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To the south and west of this spot lie Douglass Park and McGar Park respectively, the former halfway between here and the river, the latter across North Main near the railroad tracks. In the first two decades of the 20th century there were two places in Fort Worth where AfricanAmericans could go for good, wholesome entertainment: Douglass Park and McGar Park. At a time when Jim Crow segregation barred black citizens from most venues, these two sites were a refuge from the twin evils of slums and saloons. Douglass Park honored Frederick Douglass, the first African-American to achieve national stature in this country. For nearly fifty years he was a spokesman for his race, confidante of presidents, and universal symbol of courage. At his death in 1895 he was honored by blacks and whites alike. It was only natural after his passing that his name be attached to streets, parks and other landmarks where blacks had a significant presence. His image, too, became a wellknown cultural icon. Thus, in Fort Worth’s first “Colored Business Directory” his picture appears prominently. And in public gathering places favored by Negroes, his picture could be found on the wall beside those of Abraham Lincoln and Booker T. Washington.1 The same year as Douglass’ death, Fort Worth got its first park for African Americans. The city’s population at the time was about 35,000, of whom only about 2,100 were black, so city fathers’ commitment to that mere 6% of the community was lukewarm at best.2 In fact, they did not actually create Douglass Park; that initiative came from Thomas Mason, an AfricanAmerican who had lived in the city since at least 1883. In 1895 the thirty-three-year-old, Tennessee-born Mason was an up-and-coming entrepreneur who refused to be held back by
2 either color or modest means. Already he was running the city’s only first-class black hotel and had saved every cent he could from years of working as a waiter and janitor. He invested his money in real estate, buying up marginal properties both on his own and in partnership with others. He was also active in the Republican party as part of the “black-and-tan” alliance. His wheeling and dealing coupled with his political connections made him a “player” in Fort Worth financial circles. His name appears on numerous property deeds in the dozen years before 1895, and by 1905 he was a “real estate dealer” with his own office and an extensive portfolio of Fort Worth properties.3 On April 17, 1895 he and two other men purchased a piece of property in the Trinity River bottoms just north of the bluffs. He closed the deal with Thomas Worthington for $90 -$25 in cash, the remaining $65 to be paid out at 10% interest per annum. Co-signers of the note were J.D. Johnson and A. Sumlin who were silent partners in all future decisions regarding the property. At the time, the city’s blacks had no public park, and it was probably Mason who named it after the legendary Douglass. It was also Mason who oversaw its transformation from undeveloped river bottom into what the newspapers would dub a “Negro resort.” The Douglass Park name was never official, but it caught on with long-term usage; to many Fort Worthers it was simply the “North Side Park” or the “Negro Park.” The note was finally paid off in 1906, by which time the property had not appreciated significantly, but its true value was not as a piece of real estate.4 The city’s contribution was to appoint a “special officer” to provide security and serve as liaison with the Fort Worth police, but it was Mason and his partners, not the city, who took the initiative in getting it done. They approached the city council requesting the appointment of
3 Negro Ed Loving as special officer at the park. The job was just for the summer season and would cost the city nothing -- as was standard in such arrangements his salary would be paid entirely by his employers – plus his authority was limited to the park and people of his own race. The request went to the Police Committee which approved the request, and the full council signed off on it. It was an arrangement that would be continued in the years to come.5 City fathers were happy to oblige since in the heyday of “Jim Crow,” Fort Worth Police had no desire to patrol the area, and even if they had, the city could not afford the expense of hiring an additional officer in the midst of the financial crisis known as “the Panic of 1895.” Shunned by both the park board and the police department, Douglass Park would remain an orphan property for most of its existence. The land was part of the 320-acre Mitchell Baugh survey that spanned the river and included the bluff top. The park was north and west of the river channel on bottom land that was prone to flooding in the best of times. It was bordered on the west by the Adolph Gouhenant survey, and just to the north was Morris or Panther Park where for years the Fort Worth Cats baseball team played. (See Abstract No. 4, attached). As parks go, it was relatively small -- about 5¾ acres of thick, black soil covered with scrub oak and dense undergrowth. It lacked any of the usual amenities of public parks. There were no pathways, playing fields, or even a pavilion on the site, and the city contributed no money to construct such things. And while later city parks (Trinity and Forest) would be located on more scenic stretches of the river or else include a small lake (Como, Glenwood, and Handley parks), the patrons of Douglass Park would have to make do with the most polluted section of the Trinity River flowing past it. In fact, the only reason the property was turned over to blacks in the first place was because it was considered unhealthy.
