Dallas Historical Society Newsletter 
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New Book
State Fair
Photo Archives
AFE Star
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DHS Commissions New Book 
Include your business profile in "BIG B in BIG D - The History of Business in Dallas",  a book commissioned by the Dallas Historical Society. The history will begin in the 1840's, when the railroads first came to Dallas, through today. The book will be a large format, full color,  coffee-table style "history" book, written by David Perryman, former Assistant Dean of Marketing and Communications at SMU's Cox School of Business. The publisher is "A Historical Publishing Network" out of San Antonio, Texas.  
    There will be a section in the book called "Sharing the Heritage"  for Dallas businesses to include their history. The histories will be written by the publisher's professional writers through an interview process.  If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or in including your business history in the publication,  please contact Barbara Lane, Project Manager, at (972) 490-4221 for additional information.
  We'd love to have you aboard to share in this unique opportunity to be part of Dallas History.    

Fair Time! 
Here is a list of what will be going on with DHS during the State Fair of Texas. 
Texas Ranching Exhibit-Hall of State 
Mariachi Exhibit hosted by Mundo Latino -
Hall of State
The History of St. Anne's School- Hall of State
Texas Ranching Cases at Sterling Bank- TBA
Texas Treasure cases at Hockaday School and Frost Bank

tejas gold
If we may be of service to you in the future with discovering our past feel free to contact, visit or join the DHS.
Sincerely, Dallas Historical Society

...to the September issue of the Dallas Historical Society Newsletter. We sincerly hope you enjoy it. If you have missed any of our previous newsletters and would like to browse them, please click here.
Part II 

