Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Interurbans: Freight Movers?

interurban-passenger_freight_1940sPeople-mover, above; freight-mover, below… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

When I saw this photo, I had no idea what I was looking at — what was that odd-looking thing in the foreground? A couple of rail enthusiasts informed me that it was an interurban freight engine on rail tracks beneath the old elevated interurban/streetcar trestle that spanned the Trinity. This is the Dallas side, with the Dallas Morning News building and the Hotel Jefferson in the background, to the north. (You can see the tracks running right next to the DMN in a photo in a previous post, here.) According to one of the experts:

The interurban did some exchange of freight cars with the regular railroads and the exchange tracks were under the streetcar/interurban viaduct. This track merged with the streetcar tracks at the foot of the viaduct right next to the DMN.

The interurban, though primarily a mover of people, also hauled freight. With more than 200 miles of track across North Texas, the Texas Electric Railway was the largest interurban railway operator in the South. But its glory days were starting to wane as the popularity of automobiles increased. By the ’20s, freight-moving was added to the company’s services, generating welcomed revenue.

The interurban freight depot — seen below in 1946 — was located just east of Ferris Plaza. At the left, part of a railroad freight car is visible, in the middle, an interurban freight car, at the right, an interurban (passenger) streetcar, and at the far right, an automobile. And some crazy person walking.


But the automobile eventually proved too popular, and more and more people began using trucks for hauling. After 40 years in business, the Texas Electric Railway interurban ceased operations in 1948.


When searching around for possible other images of engine 903 (as seen in the top photo), I found it hanging out over on eBay — described as being in the “Waco car house yards” in 1944. Small world.



Top image found on Flickr, here.

Photo of the freight depot taken by Robert W. Richardson on April 27, 1946; from the Western History/Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library, viewable here.

Bottom photo (cropped) from a  currently active eBay listing, here.

Interurban freight operation Wikipedia entry here.

Texas Electric Railway: Handbook of Texas entry here; Wikipedia entry here.

MANY photos of various Texas Electric Railway freight motors and locomotives, here.

And, lastly, great photos from around Dallas in CERA’s “Texas Electric and the Journey to DART,” here.

(Thanks to Bob J. and Robert P. for their helpful info!)

Click pictures for larger images.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Baylor Hospital — 1909-1921

baylor_postcardClassic cars on Junius Street… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

I originally thought the street in front of Baylor Hospital in this postcard was Gaston. But Baylor originally faced Junius Street (see it on a 1921 Sanborn map here), and, in fact, its address was 3315 Junius for many years. I had no idea.

Below are a few more photos and postcards of the medical facility which eventually grew into Baylor Hospital (its Dallas roots go back to 1903, but the buildings seen in these images — buildings designed by noted Dallas architect C. W. Bulger & Co. — were built around 1909). Originally known as the “Texas Baptist Memorial Sanitarium,” it changed its name to the more familiar “Baylor Hospital” in 1920/1921 (and later became “Baylor University Hospital” in 1936). (More on the timeline of Baylor Hospital can be found here and here.)

baylor_postmarked-1919_ebaypostmarked 1919

Dig those cars.



baylor_tx-baptist-memorial-sanitarium_ca-1912_UTSW-libraryca. 1912 (photo: UT Southwestern Library)

This is my favorite one: no cars, but there’s a horse grazing at the entrance!

baylor_horse_postmarked-1911_ebaypostmarked 1911

The postcard below was postmarked 1909, the year these new buildings opened. No cars, no horse, no people. 


And here is the brand new sanitarium, in a photograph that appeared in The Dallas Morning News less than a month after its official opening.

baylor-hospital_exterior_dmn_111009_clogensonDMN, Nov. 10, 1909


Sources & Notes

Postcards found on eBay.

The first black-and-white photo is from the 1917 Round-Up, the yearbook of Baylor University in Waco; the same image (uncolorized) appears in the digital archives of UT Southwestern, here, with the date 1915.

The second black-and-white photo is from the UT Southwestern Library archives, here.

The name-change of the Texas Baptist Memorial Sanitarium to Baylor Hospital was proposed in Nov. of 1920 and formally approved by the Board of Trustees of Baylor University in Waco on January 16, 1921. More about the major changes happening to the medical facility/facilities affected can be found in the article “Medical Center For Dallas Is Authorized by Texas Baptists” by Silliman Evans (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Nov. 13, 1920), here.

Read a detailed description of the Texas Baptist Memorial Sanitarium in the Dallas Morning News article “Baptist Memorial Sanitarium, Just Completed at Dallas, Represents an Investment of More Than Four Hundred Thousand Dollars” (DMN, Nov. 10, 1909), here and here. There are several photographs taken inside and outside (and on top of) the brand new buildings.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

%d bloggers like this: