Donate

Please consider supporting our efforts to preserve Garland's history by donating here:

Amount:
 USD
hillwilkinson.jpg

Public squares are uncommon in cities not designated as county seats and adorned by court houses. Indeed, Garland's downtown area was never laid out with a square in mind. When the city was incorporated in 1891, the present square consisted of lots and business houses. But that concept changed after the fire of 1899, which subtracted most of the wooden structures built in and around that central block. Only a few buildings, including those standing today on the outside northwest and southeast corners of the square, survived the flames.

Viewing the conflagration as an opportunity to redesign the downtown core, public spirited citizens assembled a collection to purchase newly vacated lots in the central block and donate them to the city for use as a public square. News reports of the day credit John T. Jones, a farmer, investor and later organizing president of the National Bank of Garland, with spearheading the fundraising. This deed evidences the granting transaction.

DEED TO CITY SQUARE

OF GARLAND, TEXAS

JANUARY 24, 1900

Mrs. S. J. Murphree et al } The State of Texas

To: Deed } County of Dallas

J. A. Martin Mayor } Whereas a great public necessity exist that a public square be laid out and maintained in the town of Garland Dallas County Texas embracing lots no. four (4) no five (5) and no six (6) in block no two (2) as shown on the map of the place of the town of Embree made by Thos King Engineer and on record in the records of deeds of Dallas County Texas in records of deeds etc of Dallas County Texas and whereas the citizens of said town of Garland in consideration of the premises have donated the means to pay the purchase price for said property. Now therefore known all men by these presents that we S. J. Murphree and M. D. Williams in consideration of the sum of fifteen hundred dollars paid to said S. J. Murphree and one dollar paid to said M.D. Williams to us paid by the citizens of the town of Garland Texas the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged have granted sold and released and by these presents do grant, bargain, sell and release unto J. A. Martin Mayor of the said town of Garland and to his successors all office as from time to time may be elected according to law all the right title interest and estate we have in and to the property above mentioned together with all and singular the rights members hereditaments to the same belonging or in any wise incident or appertaining to have and to hold all and singular the said premises above mentioned unto said J. A. Martin Mayor aforesaid trustee of the citizens aforesaid his successors in office. In trust that said premises shall be used, kept and maintained as a public square for the convenience of the public granting to the citizens aforesaid and to their successors and to the town council of said town and their successors all the rights, uses and privileges thereto granted by law to the citizens of a commonweal over public highways under and pursuant to the laws of the state of Texas and we do hereby bind ourselves our heirs executors and administrators to warrant and forever defend all and singular the said premises unto the said J.A. Martin trustee aforesaid and his successors against every person whomsoever lawfully claiming or to claim the same or any part thereof through by or any under us.

Witness my hand this 24th day of January 1900

M. D. Williams

S. J. Murphree

J. P. Murphree

The State of Texas

County of Dallas } Before me T. J. Swim a Notary Public in aforesaid county and state on this day personally appeared M. D. Williams known to me to be the person whose name is subscribed to the foregoing instrument and acknowledged to me that he had executed the same for the purposes and consideration therein expressed. Given under my hand and seal of office this

24 day of January A.D.1900.

T. J. Swim, Notary Public

Dallas County Texas

The State of Texas

County of Dallas } Before me T. J. Swim a Notary Public in and of the county of Dallas and in the state of Texas on this day personally appeared S. J. Murphree wife of J. P. Murphree known to me to be the person whose name is subscribed to the foregoing instrument and having been examined by me privily and apart from her husband and having the said instrument fully explained to her she the said S. J. Murphree acknowledged the same to be her act and deed and declared that she had willingly signed the same for the purposes and consideration therein expressed and that she did not wish to retract.

Given under my hand and official seal this 25 day of January A.D.1900

LS.

T. J. Swim Notary Public

Dallas County Texas

The State of Texas

County of Hamilton } Before me E. Brooks a Notary Public in aforesaid county and state on this day personally appeared J. P. Murphree known to me to be the person whose name is subscribed to the foregoing instrument and acknowledged to me that he executed the same for the purposes and consideration therein expressed. Given under my hand and seal of office this 9th day of Feby 1900.

L.S.

E. Brooks Notary Public Hamilton

County Texas

Filed for record this 13th day of March 1900 at 5:30 oclock PM

A S Jackson County Clerk

By H. M. Skelton Dy

Recorded April 3 1900

A S Jackson County Clerk

By H. M Elliston Dy