book features history of Carrollton in photographs|
By Senitra Horbrook, Staff Writer
It took a lot of hard work, late nights and long weekends for Toyia Pointer
to become a published author. Her first book, “Carrollton,” will hit
bookstores Aug. 18. The book is filled with more than 200 vintage
photographs and descriptions of Carrollton through the years.
“It’s a little weird,” Pointer said about how it feels to be a published
author. “It’s really neat. I’m happy. Hopefully, people will learn a little
more about Carrollton than they already knew.”
Pointer,33, curator of the
A.W. Perry Homestead Museum, didn’t set out to
write a book, but when Arcadia Publishing contacted Pointer to do a book for
their Images of America series; she saw an opportunity that was too good to
“This publisher does books like this all over the country,” Pointer said.
“It was a great opportunity to do this here in Carrollton. There are so many
great photographs here.”
Photographs include early settlers of Carrollton, including the Myers, Nix,
Witt and Lee families as well as the town square, schools, churches and the
Trinity River. Pointer gathered the images from a variety of sources,
including the museum archives, the city of Carrollton, Peters Colony
Historical Society members, and local residents. She began with more than
300 photographs and had to make some tough decisions to narrow it down to
just more than 200.
“I couldn’t cover every single major event, but I tried to make it
representative,” Pointer said.
Pointer is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, with degrees in both
art history and anthropology. Shortly after graduating from college, she got
a job at the Carrollton Public Library, which helped pique her interest in
Carrollton’s history. Pointer has been curator of the A.W. Perry Homestead
Museum for eight years and has learned a lot about Carrollton’s history
during that time. Working on the book gave her the chance to learn even
“It made things fit together more,” she said. “Here at the museum we
concentrate on a more narrow time.”
One of the most interesting parts of the book for Pointer is the chapter on
Josey Rancho. Chapter six focuses on this sprawling estate, which was
purchased by oilman C.W. Josey and his wife in the 1930s. The Rancho Oil
Estate eventually became 1,000 acres and was a popular spot for rodeo,
recreation and elaborate parties.
“I didn’t know quite how much land they had and how big those rodeos were,”
Pointer said she hopes the book will inspire people to look more into their
own family history as well as be a starting point for people who are
interested in Carrollton’s history.
“I hope people will see it and come to the museum or start preserving their
family photos,” she said.
“Carrollton” by Toyia Pointer is $19.99 and will be available at local
retailers, online bookstores or through Arcadia Publishing at
arcadiapublishing.com or 888-313-2665.
Pointer will be doing book signings at 1 p.m. Aug. 23 at Barnes & Noble,
5301 Beltline Rd. Suite 118, in Dallas; from 2 to 4 p.m. Aug. 30 at Barnes &
Noble, 2201 Preston Rd. Suite E in Plano; and at 1 p.m. Sept. 6. at Barnes &
Noble, 2325 Stemmons Fwy. in Lewisville.
CARROLLTON - Book offers glimpse into past - Photos
dating back to 1800s featured in work by museum curator
Dallas Morning News, The (TX) - Sunday, September 7, 2008
Author: STEPHANIE SANDOVAL, Staff Writer
From its settlement in the 1840s to its progress toward becoming a DART rail
hub - Carrollton's history is all pulled together in the pictures of a new
Toyia Pointer, curator of the city's A.W. Perry Homestead Museum, is author
of Carrollton, the latest in the Images of America series from Arcadia
"I think they just started really concentrating on Texas and trying to do
more of this type of series," Ms. Pointer said. "They were looking for
authors and places with photograph collections. They contacted me, so it was
just a great opportunity."
But although she gets the author credit, she said the book was really a
community project, with descendants of some of the region's earliest
settlers and other residents contributing their photographs and stories.
Ms. Pointer said the book would appeal not only to Carrollton residents but
to people across the region. "It's going to give them a little peek about
what it was like 100 years ago in North Texas," she said.
Previous books in the series focused on Plano, Midlothian, Fort Worth,
Austin, San Antonio and the Gainesville area.
Carrollton features pictures of some of the area's earliest settlers,
including farmers A.W. and Sarah Perry, and Leticia Myers, wife of minister
David Myers .
There's also a photo of Wade Hampton Witt, a mill owner who battled American
Indians in Denton County and fought for the Confederacy during the Civil
The 1800s were a turbulent time; a receipt shows David Harrison Nix paid
$1.33 as a Frontier Protection Tax in 1870.
Other photographs show some of the area's earliest homes, downtown
Carrollton in the old days and the rodeos at the old Josey Ranch, which drew
cowboys from around the country and abroad.
There are also images of baptisms in the Elm Fork of the Trinity River,
flooding in the early 1900s, and school classes, choir clubs, social events
and baseball games over the years.
Books such as Carrollton are a valuable source of information about
community roots, said Mark Odintz, managing editor of the Handbook of Texas,
a product of the Texas State Historical Association.
"They seem to be a wonderful source for preserving local history," he said.
"If done well, they're kind of rich in local detail."
And the time for a Carrollton book was ripe. Next year, the A.W. Perry
Homestead will turn 100 and the city is expected to be featured in an
exhibition at the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture. The
display in downtown Dallas will be part of a series on each community in
Ms. Pointer has asked Carrollton's Historical Preservation Advisory
Committee to be on the lookout for more artifacts and historical photos for
The display and the book project are extensions of Ms. Pointer's passion. A
graduate of the University of Oklahoma, she has degrees in art history and
anthropology and a certificate in museum collection management from George
"The different people who contributed to the book - talking to them, getting
to know them, learning a little bit about their history, their family
history I didn't know, and having them contribute their families'
photographs and their histories - that was one of my favorite parts of
writing the book," she said.
Did you know?
From Carrollton, by Toyia Pointer:
-Many of Carrollton's earliest settlers came from Carrollton, Ill.
-Most began arriving in 1841 to receive grants of 640 acres per family.
-The area was originally called Peters Colony because the land grants came
through the Peters Colony Company. The company contracted with the Republic
of Texas to settle an area that stretched north to the Red River.
-Carrollton's first hotel, the Worth, was at Denton Drive and Oak Street. It
later became a private residence, then was moved in 1972 to the Dallas
Heritage Village and restored.
-The Sandy Lake Amusement Park site, at Interstate 35E and Sandy Lake Road,
was once Heads Park, where black residents picnicked and danced during
segregation. Walter Heads, an early black settler, owned more than 200 acres
-Flooding in 1908 disrupted railroad service and halted mail delivery for a
week. Water was 2 to 3 feet deep in downtown businesses.
TO FIND THE BOOK
Carrollton is available at local bookstores or for $19.99 from Arcadia
- As of November 2008, it is also Available at the Carrollton
Public Library and the Plaza Theater in Downtown Carrollton
Author Toyia Pointer
has served as curator of the historic A. W. Perry Homestead Museum. She
gathered the images for this book from many sources, including the archives
of the A. W. Perry Homestead Museum, the City of Carrollton, Peters Colony
Historical Society members, and other private collections