West Jefferson in the Truman Years

by Paula Bosse

oak-cliff_w-jefferson_frontier-top-tierW. Jefferson & S. Bishop (click for very large image)

by Paula Bosse

Here we see West Jefferson Blvd. in Oak Cliff, looking east from just west of the intersection with South Bishop. Not being proficient in dating automobiles, I’m unsure of the date, but the Hoffman Optical Co. (seen on the right) did not appear in the 1948 city directory, but was there by 1951. The current view from this intersection can be seen on Google Street View here. Even though the visual blight of those telephone poles is unappealing, I have to say, I prefer the livelier W. Jefferson of 60-something years ago.

If you squint, you can just see the Texas Theatre in the distance on the left — under the pointy roof, behind the “New Car” billboard. Here’s a magnified detail (click to see a larger image) — you can (barely) see “TEXAS” spelled out on the vertical sign.

oak-cliff_w-jefferson_tx-theatre_det

The first thing I noticed in this photo is this odd black vehicle driving away from the photographer — I keep seeing a bulky version of Harold’s customized hearse from the movie Harold and Maude. What is this?

oak-cliff_w-jefferson_vehicle

Here are the businesses that occupied the couple of blocks seen here (from S. Bishop to S. Zang) in 1951:

w-jefferson_1951a          w-jefferson_1951b
1951 city directory (click to read!)

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Photo from the archives of The Dallas Morning News, reprinted in Frontier to Top Tier, A Photo Retrospective from The Dallas Morning News and Its Readers (Pediment Publishing, 2010).

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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