,000. As high as 1,001,400 admissions have been recorded during the two weeks of the fair. The permanent buildings are built of reinforced concrete and are The Coliseum, 150x200 ft., seating capacity 5,000; Textile and Fine Arts Building, 125x125 ft; Exposition Building, 280x375 ft.; Ladies' Rest Cottage; Live Stock Pavilion, 124x192 ft.—cattle and swine barns are of reinforced concrete steel, with steel pens for the swine; Vehicle and Implement Building, 200x550; Grand Stand, 60x300; Automobile Building, 148x296. There are 19 individual and permanent exhibit buildings owned and erected by exhibitors.

Public Buildings, Etc.— Dallas is the convention city of the Southwest, with ample hotel facilities, unsurpassed by any city of its size; the Adolphus Hotel, the latest addition, 23 stories high, costing $1,600,000, with an addition or annex costing $1,000,000; and adequate convention halls. Notable among public buildings are the city hall, courthouse, public library, the cathedrals of the Sacred Heart and of Saint Matthew's, the city hospitals and Saint Paul's and the Baptist Memorial sanitaria. One of the longest concrete viaducts in the world connects the city proper with Oak Cliff, a residential section of the city on the west side; this was built at a cost of $657,466. Much activity has been displayed in recent years in street paving and the development of a comprehensive system of boulevards, under a city plan. On 1 Jan. 1918 Dallas had 160 miles of paved streets, with 325 miles of cement sidewalks. The parks of the city, tastefully laid out, now cover 400 acres, and with public playgrounds are being developed to cover eventually 3,500 acres easily accessible.

Government.— Dallas enjoys the commission form of government, having been one of the first cities to adopt this plan. The property in the city is assessed for taxation at $136,971,975, the city tax rate being $1.95, and the State and county tax rate being $1.10.

Schools, Churches.— An important, educational centre, the principal educational institutions are the Southern Methodist University, with cash assets of $3,000,000 and 660 acres of ground, which opened in 1915 with 800 students; Dallas University (Catholic institution for boys), an investment in building and grounds amounting to $500,000; the Baylor Medical College and 53 private schools. There are 3 high schools and 29 ward schools in Dallas, the city having an investment in buildings, grounds and equipment of $2,000,000. The scholastic population of Dallas is 27,229. Dallas has 154 places of worship, of all denominations.

Climate.— The following are the average or normal temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit at Dallas as shown in the Special Bulletin No. 5, United States Department of Agriculture Weather Bureau: January, 46.3; February, 50.9; March, 57.3; April, 67.7; May, 73.4; June, 81.4; July, 84.4; August, 82.5; September, 76.8; October, 66.4; November, 55.5; December, 53.9, and annual, 66.4. The relative humidity, as it affects evaporation, is a potent factor in keeping the human organism cool. At Dallas the average humidity for the year at 7 A.M., 90th meridian time, is 80 per cent, and the average at 2 P.M. is about 43 per cent for July, 53 per cent for August and 54 per cent for September. Maximum or highest temperature recorded at the local office of the United States Weather Bureau since it was established in Dallas October 1913 was 102° on 30 July 1914. The temperature for the year of 1915 did not go as high as 100°. There is generally a cool, fresh and invigorating southerly breeze from off the Gulf of Mexico throughout the summer months that adds much to the comfort of the inhabitants of Dallas, and when this is taken into consideration with the records of the temperature and humidity it can readily be seen why sun-strokes are almost unknown in this section of the country.

Population.— In 1885 the population of Dallas was 10,000; (1900) 42,438; (1910) 92,104; July 1917 the government estimate was 129,632 and the Chamber of Commerce, and Manufacturers' Association estimate 1 Jan. 1918 (which includes suburbs not included in government estimate), 147,000.

Grant S. Maxwell,
Secretary of Dallas Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers' Association.