Seevers Avenue Trivia

Following is a collection of newspaper articles, published primarily in the Dallas Morning News over the past 80 years, relating to events, features and stories on Ramsey Avenue. If you have any additional stories or photographs of the time, please drop us a note and we will be happy to include your material.

Den to Be Included in Avery Mays Home (1938)

“A den, finished in knotty pine and containing built-in shelves of the same material, will be built on the south side of Mr. and Mrs. Avery Mays' new home at 1510 Seevers, near Iowa, A.D. Hinman, architect, said Saturday. The den will open off the living room. The cottage will face west and will contain two bedrooms, living room, dining room, and kitchen. One bedroom will be built over the two-car garage at the southeast corner. Small gables, a covered porch, and trim latticework will give the front a typical colonial appearance. The exterior will be of brick veneer and the interior will be of sheetrock and textone. It is due to be completed about Oct. 30.” (©Dallas Morning News, August 28, 1938, Section I, Page 13).

Much Thought Given Colors (1938)

1414 Seevers, 1938

“Attractive interior color schemes will mark the new home being built for Mr. and Mrs. Jack Barr at 1414 Seevers in the Beckley Club Addition, a sketch of which is shown above. The cost will be $10,000. Living and dining rooms will be done in Swedish modern, with the living room in off-white and the dining room in blue and off-white. The kitchen will be white with red and black accents and will have modern enamel steel cabinets. The bed wall of the master bedroom will be mulberry with off-white for the rest of the room. Off-white also will be used in the guest bedroom while the den will be in tobacco brown. Of English design, the house will be of white Austin sawed stone and will be air-conditioned. The main entrance will feature a spider web grill. E.H. Blocker is the architect.” (©Dallas Morning News, December 11, 1938, Section I, Page 14).

Article in Dallas News Brings Together Two Scots of Same Name (1941)

“Through an article in The Dallas Morning News, two Scots, both born in Glasgow and both named Somerville, learned for the first time that they were only a few blocks apart. The News article told of the Rev. John Somerville establishing a Church of the Christian and Missionary Alliance at Madison and West Tenth in Oak Cliff. He was born and reared in Glasgow. A. Neil Somerville, who also was born and reared in Glasgow, lives at 1506 Seevers, but has an office in the Republic National Life Building, only a short distance from the other native of Scotland. A. Neil Somerville came to the United States thirty-two years ago, marrying a Missouri girl. John Somerville came to America twenty years ago and married a Pennsylvania girl.” (©Dallas Morning News, March 20, 1941, Section I, Page 4)

Day-After Shoppers Crowd Stores (1947)

“By Patricia Peck - They call it Boxing Day in England, and the same name applies to the day after Christmas in the United States, but for a different reason. By 9:30 a.m. Friday, the Christmas spirit was ebbing fast, and it was every woman for herself as thousands of the gentler sex battled their way through Dallas department stores. Men and small boys sat quietly. They stared at the ceiling, or guarded purses and packages while their wives, mothers, and friends plowed through dresses, shoes, hats, perfume, scarves, belts, or whatever came to hand. [...] Salespeople thought Friday was worse than the days before Christmas. Some of the customers did, too. But all the furore left 9-year old Eunice Harris of 1602 Seevers quite cold. She sat on a chair in the Neiman-Marcus Sports Shop Friday morning and waited for her mother, Mrs. Teddy Harris, swinging her brown pigtails and reading a book. "I don't have anything to do with all this," she said calmly. "I took my dollar and a half and bought Christmas presents for my family down on Jefferson Street." Then she went back to "The Bobbsey Twins in Mexico"”. (©Dallas Morning News, December 27, 1947, Section II, Page 1)

1523 Seevers in 1950

The Woman's Angle: William P. Parkhouse III's family (1950)

"By Martha Hand, Home Editor of The News - Come with me into the home of a typical Texas family and see what it has done to welcome Santa Claus. The William P. Parkhouse III family of 1523 Seevers has created decorations to make the Parkhouse home sparkle with the anticipation of old St. Nick's visit. Young William Parkhouse, a native of New Orleans, was a flier during World War II. He and his pretty wife, Lois, have two sons, Donnie 2-and-a-half, and Billy 4-and-a-half. The decorations in their neat brick home in the Beckley Club Addition are ingenious. Lois put the decorations up a little early this year so they would be ready when she entertained with a luncheon last Tuesday for Circle No. 14 of the Women's Society of Christian Service of the Tyler Street Methodist Church. A few tricks she used in making the decorations she learned from her mother, Mrs. W.E. Dunlap of Houston. Mrs. Parkhouse designed a snowman and some "merry Christmas" bells for the front door." (Donnie, in front, and Billy peek out the door in 1950) (©Dallas Morning News, December 11, 1950, Section II, Page 1)

Third Place for 'Petunia' (1953)

"The Pet Show 'Queen for a Day' saw Petunia, a bottle-fed Persian cat in a baby buggy, place third. The cat was shown by Pat Aldridge, seven-year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F.M. Aldridge of 1308 Seevers." (©Dallas Morning News, August 16, 1953, Section I, Page 7)

The Woman's Angle: Mrs. Lynn W. Landrum (1955)

“By Ruby Clayton McKee, Society and Club Editor of The News - A wonderful, Christian woman: That is the way members of the Landrum Sunday School Class at First Methodist Church describe their teacher, Mrs. Lynn W. Landrum. Mrs. Landrum will be honored Tuesday when the class celebrates its twenty-eighth anniversary with a party at the home of Mrs. Leslie E. Chick, president, in Richardson. "Our teacher is a woman who shows each of us, and others, love and affection and teaches love in her lessons," said Mrs. Henry J. Landrum, no relation but a long-time friend and past president of the group. The teacher has been a member of the First Methodist Church for 34 years. She began teaching several mothers whose children were in the church nursery. Later the group organized and became the Young Mothers Class. As the years passed and their children grew up, members decided to change the name, so they became the Landrum Class in honor of their leader. Mrs. Landrum's devotion to her work is seen in her record of teaching. She hasn't missed teaching her class more than six Sundays during the 31 years. Preparations for class start a week in advance and each Sunday evening she is at work on the next lesson. The class has 176 active members. Mrs. Landrum can call them all by their first names and knows their families. Showing their affection, three years ago the class had Mrs. J.G. Loving paint a portrait of Mrs. Landrum as a gift on the class' anniversary. The portrait hangs in the classroom today.

Mrs. Lynn W. Landrum, 1955Each Sunday, the teacher reports on sickness, bereavement, and happy events in the lives of members in her class. Her report is astonishing, her students claim, since she makes so many visits, telephone calls and writes so many letters. Last Christmas she mailed 217 Christmas notes to members and women who had to leave the class when they moved from the city. Five letters were written a day until the list was completed. Each woman received a personal note. Mrs. Landrum has a favorite spot for thinking. This is in her garden where she often sits on a bench on a moonlight night relaxing in the beauty of her flowers. Gardening at the Landrum house, 1507 Seevers, is her first hobby. From this garden, she gathers flowers for her Sunday School Class and other friends. The former high school teacher and newspaperwoman is a native of Dallas. A grandfather, Andrew Jackson May, brought his family to Dallas in 1843 from Kentucky. Another grandfather, James Hawkins, laid the right of way for the T&P Railroad across Texas. Mrs. Landrum wrote a series of articles, "We, the Women" for The Dallas News in World War II but previously reported for a Quanah newspaper on which her husband also was employed. Mrs. Landrum has another hobby, woodcarving. Many of her friends have received pieces of her work. At her home, she has wood carved a gate in the garden, picture frames, and a breakfast home suite. About the home, too, are some of the paintings and sculpture done by the Landrum's son, Graham, head of the English department of Austin College in Sherman.” (© Dallas Morning News, March 10, 1955, Section II, Page 1)

All the Monkeys Aren't in the Zoo (1959)

