Dallas AA History
Esther E. (shown here with AA co-founder Bill W.), whose story “A Flower of the South” can be found in the Third Edition of the Big Book on page 384, introduced AA to Dallas in 1943 after reaching her bottom and sobering up in Houston. When she arrived in Dallas, she found no functioning AA group (it had just been 8 years since Bill W. and Doctor Bob had found each other and begun AA), so she quickly moved to establish one. Early Dallas AA met in her home, and the news of Dallas AA spread strictly by word-of-mouth. A meeting place was finally found in 1945 at 912½ Main Street in downtown Dallas. Meetings in those days were only at 8:00 PM and were strictly speaker meetings. There were evidently fewer than twenty people sober in Dallas AA by the end of 1945.
It was after World War II when American military personnel returned from overseas that AA’s population explosion truly began. After the Suburban Group was begun near Lee Park (corner of Dickason and Sale Streets in Dallas, just north of downtown), other groups soon followed.
The fledgling fellowship grew member by member, and a few other groups began to form. After a several years of this growth, it became apparent that a central office was needed.
Esther E. passed away on June 3, 1960 with slightly more than 19 years of sobriety. Her copy of the Big Book, which is inscribed by AA co-founder and Big Book author Bill W., is on display in the Dallas Central Office.
Click here for an October 1999 interview with Searcy W, then Dallas’ oldest AA member. Searcy died in 2003 with 57 years of sobriety! There is a great amount of local AA history in this interview…be sure to read it.