A cowboy watches his herd of cattle along the Trinity River bottoms in 1945. (Photo taken by William "Bill" Langley and submitted by his son, William Langley.)

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Submit Your Own Photos of ‘Lost Dallas’

Help us uncover more mysteries beyond our March cover story.

Our March issue has been on newsstands for a solid two weeks now, which hopefully means you’ve at least shared aisle space with the teenager staring out over an extinct Dallas skyline. “Lost Dallas,” our March cover story, explores the Dallas of our past: the architecture, the neighborhoods, the culture, the people. All of which may have faded in the decades since, but are still found in historical record.

Kevin Goodbar, D’s art director, worked alongside editor Peter Simek to find the photos that populate that piece. They dug through archives at city libraries and state databases. They worked with experts like Paula Bosse of Flashback Dallas. And now we want you to help fill in what we missed.  Do you have any historical images that show the abandoned neighborhoods, lost architecture, and forgotten fashion?

A look at the downtown skyline, circa 1945. (Credit: William Langley)

I’d also like to tell you about the photo above this blog post. If you read the feature, you noticed one similar to it; the cowboy on the horse, staring out at the herd of cows grazing near the Trinity, the skyscrapers of downtown Dallas in the background. (That’s it on the left.) Peter and Kevin couldn’t nail down a credit for that photo, other than the fact that it came from the Library of Congress.

Over the weekend, we got an email from a man named William Langley, who says his father, William “Bill” Langley, is responsible for it.

I was disappointed however to see that the title page photograph of the cowboy and the Dallas skyline received no photo credit. That photo was taken by my father, William (Bill) Langley, a well-known Dallas commercial photographer, who retired in the early 70’s. The backstory (as told to me) is interesting as well, since the picture was not staged as some might think. Dad looked out the back door of his studio and there, as you see it, was a cowboy grazing his herd on the Trinity river bottom. Being an ex-newspaper writer/photographer, he knew a great visual story when he saw one. This image which is now the “famous” one, is the best of several shots he took. Attached is a scan of the only other image I have of the event.

There you have it—the story behind the photo, that fills in another blank. We want more of those. Help us color in the rest of Dallas’ lost history. Head here to submit, and be sure to include credits for the photos.

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