Dallas grew from a center of farming and ranching into a major, self-sustaining industrial city during the Industrial Period of 1874 to 1929. The industrial growth of the city was partially created out of the issues affecting Dallas-area farmers. For example, many farmers owed merchants most of their crops after purchasing supplies on credit during the year. The price of cotton also began to drop as the costs to ship to the coast increased.
By 1880, the Misouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad had reached Dallas. The Main Street of Dallas was lit with electricity in 1885. The Dallas Zoo opened in 1888, making it the first zoological garden in the state of Texas.
In 1890, Dallas acquired the city of East Dallas, a geographically larger city than Dallas. This annexation made Dallas the most populated city in the state. In 1903, Dallas also annexed Oak Cliff, a city across the Trinity River. Dallas became the leading drug, book, jewelry, and wholesale liquor market in the Southwestern United States by the end of the 19th century. It was also a hub for cotton, grain, and buffalo trade. Dallas was the world's leading inland cotton market and led the world in manufacturing saddlery and cotton gin machinery. At the beginning of the 20th century, Dallas shifted from being an agricultural city to a center for banking, insurance, fashion retailing, and other businesses.
In 1930, the construction business in Dallas was booming in spite of the Great Depression. That year, a man named Columbus Marion "Dad" Joiner struck oil, beginning the East Texas oil boom. As a result, Dallas became the financial center for the Texas and Oklahoma oil industry.
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