  Boys from Itasca (Hill County).
 Besides spotted pigs, the 2nd Texas also picked up a small boy named Roy Nokes, age 11. As the story goes, Roy, was a runaway from Nashville, Tennessee. He wandered up to the camp one day and so charmed the Texans that they made him their mascot. A small size uniform was purchased for the lad and he quickly became the most visible man in the outfit. And when orders came for the troops to return to Dallas in late September, Roy came along with them. I can only imagine what became of the spotted pig.
 To keep this story honest, I need to tell of one unpleasant incident. When the regiment was about to leave, the army sent over a paymaster of African descent. The mostly white (there were a few Hispanics) regiment refused to be paid by a "Negro", and threatened to mutiny. Major Beaumont B. Buck, commander of the 2nd Battalion, a highly respected officer, told the troops that this was the way things were done in the army, and any man who did not comply would be dishonorably discharged and not paid. This settled things down, and the boys came home with pay.
 On September 23rd the first of three special trains arrived from Florida. With it came the regiment's equipment and a number of soldiers who needed medical attention. The soldiers were loaded into ambulances and taken to Parkland Hospital where they recovered. For a time the newspapers printed daily medical updates on each soldier and the town seemed genuinely concerned.
 A temporary camp was set up at the end of Elm Street just east of what are now the bus barns for DART. Camp W. L. Cabell, as it was named, was nothing but an empty cow pasture filled with white tents, but for a while it was the place to see and be seen. These were no longer rosy-cheeked boys, but tough, browned-by-the-Florida-sun soldiers. There was more than a little resentment from the town boys who had stayed behind. The ladies of Dallas much preferred the handsome young soldiers. The closest thing I can compare it to, might be final review at College Station. Little Roy Nokes stole everyone's heart, and when one reporter asked what his future plans were he said, "A friend is going to take me back to Memphis just as soon the regiment was mustered out."
 There were rumors in the camp that we might be going to war with Germany in the not to distance future. Germany also had its eye on the Philippines, which was now American territory. "If there's going to be a fight with Germany we don't need to be mustered out." Said some soldiers, "We're just as eager to fight for the country now as we were the day we enlisted. We can stand any hardship if they will just let us fight."
 It quickly became "the thing" for the townsfolk to turn out every afternoon at 5:30 to watch Sergeant Major Tom Connally strut the regiment. This was what they called changing the guard. Tom was said to be the handsomest man in the regiment. Standing 6-foot- 2, in his dark blue uniform, he epitomized the American soldier
 All this military pomp and circumstance was something new in Dallas streets. If you can believe the newspaper reports, a sense of pride settled over Dallas. The employees of Padgitt Brothers headed by their foreman, made up a purse and taking it to the mother of Sergeant Birdsong F. Baldwin, on South Harwood Street said, "Madame, we desire you to get Bird all the good things the stomach of a Texas volunteer can crave, and fill him plumb up, as a slight token of the appreciation felt for him by his fellow employees." 
 After a couple of weeks of welcome-home banquets and parades up Elm Street, the regiment was furloughed until the 1st of November. Some of the troops had not had enough army life so they joined the 23rd U.S. Infantry (regular army) and went to the fighting in the Philippines. There is not much information about what the rest of the regiment did for the next few weeks, but when they returned to Camp Cabell, things had changed. Many of the once happy soldiers were now poor and in rags. Much of the regiment seemed all but destitute.
 Mustering Out Day was on November 9, 1898. It was a cold, blustery day, and many of the men were wrapped only in blankets. Men in worn-out shoes stood shivering in long lines, quietly waiting for their back pay. When the pay wagon finally arrived, it was escorted by Lieut. O. R. Brooks and a detail of men from the Dallas Zouaves, and three cheers went up. Over $129,000 was paid out that day, with each man receiving between fifty and one hundred dollars. There had never been that much money dumped into the Dallas economy at any one time. And the city took full advantage of this windfall. One Dallas department store said it sold three hundred suits that day.
 A reporter for The Dallas Morning News who was at the camp that day said he saw a barefoot boy wrapped only in an old quilt shivering from the cold. His face was red and chapped form the harsh wind. The boy was crying inconsolably. The reporter did not say what the boy's name was, but only that he was the regimental mascot; Roy Nokes? The story goes on to say that as one soldier came out of the paymaster's tent, he looked at the boy then peeled off a couple of greenbacks and handed them to him saying gruffly as if to hide his feelings, "Here kid, take this and go buy some shoes."
 There were a lot of sad scenes around town that day, including men still sick with malaria being helped onto trains for the long ride home. Everywhere men were singing "There's No Place Like Home," and saying good-bye to the best friends they had ever had. I guess to some of us, one hundred years on, it might seem a little hokey, but these men never expected to see their friends again. There is a special bond that grows between men in uniform. If you have never been in the military I can not explain it, and if you have I do not need to.
 And that was that. Colonel Openheimer dismissed the regiment and returned to his plantation in Montague Co. Privte W. G. Schlipake, who had gone to the fighting in the Philippines, was decorated for his bravery in the battle for Manila. Apparently he planted a flag on top of a block house, and almost got himself killed in the process. Sergeant Tom Connally became one of Texas' longest sitting congressmen. In 1928 he defeated Senator Earle B. Mayfield, a Klansman. Connally urged voters to "turn out the bedsheet-and-mask candidate." Major Buck became a famous military man, he went to France in 1916 with the 28th Infantry, where he became a major general and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. I don't know what became of Little Roy Nokes, but it sounds as if he was a tough kid, so I like to think he made it back to Tennessee and became a great man, but there's no way to know.
 As I said at the beginning, this was a very uncolorful regiment, but something about that makes me like them all the more. Think about it, an entire Texas regiment that never intentionally hurt anyone. A Dallas regiment that spent its summer of war in Florida, baby sitting run-away kids and spotted pigs. If I ran things, we would put up a statue at the end of Elm Street of a young Spanish American War soldier, standing at parade rest and looking a little bored.
 Note: After writing the story I received the following information on Roy Nokes: He was apparently 13 years old, rather than 11. By 1910, Roy was living in Tacoma, Washington and was employed as a sign painter, his life-long career. Roy married Sophie Olsen in Coos Co., Oregon. In 1920 we find him and Sophie in Fresno, California, where he died on June 30, 1940. The Nokes had two children - George and Robert.  George was born in 1911 and died at the age of 15. Robert was born in 1923.
-Ed Owens