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

THE CITY OF HOUSTON, TExs 21
With so many bonds out, some of them were in
weak hands. These small holders, either willingly
or unwillingly, parted with their holdings for
about 85 cents on the dollar. The Baker administration
was enabled to pick up a great many bonds
in that way, but the large holders stood firm. Buying
the bonds, as Mayor Baker did, reduced the
bonded debt, of course, but it was borrowing from
Peter to pay Paul, for at the close of the Baker
administration the floating debt of the city was
about $200,000 greater than when it went in.
Having tried expert business methods and failed,
the people arose in their might and went to the opposite
extreme. They turned out the financiers
and put Mr. D. C. Smith and what was called a
"short hair" board of aldermen in office. The
labor ticket was elected triumphantly, and in electing
these gentlemen, the citizens did a wise thing.
When the news reached New York that the city
had been turned over to the labor element there
was consternation in the bondholders' camp. They
could see nothing but repudiation and ruin ahead
of them, and their greatest fear was that the debt
might be repudiated before their agents could get
here with offers of compromise. After some bickering,
which served to delay action by the council if
in no other way, the bondholders came to an agreement
with the city by the terms of which the debt
was compromised on a basis that permitted the city
to make needed improvements and pay interest reg-

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 December 24, 2014.