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Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850

Posted by TedACampbell 
Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
July 17, 2020 04:45AM
I'm working on a map of Dallas ca. 1850 showing early settlements, roads, and the route of the Trinity River around that time. The central part of this is based on the 1852 Hedgcoxe map available through Texas General Land Office. I am not including historic cemeteries or individual settlements at this point. And some of my historic road reconstructions are based on the highly unscientific principle of looking for squiggly roads from one historic point to another.

Early settlements I have shown here: Bird's Fort, Dallas, Cedar Springs, Cedar Hill, Eagle Ford, Hord's Ridge, Farmers Branch, Breckenridge, Duck Creek and Scyene. What other settlements were here before 1850?

I'm using the QGIS mapping system for this, which is pretty standard stuff, so hopefully future historians might be able to add to it. Any insights, corrections, etc., will be appreciated.





Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/2020 09:04AM by TedACampbell.
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
July 20, 2020 01:44AM
FRUITDALE, TEXAS. Fruitdale was three miles south of downtown Dallas in central Dallas County. The site is now bounded by Fordham Road on the north, the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas tracks to the east, Ledbetter Drive on the south, and Sunnyvale Street to the west. It was in the original land grants of J. K. Sloan and G. L. Haas. Although the first settlers in the area named it Christian Valley when they arrived in the 1850s, the real influx occurred after the Civil War. In 1886 the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railway was extended through Fruitdale. The settlement remained a quiet farming community into the twentieth century.

On April 17, 1937, Fruitdale incorporated to avoid annexation to Dallas. It had a population of 432 and was sometimes called Fruitdale Acres. The citizens imposed deed restrictions that allowed no businesses within the city limits. After World War II families moved to Fruitdale because of its large lots with space for gardens and yards for children to play in. Former farms were cut up into lots, and most houses were built on at least half an acre. Many families raised food for their own use in orchards or truck gardens. Every home had its own well and septic tank, but gas and electricity were available. The fire station had one full-time employee and twenty-five volunteer firemen, and the town had an elected city marshall for police protection, a stone community house, a church, and a five-acre city park.
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
July 20, 2020 04:28AM
Ted -



The illustrated road running in a straight line East North East from Dallas * on the 1852 Hedgcoxe map is likely an approximation of the Central National Road which was surveyed in 1844-45 but not built. Many historians confuse the name with Cooke's 1841 MiIitary Road. The original survey route was detailed in a 1945 article in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly. The survey notes for John Beeman's 640 acre tract in the Lagow League also note the route.

"First Half Dozen Years: Dallas County Texas as Seen Through the Commissioners' Court Minutes" by Helen M Lu and Gwen B Newmann contains many references to early roads, ferries and bridges. It is available on microfiche at the Dallas Public Library and a 1982 print edition.

Gene Gaddy did a pretty good job of locating the early post offices in Dallas County overlaid on a modern map (ca 1974). His source was the SW Division National Archives in Ft Worth which has the application files.

The White Rock Post Office was established in 1848 on James J Beeman's Survey in the SW quadrant of present Scyene Road and Buckner Blvd. Beeman was also the first postmaster of Prairie Creek which succeeded White Rock in 1852 and Scyene which succeeded Prairie Creek in 1854. The later two locations were east of present Buckner Blvd. The name Scyene only dates back to 1854 though the surrounding area east of White Rock Creek was well settled by 1846.

Prior to the early 2000's reconstruction of the Dallas County Historical Plaza the paving included a large mosaic map of early Dallas trails and communities. Not sure of the source of the data or if any complete photos or diagrams exist.

Lancaster aka Pleasant Run was settled before 1850.

M C

EDIT:

* note: That might also represent the proposed route of the planned Southern Transcontinental Railroad which appears on some ca 1850's maps running southwest from Texarkana to Dallas then west to El Paso. The Texas and Pacific Railroad two decades later entered Texas near Marshall.

