Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

Cement City Collection



Overview of the Collection

Creator: Coke & Coke
Title: Cement City Collection
Dates: 1908-1950
Abstract:
Accession No.: MA04-9
Quantity: 0.25 cubic feet
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Texas/Dallas History & Archives, Dallas Public Library 1515 Young St  Dallas, TX 75201

Historical Note

Cement City was a small town in West Dallas created to support workers in the cement plants operated in the area. The town was situated on the Texas & Pacific Railroad line, just north of the La Reunion lands, about three miles west of the Dallas County Courthouse.

During the 1880s, former La Reunion colonist Emile Remond bought a parcel of land north of the old colony and began experimenting with the rich deposits of chalk, limestone, and shale he found there. Working with another former colonist Philip Frichot, Remond exhibited examples of his cement and brick making at the State Fair. In 1900, a group of Galveston investors, led by Jens Moller, bought the land and started the Texas Portland Cement & Lime Company. This was the first cement company in North Texas, beating the Trinity Portland Cement Company in nearby Eagle Ford by one year. After three years, Texas Portland sold to the Iola Portland Cement Company of Texas who operated the plant for five years.

In 1908 the Texas Portland Cement Company acquired the plant from Iola and announced plans to expand the plant and production. Part of their plans included creating a town, and they incorporated the city of Cement on 28 April 1908. A Post Office opened in 1907, and stores, schools (Cement City Independent School District formed in 1911), and other services sprang up to support the families of cement workers now living in houses built and owned by Texas Portland Cement Company. The city's population reached 503 by the 1910 Census. The first elected mayor of Cement was W. H. Green, who resigned within six months and was replaced by Jonathan J. Hilpert (1908-1910). Future mayors included L. L. Griffith (1910-1911), F. E. Brister (1911-1913), and H. R. Durbin (1913).

The city's governing body dissolved as quickly as it started with the 1913 election being the last for Cement City, though the town remained incorporated for many more years. The Post Office closed in 1915, and the school district operated until 1928 when Dallas Independent School District annexed it. The city's population reached its high point in 1920 with 878 and was down to 450 in the 1960 Census, the last recording for Cement City.

Though the town lacked a governing body after 1913, Texas Portland Cement Company continued to run the cement plant and house workers in the town. By 1935, Lone Star Cement Corp. (part of Lone Star Industries, Inc.) bought Texas Portland Cement Company. In the 1950s Lone Star greatly expanded operations and the company enjoyed a brief boon. By 1970 the limestone ran out and the plant closed. In 1979 Lone Star Properties, Inc., the real estate arm of Lone Star Industries, developed Lone Star Business Park at the site, with the one remaining smokestack from the cement plant as the business park's centerpiece.


Scope and Contents

This collection consists of documents relating to the incorporation of Cement City, minutes of its Council meetings, other miscellaneous records and correspondence. Most of the letters pertain to legal matters, especially regarding the annexation of Cement City ISD by Dallas ISD and the legal status of Cement's incorporation.


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Organizations:
Cement City
Places:
Cement City
Subjects:
Company Towns

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

MA 04-9, Cement City Collection, Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated by the retired managing partner of the Coke & Coke law firm (now defunct), who served as legal counsel for Cement City and Lone Star Cement Corp.

Processing Information

The collection was processed by Michael C. Miller.


Bibliography

Texas/Dallas History & Archives Vertical Files:

  • Business & Industry - Cement Firms
  • Business & Industry - Lone Star Cement Corp
  • Business & Industry - Lone Star Industries, Inc
  • Business & Industry - Lone Star Properties
  • Public Schools - DISD By Name - Cement City Elementary


Detailed Description of the Collection

 
Box Folder
1 1 City of Cement Incorporation papers and plat map 1908



 
Box Folder
1 2 City Ordinances July 22, 1908



 
Box Folder
1 3 Cement Council of Aldermen meeting minutes 1908 - 1913



 
Box Folder
1 4 City Occupation Tax License Book 1908 - 1913



 
Box Folder
1 5 Annexation of Cement City Independent School District by Dallas Independent School District 1928



 
Box Folder
1 6 Correspondence - Cement City ISD Annexation 1928 - 1931



 
Box Folder
1 7 Correspondence - misc. 1910 - 1950



 
Box Folder
1 8 Election ticket 1913



 
Box Folder
1 9 Misc. receipts