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Full text of "Standard history of Houston, Texas : from a study of the original sources"

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Cornell University Library 

F 394H8 C31 

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Standard history of Houston, Texas 




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3 1924 028 802 142 



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FOUNDER OF THE W» M, 



Standard Ifisi 

of 

Houston I c\a^ 

Fr-JiK « Study of the Ortgjkv^i "*> 



Edited h^ 

C ;RH0LL, Jr., LI, B V * f-»» O 

• .«f«<r.D«»f«ri«," and '"Xix f'A^Aimi l*ist-;--i. *> 



1 



KnoxviSe, T< l^ef■^«^.' 
Published bjr H. W. Crew ft O. 

ma 

L w. 



Copyrighted 1912 
/ by 
H. W. CREW & CO. 



KnoxviUe Printing & Box Co. 

Printers and Bindeis 

Knoxville, Tenn^ 



tj-^ 



Foreword 



The Story of Houston has not proved an easy one to write. 
A city is in many respects a conglomeration of units rather 
than an aggregate of unities. The units are of character so 
varying that it is hard to reduce them to a common denominator. 
Municipal consciousness is vague and much that happens in the 
development of a city seems to be fortuitous rather than 
teleological. Yet Houston has in many respects grown to 
formula and plan and has often responded heartily to conscious 
effort made at improvement of conditions. The foundations of 
the past have been used and effort has been often cumulative in 
results. Undeniably there is a municipal spirit, an esprit du 
corps of the citizens that argues well for the future of the town. 

The plan followed in writing this history has been to outline 
the beginnings of things, especially in the days of the Republic, 
in a manner that in so far as possible follows the order in which 
the events occurred. After Texas entered the Union the growth 
of the city is incidentally shown in tracing the growth of the 
several institutions the aggregate of whose history is the history 
of the city. The last chapter of the book hinges iu a manner 
directly on to the last chapter on the days of the Republic and 
outlines the various periods in the municipal life, gives pen 
pictures of the city at intervals of years, and recapitulates 
briefly the latest era of greatest achievement. 

The volume is true history in that an appeal has been 
made directly to the sources of history. These have been three; 
newspapers, there have been newspapers in Houston from the 
earliest times and it began with a newspaper advertisement; 
the observations of eye-witnesses as they were recounted in 
books, especially those of travel and adventure, as to conditions 
in Houston; and the recollections of the citizens themselves. A 



10 History of Houston, Texas 

number of manuscript letters of Sam Houston and others were 
also used. 

Every extant number of the files of the Telegraph, the 
Morning Star, the Houston Post and the Houston Chronicle 
was carefully searched for data, an expert spending four months 
in going over the newspaper files alone. Matter sufficient for 
the writing of five volumes the size of this one was obtained 
and the question of the selection of data assumed importance. 
Many facts and incidents are given as they are recalled in the 
memories of old citizens who had personal knowledge of the 
facts or who participated in the events. 

A number of the chapters were written by Dr. S. 0. Young, 
whose family belongs to the earliest settlers and who often 
writes from personal recollections of events occurring within the 
last half century. Dr. Young was at one time the editor of 
the Houston Post, was later the managing editor of the Galveston 
News and has a wide acquaintance with both local and Texas 
history and is famed as a raconteur. 

A number of chapters, including all those of the period of 
the Republic and the chapter on the Wm. M. Rice Institute, 
were written entirely by the editor. 

Such statistics as are given without reference to their 
source are those current in the newspapers of their respective 
dates or such as are given by those in position to possess true 
information. 

This work may fairly lay claim to the following negative 
merits : 

There is not one line of its text that is advertising. Such 
mention as is made of firms, persons or corporations is absolutely 
gratuitous and is made because the editor believed that the 
person, firm or corporation deserved such mention in fairly 
telling the story of Houston. 

There is no conscious or deliberate padding of facts and 
figures or exaggeration of statement. The editor feels great 
pride in Houston, but he has made no attempt to show the city 
in a rosy glow. 

There has been a careful avoidance of the valley of dry 



Foreword 11 

bones of municipal politics. Dead issues have been left in their 
moribund condition fully wrapped in their shrouds and 
vestments. Only when such important matters as the beginning 
or ending of the carpet bag government or the change from the 
old ward system of politics to the commission form of government 
were to be noted have the issues of municipal campaigns been 
noticed. Much more has there been an avoidance of state and 
national politics. 

In writing this history special prominence has been given 
to the Rice Institute because this institution seems certain 
to play a tremendous part in the city's future history. The 
sketch of William M. Rice is the only one ever written and in 
preparing it the men who had known him in his lifetime and 
his business activities were consulted for information in their 
possession. It is believed to be a faithful portrayal of the man 
who takes rank as Houston's greatest benefactor. 

Growth in the future will be so rapid that unless some 
measures are taken to preserve the city's early story it might 
easily be lost. 

Such a volume as the present one, despite the care and 
trouble necessary to prepare it, necessarily appeals to a circle 
of readers found within the list of the citizens of Houston 
itself, together with a few outside students of economic or 
municipal conditions. It is believed, however, that this book 
will be of interest and value to all lovers of Houston and 
the editor chiefly deplores that he has found it impossible to 
even name all the worthy men and women who have contributed 
to the growth and prosperity of the city, and will be the first 
to admit that the services of many here unnamed are worthy to 
take rank along with the highest and best of those capitulated. 

The editor cordially acknowledges the aid and assistance 
rendered by newspaper writers, by musicians, by architects and 
by others who have given counsel or advice on matters relating 
to their professions or callings. 

The work is submitted as a record of the achievements of 
a city that is just three quarters of a century old. The record 
is carried to a date that varies between February 28, 1911 and 



12 History of Houston, Texas 

November 1, 1911, as the chapters went to press at varying 
dates. It is the wish of the editor that it may prove to be 
Worthy of the friendly consideration of those who love Houston 
and believe in her future. 
Nov. 21, 1911. THE EDITOR. 



This edition of the Standard History of Houston was 
printed for subscribers only. The edition was limited to the 
.subscription list and the type has been distributed. 

The PuBLISHiEES. 



Protrait Illustrations 

Rice, Wm, -M. ..ii.;.....;..;;., Frontispiece 

Rice, J. S ,..;,.; , ." ., . Facing 313 

Jones, Jesse. H _ ' ' 336 

Cabter, W. T :.. " 369 

Jones, Fred. A " 403 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER I 
Settlement and Pioneer Life 



HOUSTON, a Monument to Real Estate Promoters' Art. First 
Built on Paper and Advertised all over America. Pro- 
hibitive Prices of Land at Harrisburg Caused Choice of 
Houston's Site. Foresight of A. C. and J. K. Allen. The 
First Steamer up the Bayou. City Mapped and Plotted. 
Rivalry with Harrisburg. Founding of Harrisburg. Geo- 
logical Formation of Harris County. Early Social Condi- 
tions. Fights and Murders. Civil Officers, Laws and 
Justice. Building Court House and Jail. First Court 
Trials, First Wedding, First Divorce. City's Mayors under 
the Republic. Much Litigation and Many Land Frauds. 



CHAPTER II 
Early Day Amusements 



Hunting, Fishing and Poker. The Jockey Club and Horse 
Racing. Notable Dances, the San Jacinto Anniversary 
Ball and Description of Sam Houston and Other Partici- 
pants. A Festival Meal at Houston's First Hotel. City's 
First Theatres and their Performances. 



CHAPTER HI 
Houston and the Red Men 



Sam Jlouston and the Cherokees. An Indian Dance. Letters 
.. from Chiefs John Jolly and Bowles. Houston's Indian 
Talk. Fate of Cherokees and Comanches. 



16 History of Houston, Texas 

CHAPTER IV 
Capital Days and Annexation 



Houston Chosen as Capital City of New Nation. Erectioif of 
Capitol Building. First Newspaper. British Representa- 
tive, present at Sam Houston's Inaugural Address. Second 
Congress Meets in Houston — Its Activities. Visit of 
Admiral Baudin, of France. Mirabeau B. Lamar and His 
Policies as President. England's Refusal to Recognize 
Independence. Slaves in Houston. Removal of Capital 
to Austin, Causes of Annexation. The Vote jn Harris 
County. 



CHAPTER V 
Early Religious Organizations 



Houston's Pioneer Churches. Methodists, Presbyterians, Bap- 
tists and Catholics Early Founded Congregations. 



CHAPTER VI 
Early Growth and the Bayou 



City of Houston's Early Progress and Poverty. Arrival of 
Schooner "RoUa." Financial Panic and Yellow Fever 
Epidemic of 1839. First Book Published in City. Building 
of Wharves and Organization of Chamber of Commerce. 
Early Descriptions of the Buffalo River and its Steamboat 
Life. British Consul Ikin's Description of Houston. Civic 
Prosperity. Houston Enters Union as Commercial Empor- 
ium and Business Capital of the State.- 



CHAPTBR VII 
The City Government 



Early City Limits, First Market House. "Reconstruction" 
Administration. First Bridge Across Buffalo Bayou. ' The 



Contents 17 

First Fire Company. Houston Hook and Ladder Company. 
The Fire Department of Today. Early Police Officers. Some 
Old Police Notes. The Police . Department Today. City 
Water Works. Houston Gas Company. Contending with 
a Big Debt. What Mayor D. C. Smith Accomplished. 
Mayor Rice and the Commission Form of Government. 
What the Commission Has Done for Houston. 



-0- 



CHAPTER VIII 
The Bench and Bar 



fiigh Character of Early Lawyers^ First District Court. Early 
Legal Documents. Great Criminal Lawyers. Ex-Governor 
Henderson 's Butcher Knife. Members of Early Bar. Crim- 
inal and District Court Judges. The County Court and 
Its Judges. Judge Hamblen's Reminiscences. Harris 
County Bar Association, Houston as a Source of Legal 
Business. 



CHAPTER IX 
Medical History 



Pioneer Physicians and Their Labors. First Houston MedSeai 
Association. Organization of the State Medical Associati^in. 
Railroad Surgeons Association. Harris County Medical 
Association. Houston's Modern Hospitg,ls. Story of Early 
Epidemics. The Doctors and the Newspapers. 



CHAPTER X 
Church History 



Founding of the Evangelical Churches in Houston. Organiza- 
tion of the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and 
Episcopalians. German Lutheran Churches, Disciples and 
Christian Scientists. The Roman Catholic Institutions in 



18 History of Houston, Texas 

Houston. Congregation Beth Israel and Hebrew Syna- 
gogues. The Houston Y. M. C. A. 



CHAPTER XI 
Education and Free Schools 



Houston's Earliest Schools were Private Enterprises. Lack of 
Proper School Facilities. The Houston Academy. Congres- 
sional Appropriations for Public Schools. Free Schools 
Flourished only after Civil War. Arguments Against the 
System. Houston First City to Take Control of Her Schools. 
City School Superintendents. Opening of Public Schools 
in October, 1877. Comparative Growth from 1877 to 1909. 
Scientific Features in City's Schools. Superintendent 
Horn's Summary of Decade from 1901 to 1911. Private 
School Enterprises. 



CHAPTER XII 
The Rice Institute 



Houston's Inheritance Through a Tragedy. The Story of a 
Famous Crime. A Princely Gift. A Biography of "William 
M. Rice. The Initial Donation. A Continuating Benevo- 
lence. The Monument to the Childless Man. William M. 
:\ Bice as Philanthropist and Business Man. Dr. Edgar Odell 
Lovett elected President of the Institute. Laying the Corner 
Stone. The City's Dominant Institution. 



CHAPTER XIII 
Houston Newspapers 



Story .of First Newspaper in Texas and its Removal to Houston. 
T?he Telegraph and Register. The Morning Star. Flood of 
Newspaper Enterprises Following Civil War. Special Inter- 
est and Trade Periodicals in Houston. The Houston Tele- 



Contents 19 

gram. The Houston Post Organized and Suspended. TliP 
New Post. The Houston Herald. The Chronicle and Its 
Makers. Some Famous Newspaper Men. Some Early and 
Late Authors and Writers. Organiziation of Texas State 
Press Association. 



CHAPTER XIV 
Transportation and Communication 



Early Transportation Difficulties. An Early Monopoly Pro- 
posed. The First Railroad. Other Early Roads. The G. 
H. & H. Road. Beginning of Texas and New Orleans Line. 
Railroads During War and Reconstruction Days. Systems 
Center in Houston. The Plank Road Company. The Ox- 
Wagon Trade. Paul Bremond's Enterprise. Growing Need 
for Roads. Houston as Terminus for Seventeen Roads. 
Houston's Railroad Trackage, Trains and Headquarters. 
Sunset Central System. Katy and Sap Terminals. Santa 
Pe and Frisco Lines'. Bayou Navigation. The Wharfage 
Fight. Charles Morgan and the Ship Channel. The Gov- 
ernment and the Channel. Deepening the Channel. Bayou 
Traffic. Houston Terminal Company. First Street Car 
Company. Extending Street Railways. Operation Under 
Stone- Webster Syndicate. Trackage and Pay Roll. Houston 
Galveston Interurban. Farliest Telegraph Service. Begin- 
nings of Telephone Service. Present Telegraph Service in 
Houston. Southwestern Telegraph and Telephone Company. 
Automatic Telephone Company. Wireless Telegraphy. 



CHAPTER XV 
Societies and Clubs 



Free Masonry in Texas. Holland Lodp'e and Texas Grand Lodge 
Organized. First Lodge of Odd Fellows. Knights of 
Pythias and Elks. ^he. Houston Turn Verein. The Volks- 
Pests. Societies of War Veterans. Terry's Texas Rangers. 
Second Texas Infantry and Waul's Legion. Hood's Texas 
Brigade. The Bayou City Guards. Dick Dowling Camp U. 



20 History of Houston, Texas 

C. V. and Post McLennan No. 9, G. A. R. Houston Militia 
Companies. The Light Guard. Troop A. First Texas 
Cavalry. Jeff Miller Rifles. The Annual No-Tsu-Oh Carni- 
val. Z. Z. and Thalian Clubs." Country Club. Houston 
Club. Charitable Societies. Organized Charities, Faith 
Home, Wesley House, Florence Crittenden Home, Star of 
Hope Mission. Houston Settlement Association. 



CHAPTER XVI 

Societies and Clubs — Continued 



First Literary Society. Organization of Houston Lyceum. 
Early Efforts to Establish a Library. The Houston Lyceum 
and Carnegie Library. The Ladies Rea,ding Club. Ladies 
Shakespeare Club. The Two other Shakespeare Clubs. 
Current Literature Club. Houston Pen Women's Associa- 
tion. Houston Branch of Dickens Fellowship. Lady Wash- 
ington Chapter. Daughters of the American Revolution. 
San Jacinto Chapter No. 2, Daughters of the Republic of 
Texas. Robert E. Lee Chapter 186, United Daughters of the 
Confederacy. Oran M. Roberts Chapter 440, U. D. C. 



CHAPTER XVII 
Organized Labor 



Organized Labor is Prosperous in Houston. Houston Labor 
Council's Full Report Showing Numbers and Conditions 
in all the Organized Crafts. Good Wages are Paid and 
Sweating System is not in Vogue. 



CHAPTER XVIII 
Board of Trade and Banks 



Organization of Board of Trade and Cotton Exchange. The 
■ Cotton Exchange Building. Officers of Exchange. Cotton 



Contents 21 

as King. Cotton Compresses and Warehouses. The Hous- 
ton Business League. The Chamber of Commerce. Hous- 
ton's Early Banks. Growth Shown by Bank Clearings. 
Houston's Modem Banks. City's Big Trust Companies. 
The Houston Clearing House. 



CHAPTER XIX 
Houston's Manufacturers 



Primitive Beginnings. Natural Advantages Oifered. The 
First Mills. Advent of Col ton Compress. Coming of Iron 
Foundries. Revival of Manufacturing Following the Civil 
War. First Ice Plants. Packing Plants. Conditions from 
1880 to 1890. Car Wheel Shops. Electric Lights. Cotton 
Seed Products. Textile Mills. Furniture and Other Wood- 
working Plants. Manufacturing in 1905. Coffee Roasting- 
Launch Building. Manufacturing Statistics. Fuel and 
Water. Home Products Banquet. 



CHAPTER XX 
Wholesale Trade and Big Business 



Pioneer Conditions of Trade. Steamboat Element in Houston's 
Business Prosperity. Natural Advantages Built up Great 
Industries. Water Competition Gives Advantageous Rail- 
road Tariffs. Houston's Trade Territory. How Annual 
Wholesale Business of $90,000,000 is pro rated. City's 376 
Incorporated Companies. Growth of Produce Business. 
Importation of Fruits. Sugar Jobbing Trade. Packing 
House Business. Changes in Methods of Marketing Cotton. 
How Houston was Made a Cotton Buyers' Market. Houston, 
the Great Selling Market for Lumber. Results of Lumber 
Panic Prices of 1907, in Concentrated Selling Agencies in 
Houston. Manufacturing Capacity of Big Lumber Firms. 
Movement ot Curtail Manufacture. Facts and Figures on 
Lumber Industry. Turpentine Trade. The J. R. Morris 
Plan for Rice Culture. Houston's Rice Mills. Rice Pro- 
duction and Food Value. Houston 's Retail Trade and Wage 
Earners. Capital Invested in Retail Trade. 



22 History of Houston, Texas 

CHAPTER XXI 
Music and Art 



Houston's Early Development as Musical Center Due to Cultured 
German Citizens. High Capacity Demanded by Thursday 
Morning Club. City's Record on Symphony Concerts. The 
Treble Clef Club. The Womans Choral Club. The Hous- 
ton Quartette Society. Federation of English Singing Soci- 
eties of Texas. The Houston Saengerbund. The Houston 
Music Festival Association. Symphony Orchestras and 
Grand Operas. The Japanese Maid. Bands and Orchestras. 
Co-operative Work. Musical Critics. The Future in Music. 
But Few Local Artists. Hugo Schoppman. Work of Thuse- 
tan Donnellen and Edgar Mitchell. Boris Gordon's Famous 
Portrait. The Art League. 



CHAPTER XXII 
Houston's Public Buildings 



City's, Early Court-Houses and Jails. The New County Court 
House. Present County and City Jails. A Peripatetic Post 
Office. The New Federal Building. The Viaduct. The City 
Market House. The New Auditorium. The City Fire 
Stations. 



CHAPTER XXIII 
Architecture and Building 



Tents and Log Huts Were First Buildings. Primitive American 
Architecture. The First Brick Houses. The First Three- 
Story House. The First Four-Story Hotel. The Latin 
Influence. The First Six-Story Office Building. Effect of 
Introducing the New Building Materials. Restrictions 
Placed by Climate on Architecture. First Eleven-Story 
Building. South Texas National Bank Building. The 
Carter Building. First National Bank Building. The Union 
National Bank Building. The Chronicle Building. South- 



Contents 23 

western Telephone Building. New Union Station. Southern 
Pacific Office Building. The Court House and the Federal 
Building. Apartment Houses. The Bender Hotel. The 
New Rice Hotel. Architecture of the Churches. Y. M. C. 
A. Building. Suburban and Country Homes. The Wm. 
M. Rice Institute. Houston Residences. Building Permits. 



CHAPTER XXIV 
Insurance 



Houston Gets Lowest Rate of Fire Insurance Premium. Fire 
Fighting Apparatus. Early Fire Insurance. Planters Fire 
Insurance Company. Purchase of Bogus Bonds Destroyed 
Houston Fire and Marine Insurance Company. Guarantee 
Life Insurance Company. Remarkable Prosperity of the 
Great Southern Company. 



CHAPTER XXV 
Theatres 



Santa Anna Broke up First Theatre Project. The Thompson 
and Buckley Theatres. The Gray Opera House. Early 
Amateur Dramatic Clubs. Academy of Music First Local 
Home of Vaudeville. The Beautiful New Majestic Theatre. 
The Prince Theatre. The Old Majestic. The New Cozy. 
Moving Picture Shows and Stock Companies. 



CHAPTER XXVI 
Parks and Cemeteries 



Purchase and Developjnent of Sam Houston Park. Highland 
Park. Cleveland Park. Elizabeth Baldwin Park. City's need 
of Plaza Parks. Ruined Condition of City's Earliest Ceme- 
teries. Episcopal Church and Holland Lodge Cemetery. 
Glenwood and Catholic Cemeteries. List of other Cemeteries. 



24 History of Houston, Texas 

Sylvan Beauties of Burying Ground. Land Tenure of Cem- 
etery Lots. 



CHAPTER XXVII 
Old Landmarks 



The Old Indian Trading Post. The Old City Hotel and Huteliins 
House. Site of Capitol and Land Office Buildings. Hous- 
ton's Mansion. Where the First Store Stood. Two Historic 
Bridges. Sites of Early Railroad Construction. The Old 
City Wharf. Reminiscences on Destruction of Houston's 
First Hotel. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 
Houston's Growth and Progress 



The Several Periods of Houston's History. The Plan Followed 
in Writing the City's Story. A Chapter of Recapitulation. 
Characteristics of the Pioneer Builders. Trade Revival 
Following Annexation. The Days of Ox-Wagon Traffic. 
Benefits from the First Railroad. The Destructive Early 
Fires and their Results. A Pen Picture of the City in 1857. 
Houston During the Civil War. Blockade Running and Trade 
Conditions. Houston as Military Headquarters. Feverish 
Gaiety of the War Period. A Dearth of Food and Clothes. 
Confederate Money and Shin Plasters. Rapid Business 
Revival When War Closed. Texas on Gold and Silver Basis. 
City Looted Under Carpet Bag Rule. A Pen Picture of 
Houston in 1879. A Period of Lethargy and Stagnation. 
The Years of Growth and Expansion. Rapid Increase in 
Property Values. City's. Population Doubles Each Decade. 
The Great Skyscraper Era. Synopsis of City's Relation to 
Big Business Taken from City Directory of 1911. What 
Houston has Accomplished in the 75 Years of its Life. 
The Promise of the Future. 



CHAPTER I 

Settlement and Pioneer Life 



HOUSTON, a Monument to Real Estate Promoters' Art. First 
Built on Paper and Advertised all over America. Pro- 
hibitive Prices of Land at Harrisburg Caused Choice of 
Houston's Site. Foresight of A. C. and J. K. Allen. The 
First Steamer up the Bayou. City Mapped and Plotted. 
Rivalry with Harrisburg. Founding of Harrisburg. Geo- 
logical Formation of Harris County. Early Social Condi- 
tions. Fights and Murders. Civil Officers, Laws and 
Justice. Building Court House and Jail. First Court 
Trials, First Wedding, First Divorce. City's Mayors under 
the Republic. Much Litigation and Many Land Frauds. 



Houston is a splendid monument to the success of the 
real estate promoter's art. Other cities have prospered Topsy 
wise. They just grew. A lucky place at a cross roads, a river 
bend or a mountain pass where they might catch the drift from 
the tides of travel and by the simple process of accretion or 
the fortuitous concourse of human atoms a city came into being. 
Not so Houston. Its site was selected by promoters, it was 
mapped and planned ere ever a house was built, its advan- 
tages were touted in the national press and it has performed 
the singular feat of growing largely according to the plans 
and specifications originally laid out for its development and 
has surpassed the most "whopping" predictions as to its growth 
and prosperity. 

All the stage wits and travelling vaudeville artists use 
Harrisburg as the target for their country village jokes and 
yet curiously enough it was the prohibitive price of land in 
Harrisburg that caused Houston to be chosen and built. The 
promoters recognized the obvious fact that Harrisburg is a 



26 History of Houston, Texas 

better place for a city than Houston and tried to buy there 
but the owners of the proposed townsite were greedy and 
hence a site farther up the river was chosen. 

By a deed of the date of August 26, 1836, and for a recited 
consideration of $5,000, two New York speculators, the brothers 
A. C. and J. K. Allen, purchased of Mrs. T. F. L. Parrott the 
south half of the lower of the two leagues of land' granted 
to John Austin, near the head of tide water on Buffalo Bayou. 
It was immediately put on the market as a townsite. The 
first formal annoucement is an advertisement published in the 
"Columbia Telegraph" of the date of August 30, 1836. Tt 
reads : 

"THE TOWN OF HOUSTON, 

"Situated at the head of navigation on the west bank of 
Buffalo river is now for the first time brought to public notice, 
because, until now, the properties were not ready to offer to 
the public, with the advantages of capital and improvements. 

"The town of Houston is located at a point on the river 
which must ever command the trade of the largest and richest 
portion of Texas. By reference to the map it will be seen that 
the trade of San Jacinto, Spring Creek, New Kentucky, and 
the Brazos, above and below Fort Bend, must necessarily come 
to this place, and will at this time warrant the employment 
of at least $1,000,000 of capital, and when the rich lands of 
this country shall be settled, a trade will flow to it, making it, 
beyond all doubt, the great interior commercial emporium 
of Texas. 

"The town of Houston is distant 15 miles from the Brazos 
river, 30 miles a little north of east from the San Felipe, 60 miles 
from Washington, 40 miles from Lake Creek, 30 miles south- 
west from New Kentucky and 15 miles by water and' 8 or 10 
by land above Harrisburg. 

' "Tide water runs to this place and the lowest depth of 
water is about 6 feet. Vessels from New Orleans to New York 
can sail without obstacle to this place, and steamboats of the 
largest class can run down to Galveston Island in 8 or 10 
hours in all seasons of the year. 



Settlement and Pioneer Life 27 

"It is but a few hours sail down the bay, where one may 
make excursions of pleasure and enjoy the luxuries of fisTi, 
fowl, oysters and sea bathing. 

"Galveston Harbor, being the only one in which vessels 
drawing a large draft of water can navigate, must necessarily 
render the island the great naval and commercial depot of the 
country. 

' ' The town of Houston must be the place where arms, ammu- 
nitions and provisions for the government will be stored, 
because, situated in the very heart of the eountry, it combines 
security and means of easy distribution, and a national armory 
will no doubt very soon be at this point. 

"There is no place in Texas more healthy, having an abun- 
dance of excellent spring water, imd eii.joyiiig the sea breeze 
in all its freshness. 

"No place iji Texas possesses so many advantages for 
building, having fine ash, cedar and oak in inexhaustible quan- 
tities, also the tall and beautiful magnolia grows in abundance. 
In the vicinity are fine quarries of stone. 

"Nature appears to have designated this place for the 
future seat of government. It is handsome and beautifully 
elevated, salubrious and well watered and now in the v^ry heart 
or center of population, and will be so for a i'^nfth of time to 
come. 

"It combines two important advantages — a communication 
with the coiast and foreign countries and with the different 
portions of the Republic. As the couniry sViall improve, rail- 
roads will become in use and will be extended from ttiis ]ioint 
to the Brazos and up the same, and also from this up to the 
headwaters of San Jacinto, embracing that rich country, and in 
a few years the whole trade of the upper Brazos will make 
its way into Galveston Bay through this channel. 

"Preparations are now making to erect a water saw mill 
and a large public house for accommodation will soon be 
opened. Steamboats now run in this river and will in a short 
time commence running regularly to the island. 

"The proprietors offer the lots for sale on moderate terms 



28 History of Houston, Texas 

to those who desire to improve them, and invite the public to 
examine for themselves. 

Signed A. C. ALLEN, for 

A. C. & J. K. Allen. 
August 30, 1836, 6 m. 

"The Commercial Bulletin of New Orleans, Mobile Adver- 
tiser, The Globe at Washington, Morning Courier and New 
York Enquirer, New York Herald and Louisville Public Adver- 
tiser are requested to make 3 insertions of this advertise- 
ment and forward their bills to this office for payment." 

How familiar it all sounds. Houston boosters ever since 
then haVe been consciously or unconsciously plagiarizing that 
model and brilliantly worded advertisement of the unborn city. 

Land in Texas was inexhaustible and cheap, and it is start- 
ling only to think of the sheer nerve of the Allen Brothers in 
buying a large segment of a virgin wilderness on the banks 
of a brush grown bayou and deliberately starting out to make { 
a great city there and to make it the capital of a new nation 
and then to advertise it all over a foreign country, for the 
United States was then a foreign country. Not only did the 
Allen Brothers start out to work this miracle but they actually 
accomplished it. "Within a year's time this city of p&per and 
tents was the capital of Texas and was entertaining distin- 
guished men from many parts of the world. 

Like most promoters, the Aliens strained the facts a bit, but 
the facts could stand the strain. Communication with the 
coast and foreign countries was not of the best. It took four 
day's to traverse the distance from Harrisburg to Houston by 
boat and only a bridle path traversed the jungle that inter- 
vened between the two points by land. 

"When the new city was first announced. Dr. Pleasant "W. 
Rose of a neighboring town with a party visited the site of the 
city. They found "one dug out canoe, a bottle gourd of whis- 
key, a surveyors chain and compass and a grove inhabited by 
four men camping in tents." 

Low hanging trees and snags in the bayou made progress 
slow by water. Francis R. Lubbock, one of the earliest and' 



Settlement and Pioneer Life 29 

most prominent citizens, who was later Governor of Texas, 
"discovered Houston," in January, 1837. The little steamer 
on which he came up the bayou required three days to make 
the trip from Harrisburg, a distance of 12 miles by water. 
He says : ' ' The slow time was in consequence of the obstruc- 
tions we were obliged to remove as we progressed. We had to 
rig what were called Spanish windlasses on the shore, to heave 
the logs and snags out of our way, the passengers all work- 
ing faithfully. All hands on board would get out on the shore, 
and cutting down a tree would make a windlass by boring 
holes in it and placing it upon a support and throwing a 
, bight of rope around it, secure one end to a tree in the rear, 
and the other to the snags or fallen trees in the water. Then 
by means of the capstan bars we would turn the improvised 
capstan on land and draw from the track of the steamer the 
obstructions. ' ' 

The saddest part of it was that even then the passengers 
came very near not finding the city. A party of them took the 
yawl to try and find the landing but missed it and passed on 
until they stuck in the brush in White Oak Bayou and then 
backed down until they found wagon wheels and footprints in 
the mud bank at the waters edge and then saw the stakes driven 
in the ground that indicated that Houston was there. 

This Steamer was the "Laura" and was the first to ever 
reach the wharfless landing. 

The Allen Brothers had the germ of faith. It could not 
move mountains and hence the feature of beautiful elevation 
in the advertisement was a trifle difficult to find, but it could and 
did build cities. 

The original plan of the city and the map of it contem- 
plated only 62 blocks, all on the south side of Buffalo Bayou. 
Gail Borden, the man who subsequently discovered or invented 
condensed milk, and T. H. Borden made the survey and map 
in 1836. The streets were given the names they now hold except 
that Austin Street was then Homer Street and LaB ranch 
Street was then Milton Street. Homer Street had its name 
changed within a short time in honor of Stephen F. Austin 



30 History of Houston, Texas 

and Milton Street in honor of Alcee LaBranch Charge d' Affairs 
from the United States and the first minister to announce the 
recognition of Texas among the nations of the world. Epic 
poets of Greece and England were thus forced to give place to 
American heroes and statesmen. 

Another map, made by Girard, of the Texas Army, is now 
in the possession of John S. Stewart of Houston. 

On the original map, block 31, the present site of the 
court house, was set aside and marked court house, and block 
34, the prfesent market square, was marked Congress Square. 

John Allen, who selected the site of Houston immediately 
following the Battle of San Jacinto, called the street now tra- 
versed by the Houston and Texas Central Road, Railroad Street, 
saying, "This is the street which the great Texas railroad will 
traverse. His foresight was correct and his prophecy came 
true, but he died before the first locomotive blew its whistle 
over the right of way. His death occurred in 1838. 

On April 7, 1837, the townsite was enlarged and a new 
map was drawn, extending one tiqr of blocks beyond Rusk 
Street on the south, one tier beyond Crawford Street on the east 
and one tier beyond Clay Street on the west. The square west 
of the Rice Hotel square on Main Street was originally designat- 
ed as Capitol Square but when the Capitol building was erected 
in 1837 it occupied the site now occupied by the Rice Hotel and 
soon to be occupied by the new 18-story Rice Hotel. 

A little group of settlers, among them the promoters of the 
town, settled in Houston during the year 3836. They lived in 
tents. On January 1, 1837, the city was still one of tents 
although Henry Allen had a small log house and several small 
houses were in course of erection. Logs were being hauled in 
from the forest for a hotel on Franklin Street at the corner 
of Travis, now occupied by the Southern Pacific building, where 
the old Hutchins House stood for many years. Col. Benjamin 
Foxt Smith built the first hotel. >He had been Inspector Gen- 
era! at the Battle of ban Ja«into. All lumber was them sawed 
by hand and cost from $15'i to $200 per thousand feet. There 
was a saw mill at H.-irrisburg. but some of tlie earliest houses 



8ettlemen:t and Pioneer Life 31 

were built out of lumber that was shipped from Maine by water. 

Most of those who came to the new town stayed, possibly 
because it was practically impossible to get away. The forests 
that surrounded Hotiston on every side were filled with abun- 
dance of wild game. Bear, deer, antelope, buif alo, wild turkeys in 
great flocks, and large herds of wild mustang horses 
roamed within a few miles. On the opposite side of Buffalo 
Bayou several tribes of wild Indians were accustomed to camp 
in the splendid forest, a custom which they kept up for several 
years after the founding of the town. 

The streets were broad paths cleared by the axe, and bot- 
tomless with mud in wet weather. There were no sidewalks. 
The tents and huts clustered on the banks of the steam or a 
few blocks away. The town was still without a hotel, a court 
house, a jail or a church in December, 1886. Even the saloons 
occupied large tents. The battle of San Jacinto had been 
fought and won, but in Houston as elsewhere, the inhabitants 
were without money, without revenue, without credit and 
without many of the most ordinary necessities of life. Cane 
brakes were burnt down and corn planted on the charred 
ground brought forth good crops. Some of the inhabitants had 
slaves, and cotton was early planted. Harrisburg was still 
the metropolis because it had a saw mill and its saloons were 
housed in wood instead of canvas. By December, 1836, the 
rivalry between the two places was keen, but Houston was 
pulling for the honor of being selected as the seat of govern- 
ment and aspired to be the capital of the new nation and the 
city destined to become a nest of sky-scrapers and the most 
populous city of -Texas was fairly launched. One somehow 
wishes that its valiant yankee promoters could have seen a 
vision of even the Houston of today with bird men soaring in 
aeroplanes around the lofty buildings that serrate the city's 
skyline and give to it for the first time that beautiful elevation 
of which the initial advertisement spoke. 

Under the Mexican government, a short time before the 
commencement of the Texas revolution in 1833 there had been 
created the municipality of Harrisburg as a political subdivi- 



32 History of Houston, Texas 

sion. This included the entire district of which Harris county 
is only a part. For a short time the island of Galveston also 
formed a part of Harrishurg County as the municipality was 
called under the Republic after the Declaration of Independ- 
ence in March, 1836, and continued to be called for several 
years. 

When Houston was founded this section was sprinkled 
with settlers in all directions. A Mr. Knight and Mr. "Walter 
C. "White at the time of Long's expedition in 1820 had burnt 
off a canebrake and raised a crop of corn on the San Jacinto 
near its mouth, but subsequently moved to Brazoria. 

John Henry Brown in an article in the Houston Post of 
December 17, 1891, gives a detailed account of the first settlers 
largely from information from Mary J. Briscoe, of Houston, a 
daughter of the John B. Harris who founded Harrisburg. He 
settled there in 1824, laid out the town in 1826 and built the 
first steam saw mill in Texas for which he received as a bounty 
two leagues of land. He was a merchant, a tanner and the 
owner of a schooner whose name — ' ' The Rights of Man, ' ' reveals 
something of his religious and political views. This 
schooner plied between Harrisburg and New Orleans. In 1828, 
David, a brother of John B., arrived in Harrisburg and in 1830 
"William P. Harris and "Honest Bob" Wilson arrived, who 
were followed in 1832 by Samuel Harris, a fourth brother, all 
coming from Cayuga County, New York. 

Mary Jane Harris, a daughter of the first settler, married 
Captain Andrew Briscoe, a colleague of the great Mexican 
patriot, Don Lorenzo De Zavala, and was one of the early 
settlers in Houston. Her daughter, Mrs. Adeie B. Looscan, lives 
in Houston. 

Perhaps the honor of being the first settler in Houston 
should go to a Mrs. Wilkins, who, with her two daughters and 
a son-in-law, Dr. Phelps, settled, in 1822, in territory now within 
the city limits of Houston. 

Harrisburg was the seat of justice of the new Republic 
from March 22 to April 13, 1836. On the approach of the Mex- 
ican Army it was abandoned and Santa Anna put it to the 



Settlement and Pioneer Life 33 

torch. The first lone star flag made in Texas was improvised 
at Harrisburg in September, 1835, by a Mrs. Dobson and other 
ladies. A Miss Troutman, of Georgia, gave a lone star flag to 
Captain (later Colonel) "William "Ward, near the same time. 

Following the battle of San Jacinto the First Congress 
of the Republic met in Columbia and on December 15, 1836, 
selected the new town of Houston as the seat of government 
to continue until 1840. The seat of government was moved to 
Houston just prior to May 1, 1837, and soon after— an event 
that proved to be even more important — ^the county seat was 
moved from Harrisburg to Houston. Since that time Harris- 
burg has been in a state of arrested development, a sleepy little 
town on fhe bayou, while Houston has steadily grown until its 
city limits have been thrust into the very heart of old Harris- 
burg and the turning basin and ship channel bid fair to give 
back to that town, now de facto a part of Houston, the dignity 
and prosperity it enjoyed three quarters of a century ago. 

Harris County, in which Houston and Harrisburg are now 
located has an elevation of from 50 to 75 feet above sea level. . 
Its surface is almost level with an almost imperceptible slope 
toward the south. One-fifth of the surface is slightly undulat- 
ing. 

A scientific writer in an early newspaper, who appears to 
know what he is talking about, says that the geological forma- 
tion is past tertiary and that below the surface there is a layer 
of clay with streaks of calcareous nodules varying in color 
from white to gray and yellow to red. In the northern part 
of the county below the clay there is a stratum of sand, and 
in the southern part a moderately hard calcareous sandstone 
in which springs originate. "Water is found from a depth of 
15 feet upward and contains small quantities of lime, magnesia, 
chloride of sodium, and other minerals with a trace of organic 
matter. The surface soil in the north is a sandy earth and in 
the south a black waxy loam enriched With decomposed organic 
matter. It is probable that there are large deposits of oil at a 
considerable depth as oil has been found on nearly all sides of 
the county. " 



34 History of Houston, Texas 

Most of the stirring events of early Texas history center 
elsewhere than in Houston, although the actors in those events 
were often residents of and visitors to the little new town on 
the bayou. Where these events relate to Texas rather than 
to Houston history they can not even be categoried. San 
Jacinto had been fought before Houston was founded, and the 
events of the following years were mainly those of frontier 
growth all over Texas although the country was causing one of 
the prettiest diplomatic webs to be woven in the history of the 
American continent and England, France, Germany and other 
countries soon cast covetous eyes, upon the new republic. The 
important years for the new town were from the middle of April, 
1837, to the latter part of 1839, during which time it was the 
seat of government. 

The years 1837 and 1838 were the fat years of growth 
and prosperity for Houston and the year 1839 the lean year of 
famine, pestilence and backset in Houston as elsewhere. 

Government and the administration of justice, occupied 
much of the time of the settlers in their isolated forest town 
and, in a community where the key note was independence and 
where the population was of the rough, hardy, self reliant, 
courageous and opinionated sort, neither government nor the 
administration of justice was easy. Every man had 
infinite confidence in his own judgment and was always ready 
to back his opinion with pistol , or bowie knife if anybody 
doubted its correctness. The duello was still an institution and 
quarrels and fights among the prominent citizens were 
thoroughly a matter of course. 

The army and the legal profession and the government 
had made titles super-abundant and one could not fire a load 
of buckshot into any group without crippling a few judges, 
colonels and majors and as likely as not a general or a mem- 
ber of Congress or some cabinet dignitary. 

The cooped up condition, the utter lack of news facilities 
and outside objects of interest, the sense of military importance 
and the undeniable fact that a goodly per cent of the pojiula- 
tion had, left its former home moved by other motives than 



Settlement a,nd Pioneer Life 35 

undiluted enthusiasm for Texas and that another portion was 
far better at a fight than 'at plowing corn, made for fractious- 
ness and trouble. Government was largely personal, the states- 
men all quarrelled with each other outrageously and often 
without adequate cause arid partisanship ran high. All offices, 
both civil and military, were elective and there was an active 
demand for rotation in riffice so that everybody got honored 
with a few titles sooner or later. The multitude of personal 
difficulties is illustrated in the following story by Governor 
Lubbock which recounts conditions that have not entirely 
ceased in Houston even at this day. "An occurrence at an 
early day shows how Houston failed to get a carriage factory 
and lost at least one good immigrant. Charles Hedenberg, of 
the firm of Hedenberg & Vedder, commission merchants, had 
induced an uncle of his to come out from New Jersey with 
the view of establishing a carriage manufactory. Arriving very 
early in the morning his trunks were taken to the business 
house. About ten o'clock that day Hedenberg suggested to 
his uncle that the Congress of the Republic was in session and 

■ that if he would go up to the Capitol he might be entertained, 
and after a while they would go to the house. While the 
Jersey man was seated in the Senate Chamber rapid firing 
took place in the hall of the building which caused every one 
to rush out to see what had occurred. The uncle was just in 
time to see the. body of Senate Clerk Thompson being borne 
away after having been badly shot up by Senate Clerk Brashear. 
He had never seen a man shot before and rushed out of the 
building going down Main Street on the west side. After 
walking several blocks he was passing the Round Tent saloon 
when a soldier, who had just been shot by a man named Seevy, 
rushed out and nearly fell upon him. Now thoroughly 
frightened he dashed across to the other side of the street and 
just as he got over in front of John Carlos' saloon, a man 
rushed out of the saloon door with his bowels protruding from 
an immense gash inflicted on him by the bowie knife of a 
discharged soldier. The visitor rushed to the commission store 
and gasped out an order for his trunks to be put on a dray 



36 History of Houston, Texas 

and sent to the boat for Galveston at once. The nephew remon- 
strated, 'Why Uncle, you have not had time to look at the 
town.' The old man replied, 'Charley, I have seen all. I ever 
want to of Texas. Get my trunks.' " 

Government, as has been pointed out, was the chief concern 
of the Texans. Harrisburg County was created by the General 
Council at San Felice, but was not fully organized until 1837. 

Captain Andrew Briscoe, elected chief justice by the first 
Congress, held elections for "precinct and county officers who 
had their offices at the county seat at Harrisburg. Those 
elected were : sheriff, John W. Moore ; coroner, William Little ; 
clerk of the district court, James S. Holman; clerk of the 
county court, Dewitt Clinton Harris. By the middle of 1837 
Houston had captured the county seat from Harrisburg and 
the county offices and most of the officials moved there. 

The first court, house and jail, necessitated by the removal 
of the county seat, were built in 1837. The jail was a log 
structure with a kind of upright log palisade as a part of it, 
but the new court house was a two story frame building. They 
were built by Dr. Morris S. Birdsall, the contractor with the 
county. The course of law did not wait for their completion. 
The first instrument in writing in the Harrisburg or Harris 
County records is a bond for title from Zadoc Hubbard to 
Lorenzo Brown to make good and sufficient title to one-half of 
lot 10, block 21. The instrument is dated February 22, 1837 
and is recorded February 27. The site is that of .the store 
later occupied by W. D. Cleveland. 

The first grand jury, which met in the shade of some lopped 
ofp branches of trees on court house square, had B. F. Smith 
as foreman and the following members: Edward Ray, B. 
Stencil, Abraham Roberts, P. W. Rose, William Goodman, M. 
H. BundiCj William Burnett, John Goodman, Sr., Freeman 
Wilkerson, Gilbert Brooks, Thomas Hancock, Allen Vince, 
John Dunnam, John Earls, Elijah Henning, Andrew H. Long 
and James House, Sr. 

Three indictments were brought in at its first session : one 
against Whitney Britton for assault and battery, one against 



Settlement and Pioneer Life 37 

John T. Beall for murder and a third against James Adams for 
larceny. The results of the trials suggest with a grim sort of 
humor the mental attitude of the people toward the several 
classes of offences. Whitney Britton's case was dismissed as 
a triviality, the petit jury decided that John T. Beall had done 
no more than they would have done under the circumstances 
and brought in a verdict of justifiable homicide, but when the 
scoundrel James Adams, who had stolen property instead of 
battering up the human form divine or taking human life, 
came to trial, he met the full vigor of an outraged justice. He 
was found guilty of theft, was ordered to make restitution to 
Lawrence Ramey of $295, and the notes he was charged with 
having abstracted, and was further sentenced to get 39 lashes 
on the bare back and be branded with the letter "T" in the 
right hand. He would thus carry, graven in his palm the 
insignia that he was a thief, as long as he lived. 

The 39 lashes were to be laid on by the sheriff in a public 
place on Friday, March 31, 1837, and it was so done. 

In extenuation of the high value attached to property 
and the low value set on life it should be remembered that 
every man went armed and was supposed to be able to take 
care of himself and that the citizens were living in an almost 
unproductive wilderness where poverty was attended with 
great hardships. 

The cases cited above were tried at the first district court 
held in Houston which was presided over by Hon. Benjamin 
C. Franklin. 

AH killers did not escape punishment even at that early 
day however, and the first years of Harris County might show 
a better record for legal executions for homicide than the last 
decade. "While the courts were yet young, two men were tried 
for murder. One, a gambler named Quick, had killed a man 
with whom he was gambling, and the other, named Jones, had 
killed a fellow soldier, Mandrid "Wood, of the New Orleans 
Grays- Judge J. "W. Robinson, who had been lieutenant gov- 
ernor under the provisional government in 1835-6, was on the 
bench and overruled all motions for a new trial and thwarted 



38 History of Houston, Texas 

all efforts for delay after the men had been tried and convicted 
of murder. Everything had been done to prevent the sentence 
and it wa^ finally represented to the court that the jail was 
very insecure, the weather quite cold and the men forced to 
wear irons for greater security because of the weakness of 
the palisade jail. The judge was so touched by the recital 
that he pronounced sentence that "the prisoners, in conse- 
quence of the insecurity of the jail, the extreme cold weather 
and their uncomfortable situation," be hung on the Friday 
following, which was done in a clump of timber that long bore 
the nataie of hangman's grove. 

During 1837, Houston, which had become both the seat of 
the county government and of the national government became 
ambitious for yet more government as, counting citizens, state 
officials and congressmen, there were nearly a thousand people 
in her environs, and so early in June, Congress was persuaded 
to incorporate Houston as a city. Organization was delayed 
several weeks which gave an opportunity for mass meetings 
and protests which, were greatly enjoyed by the citizens. 

The first mayor was Francis Moore, Jr., who did not 
assume ofSce until the first Monday in January, 1838. George 
W. Lively was mayor in 1839 and George H. Bringhurst was 
surveyor, an office of importance where land titles and head 
rights were beginning to assume importance. John D. Andrews 
became mayor in 1841 and in 1842 was re-elected. ., In 1843 
Francis Moore was re-elected. Horace Baldwin succeeded him 
in 1844, and in 1845 W. W. Swain assumed the office which he 
held at. the time of anne|:ation. 

Among the names of early aldermen are found Captain 
R. P. Boyce, J. De Cordova, author of the First Handbook of 
Texas, and Alexander McLewen. 

Dr. Moore, the first mayor, was for a long time the editor 
of the Telegraph, he and his partner, Jacob W. Cruger, having 
established the first newspaper in Houston by the removal, 
early in 1837, of the "Telegraph" from Columbia, the news- 
paper following the seat of Government to Houston. Dr. Moore 



Settlement and Pioneer Life 39 

was afterwards state geologist and held many prominent posi- 
tions. 

The first marriage license signed under the law of 
the Republic was issued at Houston on July 22, 1837, signed 
by DeWitt C. Harris, county clerk. It authorized Hugh 
McCrory to wed MisS Mary Smith. The ceremoney was per- 
formed the following day by Rev. H. Matthews, a Methodist 
minister. Mr. McCrory died within a few months and in 1840, 
his widow married Dr. Anson Jones, afterwards the last presi- 
dent of the Republic of Texas and perhaps the greatest diplo- 
mat of any man who ever held that office. 

Mrs. Jones survived for many years, dying on December 
31, 1907, in Houston, and holding at the time of her death the 
office of President of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. 

In 1905, the writer visited her in Houston and heard from 
her lips many stories of the early history of Texas. Her son, 
Judge Anson C. Jones was county judge for a number of 
years and many relatives of note still live in Houston, among 
them Judge Charles B. Ashe, of the 11th district court, a 
grandson. 

Not until the 24th of March, 1838, was the first divorce 
granted at which time the gallant court relieved Susan 
"Williams from the matrimonial fetters that chained her to 
John Williams. 

The court house was the center of city life. At least one 
of the four pages of the early editions of the newspapers in 
Houston was entirely given up to advertising sheriffs sales, 
and other matters that centered around the court house. 

On August 6, 1844, the two story frame court house was 
sold to make room for what was described as a "palatial struc- 
ture," the second of the seven buildings which have occupied 
court house square. All of them have been palatial structures 
however, the last, recently dedicated, costing about a half million 
dollars. 

By December 4, 1839, there were 400 suits on the docket 
and a bell had been placed on the court ' house to summons 
the citizens. Disputed land titles caused most of the suits. 



40 History of Houston, Texas 

Air kinds of frauds were practiced by sharpers upon strangers 
and one green horn, fresh from the States, purchased in good 
faith a head right to land alleged to have been issued to Peter 
Ourang Outang. The papers were full of warnings but the 
sharp practices flourished. 



CHAPTER II 

Early Day Amusements 



Hunting, Fishing and Poker. The Jockey Club and Horse 
Racing. Notable Dances, the San Jacinto Anniversary 
Ball and Description of Sam Houston and Other Partici- 
pants. A Festival Meal at Houston's First Hotel. City's 
First Theatres and their Performances. 



Hunting, fishing and fighting were occupations so ordinary 
among the early inhabitants of Houston that one does not 
know whether to rank them as amusements or ordinary mat- 
ters of daily routine. 

Worlds of fish and game were to be had and every man 
was an expert with shot gun and rifle. Wild turkey and prairie 
chickens were in great favor as game birds but there were so 
many varieties of the feathered tribe in the forests, including 
even gaudy paroquets, that the great French naturalist Audo- 
bon, the most famous of ornithologists was a visitor to Houston 
before the town was a year old. An unflattering description 
of the town in his diary bears the date of May 4, 1837. 

The Round Tent and other saloons, mostly under canvas, 
provided abundance of cheap whiskey and furnished a con- 
gregating place for the thirsty and the fractious. Poker, 
twenty deck poker, faro, stud poker, and several Mexican 
card games were in full blast. At elections the candidates 
would each have his open barrel of whiskey, and during the 
campaign to open up a whiskey barrel and distribute tobacco 
was the accepted popular method of electioneering. , 

One of the most wholesome influences of the genesis. .of 
Houston was that of Masonry. Holland Lodge No. 1, the 



42 History of Houston, Texas 

mother of Texas lodges was organized in 1837. And by the 
middle of 1839 Temple Lodge No. 4, was in existence. 

Masonry preceded the building of churches in Houston 
for as late as October 14, 1839, the Morning Star complains 
editorially that "In a city of 3,000 inhabitants and so much 
wealth there is no place for public worship and not one resi- 
dent minister." There had been preaching services prior to 
that time however and even congregations organized. 

Nicholas Nickleby, which was running as a serial in 
English papers and magazines was attracting wide attention 
and being eagerly read in Texas, in 1839. 

The Jockey Club was established early and held spring 
and fall meetings at which racing flourished. Jack and Shelby 
Smith and General Tom Green were breeders of racing stock 
and were known as sporting men although the most of the 
horses that contested were the wiry mustang ponies. At one 
of the meets, in a close finish. General Houston is said to have 
cheered one of Colonel Green's mustangs on to victory and lean- 
ing over the railing cried as the mare swept into the stretch : 
"A million on the mare." He was never called "Bet-you-a- 
million Houston" on that account however, and so the title 
was left for another Texan by adoption,. John W. Gates. 

Dancing was in vogue and one of the most memorable 
balls that was ever given occurred at Houston on April 21, 
1837, the first anniversary of the battle of San Jacinto, when 
General Houston, just elected president, and just returned 
from New Orleans, where he had gone after the battle of San 
Jacinto that his wound might heal, was the leading figure. 

Other distinguished guests were present in Houston and 
were doubtless present at that festivity which was held just 
on the eve of the Second Session of the Congress of the Republic 
and the first that was to be held in Houston. 

The day had been made memorable by the arrival of the 
first sailing vessel that ever reached Houston, the schooner 
"RoUa," which had taken four days to make the trip from 
Harrisburg and had brought a crowd of visitors and guests. 



Early Day Amusements 43 

and by an Indian war dance around the flag pole at the capi- 
tol. 

General Houston was then a widower, clothed about with 
all the romance that made him leave his young wife and the 
governorship of Tennessee for some mysterious reason, and 
newly crowned with the laurels of San Jacinto. He had a 
habit of whittling out of bits of soft pine, little hearts, crosses 
and other emblems and giving them to the ladies as souvenirs. 
Some of these whittled souvenirs are still cherished in Houston 
today by descendents of some fair belle of the pioneer days 
of Texas. 

The wierd contrast between the primitive, crude surround- 
ings and the fine apparal and culture of many of the partici- 
pants gave to the occasion a genre touch that has perhaps 
never been surpassed. The scene of the festivities was on Main 
Street. Houston was still a camp in the woods, its dwellers 
living mostly in white tents or shanties of clapboards and pine 
poles. A large two story building, half finished, as yet without 
a floor and without anything to cover the rafters between the 
first .and second story was the place selected for the dance. 
Pine boughs, vines, creeping plants and clustered foliage were 
used to conceal the nakedness of the house and give it a roof. 
This building stood on ground now occupied by the new wing 
of the First National Bank and that was for many years occupied 
by the T. W. House bank. 

The following account of the ball is signed "Texan," and 
appears in many early publications including the Ladies' Mes- 
senger, the Post, during the first year of its existance, and, in 
Gov6rnor Lubbock's memoirs. It was written by Mrs. Adele B. 
Loosean, the daughter of Mary Jane Briscoe, nee Harris. 

"Chandeliers were suspended from the beams overhead 
but they resembled the glittering ornaments of today in naught 
save the use for which they were intended. Made of wood, 
with sockets to hold tRe sperm candles and distributed at 
regular distances, each pendant comprised five or six lights, which 
shed a dim radiance, but alas, also a liberal splattering of 
sperm upon the dancers beneath. The floor being twenty feet 



44 History of Houston^ Texas 

wide by fifty feet in length, could easily accommodate several 
cotillions, and although the citizens of Houston were very few, 
all the space was required for the large number who came 
from Brazoria, Columbia, San Felipe, Harrisburg, and all the 
adjacent country. Ladies and gentlemen came in parties on 
horseback distances of fifty and sixty miles, accompanied by 
men servants and ladies' maids, who had in charge the elegant 
ball costumes for the important occasion. From Harrisburg 
they came in large row boats, that mode of conveyance being 
preferable to a horseback ride through the thick undergrowth, 
for at that time there was nothing more than a bridle path to 
guide the traveller between the two places. 

"General llosely Baker, one of Houston's first citizens 
was living with his wife and child (now Mrs. Fannie Darden) 
in a small house built of clapboards. The house comprised one 
large room, designed to serve as parlor, bedroom and dining 
room, and a small shedroom at the back. The floor, or rather 
the lack of floor in the large apartment, was concealed by a 
carpet, which gave an air of comfort contrasting strangely 
with the surroundings. 

"As the time for going to the ball drew near, which was 
as soon as convenient after dark, several persons assembled 
at General Baker's for the purpose of going together. There 
were General Houston, Frank R. Lubbock, and his wife, John 
Birdsall, (soon after attorney-general) and Mary Jane Harris, 
(now the surviving widow of Andrew Briscoe), General Houston 
was Mrs. Baker's escort. General Baker having gone to see that 
some lady friends were provided for. When this party 
approached the ball room, where dancing had already begun, the 
music, which was rendeired by violin, bass viol and fife, im- 
mediately struck up 'Hail to the Chief;' the dancers withdrew 
to each side of the hall, and the whole party. General Houston 
and Mrs. Baker leading, and maids bringing up the rear, 
marched to, the upper end of the Toom.* Having here laid aside 
wraps and exchanged black slippers for white ones, for there 
was no dressing room, they were ready to join in the dance, 
which was soon resumed. A new cotillion was formed by 



Early Day Amusements 45 

the party which had just" entered. General Houston and Mrs. 
Baker were partners, Mrs. Lubbock and Mr. George Cruger, 
and Mr. Lubbock and Miss Harris. Then were the solemn 
figures of the stately cotillion executed with care and pre- 
cision, the grave balancing steps, the dos a dos, and others 
to test the nimbleness and grace of dancers. 

"General Houston had just returned from New Orleans, 
where he had been since the battle, of San Jacinto for the 
purpose of having his wound treated. Being the president- 
elect, he was, of course, the hero of the day, and his dress on 
this occasion was unique and somewhat striking. His ruffled 
shirt, scarlet cassimere waistcoat and suit of black silk velvet, 
corded with gold, was admirably adapted to set off his fine, 
tall figure ; his boots, with sho'it red tops, were laced and folded 
down in such a way as to reach but little above the ankles, and 
were finished at the heels with silver spurs. The spurs were, 
of course, quite a useless adornment, but they were in those 
days so commonly worn as to seem almost a part of the boots. 
The weakness of General Houston's ankle, resulting from the 
wound he had received in the battle of San Jacinto, was his 
reason for substituting boots for the slippers then universally 
worn by the gentlemen for dancing^. 

"Mrs. Baker's dress of white satin, with black lace oven- 
dress, corresponded in elegance with that of her escort, and 
the dresses of most of the other ladies were likewise rich and 
tasteful. Some wore white mull with satin trimmings; others 
were dressed in white and colored satins, but naturally in so 
large an assembly, gathered from so many different places, 
there was a great variety in the quality of the costumes. All, 
however, wore their dresses short, cut low in the neck, sleeves 
generally short, and all wore ornaments of fiowers or feathers 
in their hair, some flowers of Mexican manufacture, being par- 
ticularly noticeable on account of their beauty and rarity. 

"At about midnight the signal for supper was given, and 
the dancers marched over to the hotel of Mr. Ben Fort Smith, 
which stood near the middle of the block, later for so long a 
time occupied by the Hutchins House. This building consisted 



46 History of Houston, Texas 

of two very large rooms, built of pine poles, laid up like a log 
house, with a long shed extending the full length of the Tooms. 
Under this shed, quite innocent of floor or carpet, the supper 
was spread; the tempting turkeys, venison, cakes and other 
viands displayed in rich profusion; the excellent coffee and 
sparkling wines invited all to partake freely, and soon the 
witty toast and hearty laugh went round. 

"Returning to the ball room, dancing was resumed with 
renewed zest, and continued until the energy of the musicians 
began to flag, and the prompter failed to call out the figures 
with his accustomed gusto. Then the cotillion gave place to 
the time honored Virginia Reel and by the time each couple had 
enjoyed the privilege of ' going down the middle, ' daylight began 
to dawn." 

The above description was written some years after the 
event, but has reproduced its quaintness, dignity and strange 
charm with great effect and contains vastly more of human 
interest than the work of the average society editor in writing 
up latter-day festivities. 

Even that memorable ball, however, was not permitted 
to be without a reminder that Houston was on the frontier. 
Among the guests present were the Misses Cooper, and while the 
dance was in progress news came that their brother had been 
killed by Indians on the Colorado River. 

A little over a year later, on May 21, 1838, there was a 
grand ball at the Jockey Club, at which we are told the ladies' 
tickets were printed on white satin and Mrs. Briscoe danced 
successively with Generals Sam Houston, Albert Sidney John- 
son and Sidney Sherman. 

Before Houston was a year old it had a theatre and before 
it was three years old it had two. The first threatre was on 
the site now occupied by Henke 's store between Louisiana and 
Milam Streets on Congress Avenue. One of the early plays 
was "The Dumb Girl of Genoa," which was played so badly 
that one of the actors by the name of Carlos was hung in effigy 
en the limb of a large pine tree in front of the hall. 

Henry Corri was the manager of a company that came 



Early Day Amusements 47 

from New Orleans to Houston in 1838, It played the "School 
for Scandal," and other plays. The newspapers at that remote 
date were cruel enough to sometimes criticise plays harshly 
and not give mere press agent notices and boosts accord- 
ing to the prevalent custom now. "When it was rumored 
that one of the actors had been bitten by a mad dog the Morn- 
ing Star said the report was too good to be true, but suggested 
that in such case the company might produce Hamlet, King 
Lear or Othello so as to give room for his newly acquired ability 
in madness. The press agent sometimes got in his work how- 
ever in thoroughly approved style as witness the following 
from the Morning Star: "Engagement of April 29, 1839. 
^Unprecedented ! Unparallelled ! Unheard of Attractions ! ! ! ! 
First night of the 'Ensanguined Shirt.' First appearance of 
High P. Ranter, who is engaged for six nights only and can 
not possibly be re-engaged on account of sickness in the family 
(who was sick or the nature of the illness does not appear) 
First appearance of Miss F. Ranter since her recovery from the 
whooping cough. First night of the real earthquake! Grand 
Fancy Dress Breakdown on a Cellar Door by Miss S. Swipes. 
This piece has been got up without regard to expense, weather 
or anything else. An amount of property has been invested 
in properties which frightens the manager and will astonish 
the public. Among other things which have been secured espec- 
ially for this piece are 400 streaks of lightning with thunder 
to match and 300 alligator skin shields with brass knuckles and 
knobs." 

The press agent apparently had not, like Miss Ranter, 
recovered from the whooping cough, but the appetite for amuse- 
ments must be jaded indeed that does not respond with a 
gustatory quiver to the delights here promised. 

Edwin Booth and other great actors are said to have visited 
Houston at an early date and with dancing, horse-back 
riding and racing and "swopping," whittling, romancing in 
Leatherstocking wise of Mexicans and "Injins," and the delights 
of the theatre and of electing everybody to office, times were not 
hopelessly dull in the Houston of the days of the Republic. 



CHAPTER III 
Houston and the Red Men 



Sam Houston and the Cherokees. An Indian Dance. Letters 
from Chiefs • John Jolly and Bowles. Houston 's Indian 
Talk. Fate of Cherokees and Comanches. 



• Untouched by the stain of blood shed in Indian warfaTe, 
Houston stands almost isolated among the cities of Texas. No 
savage massacre ever occurred in its environs and the inhab- 
itants of the town were never in the frontier days startled by 
the blood curdling warhoop. Yet Houston, especially that 
part now known as the fifth ward, was a favorite camping ground 
of the Indians and the complete immunity from attack was 
perhaps due first of all to the influence of Sam Houston and 
second to the fact that Houston occupied a place near the 
center of the several settlements. 

Sam Houston, be it remembered, was an Indian chief, an 
adopted member of the Cherokee nation. He had won his first 
wounds and his earliest laurels in bloody Indian warfare, but 
he. had also been a member of the Indian tribes, had lived in 
the forests and adopted their customs and spoke their tongue. 
He had been later a commissioner for their interests at Wash- 
ington, D. C, and to this day there exists in Houston the com- 
mission or passport given to "General Sam Houston" by the 
United States Government in which he is commended to all 
Indian tribes. That wa^ before he came to Texas but even as 
president of the new nation he never forgot his friendship for 
the Indians and his policy was always one of justice and con- 
ciliation to all the tribes and especially to the Cherokees. 

Early in May, 1837, a day or two after the opening of the 
Second Congress and within a few days of the time wjien 



■ Houston and the Bed Men 49 

General Houston, as president elect, arrived in the city named 
in his honor, we find him in conference with a number of 
Indians at Houston. The interview is thus reported in the 
Philadelphia Morning Chronicle of that time, by its Houston 
correspondent: "Several tribes of Indians being' encamped in 
the splendid forest which covers the udulating ground on the 
opposite side of Buffalo Bayou, where the city is sitiiaxod, a 'big 
talk' was arranged with the president, General Sam Houston, 
and the cabinet of Texas, at which Mr. Crawford (thi> special 
representative of the British Government) was invited to be 
present. 

"The 'talk' was held in the "White House of Texas, General 
Houston's residence, then a log cabin consisting of a passage 
or hall open at both ends, and a room of v&ry moderate dimen- 
sions on each end. 

"On the anniversary of the battle of San Jacinto (April 
21st, 1837) a lofty flagstaff had been erected on Main street, 
and on this occasion a splendid silk flag of the new Republic 
was for the first time displayed from it. Around this flag sev- 
eral hundred Indians and squaws danced a grand war dance. 
They began moving around the center like so many radii, as is 
done in the flower dance when represented on the stage, accom- 
panying the movement in a dull and monotonous sort qf music 
of their own voices, which became quicker and quicker until 
they got into a very rapid motion with occa^onal shouts and 
yells, and then all at once stopped and suddenly dispersed. 

"After this the chiefs adjourned to the 'talk.^ These con- 
sisted of some six elderly and very sedate, grave gentlemen, 
who were seated around a table and. communicated through an 
interpreter. The latter appeared a very intelligent, middle- 
aged man, and seemed to possess the implicit confidence of 
the chiefs. 

"General Houston acquitted himself with his usual tact 
on such occasions, and aroused a real enthusiasm by his 'talk' 
to the red mien. But nothing can be done towards treating 
with Indians without presents; so next comes that most impor- 
tant part of the whole ceremony. 



50 History of Houston. Texas 

"In the afternoon the presents were delivered and instant 
distribution began, each carrying away his share. Tobacco 
seemed, of all the articles they received, to be the most 
esteemed. . Drunkenness then began, and at last General 
Houston had to send around to the liquiar stares to request 
that no more whiskey be sold, which had the effect of inducing 
them quietly to retire to their camp, but the woods rang nearly 
all night with their yells." 

Some of these Indians were wild Comanehes from the West 
and on their way back home they killed and scalped several 
whites. Not only Mr. Crawford, an agent of the British min- 
ister to Mexico who had come on a secret mission, but prob- 
ably also Alcee La Branche, the United States Charge d 'affaires, 
and R. J. Walker of Mississippi, the first mover of Texas 
independence in the United States Senate, saw that Indian war 
dance, for both were in Houston at the time. 

Among General Houston's private letters the writer found 
several documents of great interest including a letter from 
John Jolly, chief of Houston's own tribe of Cherokees, a 
communication from Chief Bowles, the head of the Texas Cher- 
okees and addressed to "All my White Friends," and one of 
Houston's famous Indian talks in his own handwriting and 
with hip own signature and written in the stately form of a 
ceremonial state paper. As the two latter throw direct light 
on Houston's methods of dealing with the Indians tind his atti- 
tude toward them, and as they have never, so far as is known, 
been published, they are here reproduced from the originals in 
the possession of Hon. Prank Williams, General Houston's 
grandson in this city. This is an extract from the John Jolly 
letter : 

"Mouth of the Ulinoie, 

27 March, 1838. 
"Dear Friend: 

"I wish you would write arad cive me, all the news and 
the prospects of your country ajiu what disposition yoUr {jov- 
ernment will make towards the, Red People, and if the Ohero- 



Houston and the Bed Men SI 

kees will have a country set apart for them and be supported 
in their rights by your government. 

Your friend, 
(Signed) John Jolly." 
The "Indian Talk" is dated October, 1838, and is typical 
of General Houston's methods. In structure and theme it 
smacks of the Old Testament. Here is the full text of the 
talk: 
"My Brothers: 

"There is much" talk of war. It is useless. There is no 
sense in it. I know that my brothers, the Alabamos and Coosat- 
ties, will not deceive me. A few bad men may have gone from 
amongst you and been killed with the enemy. This shall not 
destroy your band. Remember the wo'rds which I have spoken 
to you. 

"The little chiefs of the Texas nation shall not hurt you. 
My words have been spoken and the winds shall not scatter 
them. Remember me and be happy with your women and 
children. Winter is coming and cold weather and you may 
be unhappy unless with your women and children. Stay with 
them until the spring comes and you shall receive a talk from 
the chief of this nation. You miist not take up the tomahawk. 
Nor will I allow other men to raise it against you. 

"I send to you wise men to give you counsel. Listen to 
them and walk in the path they direct. Tell your young men 
to stay at home that they may not bring your nation into 
trouble. Old men speak wisdom and young men should pur- 
sue their counsel. 

"He that stops his ears against instruction is a fool and 
the wise men of his nation should punish him. 

"There is a light from the countenance of the Great 
spirit upon the good man when he walketh in the straight 
path. But brush and darkness falleth in the way of him that 
walketh the path of crookedness. 

(Signed) Sam Houston." 
The Texas Indians consisted of the wild Indians, the most- 
warlike of which were the Comanches, yet comprising a score 



52 History of Houston, Texas 

of other tribes, and the semi-eivilized Indians or the Cherokees 
and 12 associate tribes who had crossed the Texas border and 
occupied the territory lying no'rth of the San Antonio road 
and the Neches and west of Sabine and Angelina. These Cher- 
okees claimed the land they occupied. The Consultation of San 
Felipe, in 1835, recognized these claims and a resolution was 
signed by the entire body to secure the Cherokees in these 
rights and to have their boundaries established. 

General Houston, Col. John Forbes and others as commis- 
sioners met the Cherokee chiefs, Bowles, Big Mush and others, 
at the Cherokee village on February 23, 1833, and entered into 
a boundary treaty with them. This was never ratified by the 
Texans. The Cherokees felt that they had been treated in 
bad faith and entered into negotiations with the Alexicans 
which the Texans discovered and this ultimately led to the 
expulsion of the Cherokees, the killing of BowIhh and the driving 
of 4,000 Indians from the border. The Texans showing perhaps 
fully as much cruelty, treachery and bad faith as the Indians. 

One of Houston's last acts as president had been to instruct 
Colonel Alexander Horton to survey this boundary. This was 
in 1838 and the work was done at least in part. 

President Lamar distrusted the Cherokees and all Indians 
and his policy was one of warfare, a policy that appealed far 
more to the fighting Texans than the William Penn policy of 
peace and equity pursued by Houston. Many land speculators 
coveted the Cherokee lands which Houston tried to save for the 
state after the Indians had been driven out. 

There were atrocities sufficient to justify the whites and 
Indian^ alike in feeling that the other side was dangerous and 
treacherous and the war of extermination was taken up in 
earnest after Houston left the presidency for the first time, 
with bloody results on both sides. When a short time later 
the Comanche chiefs were massacred at San Antonio in the 
pocket of Chief Muke-warrah was found a copy of Houston's 
treaty of 1838. 

The, only part played by the City of Houston in the 



Houston and the Bed Men 53 

Indian wars was in furnishing troops, the Milam Guards par- 
ticipating in more than one hard campaign. 

The general sentiment of nearly every early Texan was 
that the only good Indian or good Mexican was a dead one, 
and they reformed them at every opportunity. These con- 
versions were lasting. Save those negotiations that were con- 
ducted from Houston as the capital of the Republic from the 
spring of 1837 to the fall of 1839, the Indian history of blood 
and battle belongs to the history of Texas and not to that of 
Houston. 



CHAPTER IV 
Capital Days and Annexation 



Houston Chosen as Capital City of New Nation. Erection of 
Capitol Building. First Newspaper. British Representar 
tive, present at Sam Houston's Inaugural Address. Second 
Congress Meets in Houston — Its . Activities. Visit of 
Admiral Baudin of France. Mirabeau B. Lamar and His 
Policies as President. England's Refusal to Recognize 
Independence. Slaves in Houston. Removal of Capital 
to Austin. Causes of Annexation. The Vote in Harris 
County. 



John Allen's trump card in founding Houston was that 
he intended to make it the capital of the Republic of Texas. 
It would seem a large ambition but the Allen brothers not 
only announced this as a purpose but carried it out within a 
year from the time the deed was recorded for the site on which 
the city was to stand. 

They had to catch the capital on the wing, as it were, foT 
it seemed to be very fugacious in disposition. Santa Anna 
had gotten the capital into the habit of jumping and it had 
never gotten over the habit. San Felipe de Austin, Washing- 
ton, Harrisburg, Galveston, Velasco, and Columbia had all 
enjoyed the fleeting honor. 

The first Congress of the Republic, on December 15, 1836, 
selected the new town of Houston as the seat of government. 
^T^t was intended that it should remain here until 1840, but it 
\only lasted until the fall of 1839. 

The capitol building was to be erected under the super- 
vision of Col. Thomas W. Ward and was to contain 22 
rooms. He commenced it in April, 1837 and in 14 days had it 



Capital Days and Annexation 55 

ready for occupancy making a 'record job as a contractor a ad 
architect. 

About the first of May, the Congress arrived and the second 
session of Congress of the Republic was held in Houston. Gen- 
eral Houston made a brilliant inaugural address and the town 
wa.s filled with visitors. The site of the capitol building v/as 
that of the Rice Hotel and was then far out on the prairie. 

With the capital came, as has been noted, the Telegraph 
from Columbia, and the Morning Star and the Intelligencer 
soon followed suit. Houston was provided from the beginning 
with newspapers enough to represent the several dissonant 
views of the ambitious political experts and statesmen who 
controlled her destiny. 

General Houston's office was a small log house on Frank- 
lin Street and his residence a clapboard house of two rooms 
built for him by Captain R. P. Boyce, another noted contractor 
and builder of the day. 

The recognition of the independence of Texas by the 
United States, news of which had recently arrived ; the unsat- 
isfactory condition of the finances of the land law ; the informa- 
tion that Northern Indians had visited Matamoras and offered 
Mexico 3,000 warriors if it would resume the war; praise for 
the army and its general, Albert Sidney Johnston; the need 
of a navy; and the resources of Texas and her ability to main- 
tain her independence; were emphasized in the inaugural 
address. 

Perhaps in deference to Mr. Crawford, the British rep- 
resentative, who occupied an honored position in the hall, the 
president commented on the iniquity of the African slave 
trade and its prohibition by Texas. 

In the session that followed, the government of the republic 
and its various departments were organized and their power 
defined, a general land office was established, the public debt 
was consolidated and funded, and all the islands of the Repub- 
lic, including Galveston, were offered for sale. The western 
boundary of the Republic was fixed definitely at the Rio 
Grande and the Cordova rebellion of Mexicans and Indians 



56 History of Houston, Texas' 

was suppressed. The Texas Railroad Navigation and Banking 
Company was ineo'rporated with a capital of $5,000,000 but 
never went into existence because of the inability to pay into 
the treasury $25,000 in gold or silver. ' 

Houston pursued a policy of peaceful negotiations with the 
Indians wherever possible and of diplomatic handling of nego- 
tiations to secure recognition from foreign countries. A com- 
me'rcial treaty with England was announced on January 4, 
1838, by General Henderson, who had gone to England and 
France, in 1837, as Envoy Extraordinary with powers pleni- 
potentiary. 

M. de Saligny, as the representative of the French govern- 
ment, visited Houston in the spring of 1838, and on May 13, 
of that year Admiral Baudin with a French fleet, stopped at 
the ports of Galveston and Velasco. At Galveston, Baudin 
returned the salute gun for gun until 22 guns, the national 
salute, had been fired. The Admiral visited Houston and was 
received with great ceremonies and it was on his report that 
France soon after acknowledged by treaty the new Republic. 

Mirabeau B. Lamar, himself a hero of San Jacinto and a 
man of brilliant personal traits and no mean degree of states- 
manship, succeeded Houston as president, and was installed 
in office in December, 1838. He was an anti-annexationist and 
favored close relationships with Great Britian. The failure 
of the United States to grant annexation when it was first 
sought had roused the pride of Texas and thenceforth the 
annexationists had to fight to a certain extent under cover. This 
pride was so strong that within two years' time Texas ceased all 
attempts to secure recognition and from then on the overtures 
came from the United States. Lamar, in his first annual mes- 
sage, said, that "To Great Britian the independence of Texas 
could not be an indifferent event." - 

Lamar favored pressing the war against Mexico and a 
drastic policy toward the Indians. Texas was in a position 
where Mexico could not successfully attack her and could not 
hope to regain her lost province but Texas was stiU less in con- 
dition to successfully attack Mexico. Under Lamar the 



Capital Days and Annexation 57 

Comanches were severely punished and the Cherokees were 
expelled from the state. , 

By an act approved January 4, 1839, actual settlers com- 
ing to Texas, under appropriate conditions, were to receive 
grants of 640 acres each. This offer was to hold until January 
1, 1840. It encouraged imigration to Houston as well as else- 
where in Texas. 

England refused to acknowledge Texas' independence in 
1839, owing somewhat to O'Connell's attack on Texas as a 
country where slavery was permitted. This inflamed sentiment 
in Texas against England and the Houston papers fulminated 
against O'Connell. The Morning Star said editorially: "We 
shall always oppose any foreign protection or assistance that 
may be predicated upon the slightest interference with our 
domestic institutions as they now are." 

By an ordinance of April 12, 1839, passed by the city 
council of Houston, slaves found on the streets after 8 o 'clock 
in the evening, were to receive from 10 to 30 lashes. No free 
negroes were allowed to live in Houston. The government 
passed rigid laws forbidding any intermarriage between white 
people and those of African descent, a law which was especially 
praised by the British consul to Texas, M'r. Ikin, in a booklet 
called "Texas," published in London in 1841, in which the 
purity of the Anglo Saxon race is contrasted with that of the 
Latin races which have become mongrelized in America by 
intermarriage with negroes and Indians. 

On September 25, 1839, Marshal Soult for Prance, signed 
with Mr. Henderson the treaty of amity, navigation and com- 
merce. Marshal Soult, who was also Duke of Dalmatia, saying 
he was proud to be the European god-father of the new Repub- 
lic. 

This was the last event of international importance that 
occurred while the capital remained in Houston for in the 
fall, of 1839 the archives were loaded on thirty wagons and 
removed to Austin, the new capital. Houston was greatly 
aggrieved at the change and President Lamar, who was supposed 
to favor it, came in for a large share of local criticism. Sam 



58 History of Houston, Texas 

Houston also opposed the change as Austin was then on the 
Indian frontier and some stirring chapters of Texas history 
were made by the old General's subsequent attempt to move 
the archives and the capital away from Austin. 

On November 16, 1840, Lord Palmerston, at London, signed 
with General Henderson, the treaty by which England recognized' 
the independence of Texas and a similar treaty was signed at 
the Hague about that time. 

The Santa Fe expedition in 1841, was participated in by 
many Houstonians and Mr. Kendall of the New Orleans Pica- 
yune, who was one of those making the trip, has a vivid 
chapter on Houston and her horse market, in which the Milam 
Guards are greatly praised. Kendall's book was published in 
1845. Houstonians also participated in the Mier expedition 
that followed, but the fate of neither of these can be considered 
local history. 

Whenever there was a threat of a Mexican invasion, 
Houston promptly supplied her quota of soldiers, furnishing 
on one occasion two companies of mounted infantry equipped 
by local merchants. 

Great Britian evinced a lively interest in Texas from the 
first and had planned to control this country either as a colony, 
a protectorate, or by close treaties. Between 1840 and 1845 
England's plans were enlarged to purchase California, and press 
England's claims to Oregon that would bring that boundary 
down to within 45 miles of territory claimed by Texas and thus 
control the entire Pacific slope of the United States. 

Some wise men in Texas and in the United States under- 
stood her diplomacy. She prevented Mexico's acknowledging 
the independence of Texas until it was offered as the price 
of Texas staying out of the American Union. The United 
States also waked up to the fact that the Monroe doctrine was 
dn danger and the great presidential campaign of 1844 was waged 
on the democratic platform of ' ' Polk and Dallas, Texas and 
Oregon 54°, 40' or fight." 

With the United States as the suitor, Texas agreed to come 
into the Union rejecting, at the same convention, the counter 



Capital Days and Annexation 59 

proposition from Great Britian of English friendship, and Mex-. 
ican recognition of her independence. 

George Fisher, one of Houston's most noted citizens, diplo- 
mats and soldiers, a Hungarian by birth, saw England's plan 
most clearly and in a letter, dated, Houston, January 2, 1844, 
and published in the Madisonian at Washington, February 5, 
he points out the English menace to the Monroe doctrine. 

In a dissertation, written in German and published at the 
University of Berlin in 1902, the editor of this history has dis- 
cussed at length the plans of England and other countries in 
regard to Texas. The title of the book is "Die Annexion von 
Texas, ein Beitrag zur Geschiehte der Monroe Doctrin. ' ' 

As soon as Texas saw that the United States was in deep 
earnest at last, sentinient for annexation became strong again. 
An annexation mass meeting was held in Houston with Hon. 
M. P. Norton, chairman, George H. Bringhurst and A. M. 
Gentry, secretaries, and the following committee on resolutions : 
J. W. Henderson, Francis Moore, Jr., "W. M. McCraven, F. R. 
Lubbock, J. Bailey, A. Wynns, J. W. Brashear, T. B. J. Hadley, 
T. M. Bagby, William M. Rice, C. M. McAnnelly, M. T. 
Rodgers, M. K. Snell, H. Baldwin, S. S. Tompkins and John H. 
Brown. The committee resolved: "That in exchanging our 
present political position for that of a sovereign state of the 
American Union, we shall indeed be merging the beams of our 
single star, but only that it may acquire new and increased 
splendor from the more full and pervading light of a glorious 
constellation, as certain planets are said to withdraw themselves 
from view when they become illumined in a group of great 
stars." 

By the time the vote came on annexation and the consti- 
tution which occurred on October 13, 1845, the sentiment was 
so certain that many stayed away from the polls in full confi- 
dence as to how the choice would be made. The vote of Harris 
County was for annexation, 321, of which number 241 votes 
were cast in Houston ; against annexation 50, of which number 
44 ballots were cast in Houston; for the Constitution 299, 
against the Constitution 68. Texas had returned to her father's 



60 History of Houston, Texas 

house. The Harris County delegates to the Constitutional con- 
vention of 1845 were Isaac W. Brashear, Alexander McGowen 
and Francis Moor^, Jr. Its first state senator was Isaac W. 
B'rashear and its first representatives Peter W. Gray and J. N. 
0. Smith. The lone star had yielded to the sweet influences of 
the Pleides. 



CHAPTER V 

Early Religious Organizations 



Houston's Pioneer Churches. Methodists, Presbyterians, Bap- 
tists and Catholics Early Pounded Congregations. 



The first evangelistic sermon ever preached in Houston, 
according to Dr. B. F. Riley, sometime pastor of the First Bap- 
tist church of this city, in his "History of Texas Baptis'ts," was 
by Rev. Z. N. Mor'rell. Rev. Mr. Morrell and an aged com- 
panion, Rev. R. Marsh, reached Texas in 1835 as Baptist mis- 
sionaries. Both came to Houston shortly after it was founded. 
In the general rush for Texas many preachers were included 
some of whom had come for other reasons than the good of 
the cause. To guard against ministerial frauds and imposters 
a meeting was held in the office of Dr. Marsh in Houston on 
May 8, 1837, while the first Congress to meet here was in 
session and a preachers' vigilance committee was organized. 
On the committee, besides the two named, were "W. W. Hall, a 
Kentucky Presbyterian, and three Methodists, "W. P. Smith, 
of Tennessee ; L. I. Allen, of New York^ and H. Matthews, of 
Louisiana. The committee pledged itself to recognize no 
preacher coming from the United States or elsewhere, unless he 
brought with him testimonials of good character. 

Rev. Littleton Fowler, a Methodist minister of piety and 
zeal was among the early ministerial arrivals. He was elected 
Chaplain of the Senate in the fall of 1837. 

Mr. Fowler obtained as a gift from the Aliens the title to 
the half block of ground on Texas Avenue between Travis and 
Milam Streets formerly occupied by the old Shearn church, but 
now occupied by the New Majestic Theatre and the Chronicle 
building. It was deeded in 1837. 



62 • History of Houston, Texas 

Rev. "William Y. Allen, a Presbyterian minister, acted as 
Chaplain of Congress for a time in 1838 and often preached at 
the eapitol during 1838 and 1839. 

Rev. Edward Fountain preached to an unorganized Meth- 
odist congregation in Houston in 1838. 

The first Sunday School was established in Houston in 
1838. It seems to have been largely interdenominational as 
no churches were then organized. This Sunday School had an 
average attendance of 100. 

David G. Burnett was elected president of the Texas Bible 
Society which was organized in 1838. Mr. Burnett had been 
the first President of the Republic and was President when 
Houston was founded. 

The first evangelical church formally organized in Houston 
was of the Presbyterian faith and the organization was efl'ected 
on the last day of March, 1838, by Rev. William Y. Allen in 
the Senate chamber of the eapitol building. The following 
names were signed to the Presbyterian Confession of Faith, and 
church government, that was then adopted : James Burke, who 
was the first ruling elder, A. B. Shelby, J. Wilson Copes, 
Isabella R. Parker, Ed Belden, Marian Shelby, James Bailey, 
Sarah Woodward, Jennett Smith, Harris G. Avery, and Sophia 
B. Hodge. Mr. Allen continued as pastor of this church until 
1842. The church built by this congregation was not finished 
until late in 1840. It was located on Main Street, between 
Texas and Capitol Avenues, and was destroyed by fire in 1862. 

On March 16, 1839, Christ church of the Episcopal faith 
was organized. On April 1, the first board of vestrymen was 
selected as follows : William F. Gray, John Birdsall, M. Hunt, 
A. F. Woodward, James Webb, William Pierpont, Tod 
Robinson, E. S. Perkins, D. W. C. Harris, J. D. AndrcAvs, C. 
Kessler and George Allen. The first church edifice on the site 
of the present church was consecrated in 1847 by the Right 
Reverend George W. Freeman, Missionary Bishop of the West. 
The site of the Church was donated by the Aliens. 

In May, 1839, Bishop Leonidas Polk visited Houston on 
a tour of the Republic. 



Early Religious Organizations 63 

The First Baptist church in Houston was organized on 
May 22, 1841, by Rev. James Huckins, who had come to Houston 
under the auspices of tlie Home Mission Society of New York. 
The Baptists had no meeting house of their own until 1847, 
when the efforts of a few noble women and of Elder Tryon at 
last secured one. 

Mrs. Nathan Puller, wife of Col. Nathan Fuller, and Mrs. 
P. L. Hadley were prominent in the group of women who 
secured the church building. 

When Rev. Littleton Fowler, the Methodist minister, 
preached in the capitol at Houston in 1837 he found in the 
city "gaming and vice and any number of doggeries," but no 
churches. Mr. Fowler was an ardent mason and later helped 
to organize the Grand Lodge of Texas in the Capitol building. 

Abel Stevens was appointed to the Galveston and Houston 
circuit on December 3, 1838, but did not take up the work. 
During 1839, Rev. L. G. Hoard and Rev. Jesse Strickland 
preached several times in Houston. On December 4, 1839, Rev. 
Edward Fountain was appointed preacher in charge for Hous- 
ton and Galveston, but worked almost exclusively in Houston 
during the year 1840. On Christmas day, 1840, T. 0. Summers 
was appointed in charge of Houston and Galveston. In Houston 
he preached in an upper room, over a store, on Capitol Avenue 
between Milam and Louisiana Streets. In 184i, Rev. Mr. 
Summer organized the first permanent Methodist church in 
Houston, for a long time known as Shearn church, but now 
bearing the name of the First Methodist church. Among the 
early members were C. Shearn, D. Gregg, A. H. Sharp, Mrs. 
Campbell, Mrs. "Winn, (a daughter of Dr. Ruter,) Mrs. Mixon, 
E. D. .Johnson, John H. Walton, Mosely Baker, Dr. John L. 
Bryan, Mrs. Bryan, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew McGowan, H. Tracy, 
A. Crawford, Francis Moore McCrea, C. Dikeman and G. S. 
Hardcastle. The history of this church has been well com- 
piled by Mrs. I. M. E. Blandin of Houston. 

Abbe Domenech, who was in Houston in July, 1848, makes an 
ugly little remark in his book, "Missionary Adventures in Texas 
and Mexico," that has become famous. He says: "Houston is 



64 History of Houston, Texas 

a wretched little town composed of about 20 shops and a hun- 
dred huts dispersed here and there among trunks of felled 
trees. It is infested with Methodists and ants." The only- 
thing the Abbe tells of Houston besides this statement is the 
story of his fight with the ants, these insects causing him 
much tribulation. 

Many enterprising missionaries and clerics of the Catholic 
faith visited Houston during the early days and a congrega- 
tion was early formed. It flourished and erected its first build- 
ing in 1841. This congregation was and is known as the Church 
of the Annunciation and has played a large part in the religious 
history of Houston. 



CHAPTER VI 

Early Growth and the Bayou 



City of Houston's Early Progress and Poverty. Arrival of 
Schooner "RoUa." Financial Panic and Yellow Fever 
Epidemic of 1839. First Book Published in City. Building 
of "Wharves and Organization of Chamber of Commerce. 
Early Descriptions of the Buffalo River and its Steamboat 
Life. British Consul Ikin's Description of Houston. Civic 
Prosperity. Houston Enters Union as Commercial Empor- 
ium and Business Capital of the State. 



Such an accumulation of individual cells is a town, so 
gradually does it grow, and by such processes of accretion, 
and so persistently do the newspapers and periodicals of any 
period overlook that which is distinctive Hud of the deepest 
interest to subsequent generations as b.eing a mere matter of 
course, that it is difficult to trace tlie liues of a city's growth. 

Here and there however, evejits are recorded which, if 
they will not exactly serve as miloston(;s on th(j highway of 
progress are at least indications of tiie direction in which 
progress was made as the stoneis and gravel mark the path of 
vanished glaciers. 

When John Allen cut with his bowie knife the coffee bean 
weeds from what he had marked out as Main Street, a mere 
muddy pathway that 'ran down to a muddy bayou's bank, he 
was tracing a highway that was one day to be a canyon 
between skyscrapers and both his faith and his works speedily 
began to be justified. 

To his tent town there came, on January 1, 1837, the first 
steamer, the "Laura," commanded by Captain Grayson, with 
a full load of settlers and immigrants, some of them men of 



66 History of Houston, Texas 

fame already and others to achieve it in the new country of 
Texas. 

In April, of that year, the capitol was moved and the capitol 
building was constructed and a kind of gubernatorial hut was 
erected on Travis Street at the spot now occupied by the Trimble 
laundry. ) 

On April 21, the schooner "RoUa," after spending four 
days on the route from Harrisburg to Houston, arrived. This 
was the first sailing vessel to reach the new town. She had a 
cargo consigned to Allen Brothers, and was chartered by 
Messrs Dykeman and "Westcott and had made the water voyage 
from St. Joseph, Florida. Her numerous passengers attended 
the famous anniversary ball in the Carlos building. 

The arrival of the Telegraph from Columbia and the 
founding of the Morning Star gave Houston two good news- 
papers. Jack* Eldinge, poet and editor was one of the early 
promoters of the Morning Star, which changed hands often 
during the first few years of its existence. 

In the fall of 1837, the first two-story dwelling house was 
built in Houston by Judge A. C. Briscoe on the corner of Main 
Street and Prairie Avenue. Later it was for many years the 
home of Dr. I. S. Roberts. The only other two-story buildings 
that year were the court house and the capitol. 

In the spring of 1838, one of the papers says that Houston 
has 400 inhabitants and pine stumps on Main Street. During 
the year, ice was advertised for sale at the cut rate of fifty 
cents a pound. 

A petition, signed by many voters, appears in the Tele- 
graph of October JLl, 1837, asking that something be done to 
remedy the muddy condition of the streets around the capitol 
and the President's house. 

- The year 1839 was in many respects a hard year. During 
that year New Orleans refused credit to the merchants, the 
first yellow fever epidemic visited Houston and caused many 
deaths, and on September 15, of that year, the moving of the 
capital to Austin was begun. 

In May of that year the first regular board of health was 



Early Growth and the Bayou 67 

appointed by the city council and a short time later a city hos- 
pital was created and the cost and upkeep of this hospital was 
a large item of city expenditure foT the year. "Prom July 1 
to December 31, 1839, there were 240 deaths in Houston, 
mostly from yellow fever, out of a population given as 2,000. 
Yellow fever raged in New Orleans, Galveston and Houston 
and ravaged the Texas coast. Its mosquito origin was not then 
known but all early settlers noticed its relation to ditches, 
filth and bodies of stagnant water. Dr. Ashbel Smith also 
noted that a fall of temperature checked its spread. A norther, 
on November 20, when the mercury fell, to 40 degree's Paren- 
heit, piit an end to the plague. 

The fourth of July, of 1839, was celebrated jointly by the 
Sunday School and the new military company, the Milam 
Guards. There were 70 in attendance at the Sunday School. 
Rev. "William Y. Allen read Deuteronomy, sixth chapter ; J. R. 
Read spoke for the Sabbath School; J. W. Eldridge read the 
Declaration of Independence and D. Y. Portiss spoke for the 
Guards. It was a curious joint celebration of another nation's 
holiday. 

During the year the treasury notes of the Republic, known 
as "red backs," fell to fifty cents on the dollar. They later 
fell as low as ten cents on the dollar. Mexico was threatening 
an invasion but not much heed was paid to this threat by 
Texas although it fulfilled its intention of hurting the credit 
of the new nation abroad. 

The first flour brought to the new city had sold for $30 a 
barrel, in gold, but the price had materially fallen although 
all flour was imported, but now in the depreciated currency a 
barrel of flour cost $80; a beef, the same; corn meal was $8 a 
bushel; corn, $4 per hundred ears; sugar, 42 cents a pound, 
and other prices in proportion. Pamine and bankruptcy 
threatened the town. Some of the early merchants were Dowell 
and Adams, P. R. Lubbock, William D. Lee, Tom League, T. W. 
House, Cruger and Moon, and Sam Whitney, also proprietor 
of the Telegraph. The newspapers published eadh day 
lists of current prices and also of New Orleans rates on money. 



68 History of Houston, Texas 

All the New Orleans bank notes sold below par but the bank 
notes of McKinney and Williams, bankers at Galveston, remained 
at par and furnished a striking tribute to the credit and solidity 
of a Texas institution. 

On December 24, 1839, the newspapers note with pride that 
some brick sidewalks have made their appearance on Main 
Street. During the same month they complained of the rotten 
wooden city bridges and of the effluvia, arising from the neg- 
lected market place. 

Probably the first book ever published. in Houston, and cer- 
tainly the first book, a copy of which is to be found in the city's 
library, was published in Houston in 1839. It is called ' ' General 
Regulations for the Government of the Army of the Republic 
of Texas," and contains 187 pages and shows creditable press 
work and also well formulated military regulations. It was 
published in the office of the Houston Intelligencer. In the next 
few years advertisements for printers and bookbinders make 
their appearance in the papers. 

In 1840 the tide of prosperity again slowly turned Houston- 
ward which had suffered severely in temper and resources from 
the removal of the capital. 

On February 3, of that year, the newspapers advocate a 
line of stages to Austin which was soon after inaugurated. Dur- 
ing the month of February a Brazoria man was appointed post 
master at Houston. This was regarded as the crowning insult 
and the subject furnished a controversy that lasted for months. 

Bids were received in February to construct a wharf from 
the foot of Main Street to the foot of Fannin Street, and on 
February 26, there was a curious organization formed known as 
the "Anti-Rat Society," headed by John "W. Eldridge. Its pur- 
pose was not to attack the head ornaments of the women but the 
rodents that swarmed everywhere in the town so as to be a pest. 
Houston's first Chamber of Corttmerce was organized on 
April 5, with E. S. Perkins as president. An advertisement of 
that month, notes that 20 barrels of whiskey have been received 
for sale by one firm and others had large consignments of the 
same insinuating beverage. The Morning Star complains on 



Early Growth and the Bayou - 69 

April 20, of the rowdies and black legs who make life intolerable 
by their carouses and fights and two days later dragged these 
offenders over the coals again in an article beginning "We are 
informed that some of the black leg gentry took offense at our 
remarks." The thugs and rowdies were handled without gloves 
by the paper and during the year a warm campaign in favor of 
temperance and against the use of whiskey in the Houston 
climate was waged by it. 

A new military company, known as the Dragoons, was 
organized in April, 1840. On April 23, one of the papers tells of a 
tall lank stranger who visited the city and wrote after his name 
the letters P. 0. P. S. F. C. The stranger was asked the meaning 
of the letters and said they were an abbreviation of his title, 
which, on request he gave as ' ' Professor of Psalmody and School- 
master from Connecticut." The professor however did not 
participate in the first concert given in Houston on May 1, by 
Emil Heerbrugger at which solos were rendered on the piano, the 
violin and the French horn. 

A gentleman by the name of Louis, of France, opened a 
fencing school but found some difficulty in persauding the citi- 
zens to abandon the bowie knife for the rapier as a means of 
settling difficulties and smoothing out wrinkles in a sensitive 
honor. News of Filisola's invasion and of Burleson's campaign 
against the Lipans appeared in the papers. 

The papers lament the slow mails. This is a characteristic 
complaint of the period: "Pleasant — To have the United States 
Mail lay at Galveston two days after its arrival, to have it put 
on board the slowest boat that runs on the bayou and to have that 
boat lay three days on Red Fish Bar. ' ' 

Shallow water on Cloppers Bar delayed passenger traffic 
and the mails, and it was suggested that if all the boats would 
drop bouys along the line of the channel over this bar that boats 
always passing in the same track would rub a channel deep 
enough for convenient passage and that the mud thus rubbed up 
by the boat bottoms would be washed out of the way. It was 
one of the earliest projects for deepening the ship channel. 

Henry Stuart Foote traversed the bayou in 1840, and in his 



70 History of Houstonj Texas 

book, published in Philadelphia the following year, tells of a 
herd of buffalo on Galveston Bay, of the wonders of water bird 
life, the flaming flamingoes, the giant white pelicans, the rice 
birds, the white and gray cranes and the eagles. Of the bayou 
he says: "In view of navigation only, Buffalo Bayou in connec- 
tion with Galveston Bay is among the most important water 
courses of Texas. To Houston there is a safe and constant 
steamboat navigation every day in the year, and for practical 
purposes this city may be considered the most inlfind point of 
navigation of the country. As evidence of this fact the city of 
Houston is among the most flourishing towns in Texas." 

A description of the bayou by the Abbe Domenech a few 
years later mitigates his offensive description of Houston already 
quoted. The Abbe says: "We entered the little Buffalo River 
bordered with reeds and buUrushes in the midst of which herons 
and cranes and thousands of ducks were disputing. By and by 
the banks increased in height, approached so near to each other 
and formed so many narrow tortuous windings that at every 
instance the boat was caught either by the bow or the stern. 
At length the high lands appeared, covered with magnolias with 
their large white flowers and delicious perfumes. Gray and red 
squirrels leaped from branch to branch, while mocking birds and 
cardinals imparted life and language to these wonderful soli- 
tudes." 

A vivid picture of steamboat life on Buffalo Bayou at this 
period is given by an Englishwoman, Mrs. Houstoun, who accom- 
panied her husband on a yachting voyage and hunting expe- 
dition to America. Her style is piquant and her comments are 
offered without apology. Chapter X of Vol. II of her book, 
"Yacht Voyage to Texas," published in London in 1844, deaJs 
with the trip up the bayou and with the city of Houston. She 
says : 

"It was about 2 o'clock in the afternoon of a bright frosty 
day that we put ourselves on board the Houston steamer — Cap- 
tain Kelsey. She was a small vessel, and drew but little water, a 
circumstance very necessary in these small rivers. The American 
river steamers differ very much in appearance from those to 



Early Growth and the Bayou 71 

which an European eye is accustomed. They have the appear- 
ance of wooden houses, built upon a large raft ; there is a balcony 
or verandah, and on the roof is what is called the hurricane deck, 
where gentlemen passengers walk and smcke. 

' ' On the occasion of our taking our passage, both ladies ' and 
gentlemen's cabins were quite full, and I therefore preferred 
spending the evening in the balcony in spite of the cold. I had 
kind offers of civility but I could not help being amused at the 
terms in which some of them were couched. The question 
addressed to me of 'Do you liquor, ma'am?' was speedily followed 
by the production of a tumbler of egg-noggy, which seemed in 
great request, and I cannot deny its excellence. I believe the 
British Navy claims the merit of its invention, but this is matter 
of dispute. 

"We dined soon after our arrival on board and found every- 
body very orderly and civil. Certainly there was a strange mix- 
ture of ranks, but this made it more amusing to a stranger. The 
supper consisted of alternate dishes of boiled oysters, and beef 
steaks, of which there was plenty and the latter disappeared in 
marvelously quick time between the strong jaws of the Texan 
gentlemen. I confess to preferring meat which has been kept 
somewhat more than an hour, especially in frosty weather. On 
one occasion our dinner was delayed for some time, while the 
cook went on shore and 'shot a beef.' There was fortunately 
water enough for us to cross Red Fish Bar, tod we were fast 
steaming up Buffalo River. For a considerable distance from* 
the mouth the shores are low, flat and swampy, but as the stream 
narrowed there were high banks, and the trees were quite beau- 
tiful in spite of the season, which was extremely unfavorable to 
foliage and woody scenery. Such magnolias — eighty feet in 
height, and with a girth like huge forest trees, — what must they 
be when in full blossOm! There were also a great number and 
variety of evergreens, laurel, bay and firs, rhododendrons, cistus 
and arbutus. It seemed one vast shrubbery. The trees and 
shrubs grew to a prodigious height, and often met over the 
steamer, as she wound through the short reaches of this most 
lovely stream. 



72 History of Houston, Texas 

"My berth opened out of the state cabin, and as the only 
partition was a Venetian door, I could not avoid hearing all the 
conversation that was carried on by my neighbors. Cards and 
drinking constituted no inconsiderable part of the pleasures of 
the evening, but with all the excitement of talk, tobacco chewing 
and brandy, I never heard people more orderly and reasonable. 
There was no private scandal, no wit, no literature, no small 
talk ; all was hard, dry, calculating business. One rather import- 
ant looking gentleman made a stump speech on the expedi- 
ency of Texas becoming a colony of Great Britian! I do not 
know the orator's name but General or Colonel he must have 
been. Military titles are taken and given here with as little 
ceremony as the title of Count on the Continent. Mr. Houstoun 
sprang into a General at once. 

' ' There was a Baptist preacher on board, a thin, weary look- 
ing man, with a cast in his eye which was very comical. He had 
fought for his country and though now a man of peace, delighted 
in displaying his knowledge of military matters. He was going 
to Houston to establish a school for young gentlemen, while 
his wife was to superintend the education of their sisters. This, 
he s5,id, he was induced to do that his boys might not mix with 
their inferiors. He could not bear, he added, that his sons should 
be acquainted with vulgar boys, which they were obliged to do 
at Galveston, but he didn't like it, and now at his school, he could 
choose the boys ! Exclusiveness here ! Where shall we look for 
• a country where the real charitable feelings of equality exist? 
I may remark that my maid was obliged to wait until all these 
people had done their meals, because, I was told, they did not 
like her to eat at the same table. At seven o 'clock in the morning 
we arrived at the pretty town of Houston. It is built on high 
land, and the banks, which are covered with evergreens, rise 
abruptly from the river." 

The lady's book has a frontispiece steel engraving of 
Houston, evidently made by the artist from the description in 
this last sentence. It shows a city on the sloping side of a lofty 
hill with a vista of mountains all about. A beautiful arched 
viaduct spans the stream just above the wharf where a huge 



Early Growth and the Bayou 73 

side wheel steamboat lies at anchor. It is a very flattering 
engraving. Later the lady incidentally gives the information that 
Houston had only one brick house at this time. 

In a newspaper of April 19, 1839, it is stated that a census 
shows Houston to have 2,073 people, 1,620 males and 453 females, 
and property assessed worth $2,405,865 with the wharves of a 
large commercial city and five steamers constantly plying between 
Houston and Galveston. These figures seem padded somehow 
and the wharves then were only mud banks and plank platforms 
at the water's edge, but in 1840, one gets some authoritative infor- 
mation as to the city in a booklet' entitled "Texas," by Arthur 
Ikin, Great Britian's Texas consul, published in London, in 1841. 
Mr. Ikin says: "Houston, though scarcely five years old, has 
5,000 inhabitants ; several religious congregations ; shops of every 
kind ; daily and weekly newspapers ; numerous professional men ; 
a theatre, race course, hotels, cafes, etc., etc., and several steam- 
ers running between Galveston and this city which will always be 
a great depot for the retail trade of the interior. ' ' 

Mr. Ikin also says that the states which have most largely 
contributed to the population of Texas are: Alabama, Georgia, 
Tennessee, Kentucky, the Carolinas, and Virginia. "The warm 
hearted liberality, intelligence and taste for refinement which 
have always distinguished the people of these last mentioned 
states, are characteristics that have not been lost by transmigra- 
tion across the Sabine." 

There is incidental talk of a railroad again in 1840, and 
on June 8, of that year, the announcement is made that the city 
schools will again be opened. The early schools of the city were 
private schools. Hon. Alcee LaBranche, the United States repre- 
sentative was shown marked courtesies in Houston during the 
year. 

W. L. McCalla was in Houston, in 1840, and the next year 
published a bock, ' ' Adventures in Texas. ' ' Here is his sole refer- 
ence to Houston: "I enjoyed for a season the hospitality of 
the city of Houston. Here, consulting my moderate purse, I 
purchased and mounted a poor, little, ugly, worthless Indian 
mare." It is to be hoped that, had his purse been, longer. 



74 History of Houston, Texas 

Houston could have offered him a better bargain in horse flesh. 

After 1840, Houston grew steadily and quietly. Five years 
after its foundation the city revenue was, for the year, $4,740, 
specie value. 

From June 1, 1841, to May 5, 1842, there was exported 2,460 

bales of cotton, 72,816 feet of lumber, and 1,803 hides and four 

commercial steamers plyed on the bayou. From January, 1842, 

to January, 1843, the city consumed, according to the market 

jTeports, 1,124 beeves, 340 hogs, 165 pigs, 128 calves and 36 sheep. 

By a city ordinance of June 8, 1841, the city became known 
as the port of Houston and put on a wharfmaster and rates of 
wharfage. By an act of Congress approved January 29, 1842, the 
city was given the right to remove obstructions from the bayou 
and to improve navigation. 

In the spring of 1844, T. N. Davis brought the first cotton 
compress to Houston. The paper announced that Mr. Davis 
could compress 500 pounds of cotton into a space 22 inches 
square in fifteen minutes by the aid of two hands. The two 
hands referred to seem to have been hired assistants. 

The Morning Star of December 20, 1845, discusses the pros- 
pects of Houston, saying: "Notwithstanding the bad state of 
the roads, large numbers of teams arrive daily from the interior 
with cotton. Four or five new stores have been opened here 
within the last month, and we are informed that several mer- 
chants expect to open stores as soon as Annexation is consum- 
mated. There is not a house in town to rent and several new 
buildings are going up. The hotels are literally crowded with 
boarders. The value of real estate in this section of the city has 
advanced at least 100 per cent within the last two months." 

On June 2, 1845, the finance committee made a report to the 
city council that the amount of assessed and appraised property 
in the city was $336,559 and at one-half per cent that it would 
bring in taxes a total of $1,632.79, which sum would be sufficient 
to make all improvements, pay the debt and leave a surplus in 
the treasury. As a matter of fact the city's total debt on Jan- 
uary 1, 1846, only aggregated $875. Houston, when Texas entered 
the Union, was practically out of debt, and on an assured basis 



Early Growth and the Bayou 75 

of prosperity and the highway to growth and influence. There 
was published in 1846 a book called " Prairiedom, " a story of 
Texas, written by a "A Southron." Pages 84 and 85 of this 
volume, mirror Houston in pleasing fashion as an abode of pros- 
perity. The author says: "The city of Houston is a place of 
active and profitable trade and in its rise and progress is as much 
a miracle in town making as Rochester or Chicago. Houston 
is the largest and most flourishing town in the interior, second 
only to Galveston in commercial importance, and must always 
maintain its ascendency over any other rival. It has now a 
poptllation of from 4,000 to 5,000 inhabitants, 40 stores, 3 com- 
modious public houses, several newspapers, a large cotton press, 
an iron foundry, two extensive stearine, candle, oil, and beef 
packing establishments, a steam saw and grist mill, various 
mechanic shops,' schools, and four churches, all of which are well 
attended by an intelligent, industrious and moral population. 
In 1839, only eight bales of cotton were sent from this point, 
in 1844, 7,000 bales and in the current year (1845) some twelve 
or fifteen thousand bales will probably be shipped. ' ' 

Thus it is manifest that during the Republic, Houston 
throughly established itself as a seaport, as a commercial man- 
ufacturing and exporting city, and as the home of a cultivated 
and substantial people. It had already become the commercial 
emporium and the business capital of the state when annexation 
was consummated. 



CHAPTER VII 

The City Government 



Early City Limits. First Market House. "Reconstruction" 
Administration. First Bridge Across Buffalo Bayou. The 
First Fire Company. Houston Hook and Ladder Company. 
The Fire Department of Today. Early Police OfScers. Some 
Old Police Notes. The Police Department Today. City 
"Water Works. Houston Gas Company. Contending with 
a Big Debt. What Mayor D. C. Smith Accomplished. 
Mayor Rice and the Commission Form of Government. What 
the Commission Has Done for Houston. 



Although Houston was founded in 1836, and soon became 
something of a big place, having city boundaries, which were 
the bayou on the north, Walker Street on the south, Bagby Street 
on the west and Caroline Street on the east; her affairs were 
under the control of the county, for the first two years of her 
existence. However rapid growth and increased importance soon 
demanded a government of its own, and accordingly an election 
was held in 1838, and "incorporation" having carried, appli- 
cation was made and granted, for a charter for the city of 
Houston in 1838^ Another election was then held and Dr. 
Francis Moore was elected the first mayor of the new city. He 
served but one year, which was the full term of office in the 
beginning. About the first thing done by the new officials was 
to extend the city limits, for purposes of taxation, for then, as 
now, in certain directions, actual settlement had extended far 
beyond the original limits. The limits of the city were extended 
so as to form a square, each of the four sides of which should be 
three miles in length, thus making the area nine square miles, the 
court house being in the center of the square. 

Beyond the fact that the city limits were extended, little in the 



The City Government 77 

way of public improvements seems to have been done by the first 
-or second city administrations. In 1836, when the Aliens laid out 
the city, they set aside the ground, known as Market Square, 
for the purposes for which it has always been used. On a map 
published as early as 1839 it is designated as "Congress Square," 
probably because it is skirted by Congress Street, at that time 
one of the main thoroughfares of the city. This square was used 
as a public gathering place by the people, and later, traveling 
circuses pitched their tents there. In 1839, the city had a fine 
market square but no markej house beyond a big shed that had 
been erected for temporary use. Two Frenchmen, known as 
the Rosseau Brothers, had a canvas covered frame structure on 
Preston Street, near the middle of the block, fronting Market 
Square, where they sold vegetables, game and such things. On 
the square itself was the big shed spoken of. This was under the 
control of the city and had a regular market inspector. This 
first inspector was Thomas F. Gravis, who gave his attention to 
his duties for one-half the niarket fees. Afterwards, when he 
found that one-half was not enough for his support, he asked for 
and was given all the fees. 