4 The Dallas Morning News described the area this way: “The bottom of the Trinity, separating the North Side from the larger territory of the city, is studded with the [huts and hovels] of the . . . flotsam and jetsam of society.” Having a city park exclusively for blacks was in keeping with the segregationist mind-set of the day. The Germans of Fort Worth, for instance, had their own playgrounds -- Hermann and Grunewald parks. City parks were not necessarily public places. Since Douglass was a private park, city fathers took no responsibility for making improvements or even keeping up the park. 6 Once the undergrowth and decades of accumulated trash were cleared away and grass was planted, the area began to take on the appearance of a genuine park. One stand of trees was dubbed Van Zandt Grove after, ironically, a white founding father of the city. The trunks of the trees were painted white to protect against infestation and add a little class, and a speaking platform was built beneath the leafy branches. The park was wired for electric lights, and wells were dug to provide fresh water. By 1901, Mason had also added a pavilion and fenced off a substantial area around it, charging admission for major events.7 Unfortunately, there was no way to eliminate the swarming insects or oppressive humidity during the summer months, but blacks considered such annoyances a small price to pay for having their own park. When big events were held, everyone dressed to the nines, the men in suits and ties, the women in long dresses. That was another way they showed their pride in their park. The first big event at the new park was the 1895 celebration of “Emancipation Day” that took place just two months after Tom Mason and partners purchased it, suggesting that may have been what he had in mind all along. The fact that he also owned a hotel (the Hotel de Mason) which would benefit from putting up out-of-town visitors did not hurt either. The annual
5 “Emancipation Day” celebration, also known as “Juneteenth,” was always on June 19, the 30th anniversary of the date 250,000 African Americans in Texas had been officially freed from slavery in 1865.8 The annual commemoration of that date began the following year, and in the decades that followed it grew into a cherished tradition in black communities across the state. 1895 was the first time Fort Worth blacks had their own park to put on a first-class celebration of Juneteenth. Six hundred African Americans, old and young, filled Douglass Park, many coming from nearby towns. Organized activities went from morning to night including a big barbecue dinner, a parade, speeches, and sporting contests. Music was provided by a brass band drawn from local talent. White officials nervously watched the proceedings from afar, but did not interfere. The next day, the local newspaper pronounced the affair, “orderly and well conducted.”9 If it had not gone so smoothly the authorities would certainly have shut it down. Instead, Juneteenth 1895 was the beginning of a local tradition. In the years to come, the city’s leading newspapers always assigned a reporter to cover the event. The only negative that first year was that black leaders were forced to solicit donations from the white community to pull it off. There was not sufficient time after Tom Mason purchased the property to hold a major fund raiser. By the next year, however, and every year thereafter, the black community raised the money for the event. For the next two and a half decades, “Juneteenth” would be the biggest event held at Douglass Park every year. Starting in 1896 it was expanded to a two-day affair. Organizers descended on the park starting at 8:00 AM the first day to set up. A parade through downtown started at 10:00 AM following a route from the Texas & Pacific station up Main St. to the bluff then cutting over to Rusk to cross the Trinity before ending up at the Park. Organizers talked the
6 railroads that served Fort Worth into offering special low excursion rates to bring in people from all over the state, and hundreds took advantage of the fares. Black dignitaries from other cities were invited to address the gathering. Most celebrants came just for one day because overnight accommodations in the city for Negroes were limited to the Hotel de Mason and a handful of boarding houses. Helping to allay lingering fears that it would turn into a black bacchanalia, white dignitaries were invited to participate as guests of honor. Fort Worth Mayor B.B. Paddock opened the festivities on the first day. After all the speeches, the real fun started. Picnic tables groaned under mountains of food. The packing plants provided the beef for barbecuing, while hundreds of housewives in the black community prepared the side dishes. When it came time to eat, it was all free. To work off the huge meal, competitive activities included bicycle, sack, and pony races, baseball, croquet, and even target shooting. The day was capped off with a fireworks show starting at 9:00 PM, and the Rosen Heights streetcar line ran until 1:00 AM to help get everybody home. All that was just the first day! The second day was more of the same.10 It is impossible to get an accurate count on the numbers who came every year. Nobody ever bothered to do an official count, but estimates always placed the numbers in the thousands. In 1914, it was estimated that 7,000 were present on just the first day. Most of the city’s white citizens had never seen that many blacks together in one place at the same time. As the annual celebrations became bigger and more elaborate, special committees had to be created to handle all the myriad details. There was never a shortage of eager volunteers to take care of such things as cleaning the grounds, hanging decorations, mailing out invitations, and coming up with prizes and awards for the winners of the various sporting and musical contests. A big dance and barbecue dinner were the highlights of the program. One other thing in addition to the dance and
