Tarrant County TXGenWeb

Hiram McGar, Jr.


Contributed by Max Hill
Assistant Manager, Local History\Genealogy Department, Fort Worth Public Library

Hiram McGar, Jr. was born Dec. 12, 1863 in Texas, the son of Hiram McGar and his wife, Mary Shackelford. In 1870, they lived in Waller County. His name first appears in Fort Worth in the 1901 City Directory as owner of the Watkins and McGar Saloon at 110 E. 12th Street. Around 1905, he was in partnership with Joseph Patterson and Eugene McGill, as proprietors of the Capitol Bar at 301 W. 13th Street. By 1907, he had his own saloon at 109 E. 10th until 1912 when he moved to the 900 block of Jones Street.1 That establishment was involved in a famous police shooting on May 15, 1913. Tommy Lee, an African-American porter, was enraged because of losses in a craps game. He found Walter Moore, an African-American expressman, in McGar's poolroom and shot him with a shotgun. Officer John A. Ogletree who went in pursuit of Lee was shot and killed. Lee wounded five other people before accidently shooting himself. A mob gathered at the jail to take him for a lynching, and eventually went to the Black Business District, destroying homes, stores and saloons - probably including McGar's establishment. In 1916, McGar was president of the Colored Texas League who played at McGar's Park - one block south of Panther Park, where the Texas League Fort Worth Cats played.2 By 1920 he was owner/manager of the Fort Worth team of the Texas Negro League who played at Panther Park when the Panthers were on the road. With the coming of prohibition in 1920, McGar switched from saloons to soft drinks. In 1922 he was Vice President of the Citizens' Drug Store at 907½ Jones Street, the same location as his saloon, and he continued to rent furnished rooms. He had married Agnes [surname not known] about 1910. Hiram McGar, Jr. died Dec. 13, 1930 and was buried in Trinity Cemetery, a portion of Oakwood Cemetery which is reserved for African-Americans.
1 The 1912-1913 City Directory listed the location at 909-911 Jones St., 1914 City Directory it was 911a Jones St., 1916 City Directory it was 905 Jones & 907 ½ Jones St.
2 McGar's Park was located 1 block west of N. Main between W. North 5th and 6th St. By 1919 it was a motorcycle arena.


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