HOUSTON AND HOUSTONIANS 93
Brown's companion rushed up and struck Prewit on the side of
the head with a six-shooter, knocking him off several feet to the
side, where he lay insensible. In spite of his frightful wound,
Brown staggered to his feet and fired again at Prewit as he lay
on the ground. Brown then turned and walked half a block
before he fell dead.
Prewit was taken to the old Fannin House nearby, where he
died the next day from loss of blood, Brown's bullets having
severed several arteries and he having lost a great quantity.
GOOD OLD STEAMBOAT DAYS.
N one respect Houston has deteriorated woefully in the last
forty or fifty years. Commerce has ruined Buffalo Bayou,
from an artistic point of view, though it has made it a thousand
times more valuable and important in every other way. In
the "good old days," when the fine steamboats were in evidence,
it was a delight -and pleasure to make a trip down the bayou.
The old bayou was not what it has become since. It was narrow,
but it was deep; its water was clear and beautiful and its
banks were overhung with trees which were vine-clad, and,
while they impeded navigation, they added greatly to the beauty
of the stream. Then the steamboats they had in those days!
They were beauties-veritable floating palaces. The Mississippi
might have had larger boats, but there was none finer or more
elegantly finished than our bayou boats.
The trip from Houston to Harrisburg was rather difficult, because
of the twisting and winding of the bayou and also because
of overhanging trees. After passing Harrisburg, the bayou
broadened and then it was simply delightful. They served but
One meal on the boats-supper, or as we would call it today,
dinner-at about 7 o'clock. It was a meal long to be remembered,
for it was composed of every delicacy obtainable and
Was justly famed throughout the country. Travelers wrote
about it and everybody enjoyed it.
The very early boats were not so famed. They were rather
Primitive in every way, but after 1850 the bayou boats began
to Put on style and there was none finer anywhere.
There were no railroads in Texas in those early days and all
the commerce with the outside world was done over Buffalo
Bayou. The cabins of the steamboats were fixed luxuriously
for the passengers, but the lower deck and every available inch
of space was given over to freight. The principal cargoes down
the bayou consisted of cotton and hides, while the return cargoes
were dry goods, plantation supplies and such things.
The modern compressed bale of cotton was unknown at that
time, and the bales of cotton were huge, unwieldy things that
took up much space. It was surprising to see how many of these
one of those steamboats could get on board. They were piled
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 20, 2014.