On September 20, 1840, the city council determined to erect 
a permanent building, to cost $1,200, and the contract was given 
to Thomas Standbury & Sons, who completed the structure at a 
cost of $8,000 to the city. That contract for $1,200 and the final 
bill for $8,000 read like some of the transactions of the city 
fathers when the city was under a "reconstruction"' mayor and 
board of aldermen after the war. There was no doubt a vast 
difference, however, for in 1840, Texas money was far below par 
in all money markets of the world. 

The old market house was a long, single story, frame struc- 
ture that extended from the middle of the block, facing Preston 
Street to Congress Street on the other side. At the end facing 
Congress Street was a two-story building, the upper story being 
used as a city hall and police court and the lower story as a 
city jail and in a small structure adjoining, built a few years 
later, were quarters for the fire department. When the market 
house was completed, an ordinance was passed by which pri- 



78 History of Houston, Texas 

vate, competitive markets were outlawed, and the position of 
market master became a valuable one, a fact that is attested by 
there having been ten applicants for the place in 1841. Mr. B. 
M. Holmes was the successful candidate. In 1845 the duties of 
market master and those of city marshall were combined and 
the honors and dignity of the place were borne by Mr. William 
Smith, better known as "Billy" Smith, for the next three years. 
After the late forties, Captain R. P. Boyce filled the position 
for several years. 

Among other innovations made by the "reconstruction" 
administration of Houston, after the war, was one by which the 
city surrendered all control over the market, leasing the whole 
thing to private individuals, "^he first lessee was a Mr. McGregor, 
who took charge in 1869. In 1871 the old wooden building was 
torn down to make place for a new brick structure. This new 
building Mr. McGregor also leased and held until it was destroyed 
by fire, in 1876. This famous market house should take first 
place among the historic buildings of Houston, for it was not 
only the first really substantial building of the kind erected here; 
but it was the first one, in the construction of which, what has 
come to be known as "high finance" methods were employed. 
The history of the construction of the market house reads like the 
plot for a comic opera. In 1871, Mayor Scanlan signed a con- 
tract with Mr. William Brady and the latter 's New York asso- 
ciates, for the construction of the building at a total cost to the 
city of $228,000. To pay for this the city was bonded in the 
sum of $250,000 at 8 per cent for 25 years. The work of actual 
construction commenced, but had not progressed far when things 
began to happen. It was discovered that the plans and specifi- 
cations did not call for floors in some rooms, nor for plastering 
and windows in others. No blinds or shades were mentioned 
at all, and a careful study of the plans and specifications, revealed 
the fact that they were scarcely more than in skeleton form. As 
so many changes were necessary the city concluded to make some 
additional ones, and put in a theatre on the second floor of the 
building. There were changes and counter changes until finally, 
when the building was completed, its cost was $470,000 instead 



The City Government 79 

of the $228,000 originally counted on. On the morning of July 
8, 1876, a fire, which started in the theatre, totally destroyed 
the building. It was insured for $100,000, but though it had cost 
the city of Houston nearly half a million dollars, the insurance 
companies refused to pay even the $100,000, and rebuilt the 
market house at a cost to themselves of about $80,000. This 
new building was also destroyed by fire in 1901, and the present 
magnificent city hall was erected on its site. 

Of course it became necessary to issue more bonds to meet 
the increased cost of the famous market house, and in order to 
do this it became necessary to increase the city limits so as to 
have as large a tax area as possible. This was easy and at a 
stroke of the pen the area of Houston was increased from nine 
square miles to twenty-five square miles and bonds were issued 
against the entire territory. Issuing bonds became such a mania 
with the " reconstructionists " that by the time the Democrats 
secured control of the state and passed a law firing them all out 
of office, Houston had a bonded debt approximating $2,000,000 
and had, to show for it, an $80,000 market house and a sewer 
two or three blocks long on Caroline Street. The new mayor and 
aldermen, appointed, first by the governor and then elected by 
the people, reduced the city limits to the original nine square 
miles, but to reduce the bonded debt was not so easy. They 
struggled with it for years. Finally part of the debt was paid 
on a compromise basis and part by issuing new bonds on the 
reduced area. This worked a hardship on some of the citizens, for 
today property owners are taxed to pay interest on loans nego- 
tiated against property still a mile beyond the present city limits. 

In early days there was little or no necessity for the people 
of Houston to cross to the north side of the bayou. There was 
nothing over there to attract them except hunting and fishing, 
and small foot-bridges answered their purposes for that, so no 
bridges were built for many years. Those coming to or going 
from Houston, who had to cross the bayou, did so at a ford, 
located at a point which is now the foot of Texas Avenue. But 
the trade of Houston with the interior began to increase, so a 
suitable bridge became an absolute necessity. In 1843, such a 



80 History of Houston, Texas 

bridge, the first to span the bayou, was completed. In itK issue 
for December 21, 1843, the Morning Star said: — 

' ' The bridge over Buffalo Bayou in this' city was completed 
on Monday. It is 100 feet long and 16 feet wide. The distance 
between the two piers is 50 feet. The piers are 26 feet high, con- 
sisting of four upright posts resting on a mud sill 40 feet long, 
and supporting a beam 18 feet long. The two outside beams 
resting on the pier are supported by king posts eight feet high 
with braces 25 feet long. This bridge, though insignificant in 
comparison with most of the bridges of the United States, is 
doubtless the longest and most substantial bridge that has ever 
been erected in Texas." 

The bridge was located on Preston Avenue and stood for 
ten years, being swept away in 1853, when a great rise in the 
bayou occurred. It was replaced by a' new bridge, known for 
years as the "Long Bridge." It was in fact a long bridge, for 
its constructors, bearing in mind the fate of the first one, took 
steps to guard against a repetition of that disaster, by placing 
the two ends far beyond the reach of possible high water and 
elevating the main part of the bridge to what they considered 
a safe altitude. No definite figures are obtainable, but as the 
bridge began at a point a little over half way between Smith 
Street where it crosses Preston Avenue, and the top of the banks 
of the bayou on the south side, and extended to a point on the 
north side about half way up the block on that side, it is evident 
that the bridge was very appropriately named "Long Bridge." 
This bridge stood for years, and while it was more or less dam- 
aged by several floods, it was never swept away. After a great 
flood in the late seventies it was remodeled. The approaches on 
both sides were flUed in and the present bridge was constructed 
and has stood there ever since. 

There should be a tablet, or monument placed on this Preston 
Avenue bridge, to mark the place, for while it is not the original 
structure, it occupies the point over which, for many years, 
almost the entire commerce of the state passed. Before the 
Houston and Texas Central Railway was built, the entire cotton 
crops east of Texas came to Houston in wagons drawn by from 



The City Government 81 

eight to twelve pairs of oxen, and all entered the city over 
that bridge, and all goods shipped to the interior went but the 
same way. It was no unusual thing as late as 1858-59, to see 
wagons on the streets of Houston from as far north as "Waco. The 
Houston merchants bought all the crops from and sold all the 
goods to the interior planters and merchants. 

Even before Houston became a city, in name at least, by 
obtaining a charter, steps were taken to organize a fire company. 
In 1836, Protection Fire Company No. 1 was organized. That 
was perhaps the first organization of the kind in Texas. They 
had no engine nor anything with which to fight fire, except 
buckets, and their method was a primitive one of forming a 
line and passing the buckets from hand to hand. As crude as 
this method was, much good was accomplished, because executed 

^\ by an organized force rather than an excited mob. Protection 
^ Company No. 1 preserved its organization and identity, until 

'/ the old volunteer department was absorbed by the city and 
became the present pay department. In the early fifties this 
company bought its first engine. It was an old fashioned hand 
engine, but at that day was looked upon as a grand affair. It 
was a vast improvement on buckets, at any rate, and did a 
great deal of good work. Houston was growing rapidly at that 
time and the demand for better fire protection was becoming 
more apparent each day. The whole city being constructed of 
wood, and the houses, in the business part of the town, being 
jumbled close together, the fire risk became very great. The 
imperative need of better protection was accentuated in 1858-59 
by the occurrence of two great fires, one sweeping 
away the block bounded by Main, Franklin, Travis and 
Congress Streets and the other, the block bounded by Main, 
Congress, Travis and Preston Streets. In addition to these there 
was another big fire that destroyed a number of buildings on 
both sides of Main Street between Texas Avenue and Capitol 
Avenue. In 1860, the warehouse of T. W. Whitmarsh, containing 
2,100 bales of cotton, was burned. "When the first of these great 
fires occurred, a number of young men met and formed Houston 
Hook and Ladder Company No. 1. This company was organized 



82 History of Houston, Texas 

April 17, 1858. Its first officers were : Foreman, Frank Fabj ; 1st 
assistant, E. L. Bremond; 2nd assistant, 0. J. Conklin; presi- 
dent, Henry Sampson; vice-president, Fred A. Rice; secretary, 
Wm. M. Thompson; treasurer, S. H. Skiff. The charter mem- 
bers were: J. C. Baldwin, C. A. Darling, Frank H. Bailey, 
I. C. Stafford, Ed. Riodan, R. W. Dowling, Pete Schwander, 
Paul Schwander, George A! Peck, W. S. Owens, Charles Nord- 
hausen, John S. Hirshfield, J. L. Talman, R. B. Wilson, J. D. 
McNulty and John W. Clark. 

The company entered a,t once into active service and accom- 
plished great good through their well directed and intelligent 
efforts. 

When the great Civil War btoke out in 1861, the company 
became badly disorganized because nearly all of its members 
entered the Confederate Army. In later years it was the proud 
boast of the surviving members that there was not a great battle 
fought from the Potomac to the Rio Grande, that did not have 
an old member of Hook and Ladder on the field. A great many 
of them lost -their lives during the four bloody years, and, these 
noble fellows had their names recorded in mourning and filed 
in the archives of the company, as a slight tribute to their great 
worth. During the war the organization of Hook and Ladder No. 
1 was kept up by those members who, for one reason or another, 
did not go to the front. The actual work of fire figHting was done 
by negroes under the direction of white officers. After the war 
was over the returning members took iip the work where they 
had left it, new blood was incorporated, and the company became 
as active and efficient as ever. The" original idea of having 
none but gentlemen in the company was adhered to. A rigidly 
enforced set of by-laws demanded character and standing of all 
applicants for membership. No one being admitted until he had 
passed a searching investigation, the company preserved its early 
reputation, and it became known as the best organized and most 
thoroughly drilled truck company in the South. 

Four years after the war, April 17, 1869, the company 
celebrated the eleventh anniversary of its organization and elected 
officers. The following roster shows the character of men who 



The City Government 83 

formed the membership at that time : Foreman, Prank Bailey ; 1st 
assistant, C. C. Beavens; 2nd assistant, J. W. McAshan; presi- 
dent, S. T. Timpson; vice-president, F. A. G. Gearing; secre- 
tary, Jesse C. Wagner; assistant secretary, L. F. DeLesDenier; 
treasurer, C. A. Darling; steward, J. D. Johnson. Members: — 
J. C. Baldwin, H. P. Roberts, 0. L. Cochran, C. S. Marston, 
R. W. Shaw, P. E. Bowling, J. A. Bailey, George W. Gazley, B. 
L. Bremond, Will Lambert, Isaac Siegel, G. A. Gibbons, H. M. 
Phillips, Jules Albert, A. Levy, J. M. Tryan, G. Lachman, H. 
C. McClure, W. B. Bonner, A. J. Rogers, J. B. Cato, R. Cotter, 
A. Ewing, Taylor McRear and John House. Total, 34. 

Soon after the formation of Hoolc and Ladder, there was 
another fire company organized, called Liberty Fire Company 
No. 2. This gave Houston three fire companies and in order to 
make them all more efficient and useful, Mr. T. W. House, who 
was mayor in 1862, determined to organize a regular fire depart- 
ment. He combined the three companies into one organ- 
ization, known as the Houston Fire Department. Mr. E. L. 
Bremond was mad'e chief engineer, with H. F. Hurd and R. 
Burns as assistants. The R. Burns mentioned in the foregoing 
was not Major Robert Burns at one time prominent in the 
Houston fire department, but who at that time, 1862, was in 
Virginia with the Texas Troops under Lee. This Houston Fire 
Department flourished for a little time and then dropped out as 
a department leaving the individual companies to act as they 
saw fit. Twelve years later Mr. J. H. B. House, under morfe 
favorable conditions, took up the work begun by his father, in 
1862, and organized a thoroughly efficient fire department. The 
department was reorganized in May, 1874. Mr. J. H. B. House 
was made chief; Mr. Z. T. Hogan, assistant chief and Mr. C. C. 
Beavens, second assistant. 

The following companies composed the department: Pro- 
tection Fire Company No. 1, engine house on Texas Avenue, 
between Fannin and San Jacinto Streets; Hook and Ladder 
Company No. 1, on Prairie and San Jacinto Streets; Liberty 
Fire Company No. 2, on Franklin, between Milam and Louisi- 
ana Streets; Stonewall Fire Company No. 3, on Travis Street, 



84 History of Houston, Texas 

between Prairie and Texas Avenues; Lee Fire Company No. 4; 
Brooks Fire Company No. 5, engine house near the corner of 
Liberty and MeKee Streets; Mechanics Fire Company No. 6, 
Engine house on Washington and Preston Streets. The depart- 
ment, thus organized in 1874, constituted the nucleus of Hous- 
ton's capable department of today. 

Although the Houston Fire Department was not quite one 
year old on April 21st, 1875, a point was stretched and the 
department celebrated its first anniversary on San Jacinto Day, 
that year, in grand style. There was a great procession, in 
which, besides the local companies, the fire departments of Dallas, 
Waco, Calvert, Bryan, Brenham and Hempstead were repre- 
sented by strong delegations. Col. J. P. Likens was orator of 
the day. The following local companies were in line: 

Protection No. 1, the oldest fire company in the state, organ- 
ized in 1836. Houston Hook and Ladder No. 1, organized April 
17, 1858. Liberty No. 2, Stonewall No. 3, and Brooks No. 5, all 
organized in the late sixties. Mechanics No. 6, organized October 
28, 1873. Houston 's Futures, a company of boys, had been 
organized but a short time, but appeared in the procession drag- 
ing their little hand engine. The following were the officers of 
the various companies of the department: 

Protection No. 1, Charles Wichman, foreman ; L. OUre, first 
assistant; S. M. McAshan, president; Robert Brewster, secretary; 
R. Cohen, treasurer. Hook and Ladder No. 1, H. P. Roberts, 
president; T. L. Blanton, vice-president; William Cameron, sec- 
retary; 0. L. Cochran, treasurer; Dr. T. Robinson, foreman; 
J. C. Hart, first assistant ; G. W. Gazley, second assistant. Stone- 
wall No. 3, Joseph F. Meyer, foreman; L. M. Jones, first assist- 
ant; F. J. Frank, second assistant; W. Long, president; F. 
Ludke, vice-president ; W. E. Smith, secretary. Brooks No. 5, 
I. C. Lord, foreman; William Alexander, first assistant; J. C. 
Thomas, Jr., second assistant; J. C. Thomas, Sr., president; I. 
Snowball, vice-president ; S. L. Mateer, secretary ; Thomas Milner, 
treasurer. Eagle No. 7, John Shearn, Jr., foreman ; Willie Van 
Alstyne, first assistant ; Ed Mather, second assistant. 

During the year Mr. J. H. B. House had resigned as chief 



The City Government 85 

of the department, but continued to take an active interest in' all 
that concerned it. On his retirement the department heads were 
arranged as follows: W. "Williams, chief; C. C. Beavens, first 
assistant; Fred Harvey, second assistant. In the parade that 
day the Silsby, steamer of Protection No. 1, was drawn by four 
black horses, driven by Mr. J. H. B. House. 

In 1876, the Houston fire department had two steamers, one 
extinguisher engine, two hand wagons and one hook and ladder 
company. The annual operating expense for the entire depart- 
ment was about "$9,000. Its membership was composed. of 
the best and most prominent citizens, all volunteers, and all well 
trained and effective firemen. 

In 1893, the volunteer department was disbanded and the 
paid fire department was inaugurated. At first it was only a 
partial pay department, being composed of paid experts, and 
others who had to be on duty all the time, and of volunteer fire- 
men who gave their services free, whenever a fire was aettially 
burning. However, in 1895, this halfway system proving unsat- 
isfactory, the city took over the whole department and placed 
it on the pay basis. Its success was assured from the start, and 
the Houston Fire Department entered at once on its career of 
usefulness. One or two things have contributed to its success. 
One is that the department has always been as far removed from 
politics as possible, even under the old administration conducted 
under the mayor and board of aldermen. Another is that the 
chiefs of the department have always been chosen because of 
their fitness to administer the affairs of their important ofiice; 
for their executive ability as practical firemen, rather than for 
their "pull" as practical politicians and popularity among the 
voters of the city. But perhaps a thing that has contributed 
most to its success, is the fact that in the performance of its 
duties it has received the unanimous support and encouragement 
of the citizens of all classes. Unlike the police department, it 
has never had to perform duties that created strong animosity 
in certain quarters. Its progress has been smooth and unob- 
structed, and today Houston has a good and well organized ire 
department. In January, 1903, Houston had 59 firemen on the 



86 History of Houston, Texas 

regular list and a number of others on th'e waiting list. There 
were at that time 20 pieces of fire fighting apparatus. Today 
their are 104 ofScers and men employed in the Fire Department 
of Houston, and there are 30 pieces of fire fighting apparatus, 
of which 9 are modern steamers having a combined capacity of 
5,900 gallons of water per minute, and two are chemical engines 
of the latest design. The Department has 51 horses in active 
service. The actual cost of maintaining and operating the 
Department for the year ending February 28, 1911, was 
$124,443.76. 

■ In early days, when a man's reputation for personal courage, 
honesty of purpose and a bulldog determination to do his duty 
was established, he was recognized as fit material out of which 
to make a peace ofBcer. It was the man's personality, rather 
than his ability as a business man, or his ability as an executive 
ofBcer that counted. The only executive ability demanded of 
him was that he be "quick on the draw" and expert in the use 
of his pistol. The early peace officer had no regular deputies 
nor had he a "force." He was the whole thing himself, and 
on occasions when he needed assistance, he could, and did call 
on any citizen or citizens to help him. In a newly settled place 
like Houston in the early days, there were a number of rough 
and desperate characters. Against such men as these, a weakling 
or a man who did not have a reputation for coolness and for a 
bravery vastly superior to their own, would have been worse 
than useless and would have really added to the criminal record 
by offering himself up as a sacrifice to the outlaws. 

In the very early days police affairs were in the hands of 
the sheriff, and this condition prevailed for sometime after 
Houston had become a chartered city. In 1840 or 1841, Captain 
Newt. Smith, one of the heroes of San. Jacinto, was elected city 
marshal and served as such until 1844, when Captain Billy 
Williams was elected to succeed him. In the late forties Captain 
R. C. Boyce was elected city marshal and held office for a number 
of years. The city marshal's office was no sinecure. From 1840 
to 1860, Houston was at times, particularly about election times 



The City Government 87 

and on days of public gatherings, what one might call in the 
vernacular a little "wild and woolly." 

On such occasions both the sheriff and marshal had their 
hands full. There were numerous desperate characters here, 
whiskey was cheap and plentiful and the wonder is that there 
were so few tragedies. It is a remarkable fact that none of the 
three men who served as marshal during that troublesome period 
ever had to kill a man. It was not because they were not per- 
fectly prepared and willing to do so should occasion arise, and it 
was possibly a knowledge of that fact, on the part of the desper- 
adoes, that caused them not to offer resistance when the officers 
went after them. At the close of the war, Mr. I. C. Lord was 
city marshal and his administration was far more strenuous 
than any that preceded it. This was due to the generally dis- 
rupted condition of society; to the fact that the town was full 
of returned Confederate soldiers. Federal soldiers, newly freed 
negroes and worthless white men, known as "scalawags" and 
"carpet-baggers," who did all in their power to stir up strife 
between the white people and the negroes. Killings were of 
frequent occurrence, and the police figured in the large majority 
of them. 

As bits of police history are always iiiteresting the follow- 
ing are given here as characteristic. They are taken from an 
old book at police headquarters, called the "Time Book," dated 
1882. A record on the first page reveals the fact that the police 
force in 1882, consisted of a chief, a deputy chief and six patrol- 
men, the latter divided into a night and a day relief. Charles 
Wiehman was chief, or city marshal, and "W. W. Glass was deputy 
chief. W. H. Smith and P. W. MeCutchin were the day force, 
while B. F. Archer, Jack White, James Daily and Nat Davis 
were the night force. All of these old officers are dead. 

From December 23 to 27, 1882, six special policemen were 
added to the force to guard against trouble during Christmas 
times. These special officers were Bill Paris, Fred Merald, 
Louis "Williams, Bud Butler, John Kelley, and John Donahue. 

On November 1, 1885, officers described as "cow catchers" 
are spoken of for the first time in the old record book. These 



88 History of ffouston, Texas 

were two in number, J. E. Jemison and George W. Penticost. 
Items of personal interest are: "W. W. Glass, resigned Feb. 
19th, 1886." Another "J. Fitzgerald, clerk, June 1, 1886." 
According to the book, Alex. Erickson was city marshal and 
B. "W. McCarty, clerk, in April, 1892. James H. Pruett was 
marshal and A. R. Anderson, deputy in 1894. Deputy Chief 
J. M. Ray filled the same position in January, 1895. Among 
the old tragedies fatal to peace officers, recorded in the old 
book is this: "Richard Snow, killed in the fifth ward." Snow 
was a policeman, but beyond the brief record of the fact that 
he was killed nothing is said of the tragedy which occurred 
March 17, 1882. 

Under date of February 8, 1886, appears: "Henry Williams 
killed by Kyle Terry at Market Square." 

"March 14, 1891, J. E. Fenn was killed by Henry MeGee." 
Fenn went into a negro dance hall to make an arrest and was 
shot down by MeGee, a negro tough. 

Captain Jack White, one of the Sabine Pass heroes, and for 
many years a police officer of Houston, died in 1896 and is thus 
referred to in the "time book;" "Jack White died September 15, 
buried with military honors. ' ' 

Under date September 17, 1893, it was recorded that officer 
Pat Walsh, alighting from a street car, fell on his revolver dis- 
charging it and inflicting a wound fronj which he died later. 
In another old book at police headquarters, is recorded the 
killing of W. A. Weiss by J. T. Vaughn, on the night of July 
29, 1901. Vaughn killed Weiss at Congress Avenue and San 
Jacinto Street and was himself killed the same night. On Decem- 
ber 11, 1901, is recorded the killing of J. C: James by Sid 
Preacher, a gambler. Preacher used a shot gun. No sooner was 
J'ames down than Preacher turned and killed Herman Youngst, 
another policeman. While James was dying he managed to get 
his pistol out and kill Preacher, just as the latter was starting 
to run away. James died at almost the same momeht that his 
finger pressed the trigger. Every year has seen its tragedy in 
the police force. In 1910, Assistant Chief Murphy was killed 
by McFarlane, a discharged officer. 



The City Government 89 

Instead of the chief, deputy chief and six policemen that 
constituted the police force in 1882, Houston now has a chief and 
assistant chief and a police force of 103 policemen. In place of 
the two mounted policemen, described as "cow catchers" in 
1885, there are now 18 mounted officers and four motorcycle 
officers. Chief of Police J. M. Ray, for the year ending February 
28, 1911, reports the total number of arrests made by his depart-: 
ment during the year to have been 5,928, classified as follows : 

Violating State Laws 4,525 

Violating City Ordinances 716 

United States Deserters 2 

Suspicious Characters 668 

Lunacy 17 



Total 5,928 

During the year there were 1,753 runs, covering 2, 691 miles, 
made by the patrol wagon during the day, and 1,960 runs, 
covering 3,690 miles, made during the night. 

Chief Ray says, in his report: "It gives me great pleasure 
to report that there has been less crime committed in the city 
during the past few months than ever before in the history of 
the city, which is not only gratifying to the public at large but 
to the officers of the department. Earlier in the year, before 
Chief Ray and his assistants took charge of the department, 
conditions quite the reverse of those spoken of by the Chief had 
prevailed in Houston, and it was this, no doubt, that led Mayor 
Rice in his annual message to say : 

"During the past year, at different times, there has arisen 
sharp criticism of the police force, on account of crime committed 
in this city, and as I am the head of the department, I have been 
censured by some. All crime is deplorable, and no police force 
is perfect. Whenever I can find any weakness in this or any 
other department, I shall weed it out ; but I want to serve notice 
in this, my annual message, that I not only stand for law and 
order; that I am not only going to enforce the law, but that 
the 'gun toter* and perjured criminal witness in the city, are 
going to be eradicated, if I have to call upon every law-abiding 
citizen in the community to assist me. ' ' 



90 History of Houston, Texas 

During the year ending February 28, 1911, the total cost 
for maintaining the Police Department, was $109,200, while the 
revenue from fines, costs of court, etc., was $25,202.60. 

Duff Voss, who made a record for efficiency and courage as 
deputy sheriff, is now the Chief of Police of Houston, and con- 
ditions have continued to improve. They are not perfect as a 
policeman was killed by a negro in August, 1911, and earlier in 
the year, two policemen engaged in a pistol duel on Main Street 
to settle a private grudge and crimes against life are alarmingly 
frequent in Harris County, which has one of the bloodiest records 
in the United States. 

A lax public sentiment and sharp criminal practice have 
made it almost impossible to convict for any kind of homicide. 
With this exception the laws are well enforced. No public 
gambling place exists in the city of Houston, the Sunday closing 
laws are rigidly execated, the social evil is segregated almost 
entirely and immoral hous'is are not tolerated in the business 
and residence sections of the city. All city ordinances are well 
enforced, property is well protected, and there is a growing 
sentiment to back the mayor's energetic campaign against "gun 
toters" and gun users. Citizens are determined that harmless 
bystanding shall be made a less dangerous occupation and hope to 
see the time come when ladies may go upon the streets without 
any risk of being perforated by stay bullets fired in impromptu 
pistol duels of citizens and officers on crowded thoroughfares. 

Until about 1878-79, Houston had but little need for water- 
works. To that time water for drinking purposes was obtained 
from under-ground cisterns and that for fire protection purposes 
from similar cisterns located at convenient points along Main 
Street. When a fire occurred in the resident part of town, 
private cisterns were pressed into service. These cisterns, both 
public and private, were from twelve to twenty feet deep and 
from eight to fifteen feet in diameter, and held many thousand 
gallons of water each. Their construction was simple. A large 
cistern was first dug of the desired dimensions and its bottom 
and sides lined with brick, as carefully placed as though a house 
were being constructed. When the brick, work was completed 



The City Government 91 

the inner surface, sides and bottom, was plastered over with 
water-proof cement. As only the water that fell in the winter 
was caught and preserved, the water was delightfully cool and 
no one ever needed ice water. But by 1878 Houston had grown 
beyond the stage of cisterns and the citizens began to realize 
that they would have to look elsewhere for their water supply. 

On January 15, 1878, Mayor James T. Wilson, in a message 
to the council, drew attention to the growing need for water- 
works and- sewers. On November 30, 1878, the city entered into 
a contract with Mr. J. M. Loweree and his associates, to supply 
the city with water. January 11, 1879, an ordinance was passed 
to amend the ordinance of November 30, 1878, authorizing 
Loweree and his associates to organize themselves into a cor- 
poration to be known as the Houston Waterworks Company. 

On April 15, 1879, the Houston Waterworks Company was 
organized, with Joseph Richardson, of New York, president ; T. 
P. White, of Houston secretary; William Runkle, of New York, 
treasurer • and Joseph Richardson, Daniel Runkle, William 
Runkle and W. Steiger, of New York, and E. Pillot and T. P. 
White, of Houston, as directors. J. M. Loweree was named aa 
superintendent. Books for subscription to the capital stock of 
the company, were opened at the City Bank. 

The company lost no time in getting to work, and the water 
works were completed in July of that same year. In August, 
the water committee reported to the city council that tlie test 
of the system made by them was satisfactory and recommended 
that the contract be finally signed. The system was a make-shift 
affair, and no effort was made to supply the city with suitable 
drinking water. The water supply was pumped direct from 
the bayou, and the only use it could possibly be put to was for 
fire purposes. Still for this it was a great improvement on the 
old cisterns. In the early nineties it was discovered that an 
abundant supply of pure artesian water could be obtained any- 
where in or near Houston, and the Waterworks Company sank 
several wells. This gave an abundance of pure drinking water, 
as well as water for other purposes. However, the company per- 
sisted from time to time in pumping bayou water into the mains, 



92 History of Houston, Texas 

which made the whole system very unpopular. The city author- 
ities and the waterworks management were constantly at war. 
This continued until 1906, when the city of Houston purchased 
the water plant from its owners, paying $901,000 for it. The 
city at once increased the water supply from artesian wells 
and cut out the bayou water entirely. At the time of the pur- 
chase, the private corporation was charging 50 cents per thou- 
sand, meter rate, and, as already noted, was pumping from the 
bayou whenever it suited their convenience to do so. • The city, 
so soon as it got control, reduced the rate, and today charges 
only 15c per thousand gallons, and it is all wholesome artesian 
water. 

Since the waterworks is the only public utility owned and 
operated by the city it is interesting to compare its administra- 
tion with that of its predecessor, the private corporation. Dur- 
ing the first five months of the commission's management, the 
city saved in salaries alone, $2,307.88, notwithstanding the fact 
that the pay of all operatives had been materially increased. 
During the same period, the city showed a gain in earnings, 
including hydrant rentals formerly paid by the city, of $10,575.35 
and all this with a decreased charge to the consumer for the ser- 
vice. With a decreased consumption of fuel, the average 
monthly pressure was increased from 53.5 pounds in September, 
1906 to 62 pounds in February, 1907. All other public utilities 
are o\^^led by private corporations, yet they have all put them- 
selves into hearty co-operation with the commission and usually 
respond promptly to definite popular demands for better and 
more extended service. 

The Houston Gas Company was organized in 1866, by Mr. T. 
W. House, Sr., captain; N. P. Turner, governor; J. W. Hender- 
son, Robert Brewster and one or two others. This was the first 
of Houston's public utilities, and while it did not meet with 
actual opposition of any kind, it did meet with something harder 
to overcome — an almost fatal indifference on the part of the 
public. A plant was erected, mains were laid, and then the 
company had to take up a campaign of education, and, to actu- 
ally drum for customers. The hotels, restaurants and public 



The City Government 93 

places that open at night were the first, and for some time, the 
only customers. But gradually the merits of the "new" light 
became apparent and homes and other places became customers. 
Then the company made a contract with the city to light the 
streets, and the use of gas became general. 

In 1869, the company was well on its feet and was doing a 
large business. That year Mr. T. W. House, Sr., was elected 
president ; J. W. Henderson, vice-president ; S. M. McAshan, sec-, 
retary and treasurer; and N. P. Turner, superintendent. The 
company's stock was commanding a premium and it was evident 
that Houston could and would support such a concern. Perhaps 
the secret of the success of the company lies in the fact that from 
the very beginning it has been its aim to give the public fair 
treatment and to give value received for every dollar collected. 
Unlike most corporations, the Houston Gas Company has been 
run in the interest of the public from the day of its organization, 
■ hence it has met with no opposition and its course has been free 
and unobstructed. 

When the company first began manufacturing gas it fixed 
the price at $1.50, and this was never changed, not even when 
the strong competition of electric lights came about, until in 
1910, the price was reduced to $1.10, and on January 1, 1912, 
it will be reduced to $1.00. 

Since 1905 the company has increased its capacity in every 
way. The mileage of gas mains has been increased from 51 
miles, in 1905, to 120 miles in 1911, and during that time the 
company has spent $528,000 on extensions and mains alone. In 
1907 the company purchased three additional lots on Crawford 
and Magnolia Streets, and made a contract with a Philadelphia 
concern to build a mammoth gas-holder oq this property. This 
holder is the largest in Texas. It is 100 feet in diameter, 150 
feet high and has a capacity of one million cubic feet. It cost 
about $100,000 to build it. The use of gas for heating and cook- 
ing has vastly increased the demand for it. 

On January 1, 1846, the city of Houston had a debt of $875, 
and had to show for this debt, in the way of public improvements, 
a fine bridge over Buffalo Bayou, a good wooden market house, 



94 History of Houston, Texas 

a block long, and a well-built wooden two-story city hall and 
city jail combined. 

On January 1, 1875, when the "reconstruction" mayor and 
aldermen had been turned out of office and the people of Houston 
had been given the management of their own affairs, the city of 
Houston had a debt of about two million dollars and had, to show 
for it, an $80,000 brick market house and a sewer about two 
blocks long on Caroline Street. 

Of course it was out of the question to hope for any 
growth or advancement of Houston with such a debt as it had, 
hanging over it. With the last possible cent squeezed out of the 
taxpayers it was impossible to pay the interest on the debt and 
to pay the necessary, current expenses of the city. There was but 
one thing to dp, compromise the debt that had been so unjustly 
saddled on the people, and if this could be done, make a new 
start in life. The very best business men of Houston were placed 
in office, with the sole purpose of using their business talent and 
experience in an attempt to solve the trouble. Repeated and 
varied offers were made to the bondholders but to all of them 
a deaf ear was turned. 

Administration after administration took up the burden, but 
all were forced to lay it down again. Suits were brought and 
judgments were obtained against the city, thus increasing the 
debt aU the time. Finally the people became absolutely desperate 
and began, not only to speak of the repudiation among them- 
selves but to advocate it in the newspapers and advance argu- 
ments to prove the justice of taking such a radical step. If 
the bondholders were frightened by such talk they gave no 
signs of being so, but remained obdurate, quietly demanding 
their money. They made it quite plain, too, that it was hard 
cash and no new bonds that they wanted. 

Such were the conditions when, in 1880, after consulting 
among themselves, a committee of the most prominent business 
men of Houston, waited on Mr. Wm. R. Baker, one of the great 
men and successful financiers of Houston, and told him that he 
had to become mayor of the city and settle that debt. He objected 
strenuously, but when told that he would be allowed to select 



The City Government 95 

his own board of aldermen and that there would be no opposi- 
tion to the ticket, he consented. He and those whom he had 
chosen to serve with him were elected by practically a unanimous 
vote of the people. At the end of the first two years they had 
accomplished no more than had their predecessors. They were 
given another trial. When their second term expired, the city 
debt, so far from being settled was actually about $200,000 
greater than when they went into office. The cause of this was 
quite apparent. Had the bondholders had the framing of the 
slate, they would have chosen the very men that the people chose, 
for, with such leading and prominent business men in office, all 
talk of repudiating any debt of the city became impossible. 

Then the people did what proved to be the wisest thing they 
ever did. They had seen that the great financiers could do noth- 
ing so they went to the other extreme and turned the affairs over 
to what was facetiously called "the short hair" element. This 
might have proven a fatal error had the people selected another 
man than Mr. Dan. C. Smith for mayor. At that time he was 
practically unknown to most of the people, for he had never 
taken part in public affairs and had never sought office of any 
kind. He was the right man for the place, as results showed. His 
co-workers were known as the labor crowd and it was said that 
the city had been turned over to Jhe labor element. This caused 
the bond holders to sit up and take notice at once, for they 
could imagine "repudiation and ruin" written everywhere on the 
wall. They became both willing and anxious to listen to reason 
and before Mayor Smith's first term had expired, he had the 
city debt well under way toward settlement, by compromise ; and 
at the end of his second term, the entire debt was either wiped 
out or settled on a most advantageous basis. 

It must not be presumed that the settlement was made 
entirely through fear on the part of the bond holders. They 
sent their representatives here and discovered, what the people 
of Houston had also discovered, that Mayor Smith was a man 
possessed of executive ability of the highest order, that he was 
honest and capable and that it was his intention to do what was 
just and right and nothing more. They realized that it would 



96 History of Houston, Texas 

be folly to try to "dicker and dillydally" with such a man and 
they did not try to do so. At the end of four years, Mayor 
Smith turned the city over to his successor with its aiTairs in 
admirable shape. The big debt had been compromised un a 
basis that was fair and just to both creditor and debtor, and 
had been placed in such form that the city could pa3' off the 
bonds as they fell due and could pay interest on them without 
cripling itself to such an extent as to interfere with current 
expenses and needed improvements. He also turned over tlie 
city on a cash basis, with little or no floating debt. Succeeding 
administrations served with more or less credit. 

In 1896, H. B. Rice was elected mayor. He was young, and 
a well-trained business man. As mayor he had brought to his 
attention, in a practical way, the many defects in a system by 
which the affairs of a great corporation, such as a city were often 
turned over to the management of men, many of whom were 
unfitted through lack of education and training to manage any 
business at all. He recognized that honesty without ability was 
quite as harmful, as actual rascality, and that the affairs of the 
city suffered through the absence of business methods in their 
management. There was offered no remedy, however. He served 
for two terms and while his administration was marked by 
improvements in many departipents, there was room for a great 
many more, which could not be made under the form of govern- 
ment then in vogue. 

Government was through a mayor and board of aldermen. 
Each alderman was elected, not by the whole city, but only 
by small numbers of voters living in wards and they necessarily 
represented many local and conflicting interests to the prejudice 
of the wisest and most economical administration for the city as 
a whole. Then, too, each alderman was, in a measure, inde- 
pendent of the mayor or of his other fellow aldermen. Having 
obtained his authority from the votes of his ward only, he recog- 
nized no higher authority than the ward and placed its interests 
above those of the community as a whole. "With such methods 
it was not surprising that but little public good was ever accom- 
plished, even when, as was often the case, honorable and capable 



The City Government 97 

men were placed in power. Yet, such were the conditions that 
existed in every city in this country in 1900. 

The great disaster in Galveston, September 8, 1900, forced 
a change in the form of government in that city, which seems 
destined to be far-reaching and wide spread in its effects. In 
their great distress and seemingly hopeless condition, the people 
■ abandoned the old mayor and board of aldermen form of gov- 
ernment, and the governor, by popular request, appointed 
a board of commissioners, consisting of five business 
men to take control of the city's affairs. The form 
of government was permanently changed, and though 
the people later elected their commissioners, instead of having 
them appointed by the state governor, the commission form of 
government in Galveston is today the same as when it was first 
inaugurated. Only a few unimportant changes and modifications 
have been made. The immediate, beneficial effects of the Galves- 
ton commission form of government became so apparent that 
other cities began to study it and soon realized that in it lay 
the secret of successful municipal government. It seems para- 
doxical to say that the most dangerous form of government that 
could possibly be devised, is the safest and best, and yet this so 
far has proved true. "With such power as is given under the com- 
mission form of government, bad and dishonest men could ruin 
and destroy a city in much less time and far more effectually than 
good and honest men could build it up. But in this self -apparent 
weakness lies its strength, for while the public is constantly on 
its guard, there is only the remotest chance of the reins of power 
falling into undesirable hands.. 

Four years after its inauguration in Galveston the commis- 
sion idea was submitted to a vote of the people of Houston, and, 
on the tenth day of December, 1904, was adopted. A charter, 
to suit the needs of the new plan, was prepared by a committee 
composed of members of the city council and leading citizens, 
and became the present city charter. It was granted by the 
legislature on March 18, 1905. 

The following synopsis of an address delivered by Mayor 
Rice before the Chicago Commercial Club, December 10, 1910, 



98 History of Houston, Texas 

gives not only the leading features of the commission, but also 
some of the things that have been accomplished through it. 
Mr. Rice said: "The essential differences between the commis- 
sion form and the old form of municipal government are three: 

"The substitution of a smaller number of aldermen, elected 
from the city at large, in place of a large number of aldermen, 
elected from different wards or subdivisions of the city ; vesting of 
a co-ordinate power in the mayor as in the city council to dis- 
miss any ofiScer of the city government, except the controller, 
at any time, without cause, and, the essential provisions safe- 
guarding the granting of municipal franchises. Instead of a 
body of twelve aldermen, elected from different wards or sub- 
divisions of the city, under the Houston system, four aldermen 
are elected from the body of the city by the votes of all the 
citizens, in the same way in which the mayor is elected. These 
four aldermen, together with the mayor, constitute the city 
council or legislative department of the city government. The 
executive power is vested in the mayor, but by an ordinance, for 
the administration of the city's affairs, a large part of executive 
or administrative power is subdivided into different departments, 
and St committee is placed over each department, and one of the 
four aldermen, nominated by the mayor, is what is known as the 
active chairman. 

"The mayor and all four aldermen are members of each com- 
mittee. -The active chairman of the committee practically has 
control of the administration of the department, unless his views 
are overruled by the whole committee but by the organization 
of the committees the active chairman does his work, to a certain 
extent, under the supervision and direction of the mayor, who 
is, in the last analysis, the head of each committee and the person 
in whom the executive power of municipal government ultimately 
rests. 

"Under the old system of government, by which twelve 
aldermen were elected from as many different precincts of the 
city, it frequently happened that unfit men came to represent 
certain wards in the city council. Now, unless a man has suffi- 
cient standing and reputation throughout the body of the city as 



The City Oovernment 99 

a fit man for the office of alderman, he will not be elected. Again, 
each alderman under the present system represents the whole 
city. Under the old system the conduct of public business was 
continually obstructed by a system of petty log-rolling going on 
among and between the representatives of the numerous sub- 
divisions of the city. Then, too, the smallness of the number 
of aldermen now affords opportunity for the transaction of 
business. 

"An executive session is held previous to each meeting of the 
city council, at which matters to come before the council are 
discussed and action determined on. The small number of alder- 
men enables the city administration to act on all matters of 
importance as a unit. In other words, the system makes it possi- 
ble to administer the affairs of the city in a prompt and business- 
like way. 

"This is one of the strongest arguments in favor of the 
present commission form of government, for with a majority of 
the aldermen always in session, public business can be, and is, 
promptly attended to. It is no longer necessary to go before the 
city council with petitions to have something done. Any citizen 
who desires to have a street paved, taxes adjusted, a nuisance 
abated, or anything else, has only to call at the mayor's office and 
have the matter promptly adjusted. After a hearing, the matter 
is decided by the council in the presence of the. applicant. To 
illustrate the great difference between this method and the old 
one the following comparison is made. By the old method a 
petition was addressed to the council. This was referred to a 
committee, which acted when convenient. Then a report to the 
council was made by the committee. After the action of the 
council it went to the mayor and from him to someone else for 
execution. The people do not pay their taxes for such treatment. 
They want their business attended to promptly and that is what 
is being done under the commission." 

Mayor Rice illustrated the promptness with which the public 
business it attended to by relating the following story: 

"A gentleman, a non-resident of Houston, whose home was 
in a Western state, owned some property in our city and ?he 



100 History of Houston, Texas 

property had been recently taken into the city limits. Investi- 
gating his assessment he found that his property had been placed 
at a much higher valuation than that of his neighbor. Being a 
stranger, he called upon one of Houston's leading attorneys and 
asked his advice how to proceed for relief. The attorney suggest- 
ed that they step over to the mayor's office and have the matter 
corrected. The owner of the property thought it would be wiser 
for the lawyer to get some of his friends to sign a petition to the 
council so that it would have some weight with the authorities. 
The attorney replied that this mode of procedure was entirely 
unnecessary, as Houston now had a business-like government. 
They called at my office and stated their mission. I sent for the 
tax collector, and in an hour the stranger had his tax receipt in 
his pocket. The owner of the land said that if the ease had 
been in his city it would have taken weeks for adjustment, on 
account of the red tape in existence. ' ' 

One of the most striking features of the commission charter 
is the power that it confers on the mayor. Under its provisions 
any officer of the city except the aldermen, who are elected for 
two years, and the controller, who is appointed for a term of 
two years and subject to removal by the council only for cause, 
may be removed by the mayor or may be removed from office 
at any time at the will of the council. 

This feature of the charter has been subjected to more 
adverse criticism than all the others combined, and yet it has 
proven in practice to be one of the best and most fruitful for 
good. Because of it, the city attorney does not refuse to collect 
taxes and say to the city government that he was elected by the 
people and is responsible to them and that he does not favor col- 
lecting taxes. Because of it, the chief of police does not refuse 
to enforce the criminal ordinances of the city and give the same 
excuse for declining to do so. Because of it, the tax collector can 
not arbitrarily select what persons he is to exempt from the 
payment of taxes, and inform the government that the people 
elected him and that he is responsible to the people. The mayor, 
under the charter is the responsible head of the government. If 
things are permitted to go wrong, it is his fault, and if any officer 



The City Government 101 

of the city refuses to enforce the law, the mayor can remove him 
in five minutes time. Of course it is imperatively necessary for 
the people to select a man of good sense and character to be 
mayor, but when they have done so, they will know that he will 
not be, as under the old system, a dummy and figure head and a 
helpless spectator to wanton disregard of law and mal-administra- 
tion. This so-called, "one-man" feature of the commission 
embodies its whole aim and intention — a responsible head to the 
city government, chosen by the people themselves. 

When the commission form of government went into effect, 
July, 1905, the various departments were organized and at the 
head of each was placed a commissioner. The school board under 
the commission has been kept out of politics. On this board are 
democrats, republicans, Israelites and Christians, all working 
without compensation, for the best interest of the public schools of 
the city. The labor question has been eliminated also; union 
labor and non-union labor both work for the city. The only 
point insisted on is that the laborer shall understand that the 
city of Houston comes first and his organization second, when he 
works for the city. If a commissioner discharges an employe 
in his department, the action is final. An appeal to the mayor 
will do jio good, for so long as the head of the department man- 
ages and works conscientiously for the city, the mayor will sustain 
him and leave him with absolute aiithority. No alderman can 
appoint a man on the police force. The mayor selects a chief 
of police and holds him responsible for the conduct of his men, 
who are all selected by the chief himself. 

The school board is nominated by the mayor and confirmed 
by the council. It in turn selects a school superintendent. The 
teachers are selected for their fitness. No commissioner can even 
suggest the name of a teacher to the board. All the commissioners 
have to do is to supply the money to support the schools. Their 
connection with the administration of the schools, begins and 
ends there. 

Another most important change that was made when the 
commission charter was adopted was that relating to the matter 
of franchises. Under the new charter no franchise can be granted 



102 History of Houston, Texas 

for a longer period than thirty years unless it be submitted to a 
vote of the legally qualified voters of the city and approved 
by them. The expense of this election must be borne by the 
person applying for the franchise. If a majority of the votes 
is favorable, the franchise may be granted in the form as sub- 
mitted, but cannot, in any case, be granted for a period longer 
than fifty years. 

The council may, on its own motion, submit an ordinance 
granting a franchise to the vote of people of the city. 

If a franchise be granted for a period of thirty years or less, 
the proposed franchise shall be published in the form in which it 
is finally passed and shall not thereafter be changed, once a week 
for three consecutive weeks, at the expense of the applicant. 
And, if at any time within thirty days after its final passage, a 
written petition is presented to the council, signed by at least 500 
legally qualified voters of the city, then such franchise must be 
submitted to an election of the people to determine whether or 
not it shall be granted. No franchise in the streets, highways, 
thoroughfares or property of the city can ever be granted until 
it has been read at three regular meetings of the council. 

No franchise can be granted unless the ordinance granting 
the same provides for adequate compensation or consideration 
therefor, to be paid to the city, and in addition to any other form 
of compensation, the grantees shall pay annually such a fixed 
charge as may be prescribed in the franchise. 

Every grant of a franchise shall provide that on the termin- 
ation of the grant, the property of the grantee in the streets, 
avenues or other public places, shall thereupon, without com- 
pensation, or upon the payment of a fair valuation therefor, 
become the property of the city, and in estimating such value, the 
value derived from the franchise, or the fact that it is or may 
be a going concern, shall not be considered in determining the 
value. Every grant of a franchise shall provide, by forfeiture 
of the grant or otherwise, for efficiency of public service at 
reasonable rates, and to maintain the property in good order. 
The city reserves the right to inspect the books and accounts of 
the grantee of a franchise, which books and accounts shall be 



The City Government 103 

kept and reports made in accordance with the forms prescribed 
by the city council. 

The charter reserves the right in the city of Houston to reg- 
ulate the rates of all public utility corporations. The charter 
contains a referendum feature by which 500 citizens on petition 
can secure a vote on any municipal measure or utility. 

The foregoing brief summary shows the means placed in the 
hands of the commissioners by the charter and their methods 
of enforcing its provisions. Now let us see what have been the 
results accomplished. 

The commission has now been in active control of the city's 
affairs a little over six years. Inaugurated in July, 1905, the 
commission found a floating debt of a little over $400,000, an 
empty treasury and the city without credit. The work of 
retrenchment and economy was begun at once. Useless and 
expensive offices were abolished, while others were consolidated. 
A national bank was made treasurer, allowing a salary of $50 
per month for clerk hire, and the bank agreed to pay interest 
on all balances to the credit of the city. 

The city attorney was instructed to file suits against all 
delinquent tax payers. This alone resulted in the collection of 
nearly $100,000 in the first eight months and during those first 
eight months of the conmiission's life, by the strictest economy, 
$306,202.47 of the old floating debt was redeemed, besides paying 
all current expenses promptly at the end of each month. 

Since the inauguration of the commission rule the city has 
wiped out its entire floating debt, and the taxpayers have been 
given, out of the treasury, without the issuance of a single bond, 
the following permanent improvements: 

City Attorney, Law Library $ 974.10 

Assessor and Collector, Block Book System 10,000.00 

City Hall, Furniture and Fixtures 1,123.67 

Police Department 4,096.03 

Fire Department, Buildings and Equipment 66,150.45 

Electrical Department :... 26,551.21 

Health Department 6,168.26 

Parks ., : - 52,007.53 



104 History of Hotiston, Texas 

Streets and Bridges 65,714.10 

Asphalt Plant 3,000.00 

Auditorium 332,276.02 

Ship Channel 98,027.40 

Sewers 85,212.18 

Paving Streets 179,261.96 

Water Department, Extension of Mains 

and Improvements 247,932.02 

Wharves and Ships 33,109.89 

School Buildings 340,323.65 



Total Improvements $1,865,757.17 

BxTEAOEDINAEY EXPENSES. 

Storrie Certificates $ 73,300.00 

Refund Paving Certificates 120,308.70 

Sinking Fund 120,220.00 



Making a Grand Total of $2,179,585.87 

All of this was paid out of current revenues, besides the 
elimination of the floating debt of more than $400,000. 

All this has created business confidence in the city as a 
government, and has given it a credit that it never had before. 
Assessments have been increased in a just and equitable way, 
while the tax levy has been reduced 30c on the $100 valuation. 
The tax levy is $1.70 on the $100. The tax roll for 1912 wiU 
carry a valuation of $80,000,000. 

Moral* accomplishments have been in keeping with material 
feats. Gambling houses have been cleaned *out; variety shows 
have been abolished, pool rooms have been closed, and the saloons 
have been closed after 12 o'clock every night and all day on 
Sunday. 

Houston's experience demonstrates to the world that the 
commission form of city government is decidedly a success. The 
city owns the water works but all other public utilities are under 
private management and control. They, however, willingly and 
cheerfully cooperate with the commissioners in all efforts made 
to extend their usefulness and to increase public comfort and 



The City Government 105 

safety. In 1905, when the commission came in power, the price 
of gas was $1.50, Jan. 1, 1912, it becomes $1.00. The electric light 
plant has also made a material reduction in its charges, the city 
having set the example by reducing the cost of water from 50c per 
thousand gallons to 15c per thousand. City water is supplied 
from 44 artesian wells with a daily capacity of 16,000,000 gallons. 
The average daily consumption is 7,800,000 gallons. Fire pro- 
tection is annually increased — three and one-third per cent in 
I9IO7II. The street car company has reduced its fare for chil- 
dren under 12 years of age to two and one-half cents, and pays 
annually one per cent on its gross receipts to the city. The sal- 
aries of firemen, policemen, and of some of the employes who 
have. worked for years and been faithful and efficient, have been 

° increased. These wonders have been wrought in the short period 
of six years and it is worthy of attention that most of them were' 
assured facts before the expiration of the first three years of the 
commission's life. The people have grown to have large, con- 
fidence in the commission, give it their heartiest support and 
unite with it in its efforts to build up Houston. 

Under the commission the mayor is practically an autocrat. 
The commissioners are largely secretaries in charge of their func- 
tions. In one case a commissioner, who displeased the mayor 
was deprived of all participation in the city government during 
the remainder of his term. Not a sjieech has ever been made in 
the city council under the commission form of government. 

In 1911, the office of Superintendent of Complaints wias 
created as a buffer between the city council and the. public 
service corporations. Any citizen can at once register com- 
plaint against any public service or utility corporation and 

' attention is at once- paid to them. This ofSce is filled by J. Z. Gas- 
ton, formerly city commissioner, who first advocated the com- 
mission form of government in a public speech in Houston and 
who is called here "the father of the -commission form of gov- 
ernment. ' ' 

The roster of the present city commission officials, com- 
mittees department heads and boards is, August, 1911, as follows : 



106 History of Houston, Texas 

City Officials. 

Mayor, H. B. Rice ; Mayor, pro. tern., Jack Kennedy ; Com- 
missioners, J. J. Pastoriza, Jack Kennedy, Robert L. Jones, W. 
J. Kohlhauff; Water Committee, R. L. Jones, Chairman, J. J. 
Pastoriza, Jack Kennedy, W. J. Kohlhauff; Street and Bridge 
Committee, Jack Kennedy, Chairman, W. J: Kohlhauff, Robert 
L. Jones, J. J. Pastoriza ; Fire Committee, W. J. Kohlhauff, Chair- 
man, Jack Kennedy, J. J. Pastoriza, Robert L. Jones ; Ordinance 
Committee, Jack Kennedy, Chairman, W. J. Kohlhauff, Robert 
L. Jones; Board of Appraisement, J. J. Pastoriza, Chairman, 
W. J. Kohlhauff, James P. Welsh. 

Heads of Departments. 

.T. C. Dunn, Active Vice-President of the Union National 

Bank, _ Treasurer 

D. C. Smith, Jr Controller and Secretary 

Miss Roberta Cotter Assistant Secretary 

Jno. A. Kirlieks Judge Corporation Court 

W. H. Wilson City Attorney 

J. E. Niday Assistant City Attorney 

Prank L. Dormant City Engineer 

James P. Welsh Assessor and Collector 

Dr. Geo. W. Larendon City Health Officer 

Dr. F. J. Slataper Bacteriologist 

.Duff Voss Chief of J^olicv? 

W^ X. Norris Building Inspector 

Nelson Hunger Purchasing Agent 

F. J. OUre Market Master 

C. R. George City Electrician 

R. F. OUre Chief of the Fire Department 

M. Murphy Wharf Master 

B. R. Parker Fire Marshall 

Board of Liquidation: F. A. Reichardt, Ed. H. Harrell, 
0. T. Holt, B. F. Bonner, H. W. Garrow. 

Board of Health: Dr. Joe Stuart, President; Dr. W. A. 
Archer, Dr. J. W. Scott, Dr. Sidney J. Smith, Dr. J. D. Duckett. 
Dr. S. H. Hillen. 



The City Government 107 

Board op School Tbustees. 

President, Rufus Cage; vice-president, B. B. Gilmer; sec- 
retary, A. S. Cleveland. Finance Committee: G. H. Pendarvis, 
Sam Swinford, B. B. Gilmer. Teachers Committee: A. S. 
Cleveland, J. D. Duckett, B. B. Gilmer. Course of Study and 
Text Books : S. McNeill, A. S. Cleveland, Sam Swinford. School 
Property, Purchase and Repairs : B. B. Gilmer, G. H. Pendarvis, 
S. McNeill. Hygiene: J. D. Duckett, G. H. Pendarvis, S. 
McNeill. School Medical Inspector : Dr. W. W. Ralston. Griev- 
ances and Complaints: Sam Swinford, J. D. Duckett, A. S. 
Cleveland. W. Peine, Business Representative of the Board. 

Owing to the fact that the city hall has been destroyed by 
fire, twice, there are very few official documents in existence 
relating to the early histor^ of the city. Major Ingham S. 
-Roberts, whose family was a pioneer in Houston, gives a list of 
the mayors of Houston, compiled from various sources which 
differs from other lists and the recollections of the "oldest inhab- 
itants" by claiming that Dr. Francis Moore was not the first 
mayor of Houston, as all historians, and writers have given him 
credit for being. In the Telegraph of September 29, 1837, 
Major Roberts found a notice of a special election to fill vacancies 
left by aldermen Hugh McCrory and Leman Kelcy, deceased, 
•which notice was signed by James S. Holman, mayor. On this 
evidence he transfers to Mr. Holman the honor of having been 
the first mayor of Houston. Major Roberts may be correct or 
it may be that in the case of a delayed election, Mr. Holman 
was an appointed mayor pro tern. The complete list, as pre- 
pared by Major Roberts and published by him in The Historical 
Review, of southeast Texas, of which he was one of the editors, 
is followed as to order of names here: 

1837, James S. Holman; 1838, Francis Moore, Jr.; 1839, 
George W. Lively; 1840, Charles Biglow; 1841-42, John D. 
Andrews; 1843, Francis Moore, Jr. ; 1844, Horace Baldwin; 1845, 
W. W. Swain; 1846, James Baily; 1847-48, B. P. Buckner; 1849- 
52, Francis Moore ; 1853-54, Col. Nathan Fuller ; 1855-56, Janies 
H. Stev,ens; 1857, Cornelius Ennis; 1858, Alexander McGowan; 
1859, W. H. King; 1860, T. W. Whitmarsh; 1861, W. J. 



108 History of Houston, Texas 

Hutching ; 1862, T. "W. House, Sr. ; 1863-4-5, William Andrews ; 
1866, H. D. Taylor. 

In 1867, Alexander McGowan was elected mayor, but on 
December 5, of that year. General J. T. Reynolds, commander 
of this military district, took semi-military control of the city's 
affairs and left the mayor with only nominal authority. This 
state of affairs continued until August 8, 1868, when Governor 
E. J. Davis turned McGowan out of oflSce and appointed J. R. 
Morris in his place. At the same time he appointed T. H. 
Scanlan an alderman from the Third ward. In September, 
Judge B. P. Fuller, the recorder and I. C. Lord, the city marshal, 
were removed by Davis and their places filled by J. G. Tracy, 
as recorder, and Capt. A. K. Taylor, as marshal. Captain Taylor 
became disgusted and quit and was succeeded by Capt. M. B. 
Davis. 

But the governor grew tired of taking merely cherry-bites 
and, in 1870, made a clean sweep, turning everybody out who 
had been elected by the people and putting in his OAvn hench- 
men. He appointed T. H. Scanlan mayor, and made four 
negro aldermen. That was the beginning of scallawag and 
carpet-bag rule in Houston. 

In 1872, a so-called election was held, and, by importing 
negroes from the adjoining counties to vote the republican ticket, 
and obstructing the white voters in every way, Scanlan and 
his negro associates were declared elected. 

At the state election, held in November, 1873, the democrats 
secured control of the state. In January, 1874, the charter of 
Houston was amended and under its provisions Governor Rich- 
ard Coke appointed all the city officials of Houston. T. H. 
Scanlan and his negroes were ousted and J. T. D. Wilson 
was appointed mayor and a board of aldermen, consisting of 
representative citizens, was put in. Soon after that an election 
was held and Mr. Wilson was elected mayor in regular form. 
His successors have been: 

1875-76, I. C. Lord; 1877-78, J. T. D. Wilson; 1879, A. J. 
Burke; 1880-84, W. R. Baker ; 1886-88, D. C. Smith; 1890, Henry 
Scherffius; 1892-94, John T. Browne; 1896, H. Baldwin Rice; 
1898-1900, Sam H. Brashear ; 1902, 0. T. Holt ; 1904, Andrew L. 
Jackson; 1905-1911, H. Baldwin Rice, who is still in office. 



CHAPTER VIII 
The Bench and Bar 



High Character of Early Lawyers. First District Court. Early 
Legal Documents. Great Criminal Lawyers. Ex-Governor 
Henderson's Butcher Knife. Members of Early Bar. Crim- 
inal and District Court Judges. The County Court and 
Its Judges. Judge Hamblen's Reminiscences. Harris 
County Bar Association. Houston as a Source of Legal 
Business. 



It is true of every nation's pioneer history that "there were 
giants in those days." Such names as Campbell, Tankersley, 
Gray, Palmer, Henderson, Manley, Riley, Thompson, Tompkins 
and a number of others, who established the high standard for the 
Houston Bar at the very beginning, are sufficient to prove this 
true of the Bench and Bar of this city. In the beginning Harris 
County was known as Harrisburg County, and court has been 
held here since 1837. 

The first record entry of proceedings of the Harrisburg 
(Harris) County Court shows that the court was thus consti- 
tuted : 

Hon. Andrew Briscoe, chief justice; C. C. Dyre, M. Battle, 
John Denton, Joel Wheatin, Isaac Batterson, Abram Roberts; 
and John S. McGahey, commissioners. D. ■ W. Clinton Harris, 
county clerk. The chief business of the term was granting 
ferry privileges, but public roads were promoted to some extent. 
On petition of B. Fort Smith, commissioners were appointed 
to lay off a road to the county line, towards Washington ; others 
to survey a line for a road to Liberty, via Harrisburg and 
Lynchburg. 

D. W. Clinton Harris belonged to the family that gave the 
county its name. Judge Andrew Briscoe was the father of 



110 History of Houston, Texas 

Mrs. M. Looscan and of Mrs. M. G. Howe. His widow, Mrs. 
Mary Briscoe, long survived him. 

Several incidents of early justice and the founding of the 
courts have been recounted in an earlier chapter. The members 
of the first petit jury were : Berry Beasley, Sam M. Harris, Archie 
Hodges, J. James Perchouse, D. S. Harbert, Edward Dickinson, 
John "Woodruff, Marsh McKever, Elliot Hodges, Lemar Celcey, 
John 'Brien and Joseph A. Harris. The jury rendered a verdicc 
of justifiable homicide in the case of Joseph T. Bell, and the 
prisoner was discharged. 

The first judicial act in the municipality of Harrisburg, as 
Harris County was first called, was in the probate court. Hon. 
A. Briscoe, judge of that court, on petition of Richard Vince, 
by the latter 's attorney, Thomas J. Gazley, appointed Vince 
administrator of the estate of Robert Vince, deceased. 

The first licenses to practice law in Harris County were 
issued to N. Bassett, Swift Austin, Francis W. Thornton, Robert 
Page, Henry Humphrey and James Brown on March 19, 1838, 
these gentlemen having successfully passed an examination con- 
ducted by David G. Burnett, John Birdsall and A. M. Tompkins, 
a committee of examiners appointed by the court. 

One of the earliest cases was that against David S. Kerker- 
not, who was indicted March 2, 1837, for filching a mule belong- 
ing to the Republic of Texas, which act was declared to be 
"against the peace and dignity of said Republic." Another 
indictment was returned by the grand jury against the same 
man in December, 1838, and seems to refer to the same case, for 
the indictment declares that he took the mule "with force and 
arms." This man Kerkernot appears to have occupied much 
of the time of the courts, for in the September term of 1837 he 
was plaintiff and "William Scott, defendant, in a suit where the 
title to 177 acres of land on the San Jacinto, granted to Stephen 
P. Austin, was in controversy. One of the early documents 
relates to a suit brought by the city" of Houston against Henry 
R. and Samuel J. Allen for taxes, amounting to $1,943. The 
suit was filed in 1839. 

There were many able and brilliant members of the early 



The Bench and Bar 111 

Houston Bar. The large majority of these confined themselves 
to the practice of civil law but one or two won name and fame 
as criminal lawyers. This latter field was very exacting, for 
legal ethics were on a high plane and the lawyer who attempted 
to win a ease by chicanery or doubtful methods was generally 
reduced to the level of the police court where such men properly 
belong. In the days of Manley, Henderson, Barziza, Riley, 
Cook and one or two others, the criminal lawyer used no con- 
venient witness, or fixed juries, but depended entirely on his 
knowledge of law and his eloquence as a pleader, to win his 
cases. For a man to have fame as a great criminal lawyer in 
those days was looked upon as an honor. 

Col. John H. Manley was one of the greatest criminal 
lawyers who has ever practiced at the Houston Bar. His methods 
were strictly ethical and no man was better equipped mentally 
than he for the difficult tasks he undertook. He had a thorough 
and profound knowledge of criminal law and combined with all 
this he was an eloquent orator and pleader. Members of the bar 
refer to him as a perfect type for a model lawyer. 

In the same category with Colonel Manley, was Captain D. 
U. Barziza. His history is remarkable in many respects and 
will bear telling briefly. His father was an Italian nobleman, 
who had the good, or bad fortune of thinking for himself on 
many subjects, among them being religion and forms of govern- 
ment. He was a protestant, a Baptist, and a republican. He 
longed for a freedom that Italy could not offer, so he gave up 
his estate and title and caine to America. Finally he settled 
in Texas. Captain D. U. Barziza, his youngest son was educated 
at Baylor University, at Independence, and had just completed 
his course when the Civil War broke out. He volunteered at 
once and was made captain of one of the companies that after- 
wards formed part of Hood's Texas Brigade in the Army of 
Northern Virginia. His army record was a brilliant one. After 
the surrender, he came to Houston, and in order to support him- 
self he secured a place as night clerk at the old Rusk Hotel. 
Here he studied law and looked after the comfort of belated 
travelers for several months. He had no law practice and, as 



112 History of Houston, Texas 

it seemed, no way of ever getting any. But his opportunity came. 
Captain John Steel killed Colonel Kirby, apparently in cold 
blood, in the office of the military eommaader of the post here. 
Steel shot Kirby down on sight, without a word. As a matter of 
fact Steel's provocation had been great and a bitter feud had 
existed between the two men for years. On its face the case was 
one of cold-blooded murder. Steel was a prominent and well- 
known gambler, while Kirby was a man of wealth and great 
power and influence. Barziza recognized his opportunity and 
promptly volunteered to defend Steel. His services were 
accepted. Able and prominent lawyers were employed by 
Kirby 's friends to assist the state's attorney in the 
prosecution of Steel. Barziza refused all proffers of 
assistance. The trial lasted for two or three days and 
by the time it had gotten under way, the lawyers for the 
prosecution realized that they had a giant to contend against. 
Barziza 's handling of the case excited the admiration of other 
members of the bar, but his great triumph came when he went 
before the jury to plead the case. The speech he made that day 
was spoken of for years afterwards as the most eloquent that 
had ever been delivered in the Harris County court house. It 
was so eloquent and his arguments were so convincing that 
the jury, after the briefest deliberation, returned a verdict of 
"not guilty," and Steel walked out a free man. Barziza 's 
reputation as a criminal lawyer was established at once. 

Another of the great criminal Iawyers~of Houston was the 
Hon. Charles Stewart. He was a man of unsullied character 
and too big in every way for little things. He was of splendid 
physique and personal appearance and is described one of the 
most superb orators that ever faced a jury. He handled many 
of the most famous criminal cases tried in Harris County in 
the late seventies and eighties, one of the most famous being that 
of a young man named Grisom, who had killed a doctor for 
reproving him for swearing in the presence of ladies. The case 
was a desperate one, and at the first trial Grisom had been sen- 
tented to death, but was granted a new trial because of irregular- 
ity on the part of the jury that had condemned him. At the 



The Bench and' Bar 113 

second trial the prosecution was powerful and it is said that hut 
for the eloquence of Colonel Stewart, Grisom would have undoubt- 
edly been hanged. As it was he escaped with a verdict of man- 
slaughter and a short term in the peniten iary. 

The man to whom was assigned the difficult task of facing 
these giants, was Major Prank Spencer, who for years was the 
criminal district attorney for the Houston-Galveston district, 
and who died in Galveston in 1907. He was very eloquent, 
very bitter and very aggressive. He attacked unceasingly and 
when a lawyer won a victory over him he deserved all he got. 

A connecting link between the famous criminal and civil 
lawyers of the early days was Governor J. W. Henderson. He 
did a large and very lucrative practice in both branches and 
appeared to be as much at home in the one as in the other. Per- 
haps, though, he was more distinguished as a civil lawyer than 
as a criminal one. He was a man of fine personal- appearance 
and to some extent a self-made man. He cultivated a brusqueness 
of manner and was extremely democratic, counting among his 
friends and adherents people of all conditions and walks of life. 
He was a natural orator, a deep thinker, and had, what was of 
the greatest value, good hard common sense and the ability 
to put it to the best use at the proper moment. His success at 
the bar was great. Before a jury he was almost irresistable. The 
Governor was a secessionist and died an unreconstructed rebel. 
During reconstruction days he was a power of strength to the 
home people in their struggle for self government, and never 
lost an opportunity to strike a blow at the usurpers. His zeal 
and energy in that respect were so well known that he was 
watched and feared by the republican leaders, more than any 
other man in Houston. One night, entirely unintentionally on 
his part, he came near precipitating a riot on Preston Street. 
The Governor had gone into one of the stores on Main Street 
and purchased a long carving knife to take home. It was 
wrapped in brown paper, and being too long to put in his pocket, 
he carried it under his arm. On his way home he heard that 
Jack Hamilton was to speak from the balcony of the Dissen 
House that evening, so the Governor concluded to remain down 



114 History of Houston, Texas 

town and hear him. He arrived rather late, but becoming inter- 
ested in what Hamilton was saying, he kept getting closer and 
closer until he was within a few feet of the speaker. Then the 
Governor and the spectators were amazed and startled, for four 
or five men jumped on the Governor and held him firmly. There 
was a terrible uproar and the affair was becoming serious, when 
someone found the cause of the trouble. In getting through 
the crowd the paper cover of the carving knife had been torn 
off, and some of the watchful friends of Hamilton concluded that 
the Governor was slipping up on the speaker to annihilate him 
with the carving knife, had seized the Governor and disarmed 
him. The Governor was furious, but when the crowd learned 
the cause of the trouble, the laughter broke up the speaking. 
Governor Jack Hamilton, who, though a republican, was a 
warm personal friend of Governor Henderson was about as indig- 
nant as the latter, when he found what had been done. 

Among those who confined their practice to civil law Judges 
Peter Gray and W. P. Hamblen, both through ability and long 
service, deserve to be placed at the head of the list. Both were 
men of the greatest integrity and each had marked ability as a 
lawyer. Neither was peculiarly remarkable for oratorical power 
but each was a profound scholar and well versed in the intricacies 
of the law. They are classed together in this way because they 
were the nestors of the Harris County Bar and their careers 
were very similar. Judge Hamblen died in 1911 as judge of 
the 55th district court, which office he had held for many years. 

Among the other distinguished members of the Bar in early 
days were: Benjamin Tankersly, B. A. Palmer, A. N. Jordan, 
S. S. Tompkins, A. P. Thompson, A. S. Richardson, Charles 
Jordan and Archibal Wynne. For some years, later, C. B. 
Sabine was a member of the Harris County Bar. He was after- 
wards Judge of the U. S. Federal Court in Galveston. 

Among the promiiient members of the Bar after the war, 
were : Major W. H. Crank, Captain E. P. Turner, George Golth- 
waite, the attorney for the Houston and Texas Central Railroad, 
and known as the "Supreme Court lawyer" of that road, Judge 
"Wilson, Judge James Masterson, Judge C. Anson Jones, youngest 



The Bench and Bar 115 

son of the last president of the republic of Texas, a brilliant 
young man who was cut off in the prime of life, W. A. Carring- 
ton, J. C. Hutchinson, Judge James Baker, father of Captain 
James A.Baker and Col.W.B.Botts, all men of probity and honor, 
of skill and power, of learning and eloquence, of old fashioned 
courtesy and chivalrous consideration, of chaste diction and 
faultless bearing, who gave the Bar of Harris County its 
high standards, its legal ambitions and its lofty ethics and who 
have preserved the good name of the bar without shame and 
without reproach. 

When the first amended constitution of Texas was adopted 
by the people, it created a criminal district court for Harris and 
Galveston Counties and Judge Gustave Cook wiis appointed 
Judge and occupied that position for 14 years. In addition to his 
great learning' as a lawyer he had attributes of character that 
rendered him a most lovable person and enjoyable companion. 
He was light-hearted, a lover of jokes and pranks, was famous 
as a raconteur, and so free and generous with his money thajt 
he was always "broke," and was finally driven to resign from 
the bench and go back to the practice -of law to make a living.' 
His successors on the bench have been, in the order named: 
C. L. Cleveland, E. D. Cavin, J. K. P. Gillespie, E. R. Campbell 
and C. "W. Robinson. R. G. Maury is the present criminal 
district altorney. 

The following were the. officers of the Eleventh District 
Court from its organization to the' present day: 

From 1837 to 1842 — Benjamin C. Franklin, Judge; James 
S. Ilolman, C'erk; John W. Moore, Sheriff. 

From J 842 lo 1849 — Richard Morris, Judge; F. R. Lubbock, 
Clerk; M. T. Rodgers, Sheriff. 

From 1849 to 1854^C. W. Buckley, Judge; F. R. Lubbock, 
Olerkf David Russel, Sheriff. 

From 1854 to 1862— Peter W. Gray, Judge. 

From 1862 to 1866— James A. Baker, Judge ; "W. B. Walker, 
Clerk; B. P. Lanham, Sheriff. 

For the period from 1866 to 1869, there were no elections 



116 History of Houston, Texas 

held and the Bar selected the following named to act as judge of 
the court : Geo. E. Scott, C. B. Sabin and P. W. Gray. 

Prom 1869 to 1870— Geo. R. Scott, Judge. 

Prom 1870 to 1892— James R. Masterson, Judge. . 

From 1892 to 1896— S. H. Brashear, Judge. 

Prom 1896 to 1900— John G. Tod, Judge. 

Prom 1900 to date— Charles E. Ashe, Judge. 

The Pifty-first District Court was organized in 1897, and 
since that time, has had but three presiding judges, as follows : 

From 1897 to 1902— Judge Wm. H. "Wilson. 

From 1902 to 1911— Judge "W. P. Hamblen. 

Prom 1911 to date— Judge "Wm. Masterson. Judge Master- 
son was appointed by Governor Colquitt following the death 
of Judge Hamblen. ^ 

The Sixty-first District Court was organized in February, 
1903, and has had only one presiding judge since it organization. 
Judge Norman G. Kittrell. 

The act creating Harris County Court was passed by the 
Legislature in February, 1867. Judge John Brashear wasi 
elected judge and served until 1869. Judge M. N. Brewster 
succeeded Judge Brashear and served until 1876, or during the 
time the republicans had control of the county. Judge C. Anson 
Jones was elected, and took charge of the office at the July term 
of the court in 1876. He served until 1882, when, on his death, 
Judge E. P. Hamblen was elected and took office November 24, 
1882. After rather a sharp campaign, Judge W. C. Andrews 
was elected and assumed the duties of his office at the November 
term in 1884. Judge Andrews was a candidate for re-election, 
but just before the election he died (November 1, 1892) and 
Judge John G. Tod was elected and took office at the November 
term of the court, 1892. Judge Tod remained in office for two 
terms and was succeeded by Judge "W. N. Shaw at the November 
term in 1896. Judge E. H. Vasmer was elected in 1898, and held 
office for four years, being succeeded by Judge Blake Dupree in 
1902. Judge Dupree also held office for two terms and was fol- 
lowed by the popular present incumbent, Judge A. E. Amerman 



The Bench and Bar 117 

in 1906, who is now filling his third term. George Jones has 
been County Clerk for many years. 

The act creating the Corporation Court for Houston was 
passed by the Legislature in 1899. Before then the duties of the 
judge of this court, or rather of its predecessor, the city court, 
were performed, sometimes by the mayor, sometimes by a city 
recorder and sometimes by a justice of the peace. It was more 
or less haphazard and methods were undergoing constant change. 
At the first election. Judge A. R. Railey was elected and served 
until 1902, when he was defeated after a sharp contest, by 
Judge Marmion. Judge Marmion was elected one of the city 
commissioners when the form of city government was changed, 
and Judge John H. Kirlicks was appointed to fill his unexpired 
term, and has held office ever since. 

This is one of the busiest courts in the; city and may be said 
to be in session every day in the year; except Sundays .aiid 
holidays. A morning session of the court is held at 9 a. m., and 
an afternoon session at 4 p. m. It has jurisdiction over city and 
police cases only. 

An idea of the character of men that laid the foundation of 
the Harris County Bar, can be formed from reading the follow- 
ing extracts from an address delivered by Judge W. P. Hamblen 
at a banquet of the Houston Bar Association, held January 20, 
1910. Judge Hamblen, as the oldest member of the Bar, was the 
best source for its history. He said : 

"I came to the Bar when Judge Peter W. Gray was judge 
of the court. He was the distinguished ancle of Judge W. G. 
Sears, whose nephew is now a member of this Bar, and he 
admitted me to the rights of our profession. He was one of the 
chiefest among the intelligencers of that day. He was accom- 
plished, educated in all the refinements as well as in all the sub- 
stantials of the profession ; so discriminating, so penetrating, that 
no proposition of law was presented to him that he did not seize ; 
so absolutely honest that his reputation could stand among a mil- 
lion without a scar. And moreover I was fortunate enough to be a 
favorite of his and was appointed by him district attorney of this 
district at that very term of his court, because of the absence of 



118 History of Houston, Texas 

the district attorney. My relations with him were, I might say, 
those of a child and its father. In those days an admission to 
the bar was not as it is today, the formal appearance before a 
committee almost as a school boy at a spelling match, but it was 
a procession of young men to the Bar of the court,' summoned 
by a committee appointed by the judge who participated in the 
examination. When the examination was through the judge 
descended from the bench and taking the hand of each applicant 
spoke words of encouragement. 

"I remember when some youngsters from the country on 
Cypress were brought before him because they had gone to the 
house of a poor old German and his wife and made the old couple 
cook a supper and dance for them. They were presented before 
Judge Gray and a fine was imposed, and the boys asked for 
mercy. One of them was the son of his most particular friend, 
one of all others whom it would have been his pleasure to please. 
His lecture to these young men from the bench can never be 
forgotten by anyone who heard it. That lecture to those young 
men and especially to the son of his friend was so touching that 
no heart could be unmoved, and every youngster who received the 
admonition went away feeling that he had done a wrong which 
was not expiated by the punishment. 

' ' I can briefly mention men who were honorable members of 
our Bar at the time I was admitted in 1855. There was E. A. 
Palmer who was afterwards Judge of the District Court of 
Harris County, and A. N. Jordan, both from Virginia, ranking 
high in their profession. The former died in 1864, and in 1866, 
the eyes of the latter I' closed in death. Governor J. W. Hender- 
son, from Tennessee, once lieutenant governor of our state and 
for six years its governor. He was the author of the verse : 

'Here is our old friend,. John Doe; 
We have laid him down to sleep. 

Together with his companion, Richard Roe, 
In one common, lonely heap. 
With none so bold as dare a vigil keep. ' 
"He passed away in 1886. Judge Algernon P. Thompson, an 
Englishman, a most scholarly gentleman, who once declared 



The Bench and Bar . 119 

that the author of the phrase 'to- wit' should be burned alive. 
Benjamin F. Tankersley, from Mississippi, I believe, fathet of 
our distinguished townsman, Marshal Tankersley, a most highly 
esteemed and worthy lawyer who died during the Civil "War. 
C. B. Sabin, long a practitioner in this city, who died in 1890, 
while oecuping the bench of the United States district court. 
Judge George Goldthwaite, so widely known for his erudition 
and legal acumen that he was considered competent to write a 
book on continuations without a ground. He died about 1886. 
Col. J. T. Brady, from Maryland, once prominent and foremost 
in all that upbuilds a state, once a senator from this district in 
our state legislature, died about 1891. * * * Hon» James H. 
Masterson, for more than twenty years distinguished on the 
bench of the district court; Judge E. P. Hamblen, my worthy 
relative, who once graced the county court bench — the two latter 
being now dwellers with us.. Judge A. R. Masterson, who has 
the proud distinction of having surrendered with Lee at Appo- 
mattox. * * * We will not forget that old commoner, Charles 
Stewart, so long your representative in Congress, a powerful 
democratic expounder and able advocate. He located in Marlin 
and returned here after the war. His 'praises have been sung 
by loftier harps than mine.' 

"Those who have gone before stood in the front of the 
battle for judicial propriety and integrity, and for a construction 
of laws that preserved the constitutional liberties without flaw 
or blemish. R. K. Cage, father of our worthy citizen, Rufus Cage, 
and grand-father of Elliott Cage, died a few years ago. That 
soul of wit, John Manley, a son of North Carolina, died in 1874." 

The Houston Bar Association was organized in November, 
1870. Judge Peter W. Gray was president, George Goldrhwaite, 
vice-president; J. T. Whitfield, recording secretary; N. P. 
Turner, corresponding secretary, and W. C. Watson, treasurer. 
The objects of the association were the elevation of the legal 
profession in Houston and to take proper steps looking towards 
the purchase of a law library. As its organization the associa- 
tion was not strong numerically but it was composed of some 
of the best men in the legal profession. Today the association 



120 . History of Houston, Texas 

will compare favorably, numerically, mentally, or in any other 
way with like associations found anywhere in this cotintry. The 
following named gentlemen compose the association today : 

L. R. Bryan, president ; Thomas II. Botts, secretary ; Chester 
H. Bryan, treasurer. 

Roll op Members. 

Amerman, C. A. ; Anderson, W. "W. ; Andrews, Jesse ; Ayres, 
L. C. ; Amerman, C. H. C. ; Autrey, James L. ; Andrews, Frank 
Ashfe, Chas. E. ; Baker, James A.; Barbee, Will S. ; Botts, Thos, 
H. ; Bryan, Chester H. ; Beatty, L. ; Burns, Waller, T. ; Breaker, 
George H. • Beard, Stanley A. ; Britton, Thos. G. ; Branch, E. T, 
Baldwin, J. C. ; Ball, Thos. H. ; Borden, Henry L. ; Brashear, S 
H. ; Bryan, L. ; Lewis, R. ; Bailey, Edward H. ; Breeding, Jqs. A 
Barkley,°K. C; Bums, Coke K. ; Bailej?, W. S. ; Blankenbecker, 
L. E. ; Campbell, E. R. ; Campbell, J. W. ; Carter, C. L. ; Cage, 
Elliott ; Colgin, J. F. ; Cole, J. F. ; Cole, Robert L. ; Chew, B. T. 
Dannenbaum, H. J.; Dabney, S. B. ; Dupree, Blake; Dunn, T 
L. ; Dickson, Raymond ; Eagle, Joe H. ; Ewing, Presley K. ; Ford, 
T. W. ; Ford, T. C. ; Fisher, Henry F. ; Franklin, R. W. ; Graves, 
Geo. W.; Garwood, H. M. ; Green, Jno. E. ; Garrett, D. E. 
Garrison, John T. ; Guynes, Chas. 0.; Gill, W. H. ; Hamblen 
E. P.; Hamblen^^W. P., Jr.; Hamblen, Otis K.; Hamblen, A. R. 
Harris, John Charles; Holt; 0. T. ; Hume, F. Charles ; Harralson 
E. M.; Hardy, D. H.; Hutcheson, J. C, Jr.; Hume, D. E. 
Highsmith, C. C. ; Hum.e, F. Charles, Jr.; Huggins, W. 0. 
Holmes, H. ; Hunt, W. S. ; John, Robert A.; Johnson, W. T. 
Jones, Frank C. ; Jones, Murray B. ; Jones, Homer. (San Anton 
io) ; Kittrell, Norman G. ; Kittrell, Norman G., Jr. ; Kirlicks 
John A. ; Kelley, R. H. ; Kennerly, T. M. ; Lane, Jonathan ; Louis, 
B. F. ; Lockett, J. W; Lewis, T. B. ; Logue, John G. ; Lewis, 
John W. ; Love, W. G.; Matthews, J. C; Monteith, W. E. 
Myer, Sewall F. ; Maury, R. C. ; Montgomery, H. F.; McRae, 
Chas. C. ; McCarthy, Ed., Jr. ; McLeans, John L. ; Niday, J. E. 
Parker, E. B. ; Phelps, Ed. S. ; Peterson, Samuel; Price, J. A. 
Pleasants, A. W. ; Pendarvis, G. H.; Phelps, Lewis C. ; Parker, 
J. W. ; Read, John Archer ; Robertson, Robert L. ; Robinson 



The Bench and Bar 121 

C. W.; Roberts, I. S.; Sewall, Cleveland; Standifer, I. M. 
Streetman, Sam ; Stewart, John S. ; Simmons, D. B. ; Stewart 
Minor; Storey, Jas. L. ; Stone, T. H. ; Sears, G. D. 
Shands, H. A.; Smith, Lamar; Tarver, W. F. ; Taylor, C. H. 
Townes, J. C, Jr.; Townes, E. W., Jr.; Taub, Otto; Tallichet 
J. H. ; Tharp, G. W. ; Tod, John G. ; Teat, G. L. ; Teagle, C. A. 
Taliaferro, S. ; Vann, Andral; Van Velzer, A. G. ; "Warnken, C 
A.; Wharton, C. R.; Wilson, A. B.; Wilson, Earl; Wolters, 
Jake P. ; Wagner, Meyer C. ; Ward, W. H. ; Whitehead, R. L, 
Wilson, W. H.; Wood, Chas. B. ; Wrenn, Clerk C. ; Warren, 
John B. ; Wharton, Earl. 

Owing to the vast business interests^ lumber, cotton, rice, 
oil, manufacturing, railroad and lands, represented in Houston 
there has arisen a demand for high-grade, highly-paid lawyers 
and the city's brilliant bar has always responded to this demand, 
which has also caused many eminent lawyers to move to Houston. 
The largest law firm south of New York is located in Houston, 
that of Baker, Botts, Parker & Garwood. A former member 
of this firm. Judge R. S. Lovett, is at the head of Southern 
Pacific and Union Pacific, and those roads generally known as 
the Harriman system. Hon. Tom Ball resigned his position 
in Congress to practice law in Houston and is a member of the 
noted firm of Andrews, Ball & Streetman. 

Governor Stephen S. Hogg, after .his two terms of oiSce 
had expired, moved to Houston and practiced law here until 
his death. Judge W. H. Gill, chief justice of the court 
of criminal appeals at Galveston, resigned his position to 
practice law in Houston as a member of the same firm to which 
Governor Hogg had belonged. Judge Gill is recognized as one 
of the most brilliant lawyers in the state. More recent acquisi- 
tions are Hon. John M. Duncan, of Tyler, and Hon. Monta 
Moore, of Cameron. 

The list of men who have achieved notable success at the 
Houston bar is a long one and would be in many respects iden- 
tical with that of the Bar Association. 

Two members of the Houston Bar were chosen to head the 
•respective forces of the prohibitionists and anti-prohibitionists 



122 History of Houston, Texas 

in the great campaign for a change in the Texas constitution that 
was fought out in the summer of 1911 and resulted in a scant 
and Phyrric victory for the antis. One of the two is Hon. Tom 
Ball, already referred to; the other is the Hon. Jake Wolters, 
formerly an officer of the First Texas Volunteer Cavalry in the 
War with Spain and at present a member of the law firm of 
Lane, "Wolters and Storey. Both leaders rendered brilliant ser- 
vice and both are talked of by their admirers as desirable can- 
didates for United States Senator. 



CHAPTER IX 
Medical History 



Pioneer Physicians and Their Labors. First Houston Medical 
Association. Organization of the State Medical Association. 
Railroad Surgeons Association. Harris County Medical 
Association. Houston's Modern Hospitals. Story of Early 
Epidemics. The Doctors and the Newspapers. 



The most casual reader of these pages must be impressed 
by the fact that the history of the growth and development of 
Houston is in many respects, the history of the growth and 
development of Texas. This could scarcely have been otherwise, 
since the men who laid the foundation for the future metropolis 
of Texas were the same whose wisdom, power and influence were 
directed toward the upbuildiag of the state. Under such condi- 
tions as these it is Hot strange that many movements, commercial, 
financial, scientific, and educational, that tended towards intel- 
ligent growth and expansion, should have either originated in 
Houston or originated through Houston influence. 

Perhaps the most lasting and beneficial work done by the 
early settlers, aside from that of those whose efforts were directly 
in the interest of purely material enterprises, was that of the 
medical men. Their labor was scientific and largely unselfish, 
since it aimed at the prevention of disease rather than at its 
cure, and therefore had about it elements, antagonistic to their 
selfish interests. Texas was new, Houston was bcw and society 
was much disorganized. 

Fortunately the practice of medicine was placed in safe 
hands at the very beginning and as early as 1836 a standard 
was fixed by such men as Ashbel Smith, who was physician, sur- 
geon, scientist, statesman and scholar; by Alexander Ewing, who 



124 History of Houston, Texas 

was chief surgeon of the Texas army, a skilled physician and 
a profound student; by Phillip Anderson, chief surgeon of the 
Texas Navy who was, with the exception of Dr. Ashbel Smith, 
the most learned man in Texas at that time, and by Dr. McAnally, 
who, in addition to his skill a£ a physician and surgeon, was a 
great scientist. Merely calling over these names is sufficient to 
show on what a high plane the practice of medicine was placed 
at the very outset in Houston. 

During the period from 1840 to 1850 the medical profession 
in Houston was much strengthened by the addition of several 
young physicians who came from the older states. These young 
men were graduates from the best literary and medical colleges 
in the land and were all men of culture and refinement. Among 
them were Dr. S. 0. Young, Sr., Dr. Wm. McCraven, Dr. W. D. 
Kobinson, Dr. Wm. H. Howard, and Dr. L. A. Bryan. 

No effort looking towards an organization of the medical 
profession seems to have been made prior to March .11, 1857, at 
which time the Houston Medical Association was organized by 
Dr. J. S. Duval, Dr. Wm. H. Howard, Dr. Greenville Dowell, 
Dr. R. H. Boxley, and Dr. H. W. Waters. Dr. Duval was elected 
president. Dr. Waters, vice-president, and Dr. Boxley, secretaiy. 
The avowed objects of the association were: "To cultivate the 
science of medicine and all its collateral branches ; to cherish and 
sustain medical character; to encourage medical etiquette and to 
promote mutual improvement, social intercourse and good feeling 
among members of the medical profession. ' ' At that day Osteo- 
paths, Electro-Magnetic, and Christian Science healers were 
unknown. There were but two schools of medicine, the allopaths, 
or regulars, and the homeopaths. 

There was as much feeling against the Homeopaths on the 
part of the regular physicians at that time, as there is today, 
as the following shows. It is the first resolution adopted by the 
Houston Medical Association after its organization, and is pre- 
sented as characteristic of the feelings of that body at the time : 

"Whereas — The scientific medical world has proven Hom- 
eopathy to be a species of empiricism, too flagrant to merit the 
confidence of rational men, and too fabulous to deserve even the 



Medical History 125 

passing notice of an educated physician, and as we are convinced 
that it is a delusion, far surpassing any other ism known to the 
world, witch-craft not excepted, therefore we will not recognize, 
professionally or privately, any man who professes to cure dis- 
eases through the agency of Hahuemanic teachings. 

"Be it Resolved — That as a diploma from a regularly organ- 
ized medical school is. the only evidence of qualification which 
our community can obtain in regard to the doctors in their 
midst, we respectfully recommend to the citizens of this flourish- 
ing city that they demand of every man who assumes the respon- 
sibility of a physician to their families, their diplomas as cer- 
tificates of their worthiness of patronage, and that they see to 
it that they are not imposed on by a diploma from a medical 
society or a certificate of qualification as a dresser in a hospital. ' ' 

Notwithstanding this opposition, qualified Homeopaths came 
to- Houston and flourished. It is probable that the Houston 
Medical Association continued in active operation for some time, 
for two years later, in 1859, a call was issued by Houston physi- 
cians inviting the physicians from other points in the state to 
assemble in Houston for the purpose of organizing a State 
Medical Association. Unfortunately there is no local record 
of this meeting, but that it was held, and an organization per- 
fected, is attested by the fact that when the Houston physicians, 
in 1869, issued another call for the purpose of forming the 
present State Association, it was spoken of as the "re-organiza- 
tion" of the State Association. 

Some time in March, 1869, the physicians of Houston issued 
a circular letter addressed to the physicians of Texas requesting 
them to assemble in Houston on April 15, for the purpose of 
re-organizing the State Medical Association. This letter was 
not only sent through the mails, but was published in the papers 
of the state, so it had a wide distribution. In response to this 
call twenty-eight physicians, mostly from Houston, Galveston 
and nearby-points, assembled in the west parlor of the Hutchins 
House on April 15, and organized, or re-organized The Texas 
State Medical Association. The first oflcers elected were : 

Dr. T. J. Heard, of Galveston, president; Dr. R. H. Jones, 



126 History of Houston, Texas 

of "Washington County, first vice-president; Dr. D. R. Wallace, 
of Waco, second vice-president ; Dr. A. A. Connell, Jr., of Hous- 
ton, recording secretary; Dr. W- P- Riddell, of Houston, corres- 
ponding secretary, and Dr. P. Hassenberg, of Houston, treasurer. 

A two days' session was held, but beyond perfecting a 
thorough organization, little was done. 

The second meeting of the association was also 'held in 
Houston. At that meeting the following officers were elected: 

Dr. R. T. Flewellen, of Houston, president ; Dr. D. R. Wal- 
lace, of Waco, first vice-president ; Dr. A. A. Connell, of Houston, 
recording secretary ; Dr. S. 0. Young, of Houston, corresponding 
secretary, and Dr. W. P. Riddell, of Houston, treasurer. 

The attendance was rather disappointing, being practically 
the same as at the first meeting. Only one or two new members, 
all from near-by points, were admitted. 

On April 15, 1871, the association held its third session in 
Houston. There was a better attendance and increased interest 
was shown. At the ^ election. Dr. D. R. Wallace, of Waco, was 
elected president and all the other officers were re-elected. Doctor 
Wallace was a man of fine executive ability and his influence for 
good was felt at once. At his suggestion the State Association 
was brought into closer relation with the American Medical 
Association and Dr. S. 0. Young was chosen as the first delegate 
from Texas to that association. Various committees on special 
subjects were appointed to whom .were assigned topics to be 
reported on for discussion at the next meeting. 

The fourth annual meeting was held in Houston, April 15, 
1872. At the election of officers. Dr. D. P. Stuart, of Houston, 
was elected president. Doctors Connell and Riddell having 
died, some changes in other offices were necessary. Dr. S. 0. 
Young was elected recording secretary, and Dr. J. Larendon, 
also of Houston, was elected treasurer, an office he held for over 
a quarter of a century. 

At that meeting it was determined to abandofl the idea of 
making Houston the permanent headquarters of the association, 
and to hold future meetings at various points in the state, so 
Waco was chosen as the next meeting place. 



Medical History 127 

The organization of the Texas Medical Association has been 
dwelt on at some length for a twofold reason. First, because 
it was a Houston idea, conceived and carried out by Houston 
men, and next, because this Association has -been instrumental 
in accomplishing much good for the people of Texas, that could 
have been accomplished by no other means. Before the Texas 
Medical Association came into being the state' was literally 
overrun by medical quacks and imposters of every character. 
There were no laws to restrain these people and none to protect 
the public against them. Among the first acts of the Texas 
Medical Association were those looking to the curbing and 
restraint of frauds and the protection of reputable physicians. 

As early as 1871 the Association began the crusade for the 
regulation by law of the practice of medicine in Texas. Eesults 
were rather meager at first. The opening wedge was placed when 
the Legislature passed a law requiring all physicians to file a 
statement of where, when and at what schools they had been 
graduated, and to also register their diplomas. This shut out 
some of the imposters but not all, for there are bogus medical 
schools as well as bogus graduates. The woi^ was continued, 
however, and has resulted in such laws as that requiring a state 
board of medical examiners before which every physician who 
desires to practice medicine in Texas has to appear and stand an 
examination, even though he be a recent graduate from the 
Texas Medical College. Another great thing accomplished was 
the passage of a law creating the State Board of Health. 

In all these movements Houston physicians were prominent 
and either conceived the original idea or were largely instru- 
mental ia putting it into execution. From the first they were 
leaders in all that promised for uplifting the medical profession, 
or for safeguarding their fieUow citizens against preventable 
diseases and epidemics and quack cure-alls and fake panaceas. 
Today the medical profession in Texas is well' organized. The 
state is divided into divisions, such as the East Texas Medical 
Association, and the West Texas Medical Association, and each 
of these has sub-divisions. J^early every county in the state has 
its County Association. Then, too, special interests have their 



128 History of Houston, Texas 

own organizations, a notable one being the Railroad Surgeons 
Association, which had its inception in Houston. An idea of its 
strength and importance may be formed from the following : 

On January 21, 1896, the Railroad Surgeons of Texas held a 
meeting at Houston. The following were elected ofScers: Dr. 
M. D. Knox, president; Dr. T. J. "Wagley, first vice-president; 
Dr. J. C. King, second vice-president ; Dr. "W. H. Monday, third 
vice-president; Dr. Clay Johnson, secretary, and Dr. A. A. 
Bailey, treasurer. 

The following named surgeons were present and took part in 
the deliberations: Drs. J. M. Richmond, J. H. Reuss, A. B. 
Gardner, M. D. Knox, "W. W. Lum, C. C. Nash, J. H. Jenkins, 

C. T. Hughes, P. M. Raynor, F. 0. Norris, Van. B. Thornton, A. 

D. Epperson, A. A. Thompson, W. T. Harris,, T. A. Pope, A. L. 
O'Brien, W. H. Monday, J. C. Mayfield, F. B. Seyman, J. W. 
Cox, Sam B. McLeary, "W. M. Garrett, James Byars, H. L. Foun- 
tain, J. C. Loggins, C. A. Smith, Clay Johnson, A. C. Scott, A. 
A. Bailey, J. M. Blair, S. C. Red, R. T. Morris, L. H. Lamkin, 
D. F. Steuart, Joseph R. Steuart, T. J. Boyles, F. B. King, G. D. 
Parker, 0. C. Norsworthy, W. E. Drisdale, N. J. Phoenix, T. M. 
Reeves, and M. J. T. Jones. 

Although there were a number of able and prominent mem- 
1bers of the medical profession in Houston and Hams Conuty, 
no attempt was ever made to form a county jnedieal association 
until in December, 1868. 

In 1868, several Houston physicians met and organized the 
Harris County Medical Association. There were not many 
present at that meeting, and, with the exception of Dr. Ashbel 
Smith, who resided in the lower part of the county on Galveston 
Bay, they were all residents of Houston. 

Before then the formation of both a city and county medi- 
cal association had been discussed, but neither had ever advanced 
beyond the stage of suggestion and talk, and it is doubtful if tlie 
organization of the association of 1868 could have been accom- 
plished had it not been for the fact that it was considered im- 
peratively necessary to have a local medical association to form 
the nucleus for the State Medical Association. 



Medical History 129 

On December 8th, 1868, the following named physicians met 
in the parlors of the Hutchins House, for the purpose of form- 
ing a county medical association: L. A. Bryan, "W. H. Howard, 
J. Larendon, D. C. Stuart, T. J. Poulson, R. W. Lunday, Alva 
Connell, Sr., Alva Connell, Jr., G. H. McDonald, W. D. Robinson, 
T. J. Devereaux, J. M. Morris, and "W. P. Riddell. 

Aside from issuing an address to the physicians of Texas, 
inviting them to meet in Houston on April 15th, for the purpose 
of organizing a State Medical Association, the Harris County 
Association, after that first meeting never held another, and was 
allowed to die a natural death. In late years, however, physi- 
cians have been more active and since 1904 have a county asso- 
ciation that compares favorably with any similar association in 
the country. It has a large membership and has accomplished 
much for the advancement of medical science,' and for the creation 
of closer fraternal and professional relations between its mem- 
bers. The association holds weekly meetings, and the attendance 
is always large, and interest in its aims and objects is never 
allowed to flag. The following named are its officers and mem- 
bers: 

President, Dr. B. F. Cooke; vice-president, Dr. J. H. Hulen; 
secretary. Dr. L. Allen. The members of the board of censors 
are J. B. Hodges, H. C. Moore and E. M. Arnold. The committee 
on public health and legislation is : "W. M. Wier, J. A. Kyle and 
J. H. Foster. The delegates to the State Association in 1911 
were 0. L. Norsworthy and J. H. Foster. A full list of the mem- 
bers is as follows : L. Allen, N. N. Allen, W. C. Archer, W. A. 
Archer, B. M. Armstrong, B. M. Arnold, D. L. Akehurst, C. M. 
Aves, J. M. Blair, C. C. Barrell, F. M. Bourland, J. G. Boyd, 
J. M. Boyles, I. Braun, H. B. Brown, C. B. Bruhl, W. M. 
Brumby, San Antonio, J. M. Burditt, B. F. Cooke, I. E. Cotting- 
ham, R. L. Cox, P. H. Cronin, E. P. Daviss, J. B. DuBose, 
Humble, J. D. Duckett, J. C. A. Eckhardt, Austin, W. R. Eckhardt, 
Wm, Bhrhardt, Westfield, F. G. Eidman, B. V. Ellis, Houston 
Heights, H. A. Englehardt, B. C. Eskridge, H. C. Feagan, J. H. 
Florence, F. C. Ford, J. H. Foster, W. A. Garrett, J. P. Gibbs, C. 
E. Gray, E. B. Grant, Cypress, E. N. Gray, A. E. Greer, C. C. 



130 History of Houston, Texas 

Green, E. L. Goar, H. R. Gilliam,.G. W. Griffith, LaPorte, W. A. 
Haley, G. P. Hall, Gavin Hamilton, E. G. Hamilton, J. A. Hill, 
C. W. Hoeflich, J. E. Hodges, A. P. Howard, R. H. Harrison, J. 

A. James, F. B. King, R. W. Knox, A. Krause, J. A. Kyle, G. 
W. Larendon, J. W. Lane, B. H. Lancaster, Z. P. Lillard, S. M. 
Lister, W. H. Martin, G. H. Meyer, K. N. Miller, G. S. Milnes, 
R. H. Moers, H. C. Moore, J. T. Moore, S. H. Moore, R. T. 
Morris, J. A. Mullen, E. C. Murray, A. J. Mynatt, C. W. Nelson, 

F. H. Neuhaus, 0. L. Norsworthy, S. 6. Northrup, C. F. Pa,yne, 

G. D. Parker, W. G. Priester, I. B. Pritchett, "Wallace 
Ralston, S. C. Red, G. J. Robinson, "W. L. Rogers, F. R. Ross, 
J. V. Sandlin, Humble, P. H. Scardino, J. W. Scott, R. T. Scott, 
"W. N. Shaw, T. W. Shearer, J. L. Short, E. S. Silbernagel, F. B. 
Smith, P. L. Smith, S. J. Smith, F. J. Slataper, J. R. Stuart, 
M. B. Stokes, C. 0. Terrell, W. B. Thorning, R. H. Towles, Hous- 
ton Heights, S. V. Wagner, G. A. "Wallace, C. D. Warren, A. E. 
"White, R. D. Wilson, M. A. Wood, W. M. Wier, B. A. Wright, F. 

B. Wilkes and J. B. York. 

AU of the physicians live in Houston except those whose resi- 
dence is designated. The association has been very active and 
has favored preventive measures against disease. Among the men 
who have been prominent as its presidents have been Drs. E. N. 
Gray, J. P. Gibbs, W. M. Wier, W. W. Ralston, J. H. Foster, 
J. T. Moore, and E. F. Cooke. 

In 1911 the association began the publication of a bulletin 
containing the discussions at the meetings and giving matters 
of medical news to the physicians. 

The city of Houston has a thoroughly organized health 
department. The city administration has taken especial pains 
to guard the public health, and while the indigent sick are 
carefully treated and nursed, the principal efforts of the health 
department are directed towards the prevention, rather than 
the cure of disease. In this great work the department has 
been materially aided by the wisdom of the commission in 
obtaining an abundant supply of pure water and in extending 
the water main, so as to furnish the citizens pure and wholesome 
water for aU purposes. The great benefit of this is shown by the 



Medical History 131 

decreased death rate from ye^r to year, which decrease keeps 
pace with the extension of the water mains. Then, too, the 
department retains the services of a skilled pathologist and 
bacteriologist, who carries on investigations relating to the purity 
of milk, water, foods, etc., as well as diagnosing and locating 
transmissible diseases. 

An idea of the extent of the work carried on by the health 
department may be formed from the statement that during the 
municipal year ending February 28th, last, there were 4,000 
patients treated at the city dispensary, 550 at the hospital and 
36 at the pest camp. The department also vaccinated 2,000 
school children; fumigated 783 rooms, 2 automobiles and 7 box 
cars for the following diseases : 

Tuberculosis 349 rooms 

Diphtheria 157 " 

Smallpox 147 

Scarlet Fever 54 

Typhoid Fever 49 

Pneumonia _ 5 

Scabes - 2 

Causes not specified 100 

Cerebro-spinal Meningitis 16 " 

Smallpox 7 Box Cars 

Scarlet Fever 2 automobiles 

During 'the year 1910 there occurred in the city of Houston 
1,386 deaths, of which 822 were whites and 564 negroes. The 
death rate was 13.5 per thousand, that for the whites being 10.7 
per thousand and for the negroes 22.1 per thousand. There 
were 1,654 births reported ; 1,312 white and 342 negro. 

The pathological laboratory under the management of Dr. 
F. J. Slataper, has been no less busily engaged. During the year 
1,781 chemical and microscopical examinations were made: These 
cover a wide range from the simple testing of milk to the most 
complicated investigation of disease germs. The. list of exam- 
inations shows the scope of the department activity. 

Cultures examined for diphtheria j. 45 

Specimens of sputum examined for tuberculosis 209 



132 History of Houston, Texas 

Tuberculin test in human 1 

Specimens of blood examined for typhoid fever 48 

Specimens of blood smear examined for malaria 38 

Feces examined for ova of intestinal parasites 23 

Specimens of urine examined — chemically 316 

Specimens of urine examined — microscopically 168 

Samples of food examined 53 

Samples of milk collected and examined 322 

Samples of milk brought to the laboratory and examined 113 

Total samples of milk examined _ 435 

Samples of city water collected and examined '. 9 

Stomach contents examined 4 

A city hospital was established in 1838 but only lasted a 
few years. About 1868, the city having obtained ownership of 
the block between McKinney and Lamar Avenues and Carolina 
and Austin Streets, decided to establish a city hospital there. An 
arrangement was made, whereby the county should have the 
right to use the hospital also, by paying a fixed amount for each 
patient sent there, but should have nothing to do with 
the control or management of the institution. Houston 
had a regular city physician and the county had its 
physician also, but neither of these had anything to 
do with the hospital, which was under the control of a physi- 
cian who took it under contract, receiving a fixed amount, based 
on the number of patients under treatment, and paying aU the 
expenses of the institution himself. Dr. Charles Owens was the 
first physician to take charge of the hospital under the contract 
system and continued at the head of the institution, until his 
death in 1874. Soon after that a new lease or contract was made 
with Dr. T. J. Boyles and Dr. D. F. Stuart and the location of 
the hospital was changed. The McKinney property was dis- 
posed of and the hospital was removed to the old Brashear home, 
located on the, then, city limit line, on the Houston and Texas 
Central Railroad opposite Grlenwood Cemetery. The hospital 
remained at that location for several years and Drs. Stuart and 
Boyles introduced many new methods and improvements. 

Prosperity necessitated the purchasing of a site near where 



Medical History 133 

the Grand Central depot stands, and erecting a commodious hos- 
pital building on it. They still retained their contract with the 
city and county, but established pay wards and private rooms, 
possibly the first thing of the kind in Texas. They also con- 
tracted with the Houston and Texas Central Railroad to treat 
the sick and injured employes of that road and also with other 
railroads for similar service. This hospital was known as the 
railroad hospital until the erection of the Southern Pacific Hos- 
pital began in 1910. It is still in operation* as a private hospital. 

Not barring even the famed Charity Hospital of New 
Orleans it is safe to claim that in the Southern Pacific Hospital, 
completed in 1911, Houston has the finest railroad hospital in the 
South and the equal of any in the country. No expense has been 
spared in constructing the building and its equipment is all that 
scientific knowledge could make it. As every ono faitaiiar with 
the subject knows, the building and equipping of a hospital is 
only one item of cost, for the successful and proper conducting 
of such an institution costs far more than all else. ThU money 
comes from the voluntary contributions of the employees of the 
various roads of that great system. These contributions are 
very small for each individual but in the aggregate, amount to 
a large sum monthly. ' 

The location of the hospital is ideal. It is far removed 
from the noise and bustle of the city, and though 
within easy reach of the heart of the city, is as far as pos- 
sible in the country. It is in the Fifth ward, on the 
sloping bank of White Oak Bayou and the site, being some- 
what elevated, gives a gopd view of the woods and ' stream 
on the one side and of the city on the other side. On the 
staff of the hospital are : Dr. R. W. Knox, chief surgeon ; Dr. E. 
J. Hamilton, assistant surgeon; Dr. 0. S. Moore, interne; Dr. 
J. E. Greene, interne; Miss M. F. McMasters, superintendent. 

The building is steam heated, cleaned by vacuum cleaners, 
lighted by electricity and gas, has numerous bathrooms on each 
floor but only one or two bath tubs in the whole building, these 
being done away with as far as possible and the shower and 
needle baths substituted. There is an abundant supply of both 



134 History of Houston, Texas 

hot and cold water at all times, and on each floor is a good 
supply of sterilized water for use in special cases. The 
wards are large and each is furnished plainly but very 
attractively and comfortably. The beds are the ordinary hos- 
pital iron frames with absolutely luxurious mattresses and 
snow white linen. The chairs and tables are dark oak and rose 
wood, while on the walls are attractive pictures. One of the 
most striking features of each ward and private room is the 
lighting. No electric light is visible, the lighting being done 
by reflection and diffusion. This does away with all glare and 
makes the light very pleasing to the eye. 

There are several operating rooms, each completely fur- 
nished with operating tables and equipped with all aseptic acces- 
sories and a complete equipment of instruments. On the ground, 
or basement floor there is an emergency operating room, equipped 
in every way as the others are and always ready for instant use. 

The X-ray laboratory is complete in every way and is con- 
stantly used in determining the extent of injury to bones. One 
feature of its use that has been very beneficial to the men who 
have gone there for treatment for supposed fractures, has been 
the demonstration through the X-ray that the injuries have 
' been to the ligaments and sinews and not to the bones, thus 
enabling them to avoid long delays for observation and con- 
sequent loss of time on their part. 

The laboratory of clinical pathology is very complete. Every 
facility for making a rapid and proper diagnosis of obscure 
diseases is furnished the surgeons. Only graduated trained 
nurses are employed in the hospital. 

The Baptist Sanitarium, located on the corner of Lamar 
Avenue and Smith Street, is one of the most complete institu- 
tions of its kind in the South. Every arrangement has been made 
for the treatment and comfort of its patrons and its fixtures and 
appliances are all modern and of the latest models. The building 
is steam heated and both electricity and gas are used in lighting. 
It is four stories high and has a capacity for fifty patients. The 
wards and private rooms are arranged so as to secure the great- 
est comfort, and everything is done for the welfare of the 



Medical History 135 

patients. The operating room is located on the fourth floor and 
is modern in every way. It is large, well lighted and thoroughly 
equipped with everything that goes with a first-class operating 
room. 

