Karl S.J. Hoblitzelle on the right.

It’s Friday, so here’s a flashback.

Karl St. John Hoblitzelle is known as a theater owner, civic leader and philanthropist. He’s also known for advocating for Hamilton Park.

Hoblitzelle, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on Oct. 22, 1879, one of thirteen children.

Hoblitzelle moved to Dallas in 1929 after he was married. made their permanent home in Dallas. “In 1929 Hoblitzelle planned to retire and sold most of his theater interests to RKO. The couple set off for Europe in 1931 but upon their return found that the Great Depression had badly hurt the major studios and endangered the jobs of hundreds of Hoblitzelle’s colleagues. RKO and Paramount went into receivership in January 1933, and Hoblitzelle reorganized the Texas holdings of these two companies as the Interstate Circuit and the Texas Consolidated Theatres,” according to the Texas State Historical Association.

By 1935 he was president of Paramount and RKO, and he remained active as president of Interstate until his death. He also established Hoblitzelle Properties which bought real estate throughout the Dallas area.

In May 1949 Hoblitzelle told the trustees of his charitable foundation about “the desperate need of the negroes of Dallas for housing” and proposed a large development.

“Though the Hoblitzelle Foundation failed to secure a site, it lent the Dallas Citizens’ Interracial Association $216,872.93 in 1953 to purchase the land for Hamilton Park (233 acres). The association was established in October 1951 by the chamber of commerce and the Dallas Citizens Council. In addition to the Hoblitzelle Foundation transaction, it borrowed $423,619.99 from three Dallas banks to finance water and sewer lines to the property. FHA and VA guaranteed loans were available to Hamilton Park home buyers,” according to TSHA.

Here’s a previous article we wrote about Hamilton Park.