By Gerry Cristol
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Extra info for A Light in the Prairie: Temple Emanu-El of Dallas, 1872-1997 (Chisholm Trail Series, No 17)
To make the route through Dallas more palatable to the railroad officials, the city business leaders, with Alex Sanger as chairman of the finance committee, subscribed $100,000 and supplied a wide right-of-way, now Pacific Avenue, Page 11 for the Texas & Pacific Railway to move through town on February 22, 1873. That same year civic leader Sanger also ran for office and was elected Democratic city alderman from the First Ward, winning seventy-two out of seventy-three voteshe had gallantly voted for his opponent.
Page 1 Chapter 1 On the Trail of the Iron Horse We're not only on the map but we are on the railroad now. Hurrah for Dallas. Robert Seay, 1872 On July 16, 1872, a small, wood-burning locomotive pulling eight freight cars and one passenger car steamed up from Houston to the frontier town of Dallas. There it was met at the depot one mile from town by a "jubilant, cheering throng of 5,000 Texans," by far the largest crowd ever assembled from Dallas and the surrounding communities. 1 Robert Seay, a young lawyer from Tennessee who had arrived in Dallas just six months previously, described the excitement: Hardly realized [there were] so many people in this little place, but long lines of them, horse-back, in buggies, on foot, streamed from every direction, converging in one spot like ants in a drop of honey.
In order to ensure rabbinical Page 23 leadership, scarce everywhere in the United States but particularly so in the West, these pacesetters were now ready to support a seminary that would educate native-born preachers and teachers to broadcast the message of Judaism easily and effectively. The clarion "call for a convention" was issued from the Jews of Cincinnati to every known congregation in the West and South. From thirteen states, thirty-four congregations possessing close to 2,000 members responded to the summons in 1873 to form the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.