HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 7
and got its name from the railroads that run over it, it is quite
evident that the Aliens could have had nothing to do with naming
it, when the city was laid out.
Another story destroyed by that advertisement is the one
about Mrs. A. C. Allen naming the town. She may have named
it and if she ever said she did I know she did, but not in the
way the story goes. Following is the story: While the Texas
congress was in session, the Allen brothers were trying to find
a suitable name for their city. One of them consulted his sister,
Mrs. A. C. Allen, who without hesitation said: "Name it
Sam Houston." She also offered to write to General Houston,
who was then at Columbia and ask his permission to name the
town after him. She wrote the letter and a few days later
received a letter from him in which he said, "Leave off the 'Sam'
and call it 'Houston'."
The fatal point for that story is the fact that the Texas
congress, which the story says President Houston was attending,
did not convene at Columbia until October 3, 1836, while
the Allen brothers were advertising the sale of town lots in the
"Town of Houston" on August 30, or over a month previous to
any possible date for the story.
EARLY HANGINGS IN HOUSTON.
T IS an historical fact that at the first session of court
held in Harrisburg County, as Harris was then called, two
men were found guilty of murder and sentenced to death.
It is stated that those two men were hanged immediately because
the jail was uncomfortably cold and the kind-hearted
judge did not want the prisoners to suffer unduly.
The court sentence is true, no doubt, but the story about the
jail being too uncomfortable must be taken with a large pinch
of salt, since there was no jail to be uncomfortable. The first
jail was not built for at least two years after the date of that
incident. By the way, that first jail was a curiosity. It had
neither windows nor doors. It was simply a onestory log house
with a flat roof. On its top was a trap door. This was raised
a ladder was lowered and the prisoner went down into the aiL
Then the ladder was withdrawn, the trap closed, and the prisoner
was left to meditate on his sins.
The first legal hanging in Houston, about which old dtisens
know, took place many years after the date of the reported
hangings. It was that of a man named Hyde. He had waylaid
and murdered a man and had then left the state and son to
Louiiana or Miasislppi. Someone reognlsed htm there and
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 March 12, 2014.