The casual observer of November 22 1963 would get the impression that the Texas School Book Depository had occupied that building on Elm Street in Dallas for many long years. That impression would be wrong. The company had just moved in over the previous winter. Its clerical offices had been right across the street, on the 1st floor of the Dal-Tex. The old warehouse, still in use, was a quarter-mile back across the rail yard on Houston Street.
The original building was struck by lightning and burnt down in 1901. It was rebuilt and used for manufacturing farm equipment by the Rock Island Plow Company, who was acquired by International Harvester in 1910. Oil tycoon David H. Byrd purchased it in 1937, with the intention of making air conditioners. But patent disputes stalled this idea and Byrd leased the building in 1941 to the John Sexton grocery wholesaler. And so it became known as the Sexton Building.
They moved out in November of 1961 and the building was vacant for about a year, leased at some point to Depository president Jack Cason. Several months of renovations created office space up to the 4th floor, including the installation of a passenger elevator near the front entrance. The TSBD Company moved in over the winter of 1962-63. Seven publishing companies also used the building at the time of the assassination.
Jack Cason told the Secret Service in early December that he left the building around 11:00 A.M., meeting up with some friends who were arriving in town for his daughter’s wedding the next day. He told the FBI in March that he had left at approximately 12:10 P.M. and he heard about the assassination on his car radio. D.H. Byrd was on a safari in Mozambique at the time in question. There was never any proper investigation of the Depository personnel, who left us a trail of omissions and ambiguities, punctuated by shards of truth that glitter and obfuscate to this day. The present work amends and enlarges upon points discussed in my previous essays, and introduces new material...
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