Learn Fun Things Browsing The City's Guide To Confederate Names in Dallas

The empty platform on which the Robert E. Lee statue stood.
The empty platform on which the Robert E. Lee statue stood. Jim Schutze
The Task Force on Confederate Monuments has offered its recommendation to change five street names and remove a confederate memorial. During its the three weeks of work and one day of voting, the city task force produced a handy guide to the Civil War connections of various locations in Dallas.

Some are obvious, like Lee Park, which last Friday the task force decreed would be revert to its earlier name, Oak Lawn Park. The name was changed when a Robert E Lee statue arrived in 1936. With the statue gone, the subsequent name change seem clear.  Other times, the associations are not as obvious.

For example, who knew that Lemmon Avenue was named after William H. Lemmon, a Confederate captain? He went on to do the stuff we imagine he did to earn a street name, like serving as deputy sheriff, establishing North Dallas College, chairing the Democratic executive committee of Dallas and the building an iconic home on the corner of Lemmon and Cole streets.

He also owned a real estate firm, which was commissioned to build Oak Lawn Park in 1892. Yep, the same place the statue of Lee stood. Lemmon's son even designed the pedestal the statue stood on. It has not been removed. So that's the kind of fun history you can learn by scanning the who's who of Dallas street names and the city's evaluation of their role in the Confederacy.

The task force recommended changing the names of streets named for generals in the Confederate Army — Lee Parkway, Cabell Drive, Gano Street, Stonewall Street and Beauregard Drive. The task force's recommendations are not binding, and the full council will soon vote. So brush up on the history of the other streets now. It's included below.

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Joe Pappalardo is the former editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Joe Pappalardo

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