“Capuchin in Clear, By Mike Quinn - You're a Black Cap Capuchin monkey. You escaped from the Dallas Zoo hospital three days ago Sunday. You're on the lam. They've had the patrol car after you twice, but you've headed for the trees both times and skipped out. But the heat's on now. you've sought refuge in a garage and attic at 1602 Seevers in Oak Cliff. Unknown to you, it's the garage and attic of Dallas Councilman Teddy Harris, a law-abiding citizen if there ever was one. You've perched on a rafter, trying to spot something to fill that aching void in your stomach - then it happens. The screen door to the garage opens. It's Mrs. Harris. She has followed a tip from a neighbor that you were seen entering her garage. You duck, but it's too late. She spots you. In quick succession, a squad car arrives, then Councilman Harris, then two men from the animal shelter and then three men from the zoo. You recognize one - it's the boss, Pierre Fontaine. You find entry to the attic over the house. But again you're spotted. You're trapped. Here comes one group up the stairs to the attic from the house. You quickly estimate the situation. A flashlight finds you. Quick, back through the garage. As you scamper chattering through the attic you hear: “He's coming your way, George”. George must be the man in the garage. It is. Yipes, there he is. He's got a net. He's got you, too - but not for long. The old net rips as you tear it. You hit the garage floor running. A policeman's foot finds your midriff - but you shake it off. Over the fence and across the lawn - you're in the clear. And the heat's off - at least till tomorrow.” (©Dallas Morning News, December 10, 1959, Section IV, Page 1)

Lynn W. Landrum, 1961

Landrum Throve on Controversy (1961)

"Lynn Landrum, for 23 years editorial columnist for The Dallas Morning News, died Thursday night. He was 70 years old. Mr. Landrum died at 8:40 p.m. in St. Paul Hospital. He had been stricken by a heart attack Tuesday night at his home, 1507 Seevers - which he fondly referred to in his columns as "Billy Goat Hill”. Past time for regular retirement, Mr. Landrum never, personally, liked the idea of giving up news papering so long as he had something to say. And the "Columntator" always had something to write. He wrote with strong conviction in controversies. His readers either damned him, or hymned him. But they read him. And no one who knew him believed that he ever hated anyone, never wrote a word that he didn't believe in his heart and mind was Gospel true. He had a way of needling readers into thinking, a knack for making many of them mad. But younger colleagues, many of them from a generation that wasn't born when he was first an editor, received encouragement from him. He had been a member of The News staff since 1921, with five years out during the mid-30s to be chief editorial writer for the then News-owned Dallas Journal. His newspaper career was interrupted by service in two world wars. A tall, alert, broad-shouldered man, Mr. Landrum wore the battered green eyeshade and dark suit of the newspaperman of The Old School. His writing style reflected simplicity, sincerity; it could seethe with righteous indignation or deal serenely with homey subjects. [...] Lynn W. Landrum, a kindly and genial gentleman, ran head-on into seething controversy in his column, Thinking Out Loud, a fixture in The Dallas News since 1938. [...] By his own admission, Mr. Landrum had been a printer, laborer, soldier, harvest hand, waiter, coal heaver and lawyer. But first and foremost he was a newspaper editorial writer. Even his dress - the green eyeshade, bow ties and dark suits - was the hallmark of the editors of his generation. Professionally, Mr. Landrum was a debater, in print and in speech and he gave no quarter, especially when he leveled down on people like the late President Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt and her sons, Pappy O'Daniel, Ralph Yarborough, Harry Truman, Dean Acheson, the New Deal, the Fair Deal and The New Frontier. On the other hand, he was quick to pass out editorial bouquets when he felt the occasion or person merited it. Mr. Landrum, the Columntator as he called himself, delighted in getting letters from his readers, especially those who opposed him. He had been called a Wall Street Communist, a Catholic rabbi and "the brightest mind of the Eighteenth Century”. He once made a talk quoting some of the letters and has his audience howling with excerpts: "Hell waits for such a man as you." "I have learned that you are a dried-up wiggle tail with no backbone, no social standing and a smart Ellic..." Another said Mr. Landrum reminded him of something Frank Buck had brought back from the Malayan jungles. Born in Whitewright August 24, 1891, he often equated such column subjects as juvenile delinquency, the modern school system, and the businessman's sole to his upbringing in the small Grayson county town. His parents were Dr. and Mrs. S.H. Landrum. He attended public and private schools in Texas and Tennessee, went to Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, and the University of Texas, where he was editor of the Daily Texan. Mr. Landrum with other "First Campers" was awarded his law degree from the university, for dissecting the campus to earn a World War I commission from the first officers training camp at Leon Springs, Texas, in 1917. He was discharged a first lieutenant in 1919. Before completing his education, he had gotten his first taste of the newspaper business, serving in various posts from printer's devil to editor of country newspapers in Texas and Oklahoma. Following the war, he again entered newspaper work on small town papers. He came to The News from Vernon, served it as an editorial writer until 1933, when he was made chief editorial writer of the old Dallas Evening Journal, then published by The News. When the Journal was sold in 1938, he came back to The News and inaugurated his column, Thinking Out Loud. He had a superb gift for blending the English language he used in this 6-day-a-week column, which ranged over such diverse subjects as plugs for Dallas civic projects (Love Field, the Trinity River Association), state and national politics and personalities, Communists in churches, his domino playing, and gardening at his home. He had readers who said they read his column every morning only so they could start their day off in a towering rage. With politics a favorite column subject, he was once called politically just a little to the right of the Neanderthal Man. World War II brought a second interruption to Mr. Landrum's newspaper career. He entered the Army in September 1942. Until 1943, he was in the officers’ procurement branch of the Eighth Service Command. Then, after attending a military government school at the University of Virginia, he was sent overseas for service in that branch in England, France, and Germany. He was discharged in December 1945, a lieutenant colonel and returned immediately to the News. A lay leader in the Methodist Church, he nevertheless trounced it on occasion for harboring pinks. A member of the First Methodist Church, he was also the only known member of the Episco-bapterian Church, which existed only in his column. With patriotic sense of civic duty, he never asked to be excused from jury duty and nudged the tax collector should he forget to bill him fully. He was married to Anna Belle May (familiar to his readers as the Little Lady as was their home at 1507 Seevers Ave., Billy Goat Hill). Their one son, Dr. Graham Landrum, is head of the English Department as Austin College, Sherman. Dead at 70, he has done, in a word, his duty exactly as he saw it, down to the last dot over an "i". He practiced what he preached. Mr. Landrum complies as requested last March to fill out a form for the Dallas News biographical department. Information on the forms is used as background material for future stories; many times he information isn't used in a story until the obituary writer makes use of it. Landrum had tacked a note to the backside of his filled-out blank and the note, reflecting good humor and detachment obviously was intended for the man whose job it would be to write his obituary. "Go easy with me, brother, when you write this up," he wrote. "The briefer you make it, the fewer squawks from my dissatisfied customers. I have been called a Wall Street Communist, a Catholic rabbi and the brightest mind of the Eighteenth Century - or was it the Seventeenth? I have written, I suppose, a half thousand obits in my time. When you write this one, it will mean that I then have written my last one. So there is hope for you, too. Some day you will have to write no more of them yourself. Until then, good luck. And thanks." (©Dallas Morning News, September 1, 1961, Section I, Page 1, and Page 10).