I have a ca 1856 French map of the Le Reunion Colony lands and the western portion of Dallas County that shows a similar road system as the 1852 Hedgcoxe map but there are a couple of significant variations. The road west from Dallas via Cockrell Hill then southwest via Alex Cockrell's White House Ranch and his crossing of Mountain Creek lead to Johnson Station then Fort Worth (the original Dallas-Ft Worth Stage Route) in a southerly arc that avoided the West Fork bottoms and drainage. Parlez-vous fran├žais?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2020 10:43PM by M C Toyer.
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
July 20, 2020 05:24AM
1856 French Map: La Reunion Lands in Dallas County

May not be legible at this resolution. Too large an image for my photohost and this Phorum

Note the Birdville, Cedar Springs and Dallas Road, the Dallas and Preston Road, the Mountain Creek and Reunion Road and the Dallas and Houston Road.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/26/2020 07:21PM by M C Toyer.
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
July 20, 2020 01:21PM
Jim Dunkley and associates also created detailed driving maps and directions showing the route of the Historic Trails in Irving Texas in conjunction with current (1988) streets and highways, but the Preston Trail with Cedar Springs and Dallas was not among them.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/26/2020 07:20PM by M C Toyer.
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
July 21, 2020 01:33PM
Ted,

Your map shows Preston Road with a dramatic curve in it through what is now modern day University Park and Preston Hollow. Given that Preston Road basically follows the land grant boundaries up to what is modern Davenport/Preston what map or route are you basing that curve on?
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
July 21, 2020 08:42PM
Ted, I see a community named "Breckenridge" between Farmer's Branch and Duck Creek on your map. The modern Breckenridge, TX is a community well west of Fort Worth, in Stevens County. Was there a community by that name in the mid-19th century in the location indicated?

Thanks, mcneely

Dave McNeely
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
July 22, 2020 06:16AM
old man from dallas Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ted, I see a community named "Breckenridge"
> between Farmer's Branch and Duck Creek on your
> map. The modern Breckenridge, TX is a community
> well west of Fort Worth, in Stevens County. Was
> there a community by that name in the mid-19th
> century in the location indicated?
>
> Thanks, mcneely


From the Handbook of Texas:

BRECKINRIDGE, TEXAS. Breckinridge is north of the intersection of Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway and Greenville Avenue, a mile east of Restland Cemetery and ten miles northeast of downtown Dallas in Dallas County. In the 1840s families from Kentucky and Tennessee began arriving in the area. Early families included the Jacksons, Prigmores, Rouths, and Campbells. The settlement was on the road from Dallas to what was then Indian Territory. In 1853 Spring Creek Baptist Church was built. The first store was built about 1857, and soon after, a blacksmith shop was established. The Floyd Inn served as a stop for the stage from Dallas to Denton. In 1858 Mont Vale Academy, the first school, was built. A local post office was established in 1858 with postmaster Charles Shane and named for the Kentucky statesman John C. Breckinridge, elected vice president under James Buchanan in 1856. Several stores and a Grange were located in Breckinridge. In 1867 a tornado caused considerable damage in the town. In 1873 the Houston and Texas Central Railway built nearby and established Richardson a few miles north of Breckinridge. Most Breckinridge businesses, including the post office and the Grange store, moved to the new town. Until June 1874 the post office retained the name Breckinridge. The Grange kept the name for several more years.
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
July 22, 2020 06:29AM
Thanks, MC. I note the spelling difference now, and I also note that I misspelled "Stephens, County" as "Stevens, County." The HOT article doesn't mention it, but do you know if there are any surviving remnants in usage of the name "Breckinridge" in that part of Dallas County? Maybe a street name, a park, or a school?

Dave McNeely
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
July 22, 2020 06:54AM
Ben S. Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ted,
>
> Your map shows Preston Road with a dramatic curve
> in it through what is now modern day University
> Park and Preston Hollow. Given that Preston Road
> basically follows the land grant boundaries up to
> what is modern Davenport/Preston what map or route
> are you basing that curve on?


Ben -

The best evidence of the early routing of the Dallas and Preston Road (and many other pioneer trails) is the 1852 Hedgcoxe Map of the Peters Colony Surveys. The trail was influenced by the terrain, and in this case the divide between two tributaries of the Trinity River, as most surveys had not been patented by that date and even the Peters Colony was unable to locate them accurately. This passage is from the patent for the 640 acre John Scurlock Survey which comprises the heart of University Park:

"The land claimed by the aforesaid colonist cannot be herein designated because of there being no map or field notes of this colony in possession of this commissioner. Therefore the said Scurlock is entitled to have his land surveyed by the County or District Surveyor conditioned that the claim shall not be transferred." Thomas William Ward, Commissioner of the General Land Office, April 1, 1850.

