Police Blotter — 1880s

by Paula Bosse

san-angelo-saloonA saloon in a calm moment

by Paula Bosse

A few snapshots of life among Dallas’ lively and unruly set in the 1880s, as reported in The Dallas Daily Herald:

police-blotter_dal-her_061681(June 16, 1881)

police-blotter_dal-herald_060381(June 3, 1881)

police-blotter_dal-her_102782(Oct. 27, 1882)

police-blotter_dal-her_111782(Nov. 17, 1882)

Looks like Dallas had a steady flow of cash coming into the city coffers. The usual fine seemed to be five dollars, and that was a LOT of money back then. If you plug that into the Inflation Calculator, it shows that five bucks in 1881 would be equivalent to about $118 in today’s money. So, yeah — the city was raking it in. Prosperity! Thank you, drunks and reprobates — you  helped build our city!


Top photo shows imbibers inside the Arc Light Saloon in San Angelo, Texas; photo found here. Not Dallas, but I was unable to find a photo of a saloon in Dallas in this period. (I bet there’s a Tumblr on this, though. Or a Pinterest page….)

All newspaper clippings from The Dallas Daily Herald, accessible through the invaluable Portal to Texas History; browse through the collection here.

See more tidbits from the police blotter in the Flashback Dallas post “Police Blotter — Drunks, Vagrants, Adulteres,”  here.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.