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
  • 8-1-14 city council meet.jpg City to raise water, sewer rates

    Water rates, sewer rates and trash rates will all go up for Corsicana city residents, according to preliminary budget figures presented to the city council Thursday afternoon.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • City cancels ambulance contract with county

    The City of Corsicana has notified Navarro County officials it is cancelling its agreement with the county to provide EMS ambulance service to areas outside the city limits. According to a letter sent to county officials by Corsicana Mayor Chuck McClanahan, ambulance service to county residents will end on Jan. 31, 2015.

    July 31, 2014

  • 8-1-14 TxDOT.jpg TxDOT work nears completion

    The project to rebuild Seventh Avenue or Highway 31 as it goes through Corsicana is almost over. From an uneven patchwork of paving and pitted concrete, now it’s a smooth ride from Beaton all the way through town.
    It just took an extra year to finish.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-31-14 Fire2.jpg Deputies, fire departments have busy weekend

    An attempt to bootleg electricity off a pole using jumper cables is believed to have caused a building fire that took out a former restaurant in Angus Friday morning, one of a series of calls to Navarro County Sheriff’s Office to the southern end of the county over the weekend.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-31-14 Rice ISD Alex Stough mug.jpg Rice students win UIL scholarships

    Three Rice High School students received UIL scholarships for competing in academic competitions at the state level, according to advisor Alan Lewis.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • 7-31-14 Collin Main signal.jpg Signal finally fixed

    It took a couple of months to get the parts, but the signal light at Main and Collin streets in downtown Corsicana is finally up and working again.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • A more vigorous US economy appears to be emerging

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy has rebounded with vigor from a grim start to 2014 and should show renewed strength into next year.

    July 30, 2014

  • Poll: Americans cool to border-crossing children

    SAN DIEGO — Americans are wary of granting refugee status to children crossing the U.S. border to flee strife-torn countries in Central America, and most in an Associated Press-GfK poll say the U.S. does not have a moral obligation to accept asylum seekers generally.

    July 30, 2014

  • 7-30-14 4-H robotics.jpg Science made simple

    Hats out of old newspaper and leftover wrapping paper, simple robots out of popsicle sticks, rubber bands and pencil erasers, a microcosm of the aquifer made of root beer and ice cream — with a dollop of chocolate syrup. These were among the fun science projects at Tuesday’s 4-H Discovery Days event at the Navarro County Youth Expo.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • County: No increase in city subsidies

    As budget talks continue at the Navarro County Courthouse, one consensus that’s been reached will impact budget planning at the Corsicana Government Center.

    July 29, 2014