THE CITY OF HOUSTON, TEXAS 67
tral railroad, January 1, 1858, Mr. Paul Bremond
having the honor of throwing the first shovel of dirt.
Now it may seem strange that any one should
have raised the least objection to railroad building
at a time when the urgent need of a railroad was so
obvious. That, however, may be explained by the
fact that the Houston merchants had become used
to the means of transit then in vogue, namely, the
ox-wagon, and had seen such good results following
it that they were beginning to feel that they
could do very well without other means of transportation.
It must be borne in mind that the wagon
service was not desultory nor intermittent. It was
slow but it was certain and regular. For fourteen
years it had been in force and was thoroughly organized.
Its very magnitude and the numbers engaged
in the business rendered the service almost
continuous, and while individual teams might be
subject to unreasonable detention and delay, there
were so many others to take their place that such
gaps were not noticeable.
As remarked, at the date of that Capitol Hotel
meeting, the wagon service had been in force for
fourteen years; had answered very well and met
all conditions except that of speed and it is not to
be wondered at that the ox-team should have had
its advocates among those whose fortunes it had
contributed so largely to build.
The service was indeed of great magnitude for
it extended as far west as the Colorado and up to
Austin; as far as Waco to the northwest and to all
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 May 23, 2015.