Stemmons, Leslie Allison (1876–1939)

By: Lisa C. Maxwell

Type: Biography

Published: June 1, 1995

Leslie Allison Stemmons, businessman, was born in Dallas, Texas, on November 8, 1876, the son of John Martin and Rebecca (Allison) Stemmons. He attended Southwestern University in Georgetown and graduated from the University of Chicago. Before returning to Dallas in 1900 to work selling fire insurance and real estate, Stemmons worked briefly in Chicago real estate. On July 16, 1902, he married Elizabeth Story. They had three children. Elizabeth died on January 3, 1910. On October 4, 1915, Stemmons married Proctor Howell. They had one son. As a real estate agent Stemmons developed the Miller-Stemmons addition, Winnetka Heights, Rosemont Crest, Sunset Hill, Sunset Annex, Sunset Summit, Sunset Heights, and Sunset Crest in Oak Cliff. He was a leader in the annexation of Oak Cliff and the building of the Houston Street viaduct between Dallas and Oak Cliff. Stemmons was also a president and director of Atlas Metal Works, a director of Southwestern Land and Loan Company, and a director of Evergreen Hills, Incorporated. He was a member of the Dallas Historical Society, the Methodist Church, and the Dallas Real Estate Board.

In 1908 the Trinity River overflowed Commerce Street 52.6 feet, and the Ulrickson Committee was formed to draft a flood-control plan. Leslie Stemmons served on the committee. In 1926 he helped establish the City and County of Dallas Levee Improvement District and served as the chairman of the Board of Supervisors of the District. The plan involved moving the Trinity River channel one mile west and building a series of levees. In 1928 the city gave a group of river bottomland owners, the Industrial Properties Association, a charter to develop the reclaimed land for industrial use, as the Trinity Industrial District. In later years the Stemmons family donated much of the valuable right-of-way for the building of Stemmons Freeway. Stemmons died at his home in Dallas on October 15, 1939, and was buried in Oak Cliff Cemetery.

Sam Hanna Acheson, Dallas Yesterday, ed. Lee Milazzo (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1977). Sam Hanna Acheson, Herbert P. Gambrell, Mary Carter Toomey, and Alex M. Acheson, Jr., Texian Who's Who, Vol. 1 (Dallas: Texian, 1937). Dallas Morning News, October 16, 1939.
  • Activism and Social Reform
  • Civic Leaders
  • Business
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas
  • North Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Lisa C. Maxwell, “Stemmons, Leslie Allison,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 16, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995

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