Saturday, August 13, 2022 Aug 13, 2022
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By D Magazine |

For more than a century, the hardy farmers-many of them descendants of former slaves who settled the land after the Civil War-have been growing cotton and living a countryexistence in what were once the wide-open spaces of north Dallas County.

Now the last of the hardy breed are being uprooted by progress.

At one time, the farmers who populated the old freed-menstown along Alpha and Noel roads, just north of LBJ Freeway, were the only sign of civilization on the windswept prairie far north of Dallas. But the construction of Central Expressway and LBJ Freeway tore through the fertile cotton fields, turning the settlers’ acreage into concrete and asphalt.

With the freeways came high-rise office towers and crowded shopping centers. Where once hundreds of farmers lived, only a couple of dozen remained by the beginning of this decade.

Before the end of the year, however, the two dozen or so homes-among the oldest in the county-that are left will have been bulldozed to make way for the Galleria complex. Hardly a peep has been heard from even the historical preservation buffs about preserving the community.

“Don’t you dare quote me by name, but we just weren’t going to waste our time with this because it was hopeless,” said one member of the Dallas Historical Preservation League. “We know there was nothing we could do to stop the development of that land.”

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