Souvenir Dallas Police Department...Benefit Police Relief Association. Texas, T. P. Finnegan.
Souvenir Dallas Police Department...Benefit Police Relief Association
Souvenir Dallas Police Department...Benefit Police Relief Association
Souvenir Dallas Police Department...Benefit Police Relief Association
Souvenir Dallas Police Department...Benefit Police Relief Association

Souvenir Dallas Police Department...Benefit Police Relief Association

[Dallas: A. Zeese, Engraving Co., 1910]. 81pp. Profusely illustrated. Oblong quarto. Original brown pebbled cloth over beveled boards, gilt titles stamped on front cover. Ownership signature on title page belonging to Dallas Police Department police officer & later detective, Samuel Miller Duncan (1869-1942). Moderate scuffing to spine ends and corners, minor soiling to boards. Light stains to a few leaves, otherwise internally clean. Very good. Item #2703

First edition of this surprisingly scarce and substantial illustrated fundraiser souvenir for the Police Relief Fund of the Dallas, Texas police department during the Progressive Era. Relief associations grew rapidly at the end of the 19th and into the 20th Centuries for police departments, fire departments, and other municipal organizations to fund welfare and medical benefits for family members, death benefits, and even offering partial pensions for retiring to aid recruitment by fast growing urban centers. This souvenir album features a portrait of the Mayor and city commissioners, plus numerous photographs of the Dallas Police Department, starting with the police chief and his staff, and also the police force (individual portraits and group shots), the mounted police, the "Jail Crew," patrol wagon, and city ambulance. Of additional interest are the "Motor Cycle Cops" riding Indian motorcycles, and picturing T.R. McSwain, S.R. Dean, B.G. Ford, and A.W. Schultz as motorcycle officers. The other photographs feature court officials, park commissioners, and police reporters. The text includes an eight-page "Historical Sketch" of the department and biographical passages on the city's officials.

The Dallas Police Department was first established in 1881, an outgrowth of the Dallas City Marshall's office, after the city moved to appoint a police chief in 1881 heading up just fifteen officers. By 1910, the Dallas Police Department was composed of ninety-six personnel, including the first woman appointed to the rank of police captain in the United States, Captain Evangaline Cureton Farley (1870-1943). Captain Farley, a native of Mississippi, was first hired by the Dallas Police Department on February 22, 1896. According to the biographical sketch of her in the book, she "served as matron...investigated and handled hundreds of cases of women and children. She has been the means of securing homes for numerous abandoned children, led many a young girl back to the paths of virtue who had started down the primrose path of dalliance and investigated and seen that numerous abandoned women were provided with the necessities of life." Her biography also recounts an incident in which she saved two African-American children from an abusive foster mother living "in a negro settlement in North Dallas." Also interesting is the fact that the book does not list Captain Farley by her own name, but as "Capt J.J. Farley;" she was married to John J. Farley and is here referred to in the context of her husband. Captain Farley is pictured among the four officers assigned to the "Jail Crew."

In addition to the wealth of information on the Dallas Police Department, the book contains scores of advertisements for contemporary Dallas retailers, factories, hoteliers, and more. The legion of advertisers include the Majestic Theatre, Budweiser Brewing, Firestone Tires, Coca-Cola, the Dallas Brewery, Oak Cliff Paper Mills, and the Bluitt Sanitarium which claimed that it was "now fully prepared to furnish colored patients with the accommodations which they so long desired."

The album, though undated, does contain a statement which helps to narrow down its time of publication. The passage mentions the resignation of the Chief of Police as of December 1909, and the need for another one as replacement.

OCLC reports just two copies of this photobook, both residing at SMU.

Price: $1,950.00