Graduated trained nurses are employed and there is also 
a school for nurses in connection with the sanitarium. Dr. D. 
R. Pevato is the superintendant in charge and is personally 
responsible for many of the modern improvements installed, 

Today no city of its size in the United States is better 
equipped with hospitals and private infirmaries than Houston. 
These are modern and up-to-date in every way, the strictest 
aseptic rules having been adhered to in their construction and 
every precaution taken against contagion and infection. Before 
the discoveries of modern medicine and surgery, hospitals were 
regarded, with much truth and justice, as hot-beds of contagion 
and infection, particularly the latter. Today it can be truth- 
fully asserted that the modem hospital is freer from the danger 
of contracting disease than any other place in a community, for 
contagious and infectious diseases are not only intelligently 
treated, but their spread and propagation are effectually stamped 
out by scientific methods. Houston has a number of such insti- 
tutions, which measure up to the highest standard of usefulness 
and comfort. 

The best known of the private hospitals is the Norsworthy 
hospital. 

The Norsworthy hospital is located on the northeast corner 
of San Jacinto Street and Rosalie Avenue and is in the quietest- 
and most attractive resident part of the city. It is a large three- 
story brick building with a spacious over-ground basement. The 
top floor is arranged for an operating room and its accessories 
and adjuncts, and on this floor are the rooms for the nurses. 
The second and third floors are for patients alone, and these 
rooms are so arranged that one can have a ward bed, a single 
room with or without a private bath or two connecting rooms 
with or without a private bath. 

The whole building is heated by hot water radiation; 
cleaned by automatic electric vacuum cleaners; plumbed for 



136 History of Houston, Texas 

gas and wired for electric lights, call buzzers, priv^ate telephones 
and fans. An electric elevator and dumb waiter are parts of 
the eciuipirent. 

All the floors are doubled with deadening felt between them. 
The exposed flooring is of especially selected rift lumber. The 
entire building is plastered. The walls are in various oil tints, 
so as to add cheerfulness to each room. The interior finish is 
according to strict aseptic rules throughout, rounded corners 
and smooth wood with enamel finish. The operating room has 
all the accessories of a modern aseptic hospital. The floor and 
wainscoating are of Terrazo, and the walls and ceiling are white 
enamel. It has a complete equipment of instruments and an 
aseptic operating table. The room is excellently lighted for both 
day and night work. Adjoining the operating room is a steril- 
izing room for instruments and dressings, a dressing and steril- 
izing room for surgeons, and an anaesthetic room. 

The X-ray laboratory is equipped with the Scheidel "Western 
X-ray Company's special hospital outfit, complete for radiograph 
work, and a dark room equipped with photographic apparatus 
for quick developing. The laboratory of clinical pathology has 
a complete equipment of instruments and apparatus necessary 
for all bacteriological and pathological work; embracing blood, 
urine, stomach contents, sputum, feces, tumors, tissues, vaccine 
therapy, milk and water analysis. This laboratory is under the 
direct charge of Dr. E. H. Lancaster, the house surgeon and 
pathologist, who was formerly pathologist for the State Board of 
Health. Only graduated nurses are employed in this hospital.. 
Dr. 0. L. Norsworthy is surgeon-in-chief and is assisted by two 
house surgeons. Dr. J. P. Gibbs and Dr. E. H. Lancaster. 

"With little or no knowledge of the laws of sanitation or 
hygiene it is not surprising that the early settlers were the vic- 
tims of frequent and fatal epidemics. Their mode of life and 
surroundings were conducive to disease, and being, necessarily, 
ignorant of the causes of many of the most fatal diseases, a 
statement which applies with equal force to the physicians of 
that day in spite of their great learning, proper preventive 
measures were seldom ever adopted and all that was done, or 



Medical History 137 

could be done, was, to cope with the disease after it had devel- 
oped and secured a foothold. 

The result was that Houston was frequently swept by 
epidemics of cholera and yellow fever. In 1839 there was a 
severe epidemic of yellow fever. A number of planters and 
farmers from the older states had settled in or near Houston, 
bringing their slaves with them, thus supplying abundant mater- 
ial for the ravages of the fever when it appeared. It is a well 
known fact that negroes are more or less immune from yellow 
fever, but the epidemic of 1838 seems to have been an exception 
to this rule for the mortality among the negroes was very great. 
It is interesting to note the fact that the fever appeared in Gal- 
veston before coming to Houston and that its appearance here 
followed the arrival of a man who had been sick in Galveston, 
but had recovered and come here. 

In 1843 there was another great epidemic of yellow fever 
during which the mortality was very great. There was lack of 
proper food, and but few nurses and physicians to care for the 
sick so that the mortality that year was spoken of ever after when 
making comparison with subsequent epidemics. The disease 
appears to have been peculiarly fatal that year, whole families 
being swept away. 

In 1845 or 1846 Houston had its first epidemic of cholera. 
The negroes seem to have been the principal victims, though 
many whites were attacked also. There is no record of the mor- 
tality although, according to tradition, it was rather heavy and 
confined almost exclusively to the negroes. 

From 1843 to 1847 there was no yellow fever in Houston. 
During these fout years the population had increased and the 
town had taken on quite respectable proportions. Thus there 
was an abundance of new material for the disease when it 
made its appearance late in the summer of 1847. That year 
resembled '1843 in the number of fatal cases, and a great num- 
ber of physicians were among the very first victims. It is said 
that in proportion to the population, more physicians lost their 
lives during the epidemic of 1847 than in any other of those that 



138 History of Houston, Texas 

followed. This fact may in a measure account for the great mor- 
tality among the people. 

In 1853 and again in 1858 and 1859 Houston was scourged 
by yellow fever. The epidemic of 1858 was marked by great 
mortality. Houston's population at that time was between 
8,000 and 10,000, and while there is no ofSeial record of the 
fact, it was estimated that the deaths that year were close to 
1,800. 

From 1859 to 1863, Houston appears to have escaped the 
visitations of yellow-fever, but in 1863 there was an epidemic 
though by no means a severe one compared with those which had 
preceded it. This is all the more remarkable when it is remem- 
bered that at that time there were thousands of soldiers here, 
very few of whom had ever been exposed to the fever. 

In 1866, Houston had its second epidemic of cholera. The 
disease was confined exclusively to the negro population. Con- 
ditions were very favorable among them for its propagation. 
They had only recently been freed and had not yet learned even 
the first principles of how to care for themselves. They were 
congregated in huts and hovels and made not even a pretence 
of living clean and sanitary lives. There were not so many fatal 
cases as might be supposed and after a month or so of intelligent 
effort on the part of the health authorities; the disease was 
stamped out. 

The next year, 1867, occurred one of the greatest yellow 
fever epidemics that ever cursed Houston. The first cases 
occurred early in August and the plague lasted until late ia 
December, the last deaths occurring two days after Christmas. 
Everything was very favorable for the spread of the disease. 
The town was full of strangers, new comers, and in addition 
to these, there was the army of occupation, consisting of several 
thousand Federal troops, few of whom had ever been exposed 
to the fever. When the presence of the fever was announced 
there was something of a panic, and as many as could do so got 
away from the city. There were a number of physicians here, 
including some army surgeons. With the exception of some of 
the older physicians none of these doctors had ever seen yellow 



Medical History 139 

fever, but, be it said to their glory, not one deserted; every 
man remained at his post, though a great many of them paid 
the penalty of their lives by doing so. The mortality was fright- 
ful, due in a large measure to lack of proper nourishment, proper 
nursing and medical attention. The physicians were absolutely 
worked down and while they did all that they could, it was 
physically impossible for them to attend to hundreds who might 
have been saved could they have reached them. The Federal 
soldiers died like sheep. There were about 2,500 of them and of 
these over 700 men and officers died. 

The mortality among the citizens, while not so great, was 
very heavy. On one day alone, September 26, there were 29 
deaths in the city exclusive of those which occurred among the 
soldiers. 

The epidemic of 1867 was the last that Houston has had, 
for though from time to time there have been epidemics of 
yellow fever ^at other Texas cities, notably that at Calvert in 
1873, Houston has escaped. In 1897 it was reported that there 
was yellow fever in Houston and Dr. Guiteras, a government 
expert was sent here to investigate. He pronounced it yellow 
fever and Houston was promptly quarantined against by all Texas 
towns. The cases were then investigated by such yellow fever 
experts as Dr. D. F. Steuart and Dr. R. H. Harrison, who had 
gone through a number of yellow fever epidemics, and they, 
without hesitation, pronounced the disease dengue fever and all 
quarantine was promptly raised. The people knew them and 
had perfect confidence in their judgment and experience. 

Before closing this brief history of the medical profession 
in Houston and of some of the things that have been accom- 
plished by it, it may not be inappropriate to speak of the attitude 
the doctors have always maintained towards quacks and those 
who adopt the methods of the charlatan. They have always 
been consistent in this and their antagonism at times has been so 
bitter that.it has almost defeated itself by creating sympathy 
for those whom they have attacked. This has been particularly 
true in those cases where the attacks have been based only on the 
fact that the sinning doctor advertised in the newspapers. The 



140 History of Houston, Texas 

attitude of the Houston physicians and also that of the Houston 
newspapers towards the advertising doctor is well shown in the 
following instance: 

During January, 1910, the South Texas District Medical 
Association held a session in Houston. .During the session a 
banquet was given which was attended by all the doctors and 
some of the Houston editors. Speeches were made, the principal 
topic discussed being "Quackery in Houston." Dr. John T. 
Moore, president of the Harris County Medical Association, spoke 
at some length saying that Houston was a hot-bed for quacks 
and charlatans. He described them as "criminals" posing as 
physicians for the people. Many such, he declared, had been 
run out of Dallas, San Antonio and other Texas cities, but 
Houston was still their Mecca. Here they established resplendent 
suites of offices and extorted from the ignorant, large sums of 
money for which they gave no legitimate professional return. 
He denounced them as "swindlers" and "confidence men" and 
declared that the newspapers were solely responsible for 
their criminal success. The newspapers were the intermediary 
between them and their dupes, whose money they sought. The 
newspapers by opening their advertising columns to them became 
not only their solicitors but their sponsors. If the newspapers 
would close their columns to these men and refuse to print their 
glowing and deceptive advertisements, these fellows would be 
forced to seek other fields. Doctors Norsworthy and Parker in- 
dorsed all that Doctor Moore had said and declared that if the 
newspapers would assist the doctors these monsters who prey on 
the sick and afflicted would soon be run out of town. 

Mr. M. E. Foster, president of the Houston Chronicle Pub- 
lishing Company, entered a strong protest against the attitude 
taken by the physicians towards the press. He admitted that 
fraudulent and deceptive advertisements, claiming to cure in- 
curable diseases, should be rigidly excluded from the newspapers. 
But he claimed it was difficult, if not impossible for a layman 
to determine just what was fraudulent and what was legitimate. 

He cited the fact that the mosquito theory of the propagation 
of yellow fever had been denounced as a fraud by the medical 



Medical History 141 

profession and that many other discoveries of real merit now 
accepted universally had. been at first ridiculed by the doctors. 
He also pointed out that the newspapers were always ready to 
co-operate in measures for the public health. Thousands of 
columns of space have been freely given by the newspapers in 
the campaigii of education against tuberculosis, the typhoid fly, 
the yellow fever and malarial fever mosquito, small-pox, cholera 
and other diseases although the physicians still retain an anti- 
quated and inexcusable prejudice against publicity and adver- 
tising. 



CHAPTER X 
Church History 



Founding of the Evangelical Churches in Houston. Organiza- 
tion of the Baptists,- Methodists, Presbyterians, and 
Episcopalians. German Lutheran Churches, Disciples and 
Christian Scientists. The Roman Catholic Institutions in 
Hou'ston. Congregation Beth Israel and Hebrew Syna- 
gogues. The Houston Y. M. C. A. 



Under the spreading branches of a large oak tree, that 
stood on Market Square, was held the first religious service 
in Houston. The minister was a transient Methodist preacher, 
whose name, unfortunately, has not been handed down to 
posterity. Thus in the open air, seated on planks laid over 
convenient logs, the early Houstonians, in 1837, hears the 
gospel. The good man's audience was composed of christians 
of all denominations and beliefs, for at that time the Baptists, 
Methodists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians, had not formed 
themselves into local church organizations, as they did soon 
after. 

In 1838 or 1839, the Aliens donated two or three lots, on 
the northwest corner of Main and Capitol Streets, to the 
churches of Houston. It was a gift specified to no denomina- 
tion, but was for the use of all. There was a small house 
erected on this property and it was used by all donominations 
except the Methodist, who used the Capitol, a block further 
down Main Street. The Presbyterians finally fell heirs to this 
property, when the other denominations secured locations of 
their own. 

On April 10, 1841, the first church meeting of what 
is now the First Baptist Church, was held and is thus recorded 
in the old minutes : 



Chumh History 143 

"Convened at the usual place of worship, April 10, A. 
D., 1841, in the City of Houston, County of Harris, Republic 
of Texas, members of Baptist churches from different parts 
of the United States and of the Republic, for the purpose of 
forming an Evangelical Church of Christ of the regular 
Baptist order. 

"On motion of Brother S. P. Andrews, Brother Huckins 
was called to the chair, and Brother Gardner Smith was chosen 
secretary of the meeting * # * * Qjj motion of 

Brother Bigalow, Brother S. P. Andrews was elected to serve 
as deacon. 

"Constituent Members: Barnabas Hascall, Martha 
Mulryne, Obedience Smith, Gardner Smith, Benjamin M. 
George, Abigail Hascall, Louisa Jane Schroder, Charlotte M. 
Puller, Israel B. Bigalow, Elizabeth C. Wilson, S. P. Andrews, 
Elizabeth Anisworth, Mary George, Mary H. Bigalow, John 
Lawrence, Mary A. Andrews, Piety L. Hadley, Sarah L. Robin- 
son, Hannah Town, Charlotte Beach, Kitty Mulryne, (colored), 
Melvina Gray, (colored), Grace League, (colored), Inda 
Schroder, (colored)." 

The usual place of worship spoken of in the minutes, was 
the general meeting house, corner of Main and Capitol Streets. 
Reverend James Huckins, of Galveston, who presided at the 
organization of the church became its first pastor and continued 
as such until the latter part of 1845. 

After the organization of the church, two devoted and 
zealous christian women, Mrs. Piety L. Hadley and Mrs. 
Charlotte M. Puller determined through their own exertions, 
to build a church edifice. They did not meet with much encour- 
agement, not even from members of their own families but 
they were not discouraged. Some one, as a joke, made them 
a present of a mule. They fattened this animal up and sold 
it, thus securing the nucleus for the church fund. They 
organized, a sewing society, made useful things, gave a church 
fair and sold them. The sale of the mule and the goods at the 
fair netted the ladies $450. They gave another fair which 
earned $900. "With this money they purchased the lots, corner 



144 History of Houston, Texas 

of Travis Street and Texas Avenue, where the first church 
stood for so many years. In all their labors and trials these 
ladies had the untiring aid and support of a good old christian, 
"Brother Pilgrim." 

After the purchase of the lots the ladies wrqte to Rev. 
William M. Tryan, then a missionary in Washington County, 
asking him to come to Houston and take charge of the church. 
Dr. Tryan accepted the call, and, on February 1, 1846, took 
charge of the First Baptist Church then numbering 17 members. 
He was reputed to be a highly educated gentleman, a sincere 
christian and an .earnest worker, and soon commanded the 
respect and love of the whole community. Under his charge 
the membership grew rapidly, many of the best and leading 
citizens joining the church. 

He at once began securing funds to erect a suitable church 
building. Owing to the financial weakness of his church and 
the community at large, he had to look elsewhere for assis- 
tance, and obtained the greater part of the money from those 
of the faith in other states. He received material assistance 
in his good work from Mr. W. R. Baker, Mr. T. W. House 
and Mr. B. A. Shepard, none of whom was a member of the 
Baptist Church, but all except Mr. House being inclined 
towards that denomination. The building was completed and 
dedicated by' Dr. Tryan, just four months before his death 
from yellow fever in November, 1847. Before the building 
was conipleted, Mrs. Hadley and other ladies had organized 
a Sunday School. 

According to the minutes dated June 6, 1846, "on motion 
of Brother E. B. Noble, it Avas resolved that Elder William 
M. Tryan, Brother T. B. J. Hadley, Messrs B. A. Shepard, C. 
W. Buckley, N. Fuller and William R. Baker be appointed 
a board of trustees for the First Baptist Church of Houston, 
and that Brothers Tryan and Hadley be authorized and 
requested to take the legal steps for the incorporation of said 
church. ' ' 

At another conference meeting about that time. Brother 
Bowers was authorized to buy a box of candles for the church 



Chunch History 145 

and it was arranged that each member should pay his or her 
share of the expense of the transaction. The church build- 
ing stood on the corner of Travis Street and Texas Avenue, 
and was quite an imposing structure for that day. It had 
gothic windows and a high steeple and was considered by 
some of the old fashioned members to be too gaudy for the 
purposes to which it was dedicated. The indignation of these 
good brothers over the gothic windows and steeple was as 
nothing to that which was shown when a melodeon was 
installed and a choir was organized. One of the most zealous 
of the objectors went to the length of slipping into the church 
one night, stealing the melodeon and throwing it into the 
bayou, where it remained for a long time until scooped out 
by a dredge-boat. 

A fine bell was presented to the church in November, 
1850, and for years was hung in the steeple, that a few years 
before had excited so much antagonism. The donor was Mr. 
"William McMahan, one of the members, who had been one 
of the principal objectors to the style put on by the builders ■ 
of the church, but who seems to have changed his views. Mr. 
B. A. Shepard generously assisted the church in a financial 
way all through its early experience as did also Mr. W. R. 
Baker. Later, when the gas works were built, Mr. T. W. House 
presented the church with gas fixtures. 

On the death of Dr. Tryan, the church called Rev. R. C. 
Burleson, then of Kentucky, as pastor of the church. He 
proved to be a worthy successor of the lamented Tryan, and 
under his charge the church grew and prospered. He remained 
with the church for a little more than three years, and was 
succeeded by Rev. Thomas Chilton of Alabama. Mr. Chilton 
had been a prominent lawyer and a member of the United 
States Congress for some years but had relinquished all earthly 
honors and glory to take up the work of a humble minister 
of Christ. He was a fine orator, a thorough christian and 
a zealous worker and many accessions to the church marked 
his pastorate. 

Of Mr. Chilton's immediate successors the church records 



146 History of Houston, Texas 

furnish little definite information. The frequent removals 
together with the Civil "War troubles greatly damaged • the 
church work. Rev. Mr. Tucker was pastor when the war 
broke out and promptly laid down the cross and took up 
the sword. He raised a company, was elected its captain, 
and commanded it during the war. Then came Rev. P. M. 
Law, followed by Rev. J. B. Link, who had also been a 
Confederate soldier during the war but who took charge of 
the church after the war was over. Rev. J. T. Zealy became 
pastor September 16, 1869, and served the church for six 
years. During his ministry two chapels, one in the Fourth 
and the other in the Fifth ward, were built and mission Sun- 
day schools were established. In addition to that the prop- 
erty at the corner of Rusk Avenue and Fannin Street was 
purchased. Following Mr. Zealy, Rev. Dr. Horace Clark 
occupied the pulpit until April 1, 1877, when Rev. Dr. J. M. 
C. Breaker assumed charge. In 1883, the church property on 
Texas Avenue and Travis Street was sold and it was deter- 
mined to erect a new building on the property owned by 
the church, on Rusk Avenue and Fannin Street. The corner- 
stone of the new church was laid July 23, 1883, with imposing 
ceremony, and the new church, though not quite completed, 
was opened the first time for services, Sunday, January 27, 
1884, Dr. Breaker, the pastor, preaching an appropriate sermon 
to a large congregation. 

When the great storm of 1900, swept over the gulf coast 
the. Baptist church on Rusk and Fannin was so badly damaged 
that it had to be torn down. It was then determined to 
abandon that site and erect a new church one block further 
south on the corner of Fannin Street and "Walker Avenue. 
The new building was completed in 1903, and is one of the 
handsomest churches of Houston. It is of gothic architecture 
and the materials used in its construction are stone, brick, 
and concrete. It extends 75 feet on Fannin Street and 111 
feet on "Walker Avenue. At the corner is a tower of moderate 
height which adds much to the beauty of the building. The 



Chunk History 147 

windows are all of stained glass. Dr. J. B. Riley an eminent 
scholar and historian, was pastor at the time. 

Rev. Dr. J. L. Gross became pastor of the First Baptist 
Church, November 1, 1905, and has remained with the church 
ever since. He had come to Houston a few weeks before and 
had delivered one or two sermons which so pleased the mem- 
bers that they made a successful effort to retain him per- 
manently as their pastor, and they have never had reason 
to regret doing so. He was called to take charge by a 
unanimous vote of the church. He is recognized as one of 
the strong men of the Baptist church and his influence for 
good has been very great. Like the Rev. Dr. Chilton, Rev. Dr. 
Gross was engaged in the practice of law before entering 
the ministry. Born in Georgia, he was graduated from the 
University of Georgia, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts 
and Bachelor of Law, and later took a course in the Southern 
Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville, Ky. His first 
church work was at Washington, Ga. He then accepted a call 
to Griffin, Ga., and from there went to Seima, Alabama, 
whence he came to Houston. 

In 1905, Rev. H. C. Smith organized the First Baptist 
Church of Houston Heights and under his ministry a beautiful 
house of worship was built. 

The Baptist Temple was organized June 21st, 1908, in 
Houston Heights, with a constituent membership of 20. The 
Rev. F. Huhns presided at the organization and was elected 
pastor. He is a graduate of the Rochester Theological 
Seminary and of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 
at Louisville, Ky. He had been engaged in missionary work 
in Philadelphia, Chicago and other large Eastern a-nd Northern 
cities, and, for three years before coming to Houston, had 
been missionary evangelist of the Union Baptist Association. 
Rev. Bvander Ammons is now in charge, Mr. Huhns having 
resigned to take charge of a church in Pittsburg, Pa. 

The following are some of the Baptist churches and 
Baptist missions in Houston, today: First German Baptist 
Church, Rev. F. Severs, pastor ; First Baptist Church, Houston 



148 History of Houston, Texas 

Heights, Yale Street, between Ninth and Tenth Streets, Rev. 
C. A. Earl, pastor; Lee Avenue Baptist Church, Houston 
Heights; Brunner Baptist Church, Rev. "W. P. Gi;ow, pastor; 
Liberty Avenue Baptist Church, Rev. Robert Carrol, pastor; 
Calvary Baptist Church, Preston Avenue and Sampson Street, 
Rev. J. E. Treloar, pastor; Tuam Avenue Baptist Church, 
comer Tuam Avenue and Fannin Street, Rev. J. "W. Loving, 
pastor. This is the South End Church. 

Bishop Street Baptist Church, corner Bishop and Fletcher 
Streets, Fifth ward, Rev, Thornton A. Payne, pastor; The 
Emanuel Baptist Church, Brook Smith Addition, Rev. George 
H. Lee, pastor; Tabernacle Baptist, Rev. D. C. Freeman, 
pastor. 

All of these churches have church homes, some of them 
very handsome. Thpy have 'leen s'?rved by capable and 
consecrated pastors. 

There are many negro Baptist churches in Houston, the 
number of negro Baptists in the city being greater than that 
of the whites. They have several handsome churches. 

The organization of the Methodist church in Houston 
was unique in one way. "While the preliminary steps in the 
formation of each of the other denominations were taken by 
at least two or three zealous .christian men and women, the 
foundation of the Methodist church was the act of a single 
individual, — Mr. Charles Shearn. Mr. Shearn was an English- 
man, having been bom in England, October 30, 1794. He died 
in Houston, November 12, 1871. He came to Texas in 1834, 
and settled in west Texas. When General Urrea marched 
from San Patricio to Goliad, he captured Mr. Shearn, who 
was a member of a small company of Texans, and would have 
shot him but for the fact that Mr. Shearn was an English- 
man and claimed to be an English subject. Mexico respected 
and feared England too much to ill-treat one of her subjects, 
and that fact saved Charles Shearn. . 

He removed to Houston in 1837, the year following San 
Jacinto, and spent his life here, leaving behind him the 
respect, love and admiration of the whole community. Mr. 



Chunsh History 149 

Sheam began life in Houston as a merchant and prospered. 
The first year of his residence here he induced a Methodist 
missionary to come here from the states, and took him to his 
home, as his personal guest. This was a Mr. Sommers, and 
it was perhaps he who held the first religious service in 
Houston, under the old tree on Market Square, referred to 
elsewhere. Mr. Shearn kept Mr. Sommers as his guest and 
together they succeeded in gathering a sufficient number of 
sympathizers, to form a Methodist class. In 1842, they deter- 
mined to build a church, and Mr. Shearn was made chairman 
of the building committee. The Morning Star, in 1843, had 
this notice of the proposed church : 

"The Morning Star has been informed that the Methodist 
Society of this city has obtained, chiefly through the liberality 
of the brethren in the United States, sufficient funds to erect 
a large and commodious church. It has been planned to lay 
the corner-stone of the building, March 2, the anniversary 
of Texas independence. The building is to be of brick, about 
60 feet by 35 feet. Most of the material has been bought and 
paid for and the construction of the building will be hastened 
as rapidly as possible." 

The corner-stone of the brick building was laid, March 2, 
1843, according to program, local Masons, Odd Fellows and a 
military company assisting at the ceremonies. Col. James. 
Riley, one of the most eloquent members of the Houston Bar, 
delivered an address that was long remembered. Mr. Shearn 
was supelrintendent of cjonstruction and had the ' building 
completed and ready for occupancy, the following May. 

On May 7, 1844, the following notice was published : 

"The new Methodist Episcopal Church in this city will 
be open for Divine service on next Saturday evening. On 
Sunday morning the dedication sermon will be preached by 
the Eev. Mr. Richardson, president of Ruterville College. 
Several clergymen from the county will be in attendance. 

(Signed) 
A. Applewhite, 
C. Sheam, Building Committee." 



150 History of Houston, Texas 

Among those citizens who contributed largely towards 
the success of the church, were Mr. T. "W. House, Sr., who 
was Mr. Shearn's' son-in-law, Mr. Gregg, Mr. McGowan and 
Mr. Hardcastle. The church was in constant use from 1844, 
until 1861, when it was blown down by a storm. 

A large wooden building, unceiled, and but crudely fin- 
ished, was constructed on the site at Milam Street and Texas 
Avenue, and in this building for several years the Methodists 
held their meetings. The war, lasting from 1861 to 1865, 
followed by political troubles and the terrible epidemic of 
yellow-fever in 1867, caused much delay in building a new 
church. Then, too, there was great poverty among the mem- 
bers and as these seemed satisfied with the old wooden church, 
it was not until 1871, that a serious effort was made to erect 
a suitable building. That year Mr. Sheam saw the possibili- 
ties of building a new church, and Messrs. House, Gregg, 
McGowan and Hardcastle again came to his assistance, with 
the result that what was known as Sheam Church was erected 
on. the old site of the first building. Credit for building 
Shearn Church is due almost entirely to Mr. Shearn who 
paid the greater part of the cost of constructing it. The 
Methodists clung to the old location on Texas Avenue and 
Milam Street until 1907, when it was abandoned and a new 
church, which was called the First Methodist Church, was 
erected at Clay Avenue and Main Street. The new church 
fronts 125 feet on Main and runs back 175 feet on Clay 
Avenue. 'It is constructed of Bedford gray granite, Powhatan 
pressed gray brick and pearl-tint terra cotta. It is one of the 
finest and most costly structures of its kind in the South. 
Rev. Dr. "W. P. Packard is the present pastor.- 

St Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church was organized, 
January 1, 1906, with a membership of 130, seventy-six from 
other churches, fifty-four by letter and profession of faith. 
In 1907, it had 475 members and a Sunday school of 450 
pupils, a Home Missionary Society of forty members and a 
Young Ladies' Society of sixty-five members. 

Before the contract for the erection of its house of wor- 



Church History 151 

ship had been let, $130,000 was raised. Bishop Seth Ward 
ti^rned the first spade-full of earth. Bishop Key named the 
building and selected an organizer and builder to take charge 
of the whole matter. The plans called for an expenditure 
of $175,000. The corner-stone was laid with religious and 
Masonic ceremonies June 24, 1907, and until the building was 
' ready for occupancy, the congregation met in a small chapel 
near by. The lot on the corner of McGowan Avenue and 
Milam Street, was the gift of Mrs. J. 0. Ross, and the oflcial 
board of the church, the Women's Societies and other auxil- 
iaries were organized at her nearby residence. 

The first pastor was Rev. Dr. George S. Sexton, formerly 
chaplain of the First Texas Infantry, U. S. V. Dr. Sexton 
has held many important charges and was a remark- 
ably gifted man to whom the greatest credit for the clas- 
sic edifice is due. A set of chimes was given by Mrs. M. T. 
Jones. The church has art windows, the subjects of which 
are: Portraits of John and Charles Wesley; "Christ the 
Consoler"; "Christ and the Doctors"; "Ruth, the Gleaner"; 
"Christ in Gethsemane"; "Mary at the Tomb"; "The 
Ascension"; "Moses and the Law". In the Sunday School 
room special windows represent the flight of angels through 
the heavens on the night of the birth of Christ, proclaiming 
"Peace on earth. Good Will towards men." This is one of 
the most artistic and beautifully finished buildings to be found 
anywhere in this country. Its exterior is of classic and 
Byzantine lines, the building being in an architectural class 
all its own. The method of getting plans for the building 
was novel. No competitive plans were submitted, the 
architects simply developing plans to meet the requirements of 
the building committee. A committee visited the notable 
churches in the larger cities of America and adopted the best 
features of some and rejected the bad features of all of them. 
The result was the present building. Rev. Dr. Sam. R. Hay 
is at present pastor of St. Paul's, and under his charge the 
church continues to grow and extend its good influence. 

In addition to Shearn ' Church, now called the First M. 



152 History of Houston, Texas 

E. Church, South, and St. Paul's, there are several churches 
and chapels of the denomination doing good work in various 
parts of Houston. The following is a list of them: First 
Methodist Episcopal Church, Tenth and Harvard Streets, 
Houston Heights, Rev. C. L. Elliott, pastor; Trinity Methodist 
Church, corner Loraine and Gano Streets, Rev. F. G. Clark, 
pastor ; Tabernacle Methodist Church, corner Polk and Caro- 
line Streets, Rev. W. W. Watts, pastor; Epworth Methodist 
Church; Brunner Avenue Methodist Church, Rev. W. W. 
Sherill, pastor; Grace Methodist Church, Houston Heights, 
Rev. T. M. Brownlee, pastor; Harrisburg Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South, Rev. R. C. George, pastor; McAsham 
Methodist Church, Rev. A. P. Bradford, pastor; "Washington 
Avenue Methodist Church, Washington Avenue between 
Houston Avenue and Trinity Street, Rev. H. M. Timmons, 
pastor; McKee Street Methodist Church, comer Conti and 
McKee Streets, Rev. H. M. Walling, pastor; Bbenezer Meth- 
odist Church, corner Harrington and Chestnut Streets, C. H. 
Beneke, pastor; Bering Memorial Church, corner Milam Street 
and McKinney Avenue, Rev. E. A. Konken, pastor. 

There are many colored Methodists in Houston and the 
negroes have several substantial churches, with large congre- 
gations. 

The Methodists are the strongest in number and influence 
of the Evangelical churches in Houston and have exerted from 
the earliest days a wide influence for good. 

Of all the early Houston churches the Presbyterians had 
the easiest time establishing themselves. They did not have 
to worry about .a building site and then about a building 
to put on it. They had all these at the very beginning, for 
the city founders, the Aliens, being members of the Presbyterian 
Church themselves, set aside two or three Ipts on Main Street 
and Capitol Avenue, for church purposes and gave it to the 
Presbyterians, stipulating only that all denominations should 
have the use of the small building, they placed on it, until 
they could secure churches or meeting places of their own. 
This was faithfully carried out, arid for several years Baptist, 



Church History 153 

Methodist, and other denominations made as free use of the 
building as did the Presbyterians themselves. In the early- 
part of 1843, several members of the church began an active 
canvass for funds with which to erect a suitable church build- 
ing. They were successful and a large building was erected 
near the northwest corner of Capitol Avenue and Main Street; 
facing Main Street. The building was completed in 1842, and 
services were held in it regularly. This structure had a church 
bell, the first one ever rung in Houston. In its issue of 
February 11th, 1843, the Morning Star, said : 

"We are requested to mention that the bell of the Presby- 
terian church will be rung regularly on Sunday mornings 
at 9 'clock f o!r Sunday School and again half an hour before 
meeting, and will be tolled ten minutes before service begins." 

Many of the leading and most influential citizens of 
Houston were members of the Presbyterian church, among 
them being Mr. M. D. Conklin, Mr. A. S. Burke, Mr. T. M; 
Bagby, Mr. Horace Taylor, Mr. B. II. Gushing, Mr. Geo. W. 
Kidd, Sr., Mr. Lillie, and Dr. Cowling, all men of the highest 
standing. All these were not Houstonians at the very earliest 
stages of the city's beginning, but all were so early on the scene 
that it is not unjust to class them all together. At whatever 
stage they enlisted they did such valiant work in the cause 
of religion in Houston that no discrimination should be made 
in awarding credit for what has jbeen accomplished. They 
have all, long ago passed to their rewards from a higher than 
earthly court. 

The large wooden edifice stood for many years on its 
original site, and was destroyed by fire one September night 
in 1859. The fire started in Baker and Thompson's saw-mill, 
which stood on the southwest corner of Texas Avenue and 
Main Street. The fire consumed all the buildings facing Main 
Street, on both sides, of the street between Texas Avenue and 
Capitol Avenue. 

The years 1858 and 1859, were' sorrowful ones for the 
Presbyterian church in Houston. In September, 1858, one of 
their most beloved and universally popular pastors, Rev. Mr. 



154 History of Houston, Texas 

Ruthvan, was lost at sea.. He took passage from Galveston 
for New Orleans on the ill-fated steamer Nautilus, which 
went down during a great hurricane which swept over the 
gulf. Only one person, a negro, who clung to some wreckage, 
was saved, of all the passengers and crew. Efy a singular 
coincidence, another pastor of that church was lost at sea, 
eight years later. This was Rev. Dr. Castelton, who with his 
wife, sailed out of Galveston harbor on a sailing vessel in 
1866. Not a trace of the vessel nor of any of her passengers 
or crew has ever been found. 

The wooden church which had been burned, was replaced 
by a brick building, which was placed further back on the 
property, facing Capitol Avenue. Services were held in this 
house for many years, until, in 1879, it began to crack and 
was comdemned as unsafe. The building was practically torn 
down and made safe. "While this was being done services 
were held in Pillott's Opera House. In May, 1880, the congre- 
gation moved back to their own church and the first sermon 
was preached by Rev. Dr. B. D. Junkin, who had just accepted 
a call to the church. Dr. Junkin was a very able man and 
a profound scholar, but above even these he had qualities of 
heart that soon endeared him, not only to his own congre- 
gation, but to the citizens of Houston at large, so that his 
influence for good was very great. He was the son of Rev. 
George Junkin, the founder of Lafayette College at Easton, 
Pennsylvania, and was born at Miller, Pennsylvania, February 
3, 1829. He was graduated from Lafayette College and 
received his D. D. degree from Washington and Jefferson 
College. In 1854, he was graduated from Princeton College, 
and in 1855, was licensed to preach. After pastoral Sierviee 
in North Carolina and Virginia he came to Houston and 
remained in charge of the First Presbyterian Church until 
his death which occurred at Johnson City, Tenn., on July 
31, 1891, while on his way to Virginia to visit old friends. 

Dr. Junkin 's successor was Rev^ Dr. Wm. Hayne Leavell, 
who was also a great scholar and pulpit orator. The church 
was fortunate in getting such a man as he to follow Dr. 



Chumh History 155 

Junkin. Under his administration some of the best work 
of the church was done. He remained with the church until 
February, 1906, when he resigned and was succeeded by Rev. 
Dr. William States Jacobs, the present pastor, who took charge 
and preached his first sermon March 4, 1906. 

Dr. Jacobs is easily one of the most popular men and 
preachers Houston has ever known. He always commands 
large congregations and has taken a virile part in the city's 
vital and material development. The Chamber of Commerce, 
the real estate men and the music lovers of Houston have 
found a great helper in Dr. Jacobs and he, has brought many 
high grade lyceum entertainments to Houston as well as the 
Russian Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Jacobs is the author of 
the great descriptive phrase that is Houston's motto "Where 
17 railroads meet the sea." He holds many scholarly degrees 
and is a popular platform orator. 

At a congregational meeting, October 30, 1893, it was 
resolved that "the building committee be, and they are hereby, 
authorized to negotiate the sale, and the trustees to execute 
the necessary papers, for the transfer of the property now 
owned by the First Presbyterian Church of Houston, on the 
corner of Main Street and Capitol Avenue ; provided that there 
can be realized a sufficient amount to secure the half block on 
Main Street and McKinney Avenue, known as the House 
property, and, in addition, not less than $20,000 in cash." 

The building committee was thus constituted: Rev. Dr. 
W. M. Hayne Leavell, pastor; R. F. George, representing the 
board of elders ; 0. C. Drew, representing the board of deacons ; 
Dr. D. F. Steuart, representing the members of the church; 
and Charles Dillingham, representing those members of the 
congregation not members of the church. 

The church property brought $45,000 and the committee 
paid $22,500, and the cost of paving for the other property, 
bringing the cost to between $24,000 and $25,000. 

Work on the new church was begun at once, and when 
completed it was pronounced by competent judges, to be very 
nearly architecturally perfect. Its exterior is strikingly beauti- 



156 History of Houston, Texas 

ful and its interior finish is fully in keeping with the exterior. 

The Presbyterian Church in Houston long ago outgrew 
the capacity of the mother church and also that of its strongest 
off-shoots, and now there are nearly a dozen Presbyterian 
congregations in and near the city, all flourishing and pros- 
pering. The following of thesQ all have their own houses of 
worship : 

Woodland Heights Presbyterian Church, Beauchamp 
Avenue and Hooker Street, Rev. George W. Martin, pastor; 
First Presbyterian Church of Houston Heights, corner of 
Rutland and Eighteenth Street, Rev. R. D. Wear, pastor ; Oak 
Lawn Presbyterian Church, comer of Stiles and Sherman 
Streets, Rev. A. N. Wylie, pastor; Hardy Street Presbyterian 
Church, Rev. Granville T. Story, pastor; Second Presbyterian 
Church, Main Street and Denis Avenue, Rev. Frank E. Fincher, 
pastor. This is one of the handsomest churches in the city. 
Third Presbyterian Church, corner of Bingham and Johnson 
Streets, Rev. J. M. Gaul, pastor ; Central Presbyterian Church, 
corner of Fannin Street and Pease Avenue, Rev. A. B. 
Buchanan, pastor; Westminster Presbyterian Church, Wash- 
ington and Boulevard, Rev. E. Sinclair Smith, pastor. The 
new edifice of this congregation is very modern, and Dr. Smith, 
one of the most highly honored of, the city's pastors. 

The chapels of the Second Presbyterian Church, are Park 
Street Chapel, Market Street Chapel, Hutchins Street Chapel, 
Hyde Park Chapel, and Blodgett Mission Sunday School. Rev. 
Stanley White is superintendent in charge of missions. 

On March 16, 1839, while the city of Houston was still 
in its swaddling clothes, 39 earnest churchmen met and 
organized "the Protestant Episcopal Church of Houston, 
Republic of Texas." Isolated from the older parts of the 
country, with no means of communication, save by water- or 
by ox or horse-drawn vehicles, over almost impassable roads, 
this handful of earnest Christians laid the foundation for a 
church which was destined to become the first in wealth, 
influence and power of its denomination in Texas. At the 
beginning they h^d only such services as itinerant ministers 



Chunch History 157 

and missionaries could give them. Bishop George "W. Free- 
man, Missionary Bishop of Louisiana took great interest in 
the struggling church, and in all ways in his power contributed 
to its advancement. 

The church adopted a constitution and took the name 
of Christ Church, May 12, 1845. Measures were taken to build 
a chapel to cost $2,500. Its corner-stoiie was laid in 1846, 
and it was consecrated by Bishop Freeman, May 9, 1847. 
Houston was then a most uninviting field for clergymen and 
for some years there was no regular minister in charge. 
However, the membership increased so rapidly that before 
the first ten years had elapsed a large house of worship was 
demanded. The corner-stone of a new building was laid in 
1859, and within two years the building was completed at a 
cost of $16,000. This building was used for years, but in 1876, 
a third church was erected, and in 1893, the comer-stone of 
the present beautiful building was laid. 

Of the fifteen rectors of Christ Church before 1892, few 
remained longer than two or three years, while others remained 
but a short time. In 1892, Rev. Henry V. Aves, then in 
charge of St. John's Church at Cleveland, Ohio, where he had 
served seven years, accepted a call here. He was confronted 
with a. church debt of $30,000, and found only one society 
for work connected with the church, that of the Ladies' 
Parish Association. In less than ten. years the debt had been 
wiped out and several helping societies had been organized 
and were working effectually. The Sheltering Arms, a home 
for indigent women; the Woman's Auxiliary, a power in the 
missionary field; a sewing school; the Girls' Friendly Society, 
the Altar Society, the Choir Chapter, the Young Women's 
Guild, Ch];'ist Church Grammar Sohoql and several working 
bodies connected with the three mission chapels, were all 
the results of Rev. Dr. Aves' personal efforts. The building 
used for the Sheltering Arms had been erected and paid for 
and an infirmary and operating room were projected, before 
his first ten years expired. 

Rev. Dr. Aves received most valuable support and assis- 



158 History of Houston, Texas 

tance in all he did from R. M. Elgin, father of the Vestry, 
who had grown gray in the service of the church before the 
arrival of Dr. Aves, and also from A. S. Richardson, "W. D. 
Cleveland, W. V. R. Watson, Presley K. Swing, William M. 
Mitchell and Sam Mcllhenny. 

Christ Church building is one of the handsomest and most 
imposing churches in Houston. A rectory which cost $10,000, 
was erected in 1902, and a parish school was opened the 
same year as a memorial to Judge Peter Gray and his wife. 

When Dr. Aves was elected Bishop of Mexico, and decided 
to accept the position, he communicated his decision to the 
T6c±Dry of Christ Church. The regret of that body is embodied 
in a letter and accompanying resolutions from which the 
following is a quotation : 

"We admire, love and esteem you, and some of us 
lean on you as the strong staff of our religious life. Your 
beautiful Christian character has been, through these many 
years, a beacon for us in God's watch-tower. You have 
never, during this long time, preached a sermon, though some 
have necessarily been better than others, that would not have 
honored any pulpit ; not one that would not have been a means 
of grace to any Christian. You have here, at the baptismal 
fount, tenderly held our little ones and signed them with the 
sign of the cross. You have here, at the marriage altar, 
pronounced the words of holy wedlock and blessed with your 
benediction the plighted troth. You have here, at the open 
grave and in the hidden sanctuaries of sorrow, ministered 
comfort with a heart as boundless as human love and as tender. 
It is hard, recalling your ministry, to give you up. We feel 
that, in your departure 'a beacon light will be blown out above 
us, a buoy bell stilled upon the sea. ' We feel that taking you 
all in all, we shall long wait to look upon your like again. 
But we cannot, will not speak to you words of parting. Adieu 
— ^to God— there safe we leave you. Our trembling lips do 
speak, but ah, how faintly do they shadow forth the tremor 
of our hearts. Precious memories of your past, prayerful hope 
for your future — let -this be our sentiment. 



Chunch History 159 

Faithfully and Affectionately, Your Rectory: Robert M. 
Elgin, Senior Warden ; W. D. Cleveland,' Junior Warden ; Wm. 
V. Watson ; Presley K. Swing ; Sam McNeil ; M. H. Westcott ; 
R. T. Morris; Prank' Cargill; Joseph Towlis." 

After the departure of Rev. Henry Aves, who is still 
Bishop of Mexico, Rev. Dr. Peter Gray Sears was called to the 
pastorate of Christ Church, and has proven himself a worthy 
successor. Dr. Sears is one of the mosli profound scholars 
and pulpit orators in the South, and, like Bishop Aves, he is 
a tireless worker. He has not only continued the work, but 
has added to the usefulness of Christ Church in the moral 
upbuilding of the city and community. 

In addition to the mother church, there are the following 
Episcopal churches and chapels in Houston today: Trinity 
Church, corner Main Street and Holman Avenue, Rev. Robert 
Lee Craig, rector; St. John's Church, corner Leeland Avenue 
and Velaseo Street, 0. M. Longnecker, superintendent; St. 
Mary's Episcopal Church, Rev. G. W. R. Cadman, rector; 
Clemens Memorial Church, corner Bingham and Sabine Streets, 
Rev. T. J. Windham, minister in charge; St. Andrew's Mission, 
230 West Seventeenth Street, Houston Heights, Rev. . Mr. 
Cadman, minister in charge. 

The first German Lutheran Church erected in Houston was 
quite an imposing wooden structure that for years stood on 
the southwest corner of the block of which The Daily Post 
now stands. The church owned a quarter of the block, but 
utilized only the corner on Texas Avenue and Milam Street. 
Rev. Mr. Braun was the first and only pastor of the church 
while it occupied that location. In connection with the church 
was a school patronized by the German citizens of Houston 
and by many of the Americans who desired to have their 
children taught the German language, hence it was generally 
crowded to its full capacity. There were a number of 
Lutherans in Houston, and as the city grew the needs of their 
church grew also, and soon it became necessary to build other 
houses of worship. The first of these was one on Louisiana 
Street between Preston and Prairie Avenues. But the demands 



160 History of Houston, Texas 

of commerce seem to have been greater than those of the 
church, and both the Texas Avenue and the Louisiana Street 
properties were sold and the churches moved elsewhere. At 
present the Lutherans have two large and floutishing churches, 
one on Caroline and Texas Avenue and the other on Washing- 
ton Avenue and Young Street. In both churches the sermons 
are in the German language; but both English and German 
are used in their Sunday Schools. 

The Christians in the past fifteen years have come to 
prominence and the Central Christian Church, on the corner of 
Main Street and Bell Avenue is one of the handsomest of 
Houston's many handsome churches. It was completed in 1907. 
The Second Christian Chtirch is located at the corner of Hogan 
and Common Streets. 

In the last ten years, the Christian Scientists have made 
great gains in Houston., There are now two churches of this 
faith and the first church of the city is erecting a beautiful 
classic church building with a Greek front, on Main Street. 

All church statistics are dif&eult to get, but the many 
beautiful buildings erected by the various denominations 
within the past decade is evidence of their flourishing condi- 
tion. 

The first Catholic church in Houston was built on three 
lots on the northeast corner of the block on Franklin Avenue 
and Caroline Street. There was a large gully running up 
Caroline Street and the little church was built on the very 
edge of this. Behind the church, and running east and west, 
was a long, single-story building used as a home for the priest 
and also as a parish school. Both the church and the school 
house were woode.n structures. Father Querat had charge 
of both the church and school for many years, and was one 
of the best known and universally respected men in the city. 
He was a Frenchman, as his name implies, and was an accom- 
plished scholar, and was almost as popular with the Prot- 
estants as he was with the members of his own faith. For 
about a quarter of a century that little church was the only 
place of worship the Catholics had in Houston. In 1868 or 



Chwnch History 161 

1869, the church sold the old church property and purchased 
the block on Texas Avenue and Crawford Street, and in 1870, 
began the erection of a large brick building on it. This build- 
ing, the Church of the Annunciation, was completed in 1871, 
and remains today one of the handsomest church edifices 
in the city. It occupies about one quarter of the block, the 
remainder being occupied by a handsome home for the priests 
and a large and commodious school, all constructed of brick, 
and of attractive architectural design. Father Hennessy has 
had pastoral charge of this church for over thirty years, and, 
is looked up to with love . and veneration by the members of 
his congregation, and by all Houstonians who know the sterling 
and lovable qualities of the man. 

The growth of the church exceeded that of the city and 
became necessary early in the eighties to build other edifices. 
One was built on Washington Avenue, another in the Fifth 
ward and others steadily followed, until Houston has a 
number of Catholic Churches, a number of them handsome 
and imposing buildings. 

In addition to what may be called the parent church, The 
Annunciation, the following, are prominent: St. Joseph's 
Church, Father Banfield, pastor; Church of the Blessed 
Sacrament, on Sherman Avenue, Brady addition; St. Patrick's 
Church, Father Haughran, pastor; and Sacred Heart Church, 
on Pierce Avenue and San Jacinto Street. The parishes are 
large and growing so rapidly that constant additions to the 
number of churches and chapels have to be made. 

The Roman Catholic Church in Houston has. among its 
institutions, seven churches, four of them fine structures that 
would be ornaments to a city twice the size of Houston, a 
fine infirmary and several first-class schools. The infirmary 
and the schools are not under the church control except 
spiritual and are ' managed by the sisters of religious orders 
who have devoted their lives to that work. They have absolute 
control of all temporal matters. The hospital is the St. 
Joseph's Infirmary, one of the oldest and best patronized 
institutions of its kind in the state. St. Agnes' Academy is 



162 History of Houston, Texas 

one of the schools and it is one of the leading educational 
institutions of the city. Its patronage is large, and though 
only five years old it is already placed in the front ranks 
of denominational institutions of learning in Texas. 

The picturesque school building, located in the south end 
on Fannin Street, combines beauty and comfort in its ample 
accommodations. 

There are, in round numbers, 10,000 communicants of 
the Catholic church in Houston, and the property of the 
church is valued at very nearly half a million dollars. 

Houston will soon be known as the city of churches for 
every creed and variation of a creed seems to have its 
representatives here. In addition to the leading denominations 
enumerated in the foregoing pages there are the following 
named churches and religious associations in Houston: 

Clark Street Mission, Apostolic Faith ; Brunner Tabernacle, 
Apostolic Faith; Houston Heights Assembly, Apostolic Faith; 
International Bible Students Association; Congregational 
Church, corner Caroline Street and McKinney Avenue; 
Unitarian Church, Carnegie Library; Theosophical Society, 
Odd Fellows Hall ; Oriental Textile Chapel, comer of Twenty- 
fourth and Lawrence Streets, Houston Heights; Balfour 
Mission, 210 San Jacinto Street ; and the Star of Hope Mission, 
714 Franklin Avenue, which holds services every night in 
the year. 

In the very early days the leading representative of the 
Hebrews in Houston, was the venerable Rabbi Levy. No man 
stood higher in this community than he and none enjoyed 
the respect and esteem of all classes of citizens more than 
he. He was known among the people as "Father" Levy and his 
whole life was such as to warrant this love and confidence. 
He was an old man, had a long white beard and was the living 
picture of an old Patriarch. For many years he administered 
to the spiritual needs of his people and when he passed away, 
in the late fifties, he was mourned by the whole community. 

During the war the Hebrew congregation in Houston 
preserved its organization. 



Chumh History 163 

That the congregation was kept in existence was due to 
the fact that in April, 1860, there came to Houston a family 
that has played a prominent part in its history. Its head 
was the Rev. Samuel Raphael, and the voyage from England 
took 10 weeks and was made in a full rigged ship, "The 
National Guard," Captain Gates, embarking at Liverpool and 
landing at Galveston. The ship wasi-a merchantman and not 
a passenger vessel, and the' Raphael family which included the 
Rabbi, his wife, Hannah, and six children, Joseph, Rebecca, 
Emanuel, Moses, Sarah and Julia, were the only passengers. 
Three members of this family still survive, E., Raphael, Mrs. 
Rebecca Nussbaum and' Miss Julia Raphael. 

Rabbi Raphael, took charge of the Congregation Beth 
Israel whose membership was only fifteen or twenty. Among 
them were Sam Meyer, Sol. Hohenthal, Isaac Elsasser, Joe 
Rosenfield, 6. Gerson, Henry S. Fox, Sr., and Isaac Colman. 
Only one member of the original congregation still survives, 
Henry S. Pox, Sr., president of the Houston National Exchange 
Bank. 

Rabbi Raphael labored faithfully, and it was mainly 
through his efforts that the Congregation Beth Israel was 
held together, and in the end converted into a virile force. He 
was a man of great scholarship, an eloquent speaker and 
possessed of much personal magnetism. 

Owing to the troubled and disquieting days following the 
close of the war, nothing was done towards erecting a suit- 
able house of worship by the members of Congregation Beth 
Israel, until about 1869. That year, however, Benjamin and 
Mose Raphael, sons of the Rabbi, I. Elsassor, A. Harris, A. 
S. Fox, J. Harris, M. E. Stern and some others, went quietly 
to work, raised sufficient funds, purchased a building . site 
on Franklin Avenue, and announced that they would erect 
a suitable temple. On June 11, 1870, the Telegraph 
announced that everything was in readiness and that the 
corner-stone would be laid in a few days by Rev. Henry 
S. Jacobs, chief Rabbi of the New Orleans Portugese Syna- 
gogue. About 4 o'clock, Thursday, June 16, a procession of 



164 History of Houston, Texas 

fully 1,000 persons, consisting of Oivil and Jewish organiza- 
tions, formed on Main Street, near the Masonic Temple, and 
led by Schmidt's Band, marched to the site of the synagogue. 
The corner-stone, a large block of marble, was swinging on 
a tripod. A Divine blessing; was asked by Rabbi Jacobs, 
after which he informed the Grand Master of one of 
Houston's Masonic organizations, the he was deputed by the 
Congregation Beth Israel to request that the corner-stone of 
its temple of worship should be laid with Masonic honors. 
The stone, set in the northeast corner- of the foundation, 
was made the receptacle of the following articles: A record 
of the corner-stone itself; some coins of different countries 
of different denominations; some currency of different values 
and countries; a roll of members of the congregation of Beth 
Israel; a scroll of the Hebrew law; copies of the local news- 
papers ; a photograph and souvenir of Gerson Kursheedt, a 
member of the congregation who had gone from Texas on a 
mission to Palestine and had died there. 

This Hebrew congregation in 1908, completed a handsome 
new temple building that is one of the most modern church 
structures in Houston. It was dedicated with elaborate 
ceremonies. Dr. Henry Barnstein is Rabbi and has won fame 
in musical as well as religious circles. The new temple Beth 
Israel is located at the corner of Crawford and Lamar Street. 

The Congregation Adath Geshurun worships in a hand- 
some synagogue located at the corner of Jackson Street and 
Walker Avenue. 

The first piiblic meeting, in the interest of the Young 
Men's Christian Association, in Houston was held one Sunday 
afternoon, April, 1886, in Pillott's Opera House. There was 
a large attendance of members of all the various denominations 
in Houston, thus giving evidence that the people of Houston 
were willing and ready to support such an institution. Many 
pledges of support and membership were pi-omptly given in 
response to an invitation. 

The following named gentlemen were chosen as a board 
of directors: Col. Charles Stewart, Capt. W. D. Cleveland, 



Church History 165 

B. L. Dennis, John Kay, J. F. Dumble, Conrad Bering, Ed. 
Smallwood, W. V. R. Watson, C. W. Alsworth, Dr. J. M. 
Arnold, Rufus Cage, Y. M. Langdon. 

The sum of $2,000, was raised easily within a few days, 
and a permanent organization was effected and rooms were 
secured in the Brown Building, corner of Main Street and 
Texas Avenue, which were opened to the public on May 13, 
1886. There was a reading room and a gymnasium, the latter 
under the direction of Captain E. B. H. Schnider. It was 
also announced that the parlor and lecture room would soon 
be ready for occupancy and that members ' tickets were being 
prepared by the treasurer, Mr. J. F. Dumble. 

The following named representative men were chosen as 
officers to serve for the first two years : William D. Cleveland, 
president; Y. M. Langdon, vice-'president ; James F. Dumble, 
treasurer ; Rufus Cage, recording secretary ; J. W. Goodhue, 
general secretary. 

The following were chosen as a board of Directors : 
Charles Stewart, Dr. James M. Arnold, Conrad Bering, 
William Christian", W. V. R. Watson, E. L. Dennis, John 
' Kay , C. W. Alsworth , Ed Smallwood. 

It was made the duty of the General Secretary, under 
the direction of the board, to plan and carry out the objects 
of the association. 

The association occupied very humble and very inadequate 
quarters for about twenty years, , but in the latter part of 
1906, the needs of the association for larger and more con- 
venient quarters became so apparent, that an organized 
movement was inaugurated to raise $200,000, with which to 
build the association a home of its own. The movement met 
with popular favor at once. The city was aroused and 
subscriptions poured in from citizens of every class until 
the full amount was in hand. A site was purchased at the 
corner of Fannin Street and McKinney Avenue, and the 
following building committee was appointed: W. A. Wilson, 
chairman; S. F. Carter, treasurer; E. W. Taylor, secretary; 



166 History of Houston, Texas 

Capt. James A. Baker, Jr., W. D. Cleveland, Sr., J. V. Dealy, 
and J. B. Bowles. 

"Work was begun at once, and on October 17, 1907, the 
corner-stone of the edifice was laid with impressive ceremony. 
Secretary Scott, acting for the directors, arranged a pro- 
gramme for the event. 

First there was held a meeting at the old hall, after 
which a procession was formed and the march taken up to 
the new building, along Fannin Street. The ceremonies were 
semi-religious but non-sectarian. The main feature was the 
laying of the corner-stone by Captain Richmond Pearson 
Hobson. The members of the building committee had actual 
charge of the exercises. Mayor Rice represented the city, 
while Captain "W. D. Cleveland, who was the first president 
of the association, acted as chairman. 

On the evening of June 21, 1908, the formal opening 
exercises of the Young Men's Christian Association took place 
in the gymnasium of their new building. There was prayer, 
scripture reading, music and eloquent addresses. The speakers 
were: Hon. H. M. Garwood and Rev. Peter Gray Sears. 

The building is five stories high and is IjeautifuUy finished 
throughout. On the first floor are located the loby, or 
reception room, a spacious reading room, the gymnasium, 
swimming pool, hand ball court, bowling alley, dressing rooms, 
each equipped with rockers and every arrangement for the 
convenience and comfort of the members. 

The assembly room, the lecture rooms, the study and class 
rooms are on the second and part of the third floors, while 
the rest of the building is devoted to apartments for roomers. 
There are ninety-one rooms in all. All are of uniform size, and 
neatly furnished. 



CHAPTER XI. 

Education and Free Schools 



Houston's Earliest Schools were Private Enterprises. Lack of 
Proper School Facilities. The Houston Academy. Congres- 
sional Appropriations for Public Schools. Free Schools 
Flourished only after Civil War. Arguments Against the 
System. Houston First City to Take Control o'f Her Schools. 
City School Superintendents. Opening of Public Schools 
in October, 1877. Comparative Growth from 1877 to 1909. 
Scientific Features in City's Schools. Superintendent 
Horn's Summary of Decade from 1901 to 1911. Private 
School Enterprises. 



The early Texans, and those of Houston particularly, placed 
the cause of education far to the fore while planning for the 
upbuilding of the new republic. Scarcely a public meeting was 
held, where questions of public policy were discussed,' that the 
cause of 'education was not brought prominently forward. After 
San Jacinto, and while the new Republic was largely in the form- 
ative stages, nothing very tangible nor practical in the way of 
concerted action by the people could be accomplished, but, even 
at that time, successful efforts were being made to establish pri- 
vate schools in Houston. 

Unfortunately there is no record preserved of these very 
early pioneers in the cause of education. Only a stray remark 
or a chance allusion, here and there, go to show that soon after 
Texas independence had been won, the school-master had taken 
up the task of preserving and perpetuating it. The first refer- 
ence to a school in Houston is that of Mrs. Dilne Harris, who 
says, in her reminiscences: "The second anniversary of the 
battle of San Jacinto had come and gone and mother said she 
hoped there would be nothing else to distract us from our studies, 
as the school would close in June. But there was another sensa- 



168 History of Houston, Texas 

tion. One Monday morning in May, on our arrival at the school 
house, we found the town covered with bills. A theatrical 
company had arrived and would give, the first performance Fri- 
day night, June' 11. This was the first theatrical company to 
come to Texas. It not only ran the young people wild, but old 
people were not much better. ' ' 

Professor H. F. Gillett announced in the Morning Star in 
1844 that he had opened his Houston Academy, in the building 
of the Telegraph, at Main and Preston Streets. Terms per 
month for tuition in reading, writing and orthography, $2, par 
funds ; arithmetic, grammar and geography, $3 ; Latin, Greek, 
mathematics, science and the higher branches of English educa- 
tion, $4. He promised to teach all branches necessary to enter 
any college in the United States. 

The same year Professor W. J. Thurbur announced that he 
had opened a school in the front room, second story, of Mr. 
Dibble's building, comer of Main and Franklin Streets, where 
he would teach geography, arithmetic, English grammar, natural 
philosophy, ortheopy, orthography, history and composition and 
that he would open in the same room a night school in which 
English grammar would receive especial attention. 

These two schools are the only early ones of which definite 
information is obtainable. They were, as their advertisements 
indicate, private schools. Two years later, however, something 
more definite in the way of public action was taken. In pursu- 
ance to notices in the public prints, there assembled in the Meth- 
odist church in Houston, January 2, 1846, a number of teachers 
and friends of education. The meeting was opened by prayer, 
by Eev. C. Gillett. Rev. C. Richardson was chosen president of 
the convention and Peter W. Gray, secretary. Rev. C. Gillett, 
Rev. C. Richardson, Gen. Hugh McLeod, John H. Walton, John 
Sayles and James Bailey were constituted a committee to con- 
sider and report to the convention, means to further its ends and 
promote the cause of education. 

A few evenings later another meeting was held at which 
this committee made its report. It favored the adoption of uni- 
form text-books by the private and public schools of Texas; a 



Education and Free Schools 169 

memorial to be addressed to the legislature of the state at its 
first session ; the establishment of a monthly journal to be devoted 
to the cause of education; the appointment of a standing com- 
mittee to which persons desiring to make teaching their business 
might apply for positions and to which committee communi- 
ties needing teachers might look for supplies; the appointment 
of six committees to report at the next meeting; measures for a 
permanent organization and to make suggestions along different 
lines on subjects of interest to the body; and the appointment 
of suitable persons to deliver addresses on the subject of educa- 
tion at the next meeting. Many of these ideas have been 
since carried out but little was accomplished at the time. 

In March, 1853, the Houston Academy was opened by Messrs. 
A. W.Boyd and H. Moore, A. B., who brought to Houston high 
testimonials as to their character and ability as teachers. They 
announced that in the academy, pupils would be "instructed 
in all the branches of science that are taught in the first acade- 
mies in the Union." 

The annual examination and exhibition of the Houston Male 
and Female Academy was held about the middle of September, 
1857, by James Alexander Bolinger, principal. The Scholastic 
year for 1858 began February 1. Early in that year Professor 
M. B. Franklin and Mrs. Franklin, from Kentucky, became 
associated with Professor Bolinger in the management of the 
Academy. 

In October, 1857, there were ten schools in successful oper- 
ation in Houston. They were those of Mr. Bolinger, Mrs. Styles. 
Mrs. Green, Miss Maher, Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham, J^ev. 0. 
Braun, Professor Ruter and sister. Miss Kate Van Alstyno, iliss 
K. Payne and Mrs. H. X. GottOn. Yet in spite of the large num- 
ber of schools there was not sufficient room for the children of the 
city. Most of the schools were very small affaii-s, tlie pupils 
being liuddled together in one small room. The citizens of Hous- 
ton long suffered for schools adequate to the needs of the com- 
munity ?ind for this reason alone many children were sent away 
to obtain an education that should have been obtained at home. 

Perhaps the greatest disadvantage was the lack of suitable 



170 History of Houston, Texas 

quarters adapted to the requirements of different departments 
of educational work. There was no building capable of accom- 
modating not only the primary schools, but advanced schools as 
well— schools in which everything from the' rudiments to the 
higher branches could be taught. Attempts were made from 
time to time to meet this demand. In 1857 there were a number 
of good schools, all well patronized, but all of them in rooms 
not at all adapted to their needs. The best of these was in 
Masonic Hall, comer of Main and Capitol Streets and while 
there were fewer than 100 pupils in attendance it was crowded. 
All the other rooms in Houston, devoted to school purposes, would 
accommodate less than 200 pupils and it was estimated that there 
were 600 children of school age in Houston at that time. Mr. 
James H. Stevens had willed to the city $5,000 to be devoted to 
the building of an academy, whenever $10,000 should be con- 
tributed by the citizens for that purpose. Including this amount 
$17,000 was available at the end of 1856, for the establishment 
of such a school, which sum it was proposed to increase to $20,- 
000. Some time before this the block on which the present High 
School stands, had been purchased, and some steps toward the 
erection of a building had been taken. It had been planned that 
the proposed building should cost perhaps $15,000 and that the 
remaining $5,000 of the proposed fund should be held available 
for a library and for astronomical apparatus. 

A meeting of prominent citizens was held; the necessary 
funds to complete the amount needed were subscribed at once 
and on September 17, 1857, the comer stone of the Houston 
Academy was laid. It was made a big event by the people of 
Houston. 

The Houston Academy was completed early in the summer 
of 1858. It was a brick structure, 64 x 84 feet, of composite 
architecture, with a large open cupola with Ionic columns, which 
was surmounted by a gilded globe. Its height from base to 
cornice was 45 feet. The entire cost of the building was $21,000. 

The Houston! Academy was not a public school; though it 
was under the management of a board of directors, consisting of 
several leading citizens interested in the cause of education. Col. 




"Wiai.'-J:: H'titGhins wa'a'chdrmanV6!&*lii§iilioajPdiaM''44>\^ #n*^!t!^ 
Ms 'miuenee tbaib ; Dr. Agibel iSmitbi'JBJagiaiii^uiiged '# «,ct-as .;^*^ 
dpak'pt the -gcbood whenat rbegaaiite; fl*^ g®sfei<aii!erii!ra'jf«(5:i^ fiat 

c; mi%fi Fl>6Mso¥ Partridge ^e^f^gga 3r%iffiit|»e^f • 
cKarP of ihe'scfibol;' Doctor' Srilift¥g#«i.*S'f>i*^t^qf 
resi^^H-'as pr^ndi^ar of thte fAca"aeffiy''^b&ii¥-18'39 
fffeMed by ReverfeM^ boctoi- Hu?clfersoi'%lo'«fM=*b4i8^ 
df Eatin" 'atid '■ ^rfeek at tM"Q^M\!M^m^f'*^ M 
Doctor HutcMfsob reiiiaiaed aft eM*P W tW^AWdSfSfv^MYi 
aboM^S^eS or '6'*, wiSn owffig' t^fflin-^m"Sfth?%g'"=fts!^Mf-M 
his work was taken up by Prof. W. J. Haneot^/"'aTfp^lcn8Sr 
aii*:ian rexperiense-ed > 'edueatfo. i'^^^&^s&0iHMm<ikt'^mi9ii&d in 
cteai-geaasf tbefsehoolf te-seveiral iyeia8S>^62*«^4iJMe5dlM)j^lfe!f^ 
f etoor MtzgeraM^ \ii«h0<.iiad sEofifeiS^ aeswapisd awS^fcaiidSMji^ 
IMversi'ty, whan that testita.*i«ii wa» ]m&W6i aWifedepwSeBes, 
WnshiirgtonrCoiunty.! -sUffiSer Rt^ttes6(»'rfi%£^rai^S«iai!a£^|giyit 
tfee?l.cad«i5i:'^grew.- in -popular, fe-^orian^' tfe 3attel5MMas*t)«3Syfe 
very lairg'k TioweT^v('th& kes^miiii&ikma^'^S^ MSftii^iimsi' 
when,« in"thg earlyi^ewentiiSs, :'ths?i&«t'f*»e6CSclK»8le '>^«M Sf efl«#, 
the attenda-nee^dropped olf -^t'o sflch gmamtstd^-i^mt Sth&.'jUmdm!^, 
after a«desuttory'eixi^tigllee,i Wafg fWfcfdswfe te «lA. 3K^h^Pa#fe 
Academy v»0igta?tiaaMgOtiittfin^^a*«#iffeeEll5)^ JBlS «#sgS^& 
wag closed until/iWheir the icit3^'3!ro'birillmt'g#?'®Mte •.WWHT'eAQ^, 
itS'doorSL were thrown' open an*t*'feeeaBiffai3»3Si^fr®>f^o]ilis«8 

rs": The cefisti*ati&n- Adopted- B^-M^eoTeift ^m4:,-'m& it''*EB% 
i:Wii)erSti-fe dut^^of the toverhmgtf^tS'Wfic^ M^M^W^ 
Texis anaCd^hmmbfeeaine a&ta¥^f"*!8i^®eSKIii^^pi?5^ i^ 
cd'Mitiition dfeelai-ed^that publfe s^oSm^ '^Ebeik^ W-m 
lire knd- defelopfHent of-^'free peoii^g. ^^m.^^^dei^^gs^ Iflffi 
Vis ^^tually doiie toWards' the' 'a^^MMiienW ipu'BliS^Wii&lSffl', 
bteyond' the •enactment of sehooi ^M^ mhm^^g^-md^foMmk 
b'f aiid'fd* the suripdrt- of schdomiat'^^e' nd^mSbXmm^^ 
when Tkas declared her iiidepMdeffi!6,"=mi!^ diaajjE^rfgstf'^feife 
Of her riiany- grievances 'was i;hat' 'file lAothef =eoTintr jf i'haii a^iim. 
to 'establish aisystem: of public gdueatkmi^oKthg pte^pfeRKWjfr :3;ii 
ifiu:ii:]:iiil839;. the" texM^Goiigres'^J§fet"ia'§ide? thrfefe l«l#fe t*^2'84 
a,'dres5»><)f puMic Itod as schooMafl^ffjisaiiea'ch-Jcouiity/itites pm- 



172 History of Houston, Texas 

ceeds to be devoted to the establishment of a permanent school 
fund. In 1840, another league for each county was added to 
this appropriation, but the population was so sparse and public 
money so scarce that nothing practical was accomplished. In 
1845, when Texas was admitted to the Union, her state constitu- 
tion set aside one-tenth of the revenue derived from taxation for 
a permanent school fund. In five years Texas had 349 public 
schools, 360 teachers and 7,964 pupils. In 1854 the state system 
was improved and the school fund received a donation of two 
million dollars in United States bonds. The school revenue in 
1860 was $80,984. 

It was not until after the Civil War that free schools became 
active and vital forces. Being so admirably equipped and hav- 
ing such material resources for the successful inauguration of a 
permanent school system, it is amazing that the state should have 
delayed so long in adopting a plan. The true explanation of the 
delay probably lies in the fact that conditions existing in Texas 
before the war, were such as existed nowhere else. While there 
was no aristocracy in one sense of the word, yet there was an 
aristocracy in another sense. The people were divided into two 
classes, the rich and the poor, just as they are today, wit'n tins 
difference, that the rich were slave owners and were either plant- 
ers, lawyers, doctors, or professional men, while the poor v.'ere 
small farmers, tradesmen, laborers, or men of no calling what- 
ever. Social lines were not tightly drawn, it is true, still they 
were drawn, with the result that there was no unity of purpose 
or opinion on any subject that involved such close social inter- 
course as it was thought the public school would bring about. 
The well-to-do were able and did educate their own children, 
and thought it unfair, having done this duty to themselves and 
state, that they should be taxed further for the education of the 
children of others. On the other side, the poorer classes resented 
the idea of having their children educated at a charitable insti- 
tution as they believed the public school to be. Thus it is seen 
that there was much work in the way of educating the people, 
of both classes, to a proper understanding of the real meaning 
and scope of a public school, before the wishes and intentions 



Education and Free Schools 173 

of the founders of the Republic could be put in practical oper- 
ation. 

During the continuation of the great war, all public schools 
were practically suspended and the school fund was expended 
for other purposes than education. In 1866, the office of State 
Superintendent of Education was created and a State Board of 
Education, consisting of the Governor, the Comptroller and the 
State Superintendent of Education was established. Those were 
"reconstruction days" however. The Governor and other State 
officials were outsiders who had been appointed to their offices 
by the United States Government, and were considered inter- 
lopers. They were all what was known as "Black Republicans" 
and necessarily had but little influence with the great mass of 
Texans, who regarded their every act with suspicion and dis- 
trust. Under conditions such as these it is not surprising that 
very little was accomplished in the way of establishing schools 
on a safe and proper basis until nearly a decade later. 

The constitution of the state required that the public schools 
should be open for six months each year. As this was impossible 
with no other funds than that derived from the school fund, pro- 
vision was made for levying a special school tax in each school 
district. Such school districts were given authority, in addition 
to levying the special school tax, to build school houses, employ 
competent instructors and to put the schools under professional 
superintendents who were held responsible for their good conduct 
and advancement. In 1876 only two districts in the state had taken 
advantage of this law and assumed control of their schools, but 
in 1906 their were 389 independent districts and 2217 common 
school districts levying local taxes.. These results were obtained 
largely through assistance given by the Peabody fund, by the 
aid of which also the Sam Houston State Normal School was 
established. 

Houston was practically the first city to take charge of its 
public schools. At a public meeting, held March 1, 1870, after 
some discussion, a petition and bill, prepared by the School Com- 
mittee, were voted on and adopted, and it was determined to 
submit a memorial to the voters of the city for signatures. If 



tMsrniferomaaiOTfirejiisflWix'dflxsed^ias it was believ.ed it, would 'bg^ 
it was hoped that when the legislature convened Houston would 
^.aM'yJ%.,) W^'ii^gemeiit-jQfr-^her; public educational institutions 
5(l$oed:^-^h^rr.ow^n^,haft4^j,,; .^j,. ; _ r^,;^-^. .»,-;?;«:-■ •■t 

-:;:'The eoiiiinittee ^having thesimatter in hand, were surprised 
t® tfieet'iwith- the stcsn^sjfevopposition when they circulated, the 
petition for signatures, jT-his, opposition came from sevicrail 
sources-. di'The. opposition ,u«ed .the- old argument that apubJic 
school inust neeessairily' be aJJharity school. This idea being dis- 
pietiai) they: claimed that such institutions were undesirable because 
of'jthe mixed social conditions thicy would bring about. Such argu- 
inEnts:as. these werjse^ly7re£jted' but there were others not so 
easily lovercome.; - isiv ^tiCMii/.bjr ■'■: ■ ,:_;-i,,. 

-m.., Af-'th&f time strong Mctfenal and political feeling existed. 
N(jt only the people who (Spposed the schools but the- politicians, 
Whtt"' «ar-ed little or '3nol;hJ!ng«ii about the schools themselves; ■ as 
schools, but who saw in j4heij? proposed establishment a p'oWCTful 
political ' weapon, : attacked .the idea vigorously. These gentlemen 
argued; that' books; many ;0f tbsm of undesirable political eom- 
pliexidnv5Would'be foreedron the ■public; that teachers^ all elipsen 
from^ione -poli ti cat partyywauld;. con duct the schools foy_ partisan 
eo'dsr and that a large part, of- the taxes levied would go for the 
suppoTit of some, hungry ^politician as. superintendent. In reply 
toithese: arguments it was poi-nted out that suitable books could 
be> selected by a convetttiottoft'/experienced and reputable edu- 
catarS;jand:.th-at. airgoodrfooard-zof school directors woijld .select 
t©achers,mot because ofeth'eir political beliefs but .because of their 
qualifeatidi5& aa'r.ecbttBa3tQE& and. their ability to teach. It wa.s 
&(m«fijha3fcif<a'board oi'si^oo];. directors so far forgot themselves 
a^itoiseleEt:ig'noram1ises;;.xDr political hacks for. teachers, such 
directors eoul'd; be ''easily ^ifibedr- out and good, men put in their 
places. Airycy.i'-"^^:-. 

a: ^ThQ&a.ion Jasuth/Tsi'des Q&'rXhe question wer<3 siacero in the 
pasitiofiTthey tftdiiJ.'&.]id,«*JiJo,^hjS»!gre united on /one thing, which 
^B»Oai:(W4ifeH9lndr5iie.ife^jjWai^i0Jl'-;t,o remove tlii^ schools. and tliic 
o&us©m£rwi8»fea1ao» CRiitfeofe pjaJj^s- The friends of tlie.- measuf.e 
li£lieEffdri.tia!|i4h«B,t)ni3^sttog5.to.do was to establish the selijools. 



Education and Free Schools 175 

JMisifikes and blunders could be corrected as they were discovered. 
If for any reason the system should fail, wholly or in part, then 
the people, having had experience in such matters, -s^uld be in 
position to put in operation a better system ; under a republican 
form of government public education was imperative and no 
obstacle should be placed in the way of any movement looking 
to its establishment. 

The petition received the indorsement of the people, was for- 
warded to Austin, and the authority was given Houston to 
assume the management and control of her public schools. But 
there was too much opposition to the plan and nothing practical 
was accomplished. There were public schools here but' they 
were pontroUed and largely managed by the State Superintend- 
ent at Austin, who, it was claimed, furnished the local opposi- 
tion with a strong argument, by appointing his political friends 
to the better positions. 

The public schools of Houston thus remained in an unor- 
ganized condition until December 5, 1877, when by a vote of the 
people, the city took charge of the schools. The schools were 
thoroughly organized the following year. The first superintend- 
ent of the public schools of Houston was Professor H. H. Smith, 
who served from 1877 to' 1879, when he resigned to take charge 
of the State Normal School at Huntsville. Professor E. N. 
Clopper was elected superintendent, when Professor Smith 
retired, and died while in office in 1880. The Board selected 
Professor F. E. Burnet as Professor Clopper 's successor, but 
difficulties arose and Professor Burnet resigned. He was followed 
by Professor Foute, who served from 1882 until 1884 when he 
was forced to resign on account of failing health, dying soon 
after. Professor J. E. Dow then became superintendent, serv- 
ing from 1885 until 1887. Professor "W. S. Sutton, a noted 
educator, served from. 1887 until 1902. In 1903, Professor P. 
"W. Horn was elected superintendent and has held the office 
ever since. 

There have been many chairmen of the school board since 
the organization of the Houston schools, but perhaps the greatest 
credit for the success of the schools belongs to the first chairman, 



176 History of Houston, Texas 

Captain E. W. Taylor, who served from 1876 to 1886, and who 
was superintendent, pro tern, several times. Doctor Sears, agent 
for the Peabody trustees, was largely instrumental in getting the 
people of Houston to take charge of their public schools and 
secured from that fund a yearly appropriation of $2,000 for 
the schools. Mr. Charles E. Shearn, during his service as alder- 
man inaugurated the movement to build better school buildings 
and in other ways further the cause of education. 

The public schools opened October 1st, 1877, under the 
present system and the following extract from the Houston Age, 
of October 2, describes the occasion under the heading, "Open- 
ing of the Houston Public Schools. ' ' The Age says : ' ' Yester- 
day morning might have been seen bright eyed little boys and 
girls, satchels and baskets in hand, wending their way through 
every portion of the city, seeking different routes to their respec- 
tively assigned schools. At an early hour an Age reporter sought 
Professor gniith, and with him made the rounds. There are four- 
teen public schools in different parts of the city, which, adapted to 
different wards, are necessarily situated some distance apart, 
consequently want of time prevented us from visiting the entire 
number. Eight, however, were visited and we found the teachers 
of these highly elated with their most promising beginning, and 
speaking in the most flattering terms of their newly formed 
young acquaintances. 

"We can candidly say that, despite all that has been urged 
to the contrary, we have never witnessed a more refined and 
intelligent-looking class of pupils than we found yesterday in 
our public schools. 

' ' The schools are patronized by our best and most prominent 
citizens and are conducted by some of the most intelligent ladies 
in Houston. In short, the public schools of Houston are pervaded 
throughout with a spirit of refinement seldom found in institu- 
tions of a like character. 

"In our most pleasant journey with Professor Smith, we 
found that gentleman fully alive to the onerous labors attending 
his highly responsible position. ***** 

"Our first visit was paid to the white school of the Third 



Education and Free Schools 177 

ward, where we found Miss C. G. Forshey, who as principal, 
was assisted hy Mrs. M. T. Reddish. They were busily engaged 
in assigning the many pupils to the various grades and classes. 
Miss Porshey was much pleased with her school. She had under 
her charge fifty girls and fifty boys, ranging from the first to the 
sixth grades. In cleanliness, good appearance and polite deport- 
ment MiSs Porshey 's school would be hard to surpass. We 
may here mention that the pupils are graded according to their 
mathematical proficiency, the first grades being most primary. 

"After leaving the Third we visited the Fourth ward, in 
which, confining ourselves to this side of the bayou, we found five 
public schools. The first on our way was that conducted by Mrs. 
Z. M. Noble, as principal, assisted by Miss Becky Hillyard. In this 
Noble, as principal, assisted by Miss Becky Hillyard. In this 
school were 63 pupils, 39 in the second grade and 24 in the first 
grade. This school house is beautifully situated on Dallas Street, 
with a large play-ground and other modern school conveniences. 
The pupils are bright, intelligent children who gave marked 
attention to the preliminary instruction of Professor Smith, 
who greeted all the teachers and pupils with encouraging 
speeches. 

"The school of Mrs. M. H. Wynne, in the same ward, num- 
bered 21 pupils, all in the sixth grade and taught by Mrs. Wynne 
herself. This is the only school confined to one grade and that 
an advanced one. Here Professor Smith made an examination 
which reflected great credit on Mrs. Wynne. 

"Mrs. Kate de Pelchin, also in the Fourth ward, has under 
her efficient charge 13 boys and 18 girls, in the fourth and fifth 
grades. 

' ' In the Second ward, near the Union Depot, is situated the 
school for that district. It is under the able supervision of 
Miss Annie Jones, assisted by Mrs. W. M. Roper. These ladies 
have a new building for their school which has 50 in the first 
grade and 24 in the second. 

"In the same neighborhood is the colored school for the 
Second ward. There are 72 pupils in this school, ranging from the 



178 History of Houston, Texas 

first to the fourth grade. Mrs. C. E. Johnson is principal. She 
is assisted by Mrs. J. T. McGee. 

"The Third ward colored school is taught by Mrs. L. C. 
Fisher and H. Dibble, both colored, the former acting as princi- 
pal and the latter as assistant. They have 89 pupils ranging 
from the first to the fourth grades. 

"Gregory Institute is the colored school for the Fourth ward, 
the largest school in the city. H. C. Hardy, principal ; A. Osborn 
and Miss Brinkley, assistants; all colored. The pupils number 
170, ranging from the first to the seventh grades," 

No details of the teachers or enrollment for the other schools 
were given by the Age, but at a meeting of the teachers and 
school officials, held October the 13th, Professor Smith made the 
following report : 

"First ward — whites attending, 78; Second ward, 110; 
Third ward,. 118 ; Fourth ward, 14fi ; Fourth ward south of the 
bayou — 195, making the total of Avhite pupils 617. The number 
last Saturday was a total of 512, thus showing an increase of 
more than 100 during the week. The total number o': ]3upi]s 
attending the colored schools is 618, an increase of one over the 
whites. This makes the grand total 1,235 attending our public 
schools, increasing the number nearly 300 since the opening." 

At that meeting Superintendent Smith expressed himself 
as greatly pleased with such results and expressed confidence in 
the successful future of the great work that had been placed in 
his hands. At that meeting the Board of School Trustees issued 
the following notice: 

"Editors of -the Age: — The public schools of Houston are 
now in operation and working in a satisfactory manner, and the 
Board of Trustees report with pleasure that the number of 
pupils is daily increasing. 

' ' In view of the fact that there is a large number of children 
in attendance who are under eight years of age and over fourteen 
years, the trustees would call the attention of parents and guard- 
ians to section 7 of an ordinance to establish and provide for 
public schools in Houston, which reads as follows: 'AH chil- 
dren between'the ages of eight and fourteen years, living in the 



Education and Free Schools 179 

city, shall be entitled to the benefits of the available school fund 
of the city under this ordinance, without regard to race or color. 
No child shall be admitted to the public schools of the city who 
does not reside in the city, and white and colored children shall, 
in all cases, be taught in separate schools.' signed, B. W. Taylor, 
B. C. Simpson, R. Cotter, Board of Trustees." 

The public schools having been successfully inaugurated, 
and the people having perfect confidence in the gentlemen who 
had control of' them, all opposition ceased and since then the 
course of the schools has ever been upward. Many changes have 
been made and improvements introduced, but the fundamental 
basis of the system is today the same as that adopted in 1877. 
The growth of the schools has kept pace with the growth of the 
city of Houston. In 1877 the schools opened with an attendance 
of 1,235. During the first week of the session 1885-86, there 
was an enrollment of 1,725, and this enrollment had grcwn to 
3,604 in 1891. The following facts, taken from an address made 
by Prof. P. W. Horn, superintendent of the Houston Siihools, 
shows how phenomenal had been the growth of the scholastic 
population of Houston and of the schools under his charge up to 
the close of 1909 : 

"The city schools furnish perhaps the best means of indi- 
cating the real growth of the city. While the United States 
Government takes a census of all the people every ten years, the 
state of Texas counts her school children every year. In this 
way the school census, most of the time, furnishes later informa- 
tion than the government census. For instance the government 
census of 1900 made- Houston the second city in the state, the 
school cenaas of 1909 indicated that Houston was the first city 
• in the state, though she was surpassed a year later by San 
Antonio, according to the government count. Houston had 
17,115 children of the school age, while no other city in the stati 
had as much as 17,000. If you would trace the growth of the 
city it may be done by reference to the school census of di.Terent 
years. For instance, in 1900 the school census was 8,492, or 
less than half of what it was in 1909. This shows that our pop- 
ulation had more than doubled in nine years. In -1891, on the 



180 History of Houston, Texas 

other hand,, we had 6,330 children of school age. In eighteen 
years the population had almost multiplied, by 3. Back in 1881 
there were 2,861 children of school age on the. census roll. This 
meai\s that in 28 years to 1909 Houston's school population was 
more than multiplied by six. In 1880 the government census 
gave the total population of Houston as 16,664. In other words 
there were in 1880 fewer people, of all ages in Houston than 
there were school children in 1909. In 1881 there were actually 
enrolled in school 1,010 white and 786 colored children, 1,796 in 
all. In 1908 there were actually enrolled in school 10,631 chil- 
dren. There were in 1909 more children in the high school 
building and the Fannin building together, than there were, 
white and colored, in all the school^ in Houston in 1881. In 1881 
there were 19 white and 11 colored teachers — 30 in all — employed 
in the city schools. In 1909 there were more than 30 employed 
in the high school alone. The session of that year employed 202 
white and 62 colored teachers, 264 in all. The next session de- 
manded the services of approximately 300 teachers. Of the 
teachers employed in 1881, only one, Professor G. Duvernoy, 
remained with the faculty in 1909. 

"In 1881 the entire expenditure of the city school system 
for maintenance was $15,369.24. In 1909 it amounted to $231,- 
636.56. In 1881 the average salary of teachers was $43.53 a 
month. In 1909 it approximated $65. In 1881, there were 7 
school buildings for whites and 5 for colored children. In 1909 
there were 16 for whites and 10 for colored children. The 
average number of rooms to the building had greatly increased 
also. In 1903-04 there were 8,811 children enrolled; in the 
session of 1908-09, there were 10,651. The actual increase in 
enrollment was 1,840. In 1903-04, there were 147 white and 53 
colored teachers employed, making 200 in all. The 266 teachers 
of 1908 showed a growth of the teaching force of nearly one- 
third. In the matter of school buildings there was even a great- 
er degree of progress within the five years ending 1909. Within 
that period the city had erected 5 new brick b\ii' dings, for 
white children — ^the Allen, Reagan, Lubbock, Lamar and Travis 
school 'buildings — and 3 substantial frame buildings for colored 



Education and Free Schools 181 

children — those of the Douglass, Luckie and Dunbar schools. 
It gave in the same period, additional rooms at the Jones, Dow, 
Taylor, Hawthorne, Austin and Longfellow schools for white, 
and at the Gregory school for colored children. At the end of 
the period there was in course of erection an annex to the high 
school building that would add 30 per cent to its capacity. The 
high school annex was completed in 1910 and the additional 
enrollment for that year was about 1,200 pupils. 

"Without entering upon the discussion af a political ques- 
tion, it is but justice to call attention to the dates given in the 
foregoing, which show that all these great improvements have 
been made since the adoption of the commission form of gov- 
ernment. For some years previous to the adoption of that form 
of government, the schools had received only perfunctory atten- 
tion; had, in a measure, been permitted to languish, and but 
little or no advance had been made. So soon as the commission 
form was adopted, the schools were given that intelligent atten- 
tion their great importance demanded and wonderful changes 
were wrought. In carrying out their liberal and progressive 
policy towards the schools, the commissioners have frequently 
had to discount the future and anticipate the growth of the city. 
This has not always met with the approval and indorsement of 
even some of the best friends of the schools, but results have 
shown the wisdom of the city fathers. A notable example of this 
was when the Fannin school was located on its present site. It 
was considered to be away out in the suburbs and some of the 
best citizens asked the school board why they did not locate the 
school in Galveston at once and be done with it. The school 
was located as originally planned, however, and by 1909, it was 
one of the most crowded schools in the city. The Allen school 
now divides the district which the Fannin at first had to serve, 
and there is a growing demand for a third school in the same 
district. In 1896 there were only six rooms in the Sidney Sher- 
man school in the Fifth ward. In 1909 there was a 12-room build- 
ing and another 12-room building and an 8-room building in 
the same old district. 

"The opposition spoken of did not spring from enmity to 



182 History of Houston, Texas 

the schools or to those in charge of them, but was due entirely to 
a failure on the part of a large number of the most intelligent 
citizens, to realize the phenomenal growth and expansion of 
Houston. They desired to be conservative, that was all. As 
already noted they objected to the Fannin school, but that objec- 
tion was as peaceful acquiescence compared to the storm of indig- 
nation that broke out when the present high school was erected. 
The school board was accused of stupendous extravagance in 
erecting a high school building larger than the city would need 
in a hundred years. In fourteen years the building was not only 
full, but an annex had to be added increasing its capacity one- 
third, despite which, it is now painfully crowded An idea of the 
rapid growth of the school population of Houston may be 
formed from the statement that the schools opunod with 1,300 
pupils more in 1908-9 than on the opening day of the previous 
session. This indicates that the later growth is the larger 
gr."!wth in 1he city schools. 

"All that has been said in the foregoing refers solely to what 
may be termed the material side of the schools. The real value 
of an educational system cannot be shown by an array of figures 
nor estimated by the outlay of dollars and cents. There is a 
higher and better standard of measurement — the intellectual 
and practical development of the system. In this regard the 
people of Houston have every reason to take pride in their 
schools, for it has been the constant aim of those schools to 
minister more and more largely to the practical necessities as 
well as to the intellectual development of the pupils who attend 
them. It is aimed to give to each boy and girl that which will 
best fit him or her to meet the actual duties of practical life. 
With this end in view manual training and domestic science have 
been installed in the schools. The boys are taught to use their 
hands, for most of them will have to use their hands when it 
comes to a question of earning a living, and all of them will 
have to use their hands to some extent. The boys are taught 
practical work in regular work shops. Wood work, carpentry, 
blacksmith and machine work; in fact everything that will tend 
to make them practical workers when the time comes for them 



Education and Free Schools 183 

to face the serious problems of life. The girls are taught domes- 
tic science. The teaching is not theoretical but intensely prac-, 
tical. Classes of girls are actua;lly at work learning not only 
the value of food, but how to prepare and cook it. Sewing is 
also taught and thus the girls turned out by the Houston schools 
are more thoroughly equipped for life's duties. The business 
course at the high school is another feature of great practical 
value. It affords boys and girls an opportunity to obtain 
a knowledge of bookkeeping, stenography and typewriting. Many 
who have taken that course are holding responsible positions and 
filling them well. The night school is another valuable feature 
of the Houston schools. This, too, is a development of recent 
3 ears. Every pupil enrolled has to furnish evklenc' that he is 
employed in the daytime.- No pupil under cw:4ve yeuis of age is 
admitted. Many pupils over school age have been admitted, some 
grown men in business. Most of the latter are foreigners anxious 
to learn the English language. Young women, employed in the 
daytime, have been taught to cook and sew. Young men, at 
work in shops in the daytime, have been taught mechanical 
drawing and other technical things essential to ■ their progress 
as artisans. Many boys and girls employed in stores come at 
night for education that will add to their efficiency as workers. 

. "At the Rusk school in the Second ward, particular effort 
is made to adopt the work to special needs. At this school there 
is manual training work, domestic science work and kindergarten 
work. There is a special room for exceptional and subnormal 
pupils, one of the few in the Southern States. 

' ' In 1909 there were four kindergartens connected with the 
Houston public school system ; one each at the following schools : 
Allen, Rusk, Reagan and Travis. The expense of maintaining 
these kindergarten schools is borne by organizations outside the 
regular schools. 

"The organization of 'a mothers' club' for active work at 
each school has been of inestimable assistance and benefit. Most 
of these clubs have been in existence only since 1907 and in 1908 
and 1909, they expended in money, $21,548.18, besides the great 



184 History of Houston, Texas 

amount of personal attention and work given by the members. 
These sums and efforts increase in amounts each year." 

The Mothers Clubs and the Art League have aided the pro- 
gressive scientific movements in the Houston schools. Hygenic 
lunches, at all the schools, trained nurses at some of them, the 
examination of the eyes of all the children by the school oculist 
Dr. W. "W. Ealston and medical lectures by specialists and 
physicians, all of these things have marked the distinctive pro- 
gressive spirit of the Houston schools under Superintendent 
Horn, the ablest public school educator in the state, who com- 
bines scholarship with rare executive and practical ability. 

The teachers and principals of the schools are still miserably 
underpaid and that fact constitutes the shame of the city in con- 
nection with its public schools. That so capable a corps of edu- 
cators can be recruited for so ridiculously small a remuneration as 
is paid them, is one of the civic mysteries. Visitors and committees 
from many cities are wont to come to Houston to study the 
advanced methods and equipment of the public schools here. 

Professor P. "W. Horn, superintendent of Houston's public 
schools, thus summarizes the history of the schools for the decade 
ending October 1, 1911 : 

' ' Ten years ago Houston had just heard the returns from the 
federal census and was proud to know that her population was 
given as 44,633. Now she has just learned that the census gives 
her 78,800 people, and she is disappointed even at that figure. 

"At that time the streets of Houston were practically all 
unpaved and the highest business buildings were only a few 
stories htgh. Now she has miles of paving of various kinds, with 
numbers of office buildings from 10 to 16 stories high. 

' ' The schools have grown as much in the ten years as has the 
city itself. At that time the scholastic census said that there 
were 8,492 children of school age. Now the census says that we 
have 19,112. It is a fact that the former census was based on 
the ages from 8 to 17 and that the present census has added a 
year and counts children from 7 to 17. The addition of this year 
accounts for the fact that the school census has grown so much 
more rapidly than the federal census indicates. 



Education and Free Schools 185 

' ' Ten years ago there were actually in school 7,253 children. 
Last year there were 12,868. 

"Ten years ago we had 16 school buildings, with 107 school 
rooms. Last year we had 26 school buildings and 299 school 
rooms. 

' ' Ten years ago we had 147 teachers. Now we have 325. 

"The enrollment in the high school has increased even niore 
rapidly than that in the school systems as a whole. Ten years 
ago there were 544 pupils enrolled in the white high school build- 
ing. Last year there were 1,018. "While the schools as a whole 
have increased 77 per cent, the pupils in the high school have 
increased 87 per cent. 

"Ten years ago the total value of all the school property of 
the city was $430,250. Last year it was $1,000,000. 

' ' Ten years ago, of the ten buildings for white children, five 
were brick and five were frame. Of the six buildings for colored 
pupils, one was brick and five were frame. 

"Probably the most striking of the things that have been 
added to the schools during the past ten years are the subjects 
of manual training and domestic science. These departments 
are the growth of the last &ve years and are probably among the 
most popular features of the schools. 

"In the domestic science department work of similar practi- 
cal value is done for girls. They are taught to cook and to 
sew. Their cooking is not confined to desserts, or to fancy dishes 
but includes those things which the average girl is likely to 
need to know how to cook in the home of her parents, or in her 
own. The sewing which the girls learn is the kind which they 
,will need in their actual every-day lives. 

' ' Ten years ago there was little or no special attention given 
to the physical development or welfare of the school children. 
Now we have a physical director who looks after the physical 
development of all the school children, and also a woman who 
gives all of her time to the physical development of the girls of 
the high school. Not only is there formal gymnastic training in 
the gymnasium of the high school, and in the outdoor gymnasi- 



186 History of Houston, Texas 

urns at a number of the ward schools, but there are schedules 
of games and of contests between the various schools. 

' ' Ten years ago all the children in the schools were using the 
community drinking cups. Now in most of. the buildings, hygi- 
enic drinking fountains have been installed so that the children 
drink without touching their lips to a vessel of any kind, and 
thus avoid one fruitful source of the transmission of germs of 
contageous diseases. 

' ' Even up to three years ago there was no medical inspection 
for the school children. If a teacher thought that a child had 
measles or smallpox, or that his eyes looked as if they might be 
contagiously sore, she acted on her own judgment and sent the 
pupil home. Now we have a paid medical inspector who examines 
all of the children once a year, and examines special cases at any 
time they may be sent to him. He excludes from school, chil- 
dren whose physical condition is such that their presence in the 
room might endanger the health of the other children. There 
is also a school nurse who goes into the homes of the people 
when it may be necessary and assists with her advice, seeing to 
it that the suggestions of the doctor are carried out. This work 
has done a great deal. Not only for the welfare of the children 
who were directly affected, but also for the others, by keeping 
them from the danger of contagion. 

"In most of our buildings today there are rest rooms, or 
emergency hospital rooms fitted up for use by teacher or pupil in 
case of sickness or accident. Many of them are of such nature that 
they would be a credit even in a modern hospital. 

"Ten years ago it is probable that there was not a piano in 
any one of the public school buildings of Houston. Now there 
is' at least one in every school building for white children. Some 
buildings have two or three pianos. A number of the colored 
schools possess pianos. The influence of the piano in giving 
instruction to the pupils and in the mere matter of coming into 
and out of the building is greater than one would at first suppose. 

"At several of the school buildings now there are also graph- 
ophones, with records of classical music for the benefit of the 
children. At a number of these same buildings there are stere- 



Education and Free Schools 187 

opticons and stereoscopes with views to be used in illustrating 
■ the work in history and geography. The stereopticon is one of 
the strong factors in the work of a good modem school. In 
many instances the stereopticon, the phonograph and the piano 
have not cost the board anything, but were purchased by the 
Mothers' Club at the building. 

"This brings us to one of the most vital of all the improve- 
ments made in the past ten years, namely, the Mothers' Clubs. 
Ten years ago there were no mothers' elubs in our schools. Now 
there is one at every building for white children and at several 
of the buildings for colored children. During the past five years 
these clubs have raised and have expended for the schools the sum 
of $38,070.67. This has, for the most part, been expended for 
things the board could not at the time have. secured., 

"However, this sum of money gives only a faint idea of the 
real greatness of the work of the Mothers' Club. 

"Ten years ago there were no night schools connected with 
our city system. During last year there were such schools with an 
enrollment of 524 boys and girls, men and women. There is no 
age limit in the night schools. In some instances men of 40 to 
50 years of age attend. The schools are intended for people who 
must work during the daytime, but who still are desirous of 
obtaining more education. An effort is made to teach the simplest 
and most practical things, which. the students will put to the great-, 
est use in actual life. For instance, there are classes in reading, 
writing, arithmetic and spelling. There are also classes in cabinet 
making, mechanical drawing and forging for the boys. There 
are classes in cooking and sewing for the girls. There are classes 
in bookkeeping, in typewriting and in stenography. There are 
special classes for foreigners who desire to learn to speak and 
read and write the English language. These classes are held 
three nights in the week, on Monday, "Wednesday and Friday. 
They are making it possible for the man or woman past school 
age, or for the child of school age who must help support the 
family, to obtain the education that will be of the greatest prac- 
tical use. 

"In recent years also there has been a marked movement in 



188 History of Houston, Texas 

favor of the socialization of our school buildings and the widest 
possible use of our school plants. The present idea is that the ■ 
schools are for the education not of the children alone, but of 
the community as a whole. Organizations that have for their 
object the betterment of the community are welcomed to the 
use of the building. Improvement clubs hold meetings and lec- 
tures are given in the school building. The health of the com- 
munity is considered and lectures on matters of hygiene are 
given from time to time. 

"There has also been a distinct change in the standards of 
school buildings to be erected. Years ago, the city stopped put- 
ing up frame buildings for the white school children. During 
the past year it has been definitely adopted as a policy that no 
school buildings will iji the future be erected that are not fire- 
proof. It was also decided that all school buildings to be erected 
in the future should be constructed along the most modern ideas 
as to heating, lighting and ventilation ; should have auditoriums 
and should be so constructed as to be capable of the widest possi- 
ble use by the community. 

"The first of these new buildings to be built will doubtless be 
the one to take the place of the old Rusk school, which burned 
last year. The plans that have been drawn for this building are 
such as to mark a new epoch in the' history of school house con- 
. struetion in Texas. When the proceeds of the bond issue of 
$500,000 voted by the people last May, shall become available, 
all of the wooden buildings for white school children in the city 
will be torn down and will be replaced with modern buildings of 
the kind indicated above. This will mark the last of the old 
regime, so far as school buildings in Houston are concerned. 

" The handling of the financial details of the schools has also 
been revolutionized in recent years. They are now in the hands 
of the business representatives of the school board. He looks 
after such matters as the purchase of supplies, the making of 
repairs, the keeping of accounts. By giving all his time to the 
work, he is able, with the help ,of an assistant, to keep matters 
in systematic order. He can tell at a moment 's notice how much 
has been spent. for a given purpose up to a given time and how 



Education and Free Schools 189 

much of the year's appropriation for that purpose remains 
unspent. 

"It may be interesting in conclusion to speculate as to the 
progress of the next ten years. If the same ratio of increase 
is kept up, which prevailed during the past ten years, Houston 
will have a population of 138,688, without making any allowance 
foi" territorial expansions. There will be 22,776 pupils enrolled 
in the schools, which is 10,000 more than we have today. There 
will be 42 school buildings instead of 26. There will be 2,083 
pupils in the white high school alone." 

TABLE OF COMPARATIVE FIGURES. 

1900-01 — 1910-11 

Total population, census 1900 44,633 78,800 

Children in scholastic census 8,492 19,11^ 

Children enrolled in city schools 7,253 12,868 

Number of school buildings 16 26 

Number of school rooms - 107 299 

Number of teachers _ 147 325 

Pupils in white high school 544 1,018 

Value of all school property $430,250 $1,000,000 

In addition to its splendid public schools Houston has a 
number of denominational and private schools. The Academy 
of the Sacred Heart and St. Agnes Academy, both owned and 
controlled by the Catholics are high-grade preparatory schools 
and have been mentioned elsewhere in this volume. The Barnett 
school is a first-class academy for boys, and the Misses "Waldo 
have built up in Westmoreland a select school for girls that is . 
in high repute. There are other private schools of repute and 
the Y. M. C. A. teaches night classes in many subjects that are 
giving valuable training to those unable or unqualified to attend 
the public schools. Two business colleges, Draughan's and 
Massey's colleges do a flourishing business and there is a dental 
school that gives special training in dental surgery and confers 
the degree of D. D. S., on its graduates. 

At the several hospitals and the bacteriological department 
of the city hall laboratory work and studies in microscopy are 



190 History of Houston, Texas 

carried on. Nothing more is attempted in this work in regard to 
the private schools than to mention several of the more prominent 
of them. The greatest educational enterprise in Houston, the 
Rice Institute is unique in history and character and will be 
treated in a separate chapter. 

The district schools of Harris County were organized in 
1884 under the jurisdiction and management of the county judge 
and commissioners court, composed of Hon. E. P. Hamblen, 
Frank S. Burke, Robert Blalock, H. C. Throckmorton and George 
Ellis. The county was divided into 30 school districts which 
number has been increased to 52. 

L. F. Smith was the first superintendent. Henry B. Cline 
arid B. L. James also served prior to the election of Professor L. 
L. Pugh, who has served for the past nine years, and under his 
V jurisdiction the county schools have reached their present high 
plane as indicated by the following statistics taken from his 
annual report of August 3, 1911 : 

There were then 161 teachers employed, 10 male and 151 
female, and the scholastic population was 6,177. There were 
82 school buildings for white schools and 31 for colored, of which 
18 were brick and 95 frame, with a total valuation of $262,000. 
The amount paid to teachers was $60,530. "W. G. Smiley, J. S. 
Deady, R. L. Robinson, Dr. L. C. Hanna and Dr. E. E. Grant 
compose the present Harris County Board of Education. 



CHAPTER XII 
The Rice Institute 



Houston's Inheritance Through a Tragedy. The Story of a 
Famous Crime. A Princely Gift. A Biography of William 
M. Rice. The Initial Donation. A Continuating Benevo- 
lence. The Monument to the. Childless Man. William M. 
Rice as Philanthropist and Business Man. Dr. Edgar Odell 
Lovett elected President of the Institute. Laying the Corner 
Stone. The City's Dominant Institution. 



Inheriting through a tragedy, on Sunday evening, September 
23, 1900, at 7 :30 o'clock, the people of the city of Houston- became 
the legal heir of a kind, old man, and as the beneficiaries of his 
bounty became rightfully entitled to about $4,000,000 which had 
been set aside for educational purposes, to be administered by 
trustees in behalf of Houston's white citizens and their children. 

The donor, dying at that hour at the hand of his trusted 
body servant, was truly the victim of his generosity to the 
people of Houston and sealed his gift with his own blood, for the 
knowledge that the gift had been made, led, according to 
testimony credited by the highest courts, to one of the most 
gigantic conspiracies in modern criminology's annals, having as 
its purpose the spoliation of the city of its inheritance and of the 
aged man of his life. 

The life of the giver was lost, and that the gift was not lost 
to its beneficiaries was due to one of those strange chapters of 
coincidences that form the romance of the history of crime and 
appal the stoutest hearts with the conviction that there is some 
strange mechanism of fate, providence or chance that uncovers 
the skillfully concealed traces of felony and by the seeming acci- 
dent of insignificant detail exposes, one of the joined links of the 



192 History of Houston, Texas 

chain of crime by which its whole buried length, is dragged out to 
the garish light of day. 

The omission of a single letter in a proper name written on 
a check, cost the owner of that name a fortune of millions, 
branded him as a murderer, and incarcerated him under sentence 
of death in a grim New York penitentiary. Because the letter 
"1" was left out of the given name of Albert T. Patrick, a sus- 
picion was aroused that developed into a legal certainty and put 
the owner of that name behind the bars, under sentence for mur- 
der, and, as a corollary, permitted Houston to inherit a school 
endowment whose assets are now nearly ten million dollars. 

The man who died under a chloroform soaked sponge, held 
in a towel cone over his sleeping face, was William M. Rice, and 
he was 84 years old when he was murdered in his bed at the 
Berkshire apartments at 500 Madison Avenue, New York City 
by his only companion, his valet, Charles Jones. "While the aged 
man was dying two old ladies, his friends, were ringing the bell 
at the door of his apartments where they had come with gifts of 
■cake and wine for their sick friend. Inside the ante-room the 
murderer crouched, uncertain in his own mind whether it was 
the door bell that was clamoring or whether it was the loud 
alarm of his frightened conscience that called him to remove 
the death dealing cone from the face of his dying master. 

It is not the purpose to tell here the story of that crime. 
Its details make it one of the causes celebre of criminal history. 
With the possible exception of the Thaw case the crime has 
attracted more publicity and been given more newspaper space 
than any other that ever happened in America where the victim 
was only a private citizen. ' The valet, Jones, who actually com- 
mitted the act of murder according to his own tale, was allowed 
-to go free of justice, and the lawyer, Albert T. Patrick, accused 
of planning it, after a sensational trial and a brilliant defense 
conducted before the higher courts by himself, was convicted of 
murder and is today a life prisoner at Sing-Sing, the death 
penalty having been commuted by executive clemency. There 
is hardly a detail of that trial that is not in dispute, but the 
jury that convicted and the courts that affirmed accepted the 
following as true facts : 



The Bice Institute 193 

That Patrick was personally unknowii to W. M. Rice, and 
that he was hated by the latter because of hostile litigation in 
which Patrick had been engaged. 

That Patrick met and corrupted Jones, and through Jones 
learned of the habits of the old man, of his few friends, of his 
break with his relatives, and of the fact that he had by a will 
of 1896 donated the bulk of his property to the "William M. Rice 
Institute of Houston, Texas. 

That Patrick conspired with Jones to forge a will of later 
date increasing the legacies to all the beneficiaries of the old will, 
and leaving legacies to every person with a claim on the estate 
but leaving the bulk of the fortune to Patrick instead of the 
Houston Institute. The old will was to be left in existence to 
prevent relatives trying to break the new one as all inherited 
mote largely under the bogus than the true will. Patrick was 
made administrator of the will and forged a power of attorney, 
bogus checks for sums in banks aggregating some $250,000, and 
all papers necessary to enable him to enter into complete and 
immediate possession of the fortune of William M. Rice on the 
death of the latter. All these papers together with a series of 
letters from Rice to Patrick in which Patrick was made to appear 
as a trusted legal counsellor, were in evidence to show motive for 
the crime.- 

Particularly damning in its effect was a letter purporting to 
be from Rice to Patrick asking that the body of the writer be 
cremated immediately on death and expressing a horror of 
burial and embalming. This letter gave opportunity for immedi- 
ate disposition of the body. 

On Sunday, September 16, 1900, the plant of the merchants 
and Planters Oil Company at Houston was destroyed by fire. 
W. M. Rice owned 75 per cent of the stock and letters came dur- 
ing the week asking that he furnish $250,000 to rebuild. This 
would utilize the supply of ready cash in the banks and the 
expressed intention of "W. M. Rice to send all or a part of this 
money on Monday, September 24, is believed to have forced his 
death on Sunday. 

Following that death, and before announcing it, Patrick and 



194 History of Houston, Texas 

Jones took possession of all the papers of the dead man including 
both wills, the alleged forgery bearing date of June 3, 1900. Some 
of the checks were cashed and attempts to cash another caused 
the discovery of iiie misspelled name. By chance, if chance it 
be, this check was shown to Walter H. Wetherbee, a clerk in 
Swensen's private bank and the man who was one of the witnesses 
to the will of 1896. Wetherbee remembered that Patrick had 
suggested to him, in tentative fashion at least, a proposition for 
a bogus will, signed by the original witnesses, and at once sus- 
pected that W. M. Rice was dead. Jones, on being telephoned 
to, said that the check, which was for $25,000, was all right, but 
admitted that Mr. Rice was dead and that he had notified the 
doctor and Mr. Patrick. 

Telegrams from Houston, signed by Attorney James A. 
Baker and Mr. P. A. Rice, a brother to the dead man, forced a 
delay in the cremation of the body which Patrick then ordered 
embalmed. Later an autopsy was held and a congested condition 
of the lungs discovered such as would result from chloroform. 

