Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to another episode of Cowtown Quiz. Listen carefully, contestants. The category for today’s quiz is . . . houses. How-zes. Ready? Pictured below are seven houses, each labeled by its occupant (or name) and address. The question is: What do these houses have in common (besides the fact that each is at least ninety-three years old)?
1. William Monnig house (1905) on Leuda Street.
2. John B. Laneri house (1904) on Jennings Avenue.
3. George C. Clarke house (1920) on Chase Court.
4. Samuel S. Dillow house (1912) on Rosedale Street.
7. W. C. Stripling house (1913) at 1500 Alta Drive in River Crest.
Any guesses, contestants? . . . Congratulations! You answered correctly if you said: Each house was the home of someone for whom a Fort Worth school or street is named.
From the top:
1. Monnig Middle School (1952) was named by department store founder and civic leader William Monnig (1867-1947).
3. George C. Clarke (1871-1935), a South Side developer, was a school board member in 1913-1916 and was vice president of the board in 1914 when the new elementary school on South Henderson was named for him.
Clarke also was city parks superintendent. In 1923 he brought Queen Tut the elephant to the zoo. She awed and entertained thousands until her death in 1964 at age forty-four.
George Carson Clarke.
In the early 1900s Clarke and/or the Shaw brothers developed the Shaw Clarke and Shaw Heights additions on the South Side. Star-Telegram clip is from June 19, 1907.
The Shaw brothers owned a dairy (“largest in the South”) on today’s South Side, located “1 mile s St. Joseph’s infirmary.” The Academy of Our Lady of Victory would be built on Shaw property in 1910. OLV is bounded on the north by Shaw Street. Shaw Street also forms the northern perimeter of George C. Clarke Elementary School.
An 1895 map shows the Shaw brothers dairy south of town. But the Shaw brothers had competition: The map shows six other dairies.
See the “A. S. Bidison” house south of the Shaw dairy? That’s where today’s Biddison Street is, parallel to the Belt connector rail line. See “fish pond” below “A. S. Bidison”? That pond would become Silver Lake, one of Cowtown’s lost lakes. (Map from Pete Charlton’s “1000+ Lost Antique Maps of Texas & the Southwest on DVD-ROM.”)
By 1912 the dairies of the South Side were disappearing as Clarke was developing five additions on the South Side. Bell(e)vue Hill was in Fairmount. The ad mentions the Baptist seminary, which had relocated to Fort Worth from Waco in 1910 (in large part due to the efforts of J. Frank Norris of First Baptist Church).
4. Samuel S. Dillow (1865-1931) built the first grocery store in the town of Polytechnic and was a trustee of the Polytechnic school board before Poly was annexed by Fort Worth in 1922. The elementary school (1937) is named for him. Page is from the 1921 Poly High School yearbook.
(The Dillow house burned in 2013 but is included here for historical purposes.)
5. Hulen Street was named for Major General John Augustus Hulen (1871-1957), who commanded the Army’s 36th Division (organized in 1917 at Camp Bowie) after World War I. The house at 1221 Elizabeth Boulevard was built for oilman T. B. Hoffer. But from 1935 until 1941 that was where the old soldier bivouacked.
John Augustus Hulen and wife Frances. (And if you are ever asked this on another game show, John Hulen served under two Generals MacArthur: father Arthur and son Douglas.)
County deed card for 1221 Elizabeth Boulevard.
6. Bryce Avenue in Arlington Heights, on which the 1893 house Fairview is located, is named for William Bryce (1861-1944), a general contractor and mayor of Fort Worth 1927-1933.
Ad is from the 1885 city directory.
7. W. C. Stripling Middle School (1927, Clarkson) is named for the department store founder and civic leader (1859-1934).
To help you get your bearings, next door to the W. C. Stripling house (see yellow S on aerial photo below), on Crestline Road is what we in Texas might call, well, “the spread” of Mercedes Bass: