Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wikipedia Has Me Confused About Dallas

A few days ago in a blog post I mentioned Spencer Jack's Dad's Dallas Grave Visit.

Regarding Spencer Jack's dad's Dallas grave visit that post said....

Whilst Jason did his touring he text messaged a time or two to his Favorite Uncle D. That would be me. One of those messages said, in part....

Not only did I see Benjamin Franklin's grave today, I saw Dallas's grave. Are you aware of who the city of Dallas is named after?

Well, I guess I have always assumed Dallas was named after a guy whose last  name was Dallas. But, I Googled "Dallas" to see if I could find who this Dallas person was. Soon I found myself reading the Wikipedia article about Dallas. The Wikipedia article made no mention of who or what Dallas is named after.

Well, Spencer Jack's dad must have read the above and then emailed me with....

FUD -- That big city in Texas, named Dallas, was named after George M. Dallas.   Or so said my Philadelphia Big Bus tour guide, who majored in history in the early 1970s.

I had previously never heard of the man.   Apparently he was our 11th vice-president.


So, I Googled George M. Dallas. Info from the Wikipedia article about Mr. Dallas is what Google adds to the search results for illustrative blurb purposes to the right of the search results, the screen cap of which you see above.

The first paragraph of the George M. Dallas article says "The City of Dallas, Texas, is named after him because Dallas created the first local trading post which was the first known settlement in what is today the Dallas, Texas."

During the course of the Wikipedia article, as the life of George Dallas is detailed from birth on, his education, what he did when Dallas got out of school, there is no mention made of how he came to be in Texas, or when this was, or how long Dallas was in Dallas.

The article details the political career of Dallas, going from being mayor of Philadelphia to a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania to James Knox Polk's Vice-President.

But nothing about what Dallas did in Dallas, other than that one mention of creating that first local trading post. The article makes no mention of Dallas being any sort of  merchant, let along a trading post opener founding the first known settlement at the location named after him.

I wonder if many Texans or Dallasites know why Dallas is named Dallas? I recollect being shocked, shocked I tell you, when the native born Texan known as Gar the Texan verbalized being surprised to learn Fort Worth had actually been a fort at one time. Gar the Texan learned this when reading the signage at one of Fort Worth's currently boarded up eyesores, Heritage Park, to which we had biked, back before that spot celebrating Fort Worth's heritage degraded into being a boarded up eyesore.

Leaving Fort Worth and going back to the founding of Dallas, the Wikipedia article about Dallas, the city, says...

John Neely Bryan established a permanent settlement near the Trinity River named Dallas in 1841.

What? 1841? That is four years  before George Dallas became Vice-President, eight years after he ceased being a Senator. I think the John Neely Bryan log cabin is something I have seen in downtown Dallas, near the JFK memorial.

Why isn't Dallas named Bryan?

Anyway, I think both myself and Wikipedia are confused about Dallas....


Anonymous said...

I have recently learned that one of your FNJ's will be Dallas inbound tomorrow morning. I suppose you can task him with solving the Dallas's namesake mystery.

Durango said...

Anonymous, which of the three FNJ's is in Dallas tomorrow morning? Why have I not been informed of the impending inboundment? Since the only airport in Dallas which lands big planes is Love Field, I assume this is where the FNJ is landing, not at D/FW International, which is not in Dallas, but is sort of in Fort Worth at its south end.

Anonymous said...

All I know is that you should bring a sammich with you when traveling to Dallas from Cowtown. That was Amon Carter's routine and one followed to this day by noted Forters like Dud Kennedy. If it aint in Fort Worth you flat don't need it!

Oh, the days dwindle down
To a precious few
September, November

Anonymous said...

Durango, the FNJ will be staying in the Addison area, and he is wondering if this is in a dry county, and if so, how does one obtain beer? Also, I have been informed that he has packed his cowboy hat in hopes of fitting in with ya all.

Anonymous said...

Update: FNJ is indeed traveling to DFW, not Love field. He has now been cleared by TSA Agents in Seattle. He attempted to fly by his alias name and was told that was not allowed. Apparently they have a policy of not allowing baby Kangaroos on their DFW outbound aircraft.