County Poor Farm
November 05, 2017 12:47AM
When I was a Rookie Cop I was assigned to old Beat 79 which was everything south of South Loop 12 (Ledbetter Drive in some parts) from the Trinity River to South Lancaster Road. Old U.S. Highway 75 (South Central Expressway) more or less centrally divided the beat. Due to the ever increasing narcotics traffic originating in far South Texas then through the Houston area, I spent a lot of time patrolling the highway.

I observed an old two or three story building located just west of the highway and just north of Langdon Road and learned from an older officer this was the old Dallas County Poor Farm. He then pointed to a small trail that ran east up a sizable hill and told me it was the path to the Interurban Line that ran from Dallas to Corsicana.

Later I investigated an accident and one of the persons involved identified himself as the first City Marshall of Hutchins, Texas. He was in his late eighties and was a passenger in his daughter's vehicle.

They still lived in Hutchins and he invited me to stop by for a cup of coffee when in the area. I did so and returned numerous times as I found his stories of the area interesting. He talked of the numerous Interurban-Motor Vehicle accidents at Greene Road which for a long time was not equipped with any type signals and was originally manned by a signal man. He also told me that often Interurban Passengers without tickets were put off as he called it at the Interurban Station in Hutchins.

I can't imagine being "put off" in Hutchins and forced to walk or beg for a ride back to Dallas, a very long walk back in those days.

He also talked of the walking trail before mentioned and told me that not a designated stop, but kind Interurban Operators would often stop and take on and discharge passengers visiting the Poor Farm. He began laughing and talked of all the liquor bottles that were disposed of along the trail as the County Constable would check visitors for illegal liquor being brought into the facility.

I saw a death notice for him around 1971 and attended his grave side service at the cemetery on the north side of Hutchins and was amazed at the number of attendees, apparently a friend to many with a very large family.

I am not completely useless, I can always be used as a bad example.
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