When Messrs. Baker and Rice arriyed from Texas, Patrick 
weakened gradually and finally, after offering to give the Rice 
Institute $3,000,000 or $5,000,000 or any sum Mr. Baker might 
name, relinquished all control of the papers of William M. Rice 
and agreed to the probate of the will of 1896. Later he was tried 
and convicted of murder, on the corroborative circiimstantial 
evidence and the confession of Jones who swore Lhe crime was 
instigated by Patrick. 

In the American Magazine of May, 1907, Hon. Arthur Train, 
then assistant district attorney of New York County, tells in 
strikingly dramatic fashion the story of the discovery of the 
links of circumstantial evidence and graphically presents the 
ease of the state in narrative form. 

Patrick has constantly maintained his innocencfe and insists 
that a thrice perjured, self-confessed murderer such as valet 
Jones, is unworthy of any credence. The conviction of Patrick 
and the setting aside as forgeries of the alleged will of June 30, 
1900, giving the estate to Patrick, left the Rice estate to the people 
of Houston. 



The Bice Institute 195 

The manner of the death of William M. Rice and the dra- 
matic litigation that followed it, have absorbed public attention 
to the exclusion of the study of the character, of the reserved, 
quiet and solitary man whose generosity is to bear such rich 
and abundant fruit. 

"William Marsh Rice, as the donor of a fund for the estab- 
lishment of an institute for the advancement of literature, science 
and art, for a public library and a great polytechnic school, stands 
without a rival as Houston's greatest philanthropist. The insti- 
tute now being built will take the form of a great university with 
emphasis on the practical arts and sciences. The endowment 
gifts of "William Marsh Rice aggregate at present $9,450,000 at 
cautious and conservative estimates made in September, 1911, by 
the board of trustees. The great, distinctive school the endow- 
ment will create will be without alliance with or dependence on 
either church or state. 

The man who gave this princely gift in perpetuity to the 
white citizens of Houston and their children, was one of the 
earliest inhabitants of the city. 

Family records would indicate that he came to Houston in 
1838, when the city was little more than a year old. He was a 
native of Springfield, Massachusetts, and was bom in 1819, com- 
ing from Springfield to Texas as a young man with a load of 
merchandise on a sailing vessel. He was defrauded of most of his 
stock by a sharper on reaching Galveston and wrote to his father 
about the occurrence. The father urged him to come home but the 
young man proudly replied that he would never return until he 
brought back with him more money than he took away. 

In Houston he conducted a merchandise business on Main 
Street. near the site of the Houston Land and Trust Company's 
office building. His first store was a tent. His early 'stock of 
goods is said to have been largely brogan shoes and bandana 
handkerchiefs. "When he had built a little store he was accus- 
tomed to cook his own meals, work all day in the store and sleep 
on the counter at night. Constantly he invested his earnings 
and savings in Houston and Texas property. 

"When the Civil "War broke out his sympathies were with the 



196 History of Houston, Texas 

North and he went to Mexico, remaining there until the conclu- 
sion of the struggle, when he returned to Houston where his 
opinions were known and respected. After the war he became 
a director and the financial agent of the H. & T. C. Railroad, 
with headquarters in New York City for convenience in making 
purchases. Thereafter his home was in the North but it was his 
habit to come to Houston every .year and spend the winter 
months here. He was always deeply interested in IJouston affairs 
and invested in its enterprises, being one of the stockholders in 
the first electric light company ever formed here, but he did not 
like to hold corporate offices of any kind. Those living who knew 
him, knew him as young men know old men. They describe him 
as a man very quiet, dignified and reserved, chary of speech but 
stimulating deep interest by the remarks he made, a close student 
of men whom, he sometimes embarrassed by his pointed scrutiny, 
but making few friends, and few acquaintances. 

In manner he was cold, icy, unapproachable, but the few 
men to whom he gave his friendship discovered that he would 
go his full length in their behalf and that there was no exhaust- 
ing his friendship. One of these friends was Sam Houston. On 
the occasion of a political campaign in which Houston was inter- 
ested he was shown the list of subscribers and said : "Billy Rice's 
name ought to be here." 

"General, he will not give anything." 

' ' Oh, yes he will ; he will give $100. ' ' General Houston then 
went to see his friend, finding him in the store. The conversation 
was very stately : ' ' Good morning, WiUiam, good morning ; are 
you very busy this morning?" 

"Well, General, we always find something to do, always find 
something to do." 

"William, we are going to have a very interesting campaign 
this fall and we shall need some money." 

"Well, General, you know business has been very dull, and 
collections have been very bad, quite bad. General. ' ' 

"Yes, William, but I have put you down on the list for 
$100." 

"Well, General, I could not possibly pay any more than that, 



The Bice Institute 197 

certainly not any more than that ; but, General, if you feel you 
need that much I shall have to spare it to you." 

Owing to Houston's friendship Mr. Rice is said to have 
secured a contract to carry the mails between Houston and 
Austin, which mail route was one of his early enterprises. 

So unapproachable was the manner of "Wm. M. Rice that men 
were often afraid to solicit contributions from him. On one 
occasion a carpet was needed for a church and the committee 
asked him for a contribution to help buy the carpet. He refused 
to help, but after the committee had gone,- sent a clerk, had the 
church measured and as his own gift sent a beautiful carpet 
and one more costly than they had hoped to buy. 

The first intimation of an intention to give Houston a library 
and school was made in similar fashion. In 1890 Houston was 
in great need of school facilities. Some of the citizens conceived 
the plan of securing subscriptions to aggregate $100,000 to build 
a high school. 

Mr. E. Raphael, then a m^inber of the city school board, who 
had known Mr. Rice since 1868, approached him for a subscrip- 
tion. He told him the Houston Academy was falling down, that 
the city had no money and that a school was needed. In a man- 
ner almost curt Mr. Rice said abruptly : "I will not give a cent. 
It is the city's business to build its schools, not that of private 
individuals. But I am going to establish an educational institute 
to be built after my death. I will give my note for $200,000 to 
start it and I want you to be one of the trustees. ' ' This bolt from 
the blue was the first intimation to anyone that Mr. Rice had 
any such idea. He asked Mr. Raphael to notify other trustees. 
They were not selected all at once but one name at a time with 
an interval of perhaps a week or a month between each selection. 
The original board of trustees was William M. Rice of New York 
City, and F. A. Rice, James A. Baker, Jr., E. Raphael, C. Lom- 
bardi, J. E. McAshan and A. S. Richardson, all of Houston. 

Of this number "William M. Rice, F. A. Rice and A. S. 
Richardson are dead and have been succeeded by William M. Rice, 
Jr., B. B. Rice, and Dr. E. 0. Lovett. 

The initial gift of $200,000 was made in the form of a note. 



398 History of Houston, Texas 

dated May 13, 1891, bearing interest at the rate of 21/^ per cent 
annually, and payable at the death of the donor. This was 
given to the trustees who were selected for life and given power 
to elect members to fill vacancies as they might occur. These 
trustees were given plenary power over the fund with such addi- 
tions as might be made to it, with instructions to do nothing 
except care for the money so long as Mr. Rice himself might be 
alive. He was himself one of the trustees and his dictum as to an 
investment of the fund or disposition of it in a business way was 
conclusive. 

It became the habit of Mr. Rice to make some additional 
donation to this endowment fund each year. In 1892 he gave 
10,000 acres of agricultural land in Jones County, and the fol- 
lowing year he gave 50,000 acres of pine timber lands in Louisi- 
ana. The timber rights on these pine lands were sold by the 
trustees in 1911 for a sum aggregating over $4,000,000, while 
the title to the land itself was retained. 

In 1894, Mr. Rice deeded to the fund the Rice Hotel property 
and a tract of land on Louisiana Street of about 12 acres, known 
as the Rice Institute tract. At that time both the donor and the 
trustees expected that the buildings of the institute would be 
erected on this tract of land. Other gifts followed, so that at 
the time of his death property then estimated in value at 
$1,500,000, had been donated to the institute. 

By bequest of his true will the institute was named as resid- 
uary legatee of his entire fortune although bequests to his rela- 
tives and others aggregated several hundred thousand dollars. 
The property going to his estate at his death was variously estim- 
ated at from $3,000,000 to $4,000,000. This endowment, accord- 
ing to the estimate made by the trustees in the fall of 1911, is 
now worth $9,450,000. These figures are regarded as being very 
conservative. 

To Mr. Raphael and to other members of the trustees and 
to relatives, Mr. Rice several times remarked that he had made 
his fortune in Houston and that he wanted to leave the institution 
as a monument, the endowment to go on for all time to come as a 
perpetual supply fund for its needs. At one time he thought 



The Bice Institute 199 

of making the gift to Dunellen, New Jersey, where he owned a 
home, but patriotism and memories of the early days in Houston, 
the days of hardship and struggle, the days of his youth and 
his ambition and his hope, fixed his choice on ttie town to which 
he had come as a pioneer in almost the first year of its existence. 

When the announcement was first made in Houston that the 
institute was to be given, the citizens were enthusiastic in their 
praise. J. S. Rice, a nephew, then a young man, said: "Uncle 
William, the people are saying lots of nice things about you and 
your gift. ' ' The old man hesitated, then said ' ' Jo, your father 
has a monument in his boys. I have no children." It was the 
warm yearning in the heart of the childless man that men called 
cold, to be remembered in his home town, and the children of 
his fellow citizens will, for countless generations, perchance, 
drink at the fountain of learning that the childless man left 
as a monument. 

William M. Rice was not himself a well educated man, but 
he was profoundly imbued with a sense of education's value 
and desired that the children of the brave pioneer generatior 
should not lack the best and most effective sort of education. 

He had very decided ideas as to what constituted an educa- 
tion and wanted those things taught most that would not leave 
the graduate with a feeling of being helpless and stranded with 
no trade, occupation or craft. He believed in educating the 
hand as much as the head and wanted the students at the school' 
he gave to be in position to exploit the resources of their state, 
and to stand at the head of its crafts as well as professions, to 
be able to get, with capable, trained hands and heads, the treasures 
from mines, forests and prairies, and hence the polytechnic fea- 
ture of the school will always be emphasized in accordance with 
the wish of its founder, although its scope has already grown 
beyond the fondest dreams of the founder, and its character and 
work wiU give it full university rank among the educational 
institutions of America. 

So the heart of William M. Rice remained in Houston until 
his death, yes and will remain here in active benevolence for as 



200 History of Houston, Texas 

long as one may dare to look into the future or to prophesy as to 
its happenings. 

Among other gifts to the institute was an art collection, now 
insured for $50,000, which was made by Mr. Rice and by friends 
at his instance. Art, it will be noted, was one of the things that 
was to be "advanced" by the institute. The pictures in the col- 
lection are well chosen and some of them are of rare artistic 
merit. William M. Rice had an eye for the beautiful, and the 
charter, that sets out the scope of the institution on which he 
collaborated when it was drawn up, mentions Art together with 
Literature and Science as one of the things in which education is 
to be given. 

To the personal characteristics of "William M. Rice, that have 
been noted should be added the fact that he enjoyed exception- 
ally good health, was a student of hygenics, advocated open air 
exercises and a careful diet, drank nothing alcoholic and 
abstained even from tea and coffee, as well as from all greasy foods. 
He lived largely on cereals and fruit, ate very little meat and did 
not use tobacco in any form- He was a close trader and di'd not 
take undue advantage but made close contracts in good faith, was 
scrupulous to live up to them, and rigidly demanded that others 
do the same. Mr. Rice was regarded as a hard man but Mr. 
Arthur B. Cohn, who was his secretary for many years, and has 
been the business manager of the Rice Institute since Mr. Rice's 
death, says that Mr. Rice gave much to poor people where it was 
found they merited it, and that he never refused to furnish the 
amount necessary to erect independent school houses in the 
county, and that he often helped young men of ambition to secure 
an education. He detested notoriety in connection with any 
charity and absolute secrecy was enjoined on his secretary and on 
the recipients of all his gifts. He was not a society man, and 
only in business developed any sociability. He was not a church 
member but was a subscriber to the Christ Church and to other 
congregations. The story of his early business life is one of 
struggle during which he occupied humble positions. He never 
squandered money and never sold property that came into his 
possession, save under extraordinary circumstances. After he 



The Rice Institute 201 

made a business success he financed the H. E. & W. T. Railroad 
and was one of its largest stockholders. He was one of the 
organizers of the H. & T. C. stage line to Hempstead that pre- 
ceded the railroad. He was one of the original organizers of 
the Townsite Development Company that built and developed 
towns along the line of the H. & T. C. road between Houston and 
Dallas. He financed various lumber mills and was one of the 
first promoters of brick manufacturing in Houston. He was the 
, partner of H. B. Rice in the ownership of the Rice ranch of 
9,500 acres about 6 to 9 miles west of Houston, today known as 
Westmoreland Farms and Bellaire. He engaged in soap manu- 
facturing in Houston in the early 90 *s. He was one of the main 
stockholders and largely financed the Merchants and Planters 
Oil Mill and was a heavy stockholder in Houston's early banks. 
His estate is one of the largest individual stockholders in the 
South Texas National Bank, this stock being onj of the tissels of 
the institute. It is also a stockholder in the Houston Land and 
Trust Company. In 1881 and 1882, Mr. Rice financed the iraild- 
ing of the Rice Hotel which he described as "ft wild pig" of an 
enterprise. Mr. Rice 's early residence was located in the present 
postoffice block. 

Having once invested he never looked backward. If any 
investment he made proved to be a loss, he never complained, 
never even referred to the matter. He had great personal 
courage and a high sense of honor and admired these traits 
in other men. It was his courage that caused him to live alone 
in New York with his valet, against the remonstrances f>f Ins 
friends. During the latter years of his life the reticence and 
self suiBciency of "William Marsh Rice had caused, to some extent, 
an estrangement with relatives, but it was an estrangement almost 
without bitterness. 

The first wife of W. M. Rice was Maggie Bren^ond, eldest 
.daughter of Paul Bremond and his second wife was Elizabeth 
Baldwin of the famous family of first settlers. His brother, 
F. A. Rice, married Charlotte Baldwin of the same family. W. 
M. Rice had several sisters and other relatives in his birthplace 
in Springfield, Massachusetts. One of these sisters j Mrs. McKee, 
survived him, but died a few years ago. 



202 History of Houston, Texas 

The ashes of William M. Rice are in Houston in the vault of 
the Institute in the Commercial Bank Building. They will be 
transferred to a place of honor in the Administration Building 
of the Institute when it is completed. 

Portraits of "William M. Rice and of Elizabeth Baldwin 
Rice, painted by Boris Bernhardt Gordon, will also occupy places 
of honor in the institute he founded. 

In 1907, Edgar OdeU Lovett,.M.A., Ph.D., LL.D., a pro- 
fessor of astronomy at Princeton was chosen president of the 
institute. . Doctor Lovett, who is a noted scholar, toured the 
world studying the educational institutions in all lands prepar- 
atory to making plans for the Rice Institute. 

"Work on the Administration Building and two laboratories 
was begun in 1910. The site of the institute is on the Main 
Street road about three miles from the city. The tract chosen 
-covers more than 300 acres and will be greatly beautified. 

The corner-stone of the Administration Building was laid 
by the trustees at noon on March 2, 1911, the 75th anniversary 
of Texas independence. The seven members of the board were 
present. The ceremonies were of the simplest kind. Captain 
James Baker, president of the board, set the huge stone in place, 
using a silver trowel made in Houston, and thus inscribed: 

""With this trowel the trustees of the "William M. Rice Insti- 
tute laid the corner-stone of the institute on the second day of 
March, 1911. J. A. Baker, "W. M. Rice, Jr., J. E. McAshan, 
B. B. Rice, C. Lombardi, E. Raphael, and E. 0. Lovett." 

E. Raphael, secretary of the board, deposited in the recep- 
tacle in the stone certain records of interest to Houston and to 
the institute. These records were sealed in a copper box, on the 
face of which was the following legend engraved in script: 

"This box was deposited in the corner-stone of the Admin- 
istration Building of the "William M. Rice Institute on the 
second day of March, 1911, the day of the laying of the stone. ' ' 

"Within the box were placed a copy of the Old and New 
Testament Scriptures of the King James translation ; the charter 
of the Institute, transcribed on parchment, and a brief biography 
of "William M. Rice, the founder of the Institute and short 



The Bice Institute 203 

sketches of the careers of the several gentlemen who have served 
as trustees of the foundation; a photograph, mounted on linen, 
of the plans for developing the site and buildings of the insti- 
tute, prepared by the architects ; a copy of the Houston Chronicle 
of January 12, 1911, and a copy of the Houston Daily Post of 
January 18, 1911. The several sketches referred to include 
notices of the late F. A. Rice and A. S. Richardson, who, with 
the founder and Messrs. Baker, McAshan, Lombardi and Raphael, 
were charter members of the board of trustees of the institute. 
The carving of the inscription on the stone was deferred until 
after the settling of the stone in its place. It is a quotation from 
the Praeparatio Evangelica of Enselbius Pamphili, the earliest 
historian of the church. Rendered into English, it reads: 
" 'Rather,' said Demeritus, 'would I discover the causes of one 
fact than become king of the Persians.' " A declaration made 
by the Greek philosopher at a time when to be king of the 
Persians was to rule the world. 

In appropriating this expression of the spirit of Science 
from a representative philosopher of that people who originated 
the highest standards in letters an& in art, the trustees of the 
institute sought to express that devotion to both science and 
humanism which the founder desired when he dedicated this 
institute to the advancement of literature, science and art. 

A description of the architecture of the proposed institute 
will be found in the chapter on Architecture and Building. Dr. 
Lovett and the trustees have not yet announced the personnel 
of the faculty of the new university but it is announced that it 
will be open for students at the beginning of the fall term of 
1912. The cost of the first group of buildings will be about 
$1,000,000 and about half of that amount has been spent in 
further beautifying the grounds by landscape architecture and 
gardening. 

The future of Houston will be dominated to a great degree 
by the Rice Institute and it will give to the city the academic 
charm and tone that is greatly needed to relieve the strident 
commercialism that is now its chief characteristic. 



CHAPTER XIII 

Houston Newspapers 



Story of First Newspaper in Texas and its Removal to Houston. 
The Telegraph and Register. The Morning Star. Flood of 
Newspaper Enterprises Following Civil War. Special Inter- 
est and Trade Periodicals in Houston. The Houston Tele- 
gram. The Houston Post Organized and F-uspended. The 
New Post. The Houston Herald. The Chronicle and Its 
Makers. Some Famous Newspaper Men. Some Early and 
Late Authors and Writers. Organization of Texas State 
Press Association. 



In the winter of 1834, Launcelott Abbotts, a young English- 
man, who was a printer, gtopping in New Orleans, became 
acquainted with Mr. T. F. McKinney, a merchant of Valasco 
and a Mr. Fletcher, a merchant of San Felipe, who advised him 
to locate in Texas. They praised the climate and soil and dwelt 
on the generosity of the government in giving to each immigrant 
a good lot of land. Those portions of Mexico then known as 
Coahuila and Texas constituted, for governmental purposes, one 
state, having one legislature and its citizens were called Coahuila- 
Texanos. Mr. Abbotts having superintended the printing of 
Mrs. Holley's small book .on Texas, published in Baltimore, had 
a pretty good knowledge of the territory, its people, its resources 
and of its possibilities, so he took their advice and embarked 
on a small schooner for the mouth of the Brazos where he 
arrived about Christmas. He was prevented from landing for 
a day or two by adverse winds that kept the schooner from cross- 
ing the bar at the mouth of the river. Having landed he at once 
made his way to San Felipe, then the capital of the state. Here 
he made the acquaintance of two men who were destined to 
have great inlluence over his caLver. One of these was 



Houston Newspapers 205 

Gail Borden, then known as Gail Borden, Jr., who after- 
wards became famous as the inventor and manufacturer of 
condensed milk and as the head of the great Borden Dairy Com- 
pany. The other was Joseph Baker, who afterwards also became 
prominent and influential in Texas. These men were contem- 
plating the establishment of a newspaper in San Felipe, and, 
so soon as they learned that Mr. Abbotts was a practical printer, 
they made a contract with him to assist in its production. At 
that time there were no mails or postoffiees in Texas, so Mr. 
Abbotts was forced to return to Velasco, a hundred miles distant, 
to dispatch an order to New York for a mechanical outfit for the 
proposed paper. On his way back he stopped at Brazoria, then 
a small village on the bank of the Brazos, where there was a 
small printing plant of doubtful value owned by a Mr. Gray. 
This plant was nearly useless, but was capable of being used 
in a pinch. There was a well-worn press" with a sheep sMn ink- 
ball (composition rollers being unknown at that time.) a few 
fonts of old type, some leads and some wood "furniture," and 
that was all. Mr. Abbotts wanted the proprietor of this outfit 
to print him 100 copies of a prospectus for the paper he pro- 
posed issuing and which it had been decided was to be called 
the "Telegraph and Register." This the proprietor refused to 
do, but finally allowed Mr. Abbotts to do the work himself, using 
the material at hand, for a consideration of ten dollars. There 
was also an extra charge for the paper used in printing the cir- 
culars. 

Before the press and type arrived from New York the pros- 
pectus had been, circulated and a small list of subscribers had 
been secured. J. L. Hill, of Fayette County was, perhaps, the 
first subscriber. He has a place in Texas history as the hus- 
band of the. woman who plotted the escape of Santa Anna when 
he was a prisoner of war in the hands of the Texans at Columbia. 
The first number of the Telegraph and Register appeared October 
10, 1836, the same day on which the Texans stormed and took 
the fort at Goliad. It should be noted that no other newspaper 
was published in Texas at that time or at any time during the 
Texans' struggle for independence. Before then Mr. Gray, already 



206 History of Houston, Texas 

spoken of, had published a paper spasmodically, and a 
little sheet had been published for a short time at Nacogdoches. 
The appearance of The Telegraph and Register was of the great- 
est value and assistance to those engaged in the work of estab- 
lishing and maintaining the new republic, since it enabled them 
to create and concentrate public thought and opinion, which 
could have been done in no other way than through the medium 
of a newspaper. 

The pathway of the new paper was not strewn with flowers, 
however, and it had many obstacles to overcome. Soon after its 
establishment, Mr. Baker, the senior editor, left to join Sam 
Houston's army. Then Mr. Abbotts grew patriotic and did the 
same thing. This left the entire responsibility of getting out 
the paper on the shoulders of a printer from Philadelphia. Prob- 
ably 22 numbers of the paper ha,d been issued when the Mex- 
icans invaded Texas. Then the printer, alarmed by the approach 
of Santa Anna and his army, abandoned his post, and, not hav- 
ing the patriotism of Mr. Baker and Mr. Abbotts, instead of 
joining the Texas army, fled to the United States. 

When General Houston retreated from the Colorado River, 
Thomas H. Borden and his father, Gail Borden, Sr., put the 
printing material across the Brazos at San Felipe with much 
difficulty, for it was heavy and transportation facilities, were 
poor, and conveyed it to Harrisburg. There they secured the 
help of a Frenchman, named Bertrand, and a printer from New 
York who set up an issue of the paper and had it on the press 
ready to publish, when Santa Anna's men surprised and cap- 
tured them. The Mexicans threw the press, forms, type and 
everything else movable, into the bayou and then proceeded to 
burn the town, the printing office included. In the general confla- 
gration the homes of Gail and Thos. Borden were destroyed. 
Instead of being discouraged and disheartened, the Bordens at 
once ordered new material for their paper from Cincinnati, and 
some time in August, 1836, the first number of the paper printed 
after the war was issued at Columbia, where the first Congress of 
the Republic of Texas met. The paper bore at its mast head the 
names of Gail and Thomas Borden, editors and proprietors. 



Houston Newspapers 207 

Congress decided to locate the capitol of Texas at Houston and 
the Bordens moved their printing plant here also, in the spring 
of 1837. 

Houston at that time was only a city in name for there were 
only a few wooden shanties and most of these were incomplete. 
Gail Borden having been appointed collector of customs at 
Galveston and Thomas Borden wishing to retire from the news- 
paper field, they concluded to dispose of their newspaper plant 
and' sold it to Mr. Jacob Cruger and Dr. Francis Moore. These 
gentlemen at once revived the Telegraph, publishing it at Hous- 
ton, first as a weekly, then as a tri-weekly and then as a daily. 

In the first issue of the Telegraph and Texas Register, pub- 
lished in Houston, May 2, 1837, was the following : ' ' The City 
of Houston. — This place is as yet merely a city in embryo, but 
the industry, enterprise and amount of capital which are now 
ministering to its greatness, will soon elevate' it to a prominent 
rank among the cities of the older countries. Its situation is 
remarkably healthy, being upon an elevated and dry prairie, 
partly in the skirts of the timbered margin of Buffalo Bayou. 
The principal objection to the place is the difficulty of access by 
water, the bayou above, Harrisburg being so narrow, so serpen- 
tine and so blocked with snags and overhanging trees that 
immense improvements will be required to render navigation 
convenient for large steamboats." 

Though the Telegraph was the first newspaper published 
in Houston of which definite record has been left, a gentleman 
named Thomas "Wilson announced through the columns of* the 
Telegraph, while that paper was still published at Columbia, that 
he would begin the publication of a paper at Houston to be 
known as the Texian, on April 21, the anniversary of the battle 
of San Jacinto. If the Texian was ever published no record of 
that fact is now preserved. Probably it never passed the stage 
of the prospective. 

"The history of the Telegraph and Register is intimately 
connected with the history of Texas," declared the Texas Wes- 
leyan Banner in 1858. "Dr. Francis Moore has been its editor 
and part proprietor ever since its establishment in Houston. It 



208 History of Houston, Texas 

is the oldest paper in Texas and for years has nobly battled 
with the various popular vices peculiar to a new country, such 
as dueling, gambling and drinking. Dr. Moore, its veteran editor, 
is now its independent proprietor, and intends devoting its 
columns in future principally to commercial and agricultural 
intelligence. His past eminent service in the cause of Texan 
liberty and his intimate alliance with .all the various interests 
of the state, together with his long experience in the chair editor- 
ial, entitle him to a liberal patronage." 

In 1853, Mr. Harry H. Allen became the editor and propri- 
etor of the Telegraph and continued as such until 1856, when 
the plant was sold to Mr. E. H. Gushing, one of the best and 
most gifted newspaper men in the country. He managed and 
edited the Telegraph for ten years. Mr. Gushing had exception- 
al opportunity for the exercise of his executive ability and the 
display of his talent as ah editor, for during his administration 
the great Givil War occurred, which taxed to the limit the 
resources at hand. Two great difficulties confronted Mr. Gushing. 
One was to get the news, for there were no mails or telegraph 
lines to transmit it ; the other was to get the paper on which to 
print the news when it was gathered. The first was overcome by 
establishing a pony express between Houston and points on the 
Mississippi River, and the second by using common wrapping 
paper, wall paper or any other paper that could be precured. 
One issue of the Telegraph would be brown, another green, to 
be followed in turn by others representing all the colors of the 
rainbow. Sometimes the paper could be printed on one side only, 
because the flowers and vines of the wall-paper on the other side 
precluded its being used. 

Until they were destroyed by fire in the early 80 's, Mr. E. 
B. Gushing, of Houston, son of Mr. E. H. Gushing, had in his 
possession complete files of the Telegraph for the four years of 
the war. These were probably the most valuable newspaper files 
ever owned in the South. Those files contained historical matter 
and news items of inestimable value. Mr. Gushing loaned these 
files to President Jefferson Davis.to use in the compilation of his 
history of the Lost Cause. Mr. Davis found in them many 



Houston Newspapers 209 

things that were new and important to him, and when he 
returned the files to their owner he said that they contained many- 
things that would have been of great value to him had he known 
them while he was president of the Confederate States. 

In 1866, Mr. Gushing sold the Telegraph to Col. C. C. 
Gillespie, who was a man of great ability as a writer. He secured 
the services of James B. Cames as editorial writer, and 
between the two the Telegraph was soon made one of the best 
literary papers in the land. However, too much attention was 
paid to fine writing and too little to news, and general interest 
soon waned and the paper was almost dead when Colonel Gillespie 
sold it to General "Webb. General "Webb continued to issue the 
paper regularly until the great financial panic of 1873 occurred, 
when it was forced to suspend. The old paper was not to 
remain dead, however. The next year Mr. A. C. Gray revived 
it. In an editorial of April 16, 1874, Mr! Gray, the new editor 
and proprietor, said: "The Houston Telegraph is an old and 
familiar friend to very many in and out of Texas who mil hail 
its reappearance as the return of a much loved and greatly 
lamented companion. Founded in the days of the Republic, it 
was true to the government and to the people, and by its efforts 
accomplished, perhaps, as much as any other instrumentality in 
calling attention to and developing the resources of this great 
commonwealth. Under the control and guidance of such men 
as Gail Borden, Dr. Francis Moore, Harry Allen, E. H. Gush- 
ing and others, it has reared for itself an imperishable monu- 
ment, by its fidelity to law, good government and general pro- 
gress! Its pages contain an epitome of the history of the Lone 
Star State, and reflect the progress she has made in her march 
to greatness * * * * It is with no ordinary satisfaction and, we 
trust, a pardonable pride, that the present managing editor and 
proprietor refers to his past connection with and present relation 
to the office of the Telegraph. Twenty-eight years ago, when a 
mere boy, he entered it as an apprentice. By patient toil and 
proper pride in his chosen profession he became its business man- 
ager during its most prosperous period. And wh.en, under the 
financial panic of 1873, it was forced to suspend and ceased to 



210 History of Houston, Texas 

make its daily appearance he mourned as if a friend had fallen. 
Since then it has been his ambition to call the slumbering Ajax 
to the field again and bid it battle with renewed energy for con- 
stitutional government, Democratic principles and the general 
weal." 

Mr. Gray made good his promises for under his adminis- 
tration and guidance the Telegraph soon became one of the most 
influential papers in Texas as well as in Houston. It continued 
to be the leading paper in Houston until 1878. At that time the 
method of gathering news had become so expensive that a much 
larger sum than the Telegraph could hope to earn without the 
most extensive and costly improvements and expansion, was an 
absolute necessity, and the Telegraph was forced to a final sus- 
pension of publication. 

In the foregoing pages much space has been given to the 
Telegraph, because of .its long and remarkable record. It must 
not be supposed that Houston had no other papers during the 
existence of the Telegraph. There were many others and some 
quite good ones, too. 

In 1891, Mr. J. R. Irion, of Denton, gave the Houston Post 
a copy of the National Banner for July 13, 1838 and a copy of 
the Daily Times for April 16, 1840. Mr. Irion was the son of 
Hon. R. A. Irion, who was secretary of state of the Republic of 
Texas, under President Houston. 

The Banner was a four column paper but the columns were 
wide. The first page was devoted to miscellany and poetry, the 
second page was an editorial, strongly urging the Republic to 
declare war against Mexico. The other pages were filled with 
interesting news items and advertisements. President Houston 
published a proclamation offering a reward of $200 for the cap- 
ture of James Aldridge, accused of killing "Billy," a Choctaw 
Indian, late of Nacogdoches, and Thomas M. League, postmaster 
of Houston, published a two-column list of unclaimed letters. 
Niles & Company were proprietors of the National Banner. 

The Daily Times was edited by A. M. Lampkins. An early 
item of police court news told of the fining of an Indian for riding 
his horse violently through the streets, and another was the recit- 



Houston Newspapers 211 

al of the "cussedness" apd the consequent trouble of one "Jaw- 
bone" Morris, who had to pay $5 for indulging in disorderly 
conduct. 

The Morning Star, was a tri-weekly paper, first edited by 
James F. Cruger. It was very influential in the days of the 
Republic but changed editors often. A valuable but incomplete 
file of this paper is in the Carnegie City Library. It was exten- 
sively used in preparing the earlier chapters of this book. 

In the early fifties the fight between the Democrats and 
Know-Nothings was very bitter. Lines were drawn sharply and 
city and county campaigns were lively affairs. The Democrats 
had the great advantage of having the Telegraph on their side, 
while the Know-Nothings had to disseminate their doctrine by 
word of mouth alone. The following communication to the 
Telegraph, published October 19th, 1855, incidentally refers to 
the strife between the two parties, while it gives, in a nut shell, 
the whole local history of one journalistic venture in Houston : 

"A Ne'w "Way to Start a Newspaper. — Messrs. Editors — A 
few short weeks ago there was ushered into and circulated about 
our city, a sheet bearing the respectable name of the 'Bayou City 
News, ' and on the front in bold letters the motto ' Open to All — 
Controlled by None.' There being but one secular paper in our 
city, it was well received and many of our citizens congratulated 
themselves upon its appearance, expecting of course, from the 
promises and inducements held out, that it would be a source 
of pleasure to its readers and reflect credit on its publishers. It 
was a neutral paper in politics and, religion and would advance 
the great commercial and agricultural interests of our country. 
It puffed every calling, trade and profession in our midst ; pro- 
pounded more interrogations in one of its issues than could have 
been answered in half a dozen; and lo and behold! we got up 
one morning inquiring how the Bayou City News was getting 
along, and were shocked by the intelligence that, without waiting 
long enough to have their interrogations answered, they had sold 
themselves to Know-Nothingism and were_ about to move up to 
Washington on the Brazos, where, it is said, an association of 
gentlemen will christen it the 'Washington American,' and advo- 



212 History of Houston, Texas 

cate Know-Nothingism in a dignified manner, that is, more dig- 
nified than the other Know-Nothing papers. Verily, Messrs. 
Editors, that was an artful dodge. Gentlemen get up in our city 
a newspaper, solicit subscriptions among our merchants, mechan- 
ics, etc., — they subscribe, looking on it as an enterprise like- 
ly to benefit our city and people; and lo and behold! in about 
three weeks they find themselves all transferred to an association 
of Know-Nothings away up in Washington on the Brazos and 
are very respectfully asked to allow their names and advertise- 
ments to be retained. As an inducement for the retention of 
the latter, we are told that the paper already has a circulation 
of 1,500, a number which could have been easily increased to 
5,000 with the same dash of the pen. I have known, Messrs. Edi- 
tors, papers like other property, to change hands, and the sub- 
scribers to receive the paper for the period subscribed for, but 
this is the first time I have known of a paper changing owners, 
location, name, politics and religion and calling on its subscribers, 
after an existence of three weeks, to sustain it; and I really 
believe that nothing but the anxiety to get up a Know-Nothing 
paper could have induced the gentlemen to make so modest a 
request. — (Signed) Houstonian." 

At the close of the Civil War there appears to have been a 
perfect mania for starting newspapers in Houston. Quite a num- 
ber were established and there was something like rapid fire 
change in editors. The following papers were established after 
1865 and had all become defunct by 1880 : 

Daily Evening Star — Editors : R. H. Purdom, W. H. Crank, 
and W. P. Cole; Daily and Weekly Journal — Editors: R. H. 
Purdom, Dudley W. Jones, J. J. Diamond, George W. Diamond, 
and J. W. Diamond ; Daily Tri-Weekly and Weekly Union — Edi- 
tors : J. G. Tracy, E. H. Quick, C. C. Gillespie, James E. Carnes, 
J. H. Baker, Will Lambert, and J. H. Caldwell ; Sunday Gazette 
— Editors : Charles Bickley, Will Lambert ; Gillespies Daily Tele- 
graph — Editors : C. C. Gillespie, Jr., Crawford Gillespie, and H. 
P. Gillespie; Ku-KIvm Yidette-^'EdltoYs and Proprietors: H. P. 
Gillespie and B. P. King; Daily and Weekly Times — Editors: 
Sommers Kinney, E. P. Claudon, W. P. Schott, P. Pauntleroy, 



Houston Newspapers 213 

J. W. Colvin, N. A. Taylor, W. Duesenberry, and Will Lambert; 
Daily Courier — Hon. Ashbel Smith, Editor ; Daily Commercial — 
Editors : H. Lehman, and N. A. Taylor ; Daily Mercury — Editors : 
J. H. Baker, Sam W. Small, and C. L. Martin; Masonic Mirror 
and Family Visitor^-Editov : B. T. Kavanaugh ; Houston Weekly 
Argus and The Houston Weekly Chronicle also enjoyed a brief 
existence in this period; The Houston Telegraph — established in 
1836, suspended publication during the financial panic of 1873, 
revived by Mr. A. C. Gray in 1874, and died in 1878. 
During its long and brilliant career it was edited by the 
following named gentlemen : Gail Borden, Dr. Francis Moore, C. 
J. Cruger, Harry H. Allen, C. J. Cruger, E. H. Gushing, C. C. 
Gillespie, General Webb, A. C. Gray, J. Noble, W. P. Doran, H. 
P. Gillespie, W. P. Hamblin, N. P. Turner, Charles Bickley, 
Horace Cone, Sr., T. E. Davis, George W. Kidd, Will Lambert, 
and C. L. Martin ; Houston Nut-Shell — Bottler and Brown, edit- 
ors and proprietors ; Monthly Union Land Register — C. C. Vogel, 
editor and proprietor; Texas Sun (removed to San Antonio) — 
A. W. Gifford, editor; Evening News— 'Editors: D. D. Bryan, 
and J. P. Farrell; Houston Evening Age — Editors: D. L. 
McGarey, Charles Bickley, Gustave Cook, P. P. Chew, C. L. Mar- 
tin, Sam W. Small, Judge J. K. P. Gallaspie-, B. F. Hardcastle, 
A. A. McBride, R. D. Westcott, Ed Smallwood, George King and 
H. C. Stevens. 

The initial number of the Texas Staats Zeitung, a German 
newspaper, Beger and Leonhardt, publishers, appeared Decem- 
ber 11, 1868. The first number of the Texas Gazette, a small 
daily, appeared December 31, 1875. At that date the Zeitung 
was merged with the Gazette. The- Peoples Advocate, a Green- 
back organ, C. B. Kitteringham, publisher, appeared in 1878. 

Many publications in Houston are designed to foster special 
commercial interests. Most of these are issued weekly, but sev- 
eral are monthly and of magazine rank. 

The Texas Bankers Journal, owned and edited by W. W. 
Dexter, is a monthly magazine devoted to the interest of banks 
and bankers, that reflects credit on its editor and the city. It is 
well gotten up and presents a neat appearance. The Texas 



214 History of Houston, Texas 

Magazine, published by the Texas Magazine Publishing Company, 
under the management of Mi-. Nelson F. Johnson, and edited 
by Harry Van DeMark, is now safely launched on the magazine 
sea. Its aim is to exploit the natural, commercial and literary 
resources of Texas and to develop home talent in magazine writ- 
ing, though its field for contributions is not restricted to Houston 
or Texas by any means. 

The Vagabond, a monthly, owned, edited and published by 
Everett Lloyd, was recently resurrected in Houston. It jousts 
a tilt at everything that "is." The editor calls it "The Diamond 
of Free-lance Journalism," "A Literary Melting Pot," and says 
"It skins Vesuvius for size and spunk." The Vagabond bristles 
with interest and bids fair to prove a success. 

The Deutsche Zeitung, is edited and published by Mr. A. 
Haxthausen, and appears as a weekly. The Houston Labor 
Journal, is a weekly devoted to the interests of labor and of 
working men. It is neat in appearance and is well edited by 
its proprietor, Mr. Max Andrews,- whose sanity, fairness and 
conservatism have put it on a firm basis. The Jewish Herald, a 
weekly publication, devoted to matters of interest to the Hebrew 
citizens of Houston, is edited and published by Mr. E. Goldberg. 
The Texas Realty Journal, a monthly publication as its name 
implies in the interest of real estate, is published by Mr. C. C. 
Buckingham, as is also The Texas Tradesman, a journal devoted 
largely to the lumber interest. The Texas Word is a weekly pub- 
lication owned and edited by Mrs. R. B. Palmer. 

The Houston Telegram, published by the Houston Telegram 
Publishing Company, made it appearance in 1878, and continued 
publication as a daily paper for about two years. This was 
really the old Telegraph under a slightly changed name. 

In 1880, Mr. Gail Johnson, grandson of Gail Borden, the 
founder of the old Telegraph, announced that he would estab- 
lish a daily newspaper in Houston, to be known as the Houston 
Post. There was some delay in receiving the press, type, and 
other material from New York and, Mr. Johnson, having a 
thoroughly organized editorial staif, grew impatient and deter- 
mined to issue the Post for a short time as an afternoon paper. 



Houston Newspapers 215 

having it printed by Mr. W. H. Coyle. This he did and the 
Post made its appearance on February 19, 1880. Colonel Bartow 
was leading editor ; Dr. S. 0. Young, associate editor ; Mr. D. D. 
Bryan, city editor and Mr. Joe Abbey was paragrapher and 
writer of special articles and humorous sketches. He was the 
first newspaper man in the South to engage exclusively in such 
special work. He afterwards gained something of a national 
reputation as a humorist. Mr. Johnson was general manager and 
had supervision over both the editorial and business departments. 
The Post was first edited in an ofSce on the second floor at 61 
Main Street, but on March 11, it moved into new quarters, over 
the old Gushing Book Store on Franklin Street, opposite the 
Hutchins House. The press and printing material having arrived, 
the Post was issued as a morning paper on March 30, 1880, 
under the new heading, "The Houston Daily Post." 

On February 21, 1881, the paper was moved to the Larendon 
Building on Commerce Street, opposite the Court House, where 
the Telegram had been located before its suspension. The Post 
was favorably received by the people of Plouston and had quite 
a good circulation throughout the state. Colonel Bartow had 
resigned as editor and his place had been filled by Prof. T. J. 
Girardeau, a polished writer, and the paper was gaining ground 
rapidly in popular favor when the political campaign of 1882 
began. Judge J. W. Johnson, the father of Mr. Gail Johnson, 
was a staunch Republican, and insisted on having the Post sup- 
port Hon. Wash Jones, a brave Confederate soldier, for governor 
against Hon. John Ireland, the regular Democratic nominee. 
This was done against the protest of Mr. Gail Johnson. The cam- 
paign was=a very bitter one" and resulted not only in the election 
of Ireland but in the obliteration of the Post. The paper lost 
ground so rapidly that Judge Johnson who had become sole 
owner through the retireinent of Mr. Gail Johnson in 1883, was 
glad to dispose of it to a number of Houston capitalists who 
wanted to have a real Democratic paper. These gentlemen start- 
ed with the intention of making the Post a first-class paper and 
they did so. They secured the services of Mr. Hardenbrook, an 
experienced newspaper man, and gave him free hand to do as he 



216 History of Houston, Texai 

thought best, and, what was more to the point, they gave him 
practically an unlimited supply of money. The paper had 
superb backing and loyal support. The Post advanced rapidly in 
public favor and became at once one of the leading state papers. 
Mr, Tobe Mitchel was brought here from St. Louis and placed 
in charge of the editorial department. Hardenbrook gave Mit- 
chel as free a hand as the backers of the paper had given him. 
No expense was spared in gathering the news and the Post soon 
became the best and newsiest paper published in the South. This 
continued for eight or ten months. Then the capitalists realized 
that while it had cost a small fortune to put the Post in first 
place among newspapers, it was going to cost another to keep it 
there, and they threw up the sponge and quit. The Post col- 
lapsed. 

The suspension of the Post left Houston without a morning 
paper, but this was not to be for long. When the Post suspended, 
in addition to the first-class printing plant, there was a large 
supply of white paper on hand. Mr. Wm. R. Baker turned over 
all this to Dr. S. 0. Young, allowed him the free use of the plant 
and allowed him to use the paper, paying for what was used and 
when it was used, at actual cost. Dr. Young at once organized 
a company and on March 14-, the first copy of the Houston Chron- 
icle was issued. The Chronicle was run strictly on the pay-as- 
you-go principle. It was not a brilliant newspaper, judged by 
the standard of today, but it was a clpan, newsy sheet and while 
its existence was largely a hand-to-mouth business, it ended its 
first year with a fair patronage and not a dollar of debt. 

Mr. J. W. Watson and Prof. T. J. Girardeau were at that 
time publishing an afternoon paper called the Herald. A iter 
some negotiation these gentlemen and Doctor Young, who had 
now secured sole control of the Chronicle, determined to .nerge 
the two papers. This was done and on April 5, 1885, the Chron- 
icle and Herald were consolidated under the name of the Houston 
Post. In its first issue the Post said editorially: "Thousands 
throughout Texas will be surprised to see the above caption, 
which looks like the inaterialization of a great but moral enter- 
prise. The revival of the Post is not to be regarded as an 



Houston Newspapers 21 Y 

assumption of the obligations of that paper, but an authorized 
use of a name made honorable throughout the state, and the 
parties, who have adopted the name after mature deliberation, 
feel an assurance of popular sympathy on that point. The late 
Post made a brillia,nt record for itself. * * * * The proprietors 
of the new Post emphatically announce as the keynote of their 
enterprise the principle of restricting all expenditures within the 
limits of income. This may be laughed at, but solid business 
men will understand and appreciate this honest position assumed 
by the proprietors of the Post." 

The proprietors, Messrs. Girardeau, Young and "Watson, the 
latter being Mr. J. "W. Watson, the business manager of the Post, 
' ' felt a natural confidence in appealing to the community f Or its 
support. They took up the enterprise, not as capitalists nor as 
adventurers, but as men known and sized up by their fellow 
citizens in a fair and honorable business which must stand or 
fall according to the ability displayed and patronage extended. ' ' 
The proprietors of the Post had a hard fight to keep their heads 
above water. First, Professor Girardeau became discouraged and 
disposed of his interest to his two partners. However, they were so 
fortunate as to get Col. R. M. Johnson, one of 'the best and most 
practical newspaper men in the country, to take his place. In Sep- 
tember, Doctor Young accepted a flattering offer to become one 
of the editorial writers on the Galveston News. This left as sole 
proprietors of the Post, Mr. "Watson, who was great as a business 
manager and Colonel Johnson a most capable editor. They 
were dreadfully hampered by the want of money, so in 1886, 
they reorganized the Post, turning it into a stock company. The 
company became "The Houston Post, Houston Printing Com- 
pany, proprietors." Its officers were: B. P. Hill, president; T. 
"W. House, vice-president; A. F. Sittig, secretary; R. M. John- 
son, managing editor; J. "W. "Watson, business manager. The 
following named gentlemen were chosen as the first executive 
committee of the Company: B. P. Hill, T. "W. House, "W. R. 
Baker, Z. T. Hogan, H. F. Macgregor, and S. Taliaferro. For 
a few years the fight was all uphill, but finally the ability of 
Colonel Johnson as an editorial writer and manager, backed by 



2' 8 History of Houston, Terns 

the genius of Mr. "Watson as a business manager, told and the 
Post became what it is today, a paper which has the admiration 
of many people in Texas and a source of pride to Houston. It 
won its greatest state popularity by espousing the cause of J. S. 
Hogg, in the great Hogg-Clark campaign. 

In 1882, on November 1, the Houston Daily Sun made its 
appearance. It was a small afternoon paper and had but a short 
existence. 

In April, 1883, The Texas Journal of Education was 
removed from San Antonio to Houston. This was a monthly pub- 
lication devoted, as its name indicates, to educational matters. 
It was in charge of the Public School Superintendents and was 
edited through a directory, of which Mr. "Wilkens was president. 
The great bulk of its contents was supplied by the superintend- 
ents of the different public schools of the State. 

The Texas Scrap Book, an eight page, 48 column weekly 
began publication March 10, 1886, H. R. Zintgraff & Co., publish- 
ers. It soon suspended publication, but was revived, February 
1887, by Spencer Hutchins & Co., who had bought the title and 
subscription list, and who assumed all liabilities. 

Mr. W. E. Bailey, in 1884, began the publication of the 
Houston Herald, an afternoon paper. Mr. Bailey, though 
quite a young man, was a good and experienced news- 
paper worker and a forcible writer. He had ideas of 
his own, among them • being that no man's financial or 
social position should shield him from publicity if he deviated in 
the slightest from the straight and narrow path. The Herald soon 
began creating almost daily sensations. It claimed that it told 
nothing but the truth, and intimated that all those who felt 
aggrieved could obtain satisfaction either through the courts 
or by calling at the Herald office and interviewing the editor per- 
sonally. One or two adopted the latter method but they found 
Mr. Bailey as ready with his hardware as he was with his pen, 
and in every case the aggrieved ones came off more aggrieved 
than ever. Of course, the Herald became immensely popular 
and unpopular, but both added to its circulation, and soon this 
circulation increased to large proportions. The advertisements 



Houston Newspapers 219 

poured in, too, and in a few months the Herald was firmly estab- 
lished. The Herald continued its live-wire existence for several 
years and then, its founder having amassed a small fortune, 
became more conservative. The Herald became less caustic and 
prosy and the public to some extent lost interest in it. In 
1902, the Herald, though still a good paper, had lost ground and 
Mr. Bailey was glad to dispose of it to Mr. M. E. Foster, who 
had organized the Houston Chronicle, and who offered to buy the 
plant and good will of the Herald. On October 14th, 1902, the 
publication of the Houston Chronicle was begun as an afternoon 
paper. That date marks a red letter day in the history of after- 
noon Journalism in Texas, for from its first issue the Chronicle 
became the leading and best afternoon paper in the South. Mr. 
Foster has rare talent as an organizer and he also has executive 
ability of high order. Every detail had been thought out and 
arranged in advance, with the result that when the Chronicle 
made its appearance, it was on a plane that would have consumed 
months to attain, had ordinary, time-worn methods been followed. 
The success of the Chronicle has been phenomenal from its first 
issue and today it stands a monument to the wisdom and ability 
of its founder, Mr. M. E. Foster. On October 16, the Chronicle 
began the publication of a Sunday morning edition. The "Cir- 
culation of both the afternoon daily and the Sunday morning 
editions is very large and extends over the whole state. The 
paper has made itself very popular by its advocacy of measures 
for the suppression of gambling, the "pistol toters, ' ' mob violence, 
and, of the officers of the law who shoot fleeing prisoners to pre- 
vent their escape. February 28th, 1910, the Chronicle moved into 
its new 10-story skyscraper on Travis Street and Texas Avenue 
and celebrated the occasion by coming out in a new dress. 

Marcellus E. Foster was an expert newspaper man when he 
established the Chronicle. He had risen to the position of man- 
aging editor of the Houston Daily Post and had inaugurated on 
that paper some of its most lasting and popular features such as 
the Happyhammer Page. It was the policy of the Chronicle to 
put a premium on newspaper excellence in newsgathering and 
story writing and Mr. Foster surrounded himself with a brilliant 



220 History of Houston, Texas 

staif of specialists. C. B. Gillespie became managing editor. He 
combined brilliance with a genius for hard work and with kind- 
liness and tact. The men on the Chronicle always do team work. 
Among those who have added to their T-epntatioa and that of the 
paper, are "W. S. Gard, Frank Putnam, B. H. Carroll, Jr., C. H. 
Abbott, George E. Kepple, 0. 0. Ballard, Billie Mayfield, John 
Regan, Chester Colby and the jolly crew of newagatlicrers that 
are still connected with the paper. 

The Chronicle has the largest sworn circulation of any 
paper in the state and with the exception of the Dallas News has 
the largest list of subscribers of any daily paper in Texas. Its 
home is the best equipped newspaper plant South of New York 
and the Chronicle plant is one of the show sites of the city. The 
Chronicle has successfully conducted a number of crusades 
against social and political evils and has always been on the 
side of cleanness and political honesty. 

The Galveston News, which has a strong following and a 
large circulation in Houston was represented here for many 
years by Colonel Hamp Cock, the dean of the newspaper fra- 
ternity of the city. In June, 1907, Mr. J. R. Montgomery took 
charge of the news end of the Houston office and has been bril- 
liantly successful. A. P. Vaughn is the local business manager. 

Many men of natural reputation in journalism are now 
or have been connected with the Houston press. Besides several 
of those just named on the Chronicle, George Bailey of "red- 
headed widows" and "heavenly Houston," fame, of the Post, 
and Judd Mortimer Lewis, the sweet singer of the South are here 
now. W. C. Brann, the pyrotechnic writer and founder of the 
Iconoclast once worked in Houston, and all unrecognized 0. 
Henry, the most famous American writer of short stories, once 
worked as a newsgatherer in Houston for $16 per week. Karl 
Crow went to China from Houston; J. C. Dionne has achieved 
reputation as a special writer on lumber, and the honor roll of 
Houston journalists is a long one and filled with the record of 
worthy achievement. 

The first Houston author was a Mr. Kerr who wrote a book 
of poems, which he published at his own expense, about 1837. 



Houston Newspapers 221 

It is doubtful if there is a copy of this wonderful book in exist- 
ence today, for forty years ago it was so rare that Judge John 
Brashear paid $200 for a copy, part of which was torn off. The 
book was made up of personal and descriptive poems and was 
on the order of the poem written and dedicated to General Brax- 
ton Bragg by the late Doctor Cooper, the well remembered horse 
doctor of Houston, which began:, 

"There's General Bragg, the noble stag. 
Who made the Yankee soldiers wag 
At Chic-a-magua. " 

Kerr's poems were just that kind and he described Galveston 
as follows: 

"Galveston Island, long and low. 
Devoid of trees and shruberee; 

Small vessels there can safely go, 
And find safety and securitee," 

The book contained about fifty "poems," all on the order 
of the sample given. The poem is not in any way a represen- 
tative sample of the literary efforts of the early Houstonians. It 
is given place here merely because it was the earliest effort of 
which any record exists. 

One of the earliest prose writers who published his books 
was Mr. Cyrus S. Oberly. He was a man of education and 
considerable literary ability. He published three stories, each 
based largely on his own experience as a Texas ranger during 
the Cortina raids and during the Comanche and Apachie troubles. 
He was for nearly three years with the .rangers on the Texlas 
frontier, and, of course, had a large fund of personal experience 
from which to draw in the construction of his stories. He sold 
the copyrights to a New York publishing house, and in conse- 
quence, his books had a much wider circulation in the East than 
they did at home. He wrote charming newspaper verse and was 
a regular contributor to the new Orleans Sunday Picayune which, 
at that time, had a regular literary department. But for his 
excessive modesty- and his proneness to hide his light under a 
bushel, Mr. Oberly would have attained a much wider reputation 



222 History ol Houston, Tecas 

as a literary man than he had at the time of his death, and to 
^hieh he was entitled by his really fine literary productions. 

The year 1885 seems to have been one in which the literary 
talent of Houston shone with peculiar brilliancy. During that 
year, Mrs. Ella Stewart, now Mrs. Seybrook Sydnor, published 
"Grems from a Texas Quarry," a compilation of the writings 
of Texas authors, a book which found a safe place in Texas lit- 
erature. Mr. James Everett McAshan was brought into promi- 
nence that year by the publication of a paper on "The Jew," 
which was a scholarly production and would have established his 
reputation as a thinker and writer had he published nothing 
more. He became a regular contributor to Texas Siftings and 
wrote many charming short stories, which were widely repro- 
duced. Mrs. Lee C. Harby was a writer of both prose and ver§e. 
She was a regular contributor to the leading magazines and as 
a short story writer, she had few equals. 

Miss Claudia M. Girardeau laid the foundation of her liter- 
ary reputation in Houston. Many of her earlier poems and 
stories appeared in the Post and in other local publications. Her 
short stories, won for her a wide reputation. Like Mrs. Harby, 
she seemed equally at ease either in prose or verse. 

Miss WiUa Lloyd was another of the writers of 1885. She 
wrote verses but her chief strength lay in writing sketches and 
short stories of domestic life. 

Mrs. Paul Bremond was the author of a libretto which made 
quite a reputation for her, both here and in New York. She 
also wrote salable descriptive articles on travel and some meri- 
torious short stories. 

Judge Norman G. Kittrell is one of the most prolific writers 
Houston has ever had- His writings have been confined to no 
particular field. He is equally at home in law, art, music, litera- 
ture, or whatever he chooses to attempt. He has written a novel, 
a school texit book and essays and special articles on innumerable 
subjects. His novel "Ned Nigger and Gentleman" was drama- 
tized for a time and had great success. In 1909, he published 
a valuable text book called by him "A Primer of the Govern- 
ment of Texas. ' ' 



Houston Newspapers 223 

The Texas State Press Association had its birth in Houston. 
In response to a call that had been published in the papers over 
the state, a number of Texas editors assembled in the parlors of 
the Hutchins House on Franklin Avenue, May 18, 1880, for the 
purpose of organizing the Texas Press Association. Major B. W. 
Cave, an old printer, but at that time one of the general officers 
of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad, welcomed the visit- 
ors in an eloquent address, which was responded to by Hon. Hall 
Gosling, of the Castroville Quill. After the speech-making was 
over, the editors settled down to work and perfected a complete 
organization by the adoption of a constitution and by-laws, and 
the election of officers. At night a banquet was given in honor 
of the visiting editors by the Houston Cotton Exchange and 
Houston merchants. Little beyond organization was done at 
that meeting. 

The association met in Houston the following year. Col. 
Geo. H. Sweet of the Galveston Journal of Commerce, was the 
orator and a poem was read by Miss Florence M. Gerald of Waco. 
The session lasted for three days and much good work was done 
by the association during that time. The association held the 
two following annual sessions in Houston and then determined, 
as the Medical Association had done, that it would be more con- 
ducing to the growth and health of the association to meet at a 
different point in the state each year. Houston has not been for- 
gotten by the editors, however, and it has had the honor of enter- 
taining them once or twice since they determined to abandon 
this city as their permanent headquarters. 



CHAPTER XIV 

Transportation and Communication 



Early Transportation DifBculties. An Early Monopoly Pro- 
posed. The First Railroad. Other Early Roads. The G. 
H. & H. Road. Beginning of Texas and New Orleans Line. 
Railroads During War and Reconstruction Days. Systems 
Center in Houston. The Plank Road Company. The Ox- 
Wagon Trade. Paul Bremond's Enterprise. Growing Need 
for Roads. Houston as Terminus for Seventeen Roads. 
Houston's Railroad Trackage, Trains and Headquarters. 
Sunset Central System. Katy and Sap Terminals. Santa 
Fe and Frisco Lines. Bayou Navigation. The Wharfage 
Fight. Charles Morgan and the Ship Channel. The Gov- 
ernment and the Channel. Deepening the Channel. Bayou 
Traffic. Houston Terminal Company. First Street Car 
Company. Extending Street Railways. Operation Under 
Stone-Webster Sjmdicate. Trackage and Pay Roll. Houston 
Galveston Interurban. Earliest Telegraph Service. Begin- 
nings of Telephone Service. Present Telegraph Service in 
Houston. Southwestern Telegraph and Telephone Company. 
Automatic Telephone Company. Wireless Telegraphy. 



In the very early days, the question of transportation was the 
most serious that confronted the pioneer. Except at and near 
La Bahia, now Goliad; Bexar, now San Antonio, and Nacogodo- 
ches, the whole country was a wilderness. These were small but 
very important Spanish settlements. The early settler had difS- 
culties to overcome in getting into Texas and greater ones in 
reaching outside markets for his products, after he established 
himself here. His choice of transportation was limited to scarce- 
ly navigable streams, and to the slow and tedious ox-wagons over 
dangerous and almost impassable trails. 

Under such conditions, it is not surprising that so soon as the 
city of Houston was located, its natural advantages were recog- 



Transportation and Communication 225 

nized and it became the center of growth, commerce and trade 
of the new Republic. The founders of Houston were not slow in 
appreciating their advantageous position as the natural connect- 
ing link between land and water transportation, and as early as 
1838 four steamboats were carrying cotton and other Texas pro- 
ducts from Houston to New Orleans. 

In 1839, the Republic of Texas appropriated $315,000 for 
the improvement of Texas rivers and harbors, but strange to say 
no one seems to have been wide awake enough to have attempted 
to have any part of the appropriation used for the improvement 
of Buffalo Bayou. Doubtless such a;ction was deemed unneces- 
sary, for the main transportation difficulties were encountered on 
land and not on water. Stage-coach lines and freight wagons 
were organized and put in operation, and for years, these and 
ox-wagons were the only means of communication between Hous- 
ton and the interior. 

Such means were not only very expensive but were absolutely 
dangerous because of the hostile and blobd-thirsty Indians and 
thieving Mexicans. These difficulties and costs of communica- 
tion were thus referred to by President Houston in 1840, when 
speaking of the removal of the seat of government from Houston 
to Austin : ' 'During the last year the expense to the government 
for transportation to Austin, over and above what it would have 
been to any point on the seaboard, exceeded $70,000, and the extra 
cost of the mails, aside from all other inconveniences attending 
its remote and detached situation, amounted to many thousands 
of dollars more." He explained these facts by reference to the 
dangers to life and property from attacks by Indians and from 
frequent raids on the Mexican frontier. 

By the late forties, Houston was recognized not only as the 
most important connecting link between the outside world and 
the interior of Texas, but as the nexus between the older states 
and the Pacific Coast. As a result a great many men entered 
the transportation business and it assumed important proportions. 
It was expensive to shippers and travelers, but it must not be 
supposed that it was all clear profit to its operators. It cost one 
passenger $200 to ride 1,400 miles and it took 30 days to make 



226 History of. Houston, Texas 

the trip. It cost a shipper one dollar to ship 100 pounds of 
freight 100 miles. 

Unquestionably this lack of transportation delayed the settle- 
ment of the state and as late as 1850 only 16 counties in the whole 
state had a tax valuation of as much as a million dollars. Harris 
County with its water and land transportation had reached a val- 
uation of more than a million and a half at that time. Houston 
at the head of navigation, was the wholesale center and the chief 
commercial and financial city in Texas and was, in consequence, 
a center of some importance. 

There were schemes and schemers even in the very first days 
of the Republic. The first of these was the ' ' Texas Railroad and 
Navigation Company, ' ' whose promoters sought to have a monop- 
oly of and control of the transportation facilities and bank- 
ing of the new Republic. The charter, dated 1836, authorized the 
company to connect the waters of the Sabine and Rio Grande 
Rivers by means of railroads, canals and rivers, grouped under 
the name of "internal- navigation and railroads." There was 
a banking side, too. The promoters had the right of eminent 
domain and a gratuity of half a mile of land on either side of 
their right-of-way, and they had begun a campaign of educa- 
tion among the people to teach them how much they were going 
to do for them when the whole thing was knocked on the head 
by timely legislation, which took all the life out of the enterprise. 
The plan, as a whole, was the initial step in the transportation 
and navigation question which was put before the people of 
Texas year after year for many years. It was revived in improved 
form a few years ago by those who desire to incorporate 
it in a great national inter-costal waterway. 

While the commerce of the state was carried on by such crude 
means as wagons drawn by oxen and horses, as late as 1850, it 
must not be supposed that the question of railroads was neglected. 
As a matter of fact railroad building had actually begun ten 
years before then. In 1840 the Harrisburg and Brazos Valley 
people let a contract for 3,000 ties and engaged a force of negroes 
to do grading. The road, later to become the Galveston, Harris- 
burg and San Antonio Railway, was not yet incorporated. Its 



Transportation and Communication 227 

directing genius was A. Briseo. The Houston Morning Star in 
May, 1840, announced that many laborers were ' ' throwing up the 
track and preparing it for the rails at an early season, ' ' and that 
more would soon be so employed. In 1841, the men controlling the 
enterprise were incorporated under the name of the Harrisburg 
Railroad and Trading Company. But they soon abandoned their 
enterprise, and nothing was accomplished until some years later. 
It was not until 1847 that it again showed signs of life, this time 
under the name of the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Rail- 
road. Columbia and Alleyton were the terminal points first 
determined on. 

In 1847, General Sidney Sherman acquired control of the 
road, bought most of the lots at Harrisburg, gained the assist- 
ance of Northern capitalists and got a charter for the road. His 
local fellow incorporators were: Hugh McLeod, John G. Todd, 
John Angier, Jonathan F. Barrett, E. A. Allen, "W. M. Rice, W. 
A. Van Alstyne, James H. Stevens, B. A. Shepherd, and "W. J. 
Hutchins. These men were all prominently identified with Hous- 
ton and Galveston. The spring of 1851 saw the beginning of 
the survey westward, and. the beginning of actual construction, 
though it was not until late in the next year that rails were laid. 
At that time the first locomotive ever in Texas arrived. It was 
named the "General Sherman." ' 

The road was finished in 1852 as far as the Brazos, 32 miles 
from Harrisburg and in 186Cf'nine years after it had been begun, 
it was constructed to Alleyton, 42 miles farther. The intention 
had been to put this line through to Austin, but San Antonio 
eventually became its logical objective point. 

In 1858 the Columbus, San Antonio and Rio Grande Rail- 
road Company was incorporated. Its object was to construct a 
line from Columbus, via Gonzales to San Antonio. It was 
planned to connect this road with the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and 
Colorado road at Alleyton by the Columbus Tap road, but work 
was stopped by the war and was not resumed for several years. 
But the progressive citizens of Houston were not content with 
only one railroad, and it reaching out towards the "West. They 
recognized the existence of a large and rapidly expanding terri- 



228 History of Houston, Texas 

tory to the North and Northeast and took steps to provide for its 
need. 

The Houston and Texas Central Railroad (though not by 
that name) was organized in 1848 and was called the Galveston 
and Red River Railroad. Under its first charter Galveston was 
to have been its Southern terminus. Its charter was amended, 
in 1852, and this also was superseded by a new charter, in 1856, 
by which the line was given the name it bears today. Grading 
was begun at Houston, in 1853. There were only two miles of 
road completed when the first locomotive was put on. "With the 
locomotive came two men, one of whom was destined to become 
one of the most progressive and able railroad managers in Texas. 
This was C. A. Burton, who was the first engineer and ran the 
first locomotive for the Houston and Texas Central Railroad, 
and who afterwards became the general superintendent of the 
road. The other was a young man named Dawson, who was the 
first fireman. He died of yellow fever during the epidemic that 
occurred soon after his arrival. Twenty-five miles of road was 
completed by 1856 and ten miles more by May, 1857. It was 
extended to Hempstead by 1858, and to Millican in 1860. This 
was eighty miles of road, just about the same as that of the 
Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado road. By the completion of 
these roads Houston established its claim to be considered the 
great distributing point. 

During the period from 1857 to 1860, the Washington 
County Railroad, a branch of the Houston and Texas Central, 
was built, as an independent enterprise, from Hempstead to 
Brenham, 21 miles. Brenham was then one of the most impor- 
tant points in Texas. 

The Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railroad, built as 
an outlet to the Gulf, via Galveston, for lines centering in Hous- 
ton was begun at Virginia Point opposite Galveston, in 1854, and 
was finished to Houston in 1858. Its length was 42 miles, and in 
many respects it was and is one of the most important bits of 
railroad ever constructed in Texas. Until the summer of 1859 
passengers and freight were ferried from Virginia Point to the 



Transportation and Communication 229 

Island, but a bridge across the bay was then constructed and 
in 1860 Houston had direct connection with Galveston by rail. 

Houston began, in 1856, the construction of the Houston 
Tap and Brazoria Railroad, seven miles in length, to connect with 
the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railroad at Pierce 
Junction. The Houston Tap and Brazoria Railroad Company 
was later organized to take over the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and 
Colorado road, which it did and in 1861, extended it to Columbia, 
on the Brazos River, a distance of fifty miles from Houston. That 
line is now a part of the International and Great Northern 
system. 

The Texas and New Orleans road, now of the Southern 
Pacific system, was originally chartered under the name of the 
Sabine and Galveston Bay Railroad and Lumber Company. It 
was intended to build a line from Madison to Orange, via 
Beaumont to tide water on Galveston Bay. The Company was 
chartered in 1859 as the Texas and New Orleans Railroad, the 
plans of its projectors having been changed and a new charter 
becoming necessary. By this charter the company was organized 
to accept an act passed by the Louisiana legislature legalizing 
the construction of the Louisiana part of the line; and that part 
in Texas was to be known as the Texas division. 

Actual construction of the road was begun at Houston, in 
1858, and it was completed to Liberty, 40 miles, by 1860. In 
January, 1861, it had been completed to Orange, on the Sabine 
River, 111 miles distant from Houston. The strategic importance 
of this road became apparent so soon as the Civil War broke out, 
for. its value would be inestimable in ease of the blockade of Texas 
ports, and the people of Louisiana were urged to complete the 
link between the Texas border and New Orleans. However noth- 
ing was done and the road remained in its unfinished state until 
long after the war. The Civil War paralyzed railroad building 
as it did other industries. At the close of the war, Houston had 
371 miles of railroad centering here. 

(1) — Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado, Harrisbiirg to 
AUeyton, 80 miles. 



230 History of Houston, Texas 

(2) — Houston and Texas Central, Houston to Millican, 80 
miles. 

(3) — Galveston, Houston and Henderson, Galveston to 
Houston, 50 miles. 

(4) — Houston Tap and Brazoria, Houston to Columbia, 50 
miles. 

(5) — Texas and New Orleans, Houston to Orange, 111 miles. 

The Texas railroads suffered more than almost all other 
interests combined, during the war. The State Comptroller in a 
report after the v/ar, said that the railways had been so crippled 
and disorganized as a result of the four years struggle, that 
most of the lines had ceased to be anything more than names. 
Train service over the Houston Tap and Brazoria Railroad was 
abandoned in the early sixties, and at the comptroller's office, in 
1865, it was not known definitely if the Texas and New Orleans 
road was in operation or not, so meager were the details. It had 
been reported as in bad condition and unfit for use. The Buf- 
falo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado road was without rolling 
stock, road bed, bridges or anything else and had been aban- 
doned. The Houston and Texas Central was in a dilapidated 
condition and unsafe. 

During the reconstruction period some of the roads were 
forced to organize, others to completely reorganize while others 
were sold outright by the state. By 1870 practically eveiy rofd 
in the state was in new hands. Then systems of lines began to 
take shape. Outside roads began push'ng towards tlie Texas 
border and Houston became the center of a system as important 
as any in the South, and more pregnant with future greatness 
than any other railway center in the South or West. 

Today Houston is the center of several great railway sys- 
tems in Texas. 

The Southern Pacific, usually known as the Harriman lines, 
entering Houston, are the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Anton- 
io; Houston and Texas Central; Texas and New Orleans; 
and the Houston East and "West Texas. The San Antonio and 
Aransas Pass road, formerly of the system, was separated from 



Transportation and Communication ' 231 

it by the railway commission and is now listed as an independent 
road. 

Chief of the Gould group is the International and Great 
Northern, 1,106 miles in length, with its headquarters in Hous- 
ton. This is the only line crossing the state from northeast to 
southwest. The next in importance is the Galveston, Houston 
and Henderson. The Houston Tap and Brazoria road, formerly 
an independent line is now part of the International and is 
known as the Columbia Tap. The mileage of the Gould group 
of roads is 2,923 miles, and there are more roads belonging to 
it than to any other system in the state. 

In the early eighties it was of relatively more importance 
than it is now, and controlled the Missouri Pacific and the Mis- 
souri Kansas and Texas roads. The Missouri Pacific divided the 
International and Great Northern into two branches, one from 
Longview to Houston via_ Palestine ; the other from St. Louis 
to Houston, via the Iron Mountain road to Texarbana, and the 
International and Great Northern to Houston, and from the 
Texas and Pacific to Longview. By a lease of the track of the 
Galveston, Houston and Henderson road for 99 years, an outlet 
for the International and Great Northern to Galveston was 
secured. 

Down to June, 1907, the Santa Fe lines in Texas aggregated 
1,776 miles. Many miles have been built since, nearly all in 
west Texas. The main line to Galveston was not originally the 
property of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Company. Gal- 
veston had suffered so much from having : Houston quarantine 
against her every time there was a yellow-fever scare that she 
determined to build a railroad of her own which would be inde- 
pendent of Houston and reach the interior without coming to or 
through Houston at all. With this object in view the Santa 
Fe was built past Houston, but eventually built into Houston 
from Alvin. 

The Katy, or Missouri, Kansas and Texas system, entering 
Houston from the northwest, is one of the most important freight 
and passenger lines in Texas. It is made up of numerous small 
lines, bought and consolidated to form one strong system. From 



232 ■ History of Houston, Texas 

1880 to 1888, the Missouri Pacific Company operated under a 
lease. For a time, as already noted, the Katy controlled the 
International and Great Northern, but now it controls less than 
1,000 miles in Texas. 

The Rock Island system is generally regarded as being allied 
with the Colorado and Southern system. Of this system the Trin- 
ity and Brazos Valley line was formerly the mainstay and the out- 
let to Houston and the Gulf. That line maintains general of&ces 
in Houston. The Rock Island people, operating largely in Okla- 
homa and Kansas, wanted a direct line for shipment of grain to 
the Gulf, and the Trinity and Brazos Valley trackage was the 
most desirable of any that was available. "When the Frisco sep- 
arated from the Rock Island, it built a Gulf connecting line 
through Louisiana to Houston, completed in 1909, and absorbed 
the Gulf coast line to Brownsville. At the present time it has 
no other local connection. The section of country that it seeks 
to develop lies south and west of Houston. A traffic manager 
makes his headquarters here, and the general offices of the road 
are in the Binz Building. Its lines entering Houston are the 
St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexican line, the Frisco Lines east 
and the line of the Houston Belt and Terminal Co. The B. F. 
Yoakum interests are generally considered as controlling these 
roads. 

The Houston Belt and Terminal Railroad Company, owned 
and controlled by the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe, the Frisco 
lines in Texas, the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexican and the 
Trinity and Brazos. Valley railroads, was organized in June, 
1906. It is strictly a Houston enterprise and all material used 
in its construction was bought, so far as possible, in Houston. 
Its new depot is one of the handsomest structures of the kind in 
the country. It is a three-story, steel-frame building of Doric 
architecture. Its exterior is faced with St. Louis red brick and 
its interior is finished in Italian marble. The building fronts 
on Crawford Street, 250 feet between Texas and Prairie Aven- 
ues, and its covered platforms and its sheds extend back 1,000 
feet. Its freight depots are almost equally important. 

In the foregoing pages is given a brief summary of the 



Transportation and Communication 233 

railroad history of Houston from the earliest date to the present 
time, and while it shows in a general way that Houston had 
much to do with formulating and perfecting nearly all the earlier 
plans, it does not show how vitally important was the work 
done by individual Houstonians, nor does it show the clear and 
intelligent appreciation of the magnit]ide of the work under- 
taken, possessed by the pioneer railroad builders in Houston. 

Even before the movement for the construction of a rail- 
road towards the North had taken form, and while the whole 
question had scarcely advanced beyond the stage of intention, 
Houston men were busy devising means to secure more rapid 
communication with the interior of the state. On February 7th, 
1850, the Brazos Plank Road Company was incorporated. Its 
incorporators were: E. B. Nichols, Paul Bremond, "Wm. J. 
Hutchins, W. M. Rice, A. S. Ruthven, B. A. Shepherd, Thomas 
M. Bagby, James H. Stevens, S. L. Allen, William A. Van 
Alstyne, A. McGowan, T. W. House, Francis Moore, and C. 
Evans. 

On June 23, 1852, a meeting was held at the Capitol Hotel, 
for the purpose of appointing delegates to a railroad meeting in 
Washington County. Judge H. F. Allen was chairman and 
Henry Sampson, secretary, of the Houston meeting. Five dele- 
gates, J. C. Massie, T. M. Bagby, C. Ennis, A. S. Ruthven, and 
Judge Allen were appointed to represent Houston at the con- 
vention which was to meet at Chappell Hill on July 3. Paul 
Bremond, A. J. Burke, W. M. Rice, Abram Groesbeck, and 
Henry Sampson, were appointed a corresponding committee. 
The following resolutions were adopted: 

"Whereas, the citizens of Houston are duly sensible of 
the present importance and growing necessity of greatly increas- 
ing, facilities of communication and transportation with those 
portions of the state whence the most valuable trade of said city 
is derived; and 

"Whereas, the growth of population, production and wealth 
in the interior already authorized and demand the expenditure 
of capital in the attainment of that object ; it is, therefore 

"Resolved: — That the city of Houston will do its part 



234 History of Houston, Texas 

toward any system of internal improvement calculated to advance 
her interests and facilitate her commerce with the interior, that 
may be found practical and expedient. 

"Resolved: — That this meeting is fully impressed with the 
conviction that the trade of this city and the interests of the 
people of the Brazos and Colorado Valleys demand the con- 
struction of a railroad from this city to Austin, the capital of 
the state, and that with proper exertion and the aid within our 
reach, the construction of such road is entirely practicable. 

"Resolved: — That the citizens of Houston will gladly co- 
operate with the people of "Washington County and of other 
counties, in the proposed mass meeting to be held at Chappell 
Hill, July 3, proximo, and that delegates be sent to represent 
this city at that meeting." 

The day after that meeting the Telegraph, while strongly 
advocating the building of a railroad, also urged adhering to 
the idea of the plank road. The argument it used was that the 
necessity for better facilities for communication with the interior 
was a present and pressing need and one that could not be 
delayed. It stated that the Plank Road Company, chartered 
two years before, already had about 23 miles graded and that 
the road could be planked and thus rendered immediately avail- 
able, at very small cost. It then pointed out that a charter 
could not be obtained for a railroad under three years, and that 
the charters then in existence were worse than useless because 
they were all loaded down with "tapping" privileges which gave 
outsiders the right to tap the road every few miles with lines 
only a few miles long, thus enabling them to gain the advantage 
of facilities which cost the originators millidns of dollars, with- 
out rendering any return benefit. 

However neither the plank road nor the Chappell Hill dis- 
cussed railroad was ever built, nor advanced further than the 
stage of agitation and talk. The graded road was used, just as 
it was, and unquestionably did good service, for the trade of 
Houston in the early fifties had grown to no mean pi-oportions. 
Had the merchants of that day been less unselfish, or rather 
less far-seeing, the actual construction of railroads might have 



Transportation and Communication 235 

been longer delayed than it was. As to Rome, all roads led to 
Houston, and the people of the interior had to come here whether 
they cared to do so or not. The difficulties of transportation 
were things that concerned those only who had to reach the only 
market in the state, and relying on her natural advantages, 
Houston could afford to be dilatory about furnishing rapid 
transportation to her less fortunate customers. The volume of 
trade was very great, and very profitable. An idea of the mag- 
nitude of the ox- wagon trade, and the number of those engaged 
in it can be formed from reading the following extract from an 
editorial published in the Telegraph, May 2, 1855 : 

"The editor of the Panoplist says, if he were called on to 
say what was the 'peculiar institution' of Houston, he would say 
it was ox-teams and teamsters. He spoke the truth. Ox-teams 
and teamsters have been the pride and glory of this city for 
.many years. Whatever else might have been dispensed with as 
instruments of its prosperity, they are indispensable, for they 
form the connecting link between the merchant and the planter, 
without which both merchant and planter could do nothing. 
They have a position in this great and growing state second to 
no other interest, and they stand in the same relation to the 
general prosperity that railroads, canals and steamboats do in 
New York and Pennsylvania. 

"Not less than 4,P00 bales of cotton have arrived in this 
city in the last two weeks on ox-wagons, giving employment to 
4,690 yoke of oxen and 670 wagons and drivers. , Besides the 
above there have been at least 200 arrivals of wagons freighted 
with other produce than cotton. But let us calculate the amount 
of capital and industry employed in handling cotton alone. 

"Last year, with a short crop, the receipts at this point were 
in round numbers 38,000 bales. The loads average from 3 to 10 
bales, according to the roads, but, say, an average of 6 bales to 
the wagon, which is probably over the inark, then there were 
6,333 trips required for last year's business. Many wagons 
make from four to six trips per year, At an average of four 
trips there were 1,566 wagons, giving employment to an army 



236 History of Houston, Texas 

of teamsters twice as large as the number of men engaged in 
whipping Mexico at San Jacinto. 

' ' Each of these wagons require on an average, seven yoke of 
oxen, which, with regular teamsters, are changed for fresh 
cattle several times each year. Wagoners tell us that it requires 
a fresh team as they are almost exclusively fed by grazing along 
the road. At this rate it requires, in round numbers, 25,000 
yoke of oxen for the year 's business. Oxen are worth an average 
of $50 a yoke. Wagons, complete, $150 each. The capital 
engaged was as follows : 

25,000 yoke of oxen at $50 a yoke" $1,250,000 

1,566 wagons at $150 each 234,900 

Making a total of $1,484,900 

The expense of a trip will average $40, and the gross amount 

of freight money about $100, giving the result of the business as 

follows : 

Freight, at $100 per trip on 6,333 trips $633,300 

Less expense, $40 per trip 253,320 

Net profit $380,010 

' ' The cotton transported last year was fully 40 per cent less 
than the whole transport engaged in the trade. In fact the up- 
freight from this point required much more than 40 per cent 
greater transportation than the cotton, to say nothing of the 
corn, sugar, and molasses, hides, skins, etc., brought to this mar- 
ket. There must be considerably more than two million dollars 
invested in transportation to and from Houston, two-thirds of 
which would be unnecessary if we had about 200 miles of rail- 
road ; or, in other words, here is $1,300,000 that might be invest'^d 
in railroads to great advantage. 

"We can have no sort of transportation without capital, and 
delay investment in railroads as we may, a similar investment 
must be made in wagons and oxen, which means that in about 
three of four years more instead of 2,000 wagons we will require 
8,000, at a cost of about five million dollars. Wagons and oxen 
last about five years and when worn out are a total loss. Rail- 



Transportation and Communication 237 

roads can be constantly repaired, and the cost of repairs in 
twenty years is only equal to the original investment. These 
figures are merely estimates, but they are approximately correct 
and they serve to show what large sums of money are being 
thrown away each year on present means of transportation. 

"We hope the day is near at hand when railroads Avill be 
one of the 'peculiar institutions' of this city and of the state, 
when the ox shall give way to the iron horse which travels with 
twenty times the speed of the ox and carries a thousand times 
its burden. ' ' 

Notwithstanding the fact that the charter of the Houston 
and Texas Central Railroad was fairly bristling with "tapping" 
privileges, the handful of live and progressive citizens of Hous- 
ton determined not to wait until the old charter could be amended 
or a new one obtained, but to go ahead and begin the construction 
of the road at once. These pioneer railroad builders were Paul 
Bremond, Wm. R. Baker, Wm. M. Rice, Cornelius Ennis, Wm. 
J. Hutchins, A. S. Ruthven, B. A. Shepherd, T. W. House; W. A. 
Van Alstyne, James H. Stevens, and Dr. Francis Moore. Al- 
though these men were the leading merchants, bankers and 
business men of Houston, not one of them was wealthy, measured 
by the standard of today, and it is highly improbable that as 
much capital was invested in the railroad when the first steps 
were taken towards its construction, as would be required for 
the construction of a modern skyscraper. They had what proved 
to be about as powerful as capital, an unlimited supply of- grit 
and. dietermination. Once having put their shoulders to the 
wheel, all thought of failure or weakness was abandoned. 

The first shovel of dirt was thrown up by Mr. Paul Bremond 
on January 1, 1853, at a point that would be crossed by a line 
continuing Louisiana , Street across the bayou, near where 
McGowan's Foundry stood. A contract for the construction thus 
begun had been made, but before the road reached a point about 
where the old city limits were, the contractor threw up his con- 
tract and left town. As soon as he realized the magnitude of his 
undertaking, he quit. Mr. Bremond had never had the slightest 
experience as a contractor, yet he did not hesitate, but promptly 



238 History of Houston, Texas 

took the contract himself. It was not long before every dollar 
that had been paid into the treasury was gone and Mr. Bre- 
mond had spent his own fortune and stretched his credit almost 
to the breaking point, and yet the actual laborers were not paid. 
Sub-contractors became disgusted and quit. The laborers became 
more than disgusted. They armed themselves with clubs and 
hunted for Mr. Bremond, going in gangs on Saturday nights, 
and individually on other days of the week. They attacked 
his home and carried away his fence when they found they 
could not get him to carry away. No railroad builder ever hao 
so strenuous a time as he'. Yet he was not discouraged. He 
had made up his mind to build that road and he did it. He was 
not an orator ; in fact he was no speaker at all, and yet on the few 
occasions when he was caught by the outraged laborers, he suc- 
ceeded in talking himself out of " a bad fix, ' ' and convinced the 
laborers that he was the best friend they had and one who was 
acting for their best interest. As an illustration of this peculiar 
gift as a conversationalist in that special line the foDovsing story 
used to be told: 

One of the sub-contractors, growing weary of his inability to 
get a settlement of his account, went to one of the leading lawyers, 
and after explaining all its details placed his claim in his hands 
for collection. The lawyer told him he would go over and talk 
with Mr. Bremond. "No, you keep away from him, for it wiU 
do no good and he will convince you that I owe him money before 
he gets through," sa,id the client. The lawyer insisted on going 
anyway and told the contractor to wait in his ofl&ce until he 
came back. He was gone for quite a time and came back looking 
worried. In reply to a question as to what he thought of the 
case, the lawyer blurted out: "I think you have treated Bre- 
mond d d badly and I'll have nothing- to do with your case." 

"It is pleasant to recount that not a man who ever trusted 
Mr. Bremond, willingly or through compulsion, ever lost a cent. 
He paid everything in the end and paid it willingly. The truth 
is he was a'n enthusiast, he looked ahead and discounted the 
future. He knew what he could do if given time and assistance. 
He had faith enough to invest all of his own fortune, and a large 



Transpartatian and Communication ' 239 

part of the fortune of several of his friends, and he asked only 
that others should contribute their time and labor to the same end. 

It took Paul Bremond five years of actual warfare and con- 
centrated trouble and discord, to build fifty miles of road. But 
when the road had reached Hempstead, the worst of its troubles 
were over. The rich and rather densely settled countries near 
there became at once tributary to the road and it began to be 
something of what its projectors had claimed it would be. 
Thirty miles more were built in the next two years, and then 
the great Civil "War broke out and stopped everything. How- 
ever, the Houston and Texas Central road had grown to good 
proportions, had reached about to the, then, center of production 
^nd was fairly and safely on its feet. 

"While the early fifties seem to have brought about a realiza- 
tion on the part of the people of Houston of the fact that the Rail- 
roads were necessary to bring the products of the state here, 
railroads were also equally necessary to carry them to tide water. 
The fact that the facilities afforded by Buffalo Bayou were inad- 
equate and that these must be added to become apparent. With 
that object in view, a railroad meeting composed of leading 
citizens of Galveston and Houston, was held at the Capitol Hotel 
in 1852, for the purpose of discussing the construction of a line 
of railroad from Houston to Galveston. Hon. Hamilton Stewart, 
mayor of Galveston was selected as chairman, Messrs. M. B. 
Menard, "Willard Richardson and Hiram Close of Galveston ; Col. 
D. J. Landes, of "Washington County ; Hon. David G. Burnett, 
Prances Moore, Jr., aild Hon. Ashbel Smith, of Harris County, 
as vice-presidents, and "William R. Baker, of Houston, and H. 
H. Smith, of Galveston, as secretaries. A committee of thirteen 
Was appointed to outline a plan of campaign, and to take steps 
towards a thorough organization. Immediately after the adjourn- 
ment, Houston subscribed $300,000 towards the building of 
the road, and Galveston did equally as well. However, it was not 
until two years later that actual constraction was begun, and 
the road was not completed until 1858. This road is now known 
as the Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railroad and forms, 
part of the Gould system of roads. It is one of the best pieces 



240 History of Houston, Texas 

of railroad in the United States, and one of the best paying rail- 
roads in the country as well. 

Houston having thus secured a road to the North, one to the 
South and one to the "West, Mr. Bremond, (the same man who 
built the Houston and Texas Central), conceived the idea of a 
great east and west line, one that would traverse the richest 
sections of the state. For a long time he tried to interest out- 
side capitalists as well as those at home, in his plans, but failed. 
Then, realizing what he had accomplished before, he determined 
to build the road himself with his own resources. His idea was 
to build a line from Shrevepdrt to Houston and from Houston 
to Santa Fe, New Mexico. He concluded to build the Shreve- 
port end first, and accordingly, on July 4, 1876, he threw the 
first spade of earth for his road at a point near the old Texas 
and New Orleans depot, in the Fifth ward. Mr. Paul Bremond 
was president of the road, and his son-in-law, Major S. C. 
Timpson was secretary and treasurer. Mr. Bremond again had 
a strenuous time in railroad building, but profiting by his for- 
mer experience, and above all by the reputation he had earned 
then of carrying out anything that he undertook, he soon got 
everything moving along smoothly and built the road to Shreve- 
port and constructed about twenty miles of the line to the west 
before his death. For some reason the western branch was 
never completed. 

A fact not generally appreciated is that of the seventeen 
railroads centering at Houston, there is not one that does not 
make Houston its terminus. There are no through trains enter- 
ing or leaving Houston. There are through Pullman coaches 
and passenger cars, but no through freight trains, and all trains 
leaving here are made up in Houston. 

Houston is the greatest railroad center in the Southwest, and 
there are more railroad employees paid off in Houston every 
month than at any other point in the Southwest. There are 2,843 
trainmen and clerks who are paid off here and in addition to 
these there are 3,000 men employed in the two great railroad 
shops here, which brings the total number of employees to 5,843, 



Transportation and Communication 241 

and the amount of salaries and wages paid them is, in round 
numbers, $7,000,000 annually. 

The International Railroad is preparing to move its general 
shops to Houston soon, which will greatly increase these figures, 
but at present only the Houston and Texas Central and the 
Southern Pacific roads have their shops here. These two roads 
have invested $1,042,216 in their plants, pay out $1,349,200 in 
wages and do $2,744,722 worth of repair and construction work 
each year. 

Their shops are equipped with the best and latest machinery, 
and can turn out at a moment's notice everything needed in car 
or locomotive construction or repairing. They have machines for 
making the dainty tacks for the silk curtains in the palace car 
and machines for making the iron beams and castings that go 
in the frames of such cars and weigh hundreds and 
thousands of pounds. As a matter of fact neither shop makes 
locomotives and yet each has all the facilities for making them 
and could if it were necessary, turn out one, locomotive each day. 

The railroads own and operate 450 miles of track in Harris 
County and the money invested in them is $20,000,000, over 
one-half of which is invested in Houstonian terminal facilities, 
shops and offices. An idea of the immensity of the 
tra'ffic can be formed from the statement that for the 
fiscal year closed June 31, 1911, 90,000 trains were 
handled in and out of Houston, and that the freight handled by 
those trains footed up very nearly half a billion tons. Of the 
90,000 trains slightly more than one-half were passenger trains, 
and, excluding excursions and special occasions, it is estimated 
that these trains handled over 400,000 regular passengers during 
the year. Seven roads have their headquarters here, while all 
the big systems are represented* in the city. The newest acqui- 
sition is the International and Great Northern, which has just 
moved its general offices here. These offices include the following 
departments: General freight and passenger office, auditor's 
office, treasurer's office, general claims office, general attorney's 
office, and the offices of the. several division superintendents. 
Judge T. J. Freeman, the new president, during all the time he 



242 History of TFouslon, Texas, 

was receiver of the road maintained general offices in Houston. 
Judge Freeman's ability has rescued the I. & G. N. from bank- 
ruptcy and made it one of the best equipped roads in Texas. 
Judge Freeman is in the first rank of railroad officials in Amer- 
ica and is one of the three great builders Texas had given to the 
railroad world. The other two are B. F. Yoakum and Judge E. 
S. Lovett. 

The coming of the I. & G. N. and the Frisco to Houston has 
added about six hundred well-paid employees to Houston's rail- 
road population. The officers of the Frisco that came to Houston 
in 1911 were those of the vice-president and general manager, 
auditor, treasurer, car service, purchasing agent and stationer. 

Even before the International and Great Northern road 
moved its general offices to Houston it was doing an immense 
business here and this point was to all intent and purpose its 
principal point in Texas. Its coming brings about 250 men 
and their families and swells the pay roll of the railroads here 
an additional half million annually. The company owns sev- 
eral desirable places in the city, where their own office building 
can be constructed for the accommodation of the general offices, 
but it is likely the building will be on San Jacinto Street, 
where the freight office of the company is now located. This 
building was originally constructed with the object in view of 
adding other stories. At present the offices are located in rented 
quarters. 

The Sunset Central system is the largest railway system 
under one management in Texas. Thornwell Fay is vice-presi- 
dent and general manager. It operates four companies embrac- 
ing six lines. These railroad companies have an assessed val- 
uation in Harris County of $5,611,926, of which $2,424,770 
is located in the city of Houston. The receipts from the sale 
of tickets to passengers at the Houston station during the fiscal 
year closed in June, 1911, were $4,828,053.47. The principal 
terminal of the company , is the Grand Central passenger sta- 
tion on Washington Avenue. Thousands of passenger trains are 
operated in and out of this depot every year and hundreds of 
thousands of people pass through its gates. 



Transportation- and Communication 243 

The freight terminals are north of the passenger depot, near 
the extensive system of shops. These terminals have thirty-two 
miles of trackage and enormous sheds and warehouses. Nearly 
five hundred yard clerks, switcjimen and others are employed 
in these yards, working in two shifts, one night and the other 
day, in order to keep up with the enormous traffic. 

All the Sunset Central general offices are now located in 
their new nine-story building, corner of Franklin and Travis 
Street. This building has just been completed at a cost of $512,- 
793 and is one of the finest buildings in the city. 

The Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad Company of 
Texas is also making extensive improvements. The company has 
already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars improving its 
property and has not yet completed its task. Additions have 
been made to its terminals in the way of increased warehouse 
and track facilities, the latter having been doubled, in order to 
care for its large and rapidly increasing business. A building 
has been constructed for the locomotive department, another for 
the car department, artesian wells have been sunk, so as to give 
the company its own water-supply, and many other improve- 
ments have been made. The company now has property in 
Harris County assessed at $510,710. During the past year the 
pay rolls were : in local shops, $31,081.90 ; in offices, $21,901.55 ; 
in operating department, $36,963.45. 

The San Antonio and Arkansas Pass Railroad runs its trains 
into the Grand Central depot. The company owns property in 
Harris County amounting to $593,150. It is one of the most 
important of Houston's railroads. Its main offices are in San 
Antonio, but it keeps a good force here. Its local pay rolls for 
1910 were : in freight and passenger departments, $19,927,25 ; 
shops and roundhouses, $11,326.15; in yards and to train men, 
$20,312.59 ; to all others, $9,573.30. 

The Gulf, Colorado and Santa Pe road was one of Houston's 
largest industries but with the advent of the Houston Belt and 
Terminal Company the road leased all its Houston property to 
that company and became one of its tenants. The property of 
the Santa Fe in Houston is valued at $1,300,000. The only 



244 History of Houston, Texas 

employees of the company in Houston are freight and passenger 
agents. The road has more than a passing interest in the Hous- 
ton Belt and Terminal Company, since the vice-president of the 
Santa Fe is also president of the Terminal Company. The 
Grulf, Colorado and Santa Fe operates about 8,000 passenger 
and freight trains in and out of Houston each year. 

Col. J. Gr. Tracey and two or three associates organized a 
Houston Belt and Terminal line in 1&82. They had surveys 
madie, obtained some rights of way, and then, for unknown 
causes, abandoned the enterprise. Nothing further was ever 
done towards constructing such a line, until in June, 1905, the 
Houston Belt and Terminal Line was organized. The company 
began active operations at once and expended more than $5,000,- 
000 for the completion of a system of railroad terminals for both 
freight and passenger business designed to handle all the ter- 
minal business of Houston if necessary. 

Four roads, the Santa Fe, the Frisco, the Trinity and Brazos 
Valley and the Brownsville are joint owners and are now using 
the terminal facilities. The passenger station, described briefly 
elsewhere, is very handsome and cost over half a million dollars, 
the marble used in its interior decoration costing $45,000. The 
whole system is constructed on scientific, and practical lines so 
that it is perfectly equipped for the objects for which it was 
designed. The depot building was dedicated March 1, 1911, and 
has been in active use since that date. 

The Frisco has made many improvements during the last 
year, the greatest being the establishment of its through line to 
New Orleans. This is one of the fastest and most thoroughly 
equipped trains in the United States. It has oil-burning loco- 
motives, steel passenger trains, cars and baggage coaches all 
equipped with electric lights, fans, etc. The distance between 
Houston and New Orleans, 360 miles is covered in twelve hours. 
The Frisco has a network of small and great lines in Texas and 
Louisiana, all tributary to Houston. All the trafSc of the Frisco 
in Houston is handled by the Terminal Company, but the road 
has a force of about 300 office employees and their pay roll foots 
up about $360,000 per year. Mr. W. C'. Conner, Jr., the traffic 



Transportation andJJommunication 245 

manager, is one of the most brilliant and successful of railroad 
officers and has shining prospects in the railroad world. 

Houston's seventeen railroads are the following: Houstoli 
and Texas Central; Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio; 
Texas and New Orleans ; Beaumont, Sour Lake and Western ; 
Houston, Bast and "West Texas ; International and Great North- 
ern (Ft. Worth Division) ; International and Great Northern; 
Trinity and Brazos Valley; San Antonio and Arkansas Pass; 
Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio (Victoria Division) ; 
Gulf, Colorado and Santa Pe; Missouri, Kansas and Texas; 
International and Great Northern (Columbia Division) ; St. 
Louis, Brownsville and Mexico; Galveston, Houston and Hen- 
derson; Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio (Galveston 
Division) ; Texas Transportation Company. 

It is rather remarkable that with all their enterprise and 
public spirit the people of Houston made but few efforts to 
improve the navigation of Buffalo Bayou in the early days. As 
already noted the Republic had made an appropriation for the 
improvement of the rivers and harbors of Texas, but no one 
seems to have thought of making use of any of this appropri- 
ation for the improvement of the bayou. Newell, in his history 
of the Revolution in Texas thus describes the bayou in 1 838 : " It 
is a very singular water-course, without any current except as 
caused by the tides of the sea; very deep, and navigable from 
its junction with the San Jacinto to its forks at Houston, for 
.boats of any draft of water, though too narrow to admit those 
of the largest class. The soil upon its banks is generally light 
and sandy." 

The Cayuga, later called the Branch T. Archer, was the 
name of one of the first steamboats to reach Houston. The 
Cayuga was brought to Texas by John R. Harris and was under 
^command of Captain Isaac Batterson. It was intended originally 
to run on the Trinity River but was changed to the bayou trade. 
Soon after that the Constitution was added to the service. She 
came up to Houston but was so long she could not be turned 
around, and had to be backed down to Constitution bend in the 
bayou. No doubt that is the way this big bend acquired its name. 



246 History of fiouston, Texas 

Another early boat was the San Jacinto^ which sank in the 
bayou near where Clinton now is, and still another was the 
Henry A. Jones which was burned in Galveston Bay in 1839, 
with some loss of life. A year or so later the Farmer blew up, 
killing Captain "Webb and Henry Sylvester. The. Star State 
plied on the bayou in the early forties and met. with several 
accidents. Once it caught fire and the passengers escaped with 
difficulty. Mrs. Peter W. Gray, of Houston jumped overboard 
and was rescued with difficulty. 

The Billow, Capt. James Montgomery, brought to Houston 
the first locomotive for the Houston and Texas Central Railroad. 
It was unloaded at the mouth of White Oak Bayou at the foot 
of Main Street and run onto a temporary track. Capt. Charles 
Burton, afterwards superintendent of the railroad took charge 
of the locomotive. 

The Charles Fowler had the first calliope ever heard in 
Houston. On her first trip to Houston she stuck at the G. and H. 
Eailroad bridge over the bayou and some of its piling had to be 
cut away to admit of her passage. The Silver Cloud, laden 
with fruit, sank at Harrisburg. 

At different times there were in the bayou trade, the Ida 
Reese, the Desnionia, the Old Reliable, the J. H. Sterrett, the 
Brie No. 3, a stem-wheeler, the Brie No. 12, also a stern-wheeler, 
the "Wren and the Shreveport. The Diana, Captain Pat Christian, 
and the Lizzie, Captain A. Connors, two magnificent passenger 
boats ceased running in 1877. The Diana and the T. M. Bagby 
were built in Ohio for Captain Sterrett, th« best knowJi steam- 
boat man ia Texas, in 1870, and arriv£d'hero the same year. 
The Diana was 170 feet long, 32 feet beam and 5 feet hold. She 
had three boilers, two flues and a full length ca!.>in. Her, cost 
was $33,000 and she and the Bagby were as fins boats as any that 
ran on the Mississippi, which river was said to have the finest 
m the world. 

It is strange, but true, that the first great assistance Hous- 
ton had in bringing the question of bayou improvement before 
the public came from Galveston, its bitterest commercial rival. 
F^ur or five years after the close of the war, when the railroads 



Transportation and Communication 247 

had been reorganized and the commerce of the state had grown 
to large proportions, the Houston people, naturally, began agitat- 
ing the question of securing better navigation of Buffalo Bayou 
so as to add to Houston's facilities for handling the rapidly 
increasing trade. At first Houston stood alone in making its 
fight. The people of the interior were indifferent, while those 
of Galveston ridiculed the idea of Houston ever securing naviga- 
tion of its crooked bayou for ocean-going vessels. Unfortunate- 
ly for Galveston there was at that time in that city a wharf 
company that had an absolute monopoly of the whole city water 
front, and that company was short-sighted enough to take full 
advantage of the monopoly. It made its rates very high and 
acted very arbitrarily. It cost $5 per bale to take cotton from 
Houston to Galveston by rail and then the Wharf Company took 
a whack at it and there was a big hole knocked in the farmer's 
or shipper's profit by the time the cotton got on shipboard afte? 
leaving Houston. 

Houston was not slow about seizing this strong argument 
placed in her hands by the Wharf Company and began a cam- 
paign of education to teach the people of the interior that they 
were far more interested in securing deep water at Houston than 
was Houston itself. They were shown that could vessels come 
to Houston to discharge their cargoes and take on new ones, the 
fifty miles haul to and from Galveston, and the excessive charges 
of the Galveston Wharf Company would be things of the past 
and millions of dollars would be saved by the interior people 
annually. 

The Houston Direct Navigation Company, for the improve- 
ment and navigation of the bayou had been formed in 1869, but 
by 1870 the campaign of education had so far progressed that 
the question was no longer a local one, in any sense of the word, 
but was state-wide. The Navigation Company continued the 
work of deepening the bayou and began the digging of a chan- 
nel across Morgan's Point. ' The city had, through assistance 
given the Navigation Company, spent about $230,000 on this 
work, when the Galveston Wharf Company again came to its 
assistance in the most unexpected way.. The assistance was 



248 History of Houston, Texas 

real and of great value, though it was entirely unintentional on 
the part of the Wharf Company. 

Charles Morgan, the president and chief owner of the 
Morgan Steamship line, that for years controlled the ocean carry- 
ing trade between New Orleans and Texas ports, asked the Gal- 
veston Wharf Company for better facilities and better rates than 
were given him at that time. The company turned down his 
request and treated him with contem^pt. He threatened to come 
to Houston with his ships unless they treated him more reason- 
ably. They hooted at the idea and told him to go ahead and do 
whatever he pleased.- He did go ahead. He purchased Hous- 
ton's stock in the Navigation Company, put his engineers and 
a big dredging force to work, and completed the canal through 
Morgan 's Point. The great storm of 1875 • destroyed his fleet 
of small vessels and a great many workmen were drowned. But 
work was resumed within thirty days and continued until the 
cut-off through Morgan's Point was completed. A railroad was 
built from Houston to Clinton, a point on Buffalo Bayou about 
ten miles by land, and for a few years the Morgan steamers gave 
Galveston the go-by and came directly to Clinton. Then the 
Wharf Company at Galveston realized the error of its way, 
repented and gave Morgan whatever he wanted and he discon- 
tinued his Houston steamers. However, he had demonstrated 
what could be done and there was a popular demand on Congress 
to take charge of and develop this important waterway, which 
had such brilliant promise for the future. 

In the late seventies a bill was introduced in Congress for 
the purchase of the Buffalo Ship Channel by the United States 
Government, with the view of opening it as a general highway. 
A corps of engineers was sent by the Government to inspect the 
work already done. They reported that twelve feet of water, as an 
average depth of the channel, to the foot of Main Street in 
Houston, could be had. The condition of the proposed sale of 
the channel to the Government by Morgan was that the Gov- 
ernment should refund to him the amount expended by him in 
the work and carry out the general terms of the undertaking as 
accepted by him when he took over the channel from the Buffalo 



Transportation and Communication 249 

Bayou Ship Canal Company. One of the conditions of the 
transfer was that the work would be completed to the foot of 
Main Street as soon as practicable. The Ship Channel was 
■ assumed to extend from Clinton to Red Pish Bar. From Red 
Pish Bar to BoUiver, the Government had done work under 
various appropriations, the last of which had been $147,000. 
Prom Clinton to Boliver the channel varied in depth from 14 
to 30 feet, and an inspection in 1880 showed that the channel 
through Morgan's Point and Red Pish Bar had deepened and 
widened through natural causes. 

On the old channel the Direct Navigation Company 
had expended about $200,000 before it had transferred the work 
to Morgan. After the transfer, Morgan expended about $700,- 
000 more in bringing the work to Clinton, and had expended 
about $125,000 in making improvements at Clinton. There was a 
long delay and negotiations were not closed until 1891 and the 
money was paid to Morgan and the channel through Morgan's 
Point was thrown open to the public on May 4, 1892. 

The work of the Government on the Houston Ship Channel 
has been continuous since the day it took charge. Bach Congress, 
with one exception .when no river and harbor bill was passed, 
has made a liberal appropriation for the work. The bayou h&s 
been made straighter by the removal of sharp curves, the streatn 
has been widened and deepened by dredging and the bayou, 
always naturally deep, has been put in first class condition. If 
all the channel were as easy of improvement as the bayou, the 
problem would have been solved long ago. The main trouble 
exists at one or two points in Galveston Bay. Red Pish and 
Morgan's Point, involving a stretch of channel about twelve 
miles in extent, are the chief points on which the work must 
be concentrated. At these points the sand is shifting and almost 
as fast as a channel is deepened it is filled up by the sand. The 
proper solution of the problem, so the engineers say, is to con- 
fine the currents and tides that sweep over the channel at these 
points, so as to direct them along the channel and thus make, 
them do the work of keepiiig the channel clear. To do this long 
and expensive bulk-heading will be required. When this is 



250 History of Houston, Texas 

done there is no reason why the large vessels that enter Galveston 
Bay cannot come direct to the Houston Turning Bp^in. 

The whole thing is simply a question of money. The 
Government recognized this when, in 1910, Congress passed a 
bill appropriating $1,250,000 for the development of the Ship 
Channel, on condition that Houston would raise a similar amount. 
So soon as this became known, officially, Mayor Rice of Houston, 
consulted with the Harris County Commissioners, with the 
result that the Houston Navigation District was formed. An 
election was held and the proposition to have the NaAdgation Dis- 
trict issue bonds to the amount of $1,250,000 was carried over- 
whelmingly in 1911, and Houston's future as a deep-water port 
was assured. 

Because the Government engineers have declared that it 
will cost two and one-half million dollars to complete 
the Ship Channel, there seems to be an impression, even in 
Houston, that a vast amount of work yet remains to be done 
before ocean-going vessels can make use of the channel regularly. 
That is a mistaken idea. A big work will have to be done, but 
its magnitude is more in the way of expense than anything else. 
There is very little difficulty about it. It is expensive because 
about twelve miles of the channel will have to be bulk-headed 
to protect the channel from shifting sands at Morgan's Point 
and Red Fish Bar, or reef. The bayou itself from Morgan's 
Point to the Turning Basin, is wide enough and deep enough to 
admit of the safe passage of large steamships of 18 to 20 feet 
draught, while the channel in the bay from Red Fish Bar to the 
end of the jetties in the gulf is equally safe for the same class 
of vessels. One or two large steamers have already made the 
trip to the turning basin, safely. The Reveiiue Cutter Windom, 
the Steamship Disa and the Steamship Mercator, the latter 
250 feet in length, have made successful trips from the Gulf of 
Mexico to the Houston Turning Basin, thus demonstrating that 
the Ship Channel is an actual fact and not a theory. It is well 
known that steamships are the most timid things in the world. 
They take no chances of getting aground or of being detained in 
any way, for with them time is literally money. Under these 



Transportation and Communication 251 

circumstances and conditions it will be difficult to get regular 
lines of steamers established until the channel is placed in such 
condition that it will be absolutely safe at all times and under 
all conditions, as it will be when approved improvements are 
completed. 

The channel in its present condition is used and has been 
used for years, and an immense traffic goes on over its waters. 
Numerous small boats ply the channel regularly, while tug- 
drawn barges carry thousands of bales of cotton and other pro- 
duce, which swell the value of the commerce to millions of dol- 
lars annually. Aside from the actual and tangible profits 
derived by Houston pepple from the bayou trade and commerce, 
there is a greater one, in the fact that having this outlet to the 
sea gives Houston all the benefits of water rates. 

"When the S. S. Disa came to the Turning Basin on No- 
vember 8, 1909, all the newspapers stated that she was the first 
ocean-going vessel to come up Buffalo Bayou. Such was not the 
case. In the spring of 1863 a good sized steamship ran the 
blockade at Galveston and Buffalo Bayou being out of its banks 
because of a great spring flood, the steamer came directly to 
Houston and discharged her cargo of arms and ammunition at 
the foot of Fannin Street. She then took on a cargo of cotton, 
shipped by T. W. House, Sr., returned to Galveston and ran 
the blockade again. Unfortunately the name of this blockade- 
runner has not been preserved. 

The first street railroad company to operate in Houston, 
was a local concern backed by local capital, which was organized 
under a charter granted by the* Legislature, August 6, 1870, and 
known as the Houston City Street Railway Company. A fran- 
chise was granted to this company in 1873 by the city council. 
The stockholders were T. "W. House, E. W. Cave, J. T. Brady, 
and William Brady. About 51^ miles of track was laid by 1874 
and the road was operated continuously until 1883. The com- 
pany had the field all to itself for awhile, but in 1881 the Bayou 
City Street Car Company was organized and laid a track from 
the Capitol Hotpl to the Union Depot. In 1883 a controlling 
interest in both these companies was bought by Colonel Sinclair 



252 History of Houston, Texas 

of Galveston who soon sold a half interest in his holdings to H. 
F. McGregor. The combined trackage of the two lines was about 
six miles. The lines were rebuilt and extended by Messrs.- Sinclair 
and McGregor until there was a length of about 16 miles, all 
operated by mule power. 

The business was so prosperous that others determined to 
take a hand in it and accordingly, in 1890, a second Bayou 
City Street Railroad Company was organized. The promoters 
of the new company, Wm. Boyd and Brother, constructed ten 
miles of track. Soon after that Sinclair and McGregor sold out 
their interest to a Chicago syndicate, which had the president of 
the Chicago City Eailroad at its head. This syndicate, in turn, 
sold its Houston interest to an Omaha syndicate. The new syndi- 
cate soon bought a controlling interest in the Boyd Bayou City 
Company which had been fairly successful. The Omaha people 
prepared to introduce electricity in operating their cars, and the 
city council passed an ordinance, October 3, 1890, authorizing 
them to do so. At the same time the company was given a new 
franchise for a period of 35 years. The two lines were consol- 
idated and had a total trackage of 28 miles, all being equipped 
with electric power. The Houston Heights line was constructed 
in 1892-93. It was purchased by the Omaha people and com- 
bined with the other line, thus increasing its mileage to 35 miles. 
The great financial panic of 1893 was- disastrous to the company 
and in 1895 it passed into the hands of John H. Kirby, as 
receiver. The company was reorganized in 1896, with A. W. 
Parlin as president and H. F. McGregor as manager. In 1901, 
H. B. Rice was entrusted as receiver, with the supervision of all 
its affairs, and during his control the road passed to the owner- 
ship of the Stone and Webster syndicate of Boston, who pur- 
.chased it at a receivers sale, November 12, 1901. 

The new owners placed H. K. Payne in charge as manager 
and set aside a certain amount of money for rebuilding and 
improving the property. One of the provisions of the receivers 
sale was that the new owners should assume all liabilities of the 
old company. Among these was an indebtedness to the city 
of Houston for street paving, variously estimated at from 



Transportation and Communication 253 

$30,000 to $85,000. After long negotiation, the details of which 
were given to the public, the company agreed to pay to the city 
$80,000 in full settlement of all claims, and the city agreed to 
extend the franchise of the road for an additional ten years. The 
company further agreed to establish a transfer system, vestibule 
its cars, to build a certain amount of new track within the city 
limits each year for two years, and to pay to the city one per cent 
of its gross earnings for 23 years and 2 per cent for the remain- 
ing ten years. 

The company immediately set about rebuilding the La Branch, 
Houston Heights, South End, Louisiana, Franklin, Sf..n 1^'elipe, 
Arkansas Pass, Brunner and "Wa?hington Street lines, . replac- 
ing the old, light rails with the heaviest type of rails and sub- 
stituting grounded girders for "T" rails on all paved streets. 
The company also began the extension of the Liberty Avenue 
line, the Montgomery Avenue line, the La Branch line and the 
Houston Avenue line. New and modern cars and other equip- 
ments were supplied. Highland Park was completed, and many 
improvements were made. Provision was made for the separa- 
tion of white and negro passengers on the cars in accordance 
with the provisions of an ordinance of the city, which went into 
effect October 28, 1903. 

The street railroad system of Houston, while far from per- 
fect, has done much in developing and building up the city. 

The Houston Electric ^Company now operates 13 lines in 
Houston and has a total of 51 miles of track. Several exten- 
sions are under way. On the several lines 191 cars are in ser- 
vice and the number of employes of the company is 456. It 
expends each year on its Houston pay roll $33,839' in salaries 
and $230,600 for labor. The company has a capital stock of 
$3,000,000 and is not in any sense a local corporation. It pays 
large dividends to its Boston owners. David Daly is the local 
manager. 

In September, 1911, the finishing touches were put on the 
city part of the track of the Houston-Galveston Interurban 
Railroad. This line is 50.5 miles in length, and is said to be 
the best piece of tra,ck of its kind in the country. It cost 



254 History of Houston, Texas 

$2,500,000 to construct it. The main power station at Clear 
Creek (half way) cost $275,000 and is fitted with two-fifteen 
hundred kilowatt generators and three 520-horse power engines. 

There are three sub-power stations situated at La Marque, 
South Houston and at the main station. 

Most of the grading was embankment fill, but on Galveston 
Island and the approach to the causeway, there was a hydraulic 
fill amounting to about 164,000 cubic yards. Five long bridges 
were constructed, the longest 612 feet in length, was that over 
Clear Creek. A passenger station, costing $12,000 has been 
erected in Galveston and one costing $40,000 is about completed 
in Houston. 

A viaduct 1,900 feet long, built of reinforced concrete, has 
been constructed over the tracks of the Santa Fe and the Lee- 
land road just beyond the Houston city limits. This road will 
use the great Galveston causeway, the longest bridge in the world, 
now almost complete. It will span Galveston Bay from Virginia 
Point on the mainland to the island. It will be used by all 
railroads, and other traffic lines of communication entering Gal- 
veston. 

On account of their intimate connection with transportation 
matters, there is given here a brief account of Houston's first 
experience with the telegraph and telephone. The first mention 
of the telegraph is found in the Houston Telegraph, March 18, 
1853. This is the announcement tfiat L. W. Cady & Co., had 
determined to connect the telegraph line at Alexandria; La., 
with the Texa^ and Red River line. A Mr. Preston, who had 
lately passed through Houston, was then on his way to the 
eastern counties to arrange for the extension of the line from 
Alexandria to Houston. 

At that time the construction of a line between Houston and 
Galveston was actually under way, but in 1854 work on it was 
abandoned, for a' time at least, though it was stated that the 
"gutta percha wire" which was to have been laid under the 
waters of the bay from Virginia Point to Galveston Island, was 
in Galveston ready for use. Carelessness in putting up the 
wires and subsequent neglect of them had caused them to faU 



Transportation and Communication 255 

down in several places between Houston and Virginia Point. 
No further effort was made to build the line until in May, 1858. 
Then a successful movement was inaugurated and the line was 
built. The plan adopted for raising the necessary money was 
simple. An appeal was made to the business men, the profes- 
sional men and to everybody in general, to take stock in the 
company. The expense of construction was placed at $110 per 
mile, which made the total cost of the land part $5,500. The 
submarine cable, warranted to last one year, was to cost $700, 
thus making the total cost of the line $6,200. Houston was 
asked to take $3,000 stock which she did. It was stipulated that 
the stock was not to be paid for until the line was completed 
and in operation. 

In the fall of 1878, Mr. Pendarvis, telegraph operator at 
Morgan's Transportation Depot, which was over in the Fifth 
ward near Bonner's Point, installed a telephone plant between 
his office and the office at Clinton, ten miles away. Because the 
talking disturbed the clerks in the Clinton office the telephone 
was removed. Mr. Pendarvis then strung the wires between his 
office, the Direct Navigation office and the Central Depot. It was 
found that conversations could be carried on with as much ease 
as if the talkers were in one room. "When the great convenience 
growing out of these two connections is ascertained by other 
railroad men and business men generally," said the Telegram, 
"there will be, no doubt, a system of telephonic wires several 
miles in length put up here, connecting not only the depots, but 
many of the business houses with each other and with private 
residences. ' ' 

Mr. Pendarvis was the first man in Houston to use the 
telephone for practical business purposes, though the telephone 
had been tested before that, as the following extract from the 
Houston Telegram of June 18, 1878, shows: "Mr. J. "W. Staeey, 
the efficient manager of the "Western Union Telegraph office in 
this city, has procured a telephone of the latest improved con- 
struction which he will put up for use during the military 
encampment of the volunteers of the state next week. The line 
will run from the Fair Grounds to Mr. G. "W. Baldwin's library 



256 History of Houston, Texas 

room in the Telegram Building and everybody wishing to have 
the pleasure of conversing with a friend a mile distant will have 
an opportunity. Our friends from the country and many in 
the city who are skeptical about the truthful working of the 
wonderful instrument, will have an opportunity to test it to their 
satisfaction. To many^of them it will be quite a curiosity, and 
we expect to see its capacity fully tried. Mr. Stacey will make a 
trial test today and will have the apparatus in perfect working 
order by the end of the week." 

A thorough and practical test of the telephone was made for 
the first time in a general way in Houston on October 18, 1879, 
when instruments were established in several railroad offices 
and in the Telegram office and the editor of the Telegram con^ 
versed for over an hour, as he tells us, with Major Swanson, 
Mr. Dwyer and others at the Central Railway and Sunset depots 
and offices. 

The accounts of these primitive telegraph lines with' their 
"gutta percha wires" for use under water and telephones that 
enabled one to "talk to a friend a mile away," seem very strange 
to us of today, when a merchant can go on the floor of the Cotton 
Exchange and send a message to Liverpool, have it executed 
and receive a reply before he can make a cigarette and smoke it. 
Or when one can sit in the library at home, take down the 
telephone and converse with a friend in Chicago, St. Louis or 
El Paso, with as much ease and dispatch as one can con\'erse with 
the next door neighbor. In the newspaper offices in Houston 
demonstrations have been made of the wireless telephone. 

Iromediately after the close of the war the "Star State" 
telegraph line between Houston and Galveston and between 
Houston and Orange, was absorbed by the Southwestern, the 
Trans-Mississippi division of the Southwestern Telegraph Com- 
pany that covered all of the Southern states east of the Missis- 
sippi River. The new company was placed under the super- 
vision of Mr. D. P. Shepherd, one of the most expert operators 
of that or this day, who, his friends claim, was the first telegraph 
operator in the world to receive a message by ear. In addition 
to its lines to Galveston and Orange, the company had a line 



Transportation and Communication 257 

extending to Crockett, where it eonneeted with a line extending 
to Shrevesport. In the latter part of 1867 the Western Union 
absorbed the Southwestern and this gave the Western Union 
control of all telegraph lines in the United States. 

Mr. Merrit Harris was made manager of the Western Union 
office in Houston but died soon after of yellow fever, in 1867. 
Col. Phil. Fall was appointed manager and served for a short 
time, resigning to take charge of the telegraph department of 
the Houston and Texas Central Railroad Company; 

For over forty years the Western Union remained in full 
possession of the telegraph field, and then, a few months ago, it 
was in turn absorbed by the Southwestern Telegraph and Tele- 
phone Company, which is the greatest combination of the kind in 
the world. 

The Houston office is thoroughly equipped. It employs 
about sixty operators and has over one hundred wires .running 
into it, forming connection with every city and village in this 
country, Mexico and Canada. It also has connection with deep- 
sea cables to all parts of the world. Mr. S. P. Jones is manager, 
succeeding Mr. C. W. Gribble, long the capable manager, and 
Mr. J. E. Johnson is chief operator. The latter is said to be 
one of the most skilled electricians in the telegraph service. 
The Postal 'felegraph Company, a rival of the Western Union 
and its successor, the Southwestern, established its office in Hous- 
ton, July 5, 1898. By strict attention to business and prompt 
service it soon built up a good business, and is today a substantial 
and solid concern. The company employs about thirty opera- 
tors, and has wire connection with all points on this continent 
and cable connection with the whole world. On the day the 
company opened its office here its total receipts were $2.40. 
Today the daily receipts average between $400 and $500. Not 
only in Houston but in every office of the company all over the 
United States, the motto of the Postal is promptness and dis- 
patch, and by adhering to this motto it has succeeded in gaining 
and holding public confidence. The local manager of the Postal 
is Mr. John C. Witt. 



258 History of Houston, Texas 

In 1910, the two telegraph companies handled 3,500,000 
messages out of Houston. 

The Houston Telephone Exchange was established in Hous- 
ton by Mr. James A. Staeey, local manager of the "Western 
Union Telegraph Company, in 1880. Mr. G. "W. Foster succeed- 
ed Mr. Staeey as manager of the telephone company in 1882, the 
exchange having ninety-four subscribers and no long distance 
lines. The exchange was first located in the old Fox Building, 
but Mr. Foster obtained a ten year lease on a room at the top 
of the market house tower in exchange for ringing the alarm bell 
in case of fire, the alarms to be turned in by telephone. Only one 
lineman was employed by the exchange, a negro who divided his 
time between his duties and preaching. 

The first long distance line was built between Houston and 
Galveston in 1883, and Mr. Foster and his wife, who was as 
efficient as he, removed to Galveston, where they managed both 
the Houston and Galveston offices. 

The company has just completed an elegant building of its 
own, a skyscraper, on the corner of Capitol Avenue and San 
Jacinto Street, which, with its equipments, wiU cost approxi- 
mately $1,000,000. 

The company had on July 31, this year, 13,874 subscribers, 
and when it gets in its new quarters it will be able to care for 
20,000 subscribers without making further additions to its plant. 
The work of putting the wires under ground was begun in 
1896 and nearly all are now in conduits. 

The company has a very complete system of long distance 
wireg. There are twelve circuits to Galveston, seven to Beau- 
mont, three' to San Antonio, three to Dallas and one each to Fort 
Worth and Corpus Christi. These are direct circuits and aU 
have branches reaching out over the state in every direction. 

It is possible to carry on conversation between Houston 
and El Paso, New Orleans, St. Louis and even Chicago, and the 
company does a large commercial business. Plans are now being 
discussed for the improvement of the service so as to extend it 
as far as Los Angeles and San Francisco on the west and New 
York and Boston on the east. 



Transportation and Communication 259 

The officers of the company in Houston are: B. G. Pike, 
division commercial superintendent; G. S. Prentice, district 
commercial manager; R. E. Hart, division traffic superintend- 
ent ; Gordon Bell, local cashier. The local service of the com- 
pany heretofore has been very unsatisfactory and there has 
been much private and newspaper complaint. 

An Automatic telephone company has been preparing for 
several years to open in Houston. "Work has been slow and 
delays numerous, but there are now several miles of conduit wires 
and several thousand subscribers. The success of the automatic 
principle remains to be locally demonstrated. Mr. B. G. Ebersole 
is the Houston manager. The company is erecting a handsome 
office building, but has not yet begun to extend service. 

In view of the rapid strides that are made almost daily in 
improving and perfecting the means of telegraphic and tele- 
phonic communication, it is but reasonable to presume that 
methods which we regard as practically perfect today will be 
regarded as obsolete fifty years from now and will excite as much 
wonder as the "gutta percha wire" that was used in place of 
a cable across Galveston Bay, by the first telegraphic company 
fifty or more years ago, does with us today. There may not be 
such radical changes in telegraphic methods where wires and 
cables are used, but where these are discarded and only the 
wireless used, the advance will be revolutionary. 

Two wireless companies operate in Houston. " One is a pri- 
vate concern owned and operated by the Texas Company. This 
company has 2,700 miles of private telegraph wires in Texas, 
Oklahoma and Kansas. These lines are used by the company 
only, and the wireless plant is kept always in readiness for 
instant use, in case the wires should, fail from any cause. The 
company has similar outfits at Beaumont and in Oklahoma. 

The Texas "Wireless Telegraph-Telephone is the only one 
engaged in doing a public and commercial business. Its location 
is admirable, being on the 18th floor of the Carter Building and 
having its wire tentacles spread from a tower forty or fifty feet 
above the roof of that tall building. This great elevation is very 
advantageous for it gives the electric waves free play and wide 



260 History of Houston, Texas 

range. Another advantage is that it is as far removed from 
metal roofs and street wires, which are enemies to the free 
transmission of electric waves. The company has now in opera- 
tion a station here, one^in Victoria and another in San Antonio. 
It has thoroughly equipped stations at Fredericksburg, Waco 
and Fort Worth, but, for some reason, only the first named are 
in commission. Probably it is because of the difficulty of securing 
competent operators, these being scarce. The area in which the 
Houston plant can do effective work in sending messages is about 
500 miles. The instrument is not powerful enough to send 
a message further than that except under exceptionally favorable 
conditions, but it is delicate and powerful enough to receive them 
from an indefinite distance. 

The local manager of .the company frequently hears the 
Norfolk Navy yard operator sending messages, and can get 
messages from Washington, Cape Hatteras and from a station on 
the southeast coast of Cuba. All these stations are equipped 
with powerful machines. Three codes are used. The ordinary 
Morse code is the one in general use. All German vessels use 
the Continental code, while the United States Navy uses the 
Navy code. Of course a wireless operator must have all three 
codes at his finger ends. 

The Texas Wireless Company is a Texas company. AIJ its 
stock is owned in Texas and it is controlled and managed by 
Texas people. Mr. G. R. Spielhagen is president and general 
manager with headquarters ia Houston, while Mr. E. G. Prince 
is local manager. 



CHAPTER XV 

Societies and Clubs 



Free Masonry in Texas. Holland Lodge and Texas Grand Lodge 
Organized. First Lodge of Olid Fellows. Knights of 
PytMas and Elks. The Houston Turn Verein. The Volks- 
Fests. Societies of "War Veterans. Terry's Texas Rangers. 
Second Texas Infantry and "Waul's Legion. Hood's Texas 
Brigade. The Bayou City Guards. Dick Dowling Camp U. 
C. V. and Post McLennan No. 9, G. A. R. Houston Militia 
Companies. The Light Guard. Troop A. First Texas 
Cavalry. Jeff Miller Rifles. The Annual No-Tsu-Oh Carni- 
val. Z. Z. and Thalian Olubs. Country Club. Houston 
Club. Charitable Societies. Organized Charities, Faith 
Home, Wesley House; Florence Crittenden Home, Star of 
Hope Mission. Houston Settlement Association. 



It is not generally known that the establishment of Free 
Masonry in Texas was accomplished not only through the great- 
est difSculty, owing to the isolated and widely separated con- 
dition of those willing -to engage in such work, but also that 
tja.e act itself was one replete with danger to those engaged in 
it. At that time Texas was a part of Mexico and the people 
of Mexico looked on all secret societies, and Free Masonry in 
particular, as tools of the evil one and punished all those who 
had anything to do with them, as heretics and servants of the 
devil. 

Dr. Anson Jones, the last President of the Republic of 
Texas, the first master of Holland Lodge No. 1, and also the 
first Grand Master of Masons in the Republic of Texas, fortun- 
ately left a manuscript dairy from which the following fact's 
are taken: 

In the winter of 1834-35, five Master Masons, who had 
exchanged the signs of their order, resolved to establish Masonry 



262 History of Houston, Texas 

in Texas. President Jones gays that this was not without peril, 
for every movement looking towards organization of any kind, 
was craftily and censoriously watched by Mexican spies in the 
employ of the government for that specific purpose. However, 
these very conditions made some kind of oirganization on the 
part of the American population an absolute necessity for self 
protection, and personal rights and liberty. Accordingly, Anson 
Jones, John A. Wharton, Asa Bringham, A. E. Phelps and 
Alexander Russell in association with J. P. Caldwell, banded 
together as the first Masonic lodge in Texas. Their first place 
of meeting was in a wild-peach grove on the General John 
Austin place back of Brazoria. The spot was a family burying 
ground, and for that reason, as well as on account of its environ- 
ment, was a secluded place, and deemed safe for the work in 
hand. Here, at 10 o'clock on a day in March, in 1835, was 
held the first formal Masonic meeting in Texas. It was deter- 
mined at that meeting to a,pply to the Grand Lodge' of 
Louisiana for a dispensation to open and form a lodge to be 
called Holland Lodge, in honor of the worshipful grand master 
of that body, J. H.' Holland. After some delay the dispensation 
was granted, and Holland Lodge No. 36 (under dispensation) 
was instituted at Brazoria, in the second story of the old court 
house. 

The activities of the lodge were interfered with by the struggle 
for independence by the Texans. At the last meeting of the lodge 
in Brazoria, in February, 1836, Anson Jones, presided and 
Fannin, the Texas hero, was senior deacon. Brazoria was aban- 
doned in March, and the Mexicans, under General Urrea 
destroyed the Masonic records, jewels and other property. The 
few members of Holland Lodge were scattered in every direction. 
When, in due time, the Grand Lodge of Louisiana chartered 
Holland Lodge No. 36, it sent the charter to Texas by 
John Allen, who delivered it, with other papers, to Anson" Jones 
at a point on the prairie between Groce's and San Jacinto, when 
Jones was marching with the Texas army. Dr. Jones put the 
documents in his saddle-bag and took them with him to where 
the army was camped at Lynchburg on Buffalo Bayou. The 



264 History of Houston, Texas 

before. General Prior was also Provincial Grand Prior of the 
Great Priory of Canada of the United Military and Religious 
Orders of the Temple. 

It is rather remarkable that the same man who was so large- 
ly instrumental in introducing Masonry in Texas should also 
have played an equally important part in establishing Odd 
Fellowship. Anson Jones, who may be termed, with truth and 
justice, the father of Masonry in Texas, was also the father of 
Odd Fellowship. In 1838, he and four other brothers organized 
Lone Star Lodge No. 1, I. 0. 0. F. in Houston, and he was the 
first Grand Master of the organization in Texas. The progress 
of Masonry and Odd Fellowship in Houston has always been 
side by side. Each has had periods of great prosperity and 
periods of depression, but in all instances the prosperity has 
predominated,. and, today they are two of the most solid and well 
established orders in the city. Lone Star Lodge No. 1, I. O. 0. 
F. has the distinguished honor, shared equally by Holland Lodge 
No. 1, of the Masonic order, of having had two of its members 
fill the high and exalted office of Grand Master of both the 
Grand Lodge of Masons and Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows. These 
were President Anson Jones and Henry Perkins, of Houston. 
In recent years Masonry in Houston has been most furthered 
by the efforts of Hon. Frank C. Jones, a 33° Mason and the 
present potentate of El Mina Temple nobles of the mystic shrine. 
In 1870 the young men of Houston took great interest in 
Odd Fellowship, with the result that Lone Star Lodge No. 1, 
grew rapidly in numbers and influence. This influence was not 
exerted, in Houston alone but extended to other nearby cities. 
As a result interest in the order increased and it may be said, 
truthfully, that the present great usefulness and influence of 
the order in Houston dates from that time. Henry Perkins, 
who was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, was a most enthu- 
siastic worker. He is one of the few really worthy and distin- 
guished citizens of Houston of the early days, who has never 
been given that place in the history and traditions of the city, to 
which his merits entitled him. One reason for this was the 
excessive modesty and aversion to publicity, which characterized 



Societies and Clubs 265 

his life. He was willing to work for the good of the order and 
always kept himself as far from the. lime-light as possible. He 
was a man of independent means, a great student and lover of 
books, and as a consequence was known, really, by but few men. 

Next to the Masons and Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias 
is the oldest secret organization in Houston. Lone Star Lodge 
No. 1, was organized in 1872, and is therefore not only the oldest 
lodge of the order in Houston, but the oldest in the state. The 
order has always been popular here and is very strong, both 
numerically and in every other way. There are fourteen pri- 
mary lodges and subsidiary organizations of the order here, 
and they are all flourishing and each has a full membership. 

Strange to say there is only one lodge of the Elks organization 
in Houston. It is Houston Lodge No. 151, B. P. 0. B. It was 
organized in January, 1890, and is in a most flourishing eonrii- 
tioh, numerically. The lodge has over 600 members, and plans 
for a magnificent building of its own are now under considera- 
tion. 

The Turn Verein, the first German Society in Houston, was 
organized January 14, 1854. In its first minute book is recorded 
the following: 

"We, the undersigned, assembled this forenoon in Gabln's 
house, to confer in regard to the institution of a Turn Verein. 
It was the wish of all to belong to a society where each feels 
as a brother to the other and lives for him and with him as a 
brother. We hav6, therefore, associated ourselves under a 
brotherly pressure of hands and promised each other to organize 
a Turn Verein with energy and love in the cause and assure 
its existence by continued activity." 

(Signed) T. Heitmann, P. Reiinann, Marschall, 

Louis Pless, John F. Thorade, Robert Voight, B. B. 
H. Schneider, August Sabath, E. Scheurer, and L. 
Scheihagen. 
Houston, January 14, 1854. 

The young Verein had scarcely seen seven years when the 
great Civil War broke out. The original ten had grown to about 
a hundred and almost to a man they volunteered to do battle for 



266 History of Houston, Texas 

their adopted country. A company was formed, under the lead- 
ership of Captain B. B. H. Schneider, composed of members 
of the Turn Verein, and was among the very first troops to leave 
for the front. That they were not parade soldiers is attested 
by the frayed and shot-torn company flag which is among the 
most prized and sacredly guarded treasures of the Verein. 

But before the war the Verein had already accomplished a 
great deal. Under their auspices a gymnastic school for both 
sexes had been established, for the motto of the Verein was: 
"only in a healthy body dwells a healthy soul." One of the 
early volunteer fire companies was recruited from the Turners. 
When the war closed the Turners were poor in purse, in common 
with everybody else, but they were rich in hope and energy and 
it was not long before they had new life and vigor instilled in 
the Verein. Within two years after the close of the war they 
had gotten their affairs so well in hand that they were enabled 
to start a semi-public school, which, according to the testimony 
of old Houstonians, was the best school of its scope and purpose 
of the period. Able teachers were employed. Tuitions were 
insuiBeient to defray expenses and the Turners made up the 
deficiency out of the treasury of the association. In the great 
yellow fever epidemic of 1867 one of the principal teachers died 
and the school was suspended and never again resumed. 

At that time foreign immigrants were settling in the North 
and West and were avoiding the South because the advantagf^s 
of the South had never been properly placed*before them. The 
Verein undertook to correct this and had printed at its own 
expense, pamphlets setting forth the claims of Texas and cir- 
culated them in all the large towns of Germany. This work was 
very effective in building up the state and -particularly Houston. 
The Turn Verein cultivated music and popularized it by means 
of vocal and instrumental concerts. 

With the view of combining all of Houston's citizens 
and harmonizing their work for the common good, it organized, 
in 1869, the Volks-fest, which was also aided by other German 
associations. For about twelve years the annual Volks-fest was 
one of the great events of Houston, but gradually interest died 



Societies and Clubs . 267 

out, and by 1880, it was evident that something would have to 
be done if it were intended to continue the celebration. Then 
dissentions arose and the afifairs of the Volks-fest association got 
into court. At that time (1881) there were 100 members of the 
Turn Verein. There was also another German Association, 
known as the German Society, about of the same numerical 
strength as the Turn Verein. Almost every German citizen of 
any note was a member of one of these associations. These two 
associations determined to come to the rescue of the Volks-fest 
Association, and to assume all responsibility for future cele- 
brations. Accordingly a meeting was held at the city hall on 
Sunday morning, December 4, 1881, for the purpose of adopting 
a charter and by-laws for the new association. Hon. E. F. 
Schmidt was called to the chair and Professor Stereouwitz was 
made secretary. The charter and by-laws were read and adopted 
without disbussion. By the admission of new members the mem- 
bership increased to about 250. It was decided that it would 
not be best for the new organization to tak6 further definite 
action pending litigation over the Volks-fest fund then in the 
District court. Two months later the two factions of the Volks- 
fest Association effected a compromise of their differences 
whereby the dignity of each was preserved, and it was decided 
to give the next festival under the consolidated management. 
The announcement was made, March 11, that the charter 
of the Volks-fest Association — amended to admit of the consol- 
idation of the two associations — had been forwarded to Austin 
and that so soon as it was legalized and returned, a new and 
enlarged directory would take up the work that was needed to, 
insure the permanency of the Volks-fest. It was planned to 
make the coming festival the grandest that had ever been under- 
taken. An interstate military drill was suggested but the idea 
was abandoned because there would be no time to arrange for 
more than a State drill. It was decided to do away with the dec- 
orated wagons that had always been a feature of previous festi- 
vals, and to apply the money thus saved as a fund to be used as 
prizes for the greatest military and firemen's competitions ever 



268 . History of Houston, Texas 

seen in Texas, and to induce the attendance of singing societies 
from all parts of the state. 

Early on the morning of May 4, 1882, a salute of fourteen 
guns was fired by the Texas Old Guard Artillery announcing 
the opening of the fourteenth annual Volks-fest. There was a 
grand procession. . John D. Usner was Grand Marshal, with J, 
J. Fant and "William Rupersburg as assistants. The Adjutants 
were: John Morris, A. R. Jones, S. S. Ashe, H. Kleinicke, 
George Bauss and Ben Keagans. The parade and the festivities 
that followed were beautiful and enjoyable. Only one or two 
subsequent annual Volks-fests were held and then they were 
aba;ndoned voluntarily. 

•Though primarily a child of the Turn Verein the Volks-fest 
had really no official connection with the Turners and its fortunes 
and misfortunes affected it in no way. The Turners continued 
to grow in strength and popularity, until today it is one of the 
strongest and most influential organizations of the kind in the 
state, and one of which all citizens of Houston are proud. They 
have recently sold part of their property on Texas Avenue arid 
contemplate erecting one of the finest club houses in the South. 

Nearly one hundred of the 300 survivors of Terry's Texas 
Rangers met in Houston on December 16, 1880, in annual 
reunion. A committee composed of local survivors of that 
command had made extensive preparation for the event. That 
committee was : S. S. Ashe, of Co. B. ; "W. R. Black, of Co. B. ; 
P. C. Walker, of Co. K. ; J. M. Morin, of Co. D. ; T. U. Lubbock, 
of Co. K. ; W. H. Albertson, of Co. H. ; S. H. Jones, of Co. H. ; 
and M.' F. de Bajeligethe, of Co. K. 

This was one of the most famous cavalry regiments in the 
Confederate Army and was the only Texas regiment of cavalry 
that saw active service on the other side of the Mississippi River 
during the whole four years, of the war. The. record it made 
has perhaps never been surpassed by any cavalry command 
in the history of the world. It was recruited in 1861, in 
response to a call made by Benjamin Franklin Terry for recruits 
who could come armed and equipped to serve in the Confed- 
erate Army. ' The response was so prompt that the regiment 



Societies and Clubs 269 

was recruited to its full strength at once (1027), and had thir- 
teen supernumeraries, who enlisted for the war as vacancies 
occurred. The following brief summary of the regiment's record 
tells better than hundreds of written pages could do, what bril- 
liant service the command rendered the Confederacy: 

Full strength of the regiment at the beginning, 1027 men, 
rank and file. Recruits received during the war, 398. Absent 
during the war, at times only, 28. Discharged for wounds and 
disease, 271. Killed in battle, 377. Absent from wounds or 
disease. at the close of the war, 79. Present for duty at the sur- 
render, 317. 

The command was mustered into the service on June, 1861, 
and served until May, 1865, and during that entire time was out 
of actual service but 21 days. It was in 38 general engagements 
and 160 skirmishes. The regiment, known officially as the Eighth 
Texas, had five colonels, seven lieutenant colonels, five majors, 
three adjutants, three quartermasters, three commissaries, thirty- 
one captains, twenty-nine first lieutenants, twenty-four second 
lieutenants and nineteen third lieutenants. The members of the 
command, living in Houston, who were present at that reunion 
were : 

Col. Crustave Cook, Lieutenant Col. B. A. Botts, Maj. A. 
L. Steel, Maj. B. P. Weems, Sergeant "W. D. Clevdand, Privates 
S. S. Ashe, T. U. Lubbock, Sam H. Jones, W. E. Black, J. M. 
Morin, P. C. Walker, W. H. Albertson, and M. F. deBajeligethy. 
Of these only four are living today: Major Weems, Sergeant 
W. D. Cleveland and Privates S. S. Ashe, and T. U. Lubbock. 

The Second Texas Infantry and Wauls Legion held their 
first reunion at Houston, July 4, 1882. There was a business 
meeting at Gray's Hall during the morning and a banquet at 
night. Captain J. C. Hutchison delivered the address of wel- 
come and General T. N. Waul, the commander of Waul's Legion, 
responded with feeling and eloquence. A thorough organization 
was effected and the following officers were elected : 

President; General T. N. Waul, of Waul's Legion. First 
vice-president, Col. Ashbel Smith, of the Second Texas. Second 
vice-president, CoL H. P. Timmons, of Waul's Legion. Cor- 



270 History of Houston, Texas 

responding secretary, Col. 0. Steele, of "Waul's Legion. Record- 
ing secretary, H. P. Roberts, of the Second Texas. Treasurer, 
Sam E. Jones, of the Second Texas. Chaplain, Rev. J. J. 
Clemens. 

The following members were enrolled at the business meet- 
ing: Second Texas — F. "W. L. Fly, Major. Company A. — 
Captain, William Christian, D. S. Smith, William Cravey, H. 
Graves, Tom Ewell, Dave Lynch, D. Mahoney, D. Callahan, 
and Joe Smith. Company B. — Philip Huebner, Daniel Smith, 
Sam Allen, Henry Hartman, William Harting, Theadore Keller, 
A. J. Hurtney, H. P. Roberts, and H. Holtcamp. Company C. — 
Dr. S. E. Jones. Company D. — Captain, J. B. Foster. Com- 
pany G.— A. M. Armstrong, E. S. Parkell, A. J. Horton, P. D. 
Ring, G. L. Gee, J. W. Daniel, Jack Jones, J. F. Borden, C. A. 
Hope, William Hunt, J. W. Farmer, J. K. Addison, E. T. Cott- 
ingham, P. D. Scott. Company H. — J. B. McArthur, R. E. 
MeArthur, T. D. Sullivan, R. G. Broaddus, H. C. Broaddus, L. 
L. Stuart, M. J. Houston, B. W. Hudson, H. H. Gilbey, J. G. 
Hill, L. W. Broaddus. 

Waul's Legion — E. E. Rice, Sergeant Major; Oliver Steel, 
Lieutenant Colonel, Second Battalion; S. P. Allen of Company 
E.; Charles Warneche of Company B.; William Burse of 
Hogue's Battery; Isaac A. Levy, John Wagner, and Charles 
Holdermany of Company B. ; Captain F. A. Miehels, Captain 
L. Hardie, Jacob Koch, of Company B., Second Battalion; P. 
Briscoe, A. W. Littig, G. M. Noris, H. G. Huteheson, S: M. 
Williams, B. A. Smalley of Company A., Second Battalion; 
Louis Kosse. 

These signed the record as members in attendance and in 
addition to these nataes were added the following records which 
are of the greatest value since both the Second Texas and Waul's 
Legion had so many men from Houston and Harris County in 
their ranks. 

Second Texas Infantry — Company B. : Captain, W. C. Tjm- 
mins; J. W. Mangum, first lieutenant; J. D. McClearv, second 
lieutenant; A. S. Mair, third lieutenant; A. J. Hurley, orderly 
sergeant; J. B. Cato, second sergeant; D. C. Smith, third ser- 



Societies and Clubs 271 

geant; S. L. Allen, fourth, sergeant; 0. J. Conklin, fifth sergeant; 
W. H. Tyson, color sergeant ; Phil Huebner, first corporal ; H. D. 
Donnellon, second corporal; privates: — A. F. Amerman, Phil 

Angus, T. H Brooks, Barrow, T. P. Bryan, Wm. Block, 

"William Blanton, John Clark, Mike Callahan, Matt Conklin, 

Cogkin, Tom Conway, Tim Grim, Duncan, N. T. Davis, 

Henry Drier, Sterling Fisher, B. Foster, Ames N. Alberts, John 
Bouquet, J. Beuteherger, J. T. Bell, Henry Bitner, Nicholas 

CastellO, George A. Christie, William H. Clark, Cheeney, 

Horace Church, A. Cunningham, 7 Claspell, Phil Duggin, 

C. S. Doty, Forney, C. F. Gehrman, Charles Finkleman, M. 

Gilreath, J. B, Hogan, Henry Hartman, William Hartney, J. C. 
Hart, Dan. Huebner, Henry Holcamp, W. E. Jones, Theodore 
Keller, John Kirk, — — Klein, Joseph Le Due, James Lamber, 

William Little, Tom LiUie, Henry Meyer, McCarthy, 

Meeks, Joe Michaels, James Manuel, M. M. McLean, North- 

rup, Tom Patterson, William Perry, Peter Rheia, H. P. Roberts, 

W. G. Spence, Shoat, Joe Smith, William Tulsen, J. White, 

William Wharf, Williams, A. T. McCorkle, Antone Merkle, 

William Miller, George A. Newell, J. C. Potter, E. Rothman, 
A. Riter, Alex Senechal, P. D. Shaw, A. B. Seale, E. A. Sprague, 
Earnest Trinks, William Worgs, Ed H. Wilson and — Hoffman. 

Company C.^This was the famous Bayland Guards, a com- 
pany raised and commanded by Dr. Ashbel Smith, who was after- 
wards the colonel of the Second Texas Regiment. The roll given 
is the original roll of the company at its organization : 

Asbel Smith, captain; J. R. Harrill, first lieutenant; S. S. 
Ashe, second lieutenant; M. A. Lea, third lieutenant; R. D. 
Haden, first sergeant ; R. M. Woodhall, second sergeant ; W. H. 
Bryan, third sergeant; E. M. Wasson, fourth sergeant; R. G. 
Ashe, fifth sergeant; Isham Palmer, first corporal; C. M. Owens, 
second corporal; J. Hagerman, third corporal; C. E. Jones, fourth 
corporal; H. ParneU, surgeon; privates: — W. S. Alger, John 
Alfson, Mosley Baker, J. W. Barnes, G. H. Brown, Amos Barron, 
Barton Clark, J. V. Dutton, L. J. BUidge , J. P. Evans , F. M. 
Fitzgerald, Amos Fisher, J. G. Haden, S. E. Jones, R. V. 
Tompkins, Wm. White, B. F. Lamson, Henry Love, Daniel 



272 History of Houston, Texas 

Matthews , F. M. Rundill , James A. Rhea , T. J. Armstrong , 
G. R. Baker, Hiram Bartlett, C. H. Brooks, T. L. Blagreaves, 
Jesse Brooks, D. Dugat, Daniel Duncan, J. T. Elledge, G. W. 
Ferrand, Sol Fisher ^ L. J. Harper, S. A. Hadden, Wm. Evans, 
Stanley Brown, W. H. Woodhall, Sol Lawrence, J. Murrell, 
Henry Ong, P. L. Reeves, Otis Rush, James A. Stewart, J. W. 
Tompkins, A. J. Thomas, A. G. Voortman, Sol Williams, John 
Holtz, "W. A. Terrell, T. W. Timmins, J. B. Thomas, J. B. Van- 
houten, A. J. Woodall, and Sam Houston, Jr., son of General 
Sam Houston. 

This company was organized in Harris County April 27, 
1861. The Second Texas Infantry was organized. August 17, 
following. Col. J. C. Moore was its first colonel. "When he was 
promoted to be a Brigadier General, Lieut. Col. "William P. Rogers 
became colonel. Colonel Rogers was killed at Corinth and was 
succeeded by. Col. Ashbel Smith, who commanded it until the 
surrender. The regiment saw much active service and dis- 
tinguished itself at Corinth, where, through a blunder, it was 
ordered to take an impregnable point, and sent to do work that 
it would have required two or more brigades to accom- 
plish. The Second Texas did not falter, but made the attack 
and was nearly annihilated, leaving its brave colonel and most of 
its officers and men on the field. The regiment also sustained 
heavy losses at Vieksburg and was captured there when the 
stronghold was surrendered. After its release from the Vieks- 
burg parole the regiment was transferred to this side of the 
Mississippi and was in the Trans-Mississippi department when 
the war closed. 

"Waul's Legion. — This body was organized in "Washington 
County, in the spring of 1862, and was composed of ten com- 
panies of infantry, one battalion of cavalry and two batteries 
of artillery. In the legion was a company of infantry commanded 
by Captain Sam Carter, all the members of which were from 
Harris County, and another Houston company, commanded by 
Captain Otto Natheuesius, who was a trained soldier, having 
served in the Prussian army. He was promoted early after 
reaching the other side of the river and Captain Frank A. 



Societies and Clubs 273 

Michels assumed command of the company. Charles Warnecke, 
Charles Warner, Louis Kosse, John and William Kersten and 
John W. Stanfield of Houston were members of this, company. 
Captain Louis Harde of Houston also commanded a company in 
the legion. With the exception of Edgars' battery, the legion 
was ordered across the Mississippi in August, 1862, and became a 
part of Walker's division. Trellis' cavalry battalion was detached 
and included in Van Dorn's brigade and Forest's cavalry. 
The infantry under command of General Waul, helped defend 
Vicksburg, and after the surrender, when that officer was pro- 
moted, was divided into two battalions, one commanded by Colo- 
nel Timmons, and the other by Colonel Wrigley. 

Hood's Texas Brigade Association was organized in the 
parlor of the Hutchins House, May 24, 1872. At that first 
meeting there were sixty-five survivors of that famous command 
present. On motion of General J. B. Robertson, an ex-com- 
mander of the Brigade, General J. B. Hood was called to the 
chair, and Maj. Robert Burns ^as requested to act as secretary. 
General Hood made a speech and said that the object of the meet- 
ing was to organize the survivors of the old brigade into an 
association to be called Hood's Texas Brigade Association of the 
army of Northern Virginia. 

Col. Winkler moved that there should be chosen a president, 
a vice-president, a secretary and a treasurer, who should 
serve for one year. Also that there should be an executive 
committee of two members from each regiment whose duty it 
should be to gather all matter for a correct history of the brigade. 

The object of the association, as stated by resolution, is 
for friendly and social reunions of the survivors of the brigade, 
and to collect all data for roUs and history and to perpetuate all 
anecdotes, incidents, and many things connected therewith, and 
to succor the needy among its members. It was decided to hold a 
reunion once every year. The ofScers elected at that first 
reunion were: president. Col. C. M. Winkler; vice-president, 
Gen. J. B. Robertson; secretary and treasurer, Maj. J. H. Little- 
field. Mrs. M. J. Young, of Houston, who, for all the four years 
of the war had labored unceasingly for the brigade, and who had 



274 History of Houston, Texas 

raised and sent to Virginia, early in the war, $35,000 in gold, 
for the purpose of establishing a Texas hospital in Richmond, 
and who tad sent clothing and medicine for them, was present 
and received an ovation not second to that given the old leader, 
General Hood. The first act of the association, after its organi- 
zation, was to elect Mrs. Young "The Mother of Hood's Bri- 
gade" by a standing vote. 

Houston is directly interested in Hood's Brigade since it 
furnished one of the companies that formed part of the 
Fifth Texas Regiment in that famous body of troops. There 
were but three Texas regiments in the army of northern Virginia. 
The Houston company was the Bayou City Guards, known 
ofiScially as Co. A, Fifth Texas Regiment. Nearly every prom- 
inent family in Houston had a representative in its ranks. Capt. 
W. D. Cleveland was one of the company, but after arriving in 
Virginia he was disabled and incapacitated for the infantry. He 
did not come home however, but went to Tennessee, joined Terry's 
Texas Rangers, and remained with that command until the close 
of the war. 

It is a matter of regret that a full roster of the company is 
unobtainable. There were one hundred men in the company 
when it left Houston in 1861. In 1862 Lieutenant Clute came back 
for recruits and secured six. One or two others joined the 
company in Virginia. The company was in twenty-four great 
engagements and in a number of heavy skirmishes. The only 
roster that can be made out is from the partial records in the 
war department at "Washington, giving the killed and wounded in 
thirteen of the great battles they were engaged in. That list, sup- 
plemented by another prepared from memory by one of the 
company is given here : 

A. Angel, killed at Manassas ; John Bell, killed at Manassas ; 
Sam Bailey, wounded at Manassas, wounded at Gettysburg and 
killed at Spottsylvania ; T. P. Bryan, killed at the "Wilderness; 
Lieut. J. E. Clute, kiUed at Gaines' Mill; Robt. Campbell, wound- 
ed at Manassas, wounded at Chickamauga, wounded at Darby 
Town; S. Cohn, killed at Gettysburg; Joe Cramer, wounded at 
Gettysburg ; "W. H. Clarke, wounded at Gettysburg, wounded at 



Societies and Clubs 275 

Chickamauga, wounded at the Wilderness ; Louis Coleman wound- 
ed at Gettysburg; J. DeLesdernier, killed at Manassas; George 
DeLesdernier, killed at Gaines' Mill; John DeYoung, killed at 
Manassas; B. C. Dyer, wounded at Sharpsburg; C. W. Diggs, 
killed at Gettysburg; J. C. Deloch, wounded at the Wilderness; 
A. H. Bdey, wounded at Gettysburg ; Capt. D. G. ' Farmer, 
wounded at Gettysburg; Lidut. B. P.- Fuller, wounded at the 
Wilderness; T. W. Fitzgerold, wounded at Gettysburg; E. 
Fragee, wounded at Gettysburg; J. H. Garrison, wounded at 
Gettysburg ; C. B. Gardner, wounded at Chickamauga ; J. Heffrin 
killed at Manassas ; Sam D. Hews, wounded at Manassas ; Frank 
Kosse, killed at Sharpsburg; J. V. Love, killed at Gettysburg; 
John Leverton, wounded at Gettysburg; J. E. Landes, wounded 
at the Wilderness; J. R. McMurtry, killed at Manassas; Wm. 
McDowell, killed at Gettj^^sburg ; J. Massenburg, killed at Manas- 
sas; J. Morris, wounded at Gettysburg and at the Wilderness- 
E. A. Nobles, wounded at Manassas ; Geo. Onderdonk, wounded 
at Gaines ' Mill ; J. 'Nally, wounded at Manassas ; N. Pommery 
wounded at Gettysburg and Chickamauga; F. W. Plummer, 
wounded at Chickamauga ; W. Reiley, wounded at Manassas ; T. 
H. Revely, wounded at Gettysburg ; G. J. Robinson, wounded at 
the Wilderness ; J. H. Robbing, wounded at Chickamauga ; B. C. 
Simpson, wounded at Manassas and Gettysburg; A. Stewart 
wounded at Sharpsburg; H. G. Settle, wounded at Gettysburg, 
and killed near Richmond a year later;, C. F. Settle, wounded 
and captured at Gettysburg. He made a wonderful escape from 
Fort Deleware exactly one year after; W. L. Steel, wounded 
at Chickamauga; J. H. Shepherd, wounded at the Wilderness; 
S. H. WatMns, wounded at Gettysburg; D. W. Walker, killed at 
Manassas ; A. Wolf, wounded at Seven Pines, killed at Sharps- 
burg. 

The other members were: A. Beasly, Pat Burns, Robt. 
Bums, afterwards brigade commissary, T. E. Bigbee, J. A. Cam- 
eron, I. Elesessor, W. B. Ferrell, W. A. George, Wm. McGowan, 
afterwards Adjutant of the Fifth Texas Regiment; G. Miller, F. 
M. Poland, C. Stevens, H. P. Welch, S. 0. Young. 

Of the entire company there were known to be living only 



276 History of Houston, Texas 

the following in 1911 : J. A. Cameron, Houston, Texas ; B. L. 
Dyer, Opelika, Ala.; W. A. George, Houston, Texas; James E. 
Landes, Chappel Hill, Texas ; F. M. Poland, Houston, Texas ; N. 
Pommery, Clark Milstret, County Cork, Ireland; Dr. S. 0. 
Young, Houston, Texas. 

As Texas saw but little of the real warfare of the Civil War, 
the chief part taken by Houston as by other Texas cities was the 
furnishing of troops for the great battlefields on both sides of 
the river. The reunions of the larger units have indicated how 
heroically Houston did her share, like the rest of the South rob- 
bing the cradle and the grave to send soldiers to the front. Hun- 
dreds were attached to other organization's and thousands of 
citizens who came to Houston after the Civil "War had participated 
in the great conflict. A full list of these is of course impossible. 
The heroic achievements are perpetuated not only by the annual 
reunions of the commands named but also by the local lodge of 
United Confederate Veterans. It is certain that those who have 
been or are now citizens of Houston fought for the South in 
every battle of the conflict. Also hundreds of Houstonians par- 
ticipated on the other side, moving to this city after the war. 

Camp Dick Dowling No. 197, U. C. V. was organized in 1892. 
The late General C. C. Beavens was largely instrumental in 
organizing it and creating interest and enthusiasm. The year 
before, he had organized Camp Magruder at Galveston and was 
a most enthusiastic worker in all that promised to perpetuate 
the memory of the Confederate soldier. Camp Dick Dowling is 
one of the best organized and hardest working camps in the 
South. Its membership is only about 300, but its meetings are 
always largely attended and the interest shown today is equal in 
every way to that shown when the organization was new. Meet- 
ings are held twice each month, at which lectures and talks by 
the comrades are given. The camp looks after the sick and indi- 
gent Confederate soldiers, not only among its own members, but 
all others to whom its attention is called. It buries its dead and 
no Confederate soldier is ever allowed to occupy a paupers' grave. 

The present officers of the Camp are: J. J. Hall, com- 
mander; Geo. H. Herman, 1st lieut. commander; J. T. Clower, 



Societies and Clubs 277' 

2nd lieut. commander; Al Longnaker, 3rd lieut. commander; 
W. C. Kelly, adjutant; Dr. W. A. Haley, surgeon; Eev. S. H. 
Blair, chaplain ; J. C. Fowler, officer of the day ; F. R. Jones, 
vidette; M. W. McLeod, flag bearer. 

During the year 1910, fourteen members of the Camp died. 

Post McLennan No. 9, G. A. R. was organized in 1885, and 
has been in active service ever since. Not having such abundant 
material from which to draw as the Confederate Veterans had, its 
membership has necessarily been limited. Still the organization 
has been kept intact and there is quite as much interest shown 
today as there was on the day of its organization. It has a 
ladies' auxiliary, which does an immense amount of good work 
and cares for the sick and needy of the Post. There are about 
one hundred active members of the Post and Decoration Day is 
faithfully observed by them. 

Houston has chapters of the Spanish American "War Vet- 
erans and of the Sons of the American Revolution, both of which 
are headed by Brigadier General James A. Waties, and has also 
organizations of the Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy aind 
other patriotic societies. 

The Houston Light Guard, the military company most 
famous in peaceful achievements the country has ever known, 
was organized on San Jacinto Day, April 21, 1873. Col. Fairfax 
Gray, who had served in the United States Navy before the 
war, and who had rendered distinguished service as an officer 
in the Confederate Army, was the first captain of the Guard. 
Soon after its organization interest began to flag and the com- 
pany soon existed in name only. 

Late in the fall of the same year some of the most zealous 
members got together and determined to reorganize the com- 
pany. Interest among the others was revived and a meeting 
was called. The attendance was good and a complete reorgan- 
ization of the company was effected. Captain J. R. CofSn was 
elected captain. The renewed interest was not allowed to wane, 
and the new captain put the boys to drilling and did everything 
possible to make them soldiers. Uniforms were procured, the color 
being cadet gray, bettpr known as Confederate gray. The com- 



278 History of Houston, Texas 

pany worked so hard and accomplished so much that when 
the carnival of King Comtis occurred in February, 1874, the 
company took part in the parade, the members wearing their 
uniforms for the first time. They did even more than that, 
for three months later, in May, they entered in a competitive 
drill against four outside companies at the Volk-fest celebra- 
tion. They did not get the prize but they did get experience 
and the next year, at Austin, under command of Captain Joe 
Rice, they won a sword valued at $500. 

The company acted as a guard of honor and escort to 
Ex-President Davis of the Confederacy, and has the distinction 
of having been the first guard of honor Mr. Davis had after 
the war. The ladies of Houston presented the company with a 
beautiful flag, in 1875, and the honorary lady members pre- 
sented it with another in 1882. 

In the early eighties the martial spirit was very strong 
all over the country, particularly in the South. Military 
companies became all the rage and competition between them 
on the drill ground was very keen. As a rule the members 
of these companies bought their own uniforms, paid their 
own traveling expenses and everything of that sort. The 
only thing the government furnished them was arms. The 
Houston Light Guard was ambitious. Its first appearance in 
an interstate drill outside of Texas was at New Orleans in 
1881. It was beaten by three companies, but got fourth prize, 
$500. 

Next year the boys went to the interstate drill at Nash- 
ville, Tenn. They were again beaten by three companies, com- 
ing out fourth, but had the great satisfaction of beating the 
Lawrence Light Infantry, a crack company from Boston, Mass. 
The people of Houston stood by them as closely in their 
defeats as they did later in their triumphs. From Nashville 
they came home! more determined than ever. The friends of 
the company, the business men of Houston, determined that 
they should have another trial. To make the opportunity, they 
got together and raised the money to offer handsome prizes 
and to meet the cost of entertaining the visiting companies at 



Societies and Clubs 279 

an interstate drill in Houston. The fact was advertised far and 
wide and invitations were sent to all the prominent military 
organizations in the United States. That was in 1884. A 
number of the crack companies accepted the invitation. Mr. 
H. Baldwin Rice was made manager of the drill. The War 
Department at "Washington, appointed three army officers to 
act as judges and to make an official report of the result to 
the government. The drill ground was the old fair grounds 
where now stands the south end "Fair Grounds Addition." 
Fannin School now stands within a few feet of where the 
stakes and lines defining the drill field were placed. The drill 
was the greatest event of the kind that had ever taken place, 
and all the famous military organizations in the country were 
here. The drill lasted for a week, a certain number of com- 
panies drilling each day in the state or interstate contest. All 
companies that had ever taken part in an interstate drill were 
barred from the state drill. The first prize for interstate com- 
panies was $5,000. From that the prizes were reduced, so 
that the last prize was only about one-fourth of that amount. 
The companies competing in the interstate drill were the 
Treadway Rifles, of St. Louis ; the Columbus Guards, of Colum- 
bus, Oil. ; the Montgomery Greys,, of Montgomery, Ala. ; the 
Washington Guards, of Galveston, and the Houston Light 
Guard. These were the crack military companies of the United 
States and most of them had national reputations, and were 
commanded by the best militia officers in the country. 

The Houston Light Guard put up one of the most perfect 
drills ever witnessed and won the first prize. Omitting the 
figures grading the several parts of the drill, the totals are 
given here : 

Houston Light Guard, 2.66 ; Treadway Rifles, 2.55 ; Colum- 
bus Guards, 2.35 ; Mobile Rifles, 2:29 ; Montgomery Greys, 2.28 ; 
Washington Guards, 1.95. A perfect drill would have given 
3.00, the maximum score. 

The following memorandum on the drill was submitted by 
the judges: 

"Houston Light Guard. — It is observed that the inspection 



280 History of Houston, Texas 

was nearly perfect. The appearance of the men in their dress, 
arms and accoutrements, and their neatness, exceeded anything 
we have seen anywhere — each man like a color man at the United 
States Military Academy at "West Point. Captain Scurry had 
not proceeded far in the program: when, while wheeling his 
company from column of twos, improperly, the company was 
placed in a position from which it was almost impossible to 
extricate it, except as done, exhibiting great presence of mind 
on the captain's part. 

"Captain Scurry's appreciation of the program and its 
requirements was superior to that of the other commanders. 

' ' The ground was laid out with the view to testing the length 
and cadence of the step in quick and double time. A company 
marching as contemplated in the method applied would take 
the following number of steps in quick and double time, and in 
the time specified. In quick time, 284 steps in 2 minutes and 
35 seconds ; in double time, 284 steps in 1 minute and 26 seconds. 
The Houston Light Guard made the following record : In quick 
time, 283 steps in 2 minutes and 35 seconds; in double time in 
1 minute and 27 seconds. Aside from all practice in this par- 
ticular, the result was almost phenomenal. Captain Scurry was 
the only one who marched upon the flags with guide to the left, 
as directed by the judges." 

The Houston Light Guard, having won all it cared for — 
fame, offered to divide the money prize among the visiting com- 
panies, all of whom had been at heavy expense. This offer was 
refused, with thanks, of course. The next year, 1885, the com- 
pany, under Captain Scurry, won three first prizes in interstate 
drills, footing up $12,000. The first was at Mobile, Alabama, in 
May, and the second, a few days later at New Orleans. The 
third was in July, at Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. In this 
drill and encampment all sections of the country were represent- 
ed, there being seventy-five companies there. Only about one-half 
of them' entered the competitive drill. The Houston Light Guard 
took first prize, which was a purse of $4,000 and a flag valued 
at $500. 

Prom Philadelphia the company went to New York, where 



Societies and Clubs 281 

they were handsomely entertained at the armories of two of 
the famous New York regiments. It is but a matter of justice 
to give here the names of the men and officers who made the 
Houston Light Guards, "World Beaters." They are as follows: 

Captain, Thomas Scurry; 1st lieutenant, F. A. Reichardt; 
2nd lieutenant, T. H. Franklin ; 3rd lieutenant, Spencer Hutch- 
ins; quartermaster, "W. A. Childress; surgeon, Dr. S. 0. Young, 
at and after the Philadelphia drill; 1st sergeant, George L. 
Price; 2nd sergeant, R. A. Scurry; 1st corporal, H. D. Taylor; 
2nd corporal, "W. K. Mendenhall ; 3rd corporal, George N. Torrey ; 
privates — Byers, Barnett, Bates, Bull, Byers, Cook, Dealy, Foss, 
Golihart, Hodgson, Hutchins, Heyer, Reynaud, Swanson, John- 
son, Journey, "Wilson, R. Kattman, E. Kattman, Lewis, Mahoney, 
Mitchell, McKeever, Powell, Randolph, Steele, Sawyer, Sharpe, 
Tyler, Taft, Taylor, Torrey, "Wisby; perpetual drummer, John 
Sessums (colored.) 

The next great victory of the Light Guard was at Galveston 
where it took first prize, a purse of $4,500, over the Montgomery 
True Blues, San Antonio Rifles, Branch Guards, (St. Louis), 
Company F, Louisville Legion and Belknapp Rifles of San 
Antonio. This was perhaps the most perfect drill ever witnessed 
in the United States, and excited widespread wonder and admira- 
tion among military men and the public generally. 

The company went to Austin in 1888, and again took first 
prize, $5,000, in competition with the flower of interstate com- 
panies. The next year Galveston wanted to give a great driU, 
and did so, but the Houston Light Guard was barred, so as not to 
bluff off other companies from competing. That was the highest 
honor the company ever had conferred on it. The people of 
Galveston had the Light Guard as their guests and gave them 
$500 for an exhibition drill. 

The Houston Light Guard showed that they were not 
merely fancy soldiers when the war with this country and Spain 
began, for they volunteered promptly, and under the command 
of Captain George McCormick, went to the front. They served 
in Florida and Cuba. When peace negotiations began, Captain 
McCormick returned home and the lamented R. A. Scurry became 



282 History of Houston, Texas 

captain of the company, and in due time returned home with it. 

The company owns its armory, the handsomest in the state. 
It was erected in part with the money the company earned in 
prizes — about $30,000. Some. bonds were issued. These will 
mature in a few months, but are all provided for. 

The names of the Captains of the company since its organ- 
ization are as follows : Fairfax Gray, John Coffin, Joe S. Rice, 
George Price, James Si Baker, Jr., Thomas Scurry, F. A. Reich- 
ardt, George McCormick, R. A. Scurry, C. Hutchinson, Milby 
Porter. Dallas J. Matthews is the present capable commander. 

For a long time in the Texas National Guard Houston has 
boasted a crack troop of cavalry. This troop served during the 
Spanish American war as Troop A, First Texas Cavalry, U. S. 
V. ^ajor Towles was then captain and C. C. Beavens first lieu- 
tenant. Towles was made major and Beavens promoted to be 
captain. ■ An officer of this troop, James A. Waties, was made 
colonel of the regiment and afterwards promoted to be a briga- 
dier general. He was succeeded by Luther R. Hare, who subse^ 
quently also won a promotion to a brigadiership. Among the 
Houston citizens who were officers in this regiment are John A. 
Hulen, Jake "Wolters, J. Towles, B. H. Carroll, Jr.', and C. C. 
Beavens. 

Troop A. has always been the crack troop of the cavalry 
branch of the T. N. G. 

The Jeff Miller Rifles, which belong to the Second Infantry 
regiment of the T. N. G. is also a noted Houston company. For 
some years this company has been commanded by Captain C. C. 
Breedlove. 

The No-Tsu-Oh Association is chartered for the purpose of 

giving an annual carnival for the entertainment of the people 

, of the state. It is not organized for revenue and is sustained 

entirely by membership fees and subscriptions made by Houston 

business men. 

The first carnival was held in 1899 and was such a success 
that it was determined to perpetuate the entertainment so that 
now it is an incorporated concern and spends about $30,000 each 
year for fun and frolic. There is a new president, king and 



Societies and Clubs 283 

queen each year, those who have borne those honors in the past 
being the following: 

PRESIDENTS. 

1899, Norman S. Meldrum; 1900, B. P. Bonner; 1901, 
James H. Adair; 1902, John McClellan; 1903, H. T. Keller; 
1904, G. J. Palmer; 1905, Charles D. Golding; 1906, George N. 
Long, Jr.; 1907, W. D. Cleveland, Jr.; 1908, James A. Radford; 
1909, David Daly; 1910, Geo. P. Brown; 1911, David A. Burke. 

KINGS. 

1899; A. C. Allen; 1900, John H. Kirby; 1901, Dennis Call; 
1902, Jesse H. Jones; 1903, B. F. Bonner; 1904, Presley K. 
Ewing; 1905, Jo. S. Rice; 1906, C. K. Dunlap; 1907, H. M. 
Garwood ; 1908, James D. Dawson ; 1909, James A. Baker ; 1910, 
W. T. Carter; 1911, Dr. Edgar Odell Lovett. 

QUEENS. 

1899, Miss Annie Quinlan; 1900, Miss Julia Mae Morse; 
1901, Miss Aygusta Goodhue; 1902, Miss Clara Robinson; 1903, 
Miss Bessie Kirby ; 1904, Miss Florence Carter ; 1905, Miss Sallie 
Sewall; 1906, Miss Gertrude Paine; 1907, Miss Alice Baker; 
1908, Miss Mamie Shearn; 1909, Miss Lillian Neuhans; 1910, 
Miss Laura Rice ; 1911, Miss Annie Vive Carter. 

A glance at the list of presidents, kings and queens above 
will show that the best people of the city have constantly co-op- 
erated in making the No-Tsu-Oh carnival a success. A week 
in November of each year is devoted to festivities, parades, and 
carnival features modeled on the Mardi Gras carnivals of New 
Orleans and European cities. Large crowds are drawn to 
Houston during the week. The two great events of the carnival 
are the annual- foot-ball game played between the University of 
Texas and A. & M. College, and the Queen's Coronation Ball. 

An attempt is being made to give the carnival more of an 
exposition character but so far without great success. 

Houston's oldest social organization is the Z. Z. Dancing 
Club. This was organized over 40 years ago, and its balls and 
cotillions during each year are of rare beauty. The Z. Z. Club 
for many ye.ars has introduced the debutantes at the opening of 



284. History of Houston, Texas 

each social season with a debutantes' cotillion preceded by a 
reception at the home of the president of the club. 

Spencer Hutchins, the former "Ward McAllister of Houston, 
made the club famous. In recent years Hon. Presley K. Bwing 
has served several terms as president. He was succeeded in 
1910 by J. M. Gary, the present popular president. 

Part of the membership of this club in July, 1901, organized 
the Thalian Club — a regular social organization. Its first presi- 
dent was Major J. F. Dickson. The Thalian Club built a hand- 
some modern club house at the corner of Rusk Avenue and San 
Jacinto Street in 1907, at a cost of $40,000, and its social func- 
tions have been very elaborate. Among its presidents have been 
numbered the most prominent men of the city in business and 
social life. Its presidents have been, in the following order: 
Major John F. Dickson, Mr. R. S. Lovett, Major John F. Dick- 
son, Hon. Frank Andrews, Col. J. S. Rice, Capt. S. Taliaferro, 
Hon. H. M. Garwood, Hon. John Charles Harris, and Mr. 
Joseph Hellen. 

The present officers of the club are: E. K. Dillingham, 
president; J. G-. Maillot, vice-president; Murray B. Jones, sec- 
retary ; J. F. Dickson, Jr., treasurer, and W. L. Thaxton, man- 
ager. 

The Houston Country Club was organized in 1904 by a 
number of Houston club men and golf enthusiasts. In 1909 the 
club purchased grounds near Harrisburg and on Bray's Bayou, 
aggregating 158 acres of beautiful woodland and lawns. Exten- 
sive improvements have been made and a club house of the best 
bungalow type and containing every modern utility combined 
with taste and beauty was erected at a cost of $125,000 for house 
and grounds. 

The club has the finest golf links in the South. A course of 
18 holes exists with fine natural hazards. 

Those instrumental in organizing the club were Joe Rice, E. 
B. Parker, W. W. Dexter, T. B. Timpson, C. D. Golding and 
others. The membership is limited to 500. 

Its presidents have been, in the order named : Joe Rice, Wm. 
M. Rice, and Edwin B. Parker, the present president. 



Societies and Clubs 285 

A down-town business men's club, known as the Houston 
Club, was organized in 1894. Most of tbe business men of the 
city belohg and the entire top floor of the Chronicle Building 
and the beautiful roof garden are utilized by the club. From 
1902 until 1910, for some reason, the club ceased to exist as an 
active organization, but in 1910, interest was revived, new blood 
was infused and the Houston Club takes rank as one of the most 
useful social organizations in the city. Its officers, since its organ- 
ization have been: 

1894-95— President, 0. T. Holt; Secretary and Treasurer, L. J. 
■ - Parks. 

1895-96— The same officers. 

1896-97— Preside'nt, J. P. Dickson; Secretary and Treasurer, 

Bnnis Cargill. 
1897-98 — President, Jno. P. Dickson; Secretary and Treasurer, 

Ennis Cargill, resigned, L. Hoenthal, appointed. 
1898-99 — President, Jno. F. Dickson; Secretary and Treasurer, 

L. Hoenthal. 
1899-1900 — President, Jos. F. Dickson ; Secretary and Treasurer, 

B. P. Bailey, resigned, Joseph Hellen, appointed. 
1900-01 — President, Jno. F. Dickson; Secretary and Treasurer, 

Joseph Hellen. 
1901-02 — President and Secretary same as the year beforfe. 

After 1902 the club was not active until its reorganization in 
1910. 

In 1910-11 Mr. C. K. Dunlap was elected president and Mr. 
T. H. Stone secretary-treasurer. Soon after his election Mr. 
Dunlap resigned and Mr. Stone was chosen to succeed him. 
The officers of the club are at present : T. H. Stone, president ; 
E. A. Peden, vice-president; Arch. MacDonald, secretary and 
treasurer. 

Houston is fairly well supplied with charitable institutions. 
While most of the members of these organizations belong to 
some religious body, many of them are members of no church, 
but all are influenced by that true spirit of Christianity which 
finds expression in aiding the poor, relieving suffering and visit- 
ing the sick and afflicted. 



286 History of Houston, Texas 

The central organization is the United Charities. This 
organization has a modest office in the Binz Building and all its 
work is carried on in the field. Its objects are to aid the worthy 
poor and to cheek the impositions of the unworthy to minister to 
the sick and destitute, and aid the unemployed to secure work. 
The association owns no property and is supported entirely by 
voluntary contributions. The annual sale of "red badges," on 
the day before Christmas, by the association is one of its chief 
revenue producers. Prom this source alone it derives between 
$3,000 and $4,000 every year. 

The ladies of Christ Church established the Sheltering Arms 
in 1903, and since its opening it has sheltered 140 old and desti- 
tute women. It owns its own property and, in addition, has a 
small endowment. The Catholics maintain St. Anthony's Home. 
This is a home for old men and old women. The capacity of the 
home is fifty and it is generally full. The oldest charitable 
institution is Bayland Orphon's Home. This was originally 
intended as a home for the orphaned children of Confederate sol- 
diers. It was organized in 1867 and was located at Bayland, on 
Galveston Bay. In 1888 it was removed to Hereston and now 
occupies a 34-acre tract of land adjoining Woodland Heights. 
It cares for about 30 children each year. 

A school has been maintained ever since the organization 
of the home. Since its removal to Houston a teacher has been 
employed, the sessions of the school corresponding to those 'of the 
city school. The county paid to it its proportion of the state 
tax, but since the extension of the city limits brought the home 
within the city limits, the city has appointed and paid for a 
teacher, the amount paid by the city being supplemented by the 
home. The present managers are : James Bruce, superintendent ; 
R. M. Elgin, WiUiam Christian, R. B. Baer, J. V. Dealy, E. W. 
Taylor, J. P. Meyer and H. J. Dannebaum, board of directors. 

The Star of Hope is ^ mission, under the auspices of the 
Baptist churches of Houston for the immediate assistance and 
help of homeless and destitute men. It was founded by Rev. 
Mordecai P. Ham, an evangelist, and Richard Dowling, a brilliant 
man who had gone to the gutter through drink and was reclaimed. 



Societies and Cluhs 287 

The mission is located on Franklin Avenue, near the bayou, and 
provides beds and meals for unemployed men and helps them to 
secuie •employment. Daily religious services are held and a 
reading room and employment bureau is maintained. It was 
organized in 1907. . 

About the same time the Salvation Army in Houston estab- 
lished a free relief and dispensory department and by the fumish- 
mg of medicines to the very poor and by the assistance of the 
local physicians has done a large work. 

The Houston Settlement Association is not a charitable insti- 
tution, but is largely a social one. By whatever name it may be 
aesignated it is one of the most useful and helpful organizations 
of the kind in the city. Its formal organization dates from Feb- 
ruary 19, 1907, when about a dozen ladies met at the residence 
of Mrs. James" A. Baker and banded themselves together for the 
purpose of extending educational, industrial, social and friendly 
aid to all those within their reach. That was the formal organiza- 
tion of the association of today, though the nucleus for it had 
existed for a year or two before then in the sewing class,- organized 
by Mrs. M. M. Archer and several young lady assistants, among 
the pupils of the Rusk School, in January, 1904. This sewing 
class met once each week in the Womans' Club free kindergarten 
room. 

The association is non-sectarian, there being representatives 
of aU creeds and beliefs on its board of directors. It has a mem- 
bership of about two hundred and derives its support from vol- 
untary contributions. 

The association has in its charge the free kindergarten of 
the second ward; a Womans' club; the Alpha club, a social 
association of young men, and minor organizations. Its greatest 
work is in cooperation with the school authorities, in establishing 
and maintaining a domestic science departmenr in the Rusk 
School. 

The officers of the association are : President, Mrs. Jarnes A. 
Baker; first vice-president, Mrs. Frank Andrews, second vice- 
president, Mrs. John McClelland; treasurer, Mrs. J. E. Crews; 



288 History of Houston, Texas 

corresponding secretary, Mrs. P. B. Simpson, and recording 
secretary, Mrs. D. C. Glenn. 

If ever an institution were properly named it is the DePel- 
ehin Faith Home, for it was started entirely on faith, without a 
cent in its treasury, if it can be said to have had a treasury 
and with no visible source of income. Faith in the big-hearted 
people of Houston was its sole asset. Mrs. E. N. Gray thus tells 
its story in "The Key to the City of Houston:" 

' ' This is one of the most appealing benevolences of our city, 
for it has to do with the needs of distressed children. And hard 
indeed is the heart which -is not touched by the cry of a little 
child. 

"This institution owes its inception to the big-heartedness 
■of Mrs. Kenzia DePelchin, who was practically aided in her 
Jioble undertaking by some of the ladies of our city. 

"Mrs. Kenzia DePelchin 's life is as interesting as a story. 
.'She spent many years in Houston, an angel of mercy to the sick 
and destitute. The home which she founded for homeless chil- 
dren stands today as a significant monument to her life of service 
and devdtion to the cause of helpless humanity. 

"Born in the Maderia Islands, of English parents, she was 
left an orphan when very young, but under the care of an aunt 
;she came to Texas, while yet a girl, and then her life of ministry 
began. She was first a music teacher, and later she was in Drs. 
Stuart & Boyle's sanitarium as one of. its most capable nurses. 
During the dreadful yellow fever scourge of 1878 she went 
to Memphis, Tenn., and gave heroic service. When urged to 
accept the money donated to pay the nurses, she accepted it only 
±0 turn it over to a worthy charity of that city. 

' ' The, last part of her life was spent as matron of the Bayland 
■Orphans' Home. In the spring of 1892, two homeless little ones 
were picked up by her and a notice put in the Post announcing 
that a home would be begun at once. She spent .the night in 
prayer and the next morning a benevolent woman of Houston 
went to see her. This was Mrs. W. G. Crane. 

"With the aid of. this lady a small cottage was rented and a 
lady was found who would loan her furniture and act as matron. 



Societies and Clubs '289 

Then the home was a fact, without one dollar ahead and bnly a 
crib for possession. On Monday, May 2, Mrs. -Crane took out 
some ice cream and cake and Mrs. DePelchin took the orphans 
from Bayland Home to the cottage, where they sang their little 
hynms and with simple ceremony in Mrs. DePelchin 's own words, 
'they christened Bayland 's little sister Faith Home.' The 
orphans enjoyed the ride and the unwonted feast, and the guests 
departed with a vivid memory of that May day opening. 

"Prom the small beginning in 1892, the institution has 
grown and developed, until today it is one of the best equipped 
of the city's charities, with its own handsome brick building and 
its many happy-faced little ones, sheltered by its watchful care. 

"The Faith Home as it now exists, was organized January 
20, 1893, and soon after applied for a charter. It was called 
'Faith Home' because the heroic founder of that institution 
placed her faith in God and the kind hearts of the Houston 
people. 

"This home is not primarily an orphan asylum, but it is a 
comfortable home, situated on the corner of Chenevert Street and 
Pierce Avenue, where the father who has lost his wife may place 
his little ones until he can provide home care for them again; a 
home where the mother may shelter her helpless children while 
she earns a living; a home where good care, the best of medical 
attention, wholesome food and wise, sanitary surroundings rae 
furnished for the helpless children, either orphaned of father's 
and mother's care or dependent upon the one parent, too bur- 
dened to meet their need. The parent who places his child there 
is supposed to pay three dollars a month, so long as h6 has work. 
This is of necessity an uncertain and very limited source of 
income. Therefore it is incumbent on the general public to see 
that this institution is fitly supported. There are always some 
forty children in the home. 

' ' The board of directors consist of the officers and chairmen 
of the viarious committees. They are: President, Mrs. T. W. 
House; vice-president at large, Mrs. M. E. Bryan; treasurer, 
Mrs. F. A. Reichardt ; secretary, Mrs. Jonathan Lane. Mrs. J. W. 
McKee, Miss H. Levy, Mrs. J. "W. Parker, Mrs. Carter Walker, 



290 History of Houston, Texas 

Mrs. Ed. Mackey, Mrs: B. F. Weems, Mrs. "W. B. Chew, and Mrs. 
G. S. Shannon are heads of committees; Mrs. Kerven is the 
matron." , 

The Florence Crittendon Rescue Home for Girls was organ- 
ized November 17, 1896, with the following officers and directors: 
"W. B. Jones, president ; I. S. Myer, vice-president ; G. W. Heyer, 
treasurer; A. G. Howell, secretary; Mesdames Belle Blandin, D. 
R. Cunningham, E. S. Tracy, "W. H. Peregpy, S. Beaty, Messrs. 
E. F. McGowan, W. D. Cleveland, Sr., E. W. Taylor, S. E. Cal- 
vitt, Frank W. Fox and George Henrickson, directors. Two and 
one-half lots, on the corner of Elgin Avenue and Caroline Street 
were purchased for $700 in February, 1907, and by September, 
the same year, the home was Wilt and Mrs. Yates installed as 
matron. On September 16, she reported one girl in the home. 
Since then the average number of girls in the home has been 
about seven per month. These girls come from all parts of the 
state and none is ever refused admission. 

The home is not altogether a charitable institution, though 
it is made as nearly so as possible. So long as a girl is trying to 
live a decent life and is out of employment the home is open to 
her and the officials assist her in finding employment. She is 
charged for board and medical treatment and when she finds 
employment she must pay to the home one-fifth of her wages 
until the amount reaches $34. These are the rules for out-of-town 
girls. During the past 15 years more than 1,000 girls have been 
helped by the home. 

The home is without endowment and is supported by vol- 
untary subscriptions. The present officers and directors are: 
W. B. Jones, president; Mrs. E. N. Gray, vice-president; A. G. 
Howell, treasurer ; J. C. Harris," recording secretary ; Mrs. L. S. 
Hubbell, corresponding secretary; Mrs. Charles Stewart, I. S. 
Myer, W. A. Wilson and Rev. Dr. J. L. Gross are directors. 

The Wesley House, a christian center for social educational 
and religious activities is maintained by the Board of City 
Missions, an organization composed of representatives from all 
the Methodist churches in the city. Its departments of work are : 
A home for self-supporting young women, a kindergarten, night 



Societies and Clubs 291 

classes for foreigners, a committee for daily visiting, {in indus- 
trial school, athletic classes for young women, a Sundfiy school, 
and preaching in Spanish the first Sunday afternooji of each 
month. Miss Mattie Wright is the superintendent and Miss 
Audrey Wade is matron. They have six efficient assistant 
workers. 

The Wesley House Board, in 1907, established the Young 
Women's Co-operative Home for homeless wage-eayning girls. 
It cares for about 33 girls at a time and an effort is being made 
to secure $40,000 to erect a home that will acconpiodate 300 
working girls who labor for wages lower than the icost of sub- 
sistance. Much good has been accomplished by the home and it 
seems to be on the threshold of a wider usefulness. 

The Young Women's Christian Association, while it has 
never received loyal support from the citizens has accomplished 
much for girls and has a comportable home wherp many young 
women board. Gymnasium work and a downtQwn lunch for 
working girls in a rest room have also been whol^esome features. 
There is a movement to build a suitable home for the Y. W. 
C. A., similar to that occupied by the Y. M. C. A. 

Among the Jewish people of the city there has been a good 
work done by the Jewish Charity Home. 



CHAPTER XVI 

Societies and Clubs— Continued 



First Literary Society. Organization of- Houston Lyceum. 
Early Efforts to Establish a Library. The Houston Lyceum 
and Carnegie Library. The Ladies Reading Club. Ladies 
Shakespeare Club. The Two other Shakespeare Clubs. 
Current Literature Club. Houston Pen "Women's Associa- 
tion. Houston Branch of Dickens Fellowship. Lady Wash- 
ington Chapter. Daughters of the American Revolution. 
San Jacinto Chapter No. 2, Daughters of the Republic of 
Texas. Robert E. Lee Chapter 186, United Daughters of the 
Confederacy. Oran M. Roberts Chapter 440, U. D. C. 



While Houston and Galveston have always been bitterly 
opposed to each other commercially, they have ever been the 
best friends and have united their efforts to forward and pro- 
mote all that contributed to intellectual life. As early as 1845-46 
there was a literary club, or lyceum, which, while located in Gal- 
veston, was loyally supported by Houstonians. Dr. Ashbel 
Smith, Dr. McCraven and Dr. McAnally were young men at 
that time and took great interest in the lyceum and contributed 
regularly to the monthly meetings, lectures, debates and papers 
on chosen subjects. This was undoubtedly the first literary 
society organized in Texas and is mentioned here because of the 
fact that Houstonians took such a leading part in its affairs. 

The Galveston institution did not ante-date that of Hous- 
ton very much, however, for in 1848 the Houston Lyceum was 
chartered and has been in existepce ever since, though at times 
very quiet and inert. It has had several rather long periods of 
rest, only to awaken to new life and renewed activity. Soon 
after it obtained its charter it lapsed into a period of inertia and 
remained so until 1854 when it was revived for a time and it 
was thought there would be no further lapses. 



Societies and Clubs — Continued 293 

The objects and purposes of the LyceUm as outlined in a 
statement made in 1854 were: "To diffuse knowledge among 
its members, intelligence and information by a library, by lec- 
tures on various subjects and by discussion of such questions as 
may elicit useful information and produce improvement in the 
art of public speaking." At that time 382 volumes had been 
gotten together and a book ease was purchased. The Lyceum 
had no income except that derived from dues and an occasional 
donation, so its existence was very precarious. During the war 
it was, of course, in a comatose state, but in 1865 it again became 
active. 

Interest was soon allowed to die out and not until 1877 was 
an effort made to revive it. In that year its managers raised 
funds for it by a series of musical and dramatic entertainments, 
and the reading room was thrown open to the public. The city 
also came to the assistance of the association and donated the 
use of a large room in the city hall, known as "The Banquet 
Hall." A great mistake that the association had made — that 
of restricting the membership to males — was corrected in 1888, 
and from the moment the ladies were admitted, the association 
took on renewed and permanent life. 

For a while Mr. Bonner McCraven acted as secretary with- 
out compensation. The ladies made a gallant fight to have the 
city, take over the library, but failed. After a long stretch of 
adversity it was decided to issue check books at $3 each which 
would entitle those who bought them to take books from the 
library. Mrs. M. H. Poster was employed as librarian at a small 
salary and worked faithfully. The small politicians who hung 
around the city hall got in the habit of making the library a 
loafing place and that so disgusted the ladies that they refused 
to go there. Then, in 1895, Mrs. Looscan, president of the Ladies 
Eeading Club, appealed to that society to come to the assistance 
of the Lyceum. Every member of the club became a patron of 
the Lyceum and the books were removed to the Mason Building. 
The ladies kept up their fight for municipal recognition and, in 
1899, they invited the city ofScials to visit their hall where they 
made speeches and showed them the empty shelves. Soon af'ter,the 



294 History of Houston, Texas 

city .gave official recognition by donating $200 each month for 
its support. TJjat same year Mr. Carnegie gave $50,000 for a 
building fund, providing the city would donate a building site, 
and make an appropriation of $4,000 annually for the support 
of the institution. A subscription of $7,800 was obta.ined and 
the lot, comer of McKinney Avenue and Travis Street was pur- 
chased. A contract for the building was let, but the building 
could not be finished until, the city had given $10,000 more for 
unforeseen expenses and equipments. 

The building was formally thrown open to the public in 
March, 1904. In 1900, the Houston Lyceum and Carnegie 
Library Association was formed and chartered to take over the 
effects of the old Houston Lyceum. Mr. N. S. Meldrum also 
endowed the children's department with $6,000 as a memorial 
to Norma Meldrum. 

The Houston Lyceum had, in 1904, when the transfer was 
made, about 4,000 volumes which had all been catalogued before 
the new quarters were ready. Before the actual transfer was 
made the lyceum library was practically doubled by the gift from 
a donor, who desired his name to be unknown, of 4,000 volumes. 
N. S. Meldrum also gave $1,000 for the purchase of special' books. 
This caused a vast amount of work before the library could be 
put in perfect condition for the use of the public. There were 
over five thousand volumes to be catalogued. The system of 
cataloging demanded a complete description of each book, and 
for each volume a card index and stock card were necessary. 
Among the 4,000 volumes of the unknown donor were books in 
Latin and Greek and books that dealt with complicated problems 
and technical matters. To examine, describe antd record them 
required much time. This work was done by Miss Caroline Wan- 
dell, Miss Julia Ideson and Miss Ethel Jones. 

It soon became evident that the library needed more books. 
The demand exceeded the supply. 

"The number of books withdrawn from the library for home 
use," said Miss Julia Ideson, librarian, in her report for 1904, 
"was 59,751. This seems fairly good for the first year, yet the 



Societies and Clubs — Continued 295 

circulation might have been considerably greater had we had a 
supply of books anywhere nearly equal to the demand. ' ' 

"Estimating the population of Houston at 75,000," said 
Mrs. Henry H. Dickson, president of the board of trustees of 
the Houston Lyceum and Carnegie Library Association, in a 
report to the mayor and city council made at the same time, "we 
are receiving 51/^ cents per capita for library purposes. Both 
Fort "Worth and El Paso do much better than that, while San 
Antonio gave, last year, over $6,000 and received, in addition, 
gifts from her citizens aggregating over $15,000." 

In the seven years of the library's active existence the 
increase in the number of books has been steady and healthy. In 
the beginning there were about eight or nine thousand volumes, 
while in 1911, there are, approximately, thirty-two thousand. 
In 1904, as already stated, 59,751 books were circulated for 
home use. According to the report of Miss Ideson, the librarian, 
for the year ending Feb. 28, 1911, there were 90,877 volumes 
circulated, which, she states, was an increase over the preceding 
year. From the same report the following extracts are made : 

"The library has shown a substantial growth this year. There 
were added, during the year, by purchase, 2,542 volumes; by 
purchase, Meldrum fund, 247 ; by gift, 355, making total acces- 
sions, 3,144 volumes. ' ' 

"To show the class of people by whom the library is prin- 
cipally used, statistics" of occupations were kept. Of those reg- 
istering their occupations, there were: manufacturers, 9; mer- 
chants and business men, 48 ; bankers and brokers, 4 ; real estate 
and insurance men, 32 ; mechanics, 31 ; trades, 68 ; farmers and 
stockmen, 5; railroad employees (no clerks), 19; engineers, 18; 
artists and musicians, 15 ; newspaper men, 8 ; teachers, 92 ; phy- 
sicians, 13 ; clergymen, 6 ; lawyers, 9 ; other professions, 13 ; ste- 
nographers and clerks, 384; salesmen, 28; collectors, 11; miscel- 
laneous, 40." 

■ •' ' The colored branch, for which an appropriation of $500 ' 
was made, has had good use. Over 4,000 books, principally chil- 
dren's books, have been loaned." 

The "colored branch" spoken of in the report, was the 



296 History of Houston, Texas 

branch for negroes opened at the negro high school in May, 1 909. 
A movement was started by the promoters of this liranch to 
secure for it a permanent building. Mr. Carnegie was asked for 
a gift and offered $15,000 on his usual terms and conditions, 
but as these have never been complied with, the negro branch 
remains as first organized. 

The officers of the Houston Lyceum and Carnegie Library 
Association are: L. S. Denis, president; Mrs. H. F. Ring, vice- 
president,; Mrs. I. S. Meyer, secretary; Mrs. E. IV. Gray, treas- 
urer; Mrs. E. Raphael, corresponding secretary; Miss Julia 
Ideson, librarian. 

It will be seen from the foregoing that the ladies desei"ve the 
lion's share of the credit for establishing the lyceum and library 
on a firm basis and the same is true of nearV every literary, 
artistic and musical movement that has been inaugurated here. 

In 1885, the Ladies Reading Club was organized iiy Mrs. 
M. Looscan and Mrs. C. M. Lombardi.- The. first meeting was 
held at the home of Mrs. Briscoe on Crawford Street and was 
for the purpose of organizing a society for pleasure and mutaal 
improvement.- The movement could not have been in better 
hands than those of Mrs. Looscan and Mrs. Lombardi. 

There were eight ladies at the beginning, namely ■ Mesdames 
Looscan, Lombardi, Hill, Perl, Stone and Briscoe, and 
Misses Allen and Wagley. Mrs. Looscan was chosen temporary 
chairman and Miss Wagley was chosen "secrt^tary. The name 
adopted by the ladies was the Ladies History Class. The adop- 
tion of this name was due to the fact that it was the intention t-^ 
take up the study of history at once, and to choose the history 
of Egypt as the first course of study. Just at that time the fate 
of Gordon at Kartum was exciting world-wide interest. It 
was six weeks before a constitution and by-laws were ready for 
adoption, but during the delay the club was not idle but had 
taken up a systematic study of that mysterious country and 
■ prosecuted it zealously and intelligently. During the six weeks 
the membership had increased so that it was decided to organize 
thoroughly and formally, which was done. The constitution and 
by-laws were adopted and the following named officers were. 



Societies and Clubs — Continued 297 

elected: President, Mrs. M. Loosean; first vice-president, Mrs. 
C. M. Lombardi; second vice-president, Mrs. E. P. Hill; secre- 
tary, Miss A. B. "Wagley; treasurer, Mrs. M. J. Briscoe. 

At that meeting the name of the club was changed to the 
Ladies Reading Club and plans for future work were outlined. 

For the first ten years the club met in the parlors of Mrs. 
M. G. Howe; afterwards in rented rooms, then at the parish 
house of the Christ Church, then in the Lyceum library robm 
after that institution had been moved to the Mason Building. 
Since the opening of the Houston Lyceum and Carnegie Library, 
meetings have been and are being held on the upper floor on the 
hall designed for club meetings. 

As already noted it was the Ladies Reading Club that took 
the first steps towards saving the Houston Lyceum from oblivion 
and which also led to the establishment of the Carnegie Library 
here. During the twenty-six years of the club's existence it has 
been faithful to the objects which it had in view at its organiza- 
tion, namely, the creation of interest in intellectual and social 
culture and the creation of a common ground on which ladies 
having a literary taste might meet. It has used its influence 
in bringing celebrated lecturers to the city, and in behalf of 
every measure intended to advance educational interest. 

A few years ago it was determined to broaden the influence 
of the club by admitting associate members, not +o exceed ten. 
These associate members pay more dues than regular inerabiTS, 
but are excused from contributing to the regula;- literary exer- 
cises. They are treated as regular members, except that they 
cannot hold office. 

The membership of the club is fifty, exclusive of associate 
and honorary members. 

The following named ladies have been honored with the 
presidency of the club since its organization : Mrs. M. Loosean, 
Mrs. C. M. Lombardi, Mrs. M. E. Cage, Mrs. C. A. McKinney, 
Mrs. H. F. Ring, Mrs. P. K. Ewing, Mrs. R. M. Hall, Mrs. 
"W. A. DeLaMatyr, Mrs. William Christian, Mrs. B. A. Randolph. 

Those who have filled the post of recording secretary are: 
Miss Annie E. Wagley, Mrs. P. H. Goodwyn, Miss Fannie G. 



298 History of Houston, Texas 

Vincent, Mrs. G. F. Arnold, Mrs. W, B. Slosson, Mrs. H. F. 
MacGregor, Mrs. C. R. Cummings, Mrs. P. K. Ewing, Mrs. C. 
F. Beutel, Miss Emilia Celestine Bujac, Mrs. G. A. T.aft, Mias 
Laura Yoeum, Mrs. A. L. Metcalf, Mrs. J. P. Carroll and Mrs. 
March Culmore. 

The broad-minded members of the club are thoroughly alive 
to the best interests of the city and state, and certain days o^ 
the yea;r are set aside for discussion of Texas topics.. 

The officials of the club, in September, 1911, are: President, 
Mrs. R. M. Hall; vice-president, Mrs. G. A. Taft; second vice- 
president, Mrs. I. S. Myer; corresponding secretary, Mrs. J. G. 
Boyd; recording secretary, Mrs. B. A. Randolph; and treasurer, 
Mrs. D. C. Glenn. 

The Ladies Shakespeare Club was organized November 29, 
1890, with Mesdames E. Raphael, I. G. Gersom, I. Blandin, 
Blanche Booker, and Misses C. R. Redwood, Lydia Adkisson and 
Mary Light as charter members. The club was formed for the 
sole purpose of literary study and during the many years of its 
existence nothing has ever been permitted to divert it from the 
course marked out by its members at its initial meeting. 

The creed of the club has but two articles: First, that 
Shakespeare's plays were written by Shakespeare and not by 
Bacon; second, that Shakespeare is the crown and chief glory 
of English literature. 

Until the completion of the Carnegie Library, the club had 
no permanent home, but met at private houses, public halls and 
other convenient places. This lack of permanent headquarters 
was not allowed to interfere in the least with the club work and 
the course of study for each year has been conscientiously car- 
ried out. It has been serious work, too. The club placed itself 
in close communication with the Chicago University where much 
valuable study and research work connected with Shakespeare 
have been done and, in addition, on one or two occasions has been 
instrumental in having Professor Clark, of that University, come 
to Houston for the purpose of delivering his famous lectures on 
Shakespeare. 

Of course Shakespeare has been the great trunk of the tree, 



Societies wnd Clubs — Continued 299 

1?ut it has had many branches which have invited the members 
to deviate occasionally and follow them up. For instance the 
study of Henry VI and kindred plays led to historical research 
while certain of the romantic plays opened the way towards 
dramatic construction. The members have never hesitated to 
follow any line that offered to throw light on the hidden mys- 
teries and profound learning of the great bard. Its labors have 
been great, but they have been pleasant at all times for they were 
labors of love. 

The Study Shakespeare Class is simply a number of ladies 
who have banded themselves together without official organiza- 
tion for the purpose of studying the plays of Shakespeare. Mrs. 
Alma McDonnell is the moving spirit and it was through her 
efforts that the ladies were brought together. She has the well- 
deserved reputation of being a thorough Shakesperean scholar, 
and has the ability to impart her knowledge and enthusiasm to 
others, so the success of the Study Shakespeare Class has been 
very great. 

Another Shakespeare Club was organized October 1, 1904, 
at the residence of Mrs. A. Gr. Howell. There were fourteen 
ladies present and an organization was perfected at that first meet- 
ing by the election of Mrs. J. W. Lockett, president; Mrs. J. W. 
Carter, vice-president, and Mrs. Harry Tyner, recording secre- 
tary. Since most of the members were residents of the south 
end of the city, -the name South End Shakespea,re Club was 
chosen, and the membership was limited to twenty-one. As sOon 
as the club was organized the ladies went to work and began the 
study of the tragedy, Othello. The history of the play was given 
by Mrs. Howell and why Shakespeare wrote it was explained by 
Mrs. Carter. Since that initial meeting, the club has been very 
active and its members have studied and discussed many of the 
plays and writings of Shakespeare. 

One of the most interesting clubs of the city is the Current 
Literature Club, which was organized in 1899, by Mrs. Si Pack- 
ard. Her idea was to get a number of congenial women together 
for the purpose of reading and keeping up with the books of the 
day. In response to her call about twenty ladies met at her 



300 History of Houston, Texas 

house and the club was organized. Mrs. Packard was elected 
president and held the office for four years. The character of 
work done by the club and its methods of work have been thus 
described by Mrs. J. T. Lockman. 

"At first, only the novels of the day were read and discussed. 
Meetings were held at the different homes and books were carried 
from place to place by the librarian. It was lots of work but it 
was lots of fun. After the study hour was over, the hostess of 
each meeting always had a social feature prepared for us, some- 
thing so bright and cheery that the memory of our 'good old 
times' lingers lovingly with all charter members. No one ever 
dreamed they could stay away from k meeting. But the current 
novels got to be so trashy that the ladies became disgusted and 
threw them aside. The library was completed and the club moved 
into permanent quarters and all fun ceased. The club took up 
the study of more serious master and engaged in studying works 
on travel, history, art, literature and preserves its original inten- 
tion, in part only, by reading and discussing the current maga- 
zines and periodicals. The club has forty active members and 
twenty -five associate and honorary members." 

The officers of the club are : President, Mrs. J. T. Lockman ; 
secretary, Mrs. E. A. Adey- treasurer, Mrs. E. Scheultz. 

The first year of the Houston Pen Women's Association was 
completed March 23, 1907. At the first annual meeting reports 
were made by Mrs. Elizabeth Strong Tracy, the president, and 
by Mrs. Florence N. Dancy, the secretary. From those two 
reports the following facts are taken. The question of organi- 
zation had long been discussed by the women of Houston who 
were engaged in writing for the newspapers. Nowhere else in 
the state were there so many members of the Texas "Woman's 
Press Association., Eighteen women responded to a call to 
women of the press and to women engaged in literary work, and 
attended a preliminary meeting at the residence of Mrs. "William 
Christian. Mrs. Christian was made the temporary chairman 
and Mrs. Dancy, secretary. Mrs. Tracy, Miss Katie Daffan and 
Mrs. Dancy were appointed a committee on constitution and by- 
laws. A few days later a permanent organization was effected. 



Societies and Clubs — Continued 301 

Mrs. Tracy was elected president; Mrs. Abbie N. Smith, vice- 
president; and Mrs. Daney, secretary. The membership con- 
sists of historians, poets, writers of prose, nuthors, jotirnalists 
and newspaper writers. The success of the cl.ib has been luarked. 
Its officers are : President, Mrs. J. M. Limbocker ; vice-president, 
Mrs. M. B. Crowe ; second vice-president. Miss Abbie N. Smith ; 
recording secretary, Mrs. R. R. Dancy; corresponding secretary, 
Mrs. Grace Zimmer; treasurer, Mrs. E. S. Tracy. 

The Houston Branch of the ."Dickens Fellowship" was 
organized in 1909, at the home of its president, Mrs. E. Raphael, 
with -an enthusiastic membership composed of the following 
ladies: Mrs. E. W. Luhn, Mrs. A. S. Dyer, Mrs. J. R. Parks, 
Mrs. T. C. Dunn, Mrs. W.W. Ralston, Mrs. S. C. Robbins, Mrs. 
J. B. Slack, Mrs. W. Southward, Mrs. Jules Hirsch, Mrs. B. 
Adey, Mrs. Jas. Breeding, Mrs. E. Raphael. These received the 
first certificates of membership from the London Branch of the 
Dickens Fellowship. 

This branch is the only off -shoot of the London Fellowship 
in the South, and the ninth branch of the United States. The 
object of this organization is to foster the love of Dickens' writ- 
ings, to emulate his genial kindliness, humanitarian impulses 
and living interest in all things great and small; and to pass 
along the philosophy of life so vividly portrayed by the beloved 
author.' 

The Fellowship is still in its infancy, but as it grows it hopes 
to become great in numbers and greater in capacity for betterment 
&f the mind and spirit of its members and those allied to it by 
the brotherhood of man. The present officers are: Mrs. E. 
Raphael, president ; Mrs. A. S. Dyer, vice-president ; Mrs. W. "W. 
Ralston, secretary and treasurer.' The membership numbers about 
twenty active workers. 

The club members subscribe to the official magazine, "The 
Dickensian" published in London, and so keep in touch with 
the spirit of Dickens' lovers elsewhere. This branch hopes to 
celebrate in a fitting manner the hundredth anniversary of 
Dickens' birthday. 

A chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution was 



302 History of Houston, Texas ■ 

organized in Houston, during November, 1899, by Mrs. Seabrook 
W. Sydnor, who had been appointed regent at Houston for the 
general organization. The chapter took the name of Lady Wash- 
ington Chapter and was organized in the parlors of the Rice 
Hotel. The following named ladies were charter members : Mrs. 
S. "W. Sydnor, Mrs. W. C. Crane, Mrs. J. C. Hutcherson, Mrs. 
W. L. Lane, Mrs. Thos. Franklin, Mrs. James Joumeay, Mrs. 
Henry Lummis, Mrs. Paul Timpson, Mrs. M. H. Foster, Mrs. 
H. F. Ring, Mrs. Botts Fitzgerald, Mrs. D. F. Stuart, Mrs. W. 
R. Robertson, Mrs. C. L. Fitch, Mrs. Susan R. Tempest, Mrs. H. 
T. Warner, and Mrs. R. F. Dunbar. 

The Chapter has been in active existence since its organiza- 
tion and its affairs are in excellent condition. Social functions, 
in commemoration of national holidays, bazaars and 'other enter- 
tainments, for the purpose of raising money for special pur- 
poses, historical research and kindred matters have occupied the 
attention and interest of the members. 

The Chapter has erected a monument to Alexander Hodge 
in the Sam Houston Park. Hodge was a Revolutionary soldier 
and served with Marion. He came to Texas and served with the 
Texas army, thus becoming a veteran of two revolutions, each 
among the most successful and far-reaching in the history of the 
world. He died and was buried in Texas. Among his descend- 
ents is Mrs. Seybrook Sydnor, who has been State Regent and 
most active in promoting the interests of the Daughters' organi- 
zation in Texas. 

San Jacinto Chapter No. 2, Daughters of the Republic of 
Texas, was organized in 1901. The chapter has accomplished a 
great deal in the way of perpetrating the memories of the Texas 
heroes who established the independence of Texas, and has col- 
lected many valuable historical data. It has taken under its 
care. San Jacinto battlefield and has marked, with suitable monu- 
ments and tablets, historical points and localities associated with 
early Texas history. 

The chapter has at present fifty active members. Its officers 
are: Mrs. J. J. McKeer, 'president ; Mrs. E. T. Dumble, first 
vice-president; Mrs. G. A. Fosgard, second vice-president; Mrs. 



Societies and Clubs — Continued . 303 

Geo. Hamman, third vice-president ; Mrs. M. B. Urwitz, secretary ; 
Mrs. C. H. Milby, treasurer; Mrs. Rosine Ryan, historian. 

Robert E. Lee Chapter, 186, United Daughters of the 'Con- 
federacy, was,organized in 1897. The first officers were : Mrs. J. 
C. Hutcherson, president ; Mrs. M. G. Howe, vice-president ; Mrs. 
T. R. Franklin, vice-president; Mrs. M. H. Foster, secretary. 
There were fifty charter members. 

This chapter is one of the largest and hardest working chap- 
ters in the state and has accomplished a great deal since its organ- 
ization. Its growth has been rapid from the first year of its 
organization. Its members have contributed generously towards 
all monument funds, one of the most beautiful of which is that 
known as the Spirit of the Confederacy, located in the city park, 
and have done much to preserve the memory of the Confederate 
soldiers who have passed over the river and to care for and com- 
fort those who are still on this side. 

The present officers of the chapter, October, 1911, are : Mrs. 
M. E. Bryan, president; Mrs. J. F. Burton, Mrs. J. L. Bates, 
Mrs. Carter Walker, Mrs. G. L. Black, vice-presidents ; Mrs. W. 
■ A. Rowan, recording secretary; Mrs. W. H. Bailey, cdrrespond- 
ing secretary ; Mrs. P. H. Fall, treasurer ; Mrs. A. G. Henry, reg- 
istrar ; Mrs. J. W. Dittmar, curator. 

Oran M. Roberts, Chapter No. 440, United Daughters of the 
Confederacy was organized in 1901, with sixty charter members. 
Its first officers were: Miss A. A. Dunovant, president; Mrs. S. 
F. Carter, first vice-president; Mrs. T. W. House, second vice- 
president; Mrs. Wharton Bates, third vice-president; Mrs. W. 
B. King, fourth vice-president; Miss Jennie Criswell, recording 
secretary; Mrs. Jonathan Lane, corresponding secretary; Mrs. 
B. M. Stephens, treasurer. 

During the first year of the Chapter's Ufe its membership 
increased to 314. The chapter has made donations towards mon- 
uments but its main efforts have been in behalf of indigent and 
needy Confederate soldiers. 

The officers of this chapter, October, 1911, are: President, 
Mrs. Will Hansen ; first vice-president, Mrs. J. M. Gibson ; second 
vice-president, Mrs. Hattie S. Hatch; third vice-president, Mrs. 



304 History of Houston, Texas 

Uvalde Burns; fourth vice-president, Mrs, Sidney Huston; 
recording secretary, Mrs. B. C. Eeichardt; corresponding secre- 
tary, Mrs. B. B. Knolle ; treasurer, Mrs. "W. Worsham ; historian, 
Mrs. S. T. Steele; librarian. Miss Williams; registrar, Mrs. J. 
Hyndman ; custodian, Mrs. Kaufhold. 

In all matters relating to culture, patriotism, and civic and 
municipal improvement, the women of Houston have played a 
leading role and the story .of their efforts and the list of their 
accomplishments has not been and is not now told. A book of 
this scope can only indipate the organizations or the principal 
ones of them and the directions in which their activities tend. 

There has been no great religious, literary, patriotic, char- 
itable or civic movement in which the noble women of Houston 
have not led and in many of these movements they have borne 
almost the entire burden and are entitled to the largest measure 
of praise for the successes, many times brilliant ones, that have 
been achieved along the chosen lines of effort. 



CHAPTER XVII 

Organized Labor 



Organized Labor is Prosperous in Houston. Houston Labor 
Council's Full Report Showing Numbers and Conditions 
in all the Organized Crafts. Good Wages are Paid and 
Sweating System is not in Vogue. 



The labor associations of Houston are very numerous and 
very well organized. Each branch of labor has its own organiza- 
tion, and the entire membership of all of them foots up in the 
thousands. The Stowers Building, corner of Congress Avenue and 
Caroline Street, was formally dedicated to the use and occupancy 
of the various labor organizations of Houston on Jan. 14, 1905. 
This huge building was transformed into a home for the Houston 
Labor Council with imposing ceremonies. Among the prom- 
inent labor organizations taking part were the following : 

Amalgamated Sheet Metal Workers' Local No. 54; Bakers' 
and Confectioners' Union No. 28; Bed Spring and Mattress 
Makers' Union No. 844; Blacksmiths' Union No. 32; Boiler 
Makers' Union No. 74; Bookbinders' Union, Local No. 110; 
Brewery Workers' Union, Local No. Ill; Bricklayers' and 
Masons' International Union No. 7; Carpenters' and Joiners' 
Union No. — ; Carriage and Wagonworkers' International Union 
No. 109; Houston Typographical Union No. 87; Icemen's Pro- 
tective Union No. 9254 ; International Alliance Theatrical Stage 
Employees', No. 65; International Association of Machinist, 
No. 12; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, No. 
66; Iron Moulders' Union of North America, No. 259; Journey- 
men Barbers' Union No. 74; Journeyman Tailors' Union No. 247 ; 
Musicians' Protective Union No. 65; Painters' and Decorators' 
Union No. 130; Patternmakers' League of America; Plasterers' 



306^ History of Houston, Texas 

International Protective Union No. 140; Plumbers' and Gas- 
fitters' Union No. 68 ; Bridge and Struetual Iron "Workers ^ Build- 
ing Laborers International Protective Union ; Carriage, Cab and 
Delivery Wagon Drivers' Union; Cooks and Waiters' Union; 
Theatrical Mechanical Association; Tile Pipe Layers' Protective 
Union; Woman's Union Label League; Printing Pressmen's 
Union No. 71 ; Retail Clerks ' Protective Association No. 165 ; 
Shirt Waist and Laundry Workers International Union, Local, 
No. 38; Soda Water Workers' Union No. 11, 300; Team Drivers 
No. 489 ; Texas Association of Steam Bngineersj Houston, No. 1 ; 
Stenographers' and Typewriters' Association; Railroad Employ- 
ees' Association. Since then the unions have maintained a com- 
mon headquarters and parade in strength each labor day. 

The following figures, furnished by Mr. Max Andrews, clerk 
of the Harris County Criminal Court and editor of the Labor 
Journal, were especially prepared by a committee from the 
Houston Labor council. They represent the situation as it 
existed in July, 1911. 

The total number of industrial workers in Houston is 25,000, 
graded as follows: Men, 15,000; women, 6,000; children, 15 
years and under, 4,000. 

Organized: Men, 55 per cent; women, 2 per cent. 
Of the' skilled trades, 85 per cent are organized and 15 per 
cent unorganized. 

During the last ten years the hours of labor have been 
decreased all along the line from ten to eight. 

During the past ten years there has been an average increase 
in wages among the' crafts of 25 per cent. 

However, during this same period the increased cost of liv- 
ing, ascertained through government authorities, has increased 
40 per cent. Thus it wiU be seen that the increased cost of living 
far exceeds the increase in pay secured. 

The total number of organized men and women in Houston 
is 8,250. 

The best organized crafts are the plumbers, printers, brick- 
masons, plasterers, stone cutters and marble cutters, about 100 
per cent strong. 



Organized Labor 307 

All trades limit the number of apprentices. This has not 
worked a hardship on the boys and has had much to do with 
maintaining a living wage for the journeymen. 

The sentiment and general feeling toward union labor in 
this city and community is good. All important worlj is per- 
formed by union men. 

The -central labor body (the Houston labor council) consists 
of delegates from all locals in this jurisdiction that are affiliatied 
with the American Federation of Labor. Thirty-three are afSli- 
ated at this time. The meetings are not open to the general 
public. 

The labor council meets over the Hammersmith shoe estab- 
lishment, 305% Main Street. 

Unions care for their sick and dependent and bury their 
dead. This is due them through membership. 

The federated shop men have a committee on conciliation 
and arbitration, which has been recognized by the Harriman sys- 
tem. The central council has an arbitration committee. 

There is no open conflict between the unions of Houston and 
the Manufacturers Association, Citizens Alliance or Employes 
Association locally. 

The Ministerial Association has no fraternal delegate in the 
labor council at present. 

Some of the working conditions are thus indicated : Packing 
House: Number employed (men, women and children), 500. 
"Wages, for men, $1.50 to $2.00 per day ; for women, 75 cents to 
$2.00 per day; for children, 50 cents to $1.00 per day. Labor 
is seasonal. Approximately 121/^ per cent unemployed. Married 
men get living wages. Work ten hours per, day. No Sunday 
work. "Wages do not cause dependency. Little opportunity for 
training or educational advancement. Conditions sanitary and 
healthful. Employes subject to danger from machinery and 
occupational diseases. No sweating system exists. Employes are 
not organized. 

In the railroad shops and yards, there are, approximately, 
4,000 employed. "Working conditions, fair. Labor seasonal. 
Married men receive living wages; however, not commensurate 



308 History of Houston, Texas 

with the advances in necessities of life. Hours of labor, nine 
hours per day. About 25 per cent of laborers work Sundays. 
Conditions are very good for training and educational advance- 
ment. Sanitation and health, good. No sweating system exists. 
Subject to danger from machinery. Ninety per cent of workers 
organizfed. Average wage for all employees about $2.50 per 
day. 

In the cotton oil mills and cotton compresses, the number 
employed will approximate 1,500. Working conditions, fair. 
"Wages, for men, $1.50 to $2.50 per day; for women, $1.00 to 
$1.25 per day ; for children, 50 cents to 75 cents per day. Labor 
is casual, a majority of the workers being steadily employed dur- 
ing the months of September, October, November, December, 
January and February, but during the remainder of the year 
must seek other means of support. Married men receive living 
wages. Hours of labor from 10 to 12. Employes work every 
Sunday during operating season. Wages and general conditions 
are scarcely removed from dependency. No opportunity for 
training or educational advancement; however, conditions are 
far in advance of majity cities in the Southern States. Sanitary 
conditions, fairly good. Workers subject to danger from machin- 
ery and occupational diseases. 

In the saw mills and factories, the number of employes is 
500. Working conditions, reasonably fair. Wages for skilled 
men, $2.50 to $3.00 per day ; unskilled men, 75 cents to $1.75 per 
day; women, 50 cents to $1.00 per day; children, 25 cents to 75 
cents per day. Labor is steady; about 10 per cent are unem- 
ployed. Majority of men make scant living. Hours of labor, 
10 per day. Do not work Sundays. Wages paid barely keep 
employes above dependency. Little opportunity is afforded for 
training or educational advancement. Conditions generally are 
sanitary and healthful. Workers subject to danger from machin- 
ery and occupational diseases. No sweating system exists. About 
10 per cent are organized. 

In the general stores there are approximately 3,000 employed. 
Working conditions are not good. Wages for men, $5 to $18 
per week; women, $3.50 to $10; children, $1.50 to $5. Labor 



Organized Labor 309 

seasonal. About 121/2 per cent unemployed. Married men do 
not receive wage consistent with average living conditions. Hours 
of labor from 10 to 15 per day. Do not work Sundays. Most 
employes do not receive wage sufficient to relieve them of depend- 
ency; especially is this true of the women, girls and children. 
Not one out of 1,000 has opportunity of advan.cement along 
training and educational lines. Unless the general public inter- 
cedes conditions in Houston will soon parallel the larger cities 
of the country and young' womanhood will be sacrificed at the 
altar of greed and avarice. Conditions are now deplorable. In 
most instances stores and shops are arranged in sanitary condi- 
tion. Labor is unorganized. 

At the Breweries there are approximately 500 employed. 
"Working conditions are exceptionally good. General scale of 
wages from $2 to $5 per day. Labor seasonal. About 3 per cent 
unemployed. Married men receive a living wage. Hours of 
labor, eight per day. Operate 24 hours per day, with three 
shifts of eight hours. Most of the employes work Sundays. Em- 
ployes are independent and most of them are home owners. 
Conditions sanitary and healthful. Employes are subject to dan- 
ger from machinery and occupational diseases. All are organ- 
ized. All workmen in breweries, where steadily employed, must 
join the Brewery Workers' Union; most compact and thoroughly 
organized of any craft. It pays large sick and death benefits. 

As to common labor, there are approximately 5,000 laborers 
employed. Wages, for men, $1.25 to $2 per day; women, 50 
cents to $1.25 per day ; children, 25 cents to $1 per day. Labor 
is casual. About 25 per cent are unemployed. About 10 per 
cent of the workers are organized. Married men do not receive 
a living wage. Hours of labor from eight to ten per day. Only 
those employed for elevator service, street cars and emergency 
men are required to work Sundays. Wages and general condi- 
tions increase dependency. No opportunity for training or edu- 
cational advancement. Conditions generally are sanitary. No 
sweating system in vogue. 

The industrial crafts include carpenters, plumbers, painters, 
plasterers, sheetmetal workers, brickmasohs, machinists, black- 



310 History of Houston, Texas 

smiths, lathers, typographers, printing pressmen, bookbinders, 
musicians, electrical workers, bartenders, tailors, coopers, bridge 
and structural iron workers, boilermakers, marble workers, jour- 
neymen barbers, elevator constructors, pattern makers, iron 
molders, garment workers, horseshoers, stationary engineers. 

