Dallas Police In Search of Relatives of Mrs. J. J. Farley, The Country's Original Police Woman
DPD Captain Eva Farley and the rest of the so-called "Jail Crew" from the department's 1910 history-of
Courtesy the University of North Texas Libraries/Dallas Public Library
She had a first name: Eva. But you'd never know it. The myriad mentions of "the first regularly commissioned woman police officer in the United States," as she was referred to in the January-June 1913 edition of Municipal Works, only refer to her as "Mrs. J.J. Farley." As in:
Dallas has the distinction of having the first regularly commissioned woman police officer in the United States. While preparations were being made for the reception and entertainment of Mrs. Alice Stebbins Wells, a policewoman of Los Angeles, attention was called to the fact that Mrs. J. J. Farley, appointed police matron about seven years ago, has been in actual police service longer than any other woman. Dallas, it is believed, was the first city to realize the importance of the need for a woman police officer, and seeing this need it was but a step until the appointment followed. Captain Farley was installed as police matron of Dallas, with the rank of captain, on Washington's Birthday, seven years ago. Her appointment is the first recorded instance of where any woman was given the rank of police captain.
Here's another nod, from the official proceedings of the National Conference on Charities and Corrections, dated May 1915: "The city has paid tribute to her long and capable service by giving her the title and salary of captain, with a handsome gold badge to prove it." Even the DPD's own history of the department, published in 1910, only refers to her as "Captain J.J. Farley," and says in her bio "she would not give the exact date of her birth."
Reason I mention it: On Friday the DPD will dedicate the Eva Farley Terrace Conference Room, and it'd like some of her relatives to attend. Problem is: While the department believes her family lives in and around North Texas, they've yet to make contact with anyone. Hence the APB put out by the DPD's media relations office:
Mrs. Farley moved from Mississippi to Texas some time around 1870. She married Mr. John or Jack Farley on October 23, 1889 and lived in Denison, Texas with Jack and her son Frank Brown. We believe her maiden name may have been Cureton. Records show that her husband John/Jack passed away sometime between 1900 and 1910. It appears that in 1920 she married John Hubner and may have moved to Los Angles, California. If that record is correct, Mrs. Farley passed away in 1943.
Mrs. Farley was very active and contributed much to the community. We believe that she may have surviving relatives in the North Texas or Grayson County area. If there is anyone who knows of Mrs. Farley or any associates of her family, you are encouraged to contact the Police Media Relations Office at 214-671-4065.
Interestingly, DPD insists she was commissioned on February 22, 1896; Senior Corporal Kevin Janse says that's based on the department's personnel records. But as you can see from the lengthy excerpt taken from the 1910 DPD book on the other side, 100 years ago the department said it was February 22, 1906.
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