Here’s a little of what readers of the Star-Telegram read on Christmas Eve a century ago:
Fort Worth employers, including the Stockyards, played Santa for workers with Christmas bonuses. Wesley Capers Stripling gave each of his two hundred-plus employees a ten-dollar gold piece. Ten dollars would be $220 today. That means that Stripling handed out more than $44,000 in today’s dollars. Ho ho ho!
But it was not “the most wonderful time of the year” for National Guard troops who were stationed on the U.S.-Mexican border. They were there as part of the Pancho Villa Expedition, the U.S. Army’s operation against the forces of Mexican revolutionary Francisco “Pancho” Villa during the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920.
Golden Rod Milling Company recommended its molasses feed as a Christmas gift for the cow or horse who has everything. The mill was located on East 9th Street east of the King Candy Company. (If humans receive gifts from Santa Claus, do cows receive gifts from Santa Gertrudis?)
The Star-Telegram’s Goodfellow Fund began in 1912 and surely is the newspaper’s oldest tradition.
George Haltom had been in his new store in the Fort Worth Club building only a few months.
Like George Haltom, W. C. Stripling had moved to Fort Worth from Bowie.
Tom and James Peters came to Fort Worth from Waco and were shining and dying shoes, blocking hats, and pressing and cleaning suits on Houston Street by 1914.
A. P. Mitchell began selling cars in Fort Worth in 1910—the White steam-powered car and the E-M-F and Flanders gasoline cars. By 1916 he was selling Chandlers and Hupmobiles.
The orphanage’s address was listed in the city directory as “College Hill Stop 5 Dallas Interurban” because of the orphanage’s proximity to Texas Woman’s College and Stop 5 on the interurban line along Lancaster Avenue.
Note that Burk Burnett gave the orphanage a Columbia Grafonola phonograph. (Photo from Wikipedia.)
By riding the interurban, Fort Worth residents could spend Christmas in Cleburne or, by making connections in Dallas, in several other north Texas cities.
In Europe the war marked its third Christmas.
If you delete the date 1916 from this editorial, it seems as timely today as it did a century ago. The editorial notes of the United States that “we are not at war.”
But by the next Christmas the United States would indeed be fighting in that war over there.
And speaking of “Over There,” yes, at the Majestic Theater the “Cohan” in “A Cohan & Harris Cast and Production” was George M.
The Byers Theater had been built in 1908 to present live entertainment. In 1919 it was converted to a movie theater and became the Palace Theater, the first of the triplets on 7th Street’s Show Row.
In those days before Burnett Park and Sundance Square, the municipal Christmas tree was placed on the lawn of the Carnegie Public Library. Fort Worth Power and Light placed searchlights at the nearby central fire station and city hall to spotlight the tree.
Have a holly, jolly fiftieth Christmas: And finally, looking as if they had just been told that there’s no more eggnog, Mr. and Mrs. George Archer Glen of Scurry County prepared to celebrate their fiftieth Christmas as husband and wife.