Of the above crafts there are about 3,000 employed. This 
is independent of those working in the railroad shops, mills, com- 
presses, etc., elsewhere compiled and accounted for. 

Carpenters and Joiners — Approximately 75 per cent organ- 
ized; wages, union, $4 per day; non-union, $3.50 per day. Con- 
ditions good; all large contracts and buildings employ union 
labor; union provides sick and death benefits for its members. 
Death benefit grades upward, according to length of membership ; 
carpenters meet in their own home and are in a most prosper- 
ous condition; work seasonal; union men are independent and 
families enjoy training and educational advantages. No Sunda,y 
work. 

Plasterers — Conditions are good; 90 per cent are organized. 
"Wages, union men receive $6 per day; non-union men, $3 per 
day. Do not work pn Sunday. 

Sheetmetal Workers — ^Very good condition; work seasonal, 
but rather steady. Wages, union men, $3.50 to $4.50 per day; 
non-union labor, lower. About 90 per cent of craft .organized. 

Brickmasons — Splendid condition ; about 95 per cent organ- 
ized. Wages, union men receive $6 to $7 per day; non-union 
men, $3 to $4. Many home-owners among them. 

Machinists — ^Work steady throughout the year and pretty 
well employed. Wages, union men, $3.80 per day; non-union 
men, $2.50 per day. 

Theatrical Stage Employes — Number about 100; conditions 
in large playhouses good and all employed therein are organized ; 
wages range from $15 to $25 per week ; all theatres give Sunday 
performances. Picture shows and vaudeville houses are unsafe, 
unsanitary and unorganized ; much work is needed among them ; 
in most instances incompetent and child labor is employed and 
the general public is subjected to danger through them. 

Blacksmiths — Reasonably fair conditions; about 65 per 



Organized Labor 311 

cent organized and union growing. Wages, union men $3.80 per 
day; non-union men, $2.50 per day. 

Lathers — Steadily employed at present; work would not 
be classed as casual here, but is rather steady throughout the 
year. Wages, union men receive from $4 to $6 per day; non- 
union men, $2.50 per day. 

Following are the. statistics for the printing trade : 

Printers — ^About 225 in membership ; organized 100 per cent 
strong. Wages, from $3.50 to $8 per day, varying according to 
men and position. Job offices and ad rooms work time scale, 
eight hours per day. Machine men work on a piece scale, and 
average from six to seven hours per day. About 75 per cent of 
the printers are home owners. 

Printing Pressmen — One hundred per cent organized; work 
eight hours per day ; wages average $3.50 per day ; many home 
owners among them; sanitary conditions in shops good. 

Bookbinders — One hundred per cent organized; hours of 
work, eight per day ; wages, average $4 per day ; sanitary condi- 
tions exceptionally good. 

Other crafts are as follows; 

Electrical Workers — Eighty per cent organized; union men 
work 8 hours ; wa,ges from $3.50 to $4.50 per day ; all employed. 

Bartenders — ^About 80 per cent organized; hours of labor 
eight per day ; scale of wages, $15 to $21 per week. 

Tailors — Poorly organized at present ; hours of labor ten per 
day ; wages, from $2 to $3, most work is by piece. 

Coopers — One hundred per cent organized ; work seasonal to 
a great extent; hours of work, eight per day; average wages 
from $2.85 to $4 per day ; conditions sanitary. 

Bridge and Structural Iron Workers — Organized 100 per 
cent strong; hours of labor, eight per day; wage scale from $3.5*0 
to $4.50 per day, work exceptionally good here for the past two 
years and prospects flattering ; duties are most hazardous. 

Boilermakers-^-About 90 per cent organized; wages $3.50 to 
$5 per day for union men ; non-union wages lower ; work fair. 

Marble Workers — Work eight hours per day; wages $4 to 
$6 per day ; organized 100 per cent strong ; conditions good. 



312 History of .Houston, Texas 

Journeyman Barbers — ^White and colored unions are organ- 
ized ; about 80 per cent organized ; conditions above the average ; 
no Sunday work. 

Elevator Constructors — Organized 100 per cent ; work good ; 
all employed at present; no Sunday work; wages $4 per day. 

Pattern Makers — "Well organized; wages^ fifty cents per 
hour ; nine hours ; no labor on Sundays. 

Garment Workers — Only craft of women organized; have 
a union of about 200 members ; work eight hours ; wages from $9 
to $18 per week; no Sunday labor; exceptionally good sanitary 
conditions prevail. 

Horseshoers — Good conditions; work eight hours; average 
wages $2.50 to $3.50 per day ; 75 per cent organized. 

Stationary Engineers — Work eight hours ; conditions good ; 
about 80 per cent organized ; average wages $3 to $4 per day. 

Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers — Work eight hours ; 
wages, for union men, $3.50 to $4 per day; no way to ascertain 
wages of non-union men; best mechanics organized; about 80 
per cent in union ; conditions fairly good and improving. 
I Plumbers — About 200 in number ; 100 per cent organized ; 
work eight hours per day, half holiday on Saturday; scale of 
wages, for union men, $6 per day ; sanitary conditions generally 
good; union has many educational features to perfect skill of 
workmen. 




Erm itf-E.&ti^^"^ 'S,3roliy 




CHAPTER XVIII 

Board of Trade and Banks 



Organization of Board of Trade and Cotton Exchange. The 
Cotton Exchange Building. Officers of Exchange. Cotton 
as King. Cotton Compresses and "Warehouses. The Hous- 
ton Business League. The Chamber of Commerce. Hous- 
ton's Early Banks. Growth Shown by Bank Clearings. 
Houston's Modern Banks. City's Big Trust Companiesv 
The Houston Clearing House. 

The Houston Board of Trade and Cotton Exchange was 
organized May 16, 1874, in the parlors of the Hutchins House. 
Captain C. S. Longcope was elected 'president; Col. "W. J. 
Hutchins, vice-president; Mr. George W. Kidd, who was really 
the originator of the idea, was elected secretary.. On the first 
board of directors were : B. A. Botts, P. A. Rice, George Porter, 
S. K. Mcllhenny, W. D. Cleveland, Fred Stanley and A. J. 
Burke. 

Perkins Hall, later known as Pillott's Opera House, was 
leased for a number of years and equipped with only one small 
bulletin board the Exchange was launched on its career. That 
single board did duty for a long time and was ample for all the 
needs of the Exchange, for the telegraph service was meagre in 
the extreme and a good sized slate would have answered quite 
as well as the board. Telegraph rates were very high in those 
days and the Gold and Stock Exchange, the great collecting 
branch of the telegraph company for commercial news and 
quotations was in its infancy, so that it cost a great 'deal of money 
to secure even the smallest commercial service. Mr.- Kidd, who 
was commercial editor of one of the local newspapers, used to 
supplement the exchange reports with items that came to his 
paper. When the market house burned down, the opera house 



314 History of Houston, Texas 

• 

that was located in the City Hall above the market house was 
destroyed, and Houston was left with only Pillott's Opera House 
as a theatre. The place was in constant demand, and the 
Exchange, having a lease on it and only its one little bulletin 
board to put out of the way, made a nice income by hiring the 
hall to theatrical companies. This money was devoted to the 
extension of the telegraph service and soon the Exchange was 
receiving a fair service, and one that induced other members 
to join the organization. At that time the Exchange had very 
few inducements to offer outsiders to become members, but that- 
soon changed. There had been about twenty prominent business 
men and merchants who had stood by the Exchange from the day 
of its organization, but it was for the purpose of sustaining the 
organization and perpetuating it, and not for any immediate 
benefit they could derive from it. Now, however, the Exchange 
began to receive much more valuable information and its use- 
fulness became apparent. Quite a number of new members came 
in, and while the association was far from a safe and secure basis, 
yet it was well on the way. Secretary Kidd did an immense 
amount of work and was untiring in his efforts to build up the 
Exchange. There was one important branch of the work that 
could be carried on independently, and entirely outside of tele- 
graphic or other sources of information — ^local statistics' could be 
compiled, and to that important work Secretary Kidd turned 
his attention. He not only compiled all the early statistics, but 
laid the ground work for the more elaborate and complicated 
system that prevails in the Exchange today. 

When through-rail connection was made between Houston, 
St. Louis and the great West, Houston sent a strong delegation of 
members of the Exchange and other business men, on a mission- 
ary expedition to tell the people up there what we were and to 
find out what they had. This delegation did good work, with the 
result that a fine trade soon developed between the two sections. 
One of its most marked benefits, from a local point of view, was 
its effect upon the Cotton Exchange. It brought out the Board 
of Trade feature of that organization, and demonstrated how val- 
uable it could be made. Then for the first time the directors of 



Board of Trade and Banks 315 

the Exchange went seriously to work. In 1877, they obtained 
a charter as the Cotton Exchange and Board of Trade. They 
framed new rules and regulations, increased the initiation fee 
and the annual dues from members, and made provision for a 
regular and permanent revenue with which to meet the expenses 
of the Exchange. The institution was placed on a firm basis and 
from that time until today its course has been upward. 

A general meeting of members of the exchange was held 
January 15, 1882, for the purpose of discussing the advisability 
of the Exchange owning its own building. At that meeting it 
was decided that ground should be purchased and a building 
should be erected if financial arrangements could be made. Com- 
mittees were appointed to look into the details of the question.. 
Other meetings were held, and on May 29, 1883, the ground for 
the building was purchased. The architect-'s plan^ were accepted 
January 4, 1884, and on March 1, of the same year the Exchange 
borrowed $40,000 for ten years, with which to put up the building. 
The contract was let March 15, 1884, and the corner-stone was laid 
by the Masons on June 5, 1884. The building was completed and 
turned over to the Exchange on November 15, 1884. Since then 
the building has been completely remodeled to meet the growing 
needs of the members. Additional stories have been added and 
today, in addition to being one of the handsomest and best 
arranged exchanges, the building is one of the most convenient 
and useful oflSee buildings in the city. It is located at the corner 
of Franklin Avenue and Travis Street. No cotton exchange in 
this or any other country gives more information to its members 
than does the Houston Exchange. There are long distance tele- 
phones reaching all over this and adjoining states, where a mem- 
ber can talk to a customer hundreds of miles away with as much 
ease and without delay, as if he were in the next room. There 
are two telegraph companies that have special wires on the 
fioor of the exchange, while the Exchange itself is in direct and, 
what may be termed instantaneous, communication with all the 
great exchanges in this country and across the water as well. 
To illustrate the rapidity with which business is transacted 
through the exchange, it is said that an order can be sent to 



316 History of Houston, Texas 

Liverpool, executed and an answer received back here in Houston 
in three or four minutes. This is not an extraordinary occurrence. 

The Houston Cotton Exchange and Board of Trade has 
been of incalculable benefit to Houston and has done an immense 
amount of work looking to the upbuilding of the city. Almost 
from the day of its formation it has been active in the work of 
building the ship channel. It has always had a standing coiniQit- 
tee on the ship channel, and the annual report oc tliis committee 
has always been one of the leading features of the annual meet- 
ings of the Exchange. It has done work in every way and in 
every direction for the advancement of the material interests of 
Houston. Today much of that work is in the hands of able, special 
organizations, but the initial steps in all of them were taken by 
the Houston Cotton Exchange and Board of Trade. 

Perhaps the best way in which the importance and growth 
of the Exchange may be shown is by calling attention to the 
fact that when it was organized, and for some years after, a seat 
on the floor could be purchased for five dollars and the annual 
dues were twelve dollars, a dollar each month. Today a mem- 
bership in the Exchange costs $2,000 and there, are so few sellers 
at that figure that it is extremely difSeult to buy a certificate of 
membership. The annual dues are $50, payable in advance. 
There are fees and other dues, amounting to thousands of dollars 
which furnish funds for the current expenses. 

The following have been the officials of the Exchange : 

1874-75 — C. S..Longcope, president; W. J. Hutchins, first 
vice-president; B. A. Shepherd, second vice-president; Geo. W. 
Kidd, secretary. 

1875-76 — W. D. Cleveland, president; Geo. L. Porter, first 
vice-president; S. K. Mcllhenny, second vice-president; T. W. 
House, Jr., third vice-president ; Geo. W. Kidd, secretary. 

1876-77 — Geo. L. Porter, president; J. H. Blake, first vice- 
president; T. W. House, Jr., second-vice-president; S. K. Mcll- 
henny, third vice-president; Geo. "W. Kidd, secretary. 

1877-78— H. R. Percy, president; Fred A. Rice, treasurer; 
Geo. "W. Kidd, secretary. 



Board of Trade and Banks 317 

1878-79— S. K. Mcllhenny, president; Wm. V. R. Watson, 
vice-president ; Fred A. Rice, treasurer ; Geo. "W. Kidd, secretary. 

1879-80 — ^Wm. V. R. "Watson, president; Louis Harde, vice- 
president; Fred A. Rice, treasurer; Geo. W. Kidd, secretary. 

1880-81 — A. H. Lea, president; T. W. House, vice-president; 
Fred A. Rice, treasurer ; Geo. W. Kidd, secretary. 

1881-82 — S. K. Mcllhenny, president; E. L. Dennis, vice- 
president ; Fred A. Rice, treasurer ; Geo. W. Kidd, secretary. 

1882-83 — S. A. McAshan, president; H. W. Garrow, vice- 
president ; Fred A. Rice, treasurer ; Geo. W. Kidd, secretary. 

1883-84 — S. A. McAshan, president; H. W. Garrow, vice- 
president; Fred A. Rice, treasurer; Geo. W. Kidd, secretary. 

l''884-85 — W. D. Cleveland, . president ; H. W. Garrow, vice- 
president; Fred A. Rice, treasurer; Geo. W. Kidd, secretary. 

1885-86— W. D. Cleveland, president; H. W. Garrow, vice- 
president; Fred A. Rice, treasurer; Geo.- "W. Kidd, secretary. 

1886-87— W. D. Cleveland, president; H. "W. Garrow, vice 
president ; T. W. House, treasurer ; Geo. W. Kidd, secretary. 

1887-88— W. D. Cleveland, president; Wm. M. Read, vice- 
president; T. W. House, treasurer; Geo. W. Kidd, secretary. 

1888-89— W. D. Cleveland, president; Wm. M. Read, vice- 
president; T. W. House, treasurer; Geo. W. Kidd, secretary. 

1889-90 — ^W. D. Cleveland, president; Wm. M. Read, vice- 
president ; T. W. House, treasurer ; Geo. W. Kidd, secretary. 

1890-91 — W. D. Cleveland, president; Wm. M. Read, vice- 
president; T. W. House, treasurer; Geo. W. Kidd, secretary. 

1891-92— Wm. M. Read, president; B. W. Sewall, vice- 
president; T. W. House, treasurer; Geo. W. Kidd, secretary. 

1892-93 — H. W. Garrow, president; Felix Halif, vice- 
president ; T. W. House, treasurer ; Geo. W. Kidd, secretary. 

1893-94 — H. W. Garrow, president; Felix Halflf, vice- 
president; T. W. House, treasurer; Geo. W. Kidd, secretary. 

1894-95 — H. W. Garrow, president; Felix Halff, vice- 
president; T. W. House, treasurer; Geo. W. Kidd, secretary. 

1895-96 — H. W. Garrow, president; Felix HalfF, vice- 
president; T. W. House, treasurer; Geo. W. Kidd, secretary. 



318 History of Houston, Texas 

1896-97— H. W. Garrow, president; Felix Halff, vice- 
president; T. "W. House, treasurer; Geo. "W. Kidd, secretary. 

1897-98 — H. "W. Garrow, president ; Wm. V. R. Watson, vice- 
president; T. W. House, treasurer; B. W. Martin, secretary. 

1898-99 — H. W. Garrow, president; George W. Neville, 
vice-president ; T. W. House, treasurer ; B. R. "Warner, secretary. 

1899-1900— H. W. Garrow, president; George "W. Neville, 
vice-president ; T. W. House, treasurer ; B. R. Warner, secretary. 

1900-01 — ^H. W. Garrow, president; George W. Neville, 
vice-president; T. W. House, treasurer; B. R. Warner, secretary. 

1901-02 — H. W. Garrow, president; George W. Neville, 
vice-president; T. W. House, treasurer; B. R. Warner, secretary. 

1902-03— W. D. Cleveland, president; George W. Neville, 
vice-president ; W. B. Chew, treasurer ; W. R. Warner, secretary. 

1903-04 — W. D. Cleveland, president; John M. Dorrance, 
vice-president; W. B. Chew, treasurer; W. J. DeTreville, sec- 
retary. 

1904-05 — W. D. Cleveland, president; John M. Dorrance, 
vice-president; W. B. Chew, treasurer; W. J. DeTreville, sec- 
retary. 

1905-06 — ^M. E. Andrews, president; E. W. Taylor, vice- 
president; W. B. Chew, treasuret; W. J. DeTreville, secretary. 

1906-07— W. 0. Ansley, president; E. W. Taylor, vice- 
president; W. B. Chew, treasurer; W. J. DeTreville, secretary. 

1907-08 — E. W. Taylor, president; James H. Adair, vice- 
president; W. B. Chew, treasurer; W. J. DeTreville, secretary. 

1908-09 — ^A. L. Nelms, president; James H. Adair, vice- 
president; W. B. Chew, treasurer; W. J. DeTreville, secretary. 

1909-10 — ^A. L. Nehns, president; James H. Adair, vice- 
president; W. B. Chew, treasurer; W. J. DeTreville, secretary. 

1910-11 — A. L. Nelms, president; Jno. W. Sanders, vice- 
president; W. B. Chew, treasurer; W. J. DeTreville, secretary.* 

1911-12 — ^A. L. Nelms, president; A. W. Pollard, vice-pres- 
ident; W. B. Chew, treasurer; J. P. Burwell, secretary. 

*Secretary DeTreville died June 21, 1910. Mr. J. P. Bur- 
well acted as secretary from June 21 to August 10, at which date 
he became the regular secretary. 



Board of Trade and Banks 319 

Houston long ago passed that point in her growth as a com- 
mercial center, where her supremacy depended on the handling 
of any single commodity, such as cotton, but from the early 
ox-wagon days to the present time when the railways bring the 
produce of T^xas, and of the Southwest as well, to the point 
where rail and water transportation join, cotton has been king, 
and will always continue to be king. The reasons for this are 
both natural and artificial. Natural from the geographical posi- 
tion of Houston; artificial because of the energy, fore-sight and 
business acumen of the men who have had the commercial des- 
tiny of the city in their keeping. 

During the last ten years the most wonderful and far- 
reaching changes in the methods of marketing cotton have taken 
place, and had not Houston adapted herself promptly to meet 
these changes and the conditions brought about through them, 
she would have been left high and dry, a mere way-station on 
the commercial highway. 

The greatest of these changes was in the method of buying 
and selling cotton. Formerly the farmer or interior merchant, 
who traded with the former for his cotton, shipped it to Houston, 
or to some other large city, to be sold at once, if prices were 
favorable, or to be held, subject to his order, for better prices. 
The commission merchant, or cotton factor, as he is called, would 
advance part of the value of such cotton to the shipper, so the 
method was satisfactory to all concerned. However, the big 
cotton consumers on the other side conceived the idea of estab- 
lishing their own agencies in this country, with the view to 
cutting out middlemen, as far as possible. These agencies scat- 
tered buyers all over the state. This, at once, caused a radical 
change in the cotton business and relegated, in a great measure, 
the old cotton factor with his slow but safe method, to a second- 
ary place. Quick transportation, the telegraph and telephone, 
assisted materially in bringing about the change, for they 
enabled the farmer or merchant hundreds of miles away from 
Houston, to learn as much about the market as the man on the 
floor of the cotton exchange could learn. Today, under the new 
system, cotton is bought in every little town and hamlet in the 



320 History of Houston, Texas 

state, directly from first hands, and the seller gets the full 
market value of the day, too, for there is always sharp compe- 
tition between buyers. 

This had led to the development of what is called the free 
on board business, which has eliminated about all the army of 
middlemen of former days. Under it a firm of exporters will 
contract to ship, let us say, 1,000 bales of cotton of a given 
grade and weight, at a fixed price. The price covers all charges 
and expenses up to the time the cotton is placed on board a ship 
at the port. The seller guarantees the cotton to be according to 
contract both in class and weight, so the buyer is protected 
against loss in case the shipment is deficient in any way. 

Realizing the probable and possible changes in the methods 
of handling cotton that this new business would bring about, and 
knowing that provision must be made for the proper care of the 
vast number of bales that would necessarily have to be concen- 
trated at some point under its working, Houston began, at the 
very conception of the business, to develop and care for it. Her 
old warehouses and compresses were renovated and, in some 
instances, enlarged, new ones were built and everything was 
done for facilitating and properly earing for the trade. 

A piece of foretliought which has been of the greatest 
advantage was placing every warehouse and compress in the city 
either on the banks of the ship channel or on some railroad. The 
advantage of this is that it eliminates the costly item of drayage 
and this alone gives Houston an advantage of from 10c to 12i^c 
per bale over all competitors. The extent of such an advantage 
can be appreciated when it is known that frequently a cost of 
5c per bale will cause a change in the routing of cotton. Today 
no place in the country has greater or better facilities for hand- 
ling and caring for cotton than Houston. This is no idle boast 
as the following brief description of those facilities show : 

The Cleveland Compress is the oldest in years of continuous 
service of all Houston compresses, but it is old in no other way, 
for it is strictly modern in all its equipments and absolutely up- 
to-date in every way. It is located on the north side of the ship 
channel, and has a frontage of several hundred feet on the 



Board of Trade and Banks 321 

channel, where there is every facility for loading directly on 
ships or barges for the Gulf of Mexico. The company has just 
completed an addition to its yard and shed room, so that its 
total capacity is now 55,000 bales. The compress lias fi capacity 
of 100 bales per hour. Captain "Wm. D. Cleveland is president 
of the company and Mr. D. MuUaine is superintendent of the 
press. 

The Magnolia Warehouse and Storage Company, formerly 
known as the Weld-Neville Company, has doubtless the most 
magnificent and thoroughly equipped warehouse and compress 
in the United States. This company has recently made exten- 
sive additions to its plant, the cost of which was $200,000. The 
plant has always been considered one of the largest and best 
equipped institutions of its kind in the South, and this expen- 
diture of so laree a sum in the way of additions, shows that its 
owners have confidence in the growth of Houston's already 
immense cotton business, and its permanency as a coiiiincrnial 
and industrial center. It really goes beyond local faith in such 
matters, for, in a measure it refiects the sentiment of outsiders, 
one of the leading members of the firm being a member of the 
New York Cotton Exchange. The immensity of the plant is 
shown by the statement that the new brick warehouse has a 
storage capacity of 75,000 bales and covers an area of 264,000 
square feet. The warehouse is as perfect as experience and science 
can make it, and is as perfectly protected against fire as the 
ingenuity of man can devise. It is divided into compartments 
separated from each other by thick brick walls, anl eacli com- 
partment is fitted with Grinnel automatic sprinklers These are 
ingenious. Should a slight fire occur, so soon as the heal: from the 
burning bale reaches a certain temperature, it melts a wire which 
forms an electric circuit which opens the sprinklers thuw flooding 
the compartment and at the same time rings a bell in the ofiSce 
showing exactly where the fire is located. The mechanism of these 
sprinklers is so delicately adjusted that on one occasion the heat 
caused by the sun set one of the sprinklers going and flooded a 
compartment. This perfect fire protection and tlie protection 
against weather, entitles the warehouse to a very low insurance 



322 History of Houston, Texas 

rate. This alone is a great thing for it will attract large quantities 
of cotton to Houston where it can be stowed safely and have at the 
same time the advantage of the lowest insurance rate obtainable. 
In the storing of cotton the insurance rate is a big factor. 

The company's property is located at the juncture of Bray's 
Bayou and the ship channel and has a frontage of 1,500 feet 
on the channel and 700 feet on the bayou. A reinforced concrete 
retaining wall is now being constructed along the whole water 
front, which will be so constructed as to afford modern shipping 
piers and ships where vessels may be easily loaded. This wall 
is now well under way toWards completion and will cost $100,000. 
The tedious and expensive method of trucking cotton from one 
part of the yard to another is avoided by the construction of 
overhead trolleys or tramways, whereby half a dozen bales of 
cotton can be transferred at one time, with as much ease as the 
packages purchased in a drygoods store are handled. The press 
is of the very latest and most perfect type and has a capacity - 
of 120 bales per hour. Mr. A. C. Cairns is the company's man- 
ager in Houston. 

The Merchants Compress Company is another of Houston's 
big cotton handling concerns. It is located directly on the bank 
of the ship channel, north side, and has its own wharves, chutes 
and everything for the rapid loading of cotton directly on ships 
or barges. It also has rail connection with the Southern Pacific 
and Terminal system. It has an under-cover storing capacity of 
35,000 bales and a total holding capacity of 60,000 bales. Its 
press is very powerful and has a capacity of 150 bales an "hour. 
Mr. John K. Sanders, who for many years has been prominent in 
Houston's cotton business, is president of the company. 

The Union Compress and Warehouse Company has a stor- 
ing capacity of about 25,000 bales nearly all under cover, and a 
compress capacity of between 1,200 and 1,500 bales per day. 
It has trackage connection with the International and Great 
Northern Railway, the Southern Pacific and Belt Terminal Com- 
pany and it also has facilities for loading on ships and barges. 
Mr. A. Breyer is president of this company. 

The Southern Compress and "Warehouse Company is a new 



Board of Trade and Banks 323 

organization. Its yards and compress have just been completed. 
It is an expansion of McFadden Bros.' business. It is located 
on the north side of the ship channel, on the International and 
Great Northern Road. Its compressing capacity is between 
1,200 and 1,500 bales and its storing capacity is 20,000 bales. 
It has wharves and platforms for loading directly on boats in 
the channel and expects to handle 150,000 bales this coming 
season of 1911-12. 

The Standard Compress Company is a very active concern. 
It has a brick warehouse and three large sheds located on twenty 
acres fronting the ship channel. It also has in addition to its 
water facilities, rail connections with the International and Great 
Northern and San Antonio and Aransas Pass roads. It has a 
press capacity of about 1,000 bales per day and a storing capac- 
ity of 26,000 bales, nearly all under cover. Mr. M. B. Andrews 
is general manager, secretary and treasurer. 

There are several warehouses and storing yards, without 
compresses, which increase Houston's facilities for caring for 
cotton shipped here. The International and Great Northern 
platform, which is under shed, has a storing capacity for 
50,000 bales. 

The Direct Navigation company has platform space for the 
storage of 26,500 bales; the Mcllhenny yards, for 2,000 bales; 
Henke and Pillot, for 1,200 bales and S. Samuels' warehouse for 
1,500 bales. These bring the total storage capacity of Houston's 
compresses and warehouses up to 325,700 bales, and its com- 
press capacity to 8,700 bjiles per day of ten hours. 

As an indication of the value of water transportation, it 
may be said here that for the commercial year that ended 
August 31, 1911, there were shipped down the ship channel 
from presses and warehouses located on its banks, 392, 684 bales 
of cotton. There is an object lesson in these figures, for each 
bale enumerated represents a saving from ten to twelve and one- 
half cents, in the way of drayage. 

The Houston Business League was organized as the result 
of a meeting held February 26, 1895. Forty citizens were 
assembled. Col. R. M. Johnson called the meeting to order and 



324 History of Houston, Texas 

explained the object of the call to be the organization of a per- 
manent commercial association, to be composed of citizens of 
Houston who had at heart the interests of the city of Houston.. 
Temporary organization was effected by the election of Colonel 
Johnson as chairman and "W. W. Dexter as secretary. 

At this original meeting, committees were appointed to out- 
line purposes and plans and to solicit members. Among those 
who took part in the first organization were R. M. Johnson, D. 
D. Bryan, W. W. Dexter, E. T. Heiner, J. M. Cotton, R. B. 
Morris, C. B. Jones, H. G. Lidstori, Richard Cocke, Gus Schulte, 
J. H. Bright, Hamp. Cook, D. M. Angel, G. W. Steiif, and D. H. 
McCuUough. Following this meeting much active work was 
done. 

The second business meeting was held March 5, 1895. At 
that meeting several names were suggested for the association, 
and at first the name Chamber of Commerce was adopted, but 
afterwards it was changed to the Houston Business League. The 
purposes of the association were declared in the constitution, 
which said: 

"The object of the Houston Business League is to promote 
immigration, to create and extend and foster the trade, com- 
merce and manufacturing interests of the city of Houston; to 
secure and build up transportation lines; to secure reasonable 
and equitable transportation rates; to build up and maintain 
the value of our real estate, progressive, efficient and economical 
administration of our municipal government, to collect, preserve 
and disseminate information in relation to our commercial, finan- 
cial and industrial affairs, and to unite as far as possible our 
people in one representative body." 

The following were the first officers of the Business League 
after it was thoroughly organized : President, J. M. Cotton ; 
first vice-president, Ed. Kiam; second vice-president, J. C. Ber- 
ing; third vice-president, E. T. Heiner; secretary,' W. W. Dexter, 
and treasurer, Guy H. Harcourt. 

After a short time Mr. Dexter resigned as secretary and 
Mr. George P. Brown was chosen as his successor. No better 
man could have been found for the important work, and Mr. 



Board of Trade and Banks 325 

Brown, by his enthusiastic energy and executive ability soon 
placed the Houston Business League in the front rank. During 
his administration a number of large manufacturing plants and 
other industries were secured for Houston. The Business League 
also inspired and aided in organizing the Floral Festival and the 
No-Tsu-Oh association and in other ways brought the name of 
Houston prominently before the country. In 1910, the league 
was reorganized, and the name given to its new organization was 
the Houston Chamber of Commerce. 

Secretary Adolph Boldt of the Chamber of Commerce 
explains very lucidly, in his annual report for 1910, that the 
Houston Chamber of Commerce is not here by accident, but is 
the result of growth, development and expansion of the original 
idea which led to the primary organizations, whose object was 
to care for the purely business matters, without reference to their 
surroundings and relations. The secretary's idea is that the body 
he has the honor and pleasure of serving so well, is the result 
of business evolution, and that it represents the very latest and 
most effective methods of building up and maintaining the city's, 
commercial, financial, and social surpremacy. When one glances 
at what has been accomplished in the past and what is planned 
for the future, by the Chamber of Commerce, and studies its 
means and methods, one feels ready to admit tiie trutli of all 
that is claimed by and for it. The keynote of the. success of this 
organization is its denial of the proverbial mytli that business 
is business and cold blooded, and its recognition that business 
has a social side that may be cultivated, ofteo, with great proiit 
to the cultivator. * 

A Chamber of Commerce was organized in Houston in 
1840, but the present body has no historical connection with 
that old one. The Houston Chamber of Commerce is of today and 
for today. It is of the present and its efforts are directed to. the 
future and not to the past. It is most thoroughly organized and 
in consequence a vast amount of work is accomplished without 
friction or unnecessary delay. There is a general association, 
which has a responsible head, but all the work of the association 
is accomplished through special committees while routine mat- 



326 History of Houston. Texas 

ters are handled by bureaus. Thus, there is the Traffic Bureau, 
to which is referred all matters relating to freights and kindred 
subjects. This is perhaps the hardest worked bureau in the 
association, and one, too, that is never through with its labors. 
Then there is the Convention Bureau, whose duty it is to look 
after all conventions, wherever held, and to make efforts to 
secure them for Houston and, if they come, to see that they are 
properly entertained after they get here, for the Chamber of 
Commerce believes that a favorable impression made on a visitor 
is a great asset fpr the city that entertains. The Bureau of 
Publicity has assigned to it the arduous duty of keeping Hous- 
ton constantly in the public eye. The methods employed by this 
Bureau are so many and so divergent that it is difficult to enu- 
merate them with any degree of accuracy. The newspapers, mag- 
azines, circulars, in fact, every known method of advertising is 
used. The Chamber established what is known as "post card 
day," and the extent of activity in that direction can be seen, 
when it stated that on one occasion the public purchased and 
sent through the mails in every direction, more than 100,000 post 
cards, each showing a view of some part of the city. 

The Industrial Bureau has in charge all matters relating to 
new manufacturing and commercial enterprises. This bureau 
has accomplished wonders and during the business year of 1910- 
11 alone, it secured for Houston nineteen manufacturing con- 
cerns and twelve wholesale and distributing houses. In addition 
to this the bureau is now making arrangements looking to secur- 
ing both factories and commercial bodies. 

The acco&plishments of the Chamber of Commerce have 
been so great and so varied that their simple enumeration would 
fill pages. Nothing that has about it even the most indirect 
promise of benefitting the city has been neglected by it and it 
works hand in hand, and unselfishly, with the city administration 
and other organizations to accomplish the greatest good for the 
city. 

Its present officers are : President, E. A. Peden ; first vice- 
president, "W. C. Munn ; second vice-president, Edgar 0. Lovett ; 
third vice-president, R. C. Duff; treasurer, Guy M. Bryan; sec- 



Board of Trade and Banks 327 

retary, Adolph Boldt; assistant secretary, 6. C. Roussel; traffic 
manager, C. C. Oden; director of publicity, Jerome H. Farbar. 
Directors: Jas. L. Autry, A. S. Cleveland, David Daly, F. A. 
Heitman, B. A. Hudson, Abe M. Levy, J. W. Link, J. "W. Neal, 
J. M. Rockwell, John T. Scott, Thomas H. Stone. Secretary 
Boldt, by speeches and visits, and publicity director, Jerome 
Farbar, by widely read articles in periodicals, have given the 
work of the body wide and favorable publicity. 

The Organization of the Cotton Exchange and Board of 
Trade was for the purpose of bringing cotton, grain and other 
produce here and the object of the Chamber of Commerce was to 
upbuild the wholesale trade and to build up the manufacturing 
interests of the city. Each worked for the prosperity of Hous- 
ton but on different lines and used different methods. In the 
earlier stages, in order to handle the immense amount of cotton 
and produce, and in the second stages in order to care for the 
large commercial and manufacturing interests that were attracted 
here, vast sums of money were necessary, and this need gave 
birth to the large banks and trust companies that Houston boasts 
of today. 

Houston has always had banks, but the really great institu- 
tions are of comparatively modern date. As a matter of fact 
Houston can boast of having had the first bank ever organized in 
Texas, as she can boast of having had so many other first things. 

The Commercial and Agricultural Bank of Texas was char- 
tered by the Congress of Coahuila and Texas to S. M. "Williams 
and associates in 1835. In 1836 the same Congress passed an act 
for the relief of the incorporators. The bank was not organized 
until after the convention of 1835. That convention denounced 
and prohibited banks, but had to recognize vested rights acquired 
before the independence of Texas. The bank was an ambitious 
one and had nothing small about it. Its authorized capital was 
$1,000,000 and $100,000 was paid up. It was a bank of issue. 
The first president of the bank was S. M. Williams and its first 
cashier was J. "W. McMillan. 

For many years this was the only chartered bank operating 
in the state, for Texas chartered no banks until after the 



328 History of Houston, Texas 

adoption of the constitution in 1870. It was by no means popu- 
lar and obstacles were placed in its way and efforts made to 
break it down. It was finally destroyed for good when a decision 
rendered in the supreme court, in 1859, annulled its charter. 
Soon after that Mr. Williams died and the affairs of the bank 
were wound up by Mr. B. A. Shepherd, who had become one of 
its principal owners. As early as 1850, or about that time, 
Mr. T. W. House, who had begun business in Houston in 1838, 
was well established and opened a private bank in connection 
with his cotton factorage business, and in 1854 Mr. B. A. Shep- 
herd engaged exclusively in the banking business and he was 
the first man in Texas to do so. Mr. W. J. Hutchins was another 
early Houstonian who did a mixed factorage and banking busi- 
ness. Until after the war practically all'the banking businijss of 
the state was done in Houston and Galveston. 

'i'iie First National Bank of Texas, now known as the First 
National Bank of Galveston, was the first national bank in the 
state. It was soon followed by others in the order given here: 
The First National Bank of Houston, the First National Bank 
of San Antonio and the First National Bank of Jefferson. The 
first cashier of a national .bank in the state was J. B. Root, father' 
of A. P. Root, who was later cashier and then president of the 
First National Bank of Houston. 

During the early seventies Mr. W. J. Hutchins closed out his 
banking interests and gave his whole attention to his large whole- 
sale business, but Mr. T. "W. House, while not abandoning his 
factorage "business completely, gave it less and less attention and 
devoted himself to banking. After the death of Mr. T. W. 
House, about 1881, his oldest son, T. W. House, Jr., bought the 
interest of his brothers in the bank and devoted his time and 
attention exclusively to its affairs. For many years this bank 
stood in the front ranks of responsible financial institutions in 
the state, but in the panic of 1907, owing to many causes, it 
made a sensational failure, and its affairs are still undergoing 
adjustment. 

The City Bank of Houston began business under the most 
favorable auspices on November 1, 1870. Its capital stock was 



Board of Trade and Banks 329 

$250,000. Col. B. A. Botts was its president until his death in 
Septemher, 1885. Mr. W. R. Baker was chosen to succeed him. 
Over-indulgence to customers of the bank, led to its undoing, 
and on December 19, 1885, it suspended payment and went into 
the hands of a receiver. Major B. F. Weems was the receiver. 
Mr. Baker was the principal loser by the failure, which had 
little or no effect on the credit of the town. 

The Houston Savings Bank, whose officers were P. A. Rice, 
W. D. Cleveland, J. Waldo, M. G. Howe, W. B. Botts and E. 
Raphael, after doing business for about twelve years, closed its 
doors February 26, 1886, and Dr. D. F. Stuart- was appointed 
receiver to wind up its affairs. There was not a great amount 
of money involved, hence the losses were very small. 

The foregoing may be classed as pioneer banks of Houston. 
They seem very insignificant compared -with the gigantic institu- 
tions of the present time. 

If the true test of a city's growth may be determined by the 
growth of its banks and financial institutions, then Houston can 
stand the test in a way that few other cities can. Comparing the 
figures of today with those of ten years ago would be manifestly 
unjust for there should be and would be a natural increase shown. 
But taking the figures for one year and comparing them with 
those for the preceding year and the year preceding that, gives 
us a true statement of actual conditions. This is the better test 
and it is this comparison that Houston stands so well. 

The total bank clearings for the twelve months, ending De- 
cember 31, were, for 1908, $1,063,835,612; for 1909, they were 
$1,279,764,128 ; for 1910, they were $1,349,403,095. This state- 
ment shows that the clearings for 1909 were $215,928,506 greater 
than those for the preceding year and that the figures for 1910 
showed an increase of $69,639,967 over the remarkable increase 
of the. year before. This is strong evidence of Houston's financial 
growth. 

There are twelve financial institutions in Houston, three of 
them having a capital stock of $1,000,000 each. The First 
National Bank, capital $1,000,000. The Union National Bank, 
capital $1,000,000. The Bankers Trust Company, ' capital 



330 History of Houston, Texas 

$1,000,000. The Southern Trust Company, capital $800,000. 
The American Trust Company, capital $500,000. The Com- 
mercial National Bank, capital $500,000. The South Texas 
National Bank, capital $500,000. The Texas Trust Company, 
capital $500,000. Lumbermens National Bank, capital $400,000. 
Houston Land and Trust Company, capital $250,000. The Hous- 
ton National Exchange Bank, capital $200,000. The Guaranty 
State Bank, capital $20,000. Eight of these do a banking busi- 
ness only and four are exclusively trust companies. 

From the little two-story brick building on the comer of 
Main Street and Congress Avenue, formerly the home' of Mr. 
Shepherd's Lank, to the immense skyscraper, the home of tiie 
Union National Bank, just across the street from Mr. Shepherd's 
old bank, is a long step, and yet it is only one of the steps that 
have been taken by all the banks. The banking institutions have 
grown so rapidly in the last ten years that nearly all of them 
have had to enlarge their quarters. Some years ago the First 
National, the Commercial and the Houston Land and Trust Com- 
pany erected buildings of their own on the three comers of 
Main and Franklin. The building of the First National is an 
imposing structure, being eight stories high and built of stone 
and marble. Two years ago the bank added to its building, 
practically doubling its capacity, and reserving all the ground 
floor for bank purposes. The South Tex.-is National Bank 
erected a beautiful building on the east side of Main Street, 
between Congress and Franklin Avenues. This is an extremely 
handsome building. It is of Greek architecture and built entire- 
ly of marble. The massive columns in front are said to be the 
largest single pieces of marble in any building in Texas. The 
Union National Bank, formerly the Union Bank and Trust Com- 
pany, will soon be in its own building. The building is on the 
northwest corner of Congress and Main. It is twelve stories 
high, is of steel frame structure and is modem in every respect. 
It is practically completed and will be one of the handsomest 
bank and office buildings in^ America. 

The First National Bank aside from being the oldest is one 
of the largest and most responsible institutions of the kind in 



Board of Trade and Banks 331 

Houston. This bank began business with a capital stock of 
$100,000, but this was increased from time to time, and in 1909 
it was increased to $1,000,000. Its present deposits, June 30, 
1911, amount to over $7,600,000 and its capital, surplus and undi- 
vided profits . are $1,378,473.85, every cent of which, with the 
exception of $300,000 was earned by the bank. During the last 
ten years the increase in deposits had been over five and onp- 
quarter million dollars. The officers of this bank are: 0. L. 
Cochran, president; J. T. Scott, first vice-president; H. R. Eld- 
ridge, second vice-president; W. S. Cochran, cashier; W. E. 
Hertford and F. E. Russell, assistant cashiers. 

The First National Bank was organized in 1866 by Mr. B. 
A. Shepherd and Mr. T. M. Bagby. Mr. Bagby was its first presi- 
dent and on' his death, Mr. Shepherd succeeded him. When Mr. 
Shepherd died, Mr. A. S. Root, his son-in-law, became president. > 
A year or two ago Mr. Root died and Mr. 0. L. Cochran, another 
of Mr. Shepherd's sons-in-law became, and still is, president. 
None of the stock of this bank can be bought, as there is none 
for sale. It is said, that with the exception of one or two shares, 
all the stock is held by the Shepherd family, or its connections. 

The Commercial National Bank was the second national bank 
organized in Houston. It received its charter in 1886. The 
capital stock is $500,000. It does an immense business and on 
June 30, 1911, its deposits were very nearly four and one-half 
million dollars. It owns its own building, a modem six-stoj-y 
steel frame structure, on Main and Franklin. The officers of 
the bank are: "W. B. Chew, president; James A. Baker, vice- 
president; Thornwell Fay, vice-president; Oscar Wells, cashier; 
P. J. Evershade, assistant cashier. The Houston National 
Exchange Bank received its original charter, in 1889, as the 
Houston National Bank, but changed its name in 1909. The 
name was all that was changed for the original aims and policies 
of the institution have been adhered to. The growth of this 
bank during the past three years has been so phenomenal as to 
excite admiration in commercial circles. In July, 1909, it had 
deposits amounting to $1,705,298.83, and at the June call in 1910, 
it had in deposits $2,763,829.28, an increase of $1,058,530.45 in 



332 History of Houston, Texas 

twelve months. Again at the June call in 1911, its deposits were 
$3,308,078.25, a gain of $534,248.97. This bank has only $200,- 
000 capital and the surplus and undevided profits are this year, 
$132,997.02. The ofiBcers of the bank are : Henry S. Fox, pres- 
ident; Joseph F. Meyer, M. M. Graves and H. S. Fox, Jr., 
vice-presidents ; J. W. Hertford, cashier ; F. F. Bearing and "W. 
B. Hilliard, assistant cashiers. 

The South Texas National Bank was chartered in 1890, and 
is a very strong financial institution. Its capital stock is $500,000, 
and its deposits are very large. On June 30, 1911, when the call was 
made it had in individual and bank deposits $5,172,376.33. The 
officers of this bank are: Charles Dillingham, president; B. D. 
Harris, active vice-president and cashier; J. E. McAshan and 
0. T. Holt, vice-presidents; August DeZavala, Paul G. Taylor 
and R. H. Hanna, Jr., assistant cashiers. 

The Union National Bank is one of the strongest institutions 
in the South. It really represents three original banks. The 
Union Bank and Trust Company was chartered in 1905 under 
the new banking laws of Texas receiving charter No. 1. In 1908, 
it effected a consolidation with the Planters and Mechanics Bank 
and, in 1910, it absorbed the Merchants National Bank. When 
this was done the institution became a national bank, with a cap- 
ital stock of $1,000,000. At the same time it took its present 
name. Its officers are: J. S. Rice*, president; T. C. Diinn, George 
Hamman, W. T. Carter, Abe M. Levy, J. M. Rockwell, Jesse H. 
Jones and C. G. Pillot, vice-presidents ; DeWitt C. Dunn, cashier ; 
D. "W. Cooley and H. B. Finch, assistant cashiers. 

*Jonas Shearn Rice, president of the Union National Bank of 
Houston, and of the Great Southern Life Insurance Company, and 
an official in many other banking and financial concerns, has long 
been the most prominent banker of the city and by virtue of 
business and social prominence and connection with the pioneer 
family that has done so much for Houston, would perhaps be almost 
universally regarded as the first citizen of the city. Mr. Rice was 
born in Houston on November 25, 1855. His mother was Charlotte 
M. Baldwin, a daughter of Horace Baldwin, who was Mayor ot 
Houston during the days of the Republic and who was a brother-in- 
law of A. C. Allen, one of the city's founders. His family is of old 
revolutionary stock, sprung from the sturdy Scotch-Irish and English 
pioneers of Colonial days in America. His great grandfather Hall 
was one of those wounded at the battle of Lexington in 1775, but 
despite that fact lived in Massachusetts to the age of 102 years. 



Board of Trade and Banks 333 

The Lumbermens National Bank is also a combination of 
other banks. It is the youngest of Houston's banks, but is a 
very strong and healthy youngster. It was organized in 1907, 
and, in 1909, it absorbed the National City Bank. Next year the 
American National Bank and the Central Bank and Trust Com- 
pany liquidated and turned over their business to the Lumber- 
mens National Bank. The capital stock of the bank is $400,000. 
S. F. Carter is president; Guy M. Bryan, active vice-president, 
and Lynn P. Talley is cashier. Messrs. Carter and Bryan, are 
the largest shareholders. 

The Guaranty State Bank was organized under the state 
laws of Texas governing banks, and began business in January, 
1910. Its capital stock is $20,000 and its field of operation is 
Houston, Brunner, Chaneyville and Houston Heights. A. C. 
Bell is president; H. E. Detering, vice-president, and R. F. 
Butts, cashier. 

The Harris County Bank and Trust Company, which was 
organized iii 1907, had one-half of its capital stock, 
$25,000, in the House Bank, which failed. The bank survived 
until July, 1911, when it failed and its president, F. W. Vaughn, 
disappeared. 

Under ordinary circumstances and conditions banks may be 
found to meet the financial needs of a community, but when the 
interests are large, varied, and, in consequence, complex, a third 
medium is needed, and it is to supply this need that trust com- 

The father of Jonas Shearn Rice was Frederick A. Rice of 
Massachusetts, who settled in Houston in 1850. He was one of the 
builders of the first railroad, the H. & T. C, and died here in 1901 
at the age of 71. 

J. S. Rice is the oldest of a family of 7 sons and a daughters. 
A younger brother, H. B. Rice, is now and has been for many years 
Mayor of Houston. Two other brothers, W. M. and B. B. Rice are 
prominent business men of Houston. In 1887, J. S. Rice was married 
at Waco, to Mary J. Ross, daughter of Colonel Pete F. Ross, the 
"hero of Corinth," the niece of former Governor L. S. Ross and the 
grand-daughter of General James E. Harrison. Three children were 
born of this union, Laura F. Rice, who was Queen of the No-Tsu-Oh 
Carnival in 1910, Kate, married in 1911 to Victor Hugo Neuhaus; and 
Lottie, at school. 

The title of Colonel, always used as a prefix to the name of J. 
S. Rice was honorably earned. In 1874 he became a member of the 
Houston Light Guard and was prominent as adjutant In the first 
regiment of Texas Militia organized after the war. He was Captain 



334 History of Houston, Texas 

panics are formed. No bank, however large, can afford to do 
the work done by a trust company, simply because it is entirely 
beyond its sphere. No bank can act as a guardian, conserve and 
invest to the best advantage funds left in trust to it, and then 
at a specified time, pay over the money to its legal owners. No 
bank is willing to act as escrow agent, trustee under contract, 
and a dozen and one things that modern business developments 
require shall be done. It is for such things as these that the 
modern trust companies are formed. The trust company sup- 
plies a double need. It not only cares for and conserves estates 
placed in its charge, but it affords a source from which may 
be obtained long time loans. Usually these loans are made for 
the purpose of developing and improving, intrinsically valuable, 
property, the property itself being taken as security for the 
payment of the debt. The length of the loan, the rate of inter- 
est paid by the borrower and the absolute security afforded by 
the property held as collateral, make such, a transaction a safe 
investment on the part of the trust company, wfiile the com- 
paratively low rate of interest paid by the borrower and the long 
time given in which to pay back the loan are very advantageous 
for the borrower. A bank makes its money by lending money for 
a short time, thus turning it over and over several times a year, 
while the trust company makes it by lending its money on long 
time on gilt-edge real estate and other security. Neither infringes 
on the domain of the other and each is benefitted, directly and 

of the Light Guard when that company was the crack military company 
of Texas. He was Adjutant General of the First Brigade on the staff 
of General P. W. James, and was chief of staff for Governor Lawrence 
Sullivan- Ross. 

As a Mason Mr. Rice is a member of the local lodge. Chapter 
and Commanlery and is a Shriner of El Mina Temple of Galveston. 
He alsd belongs to the B. P. O. E. and Hoo-Hoo orders. He is an 
ex-presideiit of the Thalian Club, a member of the Country Club and 
was appointed by Governor Campbell as one of the San Jacinto 
Battle Ground Commissioners and has done much toward the 
beautifying of that historic battlefield. In 1905 he was King of the 
No-Tsu-Oh carnival. 

The business career of J. S. Rice has been uniformly brilliant 
and successful. Following his graduation at the Texas Military 
Institute at Austin he became a railroad clerk in the 'office of the 
general passenger agent of the H. & T. C. road. In 1879, he became 
bookkeeper and teller of the National Exchange Bank of Houston. 
In 1881 he and a brother, William M. Rice who is now a resident of 



Board of Trade and Banks 335 

indirectly, by the existence of the other. It inay be said that 
the presence of strong banks in a community is an evidence of 
its financial and commercial importance, while the presence of 
trust companies is an eyidence of the material growth, expansion 
and development of that community. The banks make and 
attract money while the trust companies invest the money direct- 
ly in permanent improvements or in such things that lead to 
permanent improvements. The phenomenal growth of Houston 
during the last ten years, has created a demand for and has 
led to the formation of trust companies here, and today the city 
has some of the strongest institutions of the kind in the South. 
The Houston Land and Trust Company is the parent organization 
of the kind here, and, unlike its successors, it was organized dur- 
ing the blackest and apparently the most hopeless period of 
Houston's history — the reconstruction days of 1875. It was 
originally chartered as a land and trust company without bank- 
ing privileges. It did only a small and unimportant business for 
many years, but in 1889, it was reorganized for the purpose of 
doing a regular trust and mortgage business. Since then it 
has been an active and potent factor in the growth and develop- 
ment of Houston and the surrounding territory. It receives 
deposits on time certificates of deposit, lends money on city real 
estate, bonds and stocks and acts in the capacity of executor, 
administrator, guardian and trustee in the management of estates. 
It does a strictly trust business and in no way encroaches on 
the business done by the banks. 

Houston and one of the trustees of the William M. Rice Institute, 
entered Into the saw mill business in Tyler County. In 1895 he was 
made financial agent of the Texas State Penitentiary which post he 
held until he was, in 1899, appointed by Governor Sayers as 
superintendent of the Texas State Penal System. He resigned in 
1902 to devote his attention to the banking business in Houston. 
From 1904 to 1909 he was one of the receivers of the Kirby Lumber 
Company and was elected vice-president of that company on its 
reorganization. In August, 1905, he became president of the Union 
Bank and Trust Company, now the Union National Bank with a 
capital stock of $1,000,000. He is chairman of the Board of Directors 
of the Bankers Trust Company, vice-president of the J. S. and W. M. 
Rice Lumber Company, director of the Guarantee Life Insurance 
Company, and director of the T. & B. V. Railroad and many other 
concerns. With all this Mr. Rice is genial, accessible, democratic 
and popular. 



336 History of Houston, Texas 

The capital .stock of the company is $250,000 and the surplus 
and undivided profits amounted to $318,614.63 on June 30, 1911, 
which was an increase of $68,614.63 over the previous twelve 
months. The company owns a five-story building, occupying the 
whole lower floor, and devoting the other floors to ofiSces. Its 
ofScers are: 0. L. Cochran, president; R. E. Paine and P. B. 
Timpson, vice-presidents ; W. S. Patton, secretary and treasurer ; 
0. R. "Weyrich, assistant secretary. 

The Texas Trust Company was organized under the state 
banking laws, on July 12, 1909, with a capital stock of $500,000. 
During the two years of its existence it has been remarkably suc- 
cessful. It has endeavored to establish for itself the reputation 
of being conservative and has accepted only the most promising 
propositions to finance. This course has been beneficial both to 
the company and to those concerns approved by it, for its indorse- 
ment of a concern, through its services as trustee or registrar, 
is a stamp of approval that has weight with the public. The 
company has made money from the day it opened its doors, and 
while a 10 per cent dividend has been maintained, the' profits 
now foot up nearly a quarter of a million dollars. The officers 
of the company are : Jesse H. Jones,* president ; James A. Baker, 
J. S. Rice, C. G. Pillot, S. P. Carter, J. M. Rockwell, N. E. 
Meador, John L. Wortham, vice-presidents; Fred J. Heyne, 
cashier and secretary; Burke Baker, assistant cashier and bond 
officer. This trust company is to consolidate with the Bankers 
Trust Company in September, 1911. 

*The name of Jesse H. Jones, multi-millionaire, lumberman, 
banker and capitalist, stands for progress in Houston and Texas, so 
successful are the many projects of this young financier, and so wide- 
spread his efforts in behalf of the commonwealth, that he occupies 
a unique position in public esteem in Houston. 

The executive offices held by Mr. Jones indicate to some extent 
his prominence and activity in the business world. He is president 
of, and controls many successful corporations, most of them organized 
and established by ^im in his short score of business years. 

He is president of the Jesse H. Jones Lumber Company, the 
South Texas Lumber Company and the Southern Loan & Investment 
Company; is chairman of the board of directors of the Bankers 
Trust Company, the largest Banking institution in Texas; is vice- 
president and a member of the executive committee of The Union 
National Bank; is a director of the Houston & Texas Central Railroad, 



Board of Trade and Banks 337 

The Southern Trust Company was also organized in 1909, 
and began business in January, 1910. Its capital stock is $500,- 
000. The success of this company is most remarkable, and it is 
doubtful if its record has ever been equalled by any similar insti- 
tution. It is not two years old, but it has paid 10 per cent divi- 
dends since its organization. On July, last year, it increased its 
capital stock to $800,000. The company has a surplus of $580,- 
274.01, every cent of which it has earned. Of this surplus 
$205,274 was earned from June 30, 1910 to July 1, 1911. The 
officers are : R. B. Brooks, president ; Travis Holland, vice-presi- 
dent; Earnest Carroll, secretary and treasurer; J. M. Powers, 
Jr., assistant secretary and treasurer. 

The Bankers Trust Company was organized in September, 
1909, with a capital stock of $500,000 and a paid in surplus 
of $25,000. This capital stock has recently been increased to 
$1,000,000 and the company is one of the strongest in the 
Southwest. It has a surplus and undivided profits of $416,597.41, 
and loans and discounts of $1,985,693.71. The time .deposits and 
trust funds amount to $798,070.80, and cash on hand and with 
banks, $226,246.71. The company occupies offices on the second 
floor of the Seanlan Building. R. E. Brooks is chairman of the 
board. J. S. Rice is president, and Tom M. Taylor is the active 
AQce-president ; James M. Baker, "W. T. Carter, S. F. Carter, 
C. L. Neuhaus, Abe M. Levy, J. 0. Ross, and George A. Rick 
are vice-presidents; C. M. Malone is secretary and treasurer; P. 

and the International & Great Northern Railroad, recently reor- 
ganized, and has otherwise much to do in the business world. 

Mr. Jones is essentially a builder and an organizer; he finances 
and operates large enterprises; his building activities have been 
unprecedented, and the sky-line of Houston has been literally 
changed more by him than any other score of men combined. The 
Chronicle Building, which is recognized as the finest newspaper and 
office building in the South, was the first of his undertakings after 
the 1907 panic; the Texas Company Building and the Bristol Hotel 
Annex were built the same year; the New Majestic, which is the 
most beautiful theatre south of New York, and the Gas Company 
Building followed closely thereafter; the new City Auditorium, the 
finest building of its kind in the United States, was built under his 
general direction as chairman of the Citizens Building Committee. 
The Union National Bank Building, just completed, was also erected 
under his general charge as chairman of the Building Conimittee for 
the bank, and he is now building the new eighteen-story Rice Hotel 
which will be the finest building of its kind south of Chicago, and 



338 History of Houston, Texas 

S. Durham is assistant secretary and treasurer ; William Malone 
is manager of the real estate department ; E. L. Grain is assistant 
manager of the real estate department and W. S. Bailey is 
counsel. 

The American Trust Company is the baby of Houston 
trusts, being born in 1911. Its capital stock is $500,000. The 
company is located in quarters formerly occupied by the Tinker 
Bank and Trust Company, which were originally fitted up for 
the American National Bank. It is chartered under the banking 
laws of the state to do a regular trust company business. Monta 
J. Moore is president, and N. B. Sligh is treasurer. 

The foregoing gives, briefly, the history of each of the banks 
and trust companies of Houston, but a better idea of Houston's 
importance as a financial center, and what is of the greatest 
importance and interest, the phenomenal growth of these insti- 
tutions as a whole, may be formed by studying the following 
condensation of the statement of .the Houston banks and trust 
companies issued June 30, 1911 : Total capital stock, $6,670,000. 
This was an increase over the stock of the previous year of 
$950,000. Surplus and undivided profits, $3,772,440.36 which was 
an increase over the previous year of $969,302.56. Deposits 
subject to check, $31,613,594.16, which was an increase over the 
year before of $969,668.19. Cash on hand and with other banks,' 

will represent an investment, when completed, of two and one-half 
million dollars. 

Jesse H. Jones was born April 5th, 1874, in Robertson County, 
Tennessee. His father, William H. Jones, was an honored and 
Sc^ccessful farmer and tobacco exporter, and his mother before her 
marriage was Miss Ann Holman, of one of the old Tennessee 
families. 

In appearance, Mr. Jones has the unmistakable stamp of one 
well born and bred, possessing dignity and reserve; his clear grey 
eyes bespeak the born financier; his personality -combines a masterful 
foresight and business shrewdness, with a kindly T»asideration 
for his fellow man. He is also endowed with a generous fund of 
good nature, and that greatest of blessings — a contented spirit. 

At the age of twenty years, Jesse Jones left his father's farm 
where his boyhood days were spent, and started out to see what 
was in store for him in the walks of life. He came to Texas, stopping 
four years in Dallas, where he worked in his uncle's lumber yard. 
Upon the death of his uncle, M. T. Jones, he came to Houston and 
assumed the management of the M. T. Jones Lumber Company, 
which business he managed very successively, and closed up in 1906, 
agreeable to the will of his deceased uncle. 



Board of Trade and Banks 339 

$13,859,279.64. Showing an increase over the year before of 
$771,008.46. Loans and discounts, $27,297,166.64, which also 
was an increase of $2,790,607.47 over the previous year. 

The business of the banks is facilitated by the Houston Clear- 
ing House. Its methods are identical with clearing houses else- 
where. Its manager for the past twenty-one years has been 
Mr. E. Raphael, the only male survivor of the Raphael family 
that came to Houston in 1860. At 13 years of age Mr. Raphael 
began business life as a telegraph operator at a salary of $10 a 
month. When he was l4 years old he was the operator at Liberty, 
Texas, from which point he telegraphed to Houston the news of 
the celebrated battle of Sabine Pass. It was to Mr. Raphael who 
has always been interested in school work that William M. Rice 
first confided his intention to endow an institute for the benefit 
of Houston and he was the first man named as a life trustee of 
that school. 

Since then he has been operating — and very successfully so — 
on his own account, in real estate, lumber and banking — three very 
substantial lines of business, any one of which is big enough to 
occupy the undivided attention of most men, yet Mr. Jones succeeds 
in all of them. 

His friends say he works too hard, but he seems to have time 
for church and school building, and for all kinds of charity and 
benevolent work. He goes abroad occasionally, spends much time 
in New York, and wins a golf trophy once in a while. 

He inherited four thousand dollars from his father's estate in 
1895, the year he attained his majority, and is worth as many 
millions now — just sixteen years later. 

Mr. Jones is a member of all of the clubs in Houston, and of the 
Sleepy Hollow Country Club, at Scarboro-on-the-Hudson, just out of 
New York,, said to be the richest and finest country club in America. 

The church membership of Mr. Jones is in St. Paul's Methodist 
Church, Houston, and he contributed liberally to the Southwestern 
University at Georgetown, in commemoration of the memory of his 
deceased friend. Bishop Seth Ward. 



CHAPTER XIX 

Houston's Manufacturers 



Primitive Beginnings. Natural Advantages Offered. The 
First Mills. Advent of Colton Compress. Coming of Iron 
Foundries. Revival of Manufacturing Following the Civil 
War. First Ice Plants. Packing Plants. Conditions from 
1880 to 1890. Car Wheel Shops. Electric Lights. Cotton 
Seed Products. Textile Mills. Furniture and Other "Wood- 
working Plants. Manufacturing in 1905. Coffee Roasting- 
Launch Building. Manufacturing Statistics. Fuel and 
"Water. Home Products Banquet. 



So fundamental a process is manufacturing that it is hard 
to say just where it begins. The housewife who sets yeast, raises 
dough and bakes bread, is a manufacturer. The dairy maid who 
operates a churn dasher in a cylinder of sweet milk, is also one, 
and the farmer who swings an ax6 to cut down a sapling in a 
forest to make a rail fence is a manufacturer. Manufactured 
means handmade although by a curious reversal of language it 
is generally used in the sense of machine made. Even in the 
latter sense who shall say that a pocket knife, a wheelbarrow or 
a churn is not machinery. 

Manufacturing perhaps began in Houston with the dug 
out canoe that some Indian made and put in the bayou at the 
site of the city. The first advertisement of that city, which was 
the one announcing its existence, promised a water saw mill and 
manufacturing in the stricter sense began with such a saw mill. 
It- followed the usual course of development. 

A saw mill, a com mill, a blacksmith shop, a butcher's shop, 
a beef factory, bakers' shops, molasses mills — those enterprises 
in short that are necessary to turn raw products into food and 
shelter and clothes — for the old-fashioned spinning wheel in 



Houston's Manufacturers 341 

many a home was one of the earliest machines for manufacture — 
with these manufacturing began. 

From such simple beginnings, the city's manufacturing 
interests have grown until it is possible to supply almost any 
want from things "made in Houston." 

Car wheels or locomotives, automobiles or pianos, wooden legs 
or bust developers, and hundreds of other things are now made 
here. 

According to the United States census report of 1911, 
Houston has 249 manufactures, employing 5,338 persons, to 
whom are paid yearly $3,424,000. These figures are gratifying, 
in a way, but when one looks over the situation as it exists in 
and immediately around Houston, one cannot refrain from aston- 
ishment on finding that there are comparatively so few manu- 
facturing concerns in such an inviting field. It is no exaggera- 
tion to say that few points anywhere have so many inducements 
to offer the would-be manufacturer as Houston. 

Aside from its advantages as a distributing and concentrat- 
ing point, Houston has at its very door everything that a man- 
ufacturer needs except, perhaps, some kinds of raw material. 
There is an abundance of artesian water and an inexhaustable 
supply of cheap fuel, Houston being on the border of the great 
oil fields of Texas. It has both rail and water transportation 
to and from the outside world. It is already the great railway 
center of the Southwest and it will unquestionably become in 
the very near future the great manufacturing center as well. So 
rich and inviting a field cannot be overlooked. It must not be 
supposed that the Houstonians are not proud of what they are 
able to show today in the way of factories and machine shops. 
Such is not the case by any means. Two hundred and forty-nine 
manufacturing plants for a city of only 100,000 inhabitants is a 
fair showing and would be such for a city twice its size. There 
is, however, a feeling of healthy unrest created when one sees 
what can and should be done in so great a field. As a matter of 
fact the figures given in the foregoing statement are, in a way, 
misleading, for, were the railroad and repair shops of the rail- 
roads included in them, they would be increased by over 3,000 



342 History of Houston, Texas 

employees and wages by the addition of over one and a quarter 
million dollars. 

Unquestionably the earliest large manufactory in Harris 
County was that of Robert "Wilson, father of the late Mayor 
James T. D. "Wilson. Mr. "Wilson came to Texas in 1828, and soon 
after his arrival, he erected at Harrisburg, on Buffalo Bayou, 
an extensive steam sawmill, gristmill, blacksmith,- carpenter, 
turning and other workshops, and houses for the workmen. When 
Harrisburg was burned by the Mexicans these were all destroyed. 
Soon after independence was secured and Texas had become a 
Republic someone built a sawmill at the junction of Bray's and 
Buffalo Bayous, and for many years this mill did a large business, 
turning out much of the timber with which early Houston was 
built. Some time in the middle forties, a large sawmill was built 
on the bayou in Houston at a point near where the Milam Street 
bridge now stands. Its location was admirable, for it was easy 
to float the logs to the mill, either from up or down the stream. 
The first eornmill was built in 1844 by Mr. Elim Stockbridge, on 
the north side of the bayou not far from the ford of that day at 
the foot of Texas Avenue. The motive power was three oxen 
that walked on a tread mill. It was considered a wonder and the 
Morning Star boasted that in a steady days work it could grind 
fifty bushels of corn. The whole cost of the mill, not counting 
the motive power, was $400. 

The advent of the cotton compress in Houston is thus chroni- 
cled by the Morning Star in its issue of March 11, 1844 : "A few 
days ago we visited the cotton press lately erected in this city by 
Mr. N. T. Davis, and were agreeably surprised to find that the 
machine used for compressing cotton bales admirably answers the 
purposes for which it was constructed. "With the aid of only two 
hands, Mr. Davis can compress a bale of 500 pounds into a space 
only 22 inches square (sic) in 15 minutes. The facility with 
which this work is done is truly surprising." 

Since the best modern compresses turn out a 500 pound bale 
of cotton containing 22 cubic feet, it is evident that the editor 
of the Star got his notes mixed and that the size of the early bale 
was somewhat greater than 22 inches square. It is interesting 



Houston's Manufacturers 343 

to note the advance that has been made in the compress since that 
first one was prected. Mr. Dayis could turn out four bales to the 
hour, or working steadily for ten hours, he could turn out forty- 
bales in a day. Those were what are called today "flat," or 
uncompressed bales of about three times the size of the modern 
compressed bales. Houston now has six compresses, each one 
capable of compressing from 100 to 120 bales per hour, or from 
1,000 to 1,200 bales per day and their combined capacity is 8,700 
bales per day, and in the height of the busy season, when they 
are worked night and day, they turn out over 17,000 compressed 
bales every twenty-four hours. 

These are the following named, a more detailed description 
of each being given elsewhere in these pages : 

The Cleveland Compress Company, "W. D. Cleveland, Sr., 
president. This is practically a successor to the Buffalo Bayou 
Compress Company, organized in 1895, with A. Jt Burke, presi- 
dent; W. D. Cleveland, vice-president and F. A. Rice, secretary. 
Magnolia Warehouse and Storage Company, A. C. Cairns, mana- 
ger. 'The Merchants Compress Company, John K. Sanfers, presi- 
dent. Union Compress and "Warehouse Company, A. Breyer, 
president. The Southern Compress and Warehouse Company, 
W. W. Sellers, manager. The Standard Compress Company, M. 
B. Andrews, general manager. 

Mr. Alexander McGowan established an iron foundry and 
machine shop on the north side of Buffalo Bayou and on the 
banks of White Oak Bayou about 1851. These shops were at a 
point about opposite the foot of Louisiana Street, though two or 
three blocks on the other side of the bayou. The principal work 
done here at first was in making boilers and casting kettles for 
the sugar planters and others who were opening up plantations. 
In 1854, after the Houston and Texas Central Railroad began 
operation, McGowan 's foundry and machine shop became quite 
an important concern, and did a great deal of repair work for 
that road. 

Pour or five year's afterwards, Mr. Cushman established the 
Cushman Foundry and Machine Shops on the north side of 
Buffalo Bayou near the Preston Avenue bridge, called in that 



344 History of Houston, Texas 

day the "long bridge." Cushman's foundry and machine shops 
were quite extensive affairs and covered an acre or two of 
ground. There was a foundry where castings were made, a 
pattern shop, a machine shop and everything that went to make 
a complete establishment of its kind. Mr. Cushman had quite 
a number of skilled mechanics for each of the departments, and 
was doing a good business when the war broke out. nearly 
every man in , his employ enlisted in the Confederate Army. 
This was a terrible blow to him for it left him with a large and 
expensive plant on his hands and no men to work it. He was 
a man of fine courage and was not easily discouraged. He made 
the necessary changes and modifications in his machinery, and 
changed his plant into one for the manufacture of war materials, 
which the Confederacy soon began to need badly. He cast 
bombshells, cannon, grapeshot, and everything of that kind and 
added to his plant a^achine for the manufacture of percussion 
caps. The commanding general of this military department 
detailed all the mechanics Mr. Cushman needed and Cushman's 
Foundry soon became one of the busiest and most important 
places in the state. After the war, Mr. Cushman converted his 
plant back to its original purposes. A few years later the firm 
name was changed to Wiggins, Smith & Simpson, though Mr. 
Cushman retained and his son still owns and operates a pattern 
shop and necessary adjuncts on part of the ground occupied 
by the old plant. 

The Hartwell Iron Works, another large concern was organ- 
ized about 1878-9 and has been in active operation ever since. 
It is one of the oldest and most efficient concerns of its kind in 
the city and does a large foundry and machine shop business. 
It manufactures boilers, makes heavy castings and does a large 
business in iron work of all kinds. 

In 1873, the Bagby Brass Works were established by Mr. 
William Bagby. These were the first brass works established 
here. They were owned and operated by Mr. Bagby and did 
a large business. He was a young man of great energy iand had 
he lived the brass works would unquestionably have been made 
a big concern. Unfortunately he died while in the prime of life, 



Houston's Manufacturers 345 

and for some reason, his family closed the works and they were 
never reopened. There are two brass works here now, each 
doing a good business. These are : the Kettler Brass Works, M. 
F. Kettler, president and manager, and the Southern Brass and 
Manufacturing and Plating Company, T. C. White, vice-presi- 
dent and general manager. 

In addition to the foundries and iron works named in the 
foregoing there are the following, all established within recent 
years, but all now on a firm and safe footing : The Grant Loco- 
motive and Car _ Works, The Houston Structural Steel Works, 
The Union Iron Works, Bayou City Iron Works, Hewitt Man- 
ufacturing Company,, Houston Iron Works, Layne and Bolder, 
Lloyd Metal Company, F. H. Ries. These are engaged in the 
manufacture of all kinds of iron work, from the delicate wire 
screen to the most ponderous castings and heaviest machinery. 

As a matter of fact, no industry in the city is more 
thoroughly developed than that of the machine shops and foun- 
dries. One large line developed by them is the manufacture of 
engines and boilers. The development that has taken place in 
so many industries has created a demand for engines of many 
and varied types, which demand has been met by local manu- 
facturers. There are ample facilities .for all kinds of work, and 
engines are turned out, from the small gasoline engine to the 
huge locomotive for railroad use. Recently one piece of machin- 
ery, weighing 75,000 pounds, was cast and shipped to Honolulu 
by one of the Houston foundries. As noted elsewhere in these 
pages, the two Houston railroad shops, each have facilities for 
making one complete locomotive each day. 

The first artificial ice manufactured in Houston was at an 
ice plant established by Doctor Pearl, who had as his associates 
two young Englishmen, both former captains in the English 
army, but who had sold their commissions and had come to Texas 
to make their fortunes. One was Captain Kentish, and the 
other, Captain Spencer, a nephew of Earl Spencer who was 
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. The ice plant was not a great suc- 
cess from a financial point of view and in 1871, two years after 
its establishment it closed down for good. When the plant was 



346 History of Houston, Texas 

first established it was Doctor Pearl's intention to have a meat 
packery attachment, but that part of the plan was never carried 
out. 

For nine years after the establishment of the Pearl plant no 
effort was made to establish another factory. Then, in 1880, 
the Central Ice Company was organized. This company took out 
a charter under the name of the Houston Ice Company. Mr. 
Hugh Hamilton was its chief owner and the machinery was an 
abandoned ice machine. For a number of years it confined its 
operation to making ice alone but in 1888 it took out a new 
charter under the name of the Magnolia Ice and Brewing Asso- 
ciation, which charter was again changed to the Houston Ice 
and Brewing Company in 1901, under which name it is now 
known. Its business is very large, for it manufactures large 
quantities of beer and ice which are distributed to all parts of 
■the state. 

The American Brewing Company, another large concern, 
imanufacturing both beer and ice, was chartered in 1894. Its 
president and principal owner is A. Busch of St. Louis. It, too, 
■does an immense ice and beer business, shipping its products 
to all parts of the state. 

There are several other ice manufacturers in Houston, the 
leading ones being the Houston Packing Company, Mr. H. Kirk- 
lahd, president; the Henry Henke Artesian Ice and Refriger- 
ating Company, Mr. H. Henke, president; the Crystal Ice and 
CPuei Company, Mr. Charles A. Zilker, president ; the Irvin Ice 
Factory, W. H. Irvin, proprietor. 

As noted, an effort was made to establish a packery by the 
Pearl Ice Manufacturing Company, but without success. After 
the failure of the ice plant, Mr. E. W. Taylor and associates 
bought some of the machinery and, in 1875, established a pack- 
ery here which was soon followed by another conducted by Mr. 
Geiselman. Both of these establishments did a fairly good 
business for a year or two and then ceased operation. The fail- 
ure was due largely to their being somewhat in advance of the 
times and to lack of transportation facilities and a broad market. 

In 1894, the first really great step was taken in that direc- 



Houston's Manufacturers 347 

tion by the establishment of the Houston Packing Company's 
plant in this city. This is the largest independent packing 
house in the United States, and its plant is an immense one, 
covering many acres. It is absolutely modern and up4o-date 
ill its every detail. Its output is of the highest standard and 
its business is approximately $4,000,000 annually. In addition 
to its regula;r packing house products, those known as staple, it 
manufactures numerous by-products, for the disposition of which 
branch offices are maintained at numerous trade centers through- 
out the South and West. Mr. "W. H. Kirkland is president of this 
company and Mr. E. W. Grundler is its secretary. 

Both the Swift and Armour companies maintained agencies 
in Houston for a number of years, but the field was so inviting 
that in 1904 the Swift Company established its own branch 
here, buying property and putting up a building of its own, 
where it is doing a large and very satisfactory business under 
the management of Mr. Thomas W. Johnson. 

The Armour Company has just completed the erection of 
its plant here and is also doing an immense business under the 
management of Mr. Felix Tachior. Neither the Swift, nOr the 
Armour Company does any slaughtering here, but each does a 
large business in packing' meats, manufacturing lard, refining oil, 
making soap and other packings house by-products. 

There are agencies here for all the great packing houses 
in the United States, this giving evidence of Houston's impor- 
tance as a distributing center. 

In the early seventies, one of the most useful establishments 
in the city was the Henry House Sash Factory and Planing Mill. 
There were several iron foundries and machine shops, those of 
McGowan, Lord & Richardson, Wiggins, Smith & Simpson and 
other smaller concerns. There were two or three sheetiron 
and tinners establishments, two wagon factories, a soda water 
manufactory, a cigar factory, a furniture factory and other 
feniall industrial plants, which have all served as faundations.. 
for the greater ones that have been built on them. 
■ '■■ By 1885 the manufacturing interests of Houston had grown 
to rather large proportions, and the business done was of eon- 



348 History of Houston, Texas 

siderable magnitude. There were two extensive brick yards that 
were turning out millions of bricks annually and the demand 
was in excess of the supply. There were two iron and brass 
foundries. These, foundries turned out steam engines, boilers, 
compresses, gins, mill supplies, machinery and all kinds of cast- 
ings and Shipped them to all parts of the state. ' There were 
five cotton compresses and a large flour mill with a capacity of 
400 barrels of flour per day. This mill failed in 1894 and has 
never been resumed. 

Another large industry was the Howard Oil Company that 
operated mills at Houston, Palestine and Dallas, with the princi- 
pal works located at Houston, just beyond the city limits at the 
crossing of the Central and Southern Pacific lines. At this mill 
about 100 tons of cotton seed were converted into oil daily. 
Houston developed a sweet tooth about that time, for the three 
candy manufacturers turned out 8,000 pounds of candy daily. 
This was shipped to all parts of the state. The Lone Star Barbed 
Wire Factory had a large shop in the Fifth ward and its pro- 
duct was shipped to all parts of Texas and of the Southwest. 

There were seven planing mills, two ice factories, five carri- 
age and wagon factories, a manufacturing drug house, two soap 
factories, two artificial stone factories, two soda and mineral 
water factories, one mattress factory, three tank and barrel 
factories, cigar factories, broom factories, lathing works, and a 
large number of smaller industries, representing an investment 
in factories of $2,000,000. 

The year 1887 was a bit of a boom year for Houston manu- 
factories for the contemplated establishment of many new indus- 
tries was announced early in the year. The following became 
realities in the course of that and the following year: 

Howard Oil Mill plant, addition, $200,000 ; a large refrig- 
erating plant; a brewery costing $124,000; Southern Pacific 
Shops, completed at a cost of $250,000; Union Depot to cost 
$80,000 ; car wheel factory at a cost of $40,000 ; a bottling works 
and a cracker factory. 

"With the exception of the Southern Pacific Shops, the car 
wheel shop mentioned in the foregoing, was the most important 



Houston's Manufacturers 349 

of the contemplated industries. These works, better known as 
the Dickson Car Wheel Works, had a most humlble start. When 
Mr. Dickson announced that he intended to establish such an 
enterprise in Houston he was laughed at and the idea of his 
seriously contemplating entering into competition with the large 
and old established concerns of the Bast was ridiculed even by 
his friends and best wishers. It was said to him that he could 
not make wheels equal to those turned out by the old and experi- 
enced manufacturers, and admitting that he could do so, then he 
could never get the railroads to use his wheels. However, Mr. 
Dickson was not easily discouraged. He had faith in his ability 
to turn out good wheels and to get the railroads to use them. 
He started with very little capital, and with a small plant. He 
made wheels and he made such good wheels that instead of the 
Eastern concerns running him out of the business, he has some- 
times run them out. He got the railroads to try his wheels. They 
did so and found them so superior to all others that they ordered 
more and more of them, until today the Dickson car wheel is 
known all over the country as equal to the best manufactured 
anywhere and Mr. Dickson has had to add several times to his 
plant to keep abreast of the demand for his wheels. The plant 
is a large one and is an honor to its founder and to Houston as 
well. ' 

The Houston Car Wheel and Machine Company though 
comparatively a young company, having been established in the 
fall of 1906, is doing a large business in making ear wheels, and 
various kinds of castings and machinery. The officers and 
founders of this company are : Jules J. Settegast, Jr., president ; 
George H. Hermann, vice-president; A. J. Binz, secretary-treas- 
urer. 

The Houston Electric Light Company was organized in 
August, 1882, and its first officers were: E. Eaphael, president 
and D. F. Stuart, secretary. The board of trustees were: A. 
Grosebeck, B. A. Botts, F. A. Rice, E. P. Hill, D. F. Stuart, 
J. C. Hutcherson, G. L. Porter and E. Raphael. Only the old 
Brush Carbon lights were used. Mr. Raphael exhibited the first 
incandescent lamp ever seen in Houston in August, 1883. Incan- 



350 History of Houston, Texas 

descent lamps were rare at that time, for the carbon lamps only, 
were in general use. As soon as the incandescent lamp was 
seen, its great merits were recognized, and Mr. Raphael secured 
a contract to put the lights in the Howard Oil Mills. He fitted 
that plant with incandescent lamps, and it was the first incan- 
descent light plant installed in Texas. After a few 
years' experience Mr. Raphael and his associates sold 
tjieir electric plant to the Houston Gas Works. That com- 
pany, in 1894, organized the present Electric company, which 
is changed only in name, being the same organization, under 
a different management, as the Raphael Company. 

While Texas is the greatest cotton producing state in the 
world and, in consequence, the greatest producer of cotton seed 
and its derivatives also, Houston has the distinction of being the 
greatest producer of cotton seed products in Texas. The business 
is very large and is constantly growing, for Houston's position 
as a receiving and distributing point give her advantages that 
cannot be overcome, or even approached by rival cities. With 
seventeen railroads to bring the raw material here and with the 
same number of roads, supplemented by the ship channel, to dis- 
tribute the finished products, her position is an enviable one. 

The manufacturing of cotton seed products is carried on by 
six large oil mills. The capital invested in these mills is $2,500,- 
000, and it requires over 700 men to operate them. These mills 
constitute a very important part of Houston's manufacturing 
interests. The crushing capacity of the mills is 1,200 tons daily 
and last season they used more than 82,000 tons of cotton seed 
for which they paid the farmers of the state about $2,275,000. 
The finished products of the mill sold for $5,000,000. The Hous- 
ton mills use Texas cotton seed, which is the best and richest 
in the world, the cotton seed meal of other states having only 
f9 per cent of protein and fat combined, while that of Texas has 
a minimum of 55 per cent. Hence their products are always in 
demand and command a premium in the markets of the world. 

The mills in Houston are the Fidelity Cotton Oil and Fer- 
tilizer Company, the Merchants and Planters Oil Company, the 
Magnolia Cotton Oil Company, the Houston Cotton Oil Cpm^ 



Houston's Manufacturers 351 

pany, the South Texas Cotton Oil Company and the Industrial 
Cotton Oil Company. Three of these mills have each a refinery 
of from 1,500 to 2,000 barrels per day capacity. 

These refineries do a large business, because, in addition 
to the mills in Houston, there are numerous small mills in the 
interior of the state that ship crude oil here to have it refined.. 
About 75,000 barrels of crude oil were brought to Houston in, 
1910 for that purpose. Besides the various departments, for 
manufacturing refined products the Fidelity Cotton Oil and 
Fertilizer Company operates a fertilizer factory, which, while 
in competition with twenty other concerns in the state engiaged, 
in the same business, did the largest business of them aU last 
season. This company maintains an experimental farm near 
its plant where its fertilizers are being constantly tested. A 
scientific study of soils is made and the company makes fertilizers 
to suit various kinds of soil, and also for various kinds of crops., 
Their work in this way is practical, scientific and valuable. The; 
company turns out about 60,000 tons of fertilizers each year, 
which is distributed generally over the state. 

The refined products of the cotton seed oil are lubricants, 
oleomargarine, and lard. These are extensively used throughout! 
the country. Besides thesQ, a food is being made to take the 
place of meat, while cotton seed flour is expected to become a 
serious rival of wheat flour. The various uses to which cotton 
seed products may be put are already great and the number iS' 
increasing so rapidly that it is no exaggeration to say that before' 
long they will rival those of the wonderful coal tar products. 
Only a few years ago cotton seed was a source of annoyance to 
every cotton raiser who owned a gin, for they were considered 
as absolutely valueless and their accumulation near the giiis, 
was a serious embarrassment. They were burned, carted away, 
and everything possible was done to get rid of them. 

Then some genius discovered that oil could be extracted 
from them and they became valuable. Then it was discovered 
that the shells of the seed could be ground into meal and cqn- 
verted into a fine feed for cattle, and they became still more 



352 History of Houston, Texas 

valuable. Other uses for them were found, until today the value 
of the seed is almost as great as that of the cotton itself. 

In order to clean the seed, more refined processes of ginning 
were devised and by this means a fluffy, no-staple cotton is pro- 
duced. This is known in the commercial world as "linters" and 
is used largely to fill car cushions and such rough objects. Its 
main use, however, is in the manufacture of gun cotton and some 
other high explosives. Its importance in that direction is shown 
by the fact that the price of linters is largely regulated by the 
world's political aspect, — peace prospects depressing and a war 
cloud sending the market upward. 

The City Cotton Mills erected in the Second ward, in 1872, 
were destroyed by fire August 12, 1875, entailing a loss of 
$200,000, which was complete as there was no insurance. An 
effort was made to rebuild the mills, but failed. Afterwards 
Mr. E. H. Gushing, Mr. James F. Dumble and others started 
another cotton mill at Eureka on the Central Railway, five miles 
west of Houston,, but abandoned the enterprise after a year or 
two. 

An important factory is that of the Oriental Textile Mills, 
located here in 1903. These mills do a wonderful business, and, 
in competition with the Eastern mills, have extended their ter- 
ritory both to the East and "West until now they cover points as 
far east, as the Carolinas and as far west as California. They 
have secured a firm foothold in Mexico and are constantly 
extending their field of action. Their success has been phenom- 
enal and today they occupy a strong position in the manufactur- 
ing world. This success is largely due to the wise and conserva- 
tive management, for the mills were started with only limited 
capital and had miich to contend with. There were two prob- 
lems to, be solved. First, how to produce goods in the best and 
cheapest way, yet of only the highest order of excellence, and 
next to find a market sufficiently large to warrant the making 
of the'm. The first was difficult, owiiig to limited means, and the 
second, for a time, seemed almost hopeless. The goods were made 
but no market Could be found for them of sufficient magnitude to 
warrenit a continuance of the business. Finally, finding that the 



Houston's Manufacturers 353 

market would not come to them, they determined to go to the 
market. They sent one man out seeking orders. Their product 
was so good and their terms of sale so fair, that this first salesman 
had small difficulty in selling them. His success showed them 
that they were on the right track and they sent out other sales- 
men. Soon they had orders for all the goods they could pro- 
duce and their plant was enlarged to meet the growing demand. 
Today the plant is one of the best equipped and most thorough 
to bC' found anywhere. The Oriental Textile-Works is a verita- 
ble village in itself. Its houses for workmen are models. It has 
a school for the children of its employes, and a church. Many 
comforts and conveniences for those working at the mills are 
supplied and the factory seems to enjoy the loyal support and 
friendship of every man and woman working for it.. It is, in 
many respects, a model plant. These mills manufacture burlap, 
burlap bags, press cloth, textiles and worsteds. 

The manufacture of wagons had never been carried on 
extensively until the incorporation of the Eller "Wagon Works 
in January, 1910. Mr. Frank Eller, the president, had founded 
the business about six years ago, before the incorporation of the 
company. They employ regularly about twenty-five men and 
turn out about six hundred wagons annually, mostly heavy 
trucks and oiltank wagons. The officers besides the president 
are: J. W. Trimble, vice-president; R. E. Brooks, treasurer, 
and J. M. Powers, Jr., secretary. The office and factory are at 
101-7 Crawford Street. 

Not until June, 1904, was the first pronounced step taken 
towards making Houston a great manufacturing center for furni- 
ture and woodwork of every kind. In that year the Myers-Spalti 
Company established their first plant here. From a modest 
beginning they have added to their facilities, until now, in place 
of the small building they occupied at first, they have four or 
five large three and four-story buildings covering several acres 
of ground, and their plant is one of the largest and best equipped 
in the South. The number and variety of their products is won- 
derful, for they manufacture everything woodin, from a tooth- 
pick, to the finest and heaviest furniture and office fixings. Their 



354 History of Houston, Texas 

work is all, of the highest order, too, for they employ only the 
best expert. workmen. The business done by this firm is immense, 
they having branch ofiSces at the leading markets, and shipping 
their products all over the South and "West. 

The Houston Show-Case and Manufacturing Company, of 
which John Guinan is president and R. A. Burge is vice-president 
and general manager, has built up a large business and a fin6 
reputation in the manufacturing of show cases, bank, bar, drug 
store and office fixtures and furniture. Its plant is on Wash- 
ington Avenue, Nos. 3600 to 3618. 

Houston has the distinction of possessing the only piano 
and organ manufactory in the South. This is a new industry, 
having been established only in 1909, but it is already doing a 
good business. It is a genuine factory and not merely a shop 
where the various parts of an organ or piano are assembled and 
put together in a ease made elsewhere. The piano or organ is 
actually manufactured here, from the pedals to the cases, of 
walnut, oak or whatever other wood is used, in which they are 
finished. The instruments turned out by this factory are pro- 
nounced to be of the highest order by experts. 

By 1905, Houston had taken its place as the chief manufac- 
turing city in Texas, and from the great variety of its manu- 
factured products it held a prominent place in the list of man- 
ufacturing cities in the Southwest. It had, as already noted, the 
finest and best car wheel works in the South, and it had also 
four of the largest cotton seed oil mills in the South. These 
mills manufacture thousands of tons of oil cake and cotton seed 
meal and make both crude and refined oil in large quantities, 
each year. Their products are shipped to all parts of the world. 
It had brass and iron foundries, whose products were in demand 
all over ithe state all the year round. It had two inmiense brew- 
eries. It had fine creosoting works, six cotton compresses, big 
railroad shops, several sash and blind factories, a big packing 
house, a large fiour mill, two soap factories, several candy fao- 
tories that supplied not only Texas, but a large part of Mexico 
with their deliciojis product, several broom factories, brick and 
tile works that were constantly increasing their facilities to keep 



Houston's Manufacturers 355. 

abreast with the demands made on them by the building indus- 
tries. "Wagons and buggies were being made and shipped in Ifeirge 
quantities, while Houston made tents and awnings that were itt 
demand over Texas and Mexico. 

Houston is a great coffee center, there being five large dealers 
and roasters here. The Check-Neal Company, J. W. Neal, first 
vice-president and general manager, and the I,nternational Coffee 
Company, Wm. D. Cleveland and Sons, managers, each estab- 
lished in 1896, have their large plants here and maintain branch 
houses over the Southwestern and Southern States. They are 
the largest concerns of the kind in the Southwest. The others 
are : the Guatemala Coffee Company, Magnolia Coffee Company, 
Schumacher Company, and the Southern Tea and Coffee 
Company. 

Pacts and statistics in regard to the great lumber, rice, 
cotton, and mineral oil industries are given in another chapter 
of this volume. 

The development of the Ship Channel gave rise to a rather 
large industry in Houston. The formation of the Houston 
Launch Club, organized for the purpose of taking advantage of 
the superb facilities offered by the channel for aquatic sports 
of all kinds, created a great demand for boats, and that demand 
was speedily supplied. There are three regular ship yards and 
a number of individuals engaged in boat building here. Houston 
has one of the largest and most flourishing launch clubs in the 
country. The club has a beautiful club house on the bank of 
the channel, near Harrisburg, at the terminus of one of the street 
car lines. There are several large and well equipped launches 
and a number of smaller pleasure boats owned by the members. 
There are already over 200 boats belonging to the fleet and in 
1911 there were contracts made for others to cost very nearly 
$50,000. The channel is an ideal place for such sport. In 
front of the clubhouse there is a width of 200 feet and a depth of 
25 feet. The channel widens below the clubhouse to 250 feet, 
within five miles; then to 300 feet; then to 400 feet, wher^it 
merges with San Jacinto River, which in turn enters San Jacinto 
Bay and then Trinity or Galveston Bay. The banks are high 



356 History of Houston, Texas 

and covered with forest trees and flowers which will stand 
much 'closer inspection than the famous banks of the Hudson 
River. 

According to statistics collected by Houston's Chamber of 
Commerce, the city's manufacturing plants turn out 280 dis- 
tinct articles. Some of these manufacturing plants are small 
concerns, it is true, but even the smallest is engaged in the man- 
ufacture of useful articles here at home that were formerly 
bought from outside markets and thus all the money employed 
in their making and all that is paid to their makers is kept at 
home, thus adding to the general prosperity of the city. 

The United States census figures, made public July 22, 1911, 
shows percentages of increase for Houston manufactures com- 
pared with 1904 as follows : 

Increase in cost of material used, 88 per cent; increase in 
capital invested, 87 per cent; increase in number of salaried 
officers and clerks, 75 per cent ; increase in miscellaneous expenses, 
72 per cent ; increase in value of products, 70 per cent ; increase 
in value added by manufacture, 46 per cent ; increase in salaries 
and wages, 24 per cent ; increase in the number of establishments, 
19 per cent; increase in average number of wage earners 
employed during the year, 6 per cent. 

Following are the figures for 1909, when the census was 
taken : Number of establishments, 249 ; capital invested, $16,- 
594,000; cost of material used, $14,321,000; salaries and wages, 
$4,254,000; miscellaneous expenses, $1,942,000; value of pro- 
ducts, $23,016,000; value added by manufacture, $8,695,000; 
number of salaried officers and clerks, 725; average number of 
wage earners, 5,338 ; total number of steam laundries, 9 ; capital 
invested in laundries, $270,000; cost of material used, $74,000; 
salaries and wages, $256,000; miscellaneous expenses, $129,000; 
value of products, $500,000; number of salaried officers and 
clerks, 34 ; average number of wage earners, 422. 

The question of fuel and water for manufacturing purposes, 
is of the greatest importance, and it is in that direction that Hous- 
ton 's advantages are so great. Water of the purest kind and in 
inexhaustible quantities, is obtained everywhere by sinking 



Houston's Manufacturers 357 

artesian wells. All the manufacturing plants in Houston have 
their own artesian wells and are, thus, independent of all other 
sources of supply. The chief fuel used is oil, and being located 
on the very border of the great oil fields, Houston occupies a 
most advantageous position. The supply of oil is great, the pro- 
duction of the Texas fields in 1910 having been 13,000,000 barrels, 
all admirably suited. for steam making purposes. In addition 
to oil, there is an unlimited supply of lignite which can be deliv- 
ered at Houston for $1.50 per ton. With properly constructed 
grates, lignite makes a very satisfactory fuel and is valuable for 
that purpose. Recent experiments have shown that lignite made 
into producers gas for firing purposes, doubles its efficiency as 
used under the ordinary steam boiler. T]ae manufacture of 
lignite briquettes is being considered by local capitalists. 

At a home products banquet given in Houston, on the even- 
ing of October 27, 1911, at which 200 business men were guests, 
more than 50 articles of food were served, all of which had either 
been manufactured in Houston or produced on surrounding 
farms and orchards. That fact in regard to the menu justifies 
its reproduction here. It was as follows : 

Oyster cocktail, celery, tomatoes, roast beef, sweetbread, 
• spaghetti and Red Cross chili, yams, wine cured Jasmine ham, 
sliced corn, beef, macaroni, cornmeal, grits, veal loaf sandwich, 
tongue sandwich, hot wieners, boiled rice, cervelat sandwich, 
rolls, sliced bologna, boneless pickled pig's feet, crackers. Red 
Cross tamales, liver sausage, string beans, head cheese, beer, 
sliced ox tongue, cider, calf's head jelly, soda water, figs, stewed 
pears, preserved figs, pure cane syrup, orange marmalade, ice 
cream, assorted cakes, candy, pecans, satsuma oranges, coffee, 
cigars. 



CHAPTER XX 

Wholesale Trade and Big Business 



Pioneer Conditions of Trade. Steamboat Element in Houston's 
Business Prosperity. Natural Advantages Built up Great 
Industries. Water Competition Gives Advantageous Rail- 
road Tariffs. Houston's' Trade Territory. How Annual 
Wholesale Business of $90,000,000 is pro rated. City's 376 
Incorporated Companies. Growth of Produce Business. 
Importation of Fruits. Sugar Jobbing Trade. Packing 
House Business. Changes in Methods of Marketing Cotton. 
How Houston was Made a Cotton Buyers' Market. Houston, 
the Great Selling Market for Lumber. Results of Lumber 
Panic Prices of 1907, in Concentrated Selling Agencies in 
Houston. Manufacturing Capacity of Big Lumber Firms. 
Movement ot Curtail Manufacture. Facts and Figures on 
..Lumber Industry. Turpentine Trade. The J. R. IVforris 
Plan for Rice Culture. Houston's Rice Mills. Rice Pro-. 
■ duction and Food Value. Houston 's Retail Trade and Wage 
Earners. Capital Invested in Retail Trade. 



Trade in any primitive community always begins with 
barter. An exchange of commodities between neighbors, each 
supplying the lacks of the other, oftentimes without any other 
consideration than friendship and good fellowship is the whole- 
some and beautiful beginning of trade in any pioneer commun- 
ity. Along with this barter and exchange there is often a 
community use of many articles. 

In most towns that grew up in America as the skirmish lines 
of civilization were flung out westward it was possibly the black- 
smith shop that was the pioneer business establishment. The 
wagon that had lost a tire and the horse that had flung a shoe 
as the white topped wagons followed the faint new trail into 
the wilderness furnished the trade for the shop. The first store 



Wholesale Trade 359 

was a general merchandise store where everything was sold from 
ploughshares to shoe strings. Hardware, cutlery, groceries, dry 
goods, boots and shoes, molasses, oil,' candles and rifles and all 
the articles needed to wage the fight with nature for the reclama- 
tion of a virgin forest or an unploughed prairie. Eggs, butter, 
produce, deer hides and coon skins, oats, corn, hay and cotton or 
any product of farm or field was taken in exchange by tin? oblig- 
ing storekeeper who cheerfully reaped the doubk- profit. In the 
front end of the store was the postofSce and at the rear end a 
primitive bar where straight "licker" and Jamaica rum was 
served from the barrel. This part of the store was called by 
the more pious element of the community the ' ' doggery. " 

Business in Houston began in much the same way save that 
from the beginning it was modified by the fact that here was the 
junction of the land trail and the water route and the steamboat 
element of society and prosperity entered into the life of the 
town from the beginning. 

Nevertheless, so dependent was the community upon. its own 
resources that early shipments of flour brought $13 'a barrel and 
other goods were in proportion. 

The lapse of time and the increase of prosperity slowly 
differentiated business, and stores were established for the sale of 
separate commodities. The dry goods store in time, ceased to 
sell brogans and molasses and rum and sold dry goods. ^ But 
as prosperity advanced yet farther, there was a reversal to type 
and the modern huge department store where everything is 
again sold has justified the pioneer conception as to "store 
keepin'." The saloon was an institution from the beginning 
and flourished in tents until it could build houses. The character 
of trade has remained distinct to a great extent. 

Houston's greatest industries have developed as the result 
of natural advantages. Located on the rim of the great pine 
forests of Texas and Louisiana it became the .metropolis of the 
lumber industry. Situated in the heart of the alluvial coast 
plains it became the center of the rice and fruit culture, and 
being the natural seaport for a great basin that extends tbou- 
sands of miles north and west and east to the Rocky Moimtains 



360 History of Houston, Texas 

and the tributaries of the Mississippi the commerce of that section 
will more and more sweep down upon it. Good business judg- 
ment and fair dealing have combined with advantage of location 
to make Houston the greatest cotton concentration point in the 
world, with the sometime exception of New Orleans. 

The existence of the ship channel makes Houston the natural 
and logical basing point for freight rates, for it is here that the 
water and rail transportation meet. Formerly all, or practically 
all, the traffic of the state was done through Houston, over the 
bayou. Then the railroads formed connections with the Northern 
and Eastern markets, and complications arose. Every line of 
railroad attempted to make a tariff of its own, and where there 
was no competition and a road had a territory to itself, it made 
such a tariff as it chose. 

When these lines of railroad reached Houston, the situa- 
tion changed, for here they found a most formidable obstacle 
in the form of water competition and they were all forced to 
reduce their rates to meet this competition. Through its ship 
channel, Houston has all the advantages of an actual seaport, 
even if the channel were not actually utilized. 

This possible water competition forms the basis upon which 
Houston rates are fixed and they enable Houston manufacturers 
and wholesale merchants to compete for trade in a large territory 
that would be closed to them but for the existence of the low 
rates secured through water competition. It also permits the 
concentration and reshipment of materials by the jobbers and 
pernlits Houston wholesalers to compete with north Texas job- 
bers, although the latter are much nearer the source of supply. 

As a result of her admirable position, Houston has become 
the great concentrating and distributing point for nearly the 
whole state, and for some commodities Houston is the concen- 
trating point for the whole state. This, of course, has made 
Houston very prominent as a wholesale market and the- volume 
of business done is immense. The greater part of the state and 
some parts of bordering states look to Houston for their supplies. 

Among the remarkable effects of Houston's concentrating 
and distributing facilities, is the fact 'that this city has been 



Wholesale Trade 361 

made a wholesale market for commodities not usually classed 
among those dealt in as wholesale, notably machinery and heavy 
engines. As a rule all such things as monster traction engines, 
well-boring machinery, great pumps and similar articles, are 
ordered direct from the large factories in the Bast and sales 
are made direct to the consumer by the factories. However, 
Houston's splendid warehouse facilities, lier cheap freight rates 
and her position as a distributing point, all combine to enable 
her to carry large stocks of such commodities and as a result 
she has become a great wholesale market for machinery. , The 
machinery dealers of Houston handle all kinds of heavy material, 
from huge traction engines, threshers, reapers and everything of 
that kind, to plows, scrapers and small plantation supplies. 
The business is large and is growing, for each year shows an 
increase over the preceding one. The business done in machin- 
ery by Houston wholesalers in 1910 totalled over $3,000,000, 
which was an increase of about $250,000 over the year before. 

It must not be supposed that special privileges or undue 
■ advantages are given the merchants of Houston by the rate mak- 
ing powers, for such is not true. Houston's advantages lie in 
the fact that having the water rate as a right, she has increased 
and perfected her local facilities by providing large and suitable 
warehouses and storerooms and has done everything possible to 
reduce local charges, thus enabling the largest amount of business 
to be done on the cheapest basis. These low local charges enable 
Houston merchants to compete in territory that otherwise would 
be given over to their rivals who have a slightly lower rail rate, 
but who are less wide-awake or who have other drawbacks. One 
fact will illustrate this. Houston has few drays or heavy floats 
for transporting goods from^ one point to another. They are not 
necessary because every warehouse, every compress, every man- 
ufacturing plant and every cotton yard in the city is located on 
the line of one or more of the railroads entering the city or on 
both the railroad and ship channel. This saving in drayage 
amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. On 
the receipts of cotton alone there is. saved $100,000 each year, 



362 History of Houston, Texas 

while on other commodities there is a saving of a much larger 
amount. 

Dallas, Fort Worth and other large trade centers have tribu- 
tary territories covered by special rates made for the purpose 
of placing them on a fair and equitable footing with Houston 
or other competitors. In such territory Houston can enter only 
through using the advantages she has created at home to 
their fullest extent. As a matter of fact Houston cannot enter 
the territory having a radius of about 100 miles around Dallas 
and Fort Worth, even with her local advantages, but in all 
the other portions of the state Houston is either on an equal 
footing with those markets or has a slight advantage over them. 

It is estimated that Houston's wholesale business amounts 
to $90,000,000 annually. The leading articles and the amount 
of business done in each are estimated as follows: Machinery, 
$3,000,000; hardware, $4,000,000; lumber, $35,000,000; petrole- 
um products, $1,000,000 ; drugs and chemicals, $4,000,000 ; paints 
and glass, $1,000,000 ; furniture, $1,400,000 ; dry goods, $1,750,- 
000; liquors, $1,250,000; beer and ice, $2,500,000; groceries, 
$8,000,000; produce, $4,600,000; sugar and molasses, $2,000,000; 
tobacco, $1,250,000 ; packinghouse products, $3,750,000. 

When to these is added the business done in electrical sup- 
plies, building materials of various kinds, paving materials and 
a number of other things on which no figures approaching exact- 
ness are obtainable, it will be found that the estimated total of 
$90,000,000 is rather below than above the actual figures. 

In addition to the thousands of individuals and unincorpor- 
ated firms, there are 376 incorporated companies, excluding rail- 
roads, trust companies and banks, doing business in Houston. 
These have a combined capital of $146,943,900. These companies 
represent all lines of trade and their number is being increased 
each year. 

In 1902, there were but five wholesale dealers in fruits, 
produce, butter and eggs in Houston. Of these only one was a 
large dealer. In 1911, there were seven large establishments and 
perhaps as many as twenty-five small ones, whose aggregate 
business amounted to about $5,000,000 annually. 



Wholesale Trade 363 

In 1902, the Houston jobbers had but little competition, but 
today some of the markets that at that time were their best cus- 
tomers, notably Beaumont, Bryan, Ba'gle Lake and Hempstead, 
are now competitors. 

The opening of the Rio Grande country has added greatly 
to Houston's business, since practically all of the vegetables, 
fruits and farm products of that territory are sold in Houston. 
Then, too, Houston's merchants have become large importers of 
grapes, bananas, prunes, lembns and other tropical and sub- 
tropical fruits which are imported direct. 

Houston's proximity to the sugar cane fields and its close 
connection by rail with the sugar producing territory along the 
Rio Grande have made the city the sugar center of the state, 
and over $2,000,000 in sugar alone was the record of the Houston 
jobbers during the season of 1910, while the season of 1911 will 
undoubtedly show a large increase over the preceding year, since 
the 1911 crop is a large one. Since the opening of the Rio Grande 
territory, Houston's sugar business has doubled. Houston's 
selling territory is Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Tennessee, 
Missouri and Mississippi. A great wholesale coffee trade has also 
been built up here. 

Packing house products cut no mean figure in Houston's 
jobbing trade. The Houston Packing Company owns a large 
and highly equipped plant and does a large business, while 
Armour, Swift, and other outside companies, maintain branches 
or agencies here and add considerably to the volume of business. 
A most conservative estimate places the , amount of the local 
business for the season that closed August 31, 1911, at $4,000,000. 
Outside capitalists are planning to spend $500,000 in building 
stock yards on the ship channel. 

Some years ago it was the custom of the cotton planter to 
ship his cotton, to a commission- merchant, to be sold or held for 
higher prices as the situation might warrant. The system wa.s 
an. excellent one and was highly satisfactory to both parties -t-o 
the transaction; to the planter, who received part of the vaUie 
of his cotton in advance for his immediate needs, and .to the 
merchant, who received interest, storage charges and finally a 



364 History of Houston, Texas 

commission for selling the cotton. The system was safe but it 
was slow and tedious. It was the best that could be di-vised 
when the planter had to seek a market for what he produced. 
It was a cumbersome system as well, because it required the ser- 
vices of so many middlemen. 

Then a change took place. Instead of the planter seeking a 
market the markets of the world sought him. All the great 
foreign and domestic houses sent their buyers into the interior 
to buy cotton, and the commission merchant was largely, though 
not entirely relegated to the past. Former cotton centers, places 
that had done an immense business under the old system, were 
forced to change all their time-honored methods or accept the 
inevitable. There was a new and very important feature intro- 
duced into the cotton trade. It became imperative to have 
some point at which aU the cotton purchased by agents in all 
parts of the state could be concentrated for inspection and 
arranging before being finally exported. The cotton men of 
Houston recognized this necessity almost as soon as it arose and 
took steps to provide such necessary facilities. Houston had 
large compresses and large cotton warehouses. Had her mer- 
chants been less farsighted they might have attempted to take 
advantage of the city's natural advantages and gone in to make 
large, but temporary profit out of these. A wiser plan was fol- 
lowed. Instead of taking that advantage, as they could have 
done easily, they used their compresses and warehouses just as 
so much capital and used them to attract cotton to Houston, 
not as an ultimate market altogether, but as a concentrating 
point for cotton, where it could be stored and handled. Local 
charges were cut and made as low as possible, with the result 
that all the great cotton firms of the world have been attracted 
to Houston, and most of them have either branch offices or local 
representatives here. 

In interested quarters it has been asserted that the railroads 
unfairly favor this city and that every facility is given the 
Houston cotton men to do business. The fact that Houston's 
local or net receipts of cotton amount to between 700,000 and 
800,000 bales each season, has been advanced as an argument that 



Wholesale Trade 365 

Houston is so favored. Houston has advantages as a cotton 
market, it is true, but they have been created by her own people 
and have not been given to her by the railroads or anyone else. 
The market has been made strictly a buyers market; that is, all 
the rules of the local cotton exchange favor the buyer and the 
customs of the cotton factors do the same thing. To illustrate 
this point the following statement of .local charges on a bale 
of cotton bought from a local merchant, is given : 

Compressing $0.50 

Loading _ 05 



.55 
From this total charge of 55 cents per bale, the following 
items are deducted: 

Returned to buyer, account reclamation $0.10 

Returned to buyer, account inspection 03 

Returned to buyer, account i^ samples .03 



.16 

This leaves Houston's net charges on a bale of cotton, 39c, 
or only 9c more than it costs to ship the same bale to Galveston. 
The result is that Houston has about thirty firms and individuals 
buying cotton, which makes a very broad market. 

While the compress charge, 50c, is the same at New Orleans 
and Galveston as at Houston, there are in those places other 
local charges, such as drayage, and as nothing is returned to the 
buyer in those markets, it makes their charges from 35c to 45c 
higher than those of Houston. On drayage alone Houston saves 
the buyer and seller of cotton $100,000 annually. Under these 
conditions it is not surprising that Houston has become the 
greatest spot cotton market in America. 

Additional facts in regard to the relation of Houston to the 
cotton trade are found in other chapters. The chapter on the 
cotton exchange gives many of them and the manufacturing 
chapter deals with both cotton and cottonseed products. 

Houston is the greatest lumber center in the country. This 
does not mean that Houston takes first rank as a manufacturing 



366 History of Houston, Texas 

or producing center, but it does mean that more large lumber 
companies and organizations have their headquarters here and 
that more mills and more lumber are controlled and sold through 
offices in Houston than through those of any two or three cities 
anywhere in the Southwest. Houston has only one or two mills 
located within its limits, but it is the home of large companies 
that operate nearly all the great lumber mills in Texas. Some 
250 sawmiUs in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas, are represented 
by offices in Houston. 

The proverb : "It is an iU wind that blows no one any good" 
has proven to be literally true so far as Houston is concerned, 
for it is said that the great financial panic of 1907 was directly 
responsible for Houston becoming the leading lumber center that 
it is today. The methods of conducting and managing the lum- 
ber business then were very different from those followed now. 
Before the panic there was a brisk demand for lumber and the 
mills sold all they could produce. There was a market right 
at their doors and their sales-offices and mills were practically 
one thing. The panic came and found them with large stocks 
on hand and no market of any Mnd. There was no demand and 
the problem that confronted them was to find buyers. They 
solved it by sending agents over the country, who sought to 
create a demand and who were successful in their efforts. But 
another difficulty arose. It became necessary to keep in close 
touch with both the market and the selling agents scattered 
over the country, and, as this could not be done from the mill, 
it became necessary to establish headquarters at some central 
point,, and Houston, having so many advantages as a distributing 
point, was naturally chosen. A large number of the great 
firms opened offices and established headquarters here while a 
number of others established agencies, so that practically every 
large manufacturing and wholesale firm in Texas and the greater 
part of Louisiana, is represented in Houston. Durjng the last 
three years the growth of the business has been phenomenal. 
The Kirby Lumber Company has expanded wonderfully and is 
now operating eleven mills, manufacturing annually 400,000,000 



Wholesale Trade 367 

feet, of lumber. This company, which successfully weathered a 
federal receivership, ranks among the greatest in the world. 

