The summer heat sizzles in Dallas with temperatures that regularly exceed 100°. As the season drones on the heat drains your energy and feels as though it is baking through to your brain. By August tempers flare and it seems that summer will never end. Back in 1959 there would have not been a Central Air-conditioning system in the apartment rented by Marie Hunter and her husband James Robert Hunter at 1812 St. Louis Street.
This was the backdrop for the events of August 2nd, 1959 when Marie was murdered in her residence by a man she had been drinking with throughout the hot afternoon. It was a Sunday and she was unemployed, so had nowhere to be. The Sunday School room which overlooked the back side of her property had already emptied and the temperature quickly climbed to sweltering 97° by late afternoon. This is far from the hottest day of the year, but after three months of temperatures over 90° it might as well have crossed into the triple digits. Hot and irritated they had gotten into a drunken fight and he stabbed her in the abdomen with a curved foot-long butcher knife, which cut her Celiac Artery in half and she bled to death as massive amounts of blood poured into her abdomen. The Celiac Artery provides oxygenated blood to the Liver and Spleen. She was already dead by the time the police officer V. C. Campbell arrived on the scene, but she was officially pronounced Dead on Arrival at Parkland Hospital at 6:15. By this point, he had already been booked for her murder. She was subsequently buried in the Dallas City Cemetery which serves as her final resting place.
The Dallas Morning News listed her name as Marine Heranda Hunter and says that the assailant readily confessed to the murder and even waited around as the police were flagged down by neighbors. He was taken into custody and charged with Murder. There is no mention in the newspaper article of where the husband was during this altercation or who the man she had been drinking with all afternoon. The Death Certificate is mostly empty, but James did serve as the witness. Sadly, he didn’t seem to know much about her when completing the death certificate.
Perplexed by this story and wanting answers to these questions I turned to the Police Report. After exchanging several messages, I received a 6-page document which gave far more detail about the altercation. The story lays out as follows:
Deloris Blanton a young girl of only 16 was the first to see the commotion. She lived next door to the Hunters at 1816 St. Louis with her father, H. L. Blanton. She saw them on the back porch as Marie held a small knife to the man’s neck and pull down on it. She ran to her father and exclaimed, “Father, that woman just cut that man’s throat!”
H. L. Blanton then flagged down officer Vernon C. Campbell, Jr #1229, who was passing by on his motorcycle, and told him that he saw four other men go upstairs to that Apt. but that he had not seen any of them leave. R. L. had also called the police and at this time squad car #52 arrived, which was being worked by officers R. J. Cook #1352 and J. B. Chapman #1221.
Entering the apartment, they found Marie lying on bed with a red half-slip and a blouse. Marie was partially covered by a sheet and the suspect was sitting on another bed in the same room. The weapon was lying on the kitchen table, next to a scarf covered in blood. The suspect tells the officers that he wiped handle of knife off with it. There was a bath towel lying on chest of drawers with that he tried to stop bleeding with.
The officers arrested him for Murder and called an ambulance to transport Marie to Parkland Hospital where she was pronounced Dead on Arrival. The suspect was finally identified as James Robert Hunter and mentions that he is her Common Law Husband. How that detail escaped the person writing the news article is unknown. What happened next is also unclear. James never appears in the newspaper again and does not seem to have a death certificate. The police report lists several alias names for Marie, but none of them provided sufficient evidence to know where she came from or when she was born.
Without additional information, the story of their lives ends here. But the area in which they lived has its own story that continues to present day. With Dallas’ rapid growth this neighborhood, like many others, has transformed into something almost completely new. Marie lived next door to a Church and Sunday School, The Jewish Community Center was around the corner as was City Park. At some point City Park was cut down in size from its original shape which went almost to Marie’s back Door. It forms what today is known officially as Dallas Heritage Village, but most residents will recall it as Old City Park.
The resizing allowed for the creation of the I-30 “Canyon” through the south side of Downtown Dallas, but cutoff the neighborhoods from each other with places like the Ervington Hotel & Apartments built in 1926 (1202 S. Ervay) being lost forever and The Ambassador Hotel & Apartments (1312 S. Ervay) which still stands near the now booming South Side area founded on the bones of the old Sears Building on Lamar St.
Today the I-30 Canyon is on the move again and it once again being redeveloped to meet the ever-expanding city population. It has often been referred to by locals as the Spaghetti Bowl and this plan aims to finally straighten those noodles out. St. Louis is visible on this map just above the crossover for Ervay Street.
This renaissance is adjacent to Old city Park which has been turned from a sleepy corner of forgotten Dallas, back into a beautiful addition to our cities history.
1812 St. Louis was spared from becoming part off the Freeway’s service road, only to be demolished to make way for warehouses attached to the Modern-Day Farmer’s Market. It’s address isn’t well known but provides a vital link to the residents of the city.
For the newest members of our group welcome! We seek to define the earliest origins of all Babbs and are using DNA testing to help prove what the paper trail has not.
The “DNA Waiting Game” is a chance for the world of Babb to collectively hold our breath and await the long process of waiting for the DNA test results to come in. Normally I wait until I have the DNA test on order to make these announcements, but I am just too excited and won’t be able to sleep until I can share the news. I have recently made contact with a large number of Babbs from Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and Costa Rico. They were all brought to me by this woman with the most angelic face, by the name of Darkie Babb.
Don’t look for her or her family in the existing books because I’ve never had the opportunity to trade family trees with someone from this area of the world. So, I had nothing to go on other than the DNA results themselves, which don’t do you much good without a supporting family tree.
Long ago, a gentleman contacted me to join the Babb Surname Group who lived in the Island of Barbados. He didn’t match to anyone in our tree and his Y-DNA roots dated back to Africa instead of England as most in our tree do. As with most of our early DNA results I didn’t know how to interpret the data and it not being what I was looking for I didn’t follow up. I’ve always regretted that and once I realized that I was slowly building a repository of all the Babb lines on the planet I tried to reach out. But I’ve never been able to restore contact and think he may have passed away.
Like a ray of light, Darkie entered and brought me a number of connections that are great candidates. I’m working with them now to understand how the various people are connected to decide which of them to conduct a test on and help prove the connections.
This is the first promising lead for what looks to be a non-English line in the world of Babb and I’m so excited I could spit! #howvivid.
Please join me in thanking Darkie for coming into our lives to help solve this longstanding mystery!
I’ll post again when I have a suitable candidate who has explained their Babb lineage and also agreed to take the DNA test. Just in case you are wondering, we can only use Males who still bear the Babb surname on these tests. The Y-Chromosome is what is tested, which is passed along from father to son and dates back thousands of years. There are other types of tests available, but only this test will tell us how the surname connects into distant times.
I have recently met with a member of Staffordshire Pedigree 01, whose family tree extends back to the hamlet of Gratwich in Staffordshire, England. He has agreed to conduct a DNA test to help us track where this line belongs in the Master Tree! For those playing the home game, Staffordshire is home to 8 different Pedigrees which all trace back to nearby communities and appear to be direct relation to each other. The 861 people who descend of these 8 pedigrees have never, to my knowledge, been DNA tested and this represents the single largest untested community of Babbs in England (and really the world). They also account for 1/3 of the untested population of Babbs, with another 1/3 in Devon and the remainder spread around England. So whatever happens the world of Babb will never be the same again!
The DNA waiting game is full of hurry up and wait periods and the entire process will take about 2 months to complete and render a result.
If you have been through previous seasons of The DNA Waiting Game you will recall that it can yield unexpected results at times. Will this finally be the missing link that connects one of the three US lineages of Babbs back to England? Will it simply connect to one of the other 5 established lines or will it establish a 9th lineage? At this point, only time will tell and I am giddy at the prospect of finally sorting this out.
