Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Transcription Tuesday: “They Want These Things”

In an effort to stick to my resolution to do more transcriptions this year, I will try to feature a transcription a week for “Transcription Tuesday” (when I don’t do an Amanuensis Monday a la John Newmark of TransylvaniaDutch in place of Memory Monday).

The following Dallas Morning News article from Christmas 1891– a satirical wish list for Santa on behalf of various Dallas, Texas luminaries of the 1890s – seemed an appropriate place to start since it reminded me a bit of all the letters to Santa posted by GeneaBloggers recently. The targets include my great-great uncle, Sheriff William Henry Lewis. Apparently Sheriff Lewis’ prospects for re-election to a fourth term as sheriff in were not so promising; he did not get re-elected, although he did end up coming in a fairly close second. Sheriff Lewis was in many respects popular sheriff and much admired man, but his popularity suffered somewhat when he prevented a couple of racially tinged lynchings.

I believe the last person on the list, J.E.G. Bower, was the same Bower who was Henry Lewis’ partner in a real estate company in later years. S. B. “Bev” Scott had held several offices in Dallas County: deputy sheriff in the 1870s, tax assessor, and county clerk. Alderman Briggs was known to be a strong advocate for building a crematory. Connor was the mayor of Dallas in the late 1880s and early 1890s, including during the 1893 depression. He faced accusations of misuse of city funds, had problems keeping the city afloat during these lean times, and himself owed the city a large sum in back taxes.

From the Dallas Morning News, 25 Dec 1891


What Old Santa Should Put in Some Men’s Stockings

Sam Klein – Chairmanship of the water commission and Dennis Mahoney’s scalp.

Bev Scott – Well, two or three thousand would do for me.

Chief Arnold – More policemen.

Henry Lewis – A way to get re-elected sheriff.

Joe Stewart – More fees.

Nat Turney – Nomination for county judge.

Tom Nash – Me, too.

J. H. Webster – More vitality to the mayoralty bee.

Barry Miller – A call to run for county attorney.

Harry Trace – Some new sub-alliances.

Mayor Connor – Peace.

Alderman Briggs – I sing a song of a crematory.

The fair committee – A quorum of stockholders.

Ed Gray – A black eye for Cleveland.

Brock Robertson – Smoother sailing for James Stephen Hogg.

Dick Scurry, Sid Reinhart and John Alderhoff (in chorus) – An assurance of less fire now and hereafter.

J. E. G. Bower – A boom for the judgeship of the new court to be established.


  1. Great! I have to admit, when I think of transcription my first thought is of a document, will, letter, I did not think of a newspaper. How wonderful. Neat to see family in print so long ago. Makes you proud that he didn't just stay home and watch.

  2. What a great idea those oldtimers had here. Not always flattering, but very entertaining.

    I like your new Transcription Tuesday idea, too, and will make a point to check it out often. thanks so much.

  3. Pretty Interesting post. I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing us a great information that is actually helpful. Good day!

    Read legal transcription provider