J. M. "West and associates have increased their holdings in a 
remarkable way during the past two years, and before that the 
expansion was also almost equally as great. They now. control 
the Orange Lumber Company of Orange, the C. L. Smith Lum- 
ber Company of Merryville, the Hawthorn Lumber Company 
of Hawthorn, the W. W. West Lumber Company of Lovelady, 
the firm of "William Carlisle & Company of Oklahoma and have 
built a new mill at Barham, Texas. The combined output of these 
miUs is 175,000,000 feet. 

The big firms of Houston, with the total annual capacity of 
their plants are : Kirby Lumber Co., manufacturers, 400,000,000 
feet; Long-Bell Lumber Company, manufacturers, 500,000,000; 
"West Lumber Company, manufacturers, 175,000,000; W. H. 
Norris Lumber Company, wholesalers, 100,000,000 ; "Vaughan 
Lumber Company, wholesalers, 100,000,000; Continental Lum- 
ber and Tie Company, wholesalers, 100,000,000; Trinity River 
Lumber Company, manufacturers, 60,000,000; Central Coal and 
Coke Company, manufacturers, 50,000,000; "W. T. Carter & 
Brother, manufacturers, 50,000,000; Carter Lumber Company, 
40,000,000; "W. R. Pickering Lumber Company, manufacturers, 
50,000,000; Sabine Lumber Company, manufacturers, 40,000,000; 
Ray & Mihills, wholesalers, 40,000,000; Carter-KeUey Lumber 
Company, 30,000,000 ; Big Tree Lumber Company, manufactur- 
ers and wholesalers, 30,000,000 ; C. R. Cummings & Co., manu- 
facturers, 25,000,000; J. S. and "W. M. Rice, manufacturers, 25,- 
000,000; Gebhart-"Williams-Fenet, manufacturers, 25,000,000; 
Bland & Fisher, manufacturers, 25,000,000; J. C. Hill 
Lumber Company, manufacturers, 20,000,000 ; L. B. Manefee 
Lumber Company, manufacturers, 20,000,000; R. "W. "Wier Lum- 
ber Company, manufacturers, 20,000,000; Alf. Bennett Lumber 
Company, manufacturers and wholesalers, 20,000,000; R. C. 
Miller Lumber Company, manufacturers, 20,000,000 ; Bush Bros., 
manufacturers, 15,000,000; Southern Pinery Tie and Lumber 
Company, manufacturers and wholesalers, 10,000,000. 

The total of the foregoing is 1,990,000,000 feet. There is no 



368 History of Houston, Texas 

way to get the exact figures of actual business done by the Hous- 
ton firms, but if there were it would ije sli()Avn that Houston 
occupies a position very near the head of the list of leading 
lumber centers of the world. 

Some few years ago the yellow pine output was figured at 
around three billion feet a year. Most of this enormous amount 
oS lumber is handled through firms having headquarters in 
Houston. 

In 1901 there were only seventeen persons and firms in 
Houston handling lumber. In 1911 there are 90 such concerns. 
Houston, a decade ago, while laying claim to being a large' whole- 
sale distributing point for lumber was still in its infancy as a 
lumber mart. This city is now recognized as being one of the 
world's greatest lumber emporiums; in fact, Houston is the 
greatest clearing house of the Southwest, particularly for yellow 
pine. 

As the lumber business of the Southwest continued to 
iexpand it became necessary to create a central market, a kind 
of clearing house. Transportation and banking facilities had 
to be taken into consideration. Houston could supply both these 
requisites, hence this city was selected as the proper location and 
today Houston contains more great lumber concerns than any 
section except the Pacific Northwest. In the enormous bank 
clearings of Houston the lumber business figures largely. 

Of late several of the smaller mills have been dropping out 
of business, unable to meet the competition of the larger man- 
ufacturers. 

Rarely ever do lumbermen meet without discussing the 
necessity of curtailing output. They invariably contend that in 
order I to maintain a fair market manufacturers must reduce their 
output. In 1911 more mills than ever have been closed down. In 
order to crush out the newly organized Timber "Workers' Union, 
nearly 100 mills in the Southwest have closed down and surplus 
stocks are being gradually depleted. In the summer of 1911, 
however, there has also been a slacking off in demand throughout 
the whole country. Because of this dullness in trade some 200 
miUs have been forced to suspend work. The mills which have 




r^a bu£ J f^/?^T,s S Bra N^ 




Wholesale Trade 369 

closed down have an average daily capacity of 10,000 to 80,000 
feet. These mills, however, are not included in the list of mills 
which have shut down because of the desire to wipe out unionism 
in the mills. Somewhere around 10,000 mill hands have been 
rendered idle by the shutdown and this means a tremendous 
reduction in the daily output. 

The largest saw mill in Texas is the Kirby Mill at Bessmay. 
It has an hourly capacity of 20,000 feet. 

The largest double mill is that at Onalaska. It has a capac- 
ity of 300,000 feet in ten hours. 

There are about 250 mills in Texas that manufacture yellow 
pine exclusively. 

There are about twenty saw mills in Texas that manufacture 
hardwoods exclusively. 

The original forest area of Texas covered 41,980,000 acres. 

The present forest area covers about 30,000,000 acres. 

The original stumpage of Texas was about 80,000,000,000 
feet. 

The present stumpage of Texas is about 27,000,000,000 feet. 

The present hardwood stumpage of Texas is about 12,000,- 
000,000 feet. 

The man who owns the greatest amount of pine stumpage in 
Texas is doubtless Mr. "W. T. Carter* of Houston, whose largest 
holdings lie near Camden, , Texas, a town built up around his 
saw mill. 

♦Houston has no more representative citizen nor one more 
honored than W. T. Carter, although his personal modesty and his 
vast business interests have caused him to constantly refuse every 
offer of official position of any kind. 

W. T. Carter is a native son of east Texas and of the land where 
the yellow pine grows. He loves the pine trees and has massed a 
great fortune out of the lumber industry. It is a common saying 
among lumbermen that W. T. Carter could build a saw mill with a 
pocket knife if necessary, but he and his brother, E. A. Carter, 
recently startled even the lumbermen by erecting, entirely under their 
supervision and with their own employed labor, the first steel saw 
mill ever built in Texas. It was built in record time at a saving 
of nearly $50,000 of the price quoted by contractors and is as perfectly 
equipped as any saw mill anywhere. The first logs were cut in the 
new mill on July 4, 1911. 

When, as a boy of seventeen, without funds and without financial 
assistance, W. T. Carter entered into the saw mill business, he had 
to trade raw lumber to pay the men and teams that helped him to 



370 History of Houston,, Texas 

Mr. Carter has the distinction of being the man who first 
introduced the use of the mill pond in the saw mill industry in 
Texas. A mill pond is now part of the plant of every big saw 
miU. 

Conservation of the state's timber resources is constantly 
being agitated. The beginning of this agitation in Texas is 
due to Mr. J. Lems Thompson of Houston, President of the 
YeUow Pine Manufacturers Association. Mr. Thompson and 
the editor of this volume first gave the matter publicity. The 
Yale Forestry Class has twice spent the spring term in the woods 
in pine forests on Mr. Thompson's holdings. At one of these 
camps, in 1908, a conservation meeting was held, attended by 
Gifford Pinchot and many lumber manufacturers. It is 
estimated that Texas has 25,000,000 acres of pine and a hard- 
wood stumpage of 12,000,000,000 feet. This standing timber 
is estimated to be worth as it stands $108,000,000. This, of 
course, does not include between $60,000,000 and $75,000,000 
invested in mills and trams operated by large concerns. 

Contiguous to Houston are half a dozen turpentine con- 
cerns, which report an annual output of 375,000 barrels of tur- 
pentine and 65,000 barrels of resin. The value of the output is 
estimated at $600,000, with a capital invested of $500,000. 
Employment is given to 550 persons. 

To the late Mr. J. R. Morris must be awarded the credit of 
being the first to recognize the possibility of rice culture near 

build his first mill, which was located two miles west of Trinity, and 
which was operated in 1873 and 1874. The plant was moved several 
times following the forest. The railroad built from Trinity to 
Colmesneil in 1881, opened up a vast virgin pine forest and the Carter 
mill was moved to Barnum in 1882 and remained there until 1897 when 
the plant was destroyed by flrp. The mill was then moved and in the 
midst of his timber holdings the saw mill town of Camden was built 
up. This mill was destroyed by fire in 1910 and is the one replaced 
with jthe huge steel structure. Near it Mr. Carter has large holdings 
of pine lands. By the steady purchase of timber lands, even in the 
years following 1892 when great depression ruled and lumber was 
at its lowest ebb, Mr. Carter has demonstrated his business judgment 
and sagacity. 

W. T. Carter was born in Tyler, Smith County, Texas, February 
4, 1856. He is the third son of J. J. Carter and Jane Carter of 
Georgia, who came to Texas and settled In Cherokee County in 1849. 
The family was of the old South and well to do, but the war left them 
in straightened financial circumstances. Mr. Carter's father was 



Wholesale Trade 371 

Houston. In 1869 or 1870 he organized a company and obtained 
a charter for the construction of a broad canal from a point on 
the San Jacinto River to the mouth of White Oak Bayou at the 
foot of Main Street. He had a survey made and found that the 
San Jacinto River, was between twenty-five and twenty-eight 
feet higher than the banks of the bayou at Houston. His idea 
was, primarily to use the water for irrigating the intermediate 
prairie, and then, after it reached Houston, to utilize the twenty- 
odd feet fall for motive power. He argued that all the land 
between the river and the bayou was natural rice land and that it 
could be used as such with great profit. Unfortunately there 
were difficulties in the way of accomplishing his purpose, the 
greatest being to get permission from the land owners along the 
river to divert the stream from its natural bed. There were 
state, and perhaps, national laws against doing such things, and 
the scheme never amounted to anything beyond drawing atten- 
tion to the fact that there were splendid rice lands near Houston. 
Mr. Morris did not live to see the correctness of his 
views relating to rice lands, verified, but they have 
been in every way. It is now an established fact 
that Texas has some of the finest rice lands to be 
found "anywhere, and that the coast country is admirably 
adapted to the raising of rice. In Mr. Morris' day it is doubtful 
if there were as much as one full acre of land in Harris County 
planted with rice, but now all that is changed and Harris County 

Senior Captain of Hubbard's regiment and made a record for valor 
during the Civil War. After that struggle he became a school teacher 
and utilized his classical education in country schools. The subject 
of this sketch studied under him and later under Professor Steele at 
Pennington Texas. One of the boy's heroes was an uncle, George 
T Anderson, known as "Old Tige," who served in the war with 
Mexico in one campaign against the Indians and in the Confederacy, 
rising under Lee to the rank of Brigadier. Old Tige's example and 
grit nerved his nephew to heroic struggles in his youth. Governor 
Hubbard of Texas, was also a close relative of the Carter family. 

In 1879 at Pennington, W. T. Carter married Miss Maude HoUey, 
which he considers the finest Investment he ever made, and out of 
this happy union five children survive: Lena Lister, wife of J. J. 
Carroll of Houston; Jessie Gertrude, wife of Dr. Judson L. Taylor of 
the United States Navy; W. T. Carter, Jr., married to Miss Lillian 
Neuhaus; Agnese Jayne, Aubrey Leon, and Prankie, the two latter 

3it SCllOOl 

Earnest A. Carter, a brother, is a member of the firm of W. T. 



372 History of Houston, Texas 

has over 30,000 acres in rice, while the country tributary to 
Houston claims 190,000 of the 253,560 acres devoted to rice cul- 
ture. The rice crop is the third in point of importance of Texas 
crops. Of the- twenty rice mills in Texas, Houston has five and 
these five mills are of such size that they represent almost one- 
third of the milling capacity of the state. The Houston mills are 
the following : Pritchard Kice Mills, capacity 2,400 bags daily ; 
' Standard Milling Company, capacity 2,400 bags daily; Texas 
Rice Mills, capacity 1,200 bags daily; Industrial Rice Mill- 
ing Company, capacity 1,000 bags daily, and Southwestern Rice 
Mills, capacity 600 bags daily. 

These mills have a combined capacity of 7,600 bags daily, 
while the total capacity of all the mills in the state is only 
25,200 bags daily. 

Owing to its great transportation facilities, Houston became, 
at once, the natural concentrating and distributing point and has 
remained such ever since the establishment of the industry. 

The production in 1910 was about two and one-quarter mil- 
lion bags, which was valued at $5,789,320, but even this small 
crop had on its face many features of overproduction. As a mat- 
ter of fact there was no overproduction, for other elements than 
quantity entered in the problem, the chief being a lack of appre- 
ciation of the great food value of rice by the public, which caused, 
what some one has described, as underconsumption. The people 
have not yet learned to eat rice, and as the railroad rates have 

Carter & Brother, and has contributed much to the success of Mr. 
Carter. Other brothers are Lucian C, and Hon. Clarence L., the last 
named a prominent member of the Houston bar. A sister, Claudia 
G., lives with Mr. W. T. Carter at the beautiful Main Street home of 
the family in Houston. 

In 1910, Mr. W. T. Carter was King Nottoc XII at the No-Tsu-Oh 
Carnival. He is a stockholder and director in the Carter-Kelley 
Lumber Company of Manning, Angelina County, is vice-president of 
the Union National Bank of Houston and of the First National Bank 
of Livingston, is president of the Moscow, Camden and San Augustine 
railroad, which he built, and director of the H. E. & W. T. railroad. 
He is a member of the Thalian, B. P. O. E., Country, and Houston 
Clubs, and of the Chamber of Commerce. The family attends the 
First Baptist Church. 

Mr. Carter is a thoughtful student of economic subjects, has 
traveled much and possesses a broad culture, and is modest, kind 
and hospitable. 



Wholesale Trade 373 

been most unsatisfactory, the producers have had to look to the 
home market almost entirely. The home people, who eat rice, 
demand only fancy grades, and as there are only fifty pounds of 
fancy in every 162 pound bag of rice, it is readily seen that the 
producer is left with an undesirably large surplus of lower grade 
rice on his hands at the end of each season. These lower grades are 
of just as great food value as the higher grade, and the producers 
hope to convince the public of that fact. Efforts are now being 
made to adjust railroad rates, so as to admit of an extension of 
the market. When that is done and the public, in general realizes 
the great value of rice, the industry will take on new life and 
activity. It is said that there is enough land along the coast 
country to produce the world's supply of rice. The industry is 
still in its infancy, but before many years it will have become a 
giant. 

Whenever there are periods of financial depression over the 
country it is a noticeable fact that Houston is rarely affected 
to any great degree, and that real "hard times" are almost 
unknown here. 

The effect is felt in a general way, of course, but it is 
not deep seated nor lasting and outside the large financial 
concerns, where large sums of ready cash are constantly needed, 
a panic, in the least far-reaching, is unknown in Houston. 
This seems to be a rather broad and sweeping assertion and 
yet it is a true one, for Houston's business is based on the 
most substantial grounds which enables it to meet difieulties 
and overcome them when other places, less favored, would 
have to succumb. In the first place those engaged in commercial 
pursuits here are not dependent on the success or failure of 
any one line of trade, such as oil, lumber, cotton or anything 
else, but their interests are diversified and when one of these 
is depressed or even fails there are others to sustain the general 
situation. 

The cause for Houston's stability is found in the fact that 
there is the basis for a large retail trade here that can be found 
nowhere else in the Southwest. Vast sums are paid out weekly, 
biweekly and monthly, in the form of wages with the result that 



374: History of Houston, Texas 

there is always a great deal of money in circulation. Roughly 
speaking there is paid wage-earners in Houston, about $8,500,000 
annually. With such large sums of money kept constantly in 
circulation, it is not wonderful that Houston should show life 
and activity, even during periods when her less favored 
competitors are plunged into the depths of despondency. 

Houston 's retail trade is very large and is constantly increas- 
ing. The local situation, as just pointed out, is very inviting, but 
to that must be added the constantly increasing demand from 
nearby territory, opened up by the railroads and the extension 
of the electric roads. 

Houston has 1200 retail establishments which do a busi- 
ness of nearly forty-one and one-half million dollars annually. 
The following list shows some of the details of the trade, but is 
not complete, because of the difficulty of getting anything 
approaching accurate information about the smaller concerns. 
It shows the class of trade and the amounts invested: Wagons, 
carriages, etc., $900,000; groceries, teas, coffee, etc., $5,000,000; 
paints, oils, etc., $750,000; petroleum and its products, $2,125,- 
000 ; furniture and upholstering, $1,600,000 ; sash, doors, blinds, 
etc., $4,000,000; clothing and men's furnishings, $3,000,000; 
jewelry and optical goods, $1,100,000; drygoods and millinery, 
$3,000,000; books, stationery, etc., $700,000; drugs and chemi- 
cals, $750,000; hardware, crockery, tinware, etc., $3,600,000; 
engines, machinists and electrical supplies, $2,200,000 ; boots and 
shoes, $750,000 ; grain, feed and bakery supplies, $1,800,000 ; 
cigars and tobacco, $300,000 ; pianos and musical supplies, $400,- 
000 ; fuel and ice, $2,005,000 ; toys and novelties, $100,000 ; flor- 
ist's goods and seeds, $140,000; saddlery, harness and trunks, 
$420,000; automobiles and motor boats, $2,000,000; typewriters, 
adding machines, etc., $1,800,000 ; brick, tiling, etc., $1,000,000 ; 
unclassified, $2,000,000; total amount invested, $41,440,000. 

The building of the many suburbs has extended the retail 
trade and may account in some measure for its rapid increase.. 
The completion of the belt railroad is already beginning to show 
its effects in the same direction. The figures given in the fore- 
going are those for the fiscal year closing June 31, 1911. 



Wholesale Trade 37.5, 

The estimate of the Chamber of Commerce in November, 
1911, is that the annual aggregate of business is $55,000,000. 

In the roar and din that accompained the rush of oil out 
of the great well brought in by Lucas at Spindle Top in 1900, 
was sounded the first note of Houston's greatness as a manu- 
facturing and commercial center. That discovery meant much 
for Texas and it meant much for Houston also, because this city 
was just at that stage in its development where it was in 
position to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the 
creation of this great and new industry. 

There are so many points involved in the history of the 
development of the Texas oil fields, that it is impossible to discuss 
them here; suffice it to say that their possibilities were great; 
that Houston was in position to take advantage of the opportunity 
presented, and that to day, in consequence of its having done 
so, it is the recognized leader and center of all that involves 
the handling, financing and exporting of the product of the 
Texas oil fields; that it is rapidly assuming control of the 
Oklahoma and other outside fields and that before the close 
of 1912, all the output of those fields will probably be handled 
by Houston companies, either directly or indirectly. 

As the center of the oil industry, Houston has been 
prominent since the first oil well was discovered, and each 
fresh development since then has added to its importance. 
The Beaumont, Batson, Sour Lake and Humble fields are so 
near that it was natural that they should have at once, become 
tributary to Houston. They formed the nucleus, a great one 
too, for a business which has steadily increased and yet gives 
promise of greater things in the future, since now all oil 
industries logically tend to concentrate here. 

But a better idea of Houston's importance can be formed 
from the statement that there are five large oil refineries here, 
thirteen oil dealers and thirty-nine producers and exporters, 
twenty-three of the latter being large corporations. Among 
the producers and exporters is the Texas Company the largest 
independent oil company in the United States, havihg a capital 
of $36,000,000. 



.376 History of Houston, Texas 

Pipe-lines from all the oil fields, including those of 
Oklahoma, converge at Houston. The production of oil within 
the territory neg,r Houston is 13,000,000 barrels annually, an 
output increased greatly by that of outside fields, all tributary 
to or controlled by Houston. 

The various oil companies have now under construction 
several hundred miles of additional pipe-Hues covering north 
and east Texas, which are estimated to cost something like 
$7,000,000. 



CHAPTER XXI 

Music and Art 



Houston's Early Development as Musical Center Due to Cultured 
German Citizens. High Capacity Demanded by Thursday 
Morning Club. City's Record on Symphony Concerts. The 
Treble Clef Club. The Womans Choral Club. The Hous- 
ton Quartette Society. Federation of English Singing Soci- 
eties of Texas. The Houston Saengerbund. The Houston 
Music Festival Association. Symphony Orchestras and 
Grand Operas. The Japanese Maid. Bands and Orchestras. 
Co-operative Work. Musical Critics. The Future in Music. 
But Few Local Artists. Hugo Schoppman. "Work of Thuse- 
tan Donnellen and Edgar Mitchell. Boris Gordon's Famous 
Portrait. The Art League. 



Houston has always enjoyed fame as a musical center, due 
in large measure to the fact that among the early settlers were 
so many intelligent, music-loving Germans. As early as 1847 
there was an organized German quartette society here, and it is 
safe to say that at no time since then has Houston been without 
a musical society, composed entirely or in part of Germans or of 
native born German citizens. The early German settlers in 
Houston were, as a rule, men of refinement, education and 
culture who brought from the old country that great love for 
music, and for music of high class, for which they are justly 
famed. ' Thus the early Houstonians were brought in contact 
with aild influenced by high-class musicians and music-lovers, 
and that they availed themselves of this blessing is attested by 
the record they have made and sustained. 

The Houston Saengerbund is the oldest German musical 
association and also the oldest musical association of any kind in 
the city. It was organized in 1884, and has been in active exist- 
ence ever since. This organization was largely interested and 



378 History of Houston, Texas 

instrumental in organizing the State Saengerfest and has con- 
tributed in many ways toward creatiiig interest in musical mat- 
ters. It has a very large membership numbering 340 and holds 
weekly meetings. During the winter months it gives numerous 
instrumental and vocal concerts, complimentary to its members 
and friends. It is one of the most influential bodies in musical 
circles and has done much for the advancement of the highest 
order of music in Houston. The present ofiScers are : Albrecht 
Hellbergi, president; "W". J. Kohlhauff, vice-president; Anton 
Brunner, treasurer, and V. Juenger, secretary. C. C. Leib is 
the capable director. 

The German-American citizens have sustained the high 
standard which their fathers set, but they no longer have a 
monopoly in that delightful field; for the native Americans have 
become dangerous competitors and rivals. 

Though the early musicians of Houston had in view no other 
object than to bring music-loving people together for mutual 
pleasure and enjoyment, and had no intention or desire to pose as 
teachers or to do aught that might increase or develop, except inci- 
dentally, musical talent as it existed, their successors went a bit 
further and while they did everything to educate and improve the 
public taste by giving the best music only, they also organized a 
society which created a higher and broader appreciation of music 
among the musicians themselves. This association was called the 
Thursday Morning Musical Club. 

This club was organized by the leading professionals and 
best amateurs, on May 25, 1908. The objects were the study 
and practice of music and the promotion of a higher standard of 
musical taste and culture in Houston. Mrs. Robert L. Cox was' 
■ elected president ; Miss Blanche 'Donnell, vice-president ; Mr. 
Fred Dexter, secretary and treasurer; Miss Mary Elizabeth 
Rouse, chairman of the program committee; Mrs. E. B. Parker, 
chairman of the board of examiners. 

The course of study selected for the first season will give 
a fair idea of the high aims of this club and will at the same 
time indicate in a measure its radical departure from the methods 
of most musical clubs. It included the study of Early and 



Music and Art 379 

Modern Italian Composers, Early and Modern French Composers, 
Celebration of the Birth of Beethoven, December 17, Classic 
German Period, Slavonic Composers, Grieg, MacDowall, and 
Famous Women Composers. 

A membership in this organization was evidence of high 
ability as a musician, since each candidate was required to pass 
an examination, which consists in rendering the following : 

Pianists, Beethoven Sonata (two movements) ; four higher 
compositions of Chopin and Schumann; four modern classics; 
Vocalists, two arias from opera (singing in original language) ; 
two oratorio; four songs, selected from following composers: 
Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Grieg, Strauss, Gounod, Chamin- 
ade ; four songs by American composers (MacDowell, Chadwick, 
Mrs. Beach, Buck, Foote, Hawley) ; Violinists, Sonata (two 
movements) ; four classical compositions ; four modern classics ; 
Organ, Fugue (Bach preferred) ; four selections from Guilmant, 
Lemare, Widor, etc. 

The following were the charter members of the Thursday 
Morning Musical Club: Pianists, Miss Mary Elizabeth Rouse, 
Miss Mary Pauline Bellinger, Miss Blanche O'Donnell, Mrs. 
Herbert Roberts, Mrs. E. B. Parker, Mrs. Katherine A. Lively, 
Mrs. I. S. Meyer, Mr. Horace Clark, Mrs. Edgar Gerhard t; 
Violinists, Miss Stella Root, Mrs. C. E. Oliver, Miss Grace Linden- 
berg; Vocalists, Mrs. B. H. Wenzel, Mrs. Baltis Allen, Mrs. 
Henry Balfour, Mrs. Edna McDonald, Mrs. Turner Williamson, 
Mrs. Robert L. Cox, Mr. Henry Balfour, Mr. Fred Dexter; 
Organists, Mrs. George Heinzelman, Mr. Horton Corbett. 

Mrs. Robert L. Cox who was one of the originators of this 
club, laid a foundation for a great musical institution and had 
the organization been continued it would doubtless have devel- 
oped into a conservatory such as will one day be established here 
on similar lines. After some time the organization became 
dormant, but may yet be revived. 

The culture value of music is recognized even by those whose 
souls are not moved, by "a concord of sweet sounds." Houston 
easily ranks as the musical center of Texas, for no sister city 
can show an equal number of flourishing musical organizations 



380 History of Houston, Texas 

or a record of an equal number of fine concerts, presenting cele- 
brated artists. 

Sixteen Symphony concerts were given in Houston in the 
month of April, 1911. This record has not been equaled in the 
United States. 

The absence of factions, the generous spirit and the cordial 
cooperation of the city's professional musicians have contributed 
largely to the phenomenal musical growth. The daily papers 
have given all possible encouragement to musical endeavor. The 
Sunday issues devoting an entire page to music here and else- 
where. 

Mrs. Wille Huteheson, a musical critic of discrimination, 
has made the upbuilding of music in Houston her life work. To 
her, belongs unstinted praise for her loyalty to local musicians, 
who have found her ever ready to commend worthy effort and 
"to faults a little blind." 

Houston is the possessor of many fine instructors in the var- 
ious branches of music. The foundation for a solid substantial 
musical education may be laid here. The students of music, 
guided by their wisdom have come to know and understand the 
serious study of music, as an art, and not a shallow accomplish- 
ment. The churches pay marked attention to the music whereby 
their services are enriched and rendered more inspiring. "Musi- 
cales" have been a favorite method of entertaining during the 
social seasons. 

Of the many 'fine music clubs and organizations to promote 
music, the Treble Clef Club, as the oldest local American Society 
surviving, points to sixteen years of honest effort, with 
many discouragements in its pioneer work, and to its 
growth up to the present time, when the sweet and 
luscious fruit of success is enjoyed. The following is a sketch of 
this organization, which is interesting and illuminating as to the 
musical conditions that have prevailed at various stages of Hous- 
tons musical development: 

On April 18, 1896, a number of Houston ladies met to 
discuss the formation of a singing society, to be composed of 
women's voices, resulting in organization, with the following 



Music and Art 381 

officers, who promoted the growth of the same: Mrs. 
J. 0. Carr, president ; Mrs. Giraud, treasurer ; Miss Campbell, 
secretary; Mr. "W. S. Mason, musical director. 

The organization was first known as the Ladies' Singing 
Club, which it was found expedient to change to Treble Clef 
Club, as complications arose through another club having a simi- 
lar name. 

Under the inspiring, direction of Mr. W. S. Mason, the club 
prospered and concerts of a high artistic standard were given, 
notwithstanding the difScult environment incident to pioneer 
musical work. 

Mr. Mason's removal from Houston in 1898 called Mr. R. B. 
Savage to the post of director. After two successful seasons, 
when the Treble Clef concerts had become the musical events of 
the city, upon Mr. Savage's departure, Mr. Fred Dexter became 
director for one season. At the close of his term the club was 
without a leader for several seasons, suspending active work. 

Mrs. "W. C. Munger became president in 1898, which office 
she still fills. Through her indomitable will and energy, the club 
resumed work the season of 1904, with Mrs. Vina Avery-Beek- 
with as director, rapidly attaining its former prestige as a 
choral body. After two seasons of excellent work, Mrs. Beckwith 
left Houston, succeeded by Mr. Horton Corbett, who resigned 
the post in January, 1908. Mrs. Robert L. Cox was immediately 
elected to the vacant office, carrying the club through the inter- 
rupted season to a brilliant close at the final concert in April. 

In Mrs. Cox the Treble Clef Club has a musical director, 
whose musicianship and business sagacity seem equally matched. 

The singing of the club members, whose number has grown 
under her leadership from 23 voices to 75, is a popular feature 
of their concerts. Financially they have attained the enviable 
position of ending their season with a handsome balance in the 
treasury. The following artists have appeared as soloists with 
the Treble Clef Club since Mrs. Cox assumed the directorship: 
Madame Schumann-Heink, Mme. Jeanne Jomelli, Mme. Mariska 
Aldrich, Mme. Hissem de Moss, Alexander Petschnikoff, Mme. 
Charlotte Maconda, Miss Alice Sovereign, Miss Myrtle Elvyn, 



382 History of Houston, Texas 

Mr. Frank La Forge, Mme. Bernice de Pasquali, Mr. Rudolph 
Ganz, Mr. Oscar Seagle, Mr. Francis MacMillen. 

The associate membership numbered six hundred and sev- 
enty-two in the season of 1910-11. The closing concert called out 
an audience of over four thousand people. To the glory of 
the Treble Clef Club let it be said, no pledge has been unredeemed, 
no contract broken, during the sixteen years since its organi- 
zation. 

The following are the officers chosen for the season of 
1911-12: 

Mrs. Robert L. Cox, musical director; Mrs. N. C. Munger, 
honorary president; Mrs. George "W. Heinzelman, president; 
Mrs. C. H. Dorman, first vice-president; Mrs. W. D. Hume, 
second vice-president ; Mrs. Charles D. Crawford, secretary ; Miss 
Gertrude RoUe, treasurer; Mrs. T. C. Rowe, librarian; Mr. Sam 
T. Swinford, club accompanist. 

The Womans ' Choral Club was organized in November, 1901. 
Mrs. Wille Hutcheson, who is intimately connected with all 
that is inusical in Houston, was its first president, but after 
organizing and getting the club well on its feet, she was forced 
to resign because of the demands made on her as a newspaper 
worker. Miss Mary Carson Kidd was the first musical director, 
but went abroad for study and was succeeded by Mrs. B. B. 
Parker. 

The club has brought many artists here and has given three 
concerts each year, the mid-winter concert being the grand 
affair and the only one, for admission to which tickets are sold, 
the other two being complimentary to the associate members. 

The club has an active membership of fifty. Its present 
officers are: Mrs. Turner "Williamson, president; Mrs. "W. M. 
Abbey, vice-president; Mrs. Horace Booth, secretary, and Mr. 
Hu T. Huffmaster, director. 

The Houston Quartette Society is the oldest surviving Eng- 
lish singing society of men in Houston, having been organized by 
the late D. D. Bryan, Joseph Tajdor and James Giraud, in 
August, 1900. It was the intention of these gentlemen to build 
up a permanent organization from the renmants of the Houston 



Music and Art 383 

Glee Club, the Houston Quartette Club and the half dozen or 
more musical associations and organizations that had been formed 
from time to time and then had been allowed to die. 

Mr. Fred Dexter was chosen as musical director. He entered 
on the discharge of his onerous duties with energy and zeal and 
it is largely to his splendid efforts that the great success of the 
society is due. 

It was decided at the first meeting that the organization 
should use its utmost influence and endeavor to bring the best 
musical talent to the city, and to that end an associate member- 
ship was formed. Many artists of reputation have appeared 
under the auspices of the society. 

To the Society belongs the honor of having created the Fed- 
eration of English Singing Societies of Texas. This federation 
was formed in the fall of 1903, by Mr. D. D. Bryan, the president, 
and Mr. Fred F. Dexter, the musical director of the Quartette 
Society. In order to gather the presidents and musical directors 
of the various singing societies of the state, they werennvited to 
attend as guests of the Houston society, a concert of the Houston 
Quartette Society, at which Mme. Schumann-Heinck was the 
attraction, and to attend a meeting at the Rice Hotel the next 
morning to discuss the question of federation. There was a large 
attendance of English singing societies and the state federation 
was formed. The two first state festivals were held in Houston, 
those of 1904 and 1905, the attractions being a grand chorus of 
400 voices from over the state, and the Damrosch and Pittsburgh 
orchestras. 

The Quartette Society has done a work of untold value for 
moral and social life in Houston, and it is principally through its 
accomplishments that Houston now occupies such a prominent 
position in the musical world. It has about fifty singers, includ- 
ing the best male voices in Houston. 

The first president was Dudley Bryan, and the first musical 
director was R. B. Savage. Mr. Bryan was the president con- 
tinuously for several years until his death, when Mr. \V. H. 
Hurley was elected, and he was succeeded by Mr. B. A. Ran- 
dolph, who, in turn, was followed by Mr. Ward D. Hume, De 



384 History of Houston, Texas 

E. Clinton Murray, Mr. Hohn Charles Harris, Mr. Nelson C- 
Hunger, and Mr. George W. Hurd, who is the present incumbent. 
Mr. Fred T. Dexter succeeded Mr. R. B. Savage as Musical 
director and held that position for several years. Mr. Hu. T. 
Huffmaster took up the musical directorship three years ago 
and is the present conductor. 

The Quartette Society was the first local club to establish 
an associate membership for the purpose of bringing outside 
artists to Houston, giving a fixed number of concerts during the 
season. 

The following world-renowned artists have appeared with 
the Houston Quartette Society: Nordica, Gadski, Schumann- 
Heinck, Ellen Beach Yaw, Companari, Suzanne Adams, Eugene 
Cowles, Leonora Jackson, Beresford, David Bispham, Charles 
Clark and Evan Williams. Many other noted artists have 
also appeared under the club auspices. 

The active members are as follows: First Tenors — Joe 
Brukmuller, E. J. Daly, Lee Dawson, J. C. Dionne, Geo. E. 
Doscher, James Girand, A. H. Hensch, C. C. Henry, Adair Lock- 
man, D. E. Simmons; Second Tenors — James H. Adair, Jr., 
A. Alban, H. A. Arnold, Jr., R. T. Giraud. A. W. Hart, H. A. 
Story, Dr. C. W. Hoefiieh, N. C. Munger, Jr., L. E. Norton, E. 
E. Reed, N. R. Rushmore, Fred L. Toombs, H. J. L. Toombs; 
First Bassos — L. A. Blanchard, F. S. K. Clemens, R. G. 
Dawson, John W. Graham, D. R. Hodges, W. H. Hogue, George 
W. Hurd, John McCleary, C. R. Munger, George B. Meyer, 
Charles "W. Soby, Ira J. Weigle; Second Bassos — C. "W. 
Bocoek, H. F. Bohmfolk, A. P. Burr, C. H. Dorman, C. E. Gir- 
ton, C. Grunewald, J. Kennedy, N. C. Munger, Sr., S. R. Pickens, 
George M. Woodward, Edwin S. Woodhead, G. B. Hopper, T. 
Howen and Hohn Bridge. 

The officers and directors of the Houston Quartette Society 
for the season of 1911-12 are as follows: C. W. Hurd, president; 
Jno. W. Graham, vice-president; H. F. Bohmfalk, treasurer; 
S. R. Pickens, financial secretary; F. L. Toombs, corresponding 
secretary ; F. S. K. Clemens, librarian ; Nelson C. Munger, Ward 
D. Hume, and H. F. MacGregor. 



Music and Art 385 

The Houston Quartette Society and the "Womans' Choral 
Club amalgamated in 1911. 

The formation of the Houston Music Festival Association 
was due to a conference between a few music loving citizens and 
Mr. Beach, manager of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the 
parlors of the Rice Hotel early in March, 1907. Nothing was 
done at that meeting, but a few days after, another meeting 
was held and a permanent organization was effected. The 
officers chosen were: A. S. Cleveland, president; Dr. Henry 
Bamstein, first vice-president; W. D. Hume, second vice-presi- 
dent; and S. A. Kincaid, secretary and treasurer. At that meet- 
ing the Chicago Orchestra was engaged to come to Houston, 
April 27, and 28. 

Mr. Douglass Powell agreed to act as musical director and 
undertook to train a chorus of several hundred voices for the 
occasion, though the time was very short for such an undertaking. 
Miss Bessie Hughes promised a chorus of live hundred children's 
voices. Mrs. R. L. Cox personally interviewed representatives 
of the different singing clubs and, of course, aroused their 
interest. Mrs. Wille Hutcheson and Miss Arlette Cranford did 
much to interest the public. 

The orchestra was the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Adolph 
Rosenbecker, conductor. This orchestra returned for the 1909 
festival, when Mr. Jules Albert Jahn conducted the chorus. In 
1910 there wfere orchestral concerts only, furnished by the 
Damrosch Orchestra. In May, 1911, the Damrosch Orchestra 
returned, and there was a massed chorus conducted by Hu T. 
Huffmaster. All of these festival choruses were conducted in a 
masterful way, and too much can not be said of the faithful, 
hard, effective work of the members of the choruses. 

The association now has a membership of five hundred. Its 
officers are: W. D. Hume, president; Dr. H. Barnstein, first 
vice-president; Dr. E. 0. Lovett, second vice-president; J. C. 
Bering, third vice-president ; .Guy MacLaughlen, secretary-treas- 
urer ; Wm. M. Rice, P. W. Horn, Abe M. Levy, John McClellan, 
J. C. Harris, David Daly and George Torrey, directors. The 



386 History of Houston, Texas 

able business methods of the secretary, Guy MacLaughlen have 
done much to give the association an assured place. 

In April, 1911, Dr. W. S. Jacobs brought the Russian Sym- 
phony Orchestra here for a series of ten concerts, affording the 
music lovers of Houston the greatest feast of music they have 
ever had in this city. A repetition is earnestly hoped for. 

Other organizations that have helped Houston musically 
during the past ten years are the Houston Symphony Club, E. 
Lindenberg, director, which helped to create a demand for 
orchestral music, and the Girls' Musical Club, which has its 
strongest life yet to come. 

On the night of November 1, 1901, the Metropolitan Grand 
Opera Company of New York gave a grand performance of 
"Lohengrin" at the old auditorium. This organization was 
brought here by D. D. Bryan, James A. Giraud and H. D. Lea. 
These gentlemen achieved a great success with a large under- 
taking. 

During the succeeding ten years there have been other 
wonderful operatic performances. The Metropolitan Opera Com- 
pany has produced "Pareifal," "La Boheme" and others; the 
Savage Opera Company has given "Madame Butterfly," Wagner 
and Verdi operas, and others. Musical attractions have appeared 
under the auspices of the Prince Theatre, and artists have been 
brought here by individuals. Mr. C. E. Oliver has brought 
Gabrilowitsch, Sembrich and Bonci. Miss Alice MacParland 
has brought Liza Lehmann and her company ; also John Barnes 
Wells, Alexander Russell, Paulo Gruppe, and she has managed 
other concerts. 

One of the most brilliant musical events in Houston was 
the opera, "The Japanese Maid," that was produced in Houston 
in October, 1911, by some fifty girls, the pupils of Mrs. Edna 
McDonald, under the supervision and stage management of Mrs. 
McDonald, who had constructed the opera out of fragmenta^ 
materials, planned the stage setting and pictures, and drilled the 
girls. Mrs. McDonald has rank as one of the most gifted musi- 
cians of Houston and was a pupil of Madame Gadski in Berlin 



Music and Art 387 

and was at one time under engagement with Henry W. Savage 
to sing a leading role in one of his operas. 

It would be a hopeless' task to attempt to recount all that 
individuals have done for Houston's musical culture as so many 
club presidents, officials, directors, and business men and women 
have borne so large a part. Houston has many capable teachers 
in every branch of music. Mrs. Robert h. Cox, Mrs. Edna 
McDonald and Mr. Anton Diehl conduct what are in fact conser- 
vatories. There are several first-class bands and 0]:chestras 
prominent among them being the Herb and Lewis band and the 
Thayers and Beckers Orchestras and the Majestic Orchestra. 

Many of the churches have fine pipe organs and paid musical 
directors of choirs. 

The Houston Choral Club and the Houston Quartette Soci- 
ety having amalgamated in 1911, make a strong composite organ- 
ization for the winter season of 1911-12. 

The theatrical managers often present musical attractions 
of note, usually light 'opera but occasionally grand opera such 
as Bessie Abbots engagement in 1911, when La Boheme and 
Madame Butterfly were sung. 

Among those who have accomplished great good by musical 
criticism are, Mrs. Wille Hutcheson, Miss Arlette Cranford, Mr. 
Sam T. Swinford, Jr., Mr. James Dow, and Miss Alice McFar- 
lane the last three named being themselves musicians of distinc- 
tion. There would be an imposing list of those who have once 
lived in Houston and have gone out from this city to attain dis- 
tinction in the world of music but these have not done so much 
for the musical development of the city, which is the real theme 
of this chapter as, have the men and women who have labored 
at home. 

Judged by the appreciation of symphony concerts, by the 
work of musical directors and massed choruses, by home soloists, 
concert artists, orchestras and bands, by church singers, by capa- 
ble teachers, and by the growing demand for the highest order 
of musical attractions there is every reason to predict a brilliant 
musical future for Houston. 

Houston has produced great physicians, great lawyers, great 



388 History of Houston, Texas 

financiers and great statesmen, but never great artists. There 
have been one or two rather good painters, but never one who 
attracted attention beyond the circle of his immediate friends 
and acquaintances. There might have been an exception to this 
and Houston might have possessed a great painter, had not fate 
determined otherwise. There was a young artist who came to 
Houston in 1856, who, had he lived, would have unquestionably 
impressed his genius on this community. This was Hugo Schop- 
mann, a young German, who had been graduated at one of the 
great art schools of Germany. He had artistic talent of the 
highest order, was a man of independent means and followed art 
for arts sake alone. He devoted himself to landscape painting, 
though, simply for the pleasure he took in doing so, he painted 
one or two portraits of his friends which were justly admired by 
all who saw them. He was highly educated and a man of great 
refinement and had he lived, his influence on this community 
would have certainly been great. Unfortunately he was among 
the first victims of the yellow fever epidemic of 1858. 

The only native Houstonian who ever achieved fame as an 
artist was Thusetan Donellan. His was a peculiar case. It seems 
unjust to him to exclude him from the roster of artists and at 
the same time unjust to art to include him. He was almost with- 
out education of any kind ; had never seen a picture greater than 
those produced by scene painters; knew nothing of paints and 
pigments ; in brief, he was as ignorant of art as an Indian. And 
yet he had moments of inspiration when he would produce won- ' 
derful pictures. He would paint picture after picture all so 
badly drawn, iUy proportioned and so badly done that to call 
them daubs would be flattery, and would then begin and finish 
a portrait or landscape that would be something of a masterpiece. 
In his moments of inspiration he would work like a fiend, taking 
time, neither for food, sleep nor rest until his task was accom- 
plished. He was a musical genius also and could play on all 
instruments, although he knew no more of the science of music 
than he did of art. He was justly famous for his violin playing, 
having a wonderful sweet touch. "When he was young, the citi- 
zens raised a purse and wanted to send him away to be educated, 



Music and Art 389 

but he had tqo much vanity to permit him to think that he' could 
be taught anything and he refused the offer. When he was about 
twenty-three years old he painted one of the finest portraits of 
Sam Houston that has ever been produced. It was really a work 
of art and was purchased by the state or one of the departments 
and is now in Austin. With only a small miniature to guide him, 
he painted a life-size portrait of the wife of a Houston banker, 
that was marvelously good and which would have reflected credit 
on any artist. And yet, with all this, the vast bulk of his work 
would have been unworthy of a second-class sign painter. He 
died several years ago. 

Another young artist of an entirely different type, was 
Edgar Mitchell, a young man who came to Houston from Vir- 
ginia in 1880. He was not a professional artist, but was a very 
talented amateur. He was about twenty -two- years old, but even 
at that age the grim reaper had marked him for its own and he 
died of lung trouble a year or two after his arrival here. Had 
he lived he would have accomplished something in the field of 
art for he had talent of high order, One or two of his produc- 
tions are still preserved by his friends. One of his best paintings 
is owned by the Houston Light Guard and adorns their armory- 
Houston is the domicile of a portrait painter of note whose 
work sometimes reaches up to the standard of genius and always 
proclaims him a clever and talented artist. He is a Russian by 
nativity, a pupil of Verestehagin and other world-famed painters, 
and has made Houston his headquarters since 1906. 
This artist is Boris Bernhardt Gordon. His most notable portrait 
is that of Dr. B. H. Carroll, Sr., president of the Southwestern 
Baptist Theological Seminary, but he has also painted greatly 
admired portraits of William M. Rice, the donor of the Rice 
Institute and of Mrs. Rice, both of which will hang in the admin- 
istration building of the William M. Rice Institute, of Governors 
Lanham, Campbell and several other chief executives of Texas 
and a famous portrait of Sam Houston. More than two score 
of the notable men and women of Texas have been painted by 
Mr. Gordon, whose work is both artistically praiseworthy in 
high degree and commercially successful. 



390 History of Houston, Texas 

The greatest and most promising work, having for its object 
the creation and development of artistic taste and talent, is that 
being done by the Art League. This is an association of ladies 
who have undertaken to instil into the minds of the children of 
Houston a love and discriminating taste for the artistic and 
beautiful. Those children who have talent are given facility and 
encouragement to develop it. At stated periods there are lectures 
on painting and sculpture ; great works of art are described and 
their beauty pointed out. When possible, good pictures and 
statuary are shown and described in detail so that the children 
may learn something of the rudiments of art. Drawing and 
painting, both in oil and water colors are taught in the school 
and encouragement is held out to the pupils by assuring them 
that their best productions will have place in the art exhibit, at 
which time the best- works of the school are shown to the public. 

The work being done by the Art League is destined to pro- 
duce happy results for even though it produce no great artist 
in the future, it will have instilled into the minds of the rising 
generation a love for the beautiful and artistic that cannot fail 
to have a beneficial effect on the community at large. 

Houston has two good engraving companies, the Texas 
Engraving Company and the Star Engraving Company, each 
of which turns out a high grade of commercial art in designing 
and engraving. Sam B. Kaiser has achieved success along 
similar lines and as a cartoonist and Bert Blessington, the Post's 
cartoonist and artist has made the public fully familiar with 
his work. H. C. Norfleet does good work on similar lines, and 
Will Allen, once of Houston, has attained success in New York 
as a pen and ink artist. 



CHAPTER XXII 

Houston's Public Buildings 



City's Early Court-Houses and Jails. The New County Court 
House. Present County and City Jails. A Peripatetic Post 
Office. The New Federal Building. The Viaduct. The City 
Market House. The New Auditorium. The City Pire 
Stations. 



A small log cabin for a court house, a couple of tables under 
an awning for a market, a back room in a small country store 
for a postofSee. These were the places where the first affairs of 
Houston and Harris County were looked after in the early days. 
The first grand jury met behind a screen of. bushes under a big 
tree. At the same time the Congress of the Eepublic of Texas 
was in session in a rough wooden structure on the site of the 
present Rice Hotel. 

It was in 1838, while Harris County was still called Harris- 
burg County, that the first court house was erected. 
This court house was located on the corner of Con- 
gress Avenue and San Jacinto Street and faced Congress 
Avenue. It was constructed of pine logs and was in two parts, 
under one roof, separated by a gallery. Each of the two rooms 
was about sixteen feet square, and the gallery was ten feet wide 
In the rear were two small rooms, about ten feet square, v/hich 
were used by the county and district clerks. 

The first jail as already narrated, was equally as primitive, 
being constructed of heavy logs, hewn and mortised and was 
practically a big box, having neither doors nor windows. There 
was a hole in the roof and a prisoner passed into the jail through 
the hole, down a ladder and then the ladder was withdrawn. 
There was no way to escape except by cutting through tlie thick 
log walls. The jail was located at the comer of Congress Avenue 



392 History of Houston, Texas 

and Pannin Street and was surrounded by a high board fomre. 
Near the jail was a curfew bell which warned all negroes ofr the 
streets at 9 p. m. This bell was also used to sound fire alarms. 

The first brick court house was built in 1850, and was located 
about the middle of the block. It was two stories high and had 
a cupalo. It had four entrances and was a small and cheap 
concern, costing only $15,000, but was considered a grand struc- 
ture in those days. 

The second brick court house was erected in 1859 and was 
built near and fronting Congress Avenue. This building was 
practically a three-story structure, having a large basement, used 
to store records and such documents. This house, becoming 
unsafe, was torn down and a larger one of similar design was 
built nearly on the same site in 1869. An item of interest con- 
nected with the, building that was torn down is the fact that 
much of the brick and other suitable material was purchased 
by Rev. Father Querat and used in the construction of the 
Church of the Annunciation on Texas Ayenue. 

A third brick court house was erected in 1882, and was 
placed farther back nearer the center of the block than its two 
predecessors. It was quite an imposing structure, superior in 
every way to the two that had preceded it. It stood longer, too, 
but was torn down in 1908 to give place to the present magnifi- 
cent building. 

An election was held April 22, 1907, and the county was 
authorized to issue $1,000,000 in bonds for the purpose of 
building a new court house and building county roads. The 
money was to be divided equally between the roads and court 
house. 

So soon as the necessary legal preliminaries could be taken, 
the contract for the new court house was let and work was begun. 
The contract was a large one, and a large sum of money was 
involved, but at no stage of the movement, from the moment that 
it was decided to erect the building until it was completed and 
thrown open to the public, was there a hint of "graft" or other 
dishonesty, connected with it. The building cost, in round 
figures, $450,000 unfurnished, and a glance over it will convince 



Houston's P/ublic Buildings 3,93 

anyone that the people got full value for every dollar they paid 
for it. It is no exaggeration to say that the Harris County 
court house is a superb building. It is built of Texas granite, 
St. Louis hydraulic pressed brick, marble, structural steel, bronze 
and terra cotta, and it is one of the handsomest buildings to be 
found anywhere. It is almost square, and is two hundred feet 
high from the base to the dome. It is of beautiful architecture. 
The large columns are of solid granite and have Corinthian 
capitals. There are four broad flights of granite stairs, one on 
each of the sides of the building, leading to the second story, 
where are located the various county ofSees. The basement 
is used as offices for the justices of peace and for other purposes. 
The higher courts are located on the third floor. Everything 
is admirably arranged for the comfort and convenience of the 
occupants. The interior finish is in every way in keeping with 
the beautiful exterior, and on the whole Harris County has 
reason to be proud of its court house. 

At the unoccupied corners of the block are neatly kept grass 
plots, and surrounding the whole block is a low granite wall. 
Rows of beautiful oak trees border all four sides of the block 
within the granite wall. Those at the four corners are much 
larger than the others. The reason for this is that. they were 
planted by Mr. J. R. Morris, over a quarter of a century ago. 
He planted them with his own hands, saying that he put them 
there to serve as his monument and cause people to think of him 
some time when they rested under their shade. The entrance 
which is most used is that on Fannin Street. 

The Harris County court house will meet all demands that 
are likely to be made on it for many years to come. 

The court house was formally dedicated on Texas Independ- 
ence Day, March 2, 1911. The ceremonies were very elaborate 
and impressive. Judge Wm. P. Hamblen, dean of the Harris 
County bar, was unable to be present on account of his illness, 
which terminated in his death three months later. In a letter 
to the committee on • arrangement, he said: 

"Allow me to say that it would please me to be able to con- 
gratulate our people personally upon the completion of such a 



394 History of Houston, Texas 

handsome structure as we have reared for the accommodation 
of our courts. At the time of the founding of Houston, 1836, I 
doubt if there was in the United States a building that would 
compare in architectural beauty and mechanical embellishments 
with our court house. So far as I am concerned, having lived in 
that day, I know of none ; and such a building now, in this day, 
for a community like Houston, is an embellishment of which all 
citizens should be proud. Moreover and especially have our 
people a right to congratulate themselves upon the uniform integ- 
rity of those who have occupied judicial positions in Harris 
County since the beginning of our history. There has not been 
in all this time one suspicion of wrong doing by any of the 
judicial officers of this county." 

When the city built its first market house it erected a two- 
story building on the Congress Avenue side of the building which 
was a combination city hall and city jail. This was used by the 
county for a number of years as a jail. Finally, in the late 
fifties, the county erected a jail of its own, using for that purpose 
a lot on the northeast corner of Preston Avenue and Caroline 
Street opposite where the present police station now stands. 
This old jail was a small affair. It was built of brick and was 
two stories high, though the stories were so low that the building 
had the appearance of being scarcely more than one story high. 
The small windows and doors were grated but in no other way 
was it a stronghold. For a time it did very well for the purpose 
for which it was designed, but crime in Houston soon outgrew it 
and it became something of an outrage on humanity and decency. 
It had only six cells, each 10 by 12 feet and a ceiling only 9^^ 
feet high. In 1876 the Telegram denounced this Calcutta black 
hole and stated that there were thirty-nine prisoners confined in 
those six little cells. At the same time the Telegram stated 
that the Harris County Commissioner's Court was trying to get 
permission from the legislature to build a jail, as it was necessary 
at that time, for counties to secure authority from the legislature, 
there being no general law authorizing counties to construct jails, 
or make similar improvements. • ■ 

The editorial in the Telegram evidently stirred the com- 



• Houston's Public Buildings 395 

missioners into action, for the construction of a new jail was 
begun early in 1879, and the building was completed and turned 
over to the county authorities in March, 1880. It was located 
just across the street from the old jail on the southeast corner 
of Preston Avenue and Caroline Street. The architect and super- 
-intendent of construction. Engine T. Heiner, stated in his final 
report that the construction had cost $33,993. It was two 
stories high and was more modern and up-to-date than any 
similar structure in the state at that time. The exterior was of 
Philadelphia pressed brick. The interior was divided into two 
sections, the jail proper, containing fourteen iron cells or cages, 
each 7 by 10 feet, and the annex portion containing, 
departments for women, invalid prisoners and juvenile offenders, 
jailor's room, sheriff's office, reception chamber and cloak 
room. These were all in the front part of the building occupy- 
ing all the ground floor, and also part of the second story. Each 
room was supplied with gas, water and up-to-that-date conven- 
iences. While the interior of the structure was ornamented with 
tile flooring and marble mantles, handsome chandeliers, etc., its 
security of structure with supplementary doors to its massive 
iron cages, was in striking contrast with the delicacy of its finish. 
The jail proper was all iron cage work, the floors between the first 
and second stories around the cages being of perforated iron. The 
cells could be locked or unlocked singly or simultaneously by a 
lever device. Besides, each cell door had an independent lock. 
Water could be thrown through the entire system of cells. 

On a frontal tablet was the following inscription ; C. Anson 
Jones, county judge ; 0. C. Mulligan and James Harrington, com- 
missioners and building committee ; Engine T. Heinei-, architect ; 
Campbell & Grainger,' builders. 

That jail, as large and modern as it was, soon became too 
small. Then, too, that part of the city where it was located had 
several residents who objected strenuously to having a jail, where 
executions took place occasionally, so near them. It may be stated 
here that the attic of the jail was so arranged that it could be used 
as a place of execution and that it was actually used for that 
purpose two or three times. Public opinion was aroused against 



396 History of Houston, Texas 

having the jail in that location and finally, in 1891, the commis- 
sioners court determined to purchase a new site and erect a new 
and yet more modern jail. The block of ground at the foot of 
Capitol Avenue was purchased and a large jail was con- 
structed on it. The building is nearly twenty years old. For 
some years the Criminal District Court held its sessions there, a" 
large court room being one of the features of the building. When 
the new court house was completed the Criminal Court was 
moved to it and since then the building has been used for jail 
purposes only. The cost of the ground and building was $150,- 
000. Efforts were begun in 1911 to secure a larger g,nd more 
adequate building. 

Soon after the completion of the present jail, the city pur- 
chased the old jail and converted it into police headquarters, and 
city lock-up. On the second floor is located the city court which 
holds two sessions each day. 

Prior to 1890, the Houston postoffice was something of a 
peripatetic affair being moved here and there to suit the con- 
venience of the postmaster. During the days of the Texas 
Republic, a man by the name of Snell was postmaster, and he 
located the postoffice on the west side of Main Street, between 
Preston and Congress Avenues, in a small frame building that 
was about the middle of the block. After Texas became a state, 
a new postmaster was appointed and he removed the ofBce down 
to what was called the Mansion House, on the northeast corner 
of Travis and Franklin, where the Southern Pacific Building is 
now located. The next postmaster moved the office to the corner 
of Main and Preston, where the Fox Building now stands. The 
next move was to the northeast corner of Fannin and Congress. 
The postoffice remained there for several years and was finally 
moved across the street to the northwest corner. From here it 
was moved to the rear of the Fox Building on Preston Avenue, 
near the little alley on that block. Its next move was to the 
Miller Building on the southeast comer of the same block. It 
remained there only a short time, being removed to the Taylor 
Building on the southwest corner of Preston and San Jacinto, 
where it remained until 1890, when it was removed into its own 



Houston's Public Buildings 397 

building on the southeast corner of Fannin and Franklin. In 
1888, Congress had appropriated $75,000 for the purpose of 
building a postoffice at Houston and later added $15,000. "With 
this a site was purchased and a building erected which was com- 
pleted and occupied in 1890. In a short time the building was 
found to be totally inadequate for the needs of the city and 
substations had to be established. Ten years later Postmaster 
Strong declared that he needed five times as much space as was 
at his command. He made strong representation of his pressing 
need for more facilities, with the result that a commission was 
sent here from Washington, and, in 1903, a block of ground 
between Rusk and Capitol Avenues and Caroline and San Jacinto 
Streets, was purchased for $120,000 for the purpose of erecting a 
postoffice and Federal Court building on it. There were several 
appropriations made and there were also many changes in plans 
until finally, in 1908, the appropriation was definitely fixed at 
$400,000. Advertisements calling for bids for the work were 
published in May, 1908. The building was to be erected on 
Federal Square and was to be three stories high, and 170 by 121 
feet in area, with quarters not only for the postoffice but for 
the Federal Court and all Federal officials as well. The building 
was not yet completed in September, 1911, and in the meantime 
the business of Houston had increased so wonderfully and rapidly 
that, it is said, when the building is completed, which will be 
by January, 1912, it will be necessary to retain the substations, 
there not being room enough in the new building to handle aU 
the mail. 

The new building, while not completed, is practically so, 
needing only the finishing touches. It fronts 167 feet on San 
Jacinto Street and has a depth of 120 feet. Its architecture is 
massive, being a compromise of the Doric with more modern 
forms. It is ornamented with marble balustrades and handsome 
entrances and at various points are ornaments in harmony with 
the general construction and design of the structure. 

The approaches to the building have been made part of the 
general design. There are walks and grass-plots in front and a 
broad driveway in the rear. AU of this has been worked out in 



398 History of Houston, Texas 

concrete, the entire block being covered Mdth the same material 
with the exception of the spaces left for grass plots. 

To show the wonderful increase in the postoffice business at 
Houston during the last ten years, the following statement is 
given : 



TEAK 


BECEIPTS 


INCEEASE 


PEE CENT 


1901 


$118,180.93 






1902 


143,730.92 


$25,549.99 


22 


1903 


168,514.78 


24,783.86 


17 


1904 


194,102.44 


25,587.66 


15 


1905 


210,456.34 


16,353.90 


08 


1906 


230,410.13 . 


19,953.79 


10 


1907 


279,513.11 


49,102.98 


21 


1908 


302,721.95 


23,208.84 


08 


1909 


340,090.54 


37,368.59 


12 


1910 


400,880.21 


60,789.67 


18 


1911 


454,316.44 


53,536.23 


13 



The building is exclusively for the use of Federal officials, 
the lower floor being devoted entirely to the use of the postoffice 
department. There is a main corridor on this floor running the 
entire length of the building, with an electric elevator at each end. 
This corridor is beautifully finished in oak and marble. The 
postmaster and his assistants have offices on this floor, where 
also are located the working departments of the postoffice. The 
judicial departments are located on the second floor. There are 
several court rooms, and offices, clerks' rooms and a law library. 
There are also the offices of the several court officials such as 
attorney and marshal, and the jury rooms. 

On the third floor are the railroad mail department, internal 
revenue, civil service, army and navy recruiting offices and the 
offices of the attaches of the agricultural department. 

Prom the beginning of construction the government has had 
a supervising architect here and every detail of work has been 
carefully inspected. 

Another great, public work that has just been started, is the 
viaduct, connecting the south side of the city with the Fifth ward. 
This is a magnificent piece of engineering work, and when com- 



Houston's Public Buildings 399 

pleted its benefits to the whole city, and the Fifth ward, particu- 
larly, will be very great. Work has commenced at the south 
end of the viaduct, at the junction of Main Street and Commerce 
Avenue. The structure will extend over Buffalo Bayou, and to 
the west of the mouth of White Oak Bayou and will cross that 
stream further on and extend far into the Fifth ward to a point 
on Montgomery Avenue. The length of the viaduct is to be 
1,500 feet and its width sixty feet. It is of steel and concrete 
and when completed it will be one of the finest structures of its 
kind in the Qountry. Its estimated cost is $600,000. It is the 
intention of the city to prosecute work rapidly so as to complete 
the viaduct as quickly as possible, for the need for it is very 
great. When completed all that part of the city lying north of 
White Oak Bayou will be brought into rapid and easy commu- 
nication with the south side. 

The story of Houston's market houses has been told else- 
where in these pages. There have been three or four, the two 
last, preceding the present one, having been destroyed by fire. 
The present market house is a combination of market house ajid 
city hall. It is on the same location as its immediate predeces- 
sors but is, in every way, superior to them. The building is an 
imposing structure and with its two lofty towers has become a 
familiar landmark of Houston. 

The ground floor is given over entirely to market purposes, 
while the offices of the heads of the various city departments, and 
the city council chamber are located on the second floor. In the 
center, facing Travis Street, is the entrance of concrete, below 
and between the two towers. The second story walls are faced 
in hydraulic brick with concrete trimmings. The largt; roof is 
of slate. In the higher of the two towers is a clock with a dial 
eight feet in diameter. The bell that strikes the hours and lialt" 
hours, was cast for the city in 1876, has passed through two fires 
and consequently has sounded its own downfall on two occasions, 
and is still as serviceable as when it was placed in the first tower. 
The interior of the building is finished in natural pine. In the 
central portion of each tower, stairways rise to halls that leafl 
to a broad hall running parallel with Travis Street and on either 



400 History of Houston, Texas 

side of the main and entrance halls are offices, while at the Pres- 
ton Avenue end of the building is the large council chamber, 
whose walls are decorated with pictures of as many of the mayors 
of Houston as it was possible to get. 

The building is heated with steam and has electric lights, 
it is not only a beautiful building but it is a very useful and 
convenient one. Messrs. Geo. E. Dickey & Co., were the 
architects and Thomas Lucas was the contractor who built it. 

Houston is proud of her public buildings and has a right to 
be, for there are none finer in any Southern city and few super- 
ior anywhere. 

The present city administration has accomplished much good 
in many ways, but it is doubtful if it could have done more to 
advertise Houston and bring its name before the country, than 
by erecting the auditorium. This is an advertising age and 
cities as well as firms and individuals must do all in their power 
to keep in the lime-light or be content to occupy a place behind 
their more progressive competitors. The Houston auditorium 
stands as the highest type of best advertising, and more than this 
it is really a fine business investment on the part of the city, for 
it is evident that one or two great conventions attracted here 
by it, will leave in the city almost as much money as the enter- 
prise cost. This money is left with the people who are the real 
owners of the auditorium, for it was built with the city's money. 

After 1900 the growth of Houston was so rapid and the city 
was so often called on to entertain large conventions that it 
became evident that provision must be made for the proper care 
of these. Houston's position as the great railroad center of the 
state made it the natural convention center, and the demands on 
its hospitality were growing. Recognizing that action must be 
taken to meet this demand, the citizens determined to enlist the 
city administration in a movement having in view the erection of 
a large auditorium, ample enoiigh to accommodate the largest 
body that might choose to come here. The great importance 
of the building was recognized by the commissioners, but they 
were determined that it should be constructed out of current 
funds of the city ; that no bonds or anything of that sort should 



Houston's Puhlic Buildings 401 

be issued and that when completed the building should be abso- 
lutely free from debt. The attitude of the commission met with 
public favor and indorsement, and on March 1, 1910, work was 
commenced on the building and it was nearly completed when it 
was dedicated to public righteousness by Eev. Dr. R. C. Buckner, 
November 19, 1910, at the formal opening of the Baptist General 
Convention' of Texas, the first convention to hold its session in 
the new building. 

Mayor Rice was present and explained that the formal ded- 
ication would not take place until the building' was absolutely 
completed. The building is one of the largest and finest auditori- 
ums in the Southwest. It cost the city $235,000, and was a cash 
transaction, not a dollar being owed on it when it was completed 
and turned over to the city. 

The building was planned after a committee of citizens had 
visited many leading cities and inspected auditoriums and large 
public halls. All the good features of these were noted, and it 
was upon the recommendations of this committee that the archi- 
tects drew their plans. The result was the present superb build- 
ing which is more perfect and better fitted for its purposes than 
any similar building in the country. It is located between Milam 
and Louisiana Streets and Texas and Capitol Avenues, covering 
the greater part of the block. It is constructed of pressed brick 
with Bedford stone trimmings. There are entrances on Texas, 
Louisiana and Capitol Avenues, with a driveway extending under- 
neath the building from Capitol to Texas Avenues. The building 
fronts 250 feet on Louisiana Street and 150 feet on Texas and 
Capitol Avenues. In addition to the main entrance there are a 
number of small entrances, by means of which the building may 
be emptied in a few moments. In case of a fire, the audience, even 
if it were large enough to fill the hall, could get out of the build- 
ing before the fire department could respond to the alarm. There 
is little danger of fire, however, for the building i$ as nearly fire- 
proof as it is possible to make it. 

The main auditorium room will seat, comfortably, 7,000. 
persons, and the stage is one of the largest in the country. In 



402 History of Houston, Texas 

addition to the main hall, there are several smaller assembly 
rooms where small conventions and committees can meet. 

The Central Fire Station at the corner of San Jacinto and 
Texas Avenue is said to be one of the most useful buildings of 
its kind in the South. It cost only $30,000 but it is almost per- 
fect in detail and admirably suited for the purposes for which 
it was designed. It is two stories high and, on the lower story, 
has a floor space of 10,000 square feet. It extends 100 feet on 
each of the streets named. Since the building was erected for 
practical use rather than for ornament, there is no particular 
architectural adornment, yet it is a handsome building, con- 
structed of steel gray brick. There are three broad entrances on 
each of the streets for the entrance and exit of the fire-fighting 
machines, while at the rear there is a wagon entrance, so that 
any machine returning to the building may enter that way and 
be drawn forward to its usual position. The upper story is 
given over to offices, a dormitory, a gymnasium and bath rooms. 
The whole building is steam heated and lighted with electricity. 
The chief of the fire department and his assistant have offices on 
the first and second fioors. The outlying fire stations are of 
modern and scientific construction. 




^-y bj^S & MM^^s S Br^ Ny 




CHAPTER XXIII 

Architecture and Building 



Tents and Log Huts Were First Buildings. Primitive American 
Architpcture. The First Brick Houses. The First Three- 
Story House. The First Four-Story Hotel. The Latin 
Influence. The First Six-Story Office Building. Effect of 
Introducing the New Building Materials. Restrictions 
Placed by Climate on Architecture. First Eleven-Story 
Building. South Texas National Bank Building. The 
Carter Building. First National Bank Building. The Union 
National Bank Building. The Chronicle Building. South- 
western Telephone Building. New Union Station. Southern 
Pacific Office Building. The Court House and the Federal 
Building. Apartment Houses. The Bender Hotel. The 
New Rice Hotel. Architecture of the Churches. Y. M. C. 
A. Building. Suburban and Country Homes. The Wm. 
M. Rice Institute. Houston Residences. Building Permits. 



The early architecture of Houston was primitive in the 
extreme, consisting as it did of a few tents, scarcely, if any 
better than those of the Indians who made their homes in the 
surrounding country. Then as the early Houstonians became 
more fixed in their location they became more ambitious and a 
few log cabins were erected, the first building of that kind whose 
record has been preserved, being the old log jail. This was 
merely a box made of hewn logs, and had neither doors nor 
windows, access to it being possible only through a hole in its 
top. There were other buildings before that, however, and there 
were at least two board constructed, single-story buildings in 
1837. One was the Indian trading post near the Preston Avenue 
bridge, mention of which has been made elsewhere, and the other 
was a one-story, one-room frame house, on the southeast corner 
of Smith and Preston, which was purchased by Col. Nathan 



404 History of Houston, Texas 

Fuller, and formed the nucleus for the residence he built there. 

It is a remarka,ble fact that the first hotel in Houston, des- 
tined to shelter presidents, ministers, senators and congressmen, 
as well as scores of statesmen and great soldiers, should have been 
a log cabin, while the first storehouse should have been a pre- 
tentious frame building, both erected in 1837. In those early 
days "jack-leg" carpenters were in greater demand than skilled 
architects. Renaissance, Gothic Styles, Pompeian effects, Flem- 
ish halls and such things were, if not unknown, uncared for. All 
that was wanted was a house, so the architecture of that day 
may be described as Primitive American. The tall steel-framed 
building has come to be known as the distinctive American 
style of architecture, but it is much truer that the distinctively 
American style was the log cabin and the box-shaped frame house. 

For several years after 1837 there were no other building 
materials used than hewn logs and poorly dressed planks and 
boards. Until 1845 there was not a brick house in the city. That 
year Mr. Geo. Ennis and General Nichols built two small brick 
houses, one on Main between Franklin and Commerce, and the 
other also on Main near the corner of Congress Avenue. In 1852, 
Mr. Paul Bremond erected a two-story brick building on Main 
Street, and the next year Mr. B. A. Shepherd' erected a two- 
story brick building on the northeast corner of Main and Con- 
gress. These two buildings proved to be a little in advance of 
the city's requirements, however, for the secon(J story of each 
was vacant for some time. These early, two-story structures 
established the commercial style of architecture, and for four 
or five years there were no more ambitious buildings than they. 

Following a great fire in the winter of 1858-59, Mr. Wm. 
Van Alstyne erected the first three-story brick building in Hous- 
ton, on the southeast corner of Main and Congress. At the same 
time Mr. J. R. Morris erected the first four-story, iron-front 
building about in the middle of the block on the east side of 
Main. There were several other large buildings erected about 
the same time, the principal one being a two-story brick erected 
by Mr. J. T. D. Wilson, on the northwest corner of Main and 
Congress. In 1859, Mr. Hutchins began the construction of 



Architecture and Building 405 

the Hutchins House, the large four-story brick hotel that stood 
on the site of Houston's first hotel. 

At this period of Houston's growth, the Latin influence, 
transmitted from Spain and Southern France throughout Mexico 
and the French colonies of the Mississippi Valley, began to 
impress itself on commercial as well as domestic architecture in 
Houston. There are still examples of this to be found here. The 
old stores around Market Square have in many instances tiie 
double gallery with cast-iron columns and balconies; the high 
decorated window openings of the old French quat-ters and there 
are a few notable examples of the low, heavy arches and undeco- 
rated walls of the Spanish type. These, with one or two ornately 
carved doorways, form some of the most interesting links in 
Houston's architectural development. 

The first approach to the modern office building was in 
1894 when the six-story Binz Building was erected on Main and 
Texas Avenue. It is a connecting link between the old Houston 
of the Republic of Texas and the modern great commercial and 
industrial Houston of today. On January 15, 1886, one of the 
landmarks of Houston was torn down and carted away, in ten 
hours. This building stood near the corner of Main Street and 
Texas Avenue, opposite the Rice Hotel, and was erected at the 
same time that the Capitol was built and served as an adjunct 
to that building, containing the offices of the Land Commissioner 
and of some other of the state officials. It was, perhaps, the 
third building erected in Houston, and was demolished by Mr. 
Jacob Binz, the owner, to make place for the Binz Building, 
which marked the first approach to fireproof construction by 
the introduction of concrete, stone and steel as building materials 
in Houston, Since then, wonders have been accomplished in the 
construction of architecturally beautiful and commercially useful 
buildings. 

But a greater and more far-reaching change was wrought 
by the introduction of these new building materials. The 
methods of the builders and contractors were revolutionized. 
Before then, elements of chance and luck entered into every con- 
tract. Estimates of probable costs were based on so much material 



406 History of Houston, Texas 

at a roughly estimated, average cost, with an added profit for the 
contractor. With the introduction of stone, concrete and steel, 
all that was changed and modern scientific methods of man- 
agement became supreme. Building materials became staple 
articles, obtainable when, and in as large quantities, as wanted. 
Business stability was assured and the contractors were enabled 
to employ scientific methods in their undertakings. Fluctuations 
in the value of lumber, brick, cement and even of labor became 
less marked and the intelligent contractor was enabled to figure 
his costs on a- structure involving millions of dollars, with far 
more accuracy than could the old contractor have done on one 
involving only a few thousands. The scientific builder became 
the successful builder who left sparcely anything to chance. The 
old "rule of thumb-' methods were superseded by scientific 
planning and the careful working out of details on paper so that 
the costs could be properly and accurately estimated and the 
mjiltitude of materials accurately manufactured, some at great 
distance from the site, and yet all assembled with a degree of 
accuracy that is the real secret of good and rapid construction. 

The changes brought about in architecture were less far- 
reaching than were those in building, for aside from the greater 
opportunities for decoration and ornamentation afforded by the 
new material, there were other things, such as climate, which had 
great restrictive influence. A building however beautiful and 
architecturally perfect, suitable for New York or any of the other 
Northern cities, would be entirely out of place and unsuitable for 
Houston. The choice of designs has therefore been somewhat 
limited and excepting one or two of the public buildings, one or 
two apartment houses and four or five churches, small effort 
has been made to secure outside architectural beauty except 
along well known and oft-repeated lines. 

The tall buildings belong to a class all their own, a type 
common to the whole country, but they are peculiarly adapted 
to a hot climate because they lift their occupants above the heat 
and dust of the streets, and Houston has been quick to avail her- 
self of the advantages they offer. She now has twenty-five, 
ranging from six to sixteen stories in height. 



Architecture and Building 407 

The Scanlan Building, the first eleven-story building in 
Houston was erected on the site of another historical spot. It 
occupies the site of the President's Mansion when Texas was a 
Republic, and the Rice Hotel is now being demolished to make 
room, on the site of the Capitol of the Republic of Texas, for an 
18-story hotel, mentioned elsewhere. 

_ The South Texas National Bank Building stands as a mon 
ument to the art and skill of the architects and builders of 
Houston. Hampered and embarrassed by the fact that the pro- 
posed building would occupy an inside lot, thus affording but a 
limited field for accomplishment, it was imperative to employ the 
best possible design and to use the richest and most attractive 
materials. The style of architecture adopted is rather hard to 
describe, being a Grecian Doric with a composite combina- 
tion. The front is absolutely plain, but is made very attractive 
by the material used, it all being of white Georgia marble. The 
cornices and other ornaments are carved out of solid marble, 
which is an unusual feature. 

The four columns supporting the main pediment are turned 
from solid slabs of marble, the shafts of each, exclusive of base 
and cap, being twenty-two feet long. Only the best mechanical 
skill was employed in constructing this front and from the stand- 
point of masonry it is doubtful if the work has its equal in the 
South. 

The interior of the building is in keeping with the beaiitj'' 
of its exterior. Only the finest imported marble was used in 
the construction of counters and columns. The ornamental bronze 
work is especially attractive and blends beautifully and harmo- 
niously with its marble surroundings. 

One of the most attractive features of the interior is the 
arched ceiling over the main I6bby, which affords splendid light- 
ing throughout the first and second stories, and at the same time 
creates a beautiful decorative scheme. The most skillful artists 
were employed in decorating the building and the results obtained 
by them is pleasing both in detail and as a whole. 

Dallas and Waco each has a taller building than the Carter 
Building in Houston but neither has so complete an office building 



408 History of Houston, Texas 

as this is. It is one of the strongest buildings in the state and is 
absolutely fireproof. It is a steel frame structure, sixteen stories 
in height, and has, in addition, a basement, storage vault floor 
and roof garden, making it practically a seventeen-story building. 
The foundation and steel frame are so constructed that five or 
six additional stories may be put on if desired. 

There are four elevators having a speed of 600 feet per 
ttiinute and provision is made for more elevators should they 
be needed. 

The building has a frontage on Main Street of i02 feet and 
on Rusk Avenue of 103 feet from grade to top of parapet. The 
entire base course of the building is of polished Texas granite. 
Resting on this and extending to the top of the windows of the 
second story are large Bedford stone . columns with architraves 
around the second story windows at the ends of the building of 
' terra cotta to match the stone. The third and fourth story 
belts and piers are terra cotta to match the brick and stone. All 
the window sills and belts are ornamental terra eotta up to the 
fifteenth story. Kittanning brick, of uniform size and ,cream 
color, vitreous and unglazed and strictly waterproof are used 
on both street fronts of the building, thus giving it the same 
appearance from either street, and the shade of the terra cotta, 
stone and brick was made especially to harmonize. The sixteenth 
story belt course and the drop ornaments between the fifteenth 
and sixteenth stories are of highly ornamented terra cotta artis- 
tically modeled, the chenau to cornice being of copper and illum- 
inated with bull's-eye electric globes. 

The main basement entrances are finished with marble and 
bronze railings. The lobby entrance has ornamental bronze doors, 
sidelights and transoms, executed in bronze glazed with highly 
polished French plate glass, and the floor of the lobby is of 
marble and laid out in elaborate patterns to correspond with the 
design of the ceiling. The walls of the lobby entrance from the 
floor to a point twelve feet high are wainscoted with polished 
Italian and Norwegian marble, and tlje base, at the floor line, is 
polished Timos marble, and the pilasters are of green Italian 
marble. There are fifteen office fioors each elegantly finished, 



Architecture and Building 409 

having highly polished, pencil-veined Italian marble wainscoting 
three feet and six inches high and terrazzo and marble floors. All 
the offices are well lighted and ventilated and provided with elec- 
tric fans, base plugs, electric lights, illuminating gas and wash 
basins. There are also numerous drinking fountains supplied 
with constantly circulating ice water. 

There is a complete .vacuum cleaning system all over the 
building. The building has its own water supply which comes 
from a large artesian well located in the basement and yields 
300,000 gallons daily. In addition to its water supply, the build- 
ing also has its own heating and electric light plants. It is 
owned by Mr. S. F. Carter, president of the Lumbermens 
National Bank. 

' The First National Bank Building, though only eight stories 
high, is unlike other tall buildings in that it has a great floor 
space and covers more ground than any of the others. It has a 
fine frontage on Main Street and extends back over half a 
block on Franklin Avenue. In addition to that it has an ell that 
extends back towards the middle of the block, thus making its 
ground area very great. The building itself is one of the finest 
in the Southwest. It is eight stories in height, the entire ground 
floor being devoted to banking purposes, and it is said to be 
the largest bank home in the South. 

The building is of reinforced concrete steel frame construc- 
tion and is absolutely fireproof. Its exterior is handsome, being 
of gray brick and terra cotta, with beautiful marble columns and 
tablets suitably arranged and placed. The halls and corridors 
are paved with inlaid tiling and marble. 

The building has its own water supply, derived from a large 
artesian well, and also has its own electric light and heating 
plant. Its office equipments are . complete and thorough, there 
being electric fans, electric lights, gas and hot and cold water in 
each office, while there are drinking fountains of running ice 
water in all the halls and corridors. The building is cleaned by 
the vacuum air process. 

The elevator equipment is in keeping with everything in the 



410 History of Houston, Texas 

building and represents a late and high type of electrical machin- 
ery in use for elevator service. 

The twelve-story, concrete, steel, granite and brick building 
of the Union National Bank just completed, on the northwest 
corner of Congress Avenue and Main Street, is one of the most 
attractive and ornamental structures in the city. It is a sky- 
scraper, but is one in name only, for it is so artistically designed 
and its architecture is so perfect, that it is free from that in- 
describable something which attaches to all isolated and exces- 
sively high buildings and leaves one with a sense of the incon- 
gruous. 

The building is twelve stories high, but with the basement it 
is really a thirteen-story building, while the first story is of 
almost sufficient height to be counted as two instead of one. 

The basement and ground floor are occupied by the bank 
itself, the basement being fitted up as elegantly as are the other 
floors of the building. Here are located the safety vaults, wait- 
ing rooms, ladies' and gentlemen's private rooms and everything 
for the comfort and convenience of the patrons of the bank. 

The whole of the first or ground floor is devoted to the use 
of the bank. Its finish is elegant and perfect. Its decorations 
are of marble, bronze, brass and ornamental iron work so artis- 
tically and skillfully combined as to secure a charming effect. 
There is a lightness and airiness, combined with richness and 
stability that is very pleasing. A striking feature is the great 
amount of light — sunlight — that floods the place. There is not 
a dark corner nor a single place on the whole floor where artificial 
light is needed. This same thing is true of other portions of the 
building, for there are two broad and two narrow windows in 
each office admitting light and fresh air. 

There are eleven stories above the ground floor, all devoted 
to offices, arranged singly and en suite, thus making it one of 
the most complete and up-to-date bank and office buildings in 
the country. 

The building has its own artesian water supply, its own 
electric plant, its own heating and ventilating apparatus and is 
thus rendered independent of outside utilities for everything 



Architecture and Building ■ 411 

that tends to the comfort and convenience of its tenants. It is 
heated by steam in the winter and cooled with chilled air in the 
summer. 

Including the ground the building cost almost exactly 
$1,000,000. 

It is the cost of the ground rather than any desire to 
get up in the air that is responsible for the high buildings of 
today. 

The Houston Chronicle's skyscraper affords a splendid 
illustration of the truth of this. The paper needed for its 
own use a building of at least three stories in height. For its 
press-room, store-room, composing room, and offices, for its 
various departments such a building was an absolute necessity. 
A suitable three-story bu^ilding would cost about $150,000, .while 
the ground on which it was proposed to erect it would cost 
about $400,000. This was not to be considered seriously for a 
moment, and to overcome the prohibitive difficulty, the Chronicle 
built the three stories for itself and then added on seven more 
stories of attractive offices, as revenue producers. It is true 
that the building cost nearer $300,000, than the original $150,000, 
but instead of a purely useful and exceedingly expensive building 
producing no revenue, the Chronicle now has one of the hand- 
somest combination newspaper and office buildings in the South, 
over two-thirds of which is revenue producing. , 

This building deserves more than passing notice. It is 
fireproof and is ten stories high with a basement story under- 
ground. It has a floor space of about 100,000 square feet, or 
nearly two and one-half acres. Its construction embodies a 
frame of reinforced concrete with walls of brick. It is a 
strikingly beautiful building, having a base of polished Texas 
granite, surrounded by enameled brick of dark green, end- 
ing with a projecting course of glazed terra cotta. Above this to 
the roof line, the building is of pure white enameled brick, orna- 
mented with belt courses. 

The interior finish is in every way in keeping with the beauty 
of the exterior. The halls and corridors have floors of pink 



412 History of Houston, Texas 

Tennessee marble and wainscoting of white Italian marble with 
black marble base. 

The entire building is steam heated, has a system of ice 
water drinking fountains, electric ceiling fans, electric and gas 
lights, mail chutes, telegraph and telephone facilities, hot and 
cold artesian water from its own wells and a vacuum cleaning 
system. Duplex geared elevators with a speed of 400 feet per 
minute serve the building. 

The building is located on the northwest corner of Travis 
and Texas Avenue. "Work on its construction was begun October 
14, 1908, and it was completed and occupied in February, 1910. 

The best example of structures designed for special purposes 
is the seV^en-story fireproof building of the Southwestern Tele- 
phone Company. The design follows the practice recently 
adopted in Houston, namely the use of light colored material for 
exterior decoration of office buildings. The first two floors are 
faced with limestone, while the remaining floors are of light gray 
brick and terra cotta. A feature, especially noticeable, is the 
ample window area which insures plenty of light and ventilatioii 
for the operators. 

The extension of the telephone service has been considered 
and the building is large enough to care for double the number 
of subscribers it has at present, and, in addition to this, the steel 
frame has been made heavy enough to sustain five more stories. 

At an expenditure of $1,250,000 the Houston Belt and 
Terminal Railway Company have given to the city a public 
benefit most meritorious. The Union Station is commodious. 
It is bounded on the east and west by Hamilton and Crawford 
Streets, and on the north and south by Prairie and Texas 
Avenues. 

The appointments are modem. The finishings are expensive 
and artistic. Thoroughly comfortable, pleasing to the sight, 
^and with every convenience of modern invention, there are 
larger terminal stations than the Union of Houston, Texas, 
but none more replete in the things that make for the ease of 
the traveling public. 

Construction work was begun on the building in September, 



Architecture and Building 413 

1909, and the completed station wias opened to the public March 
1, 1911. 

There are eight tracks and four train sheds included in the 
facilities of the Union Station and 125 passenger coaches can 
be accommodated at one time. 

The structure is fireproof and of stone, brick and concrete 
with steel supports. It is three stories high, the upper floors 
being used as general offices. 

The owning companies are five and the present tenants of 
the station of the same number. 

Probably the best railroad office building in the Southwest, 
if not in the entire South, is that of the Southern Pacific 
Railway Company at the comer of Franklia and Travis Streets. 
This new structure rears its head nine stories above ground 
and is erected on a lot that extends 145 feet along Franklin and 
174 feet along Travis Street. There is a basement, a sub- 
basement and still a third basement below the • engine room, 
making in all, 12 stories. The building cost $700,000. 
. Work was started September 1, 1910, and completed 
October, 1911. 

The building is largely of steel and reinforced construction 
throughout. All the fioors are of reinforced concrete. The steel 
work -is encased in concrete. Fireproof tilling is extensively 
used. The third and fourth floors will be rented, for office 
purposes, and part of the first floor will be rented for store 
purposes. The building is equipped with its own refrigerating 
plant. 

The Court House, while one of the most substantially con- 
structed buildings to be found anyhere, still belongs to what is 
known as court-house architecture. In this instance, however, 
the architect had much to contend with as is shown by the follow- 
ing extract from the Southern Architectural Review in which the 
architects explain some of them: "In the development of the 
architectural scheme for the Harris County Court House, certain 
requirements were laid down in the program of the competition 
which led to the choosing of the style of architecture, which had 
we been free, would perhaps have been developed along different 



414 History of Houston, Texas 

lines. But such specific demands as 'A large dome' and 'Col- 
umnated facades' could hardly be disregarded. However, in 
order to give structural integrity to the building we made them 
of masonry bearings rather than torture classic columns with 
steel structural members. " The building is very beautiful and is 
very useful as well. Houston's public buildings are described 
in a chapter devoted to that purpose. 

The new Federal Building is a typical government building, 
fashioned on classic Roman lines, a style adopted very generally 
throughout the country for such buildings. 

It occupies an entire block of ground and is of white stone 
with golden oak finish throughout, and cost the government 
about $450,000. Federal Square is almost in the heart of the 
city, being bounded by Capitol, San Jacinto, Rusk and Caroline 
Streets, and only two blocks from Main Street. 

The corridors are of marble, the staff work is of the finest, 
an electric vacuum cleaning system with pipes extending to 
every part of the building has been installed and the work rooms 
are light and airy. The building is fireproof throughout and is 
both impressive and beautiful. 

Houston's apartment houses are somewhat in a class by 
themselves, for they are, in many respects, different from those 
of other cities. ' The architects have taken advantage of the tall 
buildings and arranged the light courts so as to make the most of 
the prevailing southern breeze. The Rossonian is a fine illustration 
of the idea; it stalids as a perfect type of the apartment house 
for this climate, and is the most exclusive apartment house in the 
entire South. In fact, in ranks on even terms with the best 
afforded by New York, Chicago and other large cities of the East 
and Middle 'West. Since its opening in the spring of 1911, the 
Rossonian- has been the" scene of many functions. The building 
stands seven stories and basement high, on Fannin Street, oppo- 
site the new Young Men's Christian Association Building, and 
over $500,000 was expended in its erection. So thoroughly up- 
to-date is the Rossonian that in each suite of rooms there is an 
individual, up-to-date ice plant. This is but one of the many 
novel features and innovations. 



Architecture and Building 415 

There are a total of 74 apartments, together with handsomely 
appointed reception rooms and hallways. The Rossonian has a 
private roof garden, which is extensively patronized by the smart 
set of Texas during the warmer months. 

The contractors of the Rossonian were the Fred A. Jones* 
Building Company. The firm of Sanguinet & Staats did the 
architectural work. 

The Savoy Flats, located at Main Street and Pease Avenue, 
were opened in 1909 and since that time have been exceedingly 
popular among those who seek modern apartment houses. The 
building is of seven stories and contains 19 housekeeping 
apartments, together with four bachelor's apartments. The cost 
of the land upon which the flats stand and the cost of construction 
was a trifle less than $200,000, but that is the present valuation 
of the property. 

Throughout the apartments the steel and conduit system 
of refrigeration is employed, thus affording an individual ice 
ntaking plant in each apartment. 

In the Beaconfield Apartments the people of Houston were 
given an apartment house par excellence and a building that 
stands out prominently as one of the best in the city. It is 
eight stories high and was opened October, 1911. The cost of 
construction was $150,000. 

These apartments stand at the comer of Main Street and 
Pease Avenue. They are of reinforced concrete and steel eon- 

*Pred A. Jones, president of The Fred A. Jones Company and 
of the Fred A. Jones Building Company, has accomplished great 
things in the way of .giving concrete beauty and stability to Houston's 
rapid growth. As the head of the Fred A. Jones Building Company 
his taste and talents and executive ability have found expression in 
a group of the most beautiful and modern structures of Greater 
Houston. 

Fred A. Jones is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Jones of 
Bonham, Texas. His father was a lumberman and canie to Texas 
with William Cameron. His brothers are Hon. Frank C. Jones of 
the firm of Gill & Jones,, a former law partner of Governor Hogg, a 
brilliant lawyer and a thirty-third degree Mason, and C. A. Jones, 
a successful merchant of north Texas. 

The subject of this sketch was born at Dallas, Texas, August 23, 
1875. His childhood was spent in Bonham, Texas, where at the age 
of 15 he graduated from Fannin College, an academy. He then 
attended Richmond College, Virginia, where he took the degree of 
B. A., in 1894. At college he became a member of the Alpha Kappa 



416 History of Houston, Texas 

struction througiiout and fireproof. Lines employed in the 
most modem buildings of the kind were followed out. 

The building contains 16 large suites. In each suite there 
are six main rooms, two screened balconies, and each suite is 
supplied with a private bath. The rooms are larger than is 
usually the case in an up-to-date apartment house and the 
scheme of ventilation could not be improved upon. 

The foUowipg is a complete list of Houston's modem apart- 
ment houses : 

Rossonian, Fannin Street and McKinney Avenue; The 
Beaeonsfield, Main Street and Pease Avenue; The Heisig, San 
Jacinto Street and Rusk Avenue ; The Oxford, Fannin Street and 
Clay Avenue; The Montrose Apartments, Clay Avenue; The 
Colonial, Lamar Avenue ; The Leona, "Walnut Street ; The Wilson 
Apartments, Polk Avenue ; The Gables, McKinixey Avenue ; The 
Butler Flats, Rusk Avenue and Fannin Streets; The Ivanhoe, 
La Branch Street and Lamar Avenue; Waverly Terrace, Milam 
Street and Lamar Avenue ; The Warrington, Fannin Street and 
Bell Avenue ; The Archer, Lamar Avenue and Louisiana Street ; 
The McAshan Flats, Main Street; The McAshan Apartments, 
Main Street and Clay Avenue; The Leeland, Leeland Avenue 
and Caroline Street; The Sternenberg, Milam Street and Walker 
Avenue; The Hirsch Flats, Crawford Street and Polk Avenue; 
The Hirsch Apartments, McGowan Avenue and Fannin Street; 
The Seigle Flats, La Branch Street, near Congress Avenue ; The 

Chapter of Beta Theta Pi. Following a professional course at Cornell 
he received, in 1898, the degree of Electrical and Mechanical 
Engineer. 

Then came miscellaneous engineering and surveying in north 
Texas, after which, in January, 1900, he entered the Student's Course of 
the General Electric Company at Schnectady, N. Y., because, as he says, 
he found that he was unable to solve quickly enough, the problems 
presented to him in his miscellaneous, civil, electrical and mechanical 
engineering practice In north Texas. He remained two years with 
the General Electric Company, spending about one year each in the 
Testing Department, and in the Railway Engineering Department. 
Before leaving this company, which is the largest electrical manu- 
facturing concern in the world, he was sent out on several occasions 
to analyze and report on the engineering features of street railway 
properties, and returned to his native state with the friendship and 
endorsement of a number of the company's oflficials. 

In January, 1902, after a study .of the various cities of Texas, 
Mr. Jones opened an office in Houston, with practically no capital, 



Architecture and Building 417 

Levy Plats, Travis Street and Rusk Avenue; The Savoy, Main 
Street and Pease Avenue; The Corona, "Walker Avenue, near 
Main Street; The Griffin Plats, Louisiana Street, near Polk 
Avenue ; The Ross Plats, Walker Avenue and Louisiana Street ; 
The Cawthon, Main Street and Walker Avenue ; The Darlington, 
Lamar Avenue and Crawford Street. 

The past few years have been peculiarly rich in the produc- 
tion of modern buildings, excellent in design, substantial in 
character and useful to the last degree in their respective fields. 

Houston's new ten-story hotel, known as the Hotel Bender, 
is one of the most elegant and artistically finished buildings in 
the South. It is ten stories in height with full basement. It is 
of brick, concrete and steel construction and is fireproof in every 
way. Its architecture is somewhat different from that usually 
employed in skyscraper buildings, and an effort has been success- 
fully made to add to the exterior attractions almost as much as 
to those of the interior. The style adopted for the exterior is 
Grecian Doric with touches of Italian Renaissance, the whole 
being commercialized to meet the requirements of local conditions 
and modern hotel conveniences. 

The exterior color scheme is very pleasing, being composed 
of rich and expensive material, granite base work, columns, terra 
cptta trimmings and velvet red brick, all of the best of their 
respective kinds, while the workmanship is of the highest order. 

But the interior shows best the skill and good taste of the 

but with ambition, determination to succeed, and unlimited energy. 
He operated as Consulting Engineer, building the Southern Pacific 
Terminal Company's power station at Galveston; Corsicana Gas & 
Electric Company's power station and a number of other plants, and- 
making numerous engineering reports, until January,' 1907, when The 
Fred A. Jones Company was formed with an authorized capital of 
$250,000. This Company has built the Dallas-Sherman Interurban, 
two state railroads, a number of power stations, irrigation plants, etc., 
and is just completing the White Rock Reservoir for the city of 
Dallas. 

Mr. Jones, with characteristic foresight, anticipated the present 
era of heavy building construction and called to him men of the 
highest class from those parts of the country which had done the 
most in the way of modern building construction. In 1909 he 
incorporated these into a highly efficient working organization 
entitled the Fred A. Jones Building Company, Louis Robert Barras 
being vice-president and general manager. Mr. Barras is a man of 



418 History of Houston, Texas 

architect, and the art of the decorator. The main lobby is 
carried out in the Grecian Doric order correctly. Selected marble 
and solid bronze ornamental work has been used freely in the 
decorative scheme, while the Mezzanine balconies overlooking the 
lobby are very attractive. 

The dining room is constructed strictly and correctly in 
Louis XVI style supplying all the elaborate details required by 
that style. It is beautifully decorated in French coloring and 
the sixteen or eighteen panels above the mirror line are hand 
decorated in oil from French scenes during the time or Loui.3 
XVI. This dining room is really a work of art and is one of the 
most elaborate and expensive rooms of its kind to be found any- 
where. The kitchen service is strictly up-to-date in every respect. 
The large Dutch grill room in the basement is one of the striking 
features of the building. It is thoroughly lighted, ventilated and 
beautifully decorated in Dutch design. The furniture is all 
Dutch. There is a very complete gas grill made entirely of 
copper, nickel plate, tile and plate glass. 

The parlors are located on the second floor, facing the eleva- 
tors and are furnished in Louis XVI style. On the tenth floor 
a large banquet and ball room is located, having special reception 
rooms for ladies and gentlemen. The decorations of the ball 
room are very elaborate, the decorative scheme being that of 
Louis XVI. Special furniture and other equipments have been 
provided, all in keeping with the style of the room. There are 

unusual building experience and ability, having constructed numerous 
tall buildings in both the EJast and West. ■ 

This company has met with marked success and Ijas constructed 
among other buildings, the Bender Hotel, the Rossonian Apartments,, 
the Sunset Hospital, the Southwestern Telephone Building, the First 
Church of Christ, Scientist, all in Houston; the new Country Club 
in Dallas, which is not only the finest structure of its kind in the 
South, but one of the best in the whole country. 

In 1911, a branch office was opened in Birmingham, Ala., and 
the construction of the twenty-story American Trust Savings Bank 
and office building was undertaken, at the same time a branch office 
in southwest Texas was established to care for the construction of 
the Nueces Hotel at Corpus Christi and the Southwestern Telephone 
Exchange at the same place. 

On September 5, 1910, Mr.^ Jones was married to Miss Gussie 
Holland, of Dallas. Miss Holland is the daughter of Hon. Frank 
P. Holland, formerly Mayor of Dallas, the owner of "The Farm & 
Ranch" and "Holland's Magazine." 



Architecture and Building 419 

two private dining rooms on the tenth floor also, each beautifuJly 
finished. Thete is also dining space on the roof, where there is 
a charming roof garden. 

There are 260 rooms nearly every one having a private bath. 
In addition there are twelve large sample rooms. The furniture 
of the rooms is solid mahogany. 

Mechanical devices also are strictly up-to-date. The build- 
ing is equipped with automatic air-washing and cooling and 
ventilating machines which do away with the use of unsiglitly 
electric fans. The heating for winter is equally as effective as the 
cooling for summer. The elevator service is first clans and in 
keeping with the magnificence of the building. The eos'c of the 
building, exclusive of the cost of the ground was $600,000. 

In the construction of the new Rice Hotel the architects have 
been given something of a free hand, and when completed, while 
its exterior will not differ greatly from the ordinary skyscraper, 
its interior will be all that the most fastidious taste could demand. 
Towering eighteen stories above a two-story basement and 
crowned by a handsome tile roof garden, it will be, to the very 
last detail, a type of the great modern hotel. The main entrance 
on Texas Avenue, and the side entrance on ^ain Street will open 
into the splendid lobby of white , Italian marble surmounted by 
artistic mural decorations, with a ceiling of picturesque frescoing. 
Adjoining the ofiBce will be the rooms occupied by telephone 
booths, telegraph ofiSces, a carriage office and well appointed writ- 
ing rooms and library, and to the rear of these will be the grill 
and bar. There are to be four 'cafes, beautifully decorated and 

Mr. Jones, while a successful business and professional man, 
has never subordinated his life to mere success in business. He has 
taken an active and prominent part in social and club affairs wherever 
he has been. He is an excellent golf player, a fine host and a 
charming after-dinner speaker, and withal is fond of home and devoted 
to his family interests. He has a well selected and well read library. 
Mr. Jones is a fine type of the new Southern Gentleman, combining 
the high sense of honor and the personal charm of manner of the 
old-time Southerner with exceptional business ability and energy. 
Perhaps, on the whole, he owes most of his success to those old 
family traits which have caused him to act always with absolute 
integrity to a client's interest, regardless of his. own apparent welfare, 
although he will insist that his success is due entirely to the talent 
and loyalty of the men around him. 



420 History of Houston, Texas 

fulfilling all needs, from the gentlemen 's grill and breakfast room, 
to the elegant palm room and dining hall, all arranged and located 
to best serve the convenience of all classes of patrons. In addition 
to these there will be the private dining rooms, in size and 
appointment suitable to the smallest dinner party or to the most 
elaborate banquet. One of the most marked features will be 
the great banquet hall and concert room. This will be so arranged 
that it will serve both for private and public entertainments. 

The building will have 525 rooms, 450 of them having private 
baths. Adequate elevator service will be provided. A new 
feature will be the establishing of kitchens on every floor for the 
purpose of serving meals in the rooms. 

The roof garden will be a garden in fact and not one alone 
in name. Situated at a height of about 300 feet above the noise 
and bustle of the streets, with ornamental lights, flowers, palms 
and an excellent orchestra it will be a most attractive spot. From 
basement to top the new hotel will be constructed for the comfort 
and convenience of its guests, and when completed, will be 
one of the finest and most beautiful hotel buildings in the South. 

The building will front about 175 feet on Texas Avenue 
and about 125 feet on Main Street. Including the ground, the 
entire cost will be in the neighborhood of $3,500,000, the con- 
struction alone being $2,000,000. Mr. Jesse H. Jones is the 
moving spirit in this great undertaking, as he has been in so many 
others that had for their .object the upbuilding of this city. 

The success of the Houston architects in getting away from 
the stereotype church architecture has been marked, as is evi- 
denced by the number of original and beautiful edifices they have 
constructed. 

Probably the most interesting group of ecclesiastical build- 
ings in the eity is the Christ Church group. This is composed of 
the church proper, parish house and rectory. The church is of the 
perpendicular Gothic, executed in red brick and sandstone. The 
other buildings are of the same general order, modified some- 
what to meet the limitations of the brick with which they are 
built. Incongruous as are their surroundings, the vine-covered 
church and rectory, with the deep cloister of the parish house 



Architecture and Building 421 

between, form an architectural group that has no superior in 
Houston. 

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, is another beautiful 
building, distinctive in design. Its architecture is Roman Doric, 
which has been adhered to very closely. It is constructed of 
stone, terra cotta and gray brick. The setting of the building 
is fine, for it is surrounded by large trees that lend a color and 
charm that are very pleasing. 

In the St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church the architec- 
tural lines follow those of the Italian renaissance, though the 
building, as a whole, is patterned after the Roman temples. The 
dome is Byzantine. 

The First Methodist Church follows the early English 
Gothic, adhering to that architectural scheme, both within and 
without, with absolute fidelity. 

The Central Christian Church is an adaptation of the Roman. 

The Temple Beth Israel is Byzantine though patterned after 
an Americanized version of that style adopted by many Jewish 
synagogues over the country. 

The First Presbyterian Church, while following the Italian 
renaissance architecture shows clearly other influences. It is 
considered one of the most unique structures of its kind in the 
South, for while the Gothic architecture always calls for the lofty 
tower, this church has the tower, but instead of employing the 
Teutonic influence the architect has used that of the very early 
Roman. 

The Church of the Annunciation is strictly Italian Gothic. 

"With the advent of suburban additions, beautified by land- 
scape effects, an architecture representing a new manner of living 
aijd action has come and is gradually transforming the appear- 
ance of the city. The country club was the first step in that 
direction and has served as an example for much that has fol- 
lowed in the movement towards suburban and country homes. 

Among the handsome new buildings is the Y. M. C; A., 
an exclusive association building, on McKinney Avenue and 
Fannin Street. It is modernly equipped in all its appointments 
and cost $200,000. It was erected in 1907-08. 



422 History of Houston, Texas 

The building is five stories in height and includes a 
magnificent lobby and reading room on the first floor, gym- 
nasium, bowling alleys, swimming pool, handball court, baths, 
lockers and dressing rooms and a full athletic complement. On 
the second and part of the third floors are assembly rooms, study 
and class rooms. A part of the third floor and all of th§ 
fourth and fifth are devoted to apartments for men. In all 
there are ninety-one rooms, providing ample accommodations 
for about 125 men. All of the rooms are uniform in size and 
are neatly furnished according to a man's notion of comfort. 

Light colored pressed brick and marble were used in its 
construction. It contains 66,000 square feet of floor space and 
is the largest Association building in the South. ■ 

The question of architecture was one of the first problems 
that confronted the board of trustees of the Wm. M. Rice Insti- 
tute. They early decided that the new institution should be 
housed in architecture worthy of the founder's high aims, and 
upon this idea they entered with no lower ambition than to 
establish on the campus of the institution a group of buildings 
conspicuous alike for their beauty and their usefulness, which 
should stand not only as a monument to the founder's philan- 
thropy but also as a distinct contribution to the architecture of 
our country. With this end in view they adopted a general 
architectural plan embodying the educational program which had 
been adopted by the institute. Such a general plan, exhibiting 
in itself the most attractive elements of the architecture of Italy, 
France and Spain, was adopted by the board in 1910. 

Immediately thereafter plans and specifications for an 
administration building were prepared and the contract awarded. 
Soon after the contract for the mechanical laboratory, machine 
shop and power house was let. The architecture of the Adminis- 
tration Building shows borrowings from the best periods of many 
southern countries. Round Byzantine arches on cloistered walks, 
exquisite brick work of Dalmation design are features, together 
with Spanish and Italian elements in profusion ; all in a richness 
of coior permissible nowhere save in a climate similar to that of 
south Texas. The dominant tone is established by the use of a 



Architecture and Building 423 

local pink brick, a delicately tinted marble from the, Ozark 
Mountains and Texas granite, though the color scheme under- 
goes considerable variation by the free use of tiles and foreign 
marbles. To meet the local climatic conditions there are in the 
building many windows and loggias and a long, broad cloister 
open to the prevailing winds. 

The Laboratory is to be a two-story, fireproof building 200 
feet long and forty feet deep, with a cloistered walk extending 
its full length on the court side, and will be built of materials 
similar to those in the Administration Building. The machine 
shop, adjoining the Mechanical Laboratory in the rear connects 
it with the power house. The. lofty campanile of this group, 
visible for miles in every direction, will be the most conspicuous 
tower of the institute. These with the students' hall are the 
only buildings -vinder construction at present, but when all are 
completed, the harmonious architectural effect will be seen to 
advantage and will form one of the greatest, external attrac- 
tions of this. great institution. 

Houston is rapidly becoming a city of beautiful homes, and, 
judging by thcs record made within the four years ending July 
31, 1911, the growth and expansion in building have just begun. 
The records of the building inspectors office show that during the 
fiscal year, ending February 28, 1907, $892,000 was spent on 
residences in Houston, while the same records show that during 
the year ending February 28, 1911, $1,200,000 was spent on 
residences. The records show that during the last decade Hous- 
tonians have invested $9,000,000 in homes of all kinds, from the 
humble cottage to the palatial residence. Of the latter class 
Houston has some of the most beautiful and expensive in the 
South. In the fashionable sections of the city are residences that 
have cost from $50,000 to $75,000 and quite a number of others 
whose cost was very little below these figures. All styles of archi- 
tecture and all kinds of building material have been used. There 
has been a great variety of taste shown, with a result that is 
really pleasing since it prevents anything like monotony or 
sameness. During |^e year closing July 31, 1911, there 
were 931 permanent permits for buildings and im- 



424 History of Houston, Texas 

provements issued at the city hall, classified as follows: 
One nine-story steel office building, to cost $512,793.00 ; one 
twelve-story steel bank and office building, to cost $400,000.00; 
one ten-story hotel building, to cost $30,000.00; one seven-story 
telephone building, to cost $150,000:00 ; one eight-story apartment 
house, to cost $100,000.00 ; one six^story reinforced concrete build- 
ing, to cost $77,850.00; one six-story brick and steel hotel build- 
ing, to cost $70,000.00; one church (Sacred Heart), to cost 
$56,000.00 ; one three-story cold storage plant, to cost $50,000.00 ; 
one church (Christian Science), to cost $38,800.00; one two-story 
telephone building, to cost $33,000.00; one four-story concrete 
warehouse, to cost $26,000.00 ; one three-story brick building, to 
cost $25,000.00; one two-story depot and car shed, to cost $20,- 
000.00; one tworstory brick warehouse, to cost $18,000.00; one 
three-story reinforced concrete wagon factory, to cost $18,000.00 ; 
one four-story brick building, to cost $17,000.00 ; one three-story 
reinforced concrete coffee plant, to cost $15,000.00; one two- 
story addition to power plant, to cost $15,000.00; one one-story 
brick building, to cost $13,000.00 ; one one- and two-story brick 
bmlding, to cost $12,000.00; one one-story brick building, to 
cost $10,000.00 ; one two-story brick building, to cost $10,000.00 ; 
one one-story brick building; to cost $8,000.00; one addition to 
elevator factory, to cost $6,000.00; five flat buildings, to cost 
$59,300.00; eight one- and two-story brick buildings, to cost 
$43,800.00; thirteen one- and two-story frame store buildings, 
to cost $19,100.00 ; four remodeling, to cost $12,300.00 ; one veter- 
inary hospital, to cost $9,725.00; 4 churches, to cost $9,900.00; 
seventeen warehouses, to cost $18,200.00; four schools, to cost 
$4,447.00; two factories, to cost $2,575.00; nineteen garages, to 
cost $2,175.00; four offices, to cost $1,185.00; two club houses, 
to cost $2,800.00 ; one machine shop, to cost $1,000.00 ; one cotton 
shed, to cost $1,000.00; one foundation, to cost $2,000.00; one 
blacksmith shop, to cost $250.00 ; two hundred and twenty-seven 
two-story residences, to cost $665,105.00; 496 cottages, to cost 
$472,800.00; ninety-six stables, sheds and miscellaneous, to cost 
$19,385. As the registration permit fee is increased with each 
$1,000 of construction cost, the sums given always represent a 
minimum. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

Insurance 



Houston Gets Lowest Rate of Fire Insurance Premium. Fire 
Fighting Apparatus. Early Fire Insurance. Planters Fire 
Insurance Company. Pui-chase of Bogus Bonds Destroyed 
Houston Fire and Marine Insurance Company. Guarantee 
Life Insurance Company. Remarkable Prosperity of the 
Great Southern Company. 



An insurance company is not a charitable institution going 
about doing good for the mere pleasure of the thing. It does not 
sign an agreement to give a person so much money in ease his 
property is destroyed by fire, and then sit down with him and 
wait for the disaster. The company will sign the agreement, but 
when it does so it will expect and demand that the person who 
is to be benefitted and the community in which he resides, shall 
do all possible to prevent the disaster. The company will protect 
a person against losses, but will, at the same time, demand that it, 
itself, be protected. 

Wherever a community makes ample provision against the 
danger of fire, the insurance companies encourage the citizens to 
insure their property, by giving to such community a low rate 
of insurance premium, and since Houston has received the lowest 
rate, it is self-evident that all the requirements of the 
National Board of Fire Insurance Underwriters, for a city of 
100,000 inhabitants, have been complied with. 

During the decade from 1901 to 1911, there has been a 
healthy growth in Houston's facilities for fighting fire. In 
1901, Houston had eight stations, twenty pieces of fire-fighting 
apparatus, 13,000 feet of hose and sixty paid men. In 1911, 
there are nine stations, thirty pieces of apparatus, 30,000 feet 
of iose and 104 paid men. 