7 the barbecue dinner remained constant year in and year out: a guest of honor read Lincoln’s Emancipation aloud on the first day.11 While whites could also use Douglass Park --- indeed, they could not be denied entrance --- the black community considered it their playground, not a gift with strings from the city council. It was the social center of the black community. Heretofore, they had had only the vice districts known as the Acre and Little Africa to congregate in after work. Now they had a place where decent folks could go and socialize. The city’s black churches were the biggest users of the park, specifically Mount Gilead Baptist Church, the American Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. One or more of their preachers spoke at every big event, their choirs performed, and the church ladies prepared food. But the churches were not the only black organizations to evince a proprietary interest in Douglass Park. The Prince Hall Masons built their lodge on park property. The churches and the Masons brought respectability to an area formerly claimed by drunks and criminals. Until 1907 liquor was not even allowed on the grounds by city ordinance because it was outside the designated “saloon limits” of the city. Despite the orderly and well-mannered nature of the event year in and year out, whites would still grumble in advance that the celebrants would “fail to report for work the next day.” Still, they never interfered with the celebration.12 It was after nightfall when the family types had gone home that Douglass Park became a dangerous place. That was when the toughs and the homeless came out. Trouble did not have a color as both blacks and whites cruised the park without fear of the regular police bothering them. In fact the park was not patrolled at all except during the summer season and then only by the special officer whose principal job was providing security for major events like Juneteenth.
8 As long as Douglass Park existed, Fort Worth kept a black special officer on the city rolls, first Jeff Daggett, later Henry Davis. Late nights was when the special officer really earned his pay, and his job was only made harder by the severe limitations on his authority. He could not expect backup from the regular police, and he could not detain or even question whites who came into the park. That was a lesson that Special Officer Jeff Daggett learned the hard way in the summer of 1909. He made the mistake of trying to arrest a pair of suspicious-acting white men in the park and was severely beaten for his temerity even though he had showed them his badge. When two white policemen arrived on the scene, instead of assisting Daggett, they gave him another beating and took him off to jail. His crime was having the effrontery to question two white men. Daggett resigned in disgust to be replaced by Henry Davis, who did the thankless job for several years without incident because he understood how the game was played. During his tenure, Davis was grandiosely known as the “guardian of the peace” at the park. He also happened to be the only black law enforcement officer in the entire city, a fact that did not make his job any easier.13 Over the years, surprisingly little violence was reported in Douglass Park, but we must remember that the newspapers did not pay much attention to it except on “Juneteenth.” The rest of the year it might have been a foreign country for all the mainstream press cared. At the 1904 festivities, one woman cut another with a knife and fled, and in 1914 there was a reported shooting, but when police investigated, the victim turned out to be a horse. Year in and year out, police gave the celebration a “clean bill of health.” The Juneteenth celebrants did such a good job policing themselves that Fort Worth’s Finest were never called to the scene in force. Instead, a succession of “special (i.e., Negro) officers” handled the job of maintaining law and order for
9 more than two decades while the white cops stayed away. It was an arrangement that seemed to work to everyone’s satisfaction. 14 For thirteen years Tom Mason was the owner of Douglass Park, but he was more than that, too; he was the patron and benefactor of the black community even as his personal fortunes rose and fell. In 1907 he was a day laborer living in a boarding house with his wife and trying to build an investment portfolio. The following year he was making enough money from his various interests to give up the day laborer’s job. He then started a catering business to provide another stream of revenue from the park. In 1911 he applied for and received a license to sell liquor at the park. Charging gate admissions and selling liquor went a long way toward making Douglass Park a money-making enterprise. By 1912 Mason’s fortunes had improved so dramatically that he became president of the new Fraternal Bank and Trust, an institution that served the city’s black population. His elevation to that exalted position was at least partly in recognition of what he had accomplished with Douglass Park, turning it into productive property. It was Tom Mason who had the funds and political clout to keep Douglass Park open in the face of white apathy even hostility. Eventually his actions shamed Fort Worth fathers into creating playgrounds specifically for blacks who were otherwise denied access to whites-only parks. 15 Mason took his self-appointed benefactor’s role seriously. Although he was the owner of record after buying out his partners early on, he never tried to sell off the property just to make a buck. Instead he treated it as if it belonged to the black community collectively, and he was just the steward. He let them use it without charge for the annual Juneteenth celebration and for Prince Hall Masonic gatherings. He made his money off the concessions, and even then he always gave back a portion, for instance donating hundreds of pounds of barbecue prepared in
