THE CITY OF HOUSTON, TEXAS 13
conditions that had prevailed to that time, for the
market vendors had been forced to do business in
the open air, or under a dilapidated shed that some
one had erected. There was a tent, not on the
square, however, that was used for market purposes,
but that was a private affair with which the
city had nothing to do.
The old market house stood for many years and
was finally torn down to make place for the famous
market house erected by the Scanlan administration.
The story of that famous building is worth
telling. Mr. Alexander McGowan had been elected
mayor of the city in 1867, but was turned out of
office by E. J. Davis, the "reconstruction" Governor
of Texas, in August, 1868. Some other
changes were made, but it was not until 1870, that
Davis showed his hand by turning everybody out
of office and appointing his own henchmen. T. H.
Scanlan was appointed mayor and four ignorant
negroes were made aldermen by Davis. Then the
"plundering" began in real earnest, and by the time
they got through Houston had a debt of almost
two million dollars and had but little or nothing to
show for it. It was no public spirit or local pride
that gave Houston the finest market house in the
South. Houston got the building finally, but Houston
paid a fancy price for it. It was merely the opportunity
to extend the loot field that lay behind
the market that resulted in its final construction.
Having decided to erect a market house, plans
were drawn, specifications made and bids were in-
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 March 13, 2014.