The patent further notes that the survey "was correct on the map of Dallas County April 17, 1855 and the patent issued on April 24, 1855.

Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
July 22, 2020 07:05AM
old man from dallas Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks, MC. I note the spelling difference now,
> and I also note that I misspelled "Stephens,
> County" as "Stevens, County." The HOT article
> doesn't mention it, but do you know if there are
> any surviving remnants in usage of the name
> "Breckinridge" in that part of Dallas County?
> Maybe a street name, a park, or a school?


The subject comes up frequently on the Pioneers of Dallas FACEBOOK page. Are you still a holdout?

This from D Magazine re Breckinridge Park in Richardson.

Where the Grass is Greener
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
July 22, 2020 04:21PM
Thanks MC. Well, I don't FB, and have no intention of doing so. I tried it for a short time because people kept telling me that it was necessary to keep up with family, friends, old acquaintances, and interests. I kept up with all those before the internet, still do mostly without it, and certainly without FB. Further, FB seems to exploit its users for commercial and more significantly political reasons that I disapprove of. It's cooperating with a foreign entity to interfere with our political process was just beyond reason. The richest person in the world can get along without my help.

Dave McNeely
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
July 24, 2020 01:31PM
MC,

Thanks for the map link. It looks like the curve might be to avoid a branch or two of what is now referred to as Bachman Creek. I think we have spoken before regarding the topographic high used for early Preston Road to avoid certain stream crossings and the dreaded blackland clay that would have mired travel during rainy spells.
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
July 24, 2020 04:11PM
Even the modern Preston Road through Collin County, despite being arrow straight, runs along the divide heights to a major extent, especially S of U.S. Hwy 380. Avoiding stream crossings not only kept older roads from obstructions, but modern ones are less expensive that way. The streams in that area trend mostly N to S.

Dave McNeely
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
July 29, 2020 10:27AM
Ben --

This is based on a trail shown in the 1852 Hedgcoxe map shown in M C Toyer's post on July 22 above. Given that the Military Road from Preston/Coffee's station was established in 1840, would there have been any land-grant boundaries in the Dallas area at that time? The Texian Land and Emigration Co. (Peters Colony) was not established until a year later (August 1841 as I recall).

In response to a couple of other posts, I very seriously doubt that the original route of Cooke's Military Road into Dallas would have followed the straight north-south route that Preston Road now follows in Dallas county. The trails on the Hedgcoxe map do not seem to follow land-grant boundaries which he does show on that map.

/ted
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
July 29, 2020 10:30AM
DallasCop2566 -- I'll look into Fruitdale! I'm generally using 1850 as my cut-off date for early Dallas and this map, so if Fruitdale was settled much later than 1850 I might not include it. /ted
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
July 30, 2020 09:49AM
TedACampbell Wrote:

>
> In response to a couple of other posts, I very
> seriously doubt that the original route of Cooke's
> Military Road into Dallas would have followed the
> straight north-south route that Preston Road now
> follows in Dallas county. The trails on the
> Hedgcoxe map do not seem to follow land-grant
> boundaries which he does show on that map.
>
> /ted

Ted, I did not mean to infer that the Military Road would have been along the NS line of the modern Preston Road, but merely was agreeing with the importance of roads, whether old, and necessarily meandering to follow the line of least impediment, or modern, avoiding bottom lands and crossings for ease of travel and cost savings in construction. Hwy 289 in my post was simply meant as an example of the latter.

Dave McNeely
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
August 12, 2020 06:25PM
great map is it available on line?
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
August 13, 2020 08:24AM
here is a direct link to the Peters Colony map just click on the image and zoom in for greater details

Map of The Surveyed Part of Peters Colony Texas
[s3.glo.texas.gov]
Re: Constructing Dallas Map ca 1850
August 13, 2020 08:26AM
here is a link to the Peters Colony map, just click on the image and zoom in for greater detail

[s3.glo.texas.gov]
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