Friday September 25, 2015
“I just loved the vibrancy of the city. I truly thought I had died and gone to heaven.” That’s what Ebby Halliday thought when she first stepped off the train in 1938 and looked at Dallas, the place she would come to call her new home.
If her name doesn’t ring a bell, you are still sure to have heard of her prospering business. You have probably driven passed one of her offices or advertisements—and you have certainly seen the signs in front yards. She was the founder of Ebby Halliday REALTORS® and a valued inspiration to the Dallas community. She passed away Tuesday, September 8, at the age of 104.
Ebby was born in a little town called Leslie, Arkansas in March of 1911. However, she wasn’t always named Ebby Halliday. Her birth name was Vera Lucille Koch. By the time her foot stepped on to Dallas soil, she went by Ebby Halliday and first made her living by selling women’s hats. She quickly gained success catering to the wealthy women of Dallas.
She dived into the real estate business when a customer’s husband approached her with an opportunity to sell newly built homes, saying “If you could sell your crazy hats to my wife, maybe you could sell my crazy houses.” His name was Clint Murchison, founder of the Dallas Cowboys. Without any prior real estate experience, Halliday boldly accepted the challenge and sold every last house Murchison owned. It wasn’t long before Ebby Halliday REALTORS® was founded and she never looked back.
Over her esteemed lifetime, Ebby Halliday was an avid supporter of the community with programs such as Alexis de Tocqueville Society for United Way, Dallas Symphony Orchestra Guild, and the State Fair of Texas. She was on multiple committee boards of the community including the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Greater Dallas Planning Committee, and Dallas Parks and Recreation Board. She also helped open several women’s centers including YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas’ Ebby’s Place, and Juliette Fowler Community’s The Ebby House. She has been honored with many accolades for both her philanthropy and impeccable work ethic.
Ebby Halliday may have loved the city because of its vibrancy back in 1938, but her actions and cherished community contributions helped give Dallas the true vibrancy it possess today.
“Be honest, touch people’s lives, look at people when you talk to them, don’t criticize the competition and do something nice for someone every day.” ~Ebby Halliday
Photo source: Ebby Halliday Realtors