A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912

12 A THUMB-NAIL HISTORY OF
so that a very large number, perhaps 15,000 or
20,000 nominal citizens of Houston are living outside
the city limits. Aside from fixing the city
limits and placing some pine trees across the streets,
so that people could get across from one corner to
another without bogging down in the mud, there
appears to have been nothing accomplished by the
Moore administration, or by that of G. W. Lively,
the second mayor. It was reserved for the Charles
Biglow administration, in 1840, to take the first
step towards permanent public improvement. That
year a contract was let for the erection of a market
house and city hall on Market square. That old market
was pointed to with pride for many years by all
Houstonians. It was really a pretentious building
for it had length, if not height, being only onestory
high. It extended from Preston to Congress
and on the Congress side it was two-stories high,
the upper floor being used as a city hall, while the
lower one was devoted to a city jail or "calaboose"
as it was called.
The market part was given over to the butchers
and vegetable people, who had stalls arranged on
each side, while a broad alley extended down the
entire length of the market. There was no floor,
only the bare earth serving for that purpose. The
building soon became famous for the number of
rats that took possession of it. Perhaps, in no part
of the world were there ever so many rats gathered
together in a limited space as were found in that
old place. However, it was a great improvement on

Young, Samuel Oliver. A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912. Houston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24649/. Accessed September 17, 2014.