HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 91
of. Among these young men were tWo who were destined to
establish a tragic mystery here. One was the son of a gentleman
of Galveston, a man of means, who established his son in
business on Congress Avenue, between Travis and Main Street.
The young merchant who was so fortunately established was
named Ed Brown. The other young man was Ed Prewit, who
had come to Houston from somewhere up the state and had
secured a clerkship in the freight department of the Houston and
Texas Central Railway with Mr. J. Waldo, at that time local
Brown and Prewit became great friends. They roomed at the
same place and after business hours were almost invariably together.
They were both slender, weighed about 135 pounds and
Were between 19 and 20 years old. Aside from physical resemblance,
no two men could have been more unlike. Brown was
full of life and animation. He loved a joke, whether at his own
expense or not, and was always ready for fun or frolic. Being
on "easy street," he could afford to take life easy and did so.
Prewit, on the other hand, while not morose, was very quiet and
Sedate. With him life was a serious problem. He was polite
and gentlemanly and made many warm friends, who admired him
for his sterling qualities. Both young men were favorites and
each numbered among his friends the friends of the other.
Late in the summer of 1867 I was standing on Main Street, a
few doors north of where Kiam's place now is, in company with
Charley Gentry, Andrew Hutchinson and Prewitt. Some one
asked Prewit where Brown was. He replied that he did not
know. Just at that moment Brown turned the corner of Preston
Avenue and came toward us. When he saw Prewit he hesitated
for just a moment and then advanced, walking very slowly.
Prewit moved a little nearer the middle of the sidewalk and stood
facing Brown as if awaiting his coming. Both were very pale
and we saw at a glance that something was wrong. Brown came
slowly forward and Prewit stood there as if awaiting him. For a
minute it looked as If Brown intended to walk right over Prewit,
but just before reaching him Brown turned slightly and passed
Prewit so closely that he nearly grazed his coat. As he did so
he raised his hat with mocl politeness, and saying, "Good afternoon,
gentlemen," passed on. Some one in the crowd called
to him to come back, but he paid no attention and passed on
down the street.
Prewit stood for a moment and then rejoined us with a smile
and a casual remark as if nothing out of the ordinary had taken
place. Of course we pressed him with questions, trying to find
out what was wrong between him and Brown, but he expressed
surprise that we should think there was anything wrong and declared
there was no cause for our assumption to the contrary.
In a few minutes we separated, Prewit, Andrew Hutchinson and
I going toward the old Capitol Hotel, now the Rice. As we
walked Andrew remarked that Brown had conte near running
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 August 22, 2014.