Winship C. Connor

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Winship Capers Connor
Mayor of Dallas, Texas
In office
Preceded by John Henry Brown
Succeeded by Bryan T. Barry
Personal details
Born (1848-06-22)June 22, 1848
Red Sulphur Springs, Hardin County, Tennessee
Died April 8, 1921 (1921 -04-08) (aged 72)
Long Beach, California
Resting place Oakland Cemetery, Dallas
Nationality  USA
Spouse(s) Tullora Fannie Cornelius, Ada Cheatham Rye
Children Anna F. Connor, Walker Cornelius Connor, Edward Cowen Connnor
Occupation Merchant
Religion Episcopalian

Winship Capers Connor (Jun 1848 – August 4, 1921), businessman, was mayor of Dallas from 1887 to 1894, serving four terms. He built the first light, water and streetcars systems in Dallas.[1]


Winship Capers Connor was born June 22, 1848 in Red Sulfur Springs, Hardin County, Tennessee to William J. Connor and Julia Catherin Hymes. He married Tullora Fannie Cornelius, daughter of Dr. Matthias A. Cornelius and Elizabeth A. Lewis, in Louisiana. She died in 1878. They had two children: Anna F. Connor and Walker Cornelius Connor. In 1879, he married Ada Cheatham Rye, daughter of Joseph Clark Rye and Martha Cheatham, in Tennessee. They had one son, Edward Cowen Connor.[1][2]

He moved with parents and siblings from Tennessee to Corinth, Mississippi around 1853. After his father's death, the family moved Madison County, Arkansas; Paris, Texas; and Jefferson, Texas. He and his brother Lewis moved to Arizona, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana in 1869 where he worked as a merchant.[3][4]

Coming to Dallas around 1870, Winship Connor opened a drug store. The Dallas Morning News detailed his many works as a private citizen. He was recognized for erecting the first brick building in Dallas; as the first manufacturer of chewing gum in the state; for organizing the first fire department, first waterworks and first electric companies in Dallas; for building the first ice house, the first street railway line; and for building water plants in other Texas cities.[5][6][7]

In 1878 he was Vice President, First National Bank; owner of Connor and Walker Wholesale Druggists; President, Commerce and Ervay Street Railway Company; and Board member, Lawrence's Commercial College. He built a street car line using mule cars. The line ran up Main Street out Ervay to Browder Springs, the current location of Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park. Later when the electric street car line was established, he became vice president of Dallas Consolidated Street Railway. In 1880 he was Chief, Dallas Fire Department; Secretary, Dallas City Gas Light Company; President, Dallas Water Supply Company; President, Main and Ervay Street Railway Company. In 1884 he was President, Dallas Electric Light Company; Vice-president, Dallas Belt Street Railway Company.[8][9][10]

In 1887, William Connor was elected mayor of Dallas. He was elected to four terms as Mayor, losing a fifth term to Bryan T. Barry by two votes. During his terms in office, he also served as President, Dallas Board of Trade (1888), President, Merchants State Bank (1888–1889, and President, State Fair of Texas (1891). After leaving public office, he still took an interest in the city.

He died at the Virginia Hotel, Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California while on his way to Hawaii. He was interred at the Oakland Cemetery in Dallas, Texas.[1][11]


  1. ^ a b c "W. C. Connor Will be Buried Here." Dallas Morning News. August 6, 1921, p. 7.
  2. ^ "Mrs. Connor, Early Dallas Socialite, Dies." The Dallas Morning News. March 8, 1942. p. II-10.
  3. ^ Elinor McCalman Seward and John Calvin Head. Claiborne Parish Louisiana Amnesty OathShreveport, LA: J & W Enterprises, [1989?]
  4. ^ 1870 Arizona, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana census. NARA Publication M593, Roll 510, Page 198B. Family 324.
  5. ^ Dallas City Directory 1875
  6. ^ 1880 Dallas, Dallas, Texas. NARA Publication T9, Roll 1299. Enumeration District 57, Page 104A Dwelling 529, Family 584.
  7. ^ "His Thought Was For Dallas." The Dallas Morning News. August 6, 1921, p. 10
  8. ^ City Directories for Dallas, Texas, 1878. Jennings Brothers
  9. ^ City Directories for Dallas, Texas, 1880, Herald Steam Job Printing House
  10. ^ Morrison and Fourmy. General Directory of the City of Dallas, 1884-85.
  11. ^ State of California. Department of Health Services. Certification of Vital Record. Winship Capers Connors. August 4, 1921. No. 21-030896.