How Much Dallas History Is In This 1890 Photo For Sale on eBay? Quite a Bit.

moroneyhousepic.jpg
eBay seller: acuity4u
What you see at left is but a bit of a photo currently up for grabs on eBay at the low, low price (for now) of $39. It was taken in 1890 at the intersection of McKinney and Harwood, and the photo IDs the manse only as "Maroney's House," per the scribble on the back of the photograph.

But the always helpful Rachel Howell, assistant manager of the Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division, went back to the 1890 directory for me and found out to whom the home belonged: one James Moroney, president and manager of Moroney Hardware.

James Moroney? Could he be related to Jim Moroney, publisher and CEO of The Dallas Morning News?

Why, matter of fact: "My great-grandfather owned a hardware store in the West End," Moroney told me this afternoon. And while he isn't 100-percent certain that's his great-grandfather's house, the location most decidedly rings a bell.

backofmoroneypic.jpg
eBay seller: acuity4u
But that isn't all: Among the men pictured you will find at least two familiar names: William A. Boren and Thomas M. Cullum, the namesakes of the once-beloved sporting-good business eventually devoured by Oshman's. Standing with them is one James McNab, with whom Cullum and Boren had a grocery on Ahab Bowen's land on McKinney -- otherwise known as the present-day location of S. & D. Oyster Company. The back of the photo appears to have been signed by Boren himself.

But what other stories does it tell? Hard to say: There are nine men featured, and some are ID'd only by a first initial and a last name -- like "J. Chapman." And I don't think the seller has properly transcribed some of the others (that scribble doesn't look like "Thompson"), while three men aren't ID'd at all on the back of the picture. I'll see if Moroney will loan me the picture after he buys it.

Update: As Friend of Unfair Park PeterK discovered, the picture can be found in the Dallas Historical Society's Dallas Rediscovered. More info in the comments.
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pak152
pak152

well it went down to the last second. outbid by someone else. item went for $141. dang snipers.

pak152
pak152

Well with just over a day left in the auction bidding is heating up. an unknown bidder with no reputation is going after the image. bidding is at $51 as of 3:30 pm ET on 2011-01-17 but I suspect that this image will go into triple figures by the time it is overwill be interesting to see who wins the contest

Tad Banyon
Tad Banyon

According to a late night edit on the ebay posting, "...to those that wish to know where the photo came from. I bought this over twenty years ago in California".

That Guy
That Guy

Hello, I am the person auctioning off the photo on eBay. My ebay alias is acuity4u. I wrote the description, and made the scans. I do not think it is right for the writer of this blog to steal my scans, and not give me credit. In the “ol West” these would be shootin words. Mr Robert Wilonsky I would suggest that you give me full credit for the research for this article . Also Full credit for using my scans. Otherwise your so called Blog is nothing more than a rip off of my research and my auction images.

Sincerelyacuity4u

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Are you seriously complaining about this "acuity4u"? If anything you should be flattered. I've never known Bob to be a rip off artist, this is his blog. Do you understand the premise of blogging? He's driving traffic to your auction, I think you should be saying thank you.

pak152
pak152

I suspect that you will receive a much higher result on your auction as a result of Mr. Wilonsky's highlighting it here on this blog. I've seen other obscure Dallas items highlighted here in the past and the bidding became hot and heavy in the final day. Check out the bidding on the art work of Dallas auction that took place a couple of weeks agoas for stealing your scans? he linked back to your auction which I think you would greatly appreciate. talk about free advertising

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

My apologies -- I've done this dozens of times with photos on eBay, and always, only with the intention of making Dallas residents aware that pieces of our history are being made available for purchase. I'd guessed no one said anything till now for two reasons: 1) I tend to get obsessive about tracking down and adding to the details contained within said offerings and 2) they usually wind up selling for a bunch. I can offer you examples if you'd like.

Here's but the most recent example: http://blogs.dallasobserver.co...

And some eBay offerings tell extraordinary stories: http://blogs.dallasobserver.co...

And some wind up in the hands of family: http://blogs.dallasobserver.co...

And some fit all descriptions: http://blogs.dallasobserver.co...

I find, on my own and with others' thoughtful suggestions, that much of Dallas's past shows up for sale here, and often. I'm overjoyed when I stumble across finds like yours. It's feels ... significant. In fact, many of the eBay sales we highlight wind up in the hands of historians, architects and museums -- so I've been told by those who've bought them. So, my apologies. But I have no intention of ripping off your research, which is why I often ask for the assistance of experts on the historical Dallas. Hence the reason Jim Moroney, publisher of The Dallas Morning News, is aware that you're selling a photo of his great-grandfather's house, which he's interested in seeing. I am sure he's in your debt.

But, perhaps you saw Peter's note at top, and now I too have a question: How did you come by this photo, which did in fact appear in a book called Dallas Rediscovered? Just curious how it made it all the way to Ohio.

Again -- I meant no disrespect, and only wanted to share with the other historic-Dallas obsessives this invaluable snapshot. We do it all the time, and only with the best intentions.

Incidentally, Peter -- a longtime historian, many years spent in Dallas -- chastised me earlier for doubting the transcription. Wrote he: "Having read enough handwritten names (genealogy) I suspect Thompson. Go here and scroll down to where you see a cursive t connected to an h: http://donnayoung.org/penmansh..."

So my apologies for that as well. The photos have also been properly credited.

pak152
pak152

RW as I suspected when i first saw this photo this morning I had seen it before. It appears on page 173 of McDonald's Dallas Rediscovered. the fellows are identified. and it appears in the book courtesy of Mrs. Max Clampittcomparing the photo in the book and the one on ebay it looks like both are suffering from the same tear which may be from the negative. peterk

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Yup. Sure enough. The cutline reads as follows, in full: "Moroney House c. 1890. James Moroney, president of Moroney and Company Hardware, built his home c. 1880 at the northeast corner of McKinney and Harwood streets. At that time, S. McKinney was a fine residential neighborhood, but by World War I, it had become a commercialized, working-class area."

I don't see any further identification of the men in the photo, however.

pak152
pak152

wonder if Mrs. Max Clampitt was related to anyone in the photo? even more interesting is the seller is located in Ohio. have asked how they got hold of the photo

LCDouglas
LCDouglas

Mrs. Max Clampitt (Mary Nell Cullum Clampitt) was the youngest daughter of T.M. Cullum.

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