Tuesday, April 9, 2013

R.D. Beirne, Part 2 of 2

So, after leaving Roscommon when he was 18, our man R.D. ended up in Denison, Texas in 1882.  There he opened a "dry goods" store in partnership with a Mr. Stenson.  Based on the advertisements of the time, "dry goods" seems to be clothing, textiles, fabric and the like.  Evidently they prospered and R.D. later bought out his partner.

In 1882 Texas was wild and wooly.  The Chishom Trail was still being used, with thousands of cattle plodding northwards just a few miles west of Denison.  Judge Roy Bean was in West Texas, holding court in Del Rio, where he once fined a dead man for vagrancy for an amount that just happened to equal the contents of the deceased's wallet.  Around this time, the JA Ranch in the Texas Panhandle peaked at 1.3 million acres and on April 3, 1882 Jesse James was assassinated by the coward Robert Ford (a great movie, BTW)...  Did Roderick Dermott Beirne live in interesting times or what?

Fast forward to 1908 and after 26 years of keeping up with the crazy fashions of the times*, not to mention enduring the haggling of old countrywomen, R.D. had made his fortune and was able to retire.

* Haute couture in north Texas in the early 1900's was whether to wear chaps with or without pants.

Below is the notice in the Denison Daily Herald that R.D. Beirne was set to "discontinue business" starting Nov 17, 1908.

Denison is about an hour from Southlake and a couple of years back we drove up there to see what was left of R.D. Beirne's Dry Goods Store. Not much, to be honest, although the building is still intact but the businesses appear to be closed. Not sure which of these two is 305 Main Street.

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