Nearly Two Dozen Artifacts Missing From Dallas Historical Society Wide range of items relating to Republic of Texas and Dallas history among treasures missing from museum; Reward offered and police urge the public and collectors to watch for unique relics
News-Antique.com - Dec 05,2007 - DALLAS (Nov. 30, 2007) -- The Dallas Historical Society (DHS) is seeking information leading to the return of 21 items from its permanent collection that were removed from the Hall of State in Fair Park recently. DHS officials are cooperating with a Dallas Police Department investigation.
The items include historic photographs, documents and artifacts relating to the very earliest days of the Texas Republic and the history of Dallas. They include a pair of spurs confiscated from the tent of Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna and later presented by Gen. Sam Houston to a friend after the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto near Houston where Texas won its independence from Mexico.
The society is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the collection’s return. Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers at 1-877-373-TIPS (8477).
DHS Executive Director Michael Duty said, “Our primary and overriding concern is the safe return of these objects. They are extremely significant to the history of Texas and Dallas. Many are literally unique items and are irreplaceable. We consider these items to be essential to the fulfillment of our mission, and we are doing all we can to assure their safe return. We are contacting a wide range of galleries, museums, auction houses, antique and antiquity dealers, and private collectors with detailed information and photographs of the missing objects.”
Duty said the items may have been removed from the building during a two-day period when part of the building was being used by a film crew.
“During that time many people were in and around the building in connection with the filming or may have simply been curious onlookers. At this point, we certainly have not ruled out the possibility that the items may have been removed by accident,” he said. “The objects in question were packed in a records storage box and had been placed in a secure staff work area adjacent to the society’s archival storage. One of the items is a fireman’s trumpet dating from the 1880s. It would have been readily visible in the box. We are hopeful that someone may have noticed the items being carried from the building and will contact us.”
Duty also said the society is thoroughly reviewing its protocols and security procedures and will take appropriate steps to address any deficiencies up to and including employee disciplinary actions. The DHS will also significantly enhance its security technology and make any other necessary adjustments to assure the safety of its collections, Duty said.
“We hold these collections -- over 3 million items -- as a public trust. It is our responsibility to ensure their continued availability for future generations. It is our fervent hope that anyone with information will contact us so that these important items will be a continuing legacy of the many stories of Texas and Dallas.”
A review of collection records and a search of storage areas as well as the entire Hall of State have not turned up any other missing items. Missing