Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

April 12, 2008

Stringer - How did Dallas get its name?

The origin of the names of some Texas cities is rather easy to determine. For example, Houston honors Texas war hero Sam Houston, while Austin is named for Stephen F. Austin, who brought the first Anglo settlers to Texas in 1823. The naming of Dallas is another matter, however.

The general consensus is that the city was named for George Mifflin Dallas, who was born in Philadelphia in 1872. Dallas had a distinguished career, serving as mayor of Philadelphia, United States Senator from Pennsylvania, and also Attorney General of that state. In 1844 he was elected vice president of the United States. He was placed on the ticket with Democrat James K. Polk of Tennessee. In his campaign, Polk promised to annex Texas into the Union, which occurred in early 1845. Such a move made the Democratic administration quite popular among Texans, accounting for the naming of the new settlement founded by John Neely Bryant.

Some dispute the naming of Dallas in honor of the vice president, however. Evidence indicates that Bryant was calling his new town Dallas as early as 1842, two years before George Dallas’ election as vice president. Challengers maintain that Bryant had not even heard of George Dallas before 1845.

If the town was not named for George Dallas, then who is its namesake? Other possibilities include the vice president’s brother, Commodore Alexander James Dallas, who served a tour of duty in the United States Navy which included an assignment along the Texas Gulf Coast. That experience established a tie with the Lone Star State. Other possibilities include Walter R. Dallas, a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto which secured Texas independence from Mexico in 1836. His brother, James R. Dallas, an early Texas Ranger may also have been the namesake. Still others contend it was named for Joseph Dallas, who arrived in the new settlement from Arkansas in 1843. Since Bryant had come from Arkansas to Texas, it is possible the two may have known each other prior to their Texas connection.

The official Texas Historical Commission marker erected in downtown Dallas in 1936 names Vice President George M. Dallas as the honoree, so that should settle the issue. But obviously, not everyone agrees with that assessment.


Dr. Tommy Stringer is executive director of the Navarro College Foundation.

Text Only
Latest News
  • 7-23-14 pianos main.jpg Public pianos invite players

    Corsicana has always been a musical town, with emphasis on country and western, rock and roll, bluegrass and Gospel, but now the parks and recreation department is moving towards bringing music to the masses in a different way. They’re going to put pianos downtown, on the sidewalks for anyone to play at random.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Navarro County 4-H Club holds event

    Texas A&M AgriLife Extention will hold Summer Exploration Days at the Navarro County Expo on Tuesday, July 29 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

    July 22, 2014

  • New date for IPL Job Fair announced

    Tarrant Regional Water District IPL (integrated pipe line) Project will hold a Job Fair from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 at The Cook Center.

    July 22, 2014

  • Making voting easier

    A new county-wide voting system would let voters cast a ballot at any polling place on election day, eliminating the need to drive to a specific precinct to vote.

    July 22, 2014

  • Aaron Tidwell Tidwell tapped for top Mildred High post

    A baseball coach at heart, about a year ago Aaron Tidwell began to seriously focus on education administration. He just didn’t think an opportunity would present itself so soon. Mildred Independent School District board members approved the 31-year-old Corsicana native as the high school’s new principal Monday night.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • OCIW treasure Mantle worthy: Oil City presented with Texas Treasure Business Award

    Maybe Oil City Iron Works is worth double the treasure. After all, the local icon honored Monday with a state award for employers in business for 50 years has actually been around for 128.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-22-14 meth raid.jpg Five arrested in meth raid

    The Corsicana Police Department executed a raid on an alleged meth house Saturday afternoon, and it was done in about 45 minutes, all but the paperwork.
    “That part is on-going, reports and follow-up,” said Police Chief Randy Bratton on Monday.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Perry orders 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to border

    AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry says he's deploying as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border after growing tied of "lip service" from the federal government.

    July 21, 2014

  • 7-19-14 plane leaving.jpg F-4 jet leaving Navarro College for new Florida home

    It stood for years in front of the Cook Center at Navarro College. Now, like so many “retirees,” it’s Florida bound.
    It took several days to partially dismantle the F-4 Phantom fighter jet enough to travel, but it was done this week.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mildred to consider Tidwell as principal

    The Mildred Independent School District Board of Trustees will consider appointing current baseball coach Aaron Tidwell as the new Mildred High School principal when the group meets in regular session Monday.

    July 20, 2014

AP Video
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball
Twitter Updates