This day in 1940

Uriah Found Safe; Just Needed a Nap

Uriah Berryhill Jr., an 8-year-old from 1118 Wilbur St, worried his mother when he didn't return from school that afternoon. According to The Dallas Morning News, a search party consisting of police, the Elmwood (Margaret B. Henderson) Dads' Club and Boy Scout Troop #2 was called to look for the missing boy "in one of the most comprehensive boyhunts Elmwood addition has seen recently" – there must have been many back in those days!

The search didn't last long, as he was found curled up inside a gas meter box in an alley near his home. “I was just sleepy,” he yawned.

Uriah Boyhunt 2.9.1940.png

It would be great if there were more to this story. February 9, 1940 was just a few months after the 1939 release of The Wizard of Oz, in which Dorothy Gale of Kansas wakes up from a "dream" and learns that there's no place like home. What if young Uriah also traveled to Oz and met witches and wizards as well? It's not as if Oak Cliff is immune to deadly twisters.



Read the full text of the 1940 story below:


Elmwood 8-Year-Old Curled in Meter Box; “I was sleepy”

February 9, 1940
For two hours Thursday night the absence of Uriah Berryhill Jr., 8 of 1118 Wilbur, Elmwood Addition, worried his parents and police alike, until members of a Boy Scout troop found him peacefully sleeping in a gas meter box in an alley two blocks from his home.
It was his size which permitted him to relax in those close quarters, his mother explained. His is the size of the average 6-year-old boy. He was none the worse for his experience, but his mother was.
The first thing untoward was his failure to make an appearance at home after his grade was dismissed. His mother traced him to a friend’s house, but he wasn’t there.
At 7:30 p.m. she telephoned police and then called on Boy Scout Troop 2. J. K. Daffron, scoutmaster, and Lee Bailey, assistant, joined Frank Brown, committeeman from the school’s dads club and Scouts George Seaman, Louis Phelps, Owen Townsend and Barry Berryhill, the missing boy’s brother, in one of the most comprehensive boyhunts Elmwood addition has seen recently.
It didn’t take the searchers long. They found the missing boy curled up in the meter box, awakened him. “I was just sleepy,” he yawned.