Dallas was granted a town charter during the regular session of the Sixth Texas Legislature on February 2, 1856. The first mayor of Dallas was Samuel Pryor. He was elected along with a constable, a treasurer-recorder, and six aldermen. By 1860, the town's population had reached 678 people and was made up mostly of Belgian, French, German, and Swiss immigrants and African Americans.
A fire broke out in July of 1860, destroying most of the buildings in the town's business district. Following shortly after the fire, the Civil War began on June 8, 1861. Luckily, Dallas far away from any battles and suffered no damage from the war. On June 19, 1865, Texan slaves were emancipated. After the war, many African Americans moved to Dallas in search of employment opportunities. At the time, Dallas was flourishing compared to other major cities in the South. Newly freed slaves also wanted to leave rural areas to escape the supervision of their former owners and establish their own communities. In 1869, the Reconstruction legislature established funding for public education and authorized school districts to be set up across Texas. Dallas legally became a city by 1871.
Information sourced from Wikipedia. Cover Image sourced from Wikipedia.