The Presidential Escort Commander from Elmwood

On November 22, 1963, a Dallas Police Dept. Sergeant named Samuel Quinton Bellah served as  commander of the "advance line" presidential escort ahead of President John F. Kennedy's motorcade through Downtown Dallas. For 54 years following the tragic events of that day, investigators and conspiracy theorists have scrutinized every detail of every person who's had a role, including their home addresses. According to a 1961 phone directory and several documents including the Warren Commission report, Sergeant Bellah lived in 2219 Wilbur near the southwestern edge of Elmwood.

A fascinating "grassy knoll shooter" theory uses Bellah's voice on two radio channels to dispute the official "lone gunman" account, and you can read about it here. Our neighborhood has another loose connection to that national tragedy: DPD Officer J.D. Tippit, shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald near Tenth St. and Patton Ave., worked security at Austin's BBQ, the beloved restaurant at the corner of Hampton and Illinois.

Excerpt from Presidential Motorcade Schematic Listing – Vaughan, Todd Wayne (1993).

Excerpt from Presidential Motorcade Schematic Listing – Vaughan, Todd Wayne (1993).

Samuel Quinton Bellah passed away in Temple, Texas on July 23, 2008 at the age of 82. He was born in Clarkwood, Texas on February 8, 1926 to Olvey and Rosa Jewel Bellah, later serving in the Navy during WWII. A member of the Masonic Lodge and Baptist Church, he was once part owner of a restaurant in Streetman, Texas called "The Smokehouse." At the time of his death, Bellah had been retired from DPD for 20 years.