60 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
pany there. They had entered the woods, ahead of us, however.
Before tle close of the war all the railroads except the Houston
and Texas Central and the Galveston, Houston and Henderson
had gone out of commission and had ceased to run at
all. In some way these two roads were kept in such condition
that they could be used, but that was all. Using them was not
a safe thing by any means. They crept along so slowly that
while wrecks were so frequent as to attract no attention, it
was a rare thing for any one to get killed or even hurt.
If full justice were done the name of Mr. Bremond would be
perpetuated by the Houston and Texas Central road. It is true
there is one of the principal towns on the line named after him.
It is true he received loyal support and assistance from W. R.
Baker, M. M. Rice, William Van Alstyne, William J. Hutchins,
Cornelius Ennis and others, but theirs was money help and soon
gave out. The real credit for building the road belongs to Paul
Bremond, for he did what others could or would not do, pulled
off his coat and went in the trenches and, figuratively, on the
firing line of railroad construction in Texas.
I do not know what the reason for doing so was, but in those
days the' builders of locomotives always put immense smokestacks
on them. The smokestacks were funnel-shape and several
feet in circumference at the top. The locomotives burned
wood and every few miles there were big stacks of cordwood
piled alongside the track.
There was no such thing as spark-arresters and every time
the fireman put fresh wood in the box the passengers got the
full benefit of the sparks, cinders and smoke. It beat traveling
by stage, however, and as the people knew nothing of oilburners,
spark-arresters and Pullman cars, everybody was content.
The old-time fireman earned every dollar that was coming
to him, for he had to keep busy all the time. It was not child's
play to have to keep steam up with only wood for fuel. Then
too, it took more steam to keep an engine going at that time,
for the engineer was using his whistle 10 times as often as he
uses it now.
There were no fences along the right of way and as there
were thousands of cattle on the prairies and woods where the
road ran, the track was generally filled with them every few
miles. As soon as the trains would get out of the city limits,
the whistle would begin tooting and this was kept up almost
without cessation. Of course, a great many cattle were killed
and this led to bitter warfare between the cattlemen and the
Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young.. Galveston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/. Accessed September 1, 2014.