Lowest Greenville: “A Small Town of Our Own” — 1925

by Paula Bosse

by Paula Bosse

Anyone who has ever lived in Lower or Lowest Greenville knows that it feels kind of like a small town. Below are the words of a man who thought the same way in 1925.

MOST WONDERFUL OF ALL
But I have witnessed nothing so marvelous as the growth of Dallas since I settled here, Dec. 5, 1921, and built a home at 5615 Sears street. People who stick close to business in the downtown district really do not know what is going on in this teeming city. Our suburban store district, just north of Ross and Greenville avenues, comprises three furniture stores, two hardware stores, four drug stores, six groceries, two dry goods stores, half a dozen filling stations, a Pig Stand or two, a plumbing shop, a fire station, an ice factory, a cleaning and pressing establishment, barber shops, shoemakers’ shops, two gents’ furnishing stores and a Masonic lodge. Practically all these and others, for I am sure I have overlooked some, have been established since I settled in the community four years ago. In fact, we have a small town of our own. But then the modern city of Dallas is made up of a number of such complete units, with one grand central business district, which is thought of and looked upon by outsiders as Dallas. (Dallas Morning News, March 15, 1925)

These were the words of Dallas resident John T. Hyde. His Lowest Greenville neighborhood was, in 1925, a “suburban” outpost which had experienced unbelievable growth in the early 1920s. Mr. Hyde (who lived right off Greenville — behind where Trader Joe’s is now) would probably be shocked and dismayed by the wild over-indulgences associated with the annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities along his beloved Greenville Avenue. In fact, today’s the day. So, kids, think of Mr. Hyde — an early champion of one of Dallas’ greatest neighborhoods — and please pledge to refrain from puking (…etc.) all over it today. I’m sure he — and the rest of us — would appreciate it.

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Top photo from Mark Doty’s wonderful book Lost Dallas (Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2012). Photo from the Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library). Click for larger image.

John T. Hyde’s memories excerpted from the article “Southern Planters Trekked to Texas” by W. S. Adair (DMN, March 15, 1925).

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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