People of Seevers Avenue

Henry J. Voris lived at 1312 Seevers for more than 30 years. Voris was born in Kansas and lived in Dallas for 45 years. He served with the Dallas Police Department for 26 years and retired as a sergeant in the mid '40s. Mrs. E.G. Trout was frequently a hostess of the Bluebonnet Bridge Club in the '30s, entertaining its members at 1402 Seevers. Joe C. Taylor, resident of 1417 Seevers until 1958, was a sales representative for Ferguson Brokerage Company and associate of The Borden Company. He was also a teacher for several years in schools in Fort Worth. Reginald M. Wilson resided at 1502 Seevers until 1967. Mr. Wilson was an active Dallas builder who developed the Sunset View residential addition in Oak Cliff in 1925. He once owned the Steel Creek Ranch in Morgan, Bosque County. He had been a rancher and farmer as well as real estate developer and had come to Texas in a covered wagon with his parents at the age of 10. Mrs. Velma Frances Naud lived at 1511 in the last years of her life. She died in 1931, at 76 years of age and was one of Oak Cliff's oldest citizens. Mrs. Naud, always interested in the civic and cultural advancement of Oak Cliff, was a poet of some renown. Mrs. Maud was a charter member of the Oak Cliff Society of Fine Arts and one of the leading members of the Bird and Nature Study Club of Dallas.