Little did I know that when researching the history of retail in Dallas I would come to find oodles of history about all parts of the city. A couple of the nuggets I found explain the history of some of Dallas’ early residential neighborhoods.
One of the earliest suburbs of Dallas was Oak Cliff, first settled around 1837 by William S. Beaty and the Leonard and Coombes families (www.oakcliff.com/history.htm). Then along came William and Mary Hord who relocated from Tennessee and opened a boarding house. Not long thereafter, the area became known as Hord’s Ridge.
The first known permanent residence in Oak Cliff was a cabin built in 1845 by William Hord.
The area began to slowly expand with the completion of the Cleburne and Rio Grande Railway in 1880. Oak Cliff was more formally originated in 1886 when John S. Armstrong and Thomas L. Marsalis shelled out $8,000 to buy a 320-acre farm on the south bank of the Trinity River. The two began dividing the acreage into 20-acre blocks, and, according to the Handbook of Texas Online, “Armstrong and Marsalis began to develop the land into an elite residential area, which by then end of 1887, had proved to be a tremendous success with sales surpassing $60,000.”