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Amateur archeologist Alex Troup has some advice for those who would bring life back to downtown Dallas: The answers are under your feet.

Howard was 61 years old when she died, and she went out with a bang. At her funeral, five six-passenger cars escorted Howard to her grave. In those days, at the dawn of the automobile age, hiring funeral cars was a big to-do, Troup says.

If he had the money, Troup says, he'd start a new investigation into Howard's sole survivor, Lena Howard, who unsuccessfully tried to claim the rights to her mother's estate. If he were lucky, he might be able to find a living relative. But Troup says he's broke and at the end of the trail.

He will, however, keep looking for more evidence to bolster his butt rock theory. To Troup, the butt rocks aren't just a fantastic notion about late-19th-century American toiletries: They are a symbol of the city's primitive roots, the physical incarnation of Dallas' soul--it's can do spirit.

Amateur archeologist Alex Troup believes Dallasites once used these rocks as toilet paper. He has other thoughts on Dallas history just as likely to rub some the wrong way.
Mark Graham
Amateur archeologist Alex Troup believes Dallasites once used these rocks as toilet paper. He has other thoughts on Dallas history just as likely to rub some the wrong way.
Want to know what a vibrant downtown Dallas looks like? This turn-of-the-19th-century street scene gives you a clue.
Want to know what a vibrant downtown Dallas looks like? This turn-of-the-19th-century street scene gives you a clue.

"The butt rock," Troup explains, "is a symbol of how you came up from the earth. You try to do something more than just sit there and say, "I've got crap all over my ass.'"

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