The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

reached the West, the brothers attempted to return to Georgia,
and finally succeded in time to render some service to the Con-
federacy. After the war, conditions in the South led them to
return to the West, and to their ultimate settlement in Texas,
excepting Green, who died in Indian Territory in his attempt to
reach Texas. And so the story ends in Texas.
University of Georgia E. MERTON COULTER
A Room for the Night: Hotels of the Old West. By Richard
A. Van Orman. Bloomington (Indiana University Press),
1966. Pp. xiii+162. Illustrations, notes, index. $4.95.
Lonely settlers in the early American West and Southwest
usually welcomed the occasional traveler, but free land in Texas,
gold in California and Colorado, silver in Nevada, and the trans-
continental railroad caused such waves of newcomers that com-
mercial hostelries became necessary. In tracing the history of
public houses from 1830-1890o, Professor Van Orman of Purdue
University skillfully develops his thesis that the hotel was the
reflector of manners and morals of American society and "the
most important social institution in the West." Fine establish-
ments like the Menger (1859) in San Antonio and the Driskill
(1886) in Austin descended from their brave, though flimsily
constructed, forebears such as the Mansion House (1837-1840)
in Houston and the Tremont House (1839) in Galveston. The
opulent Palace Hotel (1875) in San Francisco and the famed
railroad hotels with dining rooms operated by Fred Harvey had
their roots in road ranches like Dirty Woman's Ranch in Colo-
rado and Dugway Stage Station in Utah.
Of particular interest to Texans are accounts of travelers, who
were either amused or affronted by the lack of refinements they
found. Mrs. M. C. Houstoun, an English guest in the Hous-
ton House (1840), made light of the canvas ceiling through
whose apertures a wondering cat poked its paws. Presbyterian
Parson John Brown many a night "wished that he was on the
highest peak of the Rocky Mountains, instead of in a Texas
hotel."
Avoiding the Scylla of the mere catalogue and the Charybdis

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/. Accessed February 26, 2015.