Dallas News Hustler — 1908

by Paula Bosse

newsboy-horse_dmn_012608_lgErnest d’Ablemont, 13, newspaper carrier aboard his trusty steed, 1908

by Paula Bosse

The photo above appeared in the pages of The Dallas Morning News on Jan. 26, 1908 under the headline “One of the Dallas News Hustlers.” The caption:

Ernest A. d’Ablemont is one of the hustlers selling The Dallas News. He began selling the paper in March, 1905, on Sundays at the age of 11 years. He is now 14, or will reach that age on his birthday, March 16, 1908. Since he began, he has never missed a Sunday, rain or shine, hot or cold. Since his business career began he has clothed himself and has accumulated sufficient money to enable him to make a loan of $150 at 10 per cent.

Quite the business-minded newsboy — the Inflation Calculator estimates that $150 in 1908 would be equivalent to almost $4,000 today! In 1909 — just a year later — he had his own entry in the Worley’s city directory, but he had jumped ship from the News and was working for The Dallas Dispatch.

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Ernest d’Ablemont was born in Dallas in 1894 to immigrant parents — his father, Felix, was French, and his mother, Inga, was Norwegian. One wonders what could possibly have enticed a Parisian to come to Dallas, but Felix had been in the city since about 1883, working first in a meat market, then spending most of his life as a produce man. Felix was a “truck farmer” (he grew vegetables to sell locally), and he had a small piece of land off 2nd Avenue in the old Lagow Settlement area, south of Fair Park, about where S. 2nd Ave. intersects with Hatcher. Felix placed this ad in 1903:

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“German, Swede, Norwegian or French preferred.”

Ernest followed in the footsteps of his farmer father. After his early entrepreneurial foray into the world of newspaper delivery and a couple of years of service in World War I (which took him overseas where he was assigned to a field hospital and a “sanitary train”), he returned to Dallas and worked the family’s truck farm until he retired. He died in 1954 at the age of 60.

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Top image of young Ernest on horseback from The Dallas Morning News, Jan. 26, 1908; photo by Clogenson.

Want-ad from the DMN, Nov. 1, 1903.

WWI “sanitary trains”? I’d never heard the term. Find out what they were and see what one looked like in this GREAT photo from Shorpy, here.

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

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