10 his own kitchen for the annual Juneteenth bash, a generous gift that recalled his love of the restaurant and catering business.16 Even a philanthropist, however, does not pass up an opportunity to get a return on his investment. In 1914 he sold the Magnolia Petroleum Company an easement to run pipeline across a section of the property that brought him $25. Four years later, the city made him an offer he could not refuse. The park board was desirous of purchasing the remaining five acres to create a publicly owned and operated “recreational place” for African Americans who by law could not use Trinity, Forest, or Sycamore parks. They offered him $6,000 plus interest (a total of $6,500) paid out over six years, and he accepted. On February 1, 1918 the city commission “ratified” the purchase and established a “sinking fund” to pay off the note. To complete the transaction, the city sold the “concession” back to him to operate the park, creating a nice synergy with the Fraternal Amusement Company that he had formed two years earlier. Now with the bank, the amusement company, and his Douglass Park concession, he had finally achieved the financial security he had been chasing after for so many years. His days as mere proprietor of Douglass Park were a thing of the past.17 For the next couple of years this is the arrangement the park operated under. During that time neither the city nor Mason invested any money to maintain or even improve the modest facilities on the site. When other Negro parks were opened by the city, Douglass lost its monopoly as the only Negro park. First came Tyler’s Park, also in the river bottom but farther west of the bluff and Douglass Park. However, Tyler’s Park was never officially designated as a black park, and in 1909 the park board decided to develop it as a public playground for whites. In 1917 the park board negotiated to buy a twenty-acre site on the east side of town to turn into the city’s premier “Negro park.” Negotiations broke down over the price, but the city remained
11 committed to having a nice public park for blacks. They began negotiating with Tom Mason to purchase Douglass Park. It is unlikely if there would have been such a commitment if not for the long and successful run of Douglass Park as the only black park property in the city.18 After having purchased the park, however, the park board found that it had bitten off more than it could chew. Neither the city nor Tom Mason, it seemed, wanted to pay the costs of maintenance and security. The park board’s budget was even more strapped than usual, and Mason no longer wanted the responsibility of operating it in any way, shape, or form. Rather than wait until 1924 when the city’s note would be paid off, he sold the note to Sam Levy. Soon thereafter, Levy foreclosed when the city fell behind in its payments. When the resulting civil suit got to court, the park department agreed to pay off the note and repurchase the property at sheriff’s auction on the courthouse steps. City fathers justified their reacquisition of the property on the grounds that “Negroes were not taking advantage of” it any longer and it could be redeveloped. They also claimed to have made $500 profit in all the wheeling and dealing, not bothering to explain how they arrived at that figure.19 In 1922, George C. Clarke, superintendent of the parks board, took a renewed interest in the property, which had fallen into disrepair in being passed from Mason to Levy to the City. He grandly announced that the city was going to upgrade Douglass Park to a “high-class athletic park” with ball fields, picnic area, and public restrooms just like Trinity and Sycamore parks. Unfortunately, Clarke’s ambitions were bigger than his budget, and Douglass Park was never redeveloped. On the contrary it fell into worse shape, an eyesore in the shadow of Paddock Viaduct. In 1924 it was still listed as a “city park,” but that was the last year it was so listed. The next year it was sold to Texas Electric Service Company for a token amount, all in the name of
