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?
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
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.
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.