The images in this collection consist mainly of photos of a Rock Island Railroad survey crew that traveled through Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas during 1902.
In the fall of 1902, while surveying a 10-mile stretch of land between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, two crew members, J. O. Schulze and Otis Brown, decided to remain in the area and start a town along the newly laid tracks.
Many of the photos in this collection were taken during the crew's travels. Some of them were taken in studio by a professional photographer, who also appears to have taken some at one of the crew's campsites.
After leaving the survey crew in the fall of 1902, Schulze and Brown purchased 80 acres of land along the rail line between Dallas and Fort Worth to start their town. The pair spent most of 1903 preparing the townsite, and on December 19, 1903, they held a public auction at which they sold lots for the new town of Irving, Texas. On the day of the auction, the only two buildings in the town were the partially completed railroad station and a small house that Otis Brown and his new bride Netta lived in.
In 1904, J. O. Schulze and his wife, Agnes, built a house in the new town. The hot weather did not suit Agnes or the couple's new-born son, so they returned to their home town of Iowa City, Iowa, in 1905. J. O. Schulze asked his brother C. P. Schulze, who had also been on the survey crew, to come to Irving and take over his newly established lumber yard. C. P. Schulze came to Irving and in 1912 married Virginia Tucker. C. P. remained in Irving and ran Irving Lumber Co. until his death in 1957.
Otis Brown spent his life in Irving working as a farmer, a dairy farmer, and a real estate salesman. He died in 1958. J. O. Schulze returned to Irving in 1945. He lived in Irving and Dallas until his death in 1961.
In addition to the survey crew photos, there are numerous images of J. O. Schulze, and C. P. Schulze and his wife Virginia. The collection was donated to the Irving Archives by the son of C. P. Schulze, Charles Schulze and his wife Catherine.