Junior January
Hugh January, Junior

Hugh January, Jr.

(double-click for enlarged image)

The Origin of the Name of "Junior Drive"

During the 1920's and early 1930's Hugh January sold real estate in the original Kessler Park subdivision. He started selling lots in the Kessler Square addition, where he moved his own family into a Spanish style stucco clad home at 1035 Edgefield. After four years of sales, he became the agent for the North Texas Trust Company, developers of the adjacent Kessler Park addition, and he opened a field office at 1414 Colorado, (at the top of hill on the north side of Colorado at Lausanne -- where a one story ranch style home was built in the 1960's). January was appointed a Dallas City Park Commissioner, expanding the size of the Stevens Park Golf Course.   He had two children. His first child was a daughter, Lurlyn, with whom I visited last week at Presbyterian Village North.  His only son was Hugh January, Jr. , who went by the name "Junior". [ This January family, by the way, was not actually related to that of the famous Stevens Park golfer, Don January, but everyone thought they were, so they frequently told people that they were "cousins".]

Hugh's son, "Junior" January, at age four started taking dance and acting classes.  He enrolled at Rosemont Elementary School at the age of six.  He was double promoted in the first grade and skipped half of the sixth grade.   He was a freshman at Sunset High School when he died a few weeks short of his thirteenth birthday.  His mother recorded that he loved to read and was an artist "in a commercial way". He was constant pal with his Dad and often took long trips with him.  His older sister remembers that Junior was permitted to drive a car before she, and that he would pilot the family automobile out on household errands at age eight or ten, though he was never permitted to drive across the viaduct into downtown Dallas.

Junior's date of death was March 23, 1933. There had been a congenital heart condition, his family was later told by the physician who examined the dead boy. Junior had been out in the woods over in the Ravinia area along Jefferson, playing with some friends. He collapsed suddenly. It took them a while to realize that he wasn't getting up because something was wrong. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His father, Hugh January Sr. was standing as a candidate for Dallas City Council at the time, and heard the news of his son's unexpected death while he was preparing to speak at a rally across town. It was a front page newspaper story. Hugh January Sr. withdrew from the campaign soon thereafter.

Funeral services were conducted at the January's home at 1123 Lausanne by the pastor of the Kessler Park Methodist Church, where Junior had been a member since age eight. A Sunset High School R.O.T.C. unit acted as pallbearers; Junior's seventh grade Rosemont classmates were designated as honorary pallbearers. Burial was at Oakland Cemetery.

A few years later, as Hugh January and partner Roy Eastus opened a new subdivision called "East Kessler"; they named one of the new streets in honor of Hugh's son: "Junior Drive".  

That's the story; attached is a scan of "Junior" from the family's album.
Posted by: Jim Barnes
24 March 2003 -- with minor corrections made on the 8th of May 2017