12 progress. The utility built electric transformers and power lines on the land, thus ending its twenty-nine-year existence as a park for Fort Worth African Americans.20 Besides its importance as Fort Worth’s first dedicated African-American park, Douglass Park has another significance in the city’s history: it led directly to the creation of McGar’s Park, the only place in the city where Negro baseball teams could play on a properly laid out and marked field. McGar Park (or McGar’s Field as it was also known) was created because of the popularity of baseball at Douglass Park, particularly during the annual Juneteenth festivities. The baseball played at Douglass Park was friendly, pick-up games on improvised fields until after the turn of the century. Then local teams began inviting Negro teams from other towns, such as Denison and Houston, to come play them. When the crowds outgrew Douglass Park, the games were moved across North Main one west block to the Texas & Pacific ballpark, located between W. North 5th and 6th streets. The T&P ballpark sat on railroad right of way, which posed its own set of problems. Nonetheless, Negro baseball flourished on the site for nearly two decades. Sometime between 1907 and 1909 the T&P ballpark was upgraded and underwent a name change to McGar’s Field, after Hiram McGar, a local black saloon man and political leader who probably funded the upgrades. McGar also sponsored the Fort Worth team, McGar’s Wonders, in the Colored Texas League. The accommodations for fans were not nearly as nice as Panther Park, one block to the north, where the white Fort Worth Cats played, but it was served by two streetcar lines, and McGar’s Park had “the best infield in town,” according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1913. The quality of the field owed a lot to the fact that white leagues used it also. On days when white teams played, black fans were barred from the park.21
13 Negro league games had a faithful white following in town who attended the games and kept up with the local boys in the newspaper. This was still the Jim Crow era, however. At the games, white fans sat in their own special section of the grandstand; they did not mix with Negro fans.22 There were some exciting times at McGar Park over the years. In the summer of 1912, sparks from a passing train set the outfield grass on fire, but the grandstand was not threatened and the blaze was contained. Two years later, fans at a game, were distracted from the action on the field by a different sort of spectacle --- one black man chasing another beyond the outfield fence firing a pistol at him. No one was injured, and the incident did not scare away the fans. 23 Douglass Park reached its full flowering during World War I. “Colored Texas League” games brought out both black and white fans from April through August. Not just fames but also player transactions were reported in the newspaper. Hiram McGar hired a band to play at the games, and his team, now known as the Black Panthers, was one of the best teams in the league. After the war, with heightened racism and a reborn Ku Klux Klan in Fort Worth, Douglass Park began a steady decline. Its decline paralleled the decline of Douglass Park. The area just north of the river was given over to industrial use, such as the Texas Electric power station, crowding out any other kind of development. The massive flood of 1922, which swept away all habitation along the banks of the Trinity through Fort Worth, finally sealed the fate of the area as a backwater between downtown Fort Worth and the growing North Side. In the years to come, people driving over the Paddock Viaduct could look down on the river bottom and see nothing to remind them that this had once been an African-American playground.24
14 Most of what we know today about McGar Park comes from newspaper reports during baseball season. There are no known pictures of it, nor even descriptions of the place. We are not even sure of the dates of its construction and demise. It simply existed for a few years, then it did not exist! We know a lot more about Douglass Park, but still, most of what we know comes from newspaper reports of the annual Juneteenth celebrations. In county property records, only one deed out of four times it changed ownership over twenty-seven years even refers to it as “Douglass Park;” the others describe it using technical survey terms. It is like Brigadoon, coming into view at regular intervals, only once a year instead of every hundred years like the famous Scottish magical kingdom. During the other 363/64 days of the year, there seemed to be no interest in the park or its patrons in the press, the only exception being on the rare occasion when a serious crime was committed there. Now, after more than eighty years, Douglass Park has emerged from the shadows once more. Sadly, the sites of both Douglass and McGar Parks will soon be covered by the ambitious Town Lake development planned for the Trinity River where it passes by Fort Worth. A canal connecting the West Fork of the Trinity with a proposed “Town Lake” will create an island (see accompanying map) that will contain parts of the two parks while other parts will be under water. In a few years, the sites of both parks plus the original course of the river will be completely obliterated.
15 ENDNOTES (Douglass and McGar Parks)
1 Fort Worth Colored History and Directory, 1906-07, Tarrant County Black History and Genealogical Collection, Series 3, Box 1, Folder 2, Fort Worth Public Library, Central Branch, Local History and Genelogy Dept. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, December 7, 1913.
Census statistics are not available for 1890, but local calculations put the 1890 population at 31,000 divided 90% “white American,” 4% “white foreign-born,” and 6% “colored.” Population growth, which had boomed in the 1880s, slowed down in the 1890s due to an economic downturn in the second half of the decade. Fort Worth Daily Gazette, September 28, 1890.
Thomas Mason’s rise as a Fort Worth businessman can be followed in the Fort Worth city directories, 1886-1922 (microfiche in Fort Worth Public Library, Central Branch, Local History and Genealogy Dept.), in the newspapers, and in county deed records at the courthouse. For his real estate transactions specifically, see Fort Worth StarTelegram, February 4, 1909; May 6, 1913; August 12, 1914; March 18 and October 24, 1916; and January 31, 1917.
Tarrant County Deed Records, Grantees, Vol. 222, p. 392, April 17, 1895, in Deeds Office, Tarrant County Courthouse (available on-line). Fort Worth Telegram, March 7, 1906. Police Committee Report, April 20, 1896, Records of the City of Fort Worth, Mayor and Council Proceedings, Series I, Box 2 of 3, Fort Worth Public Library, Central Branch, Local History and Genealogy Dept. Dallas Morning News, May 20, 1896, p. 7.
6 Abstract 5
No. 4, Control 106, Tract 0 of Mitchell Baugh Survey, Tax Records Office, Tarrant County Administrative Building. For location in river bottom, see Dallas Morning News, June 16, 1907, p. 10; and January 17, 1918, p. 13. For location in terms of Panther Park (aka, Morris Park), see Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 5, 1922. For real estate history of the property, see Tarrant County Deed Records, Grantor Index, Vol. 23, April 24, 1876-December 31, 1937, and Grantee Index, ibid., Deeds Office, Tarrant County Courthouse. For acreage, see Dallas Morning News, January 17, 1918, p. 13. For “flotsam and jetsam,” see ibid., December 13, 1911, p. 4.
Fort Worth Register, June 20, 1901, p. 8.
That is the date at the end of the Civil War when Union General Gordon Granger announced from a hotel balcony in Galveston that all slaves in the state were free, something which had existed de jure since Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation two and a half years earlier.
Dallas Morning News, June 20, 1895, p. 5.
Dallas Morning News, June 20, 1896, p. 7; June 19, 1907, p. 7; June 20, 1899, p. 8. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, June 20, 1914.
Dallas Morning News, June 9 and 20, 1896, pp. 5 and 7; June 20, 1897, p. 4; and June 19, 1907, p. 7. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, June 19 and 20, 1914, p. 2.
Dallas Morning News, June 20, 1899, p. 8; June 16, 1907, p. 10; and June 19, 1915, p. 13. For Masonic connection, see ibid., August 24, 1907, p. 7; and July 12, 1912, p. 8.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 6, 1909, p. 16; June 20, 1914; and September 14, 1915. Police Commissioner George Mulkey, to city commission, July 15, 1909, Records of the City of Fort Worth, Mayor and Council Proceedings, Series I, Box 4 of 4, Fort Worth Public Library, Central Branch, Local History and Genealogy Dept
Dallas Morning News, June 21, 1904; and June 20, 1914, p. 2.
Twelfth United States Census (1900), Series T623, Microfilm Roll No. 1671, p. 87. Thirteenth United States Census (1910), Series T624, Microfilm Roll No. 1590, p. 22. Texas State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Records, Death Certificate No. 30598 for Tom Mason, on microfilm in Fort Worth Public Library, Central Branch, Local History and Genealogy Dept. Ad for Fraternal Bank and Trust Co. of Texas in Fort Worth StarTelegram, October 2, 1918. For liquor license, see ibid., July 8, 1911, p. 5.
16 Fort Worth Star-Telegram, June 20, 1914. For an overview of Mason’s years in food service, see Fort Worth City Directories, 1886-1920, ibid.
Tarrant County Deed Records, Grantors (Tom and L.C. Mason to Park Board of the City of Fort Worth), Vol. 580, p. 152, February 11, 1918, in Deed Records Office, Tarrant County Courthouse (also available on-line). Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 16, 1914; February 2, 1918; and April 16, 1918. For Fraternal Amusement Company, see Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 22, 1916.
Dallas Morning News, June 20, 1899, p.8. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 27, 1917.
Tarrant County Deed Records, Grantors (Roy L. Sprinkle, et al to Park Board of the City of Fort Worth), Vol. 422, p. 542, May 6,1922, in Deed Records Office, Tarrant County Courthouse (also available on-line). Fort Worth StarTelegram, May 5, 1922.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 5, 1922. The park listings in the 1924 Fort Worth City Directory, ibid., for the first and only time, gives a street address for Douglass Park -- 224 N. Commerce.
Hiram McGar research by Max Hill, vertical files of Fort Worth Public Library, Central Branch, Local History and Genealogy Dept. See also Dallas Morning News, June 20, 1901, p. 7. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 21, 1907; April 25, 1909; August 4, 1910; April 2, 1913; and April 23, 1916.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, April 25 and August 12, 1909; and May 6, 1916. Dallas Morning News, July 25, 1912. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 6, 1914.
Hiram McGar research by Max Hill, vertical files of Fort Worth Public Library, Central Branch, Local History and Genealogy Dept. See also Fort Worth Star-Telegram, April 23 and May 6, 1916.