Dallas - Encyclopedia

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DALLAS, a city and the county-seat of Dallas county, Texas, U.S.A., about 220 m. N.W. of Houston, on the E. bank of the Trinity river. Pop. (1880) 10,358; (1890) 38,067; (1900) 42,638, of whom 9035 were negroes and 3381 were foreign-born; (1910) 92,104. Area, about 15 sq. m. Dallas is served by the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe, the Houston & Texas Central, the Missouri, Kansas & Texas, the" St Louis South-western, the Texas & New Orleans, the Trinity & Brazos Valley, and the Texas & Pacific railways, and by interurban electric railways to Fort Worth and Sherman. The lower channel of the Trinity river has been greatly improved by the Federal government; but in 1908 the river was not navigable as far as Dallas. Among public buildings are the Carnegie library (1901), Dallas county court house, the city hall, the U.S. government building, St Matthew's cathedral (Prot. Episc.), the cathedral of the Sacred Heart (Rom. Cath.), the city hospital, St Paul's sanitarium (Rom. Cath.), and the Baptist Memorial sanitarium. Educational institutions include Dallas medical college(1901),the colleges of medicine and pharmacy of Baylor University, the medical college of South-western University (at Georgetown, Texas), Oak Cliff female academy, Patton seminary, St Mary's female college (Prot. Episc.), and Holy Trinity college (Rom. Cath.). The city had in 1908 three parks - Bachman's Reservoir (500 acres); Fair (525 acres) - the Texas state fair grounds, in which an annual exhibition is held - and City park (17 acres). Lake Cliff, Cycle and Oak Lawn parks are amusement grounds. A Confederate Soldiers' monument, a granite shaft 50 ft. high, was erected in 1897, with statues of R. E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, " Stonewall " Jackson and A. S. Johnston. Dallas was in 1900 the third city in population and the most important railway centre in Texas. It is a shipping centre for a large wheat, fruit and cotton-raising region, and the principal jobbing market for northern Texas, Oklahoma and part of Louisiana, and the biggest distributing point for agricultural machinery in the South-west. It is a livestock market, and one of the chief centres in the United States for the manufacture of saddlery and leather goods, and of cotton-gin machinery. It has flour and grist mills (the products of which ranked first in value among the city's manufactures in 1905), wholesale slaughtering and meat-packing establishments, cooperage works, railway repair shops, cotton compresses, lumber yards, salt works, and manufactories of cotton-seed oil and cake, boots and shoes and cotton and agricultural machinery. In 1900 and 1905 it was the principal manufacturing centre in the state, the value of its factory product in 1905 being $15,627,668, an increase of 64.7% over that in 1900. The water-works are owned and operated by the city, and the water is taken from the Elm fork of Trinity river. There are several artesian wells. Dallas, named in honour of G. M. Dallas, was settled in 1841, and first chartered as a city in 1856. The city is governed, under a charter of 1907, by a mayor and four commissioners, who together pass ordinances, appoint nearly all city officers, and generally are responsible for administering the government. In addition a school board is elected by the people. The charter contains initiative and referendum provisions, provides for the recall of any elective city official, and prohibits the granting of any franchise for a longer term than twenty years.

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