|Special Collections Division
the University of Texas
at Arlington Libraries
Vol. XV II* No. 2 * Fall 2003
The Arlington Hotel was on the 200 block of Main Street in the first two decades of the 20th century.
Since the 1940’s, James William Dunlop - J. W. to his family and friends – has been interested in the history of Arlington, Texas, particularly its historic photographic images. Over a period of six decades that has included a 40+ year career as a firefighter, retirement, and untiring community service, Dunlop amassed a collection of more than 1,000 images of Arlington and the environs, primarily by copying the collections of individuals, businesses, and organizations. The J. W. Dunlop Collection is believed to be the most comprehensive photograph collection of Arlington in existence. Long ago Dunlop began a process of asking every long-time Arlington resident that he came into contact with to see their photos, and he received permission to copy their images. Images found in the Dunlop Collection span over one hundred years in time and include public buildings, businesses and business interiors, street scenes, parades and rallies, bands, homes, churches, schools, railroad depots, cotton gins, sports, the fire department, early residents, city officials, beauty queens, soldiers and veterans and more. Transferred in June 2003 to The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries Special Collections, this rich resource is currently being readied for researchers to explore.
First cars roll off the Arlington GM assembly line as Major Tom Vandergriff (center) shakes hands in congratulations.
J. W. Dunlop was born in Hamilton County, Texas, on February 5, 1922, one of thirteen children of John and Hattie Dunlop. Dunlop left the family farm in 1938, and relocated to Fort Worth. A year later, he moved to Arlington to work at the downtown Rockyfellers Restaurant. While working at the restaurant, Dunlop joined the Arlington volunteer fire department and worked for the Arlington Police Department during his off hours. After Arlington professionalized its fire department, Dunlop joined its paid staff in 1953. Retiring in 1982, Dunlop’s career with the Arlington Fire Department spanned five city managers, four fire chiefs and four mayors.
Dunlop married Arlington native, Mary Jane Gregory, in 1945. The couple had two children – James Michael Dunlop (1947-1979) and Mary Dunlop Petty (1950- ).
In addition to his interest in early Arlington photographs, Dunlop has contributed a great deal of time to preserving and cleaning local Arlington cemeteries. In 1994, for example, he secured an official Texas State Historical Marker designation for Arlington Cemetery just southeast of downtown. In addition, he has spent untold hours conducting research on the derivation of Arlington street names. The City of Arlington has paid tribute to J. W. Dunlop for his work as a fireman and for preserving Arlington’s history. The J. W. Dunlop Sports Center, located at Fielder Road and Green Oaks Boulevard, was named in his honor. On his eightieth birthday, the Arlington City Council issued a proclamation recognizing him for his untiring work on behalf of the city.
For further information on the Dunlop Collection, please contact Brenda McClurkin at UTA Special Collections at (817) 272-7512 or email@example.com.
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This page last update on Monday, November 24, 2003