So, I’m very anxious to see the results of this test. Fingers crossed we get a match!
Stonecypher Family Cabin Dedication
The Stonecypher Family will be dedicating their families cabin on August 18th 10am at the Davey Crockett Birthplace Homestead. Their land was used to form the Park.
For many this name will be familiar. Annie Stonecypher married Seth Babb, Jr in 1820 and they lived in the Seth Babb Homestead you have heard so much about. They are closely related to the Babbs of Greene County, TN
The Sons of the American Revolution’s Mountain men will be doing the musket firing at the celebration.
If you would like to learn more contact Rick Stonecypher.
Jesse McCray was a druggist in Dallas who lived at the Hotel Plaza at the end of his life. It was located on Commerce and Jefferson Streets (Now South Record Street) Caddy Corner to the Old Red Courthouse. The area has been
radically altered since then and the Dallas County Court now stands at this location facing the John F. Kennedy Memorial and John Neely Bryan’s cabin in Founder’s Square. Record Street was closed to create the Dallas County Court Building. The only remaining landmarks are Union Station and Old Red along with the familiar layout of Dealey Plaza the site of President Kennedy’s assassination.
William Aaron Miller owned a Pool Hall. The exact name and location of which is unknown. Both he and Jesse were born at the dawn of the 20th Century. They likely never met or even crossed paths, until after their deaths, but their lives both took similar turns that proved to be fatal and they would meet in their afterlife.
Jesse started life on July 1, 1900 born to Robert & Mattie (Scott) McCray. After an initial failure at Marriage he seemed to be back on track with his new life and wife. Yet, by the end he wasn’t residing with his wife. He died at Woodlawn Hospital. But his death certificate claims his usual residence as the Plaza Hotel [Should be Hotel Plaza]. The reasons for this aren’t clear and bring up a number of questions that the documents simply cannot answer.
William came into this world a mere 458 days after Jesse. William seems to have left no clear paper trail of his existence. His death certificate is one of the only documents available to tell us about his life. It lists 2407 Cole Drive as his address, but the address does not seem to exist. He is apparently married to Hazel Miller, who completed the information on the Death Certificate. But Hazel was unable to produce the names of his parents at the time of death, so we have little info to corroborate the information.
Their different paths end here with the number one Infectious disease of all time.
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that generally affects the lungs. The classic symptoms of active TB are a chronic cough with blood-containing sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. The historical term “consumption” came about due to the weight loss. Hollywood has taught us well that the mere image of someone coughing up blood is a sure sign that they will be dead in the next few minutes of screen time. In reality, it took anywhere from 1-5 years to run its course.
On 1 Dec 1934, Jesse contracted Pulmonary Tuberculosis. He was subsequently hospitalized at Woodlawn Hospital where on 13 July he underwent surgery to remove his Appendix. He apparently was already too weak to sustain himself and 2 weeks after this surgery he passed from this earth on 27 July 1935. Being a druggist, he was likely used to dispensing drug to render aid to the ill. But there were no drugs available to stem this terrible disease that had proceeded unchecked for millennia. Jesse’s attending Physician at the time of his death was a man by the name of Dr. Roy Goggans.
In 1938, William also contracted Pulmonary Tuberculosis. Four years later he gave his final breath under the same watchful eye of Dr. Goggans. He was taken to the same ward and hospital and perhaps slept in the same bed once occupied by Jesse.
Dr. Goggans served as Woodlawn’s director for many years and was a tireless advocate for the cause, regularly engaging the public with discussions about the needs of the hospital and patients. In addition to treating TB patients, Woodlawn’s mission was to care for all Infectious Diseases, while Parkland treated everything else but infectious diseases. At the time of Jesse & William’s convalescence the facility was located on Maple street approximately 3 miles from the Dallas City Limit of the day (exact address is unknown to me).
Dr. Goggans served as Woodlawn’s director for many years and was a tireless advocate for the cause, regularly engaging the public with discussions about the needs of the hospital and patients. In addition to treating TB patients, Woodlawn’s mission was to care for all Infectious Diseases, while Parkland treated everything else but infectious diseases. At the time of Jesse & William’s convalescence the facility was located on Maple street approximately 3 miles from the Dallas City Limit of the day (exact address unknown to me).
Parkland Hospital relocated to a new facility in 1954 at 5201 Harry Hines Boulevard and turned over the “Old” Parkland building located at Maple & Oak Lawn to Woodlawn. Known to most Dallas residents as the “Old” Parkland, the main building was constructed in 1913 would now become Woodlawn Tubercular Hospital for the next 30 years, finally closing in 1974. It would
then become a prison before lying vacant for decades with masses of broken windows and Asbestos. The building was finally rescued by Crow Holdings, who remade it into their new Headquarters. They did a spectacular job of restoring the building and have made the once vacant intersection into a thriving area of commerce.
Woodlawn quickly outgrew this space as well and was a step-child to the main hospital of Parkland and was chronically underfunded, understaffed and in disrepair. One news article claims that they were turning patients away because they lacked enough sheets to change the beds once a week. Part of the issue seems to have related to the way the hospital was funded being split by the City and the County. Often one side would have money but the other didn’t and this derailed more than its fair share of plans.
Of all the attempts that were made to improve the conditions, nothing seems to have kept for very long. News articles abound about the miserable conditions throughout its lifetime.
Although Tuberculosis (TB) existed for centuries, The bacillus causing tuberculosis, M. tuberculosis, was only identified and described on 24 March 1882 by Robert Koch. He received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1905 for this discovery. However, Koch overlooked the threat that Bovine Tuberculosis played and spent many a year discrediting those that thought otherwise. The article to the left is one such example where he attempts to discredit the program to destroy cattle with Bovine Tuberculosis.
Medical Science still had a number of new discoveries to make before they could contain this awful disease and several of them related to something right inside your refrigerator that came to your front door, often on a daily basis.
Milk is an excellent medium for microbial growth, and when it is stored at ambient temperature bacteria and other pathogens soon proliferate. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says improperly handled raw milk is responsible for nearly three times more hospitalizations than any other food-borne disease source, making it one of the world’s most dangerous food products. Koch’s belief that Bovine Tuberculosis was unrelated to the human strain kept scientists off track in coming to a clear understands . He had not realized that humans were contracting TB from infected cows.
In 1892, chemist Earnest Lederle experimentally inoculated milk from tuberculosis-diseased cows into Guinea pigs, which caused them to develop the disease. In 1910, Lederle, then in the role of Commissioner of Health, introduced mandatory pasteurization of milk in New York city.
Another piece of the puzzle was solved through Pasteurization, which is a process that treats liquids with mild heat (<100 °C) to eliminate pathogens and extend shelf-life. The process is intended to reduce spoilage organisms and eliminate vegetative bacteria but not bacterial spores. This process was named after the French scientist Louis Pasteur, whose research in the 1880s demonstrated that thermal processing would inactivate unwanted microorganisms in wine. Spoilage enzymes are also inactivated during pasteurization. It was many years later before this process became common in Milk. Koch insisted that Pasteurization was a waste of time.
Diseases prevented by pasteurization can include Tuberculosis, Brucellosis, Diphtheria, Scarlet Fever, and Q-Fever; it also kills the harmful bacteria Salmonella, Listeria, Yersinia, Campylobacter, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli O157:H7 (aka E. coli), among others.
Prior to industrialization, dairy cows were kept in urban areas to limit the time between milk production and consumption hence the risk of disease transmission via raw milk was reduced. As urban densities increased, and supply chains lengthened to the distance from country to city, raw milk (often days old) became recognized as a source of disease. But because tuberculosis has a long incubation period in humans, it was difficult to link unpasteurized milk consumption as the cause to the effect of disease.
Tuberculosis caused widespread public concern in the 19th and early 20th centuries as the disease became common among the urban poor. At its peak the disease accounted for 1 in 4 deaths and even after TB was determined to be contagious, in the 1880s, it was put on a notifiable disease list in Britain; campaigns were started to stop people from spitting in public places, and the infected poor were “encouraged” to enter sanatoria that resembled prisons (the sanatoria for the middle and upper classes offered excellent care and constant medical attention). Whatever the benefits of the “fresh air” and labor in the sanatoria, even under the best conditions, 50% of those who entered died within five years (c. 1916).
Improvements in sanitation, vaccination, and other public health measures began reducing mortality rates, but not in time for Jesse and William. Then In 1946, the development of the antibiotic streptomycin made effective treatment and cure of TB a reality. Prior to the introduction of this medication, the only treatment was surgical intervention, including the “pneumothorax technique”, which involved collapsing an infected lung to “rest” it and allow tuberculous lesions to heal.
These measures drastically cut into the number of new cases and eventually the disease was brought under control. The cure came too late for William & Jesse, but it did finally come. Their stories are representative of scores of graves across the Dallas Pauper’s Cemetery.
It is easy in today’s modern world to think that TB has been eradicated from this earth, but presently, one-third of the world’s population is thought to be infected with TB. New infections occur in about 1% of the population each year. In 2016, there were more than 10 million cases of active TB which resulted in 1.3 million deaths. This makes it the number one cause of death from an infectious disease. More than 95% of deaths occurred in developing countries, and more than 50% in India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the Philippines. About 80% of people in many Asian and African countries test positive while 5–10% of people in the United States population test positive by the tuberculin test. Tuberculosis has been present in humans since ancient times.
Developed countries adopted milk pasteurization to prevent such disease and loss of life, and as a result milk is now widely considered one of the safest foods. Various states in the US began enacting mandatory dairy pasteurization laws with the first in 1947, and in 1973 the U.S. Federal Government required pasteurization of milk used in any interstate commerce.
However, hopes of a complete elimination of TB ended in the 1980s with the rise of drug-resistant strains and the AIDS epidemic.
A wide variety of Dallas Morning News Articles:
1919 New Woodlawn Tubercular Hospital to be built by City and County1931 Plaza Hotel1901 Article where Dr. Koch dismisses Bovine Tuberculosis fears1917-12-171917-12-151917-12-051931 Plaza Hotel-Picture1925 Description of Hospitals available in Dallas, which includes address of Woodlawn1913 Woodlawn Inspection1917 New Ward opened to the Negroes1913 Woodlawn to Open1920 Woodlawn Almost Completed1928 Plight of Woodlawn Hospital1956 Roy GoggansPlaza Hotel location (Commerce & Jefferson caddy corner to courthouse)1959 Progress on TB Fight, hospital remodeled1957 Improvements announced at Woodlawn1941 Woodlawn and Hutchins condition1948 Need to separate Woodlawn from Parkland1947 Streptmycin Fund1942 TB Threat1948 Parkland admits TB child1948 TB Hospital to open1943 Woodlawn1941 Woodlawn1918 Negroes appeal for separate hospital1947 Woodlawn Picnic1947-Aug 18 TB and Woodlawn1947-Dec Woodlawn1942 Article on need for replacement needed for Woodlawn Hospital-Article1932 Article showing heavy decrease in Bovine TB-Article1932 Ad for Pastuerized Ice Cream
Old Red Courthouse: By Leaflet – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30613971
JFK Memorial: By Carol M. Highsmith – Library of CongressCatalog: http://lccn.loc.gov/2015631025Image download: https://cdn.loc.gov/master/pnp/highsm/30700/30789a.tifOriginal url: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.30789, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51292288
John Neely Bryan’s Cabin: By Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46698138
Union Station: By kla4067 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/84263554@N00/375031162/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7480491
Dealey Plaza: By Brodie319 – w:en:Image:Dealey_Plaza_2003.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1284918