426 History of Houston, Texas 

The water supply in 1901, consisted of a pumping capacity 
of 13,000,000 gallons of water and 579 fire hydrants. In 1911, 
the pumping capacity is 29,000,000 gallons daily, with 843 fire 
hydrants and 97.8 miles of water mains in service. There are 156 
fire-alarm boxes, and ninety miles of paved streets. Every detail 
of the fire department is carefully looked after and kept in per- 
fect order. Every fire hydrant is flushed and tested daily by a 
force of men employed for that work only. 

That, in a few words, is the Houston of today, but it has not 
always been so well equipped, nor has there been a need or 
demand for such perfection. Fire insurance in Houston is 
possibly as old as the city itself. There is no record of the fact, 
however, for the first local agent for any company was Mr. John 
Dickinson, who began issuing policies about 1858. Before that, 
all the insurance obtained by local merchants and traders was 
had direct from agencies or companies located in New Orleans. 
In those earlier days insurance was on a small scale and kept 
pace with the accumulation of mercantile stocks, and accumula- 
tion of cotton and other products of the farms and plantations 

Soon after the establishment of the local agency by Mr. 
Dickinson and just about the time that he was doing a good 
and substantial business, the war ox3Curred, whi(3h, of course, 
rendered all insurance moribund. After the declaration, of peace, 
many agencies were established here and for several years the 
insurance business was conducted by the following firms and 
individuals : 0. L. Cochran, A. L. Steele & Co., S. 0. Cotton & 
Bro., Childress & Taylor, and Raphael Brothers. All these, with 
the exception of A. L. Steele & Co., are still in business. Besides 
these there are about twenty-five insurance agencies doing busi- 
ness in Houston. 

Soon after the war, about 1868, the Planters' Fire Insurance 
Company of Houston was organized, with a capital stock of 
$100,000 and did business until about 1880 when the company 
went into voluntary liquidation, following a disastrous cotton 
fire. Capt. E. M. Longcope was president of this company and 
among its directors were B. H. Cushing, B. A. Botts, "W." R. 



Insurance 427 

Baker, S. L. Allen, T. M. Bagby and other old citizens, none of 
whom survive. 

About the year 1895, the Houston. Fire and Marine Insur- 
ance Company was organized and did business for several years. 
Through a lot of bogus Austin City bonds which were innocently 
purchased by this company, it was forced to make a disastrous 
and rather seriSalional failure a few years ago. 

As no statistics are available as to the volume of insurance 
premiums received in Houston annually by the various local agen- 
cies, who represent about one hundred and twenty fire insurance 
companies, it cannot be recorded with accuracy what the total 
sum is. From a comparison of the business done by the leading 
agencies here, it is thought that the premium receipts will run 
over $1,000,000 per year. 

It is somewhat strange that with so inviting a field as it is, 
Houston should have had no local life insurance company until 
1906. In that year the Guarantee Life Insurance Company was 
organized with a capital of $100,000 and at once became very 
prosperous, doing a large business. It is now five years old and 
in addition to its capital stock it has a surplus of $80,000 and 
has $13,000,000 insurance in force. Its officers are: Jonathan 
Lane, president ; John H. Thompson, vice-president ; Chas. Boed- 
eker, secretary-treasurer. 

The Great Southern Life Insurance Company is one of 
the most remarkable organizations of its kind in existence. It 
was organized on November 1, 1909, and is therefore only two 
years old, and yet the amount of business it has already done 
creates admiration and amazement even in large insurance cen- 
ters, as nothing like it has ever been seen before. It has a capital 
stock of $500,000 and a surplus of $500,000 and has $10,000,000 
insurance in force. A remarkable feature about it is the large 
number of those among its patrons who are insured for large 
amounts. It has over fifty policy holders who are insured for 
$25,000 or more, and one who is insured for $100,000. This 
last is the first and only policy for so large an amount ever writ- 
ten for one person by a Texas company. 

The phenomenal growth of this company is shovm by the 



428 History of Houston, Texas 

following statement: From its organization, November 1, 1909 
to December 31, 1909, the company wrote $1,020,000 new business. 
During the first half of 1910, the new business amounted to 
$3,028,000, while during the first half of 1911, it amounted to 
$4,048,000, showing a gain of 33 per cent. 

The ' ' Index, ' ' published by the Spectator Company of New 
York, contains the official reports of 181 American life insurance 
companies, all being in active operation January 1, 1911. Of 
this number 106 paid for less business during the entire year of 
1910 than the Great Southern wrote during the first half of 1911. 

This company is making life insurance history at a rapid 
rate. Its officers are: J. S. Rice, president; 0. S. Carlton, C. 
G. Pillot, J. S. Cullinan, and P. H. McFadden, of Beaumont, 
Texas, vice-presidents; J. T. Scott, treasurer; Louis St. J. 
Thomas, secretary. 

All the great insurance companies that are permitted under 
Texas laws to do business in the state have capable local agents 
in Houston who write a great amount of business. 



CHAPTER XXV 

Theatres 



Santa Anna Broke up First Theatre Project. The Thompson 
and Buckley Theatres. The Gray Opera House. Early 
Amateur Dramatic Clubs. Academy of Music First Local 
Home of Vaudeville. The Beautiful New Majestic Theatre. 
The Prince Theatre. The Old Majestic. The New Cozy. 
Moving Picture Shows and Stock Companies. 



Only one month and two days after Texas declared her in- 
dependence, an enterprising theatrical manager, a Mr. G. L. 
Lyons declared that he was going to establish the first theatre 
in the new republic, at Harrisburg, and that he would give the 
first performance about the first of May, 1836. He issued a 
long announcement of his intention. Evidently he did not con- 
sult Santa Anna, for the sudden appearance of that gentleman 
on the scene seems to have so disarranged his plans that nothing 
beyond the announcement of intentions was ever heard of him 
afterwards. Theatrical performances early got a hold on the 
people of Houston and the fever has never been allowed to die 
down. 

An account of the theatre in the days of the 
republic appears in an earlier chapter of this volume. 
The first really good theatre erected in Houston was 
located in a building that Mr. James Thompson put up in 
1854. Mr. Thompson owned four or five lots in the northeast 
corner of the block on the south side of Texas Avenue, opposite 
the old Capital Hotel, and on three of these he erected a large 
house. It was three stories high in the middle,, facing Main 
Street, and had two stories on each side. The theatre was located 
on the third floor in the center, and was a large hall with 
a good stage at one end. Some very good performances were 



430 History of Houston, Texas 

given in this theatre. In 1859, this theatre was destroyed by fire 
and was never rebuilt, but Colonel Buckley put in a theatre in 
a brick building that he erected about that time located in the 
middle of the block on the southwest side of Main Street, between 
Congress and Franklin Avenues. This place was never popular 
and was seldom used for the purposes for which it had been 
planned. 

About the same time the Perkins Theatre, or as it was called, 
Perkins Hall was built. This hall was large and comfortably 
arranged and proved to be very valuable and useful for those 
who were giving concerts, fairs and bazaars, for the purpose 
of raising money for the soldiers during the war. After the war, 
the Gray Opera house was built in the middle of the block on 
the west side of Court House Square. Then the pretty little 
theatre in the Market House was built. There haye been others 
constructed from time to time, important in their time, among 
them being the Old Majestic described elsewhere, the Houston 
Theatre, which was the principal theatre of the city when it was 
destroyed by fire in 1908, and the New Majestic, the Prince and- 
ihe Cozy theatres all of which are described in this chapter. 

Houstonians have had the pleasure of hearing nearly all the 
great actors and singers of the world, who are native Americans 
or who have visited America. In 1859, Jenny Lind sang here 
in the old Academy. Patti, Nielson and scores of other world- 
famed singers have visited Houston, while Booth, McCuUough, 
Barrett and hundreds of other great actors have played here. 

Houston early had an ataateur dramatic club as the follow- 
ing letter, printed in the Telegraiph of February 17, 1845, shows : 

"Houston, February 16, 1845. To the Hon. Francis Moore, 
Jr., Mayor of the City of Houston. Sir : — In behalf of the Hous- 
ton Dramatic Society, and in furtherance of a resolution of the 
corps, we herewith place at your disposal the sum of thirty 
dollars (which amount exceeds the net proceeds from the per- 
forance of the last play) to be appropriated by yourself for the 
relief of the indigent of the city and county. You will exercise 



Theatres 431 

your own judgment in deciding who are worthy to be recipients 
and to whom charity should be a blessing. ' 

"If we needed any apology for charging you with the dis- 
bursement of our inconsiderable donation, we would find it in 
the industry and humanity evinced in your conduct when sim- 
ilar objects have demanded and received your attention. Respect- 
fully, your obedient servants, Thomas M. Bagby, president ; "Wm. 
R. Baker, secretary." 

There were other amateur associations formed afterwards 
in Houston, the most important being the Magnolia Histrionic 
Club, which had great success in 1878, and for some years after. 
In the early eighties Judge John Kirlicks and the lamented D. 
D. Bryan, were leading lights in this club and did much to 
add to its prominence and success. Mr. Bryan's removal from 
the city for a few years proved fatal to the club and it soon 
ceased to be an active body. 

About the same time the Young Men's Hebrew Club came 
into prominence. This club, after a few successful years, was 
allowed to die out. 

Mr. Ed. Bremond, son of the "Texas Railroad King," was 
the first to establish vaudeville in Houston. In September, 1873, 
he opened the Academy of Music which was located on the 
southeast corner of Main Street and Prairie Avenue. He had 
quite a number of "artists," among them Milt Barlow, who had 
his start in Houston, under Mr. Breinond, and afterwards 
became famous as an impersonator of aged negroes. His song 
"Old Black Joe," became one of the classics of negro minstrelsy. 

The Academy was quite successful for a short time but soon 
degenerated and dropped down to what is known as the variety 
class, and proved a failure. Another vaudeville, on a somewhat 
lower plane, was Bell's Theatre, which held forth for years on 
Texas Avenue across the street from the Rice Hotel. It was 
afterwards moved to Franklin Avenue, opposite the Hutchin's 
House. In 1893 it was closed by the city authorities but was 
reopened at once by an injunction. It was finally closed on 
the death of ,the proprietor. 

Of the theatres in service in Houston the only one that 



432 History of Houston, Texas 

justifies much local pride is the New Majestic, built on the site 
of the old Shearn Cfhurch on the corner of Texas Avenue and 
Milam Street and completed in 1910. Its cost of $300,000 will 
doubtless prohibit its ever becoming a great revenue producer 
but it is a model of construction and comfort and is a place of 
amusement that for beauty compares favorably with any theatre 
ot its capacity in any country. The builder was Jesse H. Jones 
and the structure represents local pride and patriotism for it 
was meant to give the city a place of amusement second to 
none. 

Actors praise it, for every comfort has been provided for 
them, both in the modern dressing rooms and on the large fully- 
equipped stage. The public appreciates it because in the whole 
house there is no angle, no obstructing pillar, nor column and 
no seat that does not furnish a good view of the stage. 

The numerous exits; ample fire escapes and perfect system of 
ventilation also commend it. In order that the content of 250,000 
cubic feet of air might be changed every three minutes, an 
elaborate plant was built and the concrete walls were interlaced 
with hollow ducts. From the floor, walls and ceilings, these 
converge to carry away the vitiated atmosphere into one large 
tunnel leading to the fan house on the roof. There a large wheel 
sucks it up and discharges into the open air 80,000 cubic feet of 
air each minute. The building is constructed enBrely of con- 
crete and stone and is as nearly fireproof as a theatre can be 
built. 

Some of the beautiful features of this theatre worthy of 
special enumeration are : The Pompeian entrance with its marble 
walls, the ladies' waiting room of the period of Louis the Mag- 
nificent, the drinking fountains and mirrors of the foyer, the 
marble staircase and ingle nooks, the Flemish smoking room with 
its beams and tiles, the cantilever balcony with its loggias, the 
great, dark crimson curtain of asbestos, the gilded and rose- 
wreathed sounding board, the bacchante heads and scroll orna- 
mentation of the stage boxes, the carefully calculated acoustics, 
the children's play room with nurse and toys, the elaborate light- 
ing and the great circulation fan, the roomy stage with maple 



Theatres 433 

apron and ample scenery, and the delicacy and elaboration of 
the color scheme. 

Among the other places of amusement the following are 
the leading ones: 

The Prince Theatre, built in 1909, on the site of the Sweeny 
& Combs Opera House, known as the Houston Theatre, which 
was destroyed by fire in 1908. This is a combination theatre and 
office building. It is six stories high and covers a plot of ground 
100 by 150 feet, located on Fannin Avenue opposite the County 
Court House. The construction is of brick and concrete and 
the building is fireproof. The cost of the building was $140,000. 
The theatre is located on the ground floor and is the home of 
the legitimate drama in Houston. It is cheaply built and 
entirely inadequate to the present needs of the city. The 
dressing rooms are abominable and little has been done for the 
comfort of the actors and artists. There is comparatively easy 
egress in case of fire, and much danger in that direction has 
been eliminated. The seating capacity is 1,200. The lessee of 
the theatre, Manager Dave A. Weis is a man of large experience 
as a theatrical manager and constantly tries to improve the 
character of attractions coming to Houston. 

The Old Majestic was erected in 1903 at a cost of $35,000. 
It is of wood and brick construction and has a seating capacity 
of 800. When erected and for a few years after, it was Hous- 
ton 's chief vaudeville theatre. Since 1909 it has been given over 
entirely to stock companies. The building is antiquated. 

The Cozy, located on Texas Avenue, "forty-five seconds 
from MaiQ Street" is a very popular place of amusement, 
devoted to vaudeville. It is a small but comfortable and well 
arranged theatre, and has a seating capacity of 800. The build- 
ing was erected in 1910 by Mr. M. E. Foster and is 50 by 125 
feet. Its cost was $25,000. 

Other places of amusement in Houston are: The Theato, 
pictures and vaudeville; The Star Theatre, moving pictures; 
The Crystal Theatre, moving pictures; The Princess, moving 
pictures and vaudeville ; The Royal, moving pictures and vaude- 
ville ; The Dixie Theatre, moving pictures ; The Vaudette Theatre, 



434 History of Houston, Texas 

moving pictures ; The Bil-Sol, moving pictures ; McDonald & 
Newcomb, moving pictures ; John McTighe, moving pictures, and 
two moving picture places for negroes only. 

It is estimated that between 8,000 and 10,000 persons pat- 
ronize the moving picture shows in Houston daily. The best 
of those named is the Dixie. The Plaza and the Lyric are open 
air, summer theatres arranged for comfort during the hot 
weather. Each is well patronized. 

In 1909, 1910 and 1911, Houston had good stock companies 
playing in the city. The Players Stock Company under the 
management of Joseph D. Glass, at the old Majestic, and the 
William Grew Stock Company, at the Plaza in the summer of 
1911, were the best of these. 

At present the city has abundance of vaudeville theatres, 
but the Prince Theatre should be given up to stock company 
work and a great modern theatre for legitimate drama built that 
would be to that class of theatrical offerings what the New Majes- 
tic is to vaudeville. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

Parks and Cemeteries 



Purchase and Development of Sam Houston Park. Highland 
Park. Cleveland Park. Elizabeth Baldwin Park. City's need 
of Plaza Parks. Ruined Condition of City's Earliest Ceme- 
teries. Episcopal Church and Holland Lodge Cemetery. 
Glenwood and Catholic Cemeteries. List of other Cemeteries. 
Sylvan Beauties of Burying Ground. Land Tenure of Cem- 
etery Lots. 



As early as 1882 there was begun a crusade for a city park. 
Nothing came of it, however, and it was not until eighteen years 
later that anything definite was accomplished. In 1900, Judge 
Sam Brashear, at that time mayor of Houston, desiring to leave 
a monument to commemorate his administration, purcha^ 
for the city, seventeen acres, the site of the present Sam Houston 
Park. This park is located on the south side of Buffalo Bayou in 
the western part of the city, and is one of the most beautiful 
places in Houston. Its natural advantages are very great, and / 
to these have been added the art and skill of expert landscape ' 
gardeners. 

The site was purchased by the city, June 19, 1910, and the 
cost of the land and improvements was about $50,000. When first 
purchased, portions of the tract were badly cut up by gullies and 
ravines. Some of these have been filled while others have been 
made use of in the scheme of beautifying the park. 
At first a zoological garden was started, but after 
making good headway towards establishing a really cred- 
itable zoo, the idea was abandoned and the collection was sold 
to an amusement park in Little Rock, Ark. Mayor Bi-ashear 
was anxious to extend the park on the opposite side of the bayou, 
but this has not yet been done, although the park is connected 



436 History of Houston, Texas 

with that side by a good wide bridge, and the approaches are 
first class. The city owns a good sized tract on the north side of 
the bayou, immediately opposite the park, so that it is possible 
to enlarge it at any time. 

Highland Park, near Beauchamp Springs at the foot of 
Houston Avenue on White Oak Bayou, is a natural park, and is 
a beautiful spot near Houston. It is located on a tract of 
about twenty acres, lying north of the city near the junction of 
Little White Oak and White Oak Bayous. Th« ground slopes 
towards the bayous and is covered with magnificent oak, mag- 
nolia and other forest trees. This park was inaugurated and 
improved by the Houston Electric Company as a private enter- 
prise but became a public park, apparently, by common consent. 
It is free to all and .has many attractions, the chief one being 
an artificial lake filled and fed by artesian wells. 

Sam Houston Park seems destined to be eclipsed in the near 
future by Cleveland Park, which is located just beyond the west 
bounds of the city on Buffalo Bayou. This park, consisting of 
thirty acres, was a Christmas gift to the people of Houston in 
December, 1907, and cost the city $45,000. If no work in the 
way of beautifying it were done, it would still be a charming 
sylvan retreat, for nature" has done wonders for it. It is located 
in a great bend of the bayou, and the earth slopes gently towards 
the bayou, with numerous natural, miniature hills breaking the 
contour. In one of the declivities between these miniature hills, 
a large artificial lake has been made, fed by an immense artesian 
well. The place was originally intended for a park, and $15,000 
had been spent on it before the city purchased it. Thus far 
the city has made no improvements, but when it does, Cleveland 
Park will become one of the handsomest parks in the South. 

What was known as the old Lang place in the. Third ward, at 
the end of the LaBranch Street car line, was purchased 
some years ago with the legacy left by the late Mrs. W. 
M. Rice, and was named after her, "Elizabeth Baldwin Park." 
It was cleared, fenced and opened by the Civic Club, but no 
improvements were made either by the club or by the city 



Parks and Cemeteries 437 

authorities. ' The only adornment it has is its beautiful trees. The 
park is small, but could be made very attractive. 

Several of the additions that have sprung up around 
Houston have made provision for parks, yet it is hardly safe to 
assume that future generations of Houstonians will have ample 
breathing spaces. At present Houston is too much occupied in 
developing her material resources to pay much attention to her 
play grounds, but when the time comes, as it soon will, there is 
no question but that a large work in that direction should be done. 
The extension of Sam Houston Park with riverside drives on 
both sides of the bayou is the improvement nearest in sight. Mr. 
Harvey T. D. Wilson has outlined a plan of park extension and 
improvement which he hopes to see the city eventually adopt. 
The city's greatest need is a number of small parks or plazas of 
one square block in extent. It is an economic mistake for the 
city not to purchase a number of vacant squares for this purpose. 

When the Aliens laid out Houston they set aside a block of 
ground in the First ward, north of Buifalo Bayou near the banks 
of White Oak Bayou, as a cemetery, and gave it to the city to 
be used for that purpose. About the same time another plot of 
ground out on the San Felipe road was dedicated to the same 
purpose. These two cemeteries are the oldest in Houston, and 
for several years they were the only places of burial here. Neither 
was ever very popular with' the early Houstonians, and many of 
the older families buried their dead in their flower gardens. 
Still there were numerous burials in the two cemeteries and 
some of the most prominent citizens of Houston and of Texas 
are buried in one or the other of these two places. Both have 
become dreadfully neglected, and have' been allowed to go to 
ruin. This is particularly true of the cemetery in the First 
ward, which has no fence and is used as a public highway. The 
San Felipe ground, owing to its more isolated situation is some- 
what better preserved, but it is badly in need of care and 
attention. The fact that the Jewish Cemetery adjoins it has 
acted as a protection and has partially preserved it from the 
fate that has overtaken the cemetery in the First ward. 

About the year 1845, the members of the Episcopal Church 



438 History of Houston, Texas 

and Holland Lodge of Masons joined together and purchased 
a plot of ground in the western part of the city, near the banks 
of Buffalo Bayou, and established what was afterwards known 
as the Episcopal-Masonic burial ground. It was on a sloping hill, 
was free from many trees, and was, for that day, an ideal spot 
for the purposes for which it was intended. Many of the prom- 
inent families purchased lots there and for many years it was 
used. In the early seventies, it was gradually abandoned. 
When Glenwood Cemetery was opened nearly all the bodies were 
removed to the latter place. It was evident that the ceme- 
tery had been placed too near town, for even in 1870 the city 
had encroached on all sides of it except on the bayou side. When 
Sam Houston Park was established, the cemetery, which 
adjoins it, was closed for good, and future burials there were 
prohibited. It is now closed to the public. The old place has 
many sacred momories clinging to it as some of the best loved 
Houstonians still sleep there. 

The first effort made to establish a really large and imposing 
cemetery was in 1872, when Glenwood was begun. The site is a 
naturally beautiful one, opening on Washington Street, and 
landscape gardening and art have made it one of the most 
attractive places of its kind to be found in the South. This is 
the principal cemetery of the city. 

One of the oldest cemeteries is the old Catholic cemetery in 
the Second ward on Runnels Street. This cemetery was estab- 
lished shortly after the establishment of the Episcopalian ceme- 
tery. Only members of the church may be buried there. 

The names and locations of the other cemeteries are as fol- 
lows : The German Society Cemetery, is just west of Glen- 
wood Cemetery on Washington Street. The Hebrew Cemetery is 
on the San Felipe road, half a mile west of the G. H. & S. A. 
Railway. Hollywood Cemetery is located on the west side of 
West Montgomery road, half a mile north of the city limits. It is 
the second cemetery in importance in the city. Its natural beau- 
ties are great and many handsome monuments adorn it. The Holy 
Cross Cemetery, is on the east side of the west Montgomery Road, 
two blocks south of Houston Avenue. The Magnolia Cemetery 



Parks cmd Cemeteries 439 

lies on the north side of the San Felipe road, one blocTs west of 
the G. H. & S. A. Railway. The College Park Cemetery (negro) . 
is south of the San Felipe road, one mile west of the G. H. & 
S. A. Railway. Olive Wood Cemetery (negro), lies at the north 
end of the Court in Chaneyville. 

Houston's cemeteries combine the beauty of the wildwood 
with the charm of the tropical and semi-tropical plants "and 
flowers that the climate permits to flourish in great beauty and 
abundance. For ten months in the year the sylvan charm of 
the natural forest and indigenous plants, vines and flowers hold 
their sway. Ferns blow in the open air and only have to be 
put under cover a few chilly nights in each year. 

The patriotic societies and organizations have marked the 
graves of the honored dead, and many a monument to hero, as 
well as loved one, rises in the city's beautiful cemeteries. 

"Wealth, moved by grief, has uttered its sorrow in many 
costly marbles and towering shafts, and many a marble angel 
with drooping wings broods over the resting places of the dead. 

The cemeteries are open to one criticism that applies at 
least to several of them, and that is, that lot owners sometimes 
experience great difficulty in having their lots properly eared 
for. Under the form of deed given in Glenwood, and other ceme- 
teries, no real ownership in the lot passes and the purchaser only 
buys the privilege of being perpetually taxed by the cemetery 
organizations which retain the nominal right, although it is per- 
haps not often exercised, to cast out the dead and resell the 
lots if the payments cease. If there is any spot on earth to which 
title should pass in fee simple it is the plot of ground in a ceme- 
tery where the dead rest in their last long sleep. The character 
of title given, together with the lesson from the neglected ceme- 
teries of the early days, points a moral that is not pleasant to 
read as to the possible future fate of these wooded and flowered 
retreats where the dead rest. 



ghapter'xxvii 



Old Landmarks 



The Old Indian Trading Post. The Old City Hotel and Hutehins 
House. Site of Capitol and Land Office Buildings. Hous- 
ton's Mansion. Where the First Store Stood. Two Historic 
Bridges. Sites of Early Railroad Construction. The Old 
City Wharf. Reminiscences on Destruction of Houston's 
First Hotel. 



There are a number of points in Houston that have his- 
torical interest, and as most of them are already forgotten or 
almost unknown to the present generation and in a few years, 
all of them, with one or two exceptions, will be entirely 
forgotten, it may be well to place some of the most important 
on record in these pages. 

What was known as the home of Mr. Horace D. Taylor, 
located on the north side of Preston Avenue, on the south 
side of Buffalo Bayou, near the Preston Avenue Bridge, was 
formerly a great Indian trading post. It was owned and 
conducted by Mr. George Torrey. The post was established 
early in 1836 and was in active operation for several years. 
There were one or two tribes of Indians near Houston. They 
were "tame" Indians and were about as civilized as Indians 
ever get to be. The largest tribe was the Creek, and another 
tribe lived farther north on the San Jacinto River. These 
Indians visited Houston often and were here until in the late 
fifties, when they were removed to the territory north of 
Red River. 

Houston, or rather the place where Houston was afterwards 
located, must also have been a favorite home for the wild 
Indians for there were numerous evidences of them found here 
in the early days. All that region south of Preston Avenue 



Old Landmarks Ml 

and west of Louisiana Street, must have been a burial ground 
for the Indians, for it is a common thing to dig up bones, 
arrow-heads and such articles all over that vicinity. 

The trading post was abandoned early in the forties, and 
the Indians then transferred their patronage to Mr. John 
Kennedy, who had a store on the northwest corner of Travis 
and Congress, and to Mr. Cornelius Ennis, who had a store 
on Main Street between Franklin and Commerce. The Chief 
of the Creeks was an Indian named Mingo, who was a rather 
superior man. He spoke fairly good English and always 
conducted himself well, even when he was drunk, in which 
state he was every time he come to town. Mingo died, and 
was buried somewhere out on the San Jacinto, before his 
tribe was moved away. 

Perhaps there is no place in Houston that has so many 
memories clinging to it as the northeast corner of Travis 
and Franklin. Here was built Houston's first hotel, the old 
City Hotel conducted by Mr. Geo. Wilson, father of Mr. Ed. 
Wilson, the latter still a citizen of Houston. This first hotel 
was an insignificant affair, constructed out of logs and stood 
for many years. It fell down in 1855 and another one-story 
structure was built on its site which was soon torn down to 
make way for the Hutchins House, which in its day was the 
finest hotel structure in Texas. The old Hutchins House was 
a great meeting place and, as already noted in these pages, 
nearly all of the leading state societies and organizations had 
their beginning in its parlors. The building was destroyed 
by fire and the site, after remaining vacant for several years 
was finally purchased by the Southern Pacific Railroad, and 
the present magnificent office-building of that road was 
erected on it. 

Workmen are now engaged in tearing down the Rice 
Hotel, to make way for one of the largest and finest hotels in 
the South. The location is on the site of the old Capitol of 
the Republic of Texas. This locality is too well known to 
everybody and its history is too familiar to require more than 
passing notice. Just across Main Street from the hotel site is 



442 History of Houston, Texas 

the' Binz Building which stands where the first Land Office 6i 
the Republic of Texas stood. There were- other government 
offices in the old frame building which stood there, but the 
chief one was the Land Office. 

If one believed all the stories and traditions connected 
with President Sam Houston, one would be forced to believe 
that he was ubiquitous, or that he was largely peripatetic, 
for there are several places pointed out as "Sam Houston's 
home" in Houston. There is a house in the Second ward, 
another in the Fourth ward, and there may be yet others 
while the friends of Mrs. A. C. Allen claim that he made his 
home at her residence on the comer of Main and Rusk. Bach 
one of these stories may be true, but the fact remains that 
the official home of the President of the Republic of Texas 
was in the President 's mansion on the southeast corner of 
Main and Preston, where the Scanlan Building now stands. 
It was a "mansion" in name only, for it was a small wooden 
house that was so badly constructed that it barely kept out the 
wind and rain. After the Capital was moved to Austin the 
"mansion" became the shop of a hatter. 

There are other points to which interest is attached from 
a purely commercial point of view. One of the chief of 
these is the northeast corner of Commerce Avenue a,nd Main 
Street, where the first store or warehouse was erected in 
Houston. Aside from being the first warehouse it was the 
third house of any kind built here. It was a small one-story 
frame building and was erected in February, 1837. Though 
it was comparatively small it was at the time the largest 
building in Houston. Afterwards it was extended back 
towards the bayou, so that its rear elevation looked like a 
big two-story house. It was built and occupied by Mr. Thos. 
Elsberry, but afterwards passed into the hands of Messrs. 
Allen and Pool who used it as a cotton and hide warehouse. 
There was a large door cut in the rear of the building and 
instead of draying or trucking the bales of cotton down to 
the steamboats, they were dumped bodily out of this door 
and rolled right on the boats. The fall of twenty or thirty 



Old Landmarks 443 

feet often proved disastrous to the bales when the topes,, 
used as ties, would break. The methods of handling and 
caring for so valuable an article as cotton were about as 
crude and wasteful then as they are now. Everything- abolit 
a bale of cotton has been improved on except handling and 
protecting it from the weather. A point of interest connected 
with that old building,- which stood until long after the war, 
was the fact that several of the wealthiest and most influential 
citizens of Houston began their careers within its walls. Mr. J. 
T. Doswell who gained a large fortune as a commission 
merchant and who was afterwards a large cotton exporter in 
New Orleans, began his commercial life on that site as book- 
keeper for Allen & Pool and when he resigned to go in business 
for himself he was succeeded by Mr. Wm. R. Baker, who in 
turn resigned to engage in business for himself. He began by 
renting a part of the same warehouse and when he died, he 
was one of the wealthiest and most successful citizens of 
Houston. There were several others though none so successful 
as these two. 

There are two bridges that deserve to be placed among 
the historical locations. One is the Preston Avenue bridge 
and the other is the small bridge spanning White Oak Bayou 
not far from where it empties into Buffalo Bayou. Over these 
two bridges, for many years, practically all the commerce of 
the state passed. It is impossible to even estimate the value 
of the products that have passed over these bridges coming 
into Houston or the value of the goods that passed going 
out. 

There are three points that have historical interest from 
a railroad point of view. The first is near the west end of the 
old McGowan Foundry, for it was there that the first shovel 
of dirt was thrown by Mr. Paul Bremond when the construction 
of the HoTiston and Texas Central Railroad was begun. The 
second is the southwest comer of Polk Avenue and San 
Jacinto Street, where the first passenger and freight depot 
of the Buffalo Bayou and Brazos Railroad was located. The 
third is the southeast corner of McKinney ' Avenue and San 



444 History of Houston, Texas 

Jacinto Street, where, during the war, the Galveston, Houston 
and Henderson Railroad had its passenger and freight depot. 
Thousands of soldiers and hundreds of tons of munitions 
of war have passed over that spot, for during the four years 
of the war that road was in constant operation and the 
military authorities took entire charge of the road. 

Of course the old wharf at the foot of Main Street and 
extending down as far as San Jacinto Street, is historical, but 
as the only change likely to be made in it will be one of 
improvement and growth, it is not necessary to speak of it 
especially here. 

On October 1, 1911, workmen began tearing down the Rice 
Hotel, which stands on the site of the old Capital, to make way 
for a new hotel which is to cost two million dollars and is 
to be the finest hotel in the . state. In this connection the 
following extract from the columns of the old Telegraph, 
will be read with interest, since it tells of the -fate of Houston's 
first hotel and of some of the distinguished men who patronized 
it. In its issue of May 16, 1855, under the heading, "The Pall 
of a Historic House," the Telegraph stated that the oldest 
house that was standing in Houston on the preceding Saturday 
had been reduced to a mass of ruins. It was the original 
City Hotel, a log building in the rear of the Telegraph office 
on Franklin Avenue. After an existence of nearly twenty 
years it had fallen because of old age and decrepitude. It 
was built by Maj. Ben Port Smith, a pioneer in Texas and 
in Houston, and the Telegraph said: "It had been in its day 
the hotel par excellence of the Capitol and commercial 
metropolis of the glorious old Republic of Texas. The 
President and his cabinet and the senators and representatives 
and officials of the first and second Congresses had dined 
there, and so, too, had foreign ministers." 

"Rusk, who was a great man before the Republic, was 
once glorified at its tables with a sacrifice of good things — 
fowls at $6 a pair, butter at $1 a pound, eggs at $3 a dozen 
and champaigne at a fabulous price per bottle." "It has 
been said that the dinner was planned to encourage a 



Old Landmarks 445 

reconciliation between Rusk and Houston, and that it was 
so far successful that Rusk, ia toasting Houston, his old 
opponent, said: 'Houston, with all thy faults I love thee 
still.' " 

The fall of the old house evidently put the editor in a 
reminiscent mood, for he goes on to say: "Texas had great 
men in that day and their name was legion. It was an 
insult to take a man for anything but great, brave, chivalrous 
and even rich. Everybody was rich, or in the army or 
navy or public service, which was the same thing. The 
City Hotel had a barroom, one of perhaps twenty that 
flourished in the town, where steam was kept up at the 
explosion point, and the collapse of a decanter, pitcher or 
tumbler, as it came. in contact with the brains of some unlucky 
devotee at the shrine of chivalry or bravado, or of the kindred 
virtues usually worshiped 'when the wine was red in the cup,' 
was no uncommon occurrence. Those were the days of duels, 
bowie knives and pistols, poker, keno and faro, when- ten, 
twenty or fifty thousand dollars would be lost and won in 
a night. Texas was the prophecy of California, and Houston 
a very San Francisco. No mines were dug, but gold was 
plenty and men managed to live without sweating their brows. 
If a man worked at all, he earned his $8 or $10 a day, but 
precious few worked at all. Buck Peters and Jeff Wright 
were the practical jokers. Judge Shelby was on the bench, 
and was indicted by his own grand jury for playing 
backgammon with his wife. Gus Tompkins, fertile in 
expedient, but fractious, with his large brain and small body 
and lightning impulses, was a terror to evil-doors. Felix 
Huston commanded the turbulent army, Commodore Moore 
had not come to. Texas then, and the navy was divided with 
several competent but less ambitious commanders, not least 
distinguished among whom was our old friend Boots Taylor, 
a very Chesterfield in manners. Carnes and Teel and 
Morehouse and Deaf Smith lived in those times with a host 
of other noble spirits whose lights have long since gone out." 

"We notice a few survivors of those glorious days still 



446 History of Houston, Texas 

among us. Col, Frank Johnson, one of the heroes of the 
storming of San Antonio, and the surrender of the Mexican 
garrison under Cos, sat with us on a log under the very 
eaves of the old building the day before it fell, and with him 
was another survivor, Honest Bob "Wilson, who was expelled 
from the Senate of the old Republic, but was reelected and borne 
back in triumph upon their shoulders by an indignant people, 
to the Capitol." 



CHAPTER XXVIII 
Houston's Growth and Progress 



The Several Periods of Houston's History. The Plan Followed 
in Writing the City's Story. A Chai)ter of Recapitulation. 
Characteristics of the Pioneer Builders. Trade Revival 
FoUowiug Annexation. The .Days of Ox-Wagon Traffic. 
Benefits from the First Railroad. The Destructive Early 
Fires and their Results. A Pen Picture of the City in 1857. 
Houston During the Civil War. Blockade Running and Trade 
Conditions. Houston as Military Headquarters. Feverish 
Gaiety of the War Period. A Dearth of Food and Clothes. 
Confederate Money and Shin Plasters. Rapid Business 
Revival When War Closed. Texas on Gold and Silver Basis. 
City Looted Under Carpet Bag Rule. A Pen Picture of 
Houston in 1879. A Period of Lethargy and Stagnation. 
The Years of Growth and Expansion. Rapid Increase in 
Property Values. City's Population Doubles Each Decade. 
The Great Skyscraper Era. Synopsis of City's Relation to 
Big Business Taken from City Directory of 1911. What 
Houston has Accomplished in the 75 Years of its Life. 
The Promise of the Future. 



Hoiiston's history, if it were divided into periods would be 
classified somewhat as follows: 

The period of the Republic, from 1836 to 1845. 

The Ante-Bellum period, from .1845 to 1861. 

The Civil War period, from 1861 to 1865. 

The short period of recovery, from 1865 to 1867. 

The Carpet-Bag period, beginning 1867, whose effects lasted 

until 1882. 
The period of lethargy and slight growth, from 1882 to 1895. 
The decade of rapid growth from 1895 to 1905. 
The skyscraper period, from 1905 to the present time. 
The early chapters of the present volume describe the earliest 



448 History of Houston, Texas 

period with a good deal of attention to the details of growth and 
the genesis of the several institutions. As the different kinds of 
enterprises that go to make up a city do not grow symmetrically 
nor syn-chronologically they can not be foreshortened into a 
composite picture and hence the several elements and institu- 
tions of civic prosperity in fairness to themselves had to be 
traced severally and so the beginning and progress of each has 
been indicated in turn. 

The municipality and its officials ; the public improvements ; 
the law and the lawyers ; the physicians and the institutions 
they founded ; the bench and bar ; the banks and the bankers ; 
the railroads and public service corporations ; the great financial 
institutions ; the builders and architects and the results of their 
labor in brick and steel and stone ; the capitalists- and the wage 
earners ; the preachers and the churches ; the public schools and 
the Rice Institute ; the newspapers and the writers ; the captains 
of commerce and of industry and their great business enter- 
prises; trade and manufacture; music and musicians; art and 
artists ; clubs and societies and organizations to better the social 
welfare; and the several classes of citizenship who have stood 
for these things; have all been treated in turn. 

As these grew, Houston grew from a group of log huts and 
tents to a busy village on a water course that led to the sea, 
grew to build railroads, grew to throw out the tentacles of enter- 
prise in all directions, grew out of the village status and the 
small town ideas a.nd ideals, grew to be a real city with the throb- 
bing complex life of a city and a city's multifold interests, grew to 
teach the nation something about the problems of city government, 
grew to be an example in the conduct of public schools, grew 
to be the home of many beautiful churches, grew into a great 
bujdng market for cotton and many other commodities and a 
great selling market for lumber and many other things, grew 
into a city of factories, grew into a great port of export and a 
center of distribution for a great territory,' grew to adorn herself 
with costly public buildings and grew up into the air with great 
business structures, and is steadily growing into a huge metrop- 
olis. 



Houston's Gromth and Progress 449 

This chapter is one of rapid recapitulation. One that takes 
a backward glance at the city during its several periods and 
rethreads the complex story from the days of the pioneers to 
the present and then summarizes notable elements of very recent 
growth, grouping them into an avenue of achievement through 
which opens the vista of a splendid future, for the story of 
Houston will doubtless ever remain an unfinished story and the 
sequelae will make ever fairer chapters because the future of 
Houston should ever be novel in daring and epic in grandeur. 

The builders of the future should remember, however, that 
had their predecessors not chosen wisely and builded well the 
foundations, their own achievements would have been lesser and 
more circumscribed. 

The popular conception of pioneers is that brawn and 
muscle are their main and distinguishing attributes. In popular 
estimation, the aesthetic, the refined and the artistic have no place 
in the composition of a pioneer. He is imagined as being roughly 
educated, if at all, with a careless disregard for books or for liter- 
ature in any form, concentrating his interest on his immediate 
surroundings and having something amounting almost to eon- 
tempt for, everything not directly bearing on his physical com- 
fort. 

Now it is a remarkable fact that the pioneer Houstonians 
resembled such a type of pioneer in no way at all, for among 
them were many really brilliant and great men. Of course there 
were also representatives of the rough class, but these were not 
numerous and had too little weight or influence to stamp their 
individuality on the community. Society was largely composed 
of men of education and learning ; of professional men, lawyers, 
doctors, statesmen and soldiers — ^men whose mental and moral 
qualifications would have reflected honor on any community. 
Neither is it surprising that such conditions should have pre- 
vailed, for among the early Houstonians were well educated 
representatives of many of the most prominent families of the 
older states, while among the foreigners, mostly Germans, were 
some of the most highly educated and well bom men of Europe. 
Under conditions such as these it is not surprising that Houston 



450 History of Houston, Texas 

was at first, more than in later years, an educational and intel- 
lectual, as well as a commercial center. Hon. A. W. Terrell, 
formerly United States minister to Turkey, once uttered a mem- 
orable address in which he showed the great number of highly 
fduoated men among the signers of the Texas Dynlaration of 
Independence. Such men composed the early citizen sliip of 
Hovston. 

After the establishment of the Texas Republic, Houston 
became a great social and political center, for here were gathered 
statesmen, congressmen, foreign ministers and others whose pres- 
ence added materially to th« life and gaiety of the city. Then, 
too, there was a large influx of professional men, planters, mer- 
chants and others who, with their wives and daughters, added 
largely to the social life of the little town. The means of enjoy- 
ment were limited, of course, but there were gachcrings, visit- 
ings, dinings and other' forms of social pleasure. 

Tu December. 1845, the first state election was held. Peter 
W. Gray and J. N. 0. Smith were elected representatives and 
Isaac W. Brashear was elected Senator. The folio vvnig Fehruiiry, 
Texas took hor pjace among the states of the TTnton. As soon 
as that occurred, immigration from the South and West began 
and new life ^^as enthused into the state and particularly into 
Houston. T'-ade itvived, land values increased and a regular 
boom set in. Tiiere was a brisk demand for all atapli' goods and 
the wholesale trade of the city became very great. All these goods 
were received by v-ater, but their distribution to the inteiior had 
to be made by means of ox-wagons and that gavo rise to an 
immense industry. The very difScuities of transportation created 
this industry and it soon became highly remunerative. It was 
of great proportions, too, for it is recorded that on one day there 
were ninety-seven ox-wagons that entered the city over the Long 
Bridge alone, and that it required 1,164 oxen to haul these 
wagons. As there was a large business done with the "West also, 
wagons from which section came into the city over the San Felipe 
road, an idea of the magnitude of the business may be formed. 
This form of transportation, while very slow and tedious, was 
very reliable and certain, for while the roads at times were bad, 



Houston's GroiMh and Progress 451 

as a rule they were very good. There was danger from attacks 
by Indians, but the wagoners guarded against that, by keeping 
together, and traveling in large parties. 

The great bulk of Houston's trade with the interior was 
done by wagons, even as late as 1856, or three years after the 
Central Railroad had been started. Three years later, or in 1859, 
the wagon trade with the Northwest, became a thing of the past, 
for by then, the railroad had reached a point where its influence 
was felt. As soon as this occurred, Houston began to feel the 
benefits of the change. Her business increased by leaps and 
bounds. Houston real estate increased in value from the time 
that the first shovel full of dirt for the construction of the Hous- 
ton and Texas Central Railroad was thrown, but the increase was 
most pronounced after that road had reached Hempstead, fifty 
miles from Houston. 

The following extract from the assessment rolls of the city, 
shows the valuation of Houston real estate for the years named : 
1858, $2,127,123; 1859, $2,485,851; 1860, $3,339,285; 1861, $3,- 
386,493 ; 1862, $3,581,923 ; 1863, $4,426,571. . 

The city was visited by two disastrous fifes, one in 1858, aild 
the other in 1859, whi^h, while looked on as calamities a|; the 
time, were really highly beneficial. Up to that time there had 
been only two or three small brick buildings • erected, g,]id the 
whole business part of the town was composed of frame builcjings. 
The first fire destroyed the block bounded by Main, Congress, 
Travis and Preston, and also destroyed the Main Street front 
of the block opposite. The second fire destroyed the block 
bounded by Main, Franklin, Congress and Travis. These two 
fires gave opportunity, of which advantage was taken, to replace 
the old wooden buildings with brick ones. 

Until the beginning of the Civil "War, the affairs of the 
city were "administered in an honest and progressive spirit, which 
was characteristic of the people. Public office was considered a 
high honor and the very best citizens were chosen to act as 
public servants, and esteemed it an evidence of the confidence of 
their fellow citizens. 



4:52 History of Houston, Texas 

Just what Houston was before the war is well shown by 
this extract from the Telegraph of January 21, 1857 : 

"A gentleman from the States who has just returned from 
a tour through the principalities of Texas says that of all places 
he visited in the state, the city of Houston presents the best 
evidence of wealth and substantial prosperity, and that he has no 
doubt that it is destined to be by far the largest city in Texas. 
He. based his belief on the advantages possessed by the city in 
its geographical position, at the head of the principal bay and 
harbor of the whole coast ; upon the start it has already attained 
in the trade and commerce of the state; upon the energy, and 
enterprise it exhibited in building the first railroads and extend- 
ing iron arms to embrace the whole territory of the Lone Star 
State within their commercial grasp ; upon the disposition to be 
found among the people of the interior to cultivate friendly 
relations with our city and to secure to themselves the benefits of 
a market such as no other point in the state can offer them." 

This vista of prosperity was rudely blurred by the Civil War. 

When the great Civil War began in 1861, Houston had over 
two hundred miles of railway centering here. The Houston and 
Texas Central road extended to the north as far as Millican, a 
distance of 80 miles, the Buffalo Bayou and Brazoria road led to 
the west as far as Allyton, about 80 miles, and the Texas and 
New Orleans road to the east as far as Orange, about 80 miles. 
These made Houston the railroad center of the state, and a point 
of the greatest military importance. It became at once the great 
concentration and distributing point for troops and munitions of 
war, and the resultant activity was very great. Early in 1862 
the Federal fleet menaced Galveston so seriously that everybody 
who could get away left there and came to Houston. Thus the 
population was increased in a novel way. Military Headquarters 
for the Trans-Mississippi Department were established at Hous- 
ton, and it became the military, commercial and social center of 
the state. 

- There was, of course, a great show of prosperity and busi- 
ness, but it was all show and had but little that was real and 
substantial about it. There was some real prosperity, but this 



Houston's Growth and Progress 453 

was confined to only a few people. Those who had a great deal 
of money to begin with, and who could keep out of the army, 
were enabled to add largely to their fortunes by obtaining per- 
mits to ship out cotton and bring back a certain amount of 
arms and ammunition for the use of the soldiers. It is true that' 
a strict blockade was maintained by the Federal ships off Galves- 
ton and all other Texas ports, and that there was great risk in 
blockade-running, and yet one success would more than cover the 
losses from two or three failures. Cotton could be bought for 
Confederate money and after it reached a foreign port it could 
be sold for a dollar a pound in gold. The return cargo of war 
munitions was scarcely higher in price in foreign markets than 
during ordinary times, so that the profits on a successful round 
trip were very great. Most of the blockade runners, those who 
owned the cargoes and financed the operations, had headquarters 
in Houston. It would seem that this alone would have added 
greatly to the general prosperity, but such was not the case. The 
whole thing was rather a close corporation and only one or two 
individuals shared in the profits. Besides there were no great 
numbers employed in the work. One or two small, but. 
very swift vessels, manned by as small a crew for each vessel 
as possible, a big capitalist at this end to buy the cotton, a sales- 
man who went with the cargo to sell it, eager competitive buyers 
at the other end, prepared to give gold for the cotton and to seU 
arms and anything else for a return cargo, — that was all. Less 
than a dozen men and one small vessel could easily do all that 
was necessary to make a big fortune by one successful trip, or 
lose a small one by failure. This is narrated here to show how 
one-sided was the prosperity Ijrought about by blockade running 
and how little the general public shared in it. 

Houston being military headquarters, army contractors and 
hundreds of such people flocked here. There was a great deal 
of money in circulation, but it was Confederate money and it 
was just about as hard to get hold of as any other kind of money. 
One had then to earn what he got, as now, and as all avenues 
of money making were closed, except those opened for the for- 
tunate and favored few, there was real want and great poverty 



454 History of Houston, Texas 

Among the masses. About the only things that were plentiful 
were brass bands and gaudy military uniforms, for there were 
enough brilliantly plumed staff-ofBcers in Houston during the 
whole war to have made an entire regiment of Texas troops such 
as General Lee said he needed and wanted so badly. The chief 
way in which Houston suffered during the war was in having 
general business halted, and in having all foundries and work- 
shops closed except those employed in manufacturing war materi- 
als. Bven'those that were open and in operation were operated 
by soldiers, detailed for that purpose. The Federal troops never 
were responsible, directly, for any injury to Houston, for they 
never got closer than fifty miles to it. Yet there was great want 
and suffering among the people, for even the coarsest food was 
expensive and hard to get, and clothing was all homemade. Any 
old style and any old thing was good enough just so it covered 
nakedness. 

A very fair statement of actual conditions in Houston about 
the middle years of the war would be the following: General 
ilagruder and his staff lived on the fat of the land. Several 
favored and adventurous merchants grew rich, honorably, by 
running the blockade. Dozens of army contractors got rich, any 
old way. The great mass of the real men were off at the front 
fighting for their country, and their families at home suffered 
for the absolute necessities of life. That is not a very nice pic- 
ture but it is a true one. 

Yet the city wore no funeral trappings. Houston was never 
so gay and lively as during those war days. It is true, that 
nearly every week tidings came from the front that plunged some 
family in deepest grief, or in painful anxiety about the d«ath or 
painful wounding of a son, brother, father or sweetheart on a 
distant 'battle field. Still the gaiety went on. And yet all this 
round of mirth making was not for the sole purpose of pleasure. 
Some of it had a higher and nobler motive. 

The women of Houston were constantly at work raising 
funds to supply clothing for the soldiers and to procure hospital 
supplies for the sick. In order to do this they gave concerts, 
balls, fairs, oyster suppers, in fact they did any and everything 



Houston's GroiMh and Progress 455 

in their power to raise money. And they succeeded too. Public 
balls and concerts added greatly to the general gaiety of the city, 
and scarcely a,ny one paused to think of the heartbreaking cause 
that led to their being given. But the good work of the women 
was not all so pleasant as giving balls and concerts. They organ- 
ized as nurses, and took charge of the local hospitals that were 
established for sick soldiers. "When the hospitals became crowded 
they opened their homes to the sick and wounded soldiers, and 
they were unceasing in their devotion to the great work they 
had undertaken. 

Coffee, tea and flour became things of the past almost, and 
were so scarce that they were only within the reach, even when 
a stray supply showed up, of the very wealthy. There was 
plenty of sugar in this part of the state, because of the prox- 
imity of the sugar plantations, and there was plenty of corn 
meal and bacon and meat, but beyond that, there was nothing. 
Many substitutes for tea and coffee were found but there was 
none for flour. Sweet potatoes roasted to a crisp and then 
ground in a coffee mill, made a good substitute for coffee. Sassa- 
fras root made good tea. As a rule, however, most people drank 
only hot water. 

One of the greatest problems the people had to contend with 
was securing lights. Every family became its own candle-maker. 
These candles were wonderful creations made of tallow and hav- 
ing wicks of home-spun cotton. They had to be snuffed about 
every two minutes, otherwise they gave no light at all. 

About the queerest hardships the people had to undergo 
developed the latter part of 1863. The money gave out. Even , 
Confederate money became so scarce that the people had no 
medium of exchange. What little Confederate money there was 
in circulation was in bills of large denomination. There were no 
small bills at all. In this dilemma each merchant in to-wn con- 
stituted himself a bank of issue. At first the plan worked very 
satisfactorily, but soon it was so overdone that everybody 
became disgusted, and refused to take any of the notes or bills 
except those issued by well known and responsible firms. As 
the number of these was limited, the confusion soon became almost 



456 History of Houston, Texas 

as great as ever. The older citizens tell of a German druggist, 
who did not have the best character for honesty, issuing thou- 
sands of dollars of these "shin plasters," as they were called. 
No one would take them, and finally he refused to take them 
himself, giving as his reason the fact that everybody else refused 
them, and that he had a right to do what everybody else did. 

There was a great deal of both tragedy and comedy in Hous- 
ton during the four years of the war, but on the whole comedy 
prevailed, and people went on buying and selling, laughing and 
weeping, marrying and giving in marriage. 

Almost before the echo of the last gun of the war had died 
away, Houston began to show life and animation. Business 
became brisk and there was evidence of prosperity on every hand. 
This was due to several causes. Houston had felt few of the ill 
effects of the war, except those that were general to the whole 
country, and certainly none that could be considered more than 
temporary and transient. But the real reason for the great 
prosperity lay in the fact that there were large quantities of cot- 
ton stowed away on the plantations and farms — the accumula- 
tions of four years, which found a ready and ravenous market 
at fabulous prices. Houston's trade became at once very great, 
and the prosperity was great also. There was plenty of money 
and it was easy to get hold of. It was real money too, gold and 
silver, for Texas was the only state in the Union that was on a 
gold and silver basis in 1865. Large quantities of foreign gold 
were shipped here with which to buy cotton, and gold became 
the currency of the country. This prosperity was somewhat 
checked in 1866 by the occurrence of the cholera epidemic of 
that year, but the check was only temporary and before the fall 
of 1866, everything was booming again. The winter of 1866-1867 
was very active in all branches of business. The presence of a 
large body of troops, the Federal army of occupation, while 
annoying and exasperating, was possibly beneficial from a com- 
mercial point of view, since they had to purchase all their sup- 
plies in the local market. 

This prosperity was effervescent, however, for after the 
supply of old cotton had been exhausted, it was found, that 



Houston's Growth and Progress 457 

owing to the difSculties of securing suitable labor, it was 
almost impossible to produce more. Then the great yellow 
fever epidemic of 18^7 broke out, accompanied by an equally 
great disaster, the establishment of carpet-bag rule in Texas and 
of course, in Houston, and all semblance of prosperity, fled. 

All the couiity and city officials in Houston were removed 
from office by order of E. J. Davis and their places filled by 
men, who, with few exceptions, were irresponsible rascals or 
negroes. Then began a struggle for white supremacy, which 
lasted for several years, during which time the dishonest officials 
proceeded to loot the county and city. 

By 1879 the bonded debt of Houston was very close to 
$2,000,000 and the affairs of the city were in a desperate con- 
dition. A very true picture of the Houston of that day was 
given by a citizen of Iowa, who visited this city and after his 
return home wrote the following letter to the Davenport, Iowa, 
Gazette, in 1879: 

''This (Houston) is the great railroad center of Texas, and 
■ if railroads make a great city, this is destined to be one. It 
is the terminus of the Galveston and Houston, the Houston and 
Texas Central, the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio, the 
Texas and New Orleans, and the Great Northern railroads, the 
last named of which also has a branchy to Columbia. Besides 
this it is the harbor of the Morgan line of steamships, running 
to New Orleans, Havana, Brownsville and Veraj Cruz. Is not 
this a good foundation for a city? * * * * it has a charming 
climate. Its trees are green and its flowers are beautiful and 
fragrant. It has some (not many) good buildings, business 
houses and residences. It has the finest market house in the 
West and the finest market. It has some good looking stores, 
dry goods and groceries, and, I am told, a good cotton press. 
But the city looks shabby. There is not a paved or macadamized 
street in the town, and but few decent sidewalks, and no system 
of sewers at all. "Wooden troughs are placed in the gutters in 
some places, and waste water from houses is conducted into them 
through other wooden troughs. This water does not run off,' but 
stands and emits an unhealthful odor. If such a want of clean- 



458 History of Houston, Texas 

liness does not breed disease«it is only because the day of wrath 
is being put off. 

"I was told that the city has an enormous debt, and that 
some are recommending a surrender of the city charter to avoid 
payment, but I cannot believe that the better men of Houston 
will suffer such a stigma to attach to their city. : 

"She has the recuperative power within herself which needs 
only to be awakened to impel her to throw off the load by which 
she is oppressed. The city is beautiful for situation and were it 
paved, painted and polished up, it would shine like a star." 

Most of the evils this writer eomplaine'i of have been done 
away with and the bright future he predxctjd for Houston has 
become a fact. 

When Houston had finally compromised her bonded debt, 
she was placed in position to turn her attention to those things 
that have made her great. But the following twelve to fifteen 
years, or from 1882 to 1895, her progress was slow. The city 
barely held its own and there was little growth either in com- 
mercial importance or in population during that period. 

The year 1895 marked the end of the period of lethargy and 
inaction. There was a recognition of Houston's advantageous 
position by outside capital and home people began to share in 
this new born confidence. The growth was not phenomenal, but 
it was satisfactory and of such character as to attract attention, 
and was altogether along safe and conservative lines. During the 
next decade the expansion and growth became wonderful, and 
at one time it reached such proportions that it created alarm, 
and predictions were freely made that Houston would be over- 
taken by the fate of other "boomed" cities. These predictions 
have proved groundless and what was considered undue inflation 
in 1900 was considered as ridiculously conservative five years 
later. 

The change of form of municipal government, from the 
old board of aldermen with a mayor, to the five commission- 
ers, inspired the greatest public confidence, and the city entered 
on an era of growth, expansion and prosperity that was of such 
marked proportions as to attract the attention of the outside 



Houston's Growth and Progress , 459 

world. The commission form of government became eiffective 
in 1905. In less than a year, the guarantee that it gave of a 
business-like management of public affairs and the consequent 
stability of every other form of business, inspired the greatest 
confidence, and capitalists vied with each other in their efforts to 
add to the commercial and manufacturing industries of the city. 
From September, 1906 to September, 1907, there were 146 new 
enterprises chartered in Houston, with a total capital of $14,- 
836,375, while twenty-eight of Houston's established corpora- 
tions increased their capital stock $3,340,000. 

The assessed valuation of property in Houston, in 1901, was 
$27,534,271, while the bonded debt was, including the funded debt 
incurred by the carpet-bag government, $2,995,000. 

For the year 1911 the assessed valuation is $77,294,351. (The 
real value is nearly $200,000,000), while the bonded debt is only 
$5,919,000 or just twice as great as it was ten years before, while 
the city has a hundred fold more to show for its debt. 

Houston has never redeemed any of the bonds issued, for the 
simple reason that none, save these funded, have ever fallen due. 
The oldest outstanding bond issue is that of $524,000 of 30 years 
funding bonds, bearing 6 per cent interest, issued January 1, 
1882, and maturing January 1, 1912. The city will be able to 
pay these bonds when due and will do so. 

The city's charter permits the levying of $2 on every $100 
of assessed valuation, but the commission has gradually reduced 
this rate until now it is only $1.70 on the $100. 

The following figures taken from the books of the assessors 
office do not fairly show the true values, but they do fairly indi- 
cate the wonderful ratio of increase in the value of Houston prop- 
erty, not only during each decade, but the remarkable increase of 
eacli decade over the preceding one : 1880, assessment $5,502,416 ; 
1890, $12,946,485; 1900, 27,480,898; 1910, $77,294,351. In 1880 
the bonded debt represented almost two-fifths of the assessed 
value of Houston's property, while in 19ll, it represented only 
one-thirteenth. 

The original city limits of Houston were nine square miles. 
During the reconstruction period this was inflated many miles in 



460 History of Houston, Texas 

every direction but was reduced, as has been recounted, back to 
the original limits. By 1903 it overlapped this area in every 
direction and the limits were rationally extended to include 16 
square miles which is the official area today, but the city again 
overlaps in every direction. 

According to the federal census the population of Houston 
within its city limits was 27,557 in 1890 and in 1900 it was 44,633, 
while by the census of 1910 the total was 78,800. Together with 
Houston Heights, Brunner and other suburbs, however, between 
which and Houston there exists only the artificial boundary of 
an imaginary line and which are one with Houston in continuity, 
growth and development, the population is 105,860, so that Hous- 
ton is actually the largest city in Texas. 

Although practically all the acreage of Harris County is 
fertile there is only 11 per cent under cultivation and the devel- 
opment of the 89 per cent of the county lands will vastly increase 
the. city's growth. The development of all south Texas will also 
help this city. 

The story of the great building era of recent years has been 
told but it should be noted that the skyscraper period of build- 
ing has only been in progress since about 1905 and that 19 of the 
28 buildings* of six stories or over that Houston boasts have 
been completed within the two years preceding November 1, 1911. 

Permits for the erection of 981 buildings were granted by 
the city for the year closing February 28, 1911. 

A quarter of a century before, in 1885, there were 98 build- 
ings constructed in Houston in the course of a year and their 
total cost was $286,000 or about ha.lf the cost of an ordinary 
modern skyscraper. Of the 98 buildings of that year, 80 were 
dwelling houses, and only six were factory buildings. 

At any time since January 1, 1909, there has been at l^ast 
$5,000,000 worth of construction work in progress in Houston, 
huge new skyscrapers being begun as soon as others were com- 
pleted. On October 1, 1911, over $7,000,000 worth of eonstruc- 

*This chapter was written at a little later date than the one 
in which it is stated that there are 25 buildings of 6 stories or 
over. 



Houston's Growth and Progress 461 

tion work was in progress. Houston's latest city directory, issued 
in the summer of 1911, thus summarizes the advantages of 
Houston as the home of big business : 

' ' In cotton, lumber, oil and rice, Houston is preeminent. It 
collects and distributes for export the great bulk of the Texas 
and Oklahoma cotton crop and much from elsewhere. Here are 
annually handled 275,000 bales. By concentration facilities and 
saving on railroad rates Houston saves the cotton trade some 
$4,000,000 annually. Most of this saving is to the growers and 
initial shippers. From all over the world, great cotton interests 
send their representatives here. Manchester, Liverpool iand 
Hamburg are accustomed to send scions of their great trade 
houses to learn the cotton business in Houston. Even Japan is 
represented among the cotton factors and brokers of Houston 
by a native firm. Cotton compresses, cotton oil and cotton seed 
products have large plants and interests. 

"Houston is perhaps the greatest lumber city in America. 
There are 49 corporations of yellow pine lumber manufacturers 
here, whose combined capital aggregates $85,000,000. An annual 
business of $40,000,000 in lumber is transacted by the lumber men 
in Houston. Some 250 saw mills in Texas, Louisiana and Arkan- 
sas are represented here. There are six national banks and four 
large trust companies, two of the largest of the latter having 
just consolidated, that have a combined capital stock of $7,000,- 
000. Two of the banks are capitalized for $1,000,000 each. They 
are the Union National and the First National. The checking 
deposits of the Houston banks aggregate over $33,000,000 and 
the saving deposits $3,000,000 more. 

' ' Houston is the second largest primary rice market in the 
South. It is in the center of a district that annually produces 
2,500,000 bags from 282,000 acres planted in rice. Five great 
rice mills operate here. 

"Houston is the market and center of the Texas petroleum 
district which annually produces 13,000,000 barrels. The largest 
independent oil company in America, The Texas Company, has 
headquarters here. It is capitalized for $50,000,000 and owns 
its own line of oil steamers which traverse nearly all seas. 



462 History of Houston, Texas 

"Houston is the center of the great sugar growing district 
of Texas. Near it are 13 sugar mills with a combined capacity of 
11,700 tons daily. This district produces 2,350,000 gallons of 
molasses annually. Every boy and girl in North and South 
America could have molasses, on his or her bread, grown and 
made within sixty miles of Houston. 

"Some 20 concerns on Houston's produce row do an annual 
business in the Texas produce market of $5,500,000. The city 
is the center of the Texas fruit and vegetable trade. The annual 
wholesale trade of Houston is $130,000,000. The city has over 
1,200 retail firms that do an annual business of over $55,000,000. 
The city has 341 factories, producing 282 different articles. The 
manufactured products of Houston are annually worth $56,000,- 
000. Over 10,000 wage earners are employed in Houston who 
receive $9,000,000 annually. 

"The tax roll for 1912 will carry an $80,000,000 property 
valuation. 

"The city death rate is 13.5, one of the lowest in the country. 
The death rate among the white population is under 10. These 
figures are to each 1,000 inhabitants. 

"The city has the largest scholastic population and the 
best public school system of any city in Texas. 

' ' Houston has 64 churches worth over $3,500,000. They are 
supported by 30,000 communicants at an annual cost of $275,000. 

' ' The railroad shops of Houston employ over 5,000 men who 
draw an annual aggregate wage of over $3,000,000. 

"Houston is the home of splendid newspapers, thoroughly 
equipped and magnificently housed. 

"Harris County has over 300 miles of shell road and is a 
paradise for automobilists. 

' ' The altitude of Houston is 64 feet and the terrain is every- 
where level. 

"At Houston 17 lines of railroad meet the sea, and here they 
have absolute terminals. 

"The Houston ship channel, now 18 feet deep for its entire 
length, carries an annual traffic of 1,500,000 tons valued at a 
sum in excess of $50,000,000. 



Houston's Growth and Progress 463 

"On July 18, 1907, Houston was made a port of entry and 
has doubled its receipts each year since that time. 

' ' On February 7, 1910', the federal congress authorized the 
expenditure of $2,500,000 under government direction on the 
Houston ship channel to straighten it and increase the depth to 
25 feet, conditioned that Houston pay half of the amount. On 
January 10, 1911, Houston, by almost unanimous vote, decided 
to issue bonds for her one-half of the sum named. The bonds 
have just been issued and are now open to bids. (These bonds 
were purchased en bloc by the Houston banks and trust com- 
painies and were not put on the outside market at all.) 

"At the same time that Houston voted the ship channel 
bonds it voted the expenditure of $500,000 for the building of a 
viaduct over the bayou to more closely connect the several sections 
of the city. These bonds have been sold and work will soon com- 
mence on the splendid viaduct. • (The bonds were purchased by 
the South Texas National Bank of Houston and work is now 
under way on the viaduct.) 

"The city has recently voted $500,000 in sciiool bonds for 
the erection of new schools. 

' ' The figures and statistics quoted are largely taken Erectly 
from the city reports and the reports of firms and corporations, 
the rest are those collated by Houston's active chamber of com- 
merce. 

' ' Socially, religiously, educationally and most of all in busi- 
ness life Houston is the metropolis of Texas and stands on the 
threshold of yet larger and more splendid growth." 

This summary taken from the directory was written by the 
editor of this volume, and where larger figures are used than 
those in the body of the text, in the chapters referring to the 
several industries the larger figures are those of the city's cham- 
ber of commerce collated at a later date than the chapters were 
written. 

Houston as a city is 75 years old. It has demonstrated many 
remarkable things in city building. "Within one year from the 
time that John AUen cut the coffee weeds with a bowie knife 
down a muddy slope that led 'to a slowly flowing bayou, the new 



464 History of Houston, Texas 

town became the capital city of the new Republic whose area was 
52,000 square miles greater than that of France. In a few years 
Houston lost the political capital, which sought a spot nearer the 
geographical center of the state, but it retained the commercial 
supremacy and is today, the financial capital of the^ state. Its 
population has practically doubled every decade, but the last 
doubling actually occurred within a period of some five years. 
Will it double again within the nest five or the next decade? 
Few students of business conditions will doubt it. 

Out of the Houston-Galveston shipping district more goods 
are sent abi;oad than from anywhere else in the United States 
save New York City alone. The opening of the Panama Canal 
will make this district the great shipping point to South Amer- 
ica and the Orient and will also develop it as a great port of 
entry for foreign goods. One must look to Manchester and to • 
Hamburg to be able even to presage the future commercial 
supremacy of Houston. 

Built in a wilderness Houston has become a metropolis. 

Built on an almost sea level plain it has lifted itself into 
the air. It has disappointed no promoter's faith and has made 
sober and trite reality of many a promise that seemed but the 
extravaganza of rhapsody and has then passed beyond the proph- 
ecies that were made for it until one almost sneers at the seers 
of its future for their shortness of vision. In view of that fact 
who sha;ll dare to paint its future or count the heaven kissing 
shafts and towers shown in the mirage of the days to come over- 
arched by the rainbows of promise. The arithmetic of the future 
is of little value, for Houston grows in a geometrical progression. 
One thing at least is certain. Great Texas will have one great 
metropolis. It will be a sea-port. It will be Houston! 



INDEX 



Index " 467 



Abbe Domenech, quoted 63, 70 

Abundance of Wild Game ... 31 

Academy, Houston 170 

Academy of Music 431 

Account of First Settlers, by John Henry Brown 32 

Adath Geshurum Congregation 164 

Advertisement, "The Town of Houston" 26 

Allen Bros., A. C. & J. K., New York speculators, 26 ; pur- 
chase site of Houston, 26 ; nerve of 28 

Allen, Harry H., newspaper editor 208 

Allen, Rev. Wm. Y., early Presbyterian minister 62 

Altitude 462 

American Brewing Company *. 346 

American 'Trust Company 330, 338 

Amerman, Judge A. E 116 

Amusements, early day .° 41 

Anderson, Phillip, M. D \ 124 

Andrews, Ball & Streetman, law firm- 121 

Andrews, Frank, lawyer 120 

Andrews, John D., mayor 107 

Andrews, Judge W. C 116 

Andrews, M. E .318 

Andrews, Wm., mayor 108 

Anecdote of the Congress of the Republic 35 

Annexation 59, 450 

Annexation Sentiment 59 

Annexation Vote of Harris County 59 

Anniversary Ball ' 42, 66 

Annunciation, Church of the 64 

Ansley, W. 318 

Ante-Bellum Period 447 

Anti-Rat Society 68 

Apartment Houses .414 



468 History of Houston, Texas 

Architecture and Building, Chapter 23, 403 

Art Collection of Wm. M. Rice 200 

Art Ijeague 390 

Artesian "Water 91, 105 

Ashe, Judge Charles E 39, 116 

Auduhon's Early Visit 41 

Auditorium 400 

Automatic Telephone 259 

Bagby Brass Works 344 

Bagby, T. M 59 

Bailey George, of heavenly Houston fame 220 

Bailey, J 59 

Bailey, James, mayor 107 

Bailey, W. S., lawyer 120 

Baker, Botts, Parker & Garwood, law firm 121 

Baker, Gen. Mosely 44 

Baker, Jadies A., lawyer 120, 166, 197, 202, 336, 337 

Baker, Judge James •. 115 

Baker, Wm. R 94, 95, 108, 144, 237, 443 

Baldwin, H 59, 107 

Baldwin, J. C, lawyer 120 

Baldwin Park 436 

Ball, a memorable 42, 66 

Ball, Thos. H 120, 121, 122 

Banks 327 

Bank Clearances 329 

Bankers Journal 213 

Bankers Trust Company 329, 337 

Banner, the National, early newspaper 211 

Banquet of Home Products 357 

Baptist Church, first ministers of 143, 144 

Baptists, early 61, 63, 142 

Baptist Sanitarium , 134 

Bar Association 119, 120 

Barziza, Capt. D. W., criminal lawyer Ill 

Bayland Orphan 's Home 286 

Bayou City Iron Works 345 



Index 469 

Bayou City News, early newspaper 211 

Bayou City Street Car Company 251 

Beaconsfield Apartments 415 

Beaumont, Sour Lake and "Western 245 

Bench and Bar, Chapter 8, 109 

Bender Hotel 417 

Bennett, Alf, Lumjber Company 367 

Beth Israel Congregation 163 

Biglow, Charles, mayor 107 

Big Tree Lumber Company 367 

"Billow," early steamboat 246 

Binz Building 405, 442 

Bland and Fisher ■ 367 

Blockade Runner 251 

Board of Health 66 

Board of Trade, and Banks, Chapter 18, 313 

Boat building 355 

Boilers and Engines, manufacture of 345 

Boldt, Adolph 325 

Boosters, Houston 28 

Borden, Gail and T. H., made original survey and map 29 

Borden, Henry L., lawyer , 120 

Botts, Thos. H., lawyer 120 

Botts,, Col. W. B., lawyer 115 

Boundaries of Houston 76, 79 

Boyler, T. J., M. D 132 

Boys' Fire Company 84 

Brady, Col. J. T., lawyer 119 

Brashear, Isaac "W 60 

Brashear, Judge John 116 

Brashear, J. W. 59 

Brashear, Sam. H., mayor, 108 ; judge 116 

Brass Works 344, 345 

Brazos Plank Road Company 233 

Bremond, Paul, pioneer railroad builder 237, 240 

Brewster, Judge M. N 116 

Bridge, first 80 



470 History of Houston, Texas 

Bringhurst, Geo. H 59 

Briscoe, Capt. Andrew 32, 36 

Briscoe, Hon. Andrew 109 

Briscoe, Mrs. Mary 110 

Briscoe, Mary J., daughter of John B. Harris 32 

Brooks Fire Company, No. 5 84 

Brown, John H., quoted 32, 59 

BrOwn, John T., mayor ". 108 

Bryan, Dudley , 383 

Bryan, Guy M 333 

Bryan, L. A., M.. D 124 

Buckley, Hon. C. W 115 

BuCkner, B. P., mayor 108 

Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railroad 227, 229, 443 

Buffalo. Bayou Improvement 245, 246, 248 

Buffalo Ship Channel 248 

Building, Capitol 30 

Building Statistics 423 

Burke, A. J., mayor , 108 

Burnett, David G 62 

Burns, ,Hon. W. T 120 

Bush Bros 367 

Business League 323 

Cage, R. K., lawyer 119 

Cage, Rufus . . . .■ '. 119, 165 

Cairnes, A. C 322 

Campbell, E. R., criminal district attorney 115 

Ciamp, Indian 31 

Capital Days and Annexation, Chapter 4, 54 

Capital Removed to Austin 57 

Capitol Building 30, 54, 66, 444 

Capitol Square 30 

Cai-d Games 41 

Carlisle and Company 367 

Carnegie Library Association 294 

Carnival Associations 282 

Carpet Bag Period 447 



Index 471 

Carrington, W. A., lawyer 115 

Carter Building 407 

Carter-Kelley Lumber Company 367 

Carter Lumber Company 367 

Carter, S. F 165, 333, 336, 337 

Carter, W. T. & Bro 367 

Carter, W. T. . . ; 332, 337, 369 

Car Wheel "Works 349 

Catholic Churches '. 161 

Cavin, E. D., criminal district attorney 115 

"Cayuga," early steamboat 245 

Cemeteries 435 

Census Statistics 73 

Central Christian Church 421 

Central Coal and Coke Company 367 

Central Fire Station , 402 

Chamber of Commerce 68, 325 

Charitable Institutions , 285 

' ' Charles Fowler, ' ' early steamboat 246 

Charter, the City's 97, 103 

Cheek-Neal Company 355 

Cherokees expelled from the state 57 

Cholera 137 

Christ Church ." 62, 157, 420 

Christian Church 160 

Christian Scientist 160 

Chronicle Building 411 

Church building, the first 142 

Church History, Chapter 10 142 

Church lots donated by the Aliens 142 

Church Mule, the ; . . . 143 

Church of the Annunciation 64, 421 

Church, first organized .^ 62 

Cisterns, source of water supply 90 

City Auditorium 400 

City Bank of Houston 328 

City's Charter 97, 103 



472 History of Souston, Texas 

City control of public schools 175 

City Cotton Mills 352 

City Fire Department 81, 83, 84, 85, 86 

City's Finances and Debt 94, 95, 103 

City Government, Chapter 7, 76 

City Hall 79 

City Hospital 67 

City Hotel 441 

City Incorporation 38 

City Officials 106 

City of Tents : 30 

Civil War Period 447 

Clearing Bank 329 

Clearing House 339 

Cleveland Compress Company 320 

Cleveland, C. L., criminal district attorney 115 

Cleveland Park 436 

Cleveland, Wm. D 165, 316 

Cochran, 0. L 426 

Coffee Roasters 355 

College Park Cemetery 439 

Columbia Tap Eailroad 231 

Columbus, San Antonio and Rio Grande 227 

Commercial and Agricultural Bank 327 

Commercial National Bank 330, 331 

Commission Government 97, 101, 105, 459 

Conditions in 1836 31 

Congress of the Republic 35, 55 

Congress Square 30, 77 

Constitutional Convention '60 

' ' Constitution, ' ' early steamboat 245 

Constitution Bend 245 

Conservation of Timber 370 

Continental Lumber Company 367 

Cook, Judge Gustave, lawyer 115 

Cook, E. F., M. D 129, 130 

Corporation Court 117 



Index 473'. 

Cotton as King 319 

Cotton Compresses 74, 320, 342, 343 

Cotton Exchange 313 

Cotton Exchange and Board of Trade 315 

Cotton, J. M 324 

Cotton Press, first' 74, 342 

Cotton, S. 0. & Bro 426 

Cotton Seed Oil Mills 348, 350- 

Cotton Seed Products 350' 

County Affairs, early 3&^ 

County Court, Harris 116^ 

County, Harris, description of 33: 

County Records, first 36, 39- 

County Seat moved to Houston 33, 3S 

Court House 393, 413 

Court House Site 30, 36, 39 

Cox, Mrs. Robert L 379, 381 

Cozy Theatre 430, 433: 

Crank, Maj. "W. H., lawyer 114^ 

Criminal District Attorneys ll^ 

, Crystal Theatre 433 

Current Literature Club 299 

Cushing, E. H., newspaper editor 208 

Cushman 's Foundry 344 

Daily and Weekly Journals 212 

Dialy Commercial ■ 213 

Daily Courier 213: 

Daily Evening Star 212' 

Daily Mercury 213 

Daily Telegraph 213" 

Daily Times, early newspaper - . . 210, 212 

Daily Union 212 

Daly, David • 25S 

Dancing Club, Z. Z 283 

Daughters of American Revolution - . . 301 

Daughters of the Republic of Texas 302 

Death Rate • 462 



474 History of Houston, Texas 

Debt of the City *. . . 94, 95, 103 

Declaration of Independence 32 

Denis, L. S 165 

Dennis, E. L 165 

Denominational Schools 189 

DePelchin Faith Home ' 288 

'.'Desmonia," early steamboat 246 

Deutsche Zeitung 214 

' ' Diana, ' ' early steamboat 246 

Dickens Fellowship 301 

Dickson Car Wheel Works 349 

Direct Navigation Company 323 

Disastrous Fires 153 

District Court, eleventh, 115 ; fifty-first, 116 ; sixty-first .... 116 

District Schools 190 

Dixie Theatre '. . 433 

Donation of Church Lots by the Aliens 142 

Donellen, Thusetan 388 

Dragoons, the organized 69 

Dramatic Club 430 

Drayage Costs Eliminated , , 320 > 

Drays and Floats Unnecessary 361 

Dunn, T. C 332 

Dupree, Judge Blake 120 

Duval, J. S., M. D 124 

Eagle, Joe H., lawyer 120 

Early Architecture 403 

Early Baptists 61, 63, 142 

Early Card Games 41 

Early Chamber of Commerce 325 

Early City Officers 38 

Early Court Officers 36 

Early Day Amusements, Chapter 2, 41 

Early Growth and the Bayou, Chapter 6, 65 

Early Law Cases 37, 110 

Early Lawyers 109 

Early Market 77 



Index 475 

Early Merchants 67 

Early Methodists 61, 62, 148 

Early Murder Trials 37 

Early Newspapers 204 — 211 

Early Police Matters ' 86 

Early Presbyterians 62, 152 

Early Prices for Provisions 67, 359 

Early Eeligious Organizations, Chapter 5 61, 142, 152 

Early Schools 73, 167, 169 

Early Steamboating on the Bayou 70, 245, 246 

Early Theatres 46, 169, 429 

Early Transportation Difficulties 225 

Education and Free Schools, Chapter 11 167 

Election, whiskey 41 

Electric Lights 105, 349 

Eleventh District Court 115 

Elimination of Drayage 320 

Elizabeth Baldwin Park •. 436 

BUer Wagon Works 353 

Endowment, 'Wm. M. Rice's 192 

Engines and Boilers, manufacture of 345 

England's Plans 58 

England's Refusal of Recognition, 57 ; recognition, 58 

Englehard, H. A., M. D 123 

Enlarged Town Site 30 

Ennis, Cornelius, mayor, 107; pioneer railroad builder. . . . 237 

Epidemics 66, 136, 137 

Episcopal Churches 159 

Episcopals, early 62 

"Erie, No. 3," early steamboat 246 

"Erie, No. 12," early steamboat ; 246 

Evening Age 213 

Evening News 213 

' ' Farmer, ' ' early steamboat 246 

"Father" Levy 162 

Federal Building 414 

Fifty-first District Court 116 



476 History of Houston, Texas 

Files of the old "Telegraph" destroyed 208 

Fire Companies 81, 83, 84 

Fire Department 81, 83, 84, 85, 86 

Fire Insurance 425 

Fires 81, 153, 451 

First Baptist Church ; 142, 144 

First Board of Health 66 

First Bridge 80 

First Catholic Church 160 

First Church Bell 153 

First Church Building 142 

First Church of Christ, Scientist 421 

First Congress 35 

First Cotton Press 74, 342 

First County Records 36, 39 

First Court .109 

First Court House 391 

First Evangelistic Sermon 61 

First Fire Company 81 

First Grand Jury ' 36 

First Hotel 30 

First Houston Author 220 

First Iron Foundry 343 

First Jail 36, 391 

First Lone Star Flag 33 

First Mayor 76, 107 

First Methodist Church 148, 152, 421 

Fitst National Bank 329, 330, 331 

First National Bank Building 409 

First National Bank of Texas 328 

First Organized Church 62 

First Presbyterian Church •. 152, 421 

¥ijcst Protestant Episcopal Church 156 

First Religious Services 142 

First Steamboat 29, 65 

First Street Railway Company 251 

First Two-story Dwelling 66 



Index iTi 

First Sunday School 62 

First Use of Gas 93 

Flewellen, R. T., M. D 126 

Floats and Drays Unnecessary 36L 

Floral Festival 325 

F'lorence Crittendon Rescue Home 20i ' 

Foote, Henry Stewart, quoted ')9 

Forest Area and Stumpage in Texas 369 

Foster, J. H., M. D 130 

Foster, M. E 219 

Founding of Houston 76 

Foundry, Cushman's 344 

Fountain, Rev. Edward, early Methodist minister 62 

Fowler, Rev. Littleton, early Methodist minister 61, 63 

Franchises, granting of 101 

Franklin, Hon. Benj. C 37, 115 

Freeman, Judge T. J 241 

Free Masonry 261 

Free School Lands 171 

Free Schools Opposed 174 

Frisco Lines 232, 242, 244 

Fuller, Col. Nathan, mayor 107 

Fuller, Mrs. Charlotte M 143 

Furniture Manufacture 353 

Galveston Causeway 254 

Galveston Disaster ' 97 

Galveston Harbor 27 

Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Ry 226, 230, 245 

Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railway 

228, 230, 231, 239, 243, 245 

Garwood, H. M., lawyer 120, 166 

Garrow, h' .W 317 

Gas Company Organized 93 

Gas, price of 105 

Qebhart-Williams-Fenet 367 

"Gems from a Texas Quarry," 222 

' ' General Sherman, ' ' first locomotive in Texas 227 



478 History of Houston, Texas 

Gentry, A. M 59 

German Lutheran Church, First 159 

German Musical Association 377 

German Society 267 

German Society Cemetery . . . , ;. 438 

Gibbs, J. P., M. D .'. 129, 130 

Gill, W. H., lawyer 120, 121 

Gillespie, J. K. P., criminal district attorney 115 

Girard's Map 30 

Girls' Musical Club 386 

Glenwood Cemetery 438 

Goldthwaite, George, lawyer 114, 119 

Gordon, Boris Bernhardt '. 389 

Gould System 231 

Government by Commission 97, 101, 105 

Government, seat of, 34 ; moved to Houston, 33 

Grand Jury, the first 36 

Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas 263 

Grant Locomotive and Car Works 345 

Grants to Settlers 57 

Gray, A. C, editor 209 

Gray, E. N., M. D 130 

Gray, Hon. Peter 114, 117 

Gray Opera House 430 

Great Southern Life Insurance Company 427 

Gross, Rev. Dr. J. L 147 

Grove, Hangman's 38 

Growth and Progress, Chapter 28, 447 

Guarantee Life Insurance Company 427 

Guarantee State Bank 330, 333 

Guards, Milam 53, 58, 67 

Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe '. . 243, 245 

Hadley, Mrs. Piety L 143 

Hadley, T. B. J 59 

Hall City 79 

Hamblen, Hon. B. P 116, 119 

Hamblen, Hon. W. P. 114, 116, 117 



Index 479 

Hamilton, Gavin, M. D 130 

Hamman George 332 

Hangman 's Grove 38 

Harrisburg and Brazos Valley Railway 226 

Harrisburg: better place for a city, 25;. rivalry with, 31; 
county, 32, 36; founded, 32; municipality of, 31; laid 
out, 32 ; seat of justice, 32 ; put to the torch by Santa 

Anna 32 

Harris County Court 116 

Harris County Court House 393, 413 

Harris County : description of, 33 ; vote on annexation .... 59 

Harris County Jail 395 

Harris County Medical Association 128 

Harris County Schools 190 

Harris, D. W. C, county clerk 109 

Harris, John B., founder of Harrisburg 32 

Harris, John Charles, lawyer 120 

Harris, Mary Jane 32 

Hartwell Iron "Works 344 

Hawthorne Lumber Company 367 

Health Department Statistics 131 

Hebrew Cemetery 438 

Hebrew Congregations 162 

Henderson, Gov. J. W 59, 113, 118 

' ' Henry A. Jones, ' ' early steamboat '. 246 

Henry, 0., famous short story writer 220' 

Hewitt Manufacturing Company 345 

Highland Park 436 

Hill, J. L., Lumber Company 367 

Hogg, Gov. Stephen S 121 

Holland Lodge No. 1 41 

Holland Lodge No. 1, 261, 263 

Holland Lodge No. 36, 262 

Holman, J. S., mayor 107 

Hollywood Cemetery 438 

Holt, 0. T., mayor 108 

Holy Cross 43& 



480 History of Houston, Texas 

Home Products Banquet 357 

Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 81, 83, 84 

Horn, Prof. P. W 175, 179 

Hospitals 67, 132, 135 

Hotel, Rice 30 

Hotel, the first 30, 419, 441, 443 

House Sash Factory 347 

House, T. W., Sr 92, 108, 237, 328 

Houston Academy 170 

Houston : advertisement of, 26 ; and tide water, 26 ; advan- 
tages for building, 27 ; as a railroad center, 240 ; a lum- 
ber center, 365 ; boundaries of, 76, 79 ; founding of, 76 ; 
■distance from Brazos River, 26 ; head of navigation, 26 ; 
•described by Lubbock in 1837, 29 ; city of tents, 30 ; 
selected as seat of government, 33, 54 ; county seat, 33 ; 
•conditions as seat of government, 34; incorporated as a 
city, 38, 76; monument to real estate promoters' art. . 25 

Houston and Texas Central Railway 228, 230, 239, 443 

Houston and Texas Central Shops 241, 245 

Houston and the Red Men, Chapter 3 48 

Houston Bar Association 119, 120 

Houston Belt and Terminal Company 232, 244 

Houston Business League 323 

Houston Car Wheel and Machine Company 349 

Houston Chronicle '. 216, 219 

Houston City Street Railway Company 251 

Houston Clearing House 339 

Houston Country Club 284 

Houston Daily Herald 218 

Houston Daily Sun '. 218 

Houston Direct Navigation Company ." . 247 

Houston East and West Texas Railway 230, 245 

Houston Electric Company 349 

Houston Fire and Marine Insurance Company 427 

Houston Fire Department 83 — 86 

Houston Futures, boys' fire company 48 

Houston Gas Company, organized 92 



Index 481 

Houston, Gen. Sam : in Indian conference, 49 ; residence and 
office of, 55; as Indian Chief, 48; as president-elect, 

45, 42, 43 ; opposes removal of capital 58 

Houston Ice and Brewing Company 346 

Houston Iron "Works 345 

Houston Labor Journal 214 

Houston Launch Club 355 

Houston Light Guard 277, 280 

Houston Loan and Trust Company 330, 335 

Houston Lyceum 292 

Houston Lyceum and Carnegie Library Association 296 

Houston Medical Association 124 

Houston Musical Festival Association 385 

Plouston National Exchange Bank 330 

Houston Newspapers, Cuapter 13, 2i4. 

Houston Nutshell 214 

Houston Packing Company '. 346 

Houston Pen Women 's Association 300 

Houston Post, 214 ; reorganized 217 

Houston Quartette Society 382, 385 

Houston Savings Bank 329 

Houston Settlement Association 287 

Houston Ship Channel 249 

Houston Structural Steel "Works ' 345 

Houston Symphony Club 386 

Houston Tap and Brazoria Railway 229, 230, 231 

Houston Telegraph 209, 213 

Houston Telegram 214 

Houston Telephone Exchange 258 

Houston Theatre 430 

Houston "Weekly Argus 213 

Houston "Weekly Chronicle 213 

Houston's Boosters 28 

Houston's Buildings 391 

Houston's Debt and Finances 94, 95, 103 

Houston's First Author 220 

Houston's Growth and Progress, Chapter 28 447 



482 History of Houston, Texas 

Houston's Manufacturers, Chapter 19, 340 

Houston's Motto 155 

Houston's Pioneers, 449 

Houston's Postoffices .■ 396 

Houston's Seventeen Railroads 245 

Houston-'s Stability 373 

Howard, Wm. H., M. D 124 

Howe, Mrs. M. G 110 

Huckins, Rev. James, early Baptist pastor 143 

Hume, W. D 385 

Hurd, C. W 384 

Hutchins House 441 

Hutchinson, J. C, lawyer 115 

Hutchins, W. J., mayor, 107; pioneer railroad builder .... 237 

Hutchison, Mrs. Wille 380 

Ice Factories 345 

' ' Ida Reese, ' ' early steamboat 246 

Ideson, Miss Julian 296 

Ikin, Arthur, quoted 73 

Improvement of Buffalo Bayou 245, 246, 248 

Inauguration of Stage Lines 68 

Incorporated as a city 38, 76 

Independence and Monroe Doctrine 58 

Independence, Declaration of 32, 55, 58 

Indian Burial Ground 441 

Indian Camp 31, 48 

Indian History 48 

Indian Letters 50 

Indian Trading Post 440 

Indian Treaty 50 

Industrial Rice Milling Company 372 

Industrial Statistics 305 

Infirmaries 135 

Insurance, Chapter 24, 425 

Intelligencer, the 55 

International and Great Northern Railway 231, 241, 245 

Interurban Railroad 253 



Index 483 

Iron Foundry, early 343 

Jackson, Andrew L., mayor 108 

Jacobs, Eev. Dr. Wm. States 155, 386 

Jail 36, 395 

Jewish Herald 214 

"J. H. Sterrett," early steamboat 246 

Jockey Club, the 42 

Johnson, Col. R. M 217, 323 

Jones, Dr. and Mrs. Anson 39, 261 

Jones, Frank C, lawyer 120, 264 

Jones, Fred A 415 

Jones, George, county clerk 117 

Jones, Jesse H 332, 336 

Jones, Judge C. Anson 114, 116 

Jordan, A. N., lawyer 114, 118 

Jordan, Charles, lawyer 114 

Junkin, Rev. Dr. E. D 154 

Jury, first petit 110 

Katy System 231, 243, 245 

Kennerly, T. M., lawyer 120 

Kerr's Poems 222 

Kidd, Geo. W 113 

King Cotton 319 

King, F. B., M. D 130 

King, "W. H., mayor 107 

Kirby Lumber Company 366 

Kirkland, W, H 346, 347 

Kirlicks, Judge John H 117 

Kittrell, Judge Norman G 116, 222 

Knight, Mr., early settler 32 

Knights of Pythias 265 

Knox, M. D., M. D 128 

Krause, A., M. D 130 

Kyle, J. A., M. D 129, 130 

Labor Statistics 305 

Ladies' Reading Club 296 

Ladies' Shakespeare Club 298 



484 History of Hisuston, Texas 

Lamar, M. B., as president 56 

. Landmarks 440 

Land Office 441 

Lane, Jonathan, lawyer 120 

Lane, Wolters & Storey, law firm 122 

Larendon, J., M. D 126 

Latin Influence in Architecture 405 

"Laura," the first steamboat _ 29, 65 

Layne and Bolder 345 

Lea, A. H 317 

Leavell, Rev. Dr. Wm. Hayne 154 

Lee Fire Company, No. 2 83, 84 

Levy, Abe M. 332, 337 

Levy, "Father," 162 

Lewis, John W., lawyer 120 

Liberty Fire Company, No. 2 83, 84 

Lively, George W., mayor 107 

' 'Lizzie, ' ' early steamboat 246 

Lloyd Metal Company 345 

Lombardi, C 197, 202 

Lone Star Flag, when first made 33 

Lone Star Lodge, No. 1 264 

Long-Bell Lumber Company 367 

Longcope, Capt. C. S 313, 316 

Long's Expedition 32 

Looscan, Mrs. Adele B., describes early ball 43 

Locscan, Mrs. M., 110 

Lord, I. C, mayor 108 

Lubbock, Francis R. : prominent early citizen, 29 ; govern- 
or of Texas, 29; "discovered" Houston, 29; describes 

trip from Harrisburg to Houston in 1837, 29, 59 

Lumber Companies 367 

Lumberman 's National Bank 330, 333 

Lumber Trade 365, 461 

Lyceum 292 

Machinery Trade 361 

Machine Shops 343 



Index 485 

Magnolia Cemetery 438 

Magnolia Histrionic Club 431 

Magnolia "Warehouse & Storage Company 323 

Main Street Located 65 

Malone, CM 337 

Malone, Wm 338 

Manafee Lumber Company 367 

Manley, Col. John H., criminal lawyer Ill 

Manley, John, lawyer 119 

"Mansion" .• 442 

Manufacture of boilers and engines, 345 ; of furniture, 353 ; 
of ice, 345; of organs and pianos, 354; of show cases, 

354 ; of wagons 353 

Manufacturing, 340 ; statistics of, 341 ; natural advantages 

for, 341 ; early, 342 

Manufacturing Statistics 356 

Maps of Houston, early 29, 30 

Market, early 77 

Market House, 77, 78 ; burned 79, 394, 399 

Market Master 78 

Market Square 77 

Marmion, Judge 117 

Marsh, Rev. R., early Baptist minister 61 

Masonic Mirror and Family Visitor 213 

Masonry, Holland Lodge, No. 1, 41; Temple Lodge No. 4. . 42 

Masterson, Judge James, lawyer 114, 116, 119 

Masterson, Judge James R 116 

Masterson, Judge James A. R 119 

Masterson, Judge Wm 116 

Maury, R. Q., criminal district attorney 115 

McAnally, Doctor 124 

McAnnelly, CM 59 

McAshan, J. B 197, 202, 222 

McAshan, S. A 317 

McCraven, W. M 59 

McCraven, Wm., M. D , 124 

McDonald, Mrs. Edna 386 



486 History of Houston, Texas 

McGowan, Alexander, 60 ; mayor, 107 ; early foundry man . . 343 

Mcllhenny, S. K 317 

Meador, N. E 336 

Mechanics Fire Company, No. 6 84 

Medical Association, Harris County 128 

Medical Association, Houston, organized 124 

Medical Association, State 125, 127 

Medical History, Chapter 9, 123 

Medical Practice, regulation of 127 

Memorable Ball 42 

Merchants Compress Company , 322 

Merchants, early '.ill'; , 67 

Merchants National Bank 332 

Methodists, early 61, 62, 148 

Methods of Handling Cotton 319, 364 

Milam Guards 53, 58, 67 

Miller, R. C, Lumber Company 367 

Mingo, Indian Chief ; 441 

Minutes of First Baptist Church 143 

Missouri, Kansas and Texas System 231, 243, 245 

Mitchell, Edgar 389 

Mitter, K. N., M. D , 130 

Monroe Doctrine and Texas Independence 58 

Moore, Dr. Francis, 59, 60, 76, 107; editor, 207; pioneer 

railroad builder 237 

Moore, H. C, M. D., 129, 130 

Moore, J. T., M. D 130 

Morgan's Point 249 

Morning Star, early newspaper 211 

Morning Star, the 55, 66, 74 

Morrell, Rev. Z. N., early Baptist minister 61 

Morris, Hon. Richard 115 

Mounted Police 87, 89 

Munger, Mrs. N. C 381, 382 

Municipal History 76 

Municipality of Harrisburg .'" 31 

Munn, W. C 326 



Index 487 

Murder of Wm. M. Rice 192 

Music and Art, Chapter 21 377 

National Banner, early newspaper 210 

Natural Advantages 357 

Neal, J. W 355 

Nelms, A. L 818 

Nerve of the Allen Brothers 28 

Neuhaus, C. L 337 

New and Old Methods of Handling Cotton 319 

New Majestic Theatre 430, 432 

Newspapers of Houston ■ 204 

Norris Lumber Company 367 

Norsworthy Hospital 135 

Norsworthy, 0. L., M. D 129, 130 

Norton, Hon. M. P 59 

No-Tsu-Oh Association 282-325 

Oberly, Cyrus S., early writer 221 

Odd Fellowship 264 

Officers, early county 36 

Oil industry ; 375, 461 

Oil Mills 348, 350 

Old and New Methods of Handling Cotton 319 

Old Cemeteries 437 

Old Landmarks, Chapter 27 440 

Old Majestic Theatre 430, 433 

' ' Old Reliable, ' ' early steamboat 246 

Olive Wood Cemetery 439 

Opposition to Free Schools 174 

Orange Lumber Company 367 

Organized Church, first 62 

Organized Labor, Chapter 17, 305 

Oriental Textile Mills 352 

Original Plan of the City 29 

Original Street Names 29 

Original Survey and Map 29 

Ox "Wagon Trade 225, 235, 451 

Packing House Products 363 



488 History of Houston, Texas 

Packing Industry 346 

Palmer, E. A., lawyer, 114 ; judge 118 

Parker, B. B., lawyer 120 

Parker, J. W., lawyer : 120 

Parks and Cemeteries, Chapter 26 435 

Peabody Fund 173, 176 

Peden, E. A 326 

Peoples Advocate 213 

Percy, H. R 316 

Perkins Hall 313 

Perkins Theatre 430 

Petit Jury, first 110 

Petroleum 375, 461 

Phelps, Ed. S., lawyer ' 120 

Phelps, Dr., early settler 32 

Pickering Lumber Company 367 

Pillott's Opera House 313 

Pioneers 449 

Pioneer Railroad Builders 237 

Plan of the City, original 29 

Planters and Mechanics Banks 332 

Planters Fire Insurance Company 426 

Police Affairs 86— 90 

Police Tragedies 88 

Pony Express 208 

Porter, George L 316 

Port of Houston 74 

Post McLennan, No. 9, G. A. R 277 

Postoffices 396, 414 

Practice of Medicine, regulation of 127 

Preachers Vigilence Committee 61 

Presbyterian Churches 156 

Presbyterian Church, First 153 

Presbyterians, early 62, 152 

President's "Mansion" : . . . 442 

Preston Avenue Bridge 443 

Priester, Wm. G., M. D 130 



Index 489 

Princess Theatre 433 

Prince Theatre 430,. 433 

Pritchard Rice Mills 372 

Private Schools 189 

Produce Business 462 

Protection Fire Company, No. 1 81, 83 84 

Protestant Episcopal Church, First 156 

Provisions, early prices of 67, 359 

Public Buildings 391 

Public Schools Under City Management 175 

Quackery 139 

Rail and Water Competition 360 

Railroad Shops 241 

Railroad Street 30 

Railroad Surgeons Association 128 

Railway Systems 230 

Railroad Trackage and Equipment 241 

Ralston, W. W., M. D 130 

Raphael Bros 426 

Raphael, E 197, 198, 202, 349 

Raphael, Rev. Samuel 163 

Ray and Mihills , 367 

Read, Wm. M 317 

Recognition 55, 56 

Recognition of Independence; refused by England, 57; 

granted by France, 57 ; and the Monroe Doctrine .... 58 

Reconstruction Times 78, 94, 108 

Records, first court 36, 39 

"Red Backs," depreciation of 67 

Red Pish Bar 249, 250 

Red, S. C, M. D 130 

Religious Service, first 142 

Removal of Capital to Austin 57 

Republic Period .447 

Rescue Home, Florence Crittendon 290 

Retail Business 374 

Rice, B. B 179, 202 



490 History of Houston, Texas 

Eice Culture 370 

Rice, Edwin B 284 

Rice, P. A 197 

Rice, H. B., mayor, quoted 88, 89, 96, 106, 108 

Rice Hotel 30, 419, 441, 443 

Rice Hotel Square 30 

Rice Institute Architecture 422 

Rice Institute, 190 ; Chapter 12, 191 

Rice Institute Site, 202 ; laying of cornerstone 202 

Rice, Joe 284 

Rice, J. S 332, 336, 337 

Rice, J. S. and "W. M " 367 

Rice Mills 372 

Rice Trade '. . . 461 

Rice Trustees, 197 

Rice, "William M .> 284 

Rice, W. M 197, 202 

Rice, Wm. M., 59, 192; murder of, 192; Houston's greatest 
philanthropist, 195; pioneeer railroad builder, 237: 

biography of 195 

Richardson, A. S 114, 197 

Rivalry with Harrisburg 31 

Roberts, Maj. Ingham S., quoted, 107 

Robinson, C. W., criminal district attorney .... 115 

Robinson, W. D., M. D 124 

Rock Island System : ., 232 

Rockwell, J. M 332, 336 

Rodgers, M. T 59 

"RoUa," schooner 42, 66 

Rose, Dr. Pleasant "W"., visited site of Houston 28 

Ross, J. 337 

Rossonian, the 415 

Roster of City Officials 106 

Round Tent Saloon 35, 41 

Royal Theatre 433 

Ruthven, A. S., pioneer railroad builder 237 

Sabine, C. B., lawyer 114, 116, 118 



Index 491 

Sabine Lumber Company 367 

Saengerbund 377 

Sam Houston Park 435 

San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway 230, 243, 245 

Sanitarium, the Baptist 134 

' ' San Jacinto, ' ' early steamboat 246 

Santa Fe Expedition 58 

Santa Fe Lines 231 

Savoy Flats 415 

Seanlan Building 407, 442 

School Board 101, 107 

School Lands ; 171 

Schools, denominational 189 

Schools, early 73 

Schools, private 167 

Schooner : " The Rights of Man, " 32 ; " RoUa, "../..... 42, 66 

Schopman, Hugo '. 388 

Scott, Hon. George R 116 

Scott, J. W., M. D ■ 130 

Sears, D. G., lawyer 121 

Sears, Judge W. G 117 

Sears, Rev. Dr. Peter Gray 159, 166 

Seat of Government Moved to Houston 33, 36 

Second Texas Infantry 269 

Settlement and Pioneer Life, Chapter 1 25 

Settlers, early, 32; Brown's account of 32 

Settlers Grants 57 

Shakespeare Club 298 

Shands, H. A., lawyer 121 

Shaw, Judge W. N 116 

, Sheam, Charles 148, 176 

' Shearn Church Site 61, 63, 150 

Sheltering Arms, the ' 157, 286 

Shepherd, B. A -828, 337 

Ship Channel r . . . . . 248, 463 

Shops, machine, 343; Southern Pacific, 241, 348; Houston 

and Texas Central 241 



492 History of Houston, Texas 

' ' Shreveport, ' ' early steamboat 246 

"Silver Cloud," early steamboat 246 

Site of Court House 30 

Site of Hutehins House ; 30 

Site of Rice Institute 202 

Sixty-first District Court 116 

Skyscraper Period 447 

Smith, Ashbel, M. D 123, VM, 12s, 171 

Smithj C. L., Lumber Company 367 

Smith, Col. Benjamin Port, builder of first hotel 30 

Smith, Dan C, mayor 95, 108 

Snell, M. K 59 

Social Organizations 283 

Societies and Clubs, Chapter 15 261 

Society, Anti-rat 68 

Sons of the American Revolution 277 

Southern Compress and Warehouse Company 322 

Southern Pacific Building 413 

Southern Pacific Hospital 133 

Southern Pacific Shops 241, 348 

Southern Pacific System 230 

Southern Pinery Tie and Lumber Company 367 

Southern Trust Compaily 330, 337 

South Texas National Bank 330, 332 

South Texas National Bank Building 407 

Southwestern Rice Mills , 372 

Southwestern Telephone Building 412 

Spanish American War Veterans 277 

Square, Capitol 30 

Square, Congress 30, 77 

Square, Market 77 

Square, Rice Hotel 30 

St. Agnes Academy 161 

St. Anthony's Home 286 

St. Joseph's Infirmary 161 

St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexican Railway 232, 245 

St. Pauls M. E. Church 421 



Index 4:93 

Stage Coaches 225 

Stage Lines Inaugurated 68 

Standard Compress Company 323 

Standard Milling Company 372 

Standifer, J. M., lawyer 121 

Star' of Hope 286 

"Star State," early steamboat 246 

Star Theatre 433 

Star, the morning, early newspaper 211 

State Medical Association 125, 127 

Statistics Census, 73 ; tax . , 74 

Statistics of Health Department 131 

Statistics of Manufactures 356 

Steamboating on the Bayou, early 70 

SteamJ)oats, early means of transportation 225 

Steamboat, the first *29, 65 

Steele, A. L. and Company ^. 426 

Stevens, James H., mayor 107, 237 

Stewart, Hon. Charles, criminal lawyer Ill, 119 

Stewart, John S., possessor of early map, 30 ; lawyer 121 

Stewart, Minor, lawyer 121 

Stonewall Fire Company No. 3 .83, 84 

Storey, James L., lawyer 121 

Streetman, Sam, lawyer 121 

Street, Railroad 30 

Stuart, D. P., M. D 126, 132, 155 

Stuart, J. R., M. D 130 

Study Shakespeare Class 299 

Stumpage and Forest Area 369 

Sugar Cane Fields, proximity of 363, 462 

Sunday Gazette 212 

Sunday School, first 62 

Sunset Central System 242 

Surgeons Association, railroad 128 

Swain, W. W., mayor 107 

Taliaferro, S., lawyer 121 

Tankersly, Benjamin, lawyer 114, 119 



494 History of Houston, Texas 

Taub, Otto, lawyer , .... 121 

Tax Statistics ; 74 

Taylor, C. H., lawyer 121 

Taylor, E. W 318 

Taylor, H. D., mayor .108 

Taylor, Tom M. 337 

Telegraph and Register, early newspaper 205 

Telegraph and Telephone Lines 254 

Telegraph Files Destroyed 208 

Telegraph, the 38, 55, 66 

Temple Beth Israel 421 

Temple Lodge No. 4 42 

Terminal Depot • 244 

Terry's Texas Rangers 268 

Texas and New Orleans Railway 229, 230, 245 

Texas and the Monroe Doctrine .' . . 58 

Texas Annexation 59 

Texas Bankers' Journal 213 

Texas Gazette 213( 

Texas Independence 42, 55, 56, 57 

Texas Journal of Education 218 

Texas Medical Association 127 

Texas Magazine 213 

Texas Railroad and Navigation Company 226 

Texas Realty Journal ''..,.. 214 

Texas Rice Mills 372 

Texas Scrap Book 218 

Texas Staats Zeitung 213 

Texas State Press Association 223 

Texas Sun 213 

Texas Tradesman 214 

Texas Transportation Company 245 

Texas Trust Company 330, 336 

Texas "Wireless Telegraph-Telephone 259 

Texas Word 214 

'Thalian Club 284 

Tharp, Q. W., lawyer 121 



Index ,,, 495 

Theato 433 

Theatres, Chapter 25 429 

The City Govemment, Chapter 7 76 

The Vagabond 214 

Thompson, A. P., lawyer 114, 118 

Thursday Morning Musical Club 378 

Timber Conservation 370 

Times, the daily, early newspaper 210 

"T. M. Bagby," early steamboat 246 

Tod, Hon. John G 116 

Tompkins, S. S 59, 114 

Townes, E. W., lawyer 121 

Town of Houston Advertised 26 

Town Site Enlarged 30 

Trade in Machinery 361 

Trading Post 440 

Tragedies, police 88 

Tragedy, the Rice 191 

Transportation and Communication, Chapter 14 224 

Treaty, Indian 52 

Treble Clef Club 380 

Trinity River Lumber Company 367 

Trust Companies 334 

Trustees for Wm. M. Rice Estate 197 

Tryan, Rev. Wm. M 144 

Turner, Capt. E. P., lawyer 114 

Turn Verein 265 

Turpentine 370 

Union Compress Wd Warehouse Company 322 

Union Iron Works , . 345 

Union Land Register 213 

Union National Bank 329, 330, 332 

Union National Bank Building , 410 

United Charities 286 

United Confederate Veterans 276 

United Daughters of the Confederacy 303 

Vagabond, The 214 



496 History of Houston, Texas 

Value of Water Transportation 323 

Van Alstine, W. A 237 

Vasmer, Judge E. H 116 

Vaudette Theatre 433 

Vaudeville in Houston 431 

Vaughan Lumber Company , 367 

Viaduct 398, 463 

Volks-fest 266 

Volks-fest Association 267 

Voss, Duff, police, chief 90 

Vote for Annexation 59 

Wagner, Meyer C, lawyer 121 

Wagon Trade 225, 235, 451 

Washington County Railway 228 

Water and Rail Competition 36 

Water, Artesian 91, 105 

Water Plant Purchased 92 

Water Supply 426 

Water Transportation, value of 323 

Waterworks Company 91 

Waterworks System 90, 92, 105 

Watson, Wm. V. R 317 

Wauls Legion 269, 272 

Wesley House 290 

West, W. W., Lumber Company ■. 367 

Wharton, Earl, lawyer 121 

"Where Seventeen Railroads Meet the Sea" 155 

Whiskey Election 41 

White Oak Bayou Bridge 443 

White, Walter C, early settler 32 

Whitmarsh, T. W., mayor 107 

Wholesale Business, volume of 362 

Wholesale Trade and Big Business, Chapter 20 358 

Wier, R. W., Lumber Company 367 

Wier, W. M., M. D 129, 130 

Wild Game Abundant 31 

Wilkins, Mrs., early settler 32 



Index 497 

Williams, Mrs. Turner 382 

Wilson, A. B., lawyer 121 

Wilson, James T. D., mayor 91, 108 

Wilson, Judge, lawyer 114 

Wilson, Judge Wm. H 116 

Wilson, R. D., M. D 130 

Wireless Companies 259 

Wireless Telegraph-Telephone 259 

Womans Choral Club 382, 385 

Wolters, Jake, lawyer 121, 122 

Wynne, Archibald, lawyer 107 

Wynns, A 59 

Yellow Fever Epidemic 66, 137 

Yellow Pine Trade 368 

Y. M. C. A 421 

Y. M. C. A. Building 421 

York, J. B., M. D 130 

Young Men's Hebrew Club 431 

Young, S .0., M. D 124-126 

Young Women's Christian Association 291 

Z. Z. Dancing Club 283 



499 



ERRATA. 

In list of members of the Houston Bar, page 120, the name 
"R. Lewis" should be "Lewis R. Bryan;" "Earl Wilson," page 
121, should be "Earl Wharton," and "Clerk C. Wrenn," page- 
121 should be "Clark C. Wrenn. 

"Dr. D. F. Stewart," pages 139 and 155, should be "Dr. 
D. F. Stuart." 

"Dr. Asbel Smith," page 171, should be "Dr. Ashbel 
Smith." 

"Arkansas Pass," pages 230, 243, 245 and 253, should be 
' ' Aransas Pass. ' ' 

"H. F. McGregor, page 252, should be " II. h\ MacGregor